It seems that many people today that claim to follow Christ instead continue to follow their own passions. This is true in matters of worship where men love the entertainment style of worship that does not follow the pattern of worship given to us in Scripture. And when this error is pointed out, they lob charges of legalism.
Legalism is not the correct term for what they accuse us of because legalism is merely the following of God’s word. Just how following God’s Word became a bad thing someone else would have to answer. What they mean to say is that we are being like Pharisees who added to God’s word, and they trusted more in their rules, and traditions more than the Word of God, and they bound those traditions on others thus establishing their own righteousness as the standard for being justified.
“What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as thougght it were by works, They stumbled over the stumbling stone.” (Rom. 9:30-32)
When men call me a “legalist” because I don’t approve of their denominational inspired worship which is designed to appeal to the senses and to appeal to the greatest number of people regardless of their spiritual inclination, when they do this they are only attempting to prejudice others from taking an honest look at the Scriptures.
The focus of worship MUST be God: not what I like and makes ME feel good. When Michael W. Smith and other so-called contemporary christian artists sell their CD’s and hold concerts, they are idolized which cannot be denied. But choose to worship according to a marketing scheme to sell the most and to make the most.
The Truth doesn’t change. The Bible says to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. That’s all I can approve. I’m not being Pharisaical when I say I find no Scriptural grounds to approve it. If liberal religious teachers approve more than singing in worship music, they do so presumptuously which is not faith (Rom. 14:23 “whatever is not of faith is sin”).