My mom had a question about "moralism". This was my response.
Moralism is making actions the most important thing. God doesn’t love us or not love us because of our actions. Sin is a battle that is fought because of our love for God and because we want to become more like him. It has no affect on our relationship with or to God. We ARE righteous. We ARE saints. Not because of anything that we have or have not done, but because of what Christ did on our behalf on the cross. Moralism put s all of the focus on us and our actions.
In this situation moralism leads to legalism. For instance, when sin is the most important thing in the life of a body, then lots of rules are put in place to avoid sin or the appearance of sin at all costs. These rules become what makes one a Christian. A Christian is a person who goes to church, reads their Bible and prays, stays married, votes Republican. A Christian is person who doesn’t drink, doesn’t cheat on their spouse, doesn’t wrestle with doubt.
When I read the Bible, a Christian is someone who believes the gospel (1 Cor. 15) and that is effective for him, loves God and wrestles with sin on a daily basis. A Christian is a person who struggles with murder, drunkenness, adultery, gossip, and all other manor of sin. Someone who is given over to these (Rom 1:18-32) is not a Christian. But I don’t think that is most of the people that Bob referenced in the article, nor is it a judgment that I would like to make as to when someone has been given over to their sin by God.
Just some thoughts.