I am in my 3rd month of youth ministry - still in school and only 3 years of volunteer experience behind me and man do I have so many questions.
I sat down to lunch with my high school youth pastor and talked for over an hour about ministry, life and God (in no particular order). We talked about legalism and grace and the terrible logistics of the ministries we have been called to. Both of our churches are very traditional and although that is not bad in and of itself, they both border on legalism in quite a few areas.
I belong to a demoniation that places holiness as a cornerstone of our doctrine. As Paul reminds us that we are to be holy as Christ is holy, sometimes I believe that we misunderstand this call to holiness. Paul is not telling us that we are to be bound by rules and regulations; quite the contrary. In Romans, Paul discusses the struggle between grace and legalism; between laws and the gift of salvation, whether we are saved by grace through faith or by works.
One of the cornerstones of Christ's ministry on earth consisted not of going throughout Rome with a checklist, making sure that everyone is following it; if that were his purpose, the Pharisees would have received accomondations for their works rather than criticism from Jesus. No, Jesus looked far beyond the actions and deeds of people--beyond their circumstances, to the very core of who they were. Christ looked where no man could-into the heart.
I am often afraid that in our effort to teach both holiness for one demonation and grace in another, that we have polarized these two Biblical ideas and have made the other one seem as though it were void of purpose. I would much rather let down the demoniational walls that seperate us in an effort to preach Scripture in its entirety as opposed to sectioning off doctrines in order to set ourselves apart from other Christians.