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I’ve been to law school. I spent six long weeks there. Lest you think I’m some kind of prodigy, I did not come out with a degree. I found that law school was nothing like I expected. I thought we would have great debates/discussions on matters of principle, that we would be equipped with the tools necessary to help separate the guilty from the innocent, that we would pursue justice. Instead, we were being trained to separate money from deep pockets, and to obscure justice. The legal system has largely degenerated into a moneymaking machine, sometimes for clients, always for lawyers. Such, however, is not what law is designed to do.

Our culture has grown so litigious that many manufacturers have been forced into a surreal world. The good folks down at Lawn-Boy, seeking to escape lawsuits, tell us not to stick our hands under their mowers while they are running. Makers of microwaves warn us against trying to use their products when they are submerged in water. Even McDonald’s now must warn its customers that their coffee is hot.

We must be warned against using our tools in the wrong way because there are those out there who would use the tool of the law the wrong way. I went to law school because I loved the law. I left law school because everywhere I looked it was being used the wrong way.

In like manner, the law of God is something we are called to love. It is a beautiful thing because it reflects the character of its Maker. There are no manufacturer’s defects in it. But even something as lovely as the law of God can bring destruction when it is used for the wrong thing. The law is beautifully designed to drive us to the cross. But it becomes a monstrosity when we try to replace the cross with it.

We are called to love the law of God just as we are called to love the Lawgiver. But when we seek to use it to get closer to Him, when we set it between Him and us, then we obscure the truth that we live coram Deo, before the face of God. It not only veils our vision of God, but exposes our nakedness before Him. There is but one thing designed to come between us and God, and that is the cross of Christ. Only when it mediates, when it stands between us, can we be close to Him at all. In Him we see Him as He is. In Him He sees us as He is.

Newer Issue

Cut Off from the Law

Milking the Ram

Keep Reading Bound by Men: The Tyranny of Legalism

From the August 2002 Issue
Aug 2002 Issue