I find that few things on television annoy me more than the floppy bible TV preacher who will preach nothing but law, law, law. This says something. There is a lot of filth and smut on TV - and yet it's the televangelists that get - that feel even more dirty than that scene with the sultry sax music coming in.
And I figured out not only why - but a good analogy to explain why a Law focused Christianity feels so dirty. Let's get some Scripture down first.
1. "For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2
This is the ideal, the right approach. Everything, every jot and tittle of what we find in Scripture can only be understood in the context of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Everything points to or flows from Christ the Crucified.
2. "This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." Ephesians 5:32
When Paul talks of marriage, the higher reality of what we see in earthly marriage, all the things that happen therein, are but a reflection of the union with Christ that we have by faith and the results of being justified by Him. Christ makes us clean and without any blemish because He loves us and has died for us - who we are flows from this.
3. "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
Our works, our deeds, that which we do come solely and simply as a result of being forgiven sinners joined to Christ - our works flow from our relationship with Christ - a relationship that is defined by what He does for us in going to the Cross for our salvation.
With these in mind - literally, what is someone doing when they start talking about works - the things that we as Christians do - and ignore or brush off the forgiveness of sins (or heaven forbid, demand works prior to forgiveness)? They are basically encouraging the spiritual equivalent of pre-marital sex.
Quite literally. Go do the deed (or deeds) without having the relationship established. Sometimes, go do the deed so that in doing the deed you can force the relationship. Is that not both what pre-marital sex and works righteousness amount to - the actions that are part of a relationship outside of the context of the relationship? (Makes you wonder again about that whole "your best life now" sort of talk, doesn't it!)
We've talked about televangelists being sleezy - and you know what? They spiritually are.