About the Blog

What is the point of this site?  It is pretty simple – combat legalism and legalistic thought within the body of Christ with the Truth that can be found through a faithful study of Scripture and a healthy use of common sense.  There are so many areas of life that can be negatively affected by the Pharisaical attitude called “legalism.”  Many have lived oppressed lives, never tasting the sweetness of grace.  Many have gone to their graves never having the chance to question man-made laws that kept them bound.  Many today cower under the authoritarian, dictatorial power wielded by the “faithful” that are “right with God.”  This site will offer the opportunity for anyone to discuss

  • what is legalistic and what is not;
  •  what the Bible demands by way of holiness, and what it does not;
  • various interpretations of certain controversial Scripture passages;
  • practical ways in which to live a life of grace without fear;
  • and how to live free without being a snare to a “weaker brother.”

Any and all comments, as long as they are respectful, will be welcome.  Dialogue is the key, not silence brought about by fear or intimidation.

[The following paragraphs were added 3/27/14]

But this blog is also about walking, falling, questions, humanity, and how God is able to receive glory from it all. Since first created in 2009, the amount of posts directly dealing with legalism might make up 30-35% of the total. The rest are posts about what I see, think, and experience as a Christian trying to live a life of grace.

Legalism will always be with us in some form or fashion, and I will always be subject to its lures (see my post about Building 429). However, if I am able to help others to understand that God’s love for us does not depend on our fulfillment of the Law, but simply His choice to love the unlovable and offer restoration through Jesus Christ, then this blog will be considered a success.

I’m just a country preacher, not a scholar, so if you don’t expect too much, you won’t be disappointed ;-)

62 responses to “About the Blog

  1. bluejeangospel

    This is great stuff. Glad to hear I have a new friend. My journey is one of being a through and through Pharisee as well. I see you’ve added Steve Brown to your blog roll, can’t say I know of a better source for a recovering legalist. Not sure if you’ve considered Philip Yancey’s writings (a couple books I’d highly recommend) on this topic.

  2. Jimmy

    Was glad to meet you today during lunch. I would love to get in touch with you again sometime. I really enjoyed our conversation.

  3. roy cavender

    GREAT TRUTHS!!!!!!!!

  4. Mr. Baker,

    I don’t know how you wish for me to address you: Mr. Baker, AC, A.C., A.C. Baker, or other.

    I have followed your comments on Heather’s blog for a few months now, and I appreciate your stand against legalism. I grew up in a legalistic subculture (friends, family, church, and school) that put more emphasis on rules and “letter of the law salvation” than on developing one’s relationship with Christ. I was so frustrated and angry by mid High School; I decided to chuck the whole thing. I told myself, “If I’m going to be bad, I’m going to be bad.” I wish I had not made that decision. I became the prodigal son in every way and eventually overdosed on cocaine twice in the same week – all by the age of 22. It was not until I was 34 years old (2004) that I submitted my life to God. In 2007 I felt driven to find my own Bible and chose the ESV. I immediately dove in and devoured the scripture with a hunger I had never experienced. I was, and still am, determined to find what God’s Holy Scripture says, as opposed to manmade opinion. I take the Bible literally when it says the Holy Spirit will teach us all things truth, providing we are teachable and open to receive that truth.

    The problem with legalism is that it is more than a set of manmade rules and regulations. It is an ideology that works its way into the very core of one’s subconscious, adversely affecting every decision, thought, belief, and action. I am now 40 years old and still find myself struggling to root out that ingrained prison of manmade “spiritual” doctrine.

    I will say this, for anyone who is trying to recover from a lifetime of legalism, open your whole self to God, find an excellent Bible (do your research), and study, study, study. If you don’t understand what you are reading, throw your biases and predispositions out the window and ask God to show you the meaning. If you are truly open to receiving his truth, whether it cuts you to the core or makes your heart cry out in praise and awesome worship, God will teach you because he wants you to understand.

    Mr. Baker thanks again for tackling the disease of legalism head on. What a great ministry.

  5. So glad you have this blog! Legalism is almost like a disease and yet no one wants to talk about it! Didn’t realize that reply above said the same thing! wow, maybe God is trying to tell us something!

  6. I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award! Please go to my link at Permalink: http://craigmotor.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/the-kreativ-blogger-award/ for details! Congratulations!

  7. Hi there! I just added a link to your blog on Greyskeil Rainbow’s blogroll. Keep up with writing ;)

  8. Joe Quatrone, Jr.

    I am excited to look around your blog more, Anthony! I notice you are a musician, from Tennessee, and attending a Baptist seminary. I’m also a musician, lived in TN for a few months (pursuing music), and am also attending a Baptist seminary. You are currently a pastor and I hope to become a pastor soon! Keep in touch, brother!

  9. By the way, I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award! Learn more about the award:http://annasonelife.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/versatile-blogger-award/

    May God Bless you!

    • Why, thank you, Miss Anna! The only other award that comes to mind which would require more work would be Miss America. I guess I’ll settle with the Versatile Blogger ;-)

  10. Hi Anthony,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today — and like I said there, I love your blog title.
    I, too, have come to see the subtlety of legalism in my own life, and have experienced a profound change in my Christian life. I used to live mostly by will-power, and saw that any change that produced was shallow and temporary.
    But what a difference it is to live by faith in all that Jesus promises to be to us. It’s a fight of faith — but how powerful when the Holy Spirit enables me to feel that Jesus really is infinitely more satisfying than anything else.
    So press on in your labor of love — for Jesus’ glory —
    Steve Fuller

  11. The one thing I remember about my legalistic phase was how tireing it was…soooooooooooooooo energy consuming. Of course I know a few people who become leaglistic in NOT being legalistic.

    • Yes, I understand. And OH how I know the legalistically non-legalistic type. For example, here’s a typical statement: “Look at the way those fanatics dress…don’t they know they’re out of God’s will?”

  12. If we lived close enough, I’d love to just come over and sit in a chair and enjoy your family. : )

  13. I attended a Fundamentalist college back in the early 70’s. I spent the first fifteen years of my ministry as a legalistic pastor. I never really felt comfortable with the concept but it was how I was trained and who was I to question. One day I met up with a pastor who graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary. We struck up a friendship and he helped me to detox from my fundy maladies. I am currently in a doctoral program at TTU in organizational leadership. When I was in Bible College, TTU was a Fundamentalist college. I am so proud they broke away from it. The college I attended never did and today they have about thirty students and have sold off their campus and moved into a church. Keep up the good work Anthony!

  14. David

    Wonderful, wonderful site! “Legalism” is a tricky thing in any form of spirituality, so it’s good to see someone address it. Keep up the great work!

  15. Legalism usually ends up vascillating wildly between one or the other of these two scenarios…Either it leaves the person beaten down because he has failed to measure up, or it puffs up in pride when the person is able to follow the “rules”. Legalism is a burden that we were never meant to carry nor can we. Thank God for the Gospel!

    Enjoyed perusing your blog.


  16. I like your blog, especially the subject matter of legalism, which I believe has taken deep roots in Christian culture. Glad that you are bringing the truth of the gospel to those who are burdened with legalism. God bless you.

  17. Glad to discover your blog. Will be reading much!

  18. kzackuslheureux

    Yeah, right on man! I used to be a Baptist too. And well, now I’m just a follower of Christ. :)

    • Well…I am STILL a Baptist, just a better one ;-)

      • kzackuslheureux

        I’m still a girl who believe in her God and has two big Bibles in well used shape, my sons go to school and witness to their friends without any direction from me, so I guess the Spirit is strong with this family. Ha ha I just call my faith Love for my Maker, and my church, where ever I fit into the Body. I’ll try to stop back more often. ;)

  19. Pingback: Thank you for doing your jobs « altheavlive

  20. Amen brother. This attitude does much more harm than good. Church is not a museum for good people, but a hospital for the broken. We can’t cut-off what could be an open to lead them to Christ, by behaving in a way that’s a total turn-off to them. Great blog!

  21. Thought you were a retired lawyer till I saw Steve’s name in your sidebar. Now I know the joy behind the blog title! Legalism and grace, hmm, a bit like the difference between sarcasm and irony, between Jonathan Swift and Jane Austen. So glad I found your site!

  22. The Christian is never going to understand so-called “legalism” until he understands the aspect of what the Reformers like Luther and Calvin called Law & Gospel! It is a fact that the great Saul/Paul grapples with the Law of God like no other in the NT Letters! (Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and both Philippians and Colossians, etc.)

    St. Paul’s 1 Cor. 9: 16-27 is so important to see, for here Paul combinations both his own calling & stewardship, in Law/Gospel (i.e. moral law) with the Gospel of Grace…”I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” (1 Cor. 9: 23) In the last paragraph and verses (24 thru 27) we can see Paul’s use of the moral-law itself, but within the Gospel…”So I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (26-27) Paul the great “servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set part (the great Jewish Pharisee) for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures concerning his Son..” (Rom. 1: 1-3)

    Rev. Robert K. Darby (ret.)
    D.Phil., Th.D.

  23. A. Avila

    Sir, I’ve nominated you for the “Interesting Blog Award” :) Check the info on my blog :) God Bless!

  24. Chris Jordan

    Hi! I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you for inspiring me with your blog! Congratulations! You can find the badge and details here: http://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/the-versatile-blogger-award/.

  25. Good Morning! I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award. I really enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for allowing God to use you in such a mighty way. God bless you. You can find out more about the nomination here: http://encouragementforeveryday.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/i-am-nominated-the-versatile-blogger-award/

  26. charlie

    Thanks, Anthony, for your blog – and thanks for following my blog, Learning From God’s Word. God bless you and make you a blessing to many.

  27. The more I read your stuff, the more I enjoy it. Such great little bits of life wisdom, all wrapped up in a humorous and good natured Style. I added you to the list of the blogs I enjoy- keep it up sir, and thanks for blogging. :)

  28. Hey there! Factoid for you: I just nominated you for the “Field of Flowers Award” (for which I was also nominated). If you want to accept it, just click the link to my nominations entry to see what it’s all about! :) (http://ourlightaffliction.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/nominated/)

  29. Anthony, so glad to find a brother in Christ. Bless you for the love and light you shine and the way you are building His kingdom through love and grace.

  30. Cool! Hope you continue your journey, realizing that Truth is a PATH we are LED on by the Holy Spirit, for our entire existence. It’s not owned, it’s followed. It’s not linear, it’s multi-faceted. : )

  31. Anthony would you ever consider doing a article on the controversy that is surrounding John MacArthur concerning the mark of the beast? Have you seen the youtube video of Jacob Prasch pleading with John to reconsider his theology? I post on TrueNews all the time and I can’t figure out why my wordpress username and password wont work here. Thanks for the blog forgive me not posting. Busy busy busy. I question my busyness wondering if I would be better off poor with more time.

    • Thanks for the question, Bill. To be honest, I was unaware of the controversy until you brought it up. I’ve done a little reading on it, but now that I have, I’m curious: what do you think, based on things I’ve already written, would be my response? I’m just curious what readers think I think.

      Honestly, at this moment I’m not sure how to respond.

  32. Hello. I was checking my email, and saw that someone liked a post on my blog, so as a courtesy I clicked on a link to one of his blog posts. His post was on the sinner’s prayer. I disagreed with the post, but did not comment.

    As I read the various comments that people made there I came across your comment. In it you shared your personal testimony. It made me smile. I will share mine here and I think you will know why I smiled.

    When I was 5 or 6 years old I visited a Sunday School class at big Baptist Church. The gospel was shared with us in a simple way using a black heart, a red heart, and a white heart. Then there was an invitation. I raised my little hand, and then was ushered into either a little room or maybe the hallway, and I repeated a prayer. Then I was told that I was saved, and nothing could ever change that. I am so thankful for that day. I am so thankful for my Savior.

    Thank you so much for sharing your testimony.


  33. Chris Jordan

    Anthony – I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award! You can learn more about this award here: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/my-nomination-for-the-liebster-blog-award/

  34. Love this quote: “But this blog is also about walking, falling, questions, humanity, and how God is able to receive glory from it all” New follow here and found you from Wally Fry at https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/
    (He says he’s not a pastor, but he has a pastor’s heart…) I’m am also a recovering legalist, so R-E-A-L-L-Y looking forward to reading more!!

  35. Reckon..bought the T shirt on legalism too, Better the law of The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus… have a good day.

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