Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How can God's law create such violent hateful people?

I have been frustrated lately
yes, it has to do with the elections
about all the people who claim to be the champions of morality

and yet... in the end
are nothing more than the purveyors of anger, and hate
and even violence

we see it clearly in the middle east, where religious systems 
battle it out

but it is just as real in America
where those who would uphold the law
actually end up

(or so it seems to me)
on the wrong side of the Gospel
It is an old story, this battle between law and grace
it is not that we don't need law
we certainly do...
but what is law about?
Paul struggles mightily with this
and at one point 
remembering the way he had persescuted and murdered Chrisitans
actually asks the question (Philippians 6) 
"How following the law so faithfully still create hateful and violent men like me?
God question
As we see so called people of faith saying cruel and hurtful things
Supporting legislation that harms
Being, bottom line, a negative force

Because the law is not an end
but a means
we turn God's law into a matter of
fallowing a check list of rules

rather than a tool for promoting God awareness
a tool for seeing the intimately personal struggles we face
between love and hate
generosity and greed

struggles that can only be resolved
at whatever level they can...
by the presence of God/Christ/Spirit in us.

law is where we begin
where we see our need of God
where we understand the big conflicts of the soul

law takes us to God
to grace
to empowerment

not to attacking and dehumanizing others
not to flying planes into buildings
not to obscene signs at funerals
not to name calling

if we find ourselves in the places of hate
and rigidity and intolerance
that place or moral superiority
we have made law an end in itself
and we have become lost
and taken those around us with us!


You must learn the meaning of the law very well, so you will know how to disobey it properly (Dali Lama)

I would not, Jesus was one person who clearly knew the law well enough to "disobey" it (probably the wrong word, properly


  1. Hey Steve,

    This is good! A poetic argument for the gospel. Unique and thoughtful.

  2. Brian, here is a follow up quote that I love from Rohr...
    Then what is the law really for? That issue is already solved once and forever, and your are powerless to change it one direction or the other. The purpose of spiritual law is simply to sharpen our awareness about who we are and who God is, so that we can name our own insufficiency and, in that some movement, find God's fullness (Things Hidden)