Legalism and Grace: How I Left the IFB Movement and Chose Grace

I was raised in a conservative Fundamentalist Christian home. When I turned 18, the dreams I thought I had were destroyed, and the things I believed about God were challenged in deep ways. For the following seven years, I wandered in a no-man’s land – a wilderness, between legalism and grace – trying to find some balance between the two. Trying to hold onto a past I knew was unfulfilling, but too scared to embrace a future of grace.

Over the course of 2 1/2 months, I publicly shared more about the days I spent torn between legalism and grace. It’s a scary, ugly story. But “our scary stories lose their power to torment us once we allow God to redeem them.” (Kris Camealy)

I have been around the blogosphere enough to know that there are a lot of people wandering in this wilderness. I’ve read the comments and the posts. I’ve seen the journeys. And I’m hopeful that sharing my story can help some of these people – maybe someone reading this right now – find their way into grace.

The Wilderness Between Legalism and Grace IFB

My Story of Leaving Behind Legalism and the Independent Fundamental Baptist Movement

Introduction: some self-observations about legalism

Part 1: what is “legalism”?

Part 2: standing under the broken heart

Part 3: hiding in shame, packing up my dreams

Part 4: Failed courtship: when you trust and obey but your heart still gets broken

Part 5: when you’ve been hurt by legalism, hold onto faith

Part 6: What do Brad Pitt, Josh Groban, and Sleepless in Seattle have in common?

Part 7: perfection is not possible

Part 8: finding healing and freedom in secular music

Part 9: “I will keep believing that God still has a plan”

Part 10: Plan A, 2.0

Part 11: Modesty: a picture of grace

Part 12: Disconnect: when God just doesn’t seem relevant

Part 13: Roses in the dumpster: seeing God in everyday life

Part 14: Cheating on my church

Part 15: Can you hear Jesus calling?

Part 16: Checklists, control, and motherhood

Part 17: forget where you “should be” and “give God your ugly”

Part 18: When your church isn’t meeting your needs

Part 19: on being “in your place” in church

Part 20: when your spiritual journey doesn’t look like his

Part 21: “Well…it feels comfortable…”

Part 22: There are no “entry level positions” with God

Part 23: “Sitting on the premises” – sometimes, it’s okay not to serve

Part 24: The real me

Part 25: “You are God, You are God, Of all else I’m letting go!”

Part 26: Leave it all behind…

Part 27: Accepting grace

Part 28: My motivation: “chosen, holy, and dearly loved”

Part 29: what grace is not: the pendulum and sinning “that grace may abound”

Part 30: From legalism into grace: one man’s story

Part 31: Grace in the wilderness: the blessings of legalism

SEQUEL SERIES (20 posts and counting): Grace: How a Recovering Legalist Moves Forward in Faith

the wilderness between #legalism and #grace (a blog series)


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