This might be briefer, less commented-on, and less controversial than its predecessor, on legalism. The word "antinomian" isn't thrown around quite as freely. Maybe because (unlike legalism) it's not much of a dodge to hide behind. You can't get much mileage, when a brother is exhorting you to take the Word to heart on some point, by calling him an "antinomian."
It is, however, misused as a dismissive way of refusing to deal seriously with other Biblically-based positions. If you can successfully label a person (or school) "antinomian"... well, he's bad, and that's that. So you don't need to think too hard about it.
It also is of course properly used of schools that are antinomian; and they are bad. Once again, then, what matters is using the word correctly — which, again, depends on defining it correctly.
So here are some proposed definitions. Note: they all have to do with Christian living, not how to become a Christian. None has to do with how to get saved, but with how to live as a Christian.
By popular usage (and with some overlap), an antinomian is...
- Anyone who believes that Christians are not obliged to obey any part of the Law of Moses qua Law-of-Moses
- Anyone who believes that Christians are not obliged to obey the moral division of the Law of Moses qua Law-of-Moses
- Anyone who believes that Christians are not obliged to obey the commands of Christ and the apostles
- Anyone who believes that Christians are not obliged to obey any law
- Anyone who sets the leading of the Holy Spirit in opposition to obedience to any rule or law, whatever the source or location
- Anyone who sets grace in opposition to obedience to any written word of God
- Which of these have you heard most frequently?
- Which do you think is (or are) accurate and legitimate uses — and on what basis?
- Which do you think are inaccurate and illegitimate — and on what basis?