Periodically, former ATI students will share poems, music and books that have helped them on their journey of healing. The following contains a brief book review by one such student.
“Legalism is a dark world” (Lucado 118). In his book, “He Still Moves Stones,” Max Lucado speaks to circumstances of loss and pain in order to address the question of “Where is God when I hurt?”
I was shocked to find that one of these chapters was about pain caused by legalism. I’m not sure how I even came to read this chapter of this book, but finding it was a pivotal moment in my life. After I came home from the Moscow Training Center, I had no idea where to start in the process of recovery or if I even needed to do anything other than just try to forget about it. Realizing that someone understood the pain I was feeling was so validating. I was amazed that someone knew how to put the pain of legalism into words, and I finally allowed myself to start facing the pain I had tried to shut up inside. Sitting on the floor of my room, I read this chapter over and over and just let the tears flow.
There are many books out there that are very helpful for recovering from spiritual abuse, but I still love the compact message of this chapter because it started my road to healing.
A few quotes that are my favorites:
“Legalism doesn’t need God. Legalism is the search for innocence—not forgiveness. It’s a systematic process of defending self, explaining self, exalting self and justifying self. Legalists are obsessed with self—not God.” (120)
“Legalism is just enough religion to keep you, but not enough to nourish you.” (119)
“Salvation is God’s business. Grace is his idea, his work, and his expense. He offers it to whom he desires, when he desires. Our job in the process is to inform the people, not to screen the people.” (121)
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