律法VS.恩典  By Rick Joyner

幾年前我讀到一篇與酗酒有關的研究,談到其如何影響著不同的族群。此研究非常具有啟發性;令人大吃一驚的是,酗酒最嚴重的族群竟是禁止沾任何酒精的保守福音派。同樣出乎意外地是,最沒有酗酒問題的族群竟是可以隨意暢飲的猶太人。在這些年間,也出現其他類似的論述,凸顯了使徒保羅在哥林多前書十五章56節的聖經真理:『死的毒鉤就是罪,罪的權勢就是律法。』

我們並不是用科學來建立神學,但有時科學卻證實了此。律法主義往往與所要的結果相反,反而給罪權勢,永遠也無法成為不法的解藥。當然,美國是在對酒的禁令下學到此功課。在美國不但持續有對飲酒的禁令,而且禁令似乎越來越多,對其他犯罪行為同樣也是如此。禁令使罪犯無法成為守法的市民,反而為他們打開各樣犯罪的門,完全無視於法律。

即便如此,酗酒是很糟的事,以極度殘忍的方式摧毀許多家庭與生命。雖然我的家人當中並沒有酗酒的問題,但我曾目睹此災禍的影響力,也可以理解家中有酗酒的人會在飲酒上過於律法。即便如此,這樣做完全沒有用。我們可以把人關在監牢裡,好讓他們不犯罪,但這樣做卻無法將罪從他們心中除去。從監牢裡放出來後,他們可能變得更壞,並伴隨更大的罪惡感和恥辱。 

我並不是在提倡喝酒,只是在提醒不要成為法利賽人,使人造法律超過聖經的誡命。在面對問題時不只會產生不良後果,更會使好人成為假冒為善的人。我們必須離棄律法主義的專制,那只會造成許多人不必要地跌倒。

我參與過猶太人的活動與婚禮,在那裡總會有開放式吧檯,我卻不曾記得看過任何人喝醉。我們有喝酒的自由,但也需要有不偏不倚的文化。教會應該要有自由的文化,因為聖經告訴我們:『主就是那靈;主的靈在哪裡,那裡就得以自由』(參考哥林多後書3:17)不偏不倚遠比禁酒更有能力;禁酒可能意謂軟弱或缺乏自制力。       

然而,缺乏自制力,或有過度、強迫性格的人就需要滴酒不沾了。正如神的話也教導,為了愛的緣故,在某些事上有自由的人,在與比較軟弱的人一起時應當有所節制。最糟的事莫過於絆倒人,我們需要有所節制,卻又不向律法主義低頭。

耶穌對罪人有非比尋常的恩典,卻無法容忍自義或律法的人。若是教會擁有和基督一樣的靈,罪人會擠滿教會的門來尋求幫助,而不是被教會排擠。我們常引用愛罪人卻恨惡罪的說法;然而,有太多罪人遇到基督徒時,卻感到對方道德上的傲慢或被厭惡。雖然這不是整體教會的行為,但教會有太多的自義,不僅趕走了需要基督的罪人,也趕走了基督。並不是罪人或被鬼附的人把耶穌釘在十字架上,而是逼迫耶穌的自義人士。

當然,在生命路徑的兩旁各有一條壕溝─一邊是不法,另一邊則是律法主義。許多掉進一邊的人過度反應,接著就掉進另一邊了。不偏不倚則是留在生命路徑上的關鍵,這即是何以腓立比書四章5節告訴我們:『當叫眾人知道你們謙讓/不偏不倚的心。』

在新約所教導的神學理念中,我比較偏向自由派。然而,我也非常清楚知道嚴格,甚至一些用來幫助自制力差、容易上癮之人的服權柄課程,其所結的果子何等美好。那些比較偏向不法的人,可能需要更嚴格的紀律。偏向律法主義的人可能需要向另一邊靠一點。即便如此,我們的目標應當是行在路的中間。

路的中心就是聖潔;這對許多人而言已經成為不好的字眼,因為其代表律法主義,但真正的聖潔才是我們所能擁有最大的自由與保護,遠離一切過當或有罪的行為。『聖潔之美』是一個真實的品格,如此具吸引力,連罪人都充滿敬畏與驚嘆,並向他們顯明內心深處他們受造所要成為的樣式。

下週我們將繼續來看聖潔,因為這對真實基督徒生命極為重要,但我們必須不受限於對其的曲解。我們的目標在於認得主的聲音,單單跟隨祂,而不是跟隨方法或公式,並要除去律法主義和不法對聖潔的阻礙。 

 (摘自喬納 word for the week, Week 6, 2012)


引用: http://www.kp24-watchmen.com/prayer.php?recordId=7957

 

Law vs. Grace
Week 6, 2012
Rick Joyner

Years ago, I read a study on alcoholism about how this problem affected different people groups. It was very illuminating. The great surprise was that the group who had the highest percentage of alcoholics was a conservative evangelical denomination that forbids the drinking of any kind of alcohol. Just as surprising was the finding that the people group who had the lowest percentage of alcoholics were the Jews who drink freely. Over the years, other similar findings have been found, highlighting a biblical truth that the Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:56: “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.”

 We do not use science to establish our theology, but sometimes it confirms it. Legalism tends to work the opposite of its intended result, actually empowering sin, and will never be the antidote to lawlessness. Of course, the entire U.S. learned this under prohibition. Not only did the drinking in America continue under prohibition, but it seemed to increase, as well as other crimes. Prohibition made criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens, which seemed to just open them up to all sorts of crime and disregard for the law. 

Even so, alcoholism is a terrible thing, destroying many families and lives in a most cruel way. Though I do not know of any alcoholism in my own family, I have seen its scourge close up, and it is understandable that anyone who has suffered with it in their own family would tend to be a legalist in regard to drinking. Even so, it does not work. We can put people in jail so that they do not sin, but this will never take the sin out of their hearts. Given freedom from the jail, they are likely to go to even worse extremes, with the accompanying guilt and shame driving them even further out.

I am not trying to promote drinking, but I am warning against becoming like the Pharisees and making manmade laws that exceed the biblical commandments. It is not only counterproductive in dealing with the problem, but it makes hypocrites out of good moral people. We must throw off the tyranny of legalism that is unnecessarily causing many to stumble.

I have attended Jewish events and weddings where there were always open bars, but I do not ever remember seeing anyone even tipsy. There is the freedom to drink, but also a culture of moderation. The church is supposed to be a culture of liberty because we are told “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (see II Corinthians 3:17). Moderation can be a far more powerful witness than abstinence. Abstinence can imply weakness and a lack of self-control.

However, people who lack self-control and have excessive and compulsive personalities do not need to drink at all. As the Word also teaches, for the sake of love, those who have liberty in certain things should show restraint when they are with those who are weak. It is far worse to ever cause anyone to stumble. We need to be committed to this restraint while also refusing to kowtow to the legalists.

Jesus had remarkable grace toward sinners but had no tolerance for the self-righteous or for the legalists. If the church had the same Spirit as Christ, sinners would be rushing to the doors of the church for help instead of being repelled by it. We often quote how we love the sinners but hate the sin. However, far too many sinners are met with hate, or at least a moral haughtiness, when they meet Christians. This is not the demeanor of the whole church, but there is far too much self-righteousness, which not only repels sinners who need Christ, but it repels Christ. It was not the sinners or even the demon possessed, but the self-righteous who persecuted Jesus and then had Him crucified.

Of course, there is a ditch on either side of the path of life— lawlessness on one side and legalism on the other. Many who fall into a ditch on one side overreact and then fall into the opposite ditch. Moderation is the key to staying in the middle of the path of life. This is why we are told in Philippians 4:5, “Let your moderation be known unto all men” (KJV).

I lean toward the side of liberty out of the theological conviction of what the New Testament teaches. However, I also know very well how good the fruit is of strict, even authoritarian programs for helping people who are especially weak in self-control and often fall to addictive practices. Those who have a tendency toward lawlessness may need to lean toward more severe discipline. Those prone toward legalism may need to lean a little bit the other way. Even so, our goal should be to walk down the center of the road.

The center of the road is holiness. This has become a bad word with many because it implies legalism, but true holiness is the greatest liberty we can ever know and the greatest protection against excessive or sinful behavior. The “beauty of holiness” is a characteristic of the authentic and is so attractive that it will draw the worse sinners with awe and wonder. It reveals to them in their innermost being what they were created to be.

We will continue examining what holiness is next week because it is essential for the true Christian life, but we must get free of the concepts that distort it. Our goal is to know the voice of the Lord and follow Him, not just methods or formulas, and removing the hindrances to this that both legalism and lawlessness are.

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