Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Erring on the side of law

When I was in college, there were catch phrases that floated around our community. These were little nuggets of information that indicated an agreement with the values of the group. Some of them were: -"Either this book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book." -"Use your twenties for training." -"You can't soar with the eagles if you hoot with the owls." There was another idea that existed that I accepted as gospel truth, but for the life of me I can't understand why. The phrase was, "I'd rather err on the side of law than on the side of grace." This meant that one was better than the other, and that if I were to take sides, I would take the side of discipline, of hard work and of right and wrong. It never dawned on me to break down this logic. First, if a person is going to make an error, does it really matter which side the error falls? It's still an error. Yet in my communityt, one side was more preferable and it was clear what side that was. This must be why ideas about grace were fairly limited. I got the part that we are saved by grace, but missed the memo on how to live by grace. Second, doesn't the law lead to death? So why did we as eager college students feel so compelled to go there? No wonder all conversation in our accountability groups centered around all our personal failures. We were trying to keep a law, and law doesn't lead to life. This is the path we were led. And its funny how I find myself wanting to defend my past by wondering how much I would have learned about the Bible and discipline with out that experience. But isn't that kind of like the slave being grateful for the master's whip because it taught him obedience? Again, this assumes that with out the law, the person cannot be trusted to do the right thing. to be continued...

3 comments:

Bryan Riley said...

Do continue. Good first words...

Ageman said...

Good comments. Brings back memories. I think the 'err' catchphrase had more to do with motivation than anything. I don't know if I've had an honestly pure motivation once in my life, and if I wait to serve God whether in a church or small group or just love my wife or serve strangers, then it probably won't happen. I read that phrase as "I'd rather do a good thing with mixed motivations than wait for perfect motivations to do anything."

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