I can understand from where this brother is coming. I went through this shifting process and wrestled with the same kind of thoughts. If you were raised in a legalistic environment it is not easy to shift. Hal Hougey wrote the following:
“Legalism is a respectable looking, well-dressed demon. He looks so proper! He acts so well-behaved! He looks like he belongs. He seldom misses a church gathering, and often takes a leading part. In fact, in many ways he is s paragon of virtue. He is one of us.”
Those of us who were raised to think legalistically tend to initially, at least, feel anxious and uneasy about grace. We fear it makes salvation too easy and will result in less respect for God and the authority represented by His written word, and thus encourage godless living. Then brethren who are not grace-oriented begin to look upon you suspiciously and denounce those who emphasize that we are saved by grace through faith and not by works as spiritually weak and opportunistic. The legalist worries about how they will control church members and make them conform if they emphasize grace too much. They fail to see that the law of Christ is not a code that legally compels, but is a moral or spiritual motivation prompted by love. The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:14 that “the love of Christ constrains us.” The NAS says, “The love of Christ controls us.” The New English Bible renders it: “The love of Christ leaves us no choice.” The true believer responds out of loving adoration and thankfulness. It is not a matter of coercion or commandment, but the result of a joyous heart. It is not a matter of fear, but of faith. It is a commitment of trust.
It is not easy to shift from reading the scriptures in a proof-texting manner to support your unwritten creed,and write off those who don’t conform to your thought, to reading them as a collection of letters from a loving Parent, helping us to confront the human predicament. It’s much easier to apply a legal code of do’s and don’ts then to invoke the law of love, applying principles.
Ironically the Churches of Christ have been champions of the right of all men to study the scriptures for themselves and draw their own conclusions, but this has not been the practice. As Olan Hicks once wrote:
“The most disruptive ingredient brought into the church throughout history has been the persistent tendency of men to demand that the Servants of Christ answer to their judgment simply because they believe their views are correct…. Faith does not question what God has said. But faith has every right in the world to question what men think about the meaning of what God has said.”
Brethren don’t have the right to think for you, but many think they do. Couple this with the circumstances of early and repeated indoctrination to legalism and it is no wonder that persons have doubts about tolerating diversity as they make the shift to relying upon Christ to save them rather than compliance with the unwritten creed of the brotherhood