We started a Bible study last night. It is the fall kickoff to ministries at the church. Anyway, I decided to go through the books of Paul in Chronological order see(sbl.org). So we started through Galations. We read the section in Acts 13-14 that coincides with the story of Paul when he wrote Galatians. It fits together hand in glove. Gret little excercise. Anyway, paul's dilemma was that his version of the gospel, freedom and grace, was being hijacked by a gospel of law and social norming. This is the cosmic battle between good religion vs. bad religion. Good religion is filed with healing and grace and bad religion is about law and restriction. In Galations Paul says, "Where the spirit is there is freedom" and "For freedom Christ has set you free" and all these passages saying the legalists can "go to eternal condemnation". Paul is clearly saying these guys who don't get it are trying to hijack your freedom because they are jealous.
Well, I had a discussion with a friend just in passing and it went like this. He said, "so why are you starting up your band again". I said, "Because religion is all about freedom and art". to which he said, "No it isn't it is the exact opposite. religion is about social norming and control". That is the world's perception. Hmm.
Paul says, "All things are lawful but not all things are profitable". You see the world does not see Christianity as a group of free and happy people. Set free from the ball and chain of sin and self-destruction and self-loathing and ignorance and able to run with the eagles.
The story of Galatians is very relevant. How big a role does social norming pressure and duty and obligation play in our spirituality and how much does fredom and joy. Our spirituality has been hijacked.