Obedience, and teaching obedience, is not “legalism”. I have written about this before and invite the reader to see the links below. Christians desire to adhere closely to God’s word without putting their faith in their own works.
Jack Hammer writes a very good piece on who are the real legalists.
“There are testimonies of former right wing legalists all over the internet. I have found that they consistently use very little Scripture to justify their jump from the right-wing. Their response to becoming a right wing legalist is becoming a left wing legalist. They haven’t stopped being a legalist. They practiced flesh before and they’re still practing flesh today, even more so.”
Hammer nailed it. A “legalist”, as the term is used today, is a different breed who requires you strictly adhere to his antinomian principles. He preaches generalities like “love” and being “led by the Spirit”, but when pinned down, he caves on all sorts of moral issues. The true Pharisees of our day are the ones who bandy about the term like a club to use on anyone who does not have the same lax moral views as he.
The real result of giving in to those who call Christians the “legalists” would be to truly pervert the Bible by relaxing God’s rules on moral and worship issues.