Legalism is oftentimes an insulting label given to someone who seeks to raise the standard and is given by a person who would rather lower the standard. What always did not make sense to me, is that those who hide behind "your legalist" or "that's legalism" are quite unlearned in the Bible. The Bible itself, is a LEGAL document! LOL. God likes legalism evidently because he chose to use the courtroom setting, with him being the judge.......Jesus as our advocate and we are the accused. So I don't really mind when others say my beliefs are legalist, I say thank you! I choose to set high standards as God has laid out in his word. I choose to be separate from the world and all its idealism's and thinking. I'm not career-minded, I'm God-minded! There has to be a standard and lines drawn. If God said these things ought not be so, then they OUGHT NOT BE SO!
I like what one man said "Raise the Bar!" Keep reaching higher, not lower.....quit trying to cut corners and do it God's way! Someone should be able to spot you out of a crowd of people because you are different, you are separate from the world. There is a line.......its high time to stop the "blurring of the lines." (Oh and by the way I have a devotional I'm working on with that title)
Here is some more on this topic by David Cloud:
"All too often, any kind of preaching about clothing has become an oddity, and embarrassment, or a type of 'legalism'. The resistance of the rock & roll culture to such preaching is so pervasive that many pastors have decided to ignore the matter of dress, thus the battle is lost simply because the ground is abandoned.
Yet if ever there were a time when preachers need to warn their people about clothing issues, it is today. Modern society is drenched with indecency. A Vogue fashion show would make ancient Corinth blush. Standards of morality are not to be left to the pew. Surely it is the obligation of the preacher to set forth these things. Has God not spoken on this issue? We know that holiness is a matter of the heart, but is it not a matter of the body, as well? What man has ever lusted after a woman's heart? How, then, can we ignore these parts of Scripture and refuse to preach them boldly and uncompromisingly? That is what the New Evangelical does. There are some things he will not preach, and separation is one of them. But the Bible speaks as much about moral separation as it does ecclesiastical separation. The faithful Bible believing preacher cannot ignore either.
Those who are crying 'legalism' today are hypocrites in this matter. They decry the old-time preacher for the lines he draws, but they, too, draw lines for clothing. Will they allow a woman to teach Sunday School class in a bikini? No, and there are other types of attire they do not allow. They draw lines; they have some sort of standards. And if it is right to draw a line in clothing, it is wise to draw the line after the Bible's principles rather than the world's.
Let's make a clear difference between ourselves and the world. Let's not be afraid of being a 'peculiar people, zealous of good works'. Let's stand in the old paths. Those who are giving up high, plain standards of holiness in dress and moving closer and closer to the fashions of the world should remember that the world is moving farther and farther from God's word."