Let me illustrate this with the amusing story of two farmers who had a talk about Christianity. One of them said to his friend, “I hear that you’re a Christian.”
“That’s right,” the other replied.
“Well, what does it mean to be a Christian?” The curious farmer asked.
“Well, I don’t drink, smoke, or run around with women.”
“In that case,” the friend responded, “my mule must be a Christian too, because my mule doesn’t drink, smoke, or run around with women!”
That’s legalism in a nutshell, and that’s how it makes Christianity sound to many a sinner.
Excerpt taken from Michael L. Brown’s book, entitled Go and Sin No More, p. 151, published by Regal Books and available through ICN Ministries www.icnministries.org