Fictional Dialog with Arthur Legalist

is Gnu Believer interviews Arthur Legalist in this recent dialog:

G. Believer: Welcome, Arthur. Why have you agreed to come on the show?
A. Legalist: Well, I want to talk to you about a real problem I’ve noticed.
GB: What’s that?
AL: It’s really the worst sin of our time. It has destroyed many lives.
GB: What’s that? Non-Christianity, Murder, Idolatry, Adultery, Profanity/Blasphemy, Covetousness, Theft, Disobedience to Parents, Sabbath-breaking, or Lying?
AL: No, not exactly.
GB: Failure to Love God or our neighbor?
AL: No.
GB: What then?
AL: It’s the scourge of [omitted].
GB: Interesting. The folks who led me to Christ taught me that our rule of faith and life is Scripture – but I don’t know Scripture that well.
AL: (nodding)
GB: So, pardon my ignorance, but where does the Bible condemn [omitted].
AL: Well, it doesn’t explicitly do so, at least not in so many words. The Bible doesn’t say “Thou shalt not [omitted].” But the only biblical position that Christians today can have is one of total avoidance of [omitted].
GB: Didn’t Paul sort of encourage [omitted]?
AL: Yes. That’s true, but it’s been abused.
GB: I’m not that sage, but does the Bible say that if something is abused it must be prohibited?
AL: Not in so many words.
GB: So, whose rule is this?
AL: Well, it’s mine – but its the only sensible and proper thing. We Christians are called to be wise, and this is the wise thing to do.
GB: Again, I’m not such a seasoned Christian as you are, but perhaps a better solution would be to curb the abuse of [omitted].
AL: NO! WE MUST STOP [omitted] NOW! And if you don’t agree, I’m going to see to it that trouble comes your way.

Now, consider for yourself what was omitted from that dialog.


It’s a very dangerous thing to start accreting rules of life that are not Scriptural.

May God be thanked for all that He gives,


Keywords: Cosmetics, Jewelry, Meat, Caffeine, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Carbs, Fat, Sugar, Sugar-Substitutes, Motorcycling, Slavery, Tatoos, Rational Thought, Time at Work, Time with your Family

16 Responses to “Fictional Dialog with Arthur Legalist”

  1. Seth McBee Says:

    TF: Good points made…I grew up in the SBC…so drinking, tobacco and tattoos were forbidden. I have recently taken some different stances. I have asked in the past…is gluttony a sin? Is greed a sin? Is sexual immorality a sin? So, should we then ban eating, making money and sex based on the abuse of it?

  2. GeneMBridges Says:

    You know, Seth, that’s a good question. Are you aware of the discussion over a possible resolution on gluttony this past year? Some of the supporters of Resolution 5 (Against Demmin’ Likker, 2006) were rather upset at the very suggestion…Well, this post and the one below on the Broad Way are a testament that the really, really, really narrow road and the broad road can lead to the same place; the only difference is that the broad one lets you get there with more comfort and ease – two sides of the same coin they are.

  3. natamllc Says:

    hmmmm,maybe I lost something in the translation?1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, FORMER IGNORANCE, ok, sometimes, sadly I look like that!1Pe 1:18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, Yep! “futile ways” too!I know that I know that I know that God saves great big sinners and to quote John Newton again, yes, and My God is a Great Big Savior!That’s my loose transliteration! :)Now to pick on Peter some more and throw in Paul and John let me do a “see if you can see some similarity” verses then?1Pe 1:17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 1Pe 1:18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 1Pe 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. Paul’s:Rom 5:17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. John’s:Rev 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, Rev 5:10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” I am just guessing that maybe Daniel had a great bit of influence on these three too:Daniel’s:Dan 2:44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,

  4. Turretinfan Says:

    Dear Michael,We do have a war in our members, the lusts of the flesh of our old nature. Sometimes for individual people, that may mean that they need to drastic measures.If your eye offends you, pluck it out.But don’t go around plucking out the eyes of the brethren.Does that make sense?-Turretinfan

  5. natamllc Says:


  6. luvvom Says:

    I agree with your whole list except for slavery. I think God allowed for slavery in the same sense that He allowed for divorce albeit through Moses. Even though it was through Moses He didn’t out and out prohibit it with a stringent law and actually allowed Moses to give them a certificate of divorce because of their hard hearts. I must point to the Gospel for my proof. If we are to treat each other as a brother or sister in Christ, would owning a brother or sister in Christ be taking from God what belongs to God? Doesn’t the NT over and over again teach us personally to be a servant to others? Christ demonstrated servitude even though He was God and deserved to be served. Are we not also to be imitators of Christ? I don’t see how you can own a brother or sister and still fulfill this role. Also, there’s Rom 13 which says we must follow the law of the land and I’m pretty sure that slavery was outlawed some time ago. ;o)Of course, the others should be used in moderation. I think God forbids drunkenness, gluttony etc and I’m pretty sure He wouldn’t appreciate someone smoking themselves into a COPD or cancerous condition. For we do not belong to ourselves but we belong to God and are here to do His work which can’t be done if you’re having to be resuscitated because you can’t breath on your own! Sorry, I’m a RN and I get tired of taking care of people who put themselves into the hospital because they can’t control their eating habits which make a heavy load on my back because of their weight and alcoholics who use up all of my time and energy which could be better used for people who are sick and not because of their own doings. And COPD’ers are not much better. 99% of them are controlling and demand you be their maid all because they don’t have control of the very air they need in order to breath!….they have to control something so it’s the RN! Ok, I’m done. :o)

  7. Turretinfan Says:

    Luvvom,It was not my point to debate slavery. Obviously there is now in most places a prohibition on slavery. That renders the question of religious liberty to be a slaver owner(sounds ironic) or be a slave (even more ironic) moot. The point is that it is a practice nowhere condemned in Scripture.Furthermore, like the husband-wife relationship, the master-slave relationship is illustrative of our relation to God. I am a slave of my master, the Most High. His yoke is easy, and his burden is light. I serve with joy. I serve him willingly and joyfully. I will ask that my ear be bored for perpetual service to him (see Exodus 21:6, Deuteronomy 15:17, and Psalm 40:6).-Turretinfan

  8. luvvom Says:

    Sorry,I didn’t realize you were trying to associate the term “slavery” in your list to us being slaves to Christ. I guess I didn’t because you put it in with smoking drinking etc and those things can’t be associated to Christ. You have a mixed bag there and I didn’t realize it. I hope you understand why I thought you meant it was ok to have slaves.

  9. Turretinfan Says:

    If it’s OK for us to be the slaves of Christ, slavery itself cannot be wrong. It can certainly be abused, and the abuses are evil. But anyhow, I don’t want to divert this thread into the great slavery debate. My main point is that slavery must not be a particularly heinous sin (if it is a sin – which is something I’m not personally convinced of), since none of the preachers in the Bible ever condemn it.Same thing with the other items on the list.-Turretinfan

  10. luvvom Says:

    I’ll try not to overtake this string…although maybe there’s not a lot of activity here right now? Anyway, the Bible does talk of the negative and positive side of being a slave…we are either slaves to Christ or slaves to sin. So there you have an example in the Bible where being a slave isn’t a good thing. God certainly punished the Egyptians for making His people slaves. If God didn’t think it matter much, He could have made them and taught them to be His people under the bondage of Egyptian slavery…but He didn’t because He wanted His people free from pagan slavery. I won’t comment further on this subject because I think it is irritating you. I just wanted to put forth something for you to think about concerning the subject of slavery.

  11. Hidden One Says:

    Turretinfan, for once I think I actually agree with your initial post.

  12. Turretinfan Says:

    Thanks for your comment Hidden One.Sarah,After thinking about it for a bit, there is another bad thing that the Pharisees did. That is, they invented rules and traditions that Scripture did not require, and imposed them on others.If a strict view of the Regulative Principle of Worship says that exclusive Psalmody is required, and if Scripture does not require that, then it would seem that its advocates (myself included) would be guilty of that error. Thus, perhaps, from your perspective the title is not as improper as I originally suggested.On the other hand, unlike the Pharisees – assuming we are adding a rule to Scripture – we do actually try to follow this rule of worship.-Turretinfan

  13. luvvom Says:

    We use the regulative principle of worship in our church (OPC) and we think it would be nice to sing the Psalms but we don’t require it as being apart of the regulative principle. I think the verse that says, “Sing songs, and hymns and spiritual songs” allows for more than just the Psalms to be sung which I’m not sure but perhaps the Psalms would be the spiritual songs and the hymns would be what mankind has written in a God-honoring and God-centered fashion.

  14. Turretinfan Says:

    Luvvom,Exclusive Psalmody advocates note that “Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs” are the historic three divisions of the book we call “Psalms.”So, as much as that would be a handy resolution to the matter.You might consider reading G. I. Williamson’s minority report from the OPC committee (I wish I could remember the precise name of the committee) on the issue of what is to be sung, if you haven’t read it already.-Turretinfan

  15. luvvom Says:

    I didn’t quote that Scripture right it is ” singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,”. So the psalms isn’t the necessarily the spiritual songs but it does seem to leave room for songs written by mankind when it says sing hymns. Not really sure what “spiritual songs” would be since all our songs should be God-centered. What would be the difference between psalms/hymns and spiritual songs? Guess I’ll have to study that one! :o)

  16. Turretinfan Says:

    I do encourage you to read up on it. I think you’ll find that they are three of the categories of Psalms in the Hebrew Psalter.-Turretinfan

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