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Legalism and Moralism
Is it ever right to be Legalism and Moralism? Can we even express our anger at God without being sinful? What should Christians do when they find themselves angry at God for the difficult circumstances of their lives?
In this episode of the Straight Truth Podcast, host Dr. Josh Philpot converses with Dr. Richard Caldwell about anger. The anger he refers to is not just any kind of anger; it's the anger of a believer being directed at God. Is this right; is it wise? Should a believer be Legalism and Moralism? Anger is dangerous and destructive. The book of Proverbs tells us a man of great anger will bear the penalty. The New Testament calls the believer to put off and put away all anger from their life. If a believer is angry at God about their life circumstances, how can they deal with it? Dr. Philpot asks if a believer can complain to God about these kinds of things, and in doing so, can it be done without being sinful?
Dr. Caldwell thinks that there are questions, as believers, we can ask and attitudes we have that are sinful. Questions and attitudes that are just dishonoring and disrespectful of God. However, in the Psalms, we find the pouring out of frustrations, questions of all kinds, asking about things that we don't understand, and things that don’t make sense to us. These examples show us that God is not afraid of our questions. Therefore we can go to God with our questions like the Psalmist, but we need to be willing to stick around to hear the answers. Are we willing to hear what He has to say?
Dr. Caldwell says that there is nothing fruitful, godly, helpful, or right about being Legalism and Moralism. Every kind of anger we would have with God is misguided. It is a result of wrong thinking. He reminds us to remember that we live in a fallen world. God allows things to go on in this world that grieves Him and us. But, this doesn’t mean He doesn’t care and that He won’t call people to account for it one day. Until that day comes, there are injustices and mistreatments that we all have to live through and try to manage.
If we are willing to ask why God allows it and what is produced through it, there are answers to be found in the Scriptures. But none of those answers will satisfy us if we aren’t willing to trust Him. Dr. Caldwell tells us that we need to see ourselves through the perfect lens of Scripture. We need to see all of what God has given us over and against what we really deserve. We need to know His character. We need to believe Him, trusting that all He does is good and right. But if we reject God’s answers and persist in our anger, it will not go well for us. (Later, Dr. Caldwell shares the example of Jonah as it relates here.)
So yes, we can come and share our complaints with God. But we need to come humbly, open, honest, and real. We do this, bringing our troubles, pouring out our hearts to the Lord, with the utmost reverence. Dr. Caldwell shares we have examples of godly people doing this in Job and throughout the Psalms. He shows us through a few examples how God’s people are taken care of forever through trusting Him. In addition to these, he encourages us to think about Lazarus, the beggar, and the rich man. The rich man received good things during his life, but Lazarus something far better at the end of life. Dr. Caldwell then reminds us of what the Scriptures teach us in 2 Corinthians. These difficulties and hardships are but light and momentary afflictions compared to the eternal weight of glory that awaits us. But none of this takes place outside the realm of trust. We must be willing to trust God, who has revealed His character to us in the Scriptures. And His character... is perfectly good!
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.
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