A religious law-culture depersonalises people. When we live from abstractions as we do when we live from law and the fundamentalisms, we divorce ourselves from The Whole and attempt to make ‘whole’s’ out of disconnected parts. As a result we pretend to ourselves that iconic denominational observances are signs of The Whole when they are nothing of the sort – merely indicators that we do not understand what Christ did for us at the cross.
As a result we strive to make for ourselves ‘holiness’s’ out of the observance of holy days, holy places, holy clothes, holy food and any other externalities that attract our attention in the artifice of religion.
It’s a gross presumption to imagine that the Father of Life is the father of legalism. The father of this parody is the father of lies.
Thus in some communities ludicrous compendium’s of ‘right behaviors have been assembled as if they came from God by special revelation. In others, rites and habits are fastened upon and embedded in dogmas and tradition as if this adds to the authority of the church. For certain it adds to the humbug of religion but it never aids Godliness or the transformation of the heart.
THE LIFE OF YOU
Religion does not make people holy. Mostly it does not make make them happy. It tranquilisers them. Christ our life makes us whole and holy by joining us to The Whole – which is the being of God.
JOINED TO THE PARENT ROCK
In Jesus the part is joined to the Whole. He is one substance with the Father.
The son/daughter is joined to Father God in Jesus and His life becomes manifest in those who believe. Manifest is wholeness, which is to say filled with purpose, harmony and social transformation.
CREATIVITY AND AGENCY
Thomas Torrance observes that “The creative forces in human and social life have suffered severely from analytical forces of fragmentation and disintegration. The problems involved here have been clearly diagnosed and exposed in the arts by Erich Kahler in a seminal work in which he shows that in the realms of image, sound and language, forces of decomposition and destruction begin to be at work as soon as the arts cut loose from underlying structures or frames of being, for then the natural coherences dissolve away and a degree of disintegration sets in.”(1)
This is also the nature of legalistic religion.
There is nothing whole or holistic about a materially derived well-being and no ‘whole person approach’ in the mode of religion derived from the law. The law and moralism can make us religious but never spiritual or alive. In galatians Paul describes these people as workers who could have become sons.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 35). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.