When did legalism begin?

We can go all the way back to the Garden; the place it all began. Genesis 3:1-3 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”

Now Eve, is that really what God said? Let’s look at what God actually said, Genesis 2:15-17 “The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”

Interesting, Eve ADDED to what God said. God just said to NOT EAT of it; He didn’t say you couldn’t touch it.

Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die.”

Part of what legalism is - is ADDING to scripture, making a law or rule with something God didn’t actually say. Drinking alcohol is one example. Nowhere in scripture are we forbidden to drink alcohol, but some religious organizations (and people) have condemned the consumption of alcohol. And their argument is somewhat legitimate, but still wrong. They often say, “Well nothing good can come of it… or the end result is drunkenness and orgies… ” Well, okay… I know a lot of people who drink and have never been drunk, nor have they engaged in an orgy.

That argument just completely falls a part when you apply it to other things that are sin in excess. For example gluttony; if I apply their argument then I must quit eating, because I could over-eat and become fluffy, and dance naked in Target.