I spent most of my life being a legalist. From a young age up until mid-college I knew the rules, kept the rules, and made up some rules. Through no fault of my parents I became the ultimate judgmental Christian. But to be totally honest, it was easy. Legalism made life easier.
I could add my own rules to the Bible and then expect others to follow those rules. I could ignore people I didn’t like, or who didn’t agree with me, because they had committed some sin, according to the Word of Seth. I could neglect a relationship with God, because I had a checklist for each day that included reading my Bible and praying.
Legalism is easy because we get to speak where we feel like God forgot something, but easy doesn’t always mean right.
Whether you want to outlaw alcohol or modern worship music. Whether you want to require an hour of Bible study a day or require someone to hate homosexuals. Legalism might be easier, but it’s still wrong.
The Restoration Movement (the movement I belong to) had a motto that said: “Where the Bible speaks, we speak. Where the Bible is silent we are silent.” I try to remind myself of this every time I’m tempted to judge someone based on some rule that I’ve established instead of God.