For sometime now I have been thinking about the difficulty that law creates in our lives. I accept that as part of the process...it's what it was intended to do. That really is the foundational purpose of it and that process is to lead us to an understanding that we can't do it and we are in need of something else to happen. That something else has happened...Jesus came. What fascinates me though is that the majority of people shaped by Christianity that I run across seem to see it as something else. It ends up being what they set up in their lives (and want to set up in other peoples live) as the thing that guides them. It creates some rather interesting dynamics to say the least. Actually bizarre damaging dynamics. How is it missed that scripture tells us "Where the law increases sin abounds all the more" and then people attempt to use law to keep themselves and other people from sinning?
Another strange destructive dynamic, as if what I just described could get worse, is that this sets people up to elevate the enforcement of law over loving people and over the transforming power of grace. This dynamic has become even more problematic since grace entered the scene and it produces a different kind of Pharisees than even Jesus encountered. The state of the present visible "Church" (in recent history represented by the rise of the Religious Right...I can say this because I used to be one) might talk about grace but the message is just Law cloaked in the language of grace. The mixture is disastrous. The apostle Paul's admonition of the Galatians comes to mind. Why does it seem people are so prone to falling back into law? Or in some cases to have never left it behind in the first place? And it is always interesting how people are so much more interested in the enforcement of law when it is directed at other people, but if it happens to be them on the spot, grace is what they want for themselves.