As mentioned in previous posts, I am re-reading, “What’s so Amazing About Grace”? by Philip Yancey. Yancey examines the function of grace and how it does or doesn’t tend to be applied in our lives, particularly in North American church cultures.
The book discusses many observations of legalism. Meaning the application of ever-tightening rules and laws intended to manage behaviour in a way that presumes to please God.
The discussion of legalism has been bouncing around inside my head for weeks now, and have come to see how much I have been allergizing over it in reflection of my church-going experiences.
Why is it I wonder that we humans tend toward legalism? Is it easier for us to understand and impose on others? Why is it I wonder that the organized representation of the most famous man in all of history, whose message was centred around grace, is known largely by its reputation for legalism?
Why the repeated drift toward legalism? How many times throughout history have there been enlightenments of the legalism we find ourselves in, then a reformation of some sort, only to drift back into legalism.
And this is certainly not limited to churches and the progression of church cultures. I see it in other faith systems too. And in AA.
We seem bent on penning ourselves in with legalism over and over again.
My journey continues to prompt me to wonder, why?