Pastor Juan Sanchez, Head of Texas Southern Baptists, Warns Against Legalism in the Church at Gospel Coalition Conference

A pastor who serves as president of the Texas Southern Baptist Convention has warned evangelicals against the dangers of “legalism” in the church.

Juan Sanchez, who also serves as senior pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, gave a speech at The Gospel Coalition’s West Coast Conference on Wednesday. When discussing 2 Timothy 3:1-9, Sanchez spoke about the temptation for church leaders to engage in legalism, tying it to the early church and how some back then demanded that new believers be circumcised.

“We look at that and we think how ridiculous that is, but in our own churches there’s a temptation to say ‘unless you fill-in-the-blank, you cannot be saved.’ Now we don’t say ‘you cannot be saved,’ but we have a tendency to look down on people,” said Sanchez.

“Unless you vote Republican, you can’t really be saved. Unless you vote Democratic, you really cannot be saved. Unless you homeschool your children, unless you private educate your children, unless you public educate your children so that your children can be missionaries, we could go at this all day, can’t we?”

He added that he and his audience should “confess” that they “are all recovering legalists” who continue to be tempted by the notion.

“It’s a temptation for us. Legalism imposes our standard on everyone else. And then we judge everyone else based upon that standard and they never quite measure up,” he explained.

Throughout his remarks, Sanchez argued that when the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy telling him to “avoid such people” who engaged in various sinful behaviors, it was meant to be “a warning about people in the church.”

“These are people in the church. These are people that are mixed in within the congregation. These people are just like the world. They’re in the church, but they’re just like the world,” he said.

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Source: Christian Post