Regular readers of the humble ramblings know that I am a recovering legalist. I spent about three decades trying to find the right set of performance tools to become righteous. Guess how that worked out?
I have such mixed feelings about my first church. I am grateful for the Gospel message they preached that led me to trust Jesus as my Savior. I am sad that they lived a joyless life of self-effort, guilt and self condemnation. In this particular theological flavor you could achieve a second stage of sanctification where you would not sin anymore. This was particularly tough for a young cynical teenager who saw “sanctified” people doing things that smelled and looked suspiciously like sin. I watched with frustration and sometimes amazement at the semantic hoops they jumped through to remain sinless.