In the introductory article to this series, I suggested that Christ’s confrontations with the Pharisees are a great source for determining whether or not we are practicing legalism.
This was not at all from the “all Fundies are Pharisees” perspective so frequently hurled in accusation against Fundamentalists. In fact, I assume that the prominent place the Pharisees and our Lord’s rebukes of them have in the gospel suggest that our Lord is broadly concerned with such legalism. I believe that such texts serve as a warning to all of us who are religious (in the nicest sense of the word). Legalism is entrenched deep in the fallen human heart, and easily expresses itself in the lives of the redeemed unless we are very careful.
There are doubtless many fine Christian schools which do not operate in a legalistic fashion. But I believe that the majority of Christian schools operate with three fallacious legalistic premises prominent in their thinking.