The apparent conflict between the church’s teaching on grace and her seemingly tyrannical demand for a standard of holy behavior is the result of religion directing the church rather than Jesus leading her. I am not saying that a pursuit of holiness is not vital but the worship of holiness is spiritual quicksand. Imagine subtracting religion from the church and completely releasing Jesus to reign?
Consider my feeble attempt at clarification through an algebraic equation.
C – R + J = x / x = KC
According to Merriam-Webster (Emphases mine)
Church: A body or organization of religious believers: the whole body of Christians.
Religion: An organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods.
A personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.
Jesus: The Jewish religious teacher whose life, death, and resurrection as reported by the Evangelists are the basis of the Christian message of salvation.
According to the Bible (Emphases mine)
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them ALL that there were NO NEEDY PERSONS AMONG THEM. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” Acts 4:32-35
“Going on from that place, He (Jesus) went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they (The Pharisees) asked him, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’
He said to them, ‘If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.’
Then he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.” Matthew 12:9-14
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” John 1:29
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
C – R + J = x / Church – Religion + Jesus = x = KC
KC = “Your Kingdom Come on earth as it is in heaven!”