Monday, May 25, 2009

Galatians 4:8-11 (True Villainy)

"Yes, but the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters," said Sirius with a wry smile.

The above example from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is just one of many from literature that highlight a truth that exists in our world. Not everything is easily divided into pure good and evil. It is not the same thing as talking about shades of grey either. This world is full of evil; every creature since the fall of man has evil as its nature. So, there are cases of pure evil and villains in our history. However, that does not mean that the rest of the world’s inhabitants are “basically good” or trying to be good. There are other forms of villainy, and unfortunately many of them are practiced in the name of good.

Religion has done more harm than good throughout history. It is only natural, as all religions are ultimately man made attempts to control. Sometimes it is done with good intentions, but all man made efforts eventually fail.

So, here in Galatians we see the outcome of these man-made religions when attempting to take the place of complete reliance on God’s grace. Legalism and religion enslave and are “by nature no gods” at all.

The story of the fifth book in the Harry Potter series is essentially this truth. While the whole world is in danger from an evil so great it has almost destroyed everything in the past, the very organization set up to defend the world is in complete denial. Instead it tries to impose legalism and rigid control over the little dangers. For most of the book, it is not Voldemort that is the great villain, but the supposed good guys: the Ministry of Magic.

How often does the same thing happen to the church? Instead of carrying out the mission of doing all it can to bring Jesus to every person on earth, it is usually more concerned with regulating and controlling every behavior of the people who are, by grace, free from the law, sin, and death.

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