Thursday, July 3, 2008

More than Rules

A certain argument for liturgical license that has been put forth to me more than once is that "Christianity is more than just obeying a bunch of rules--it's about relationship"!  Okay.  I'm willing to grant that.  But can we also agree that the primary relationship is between Christ and the Christian?  And that Christ is God, and that the Christian is not?  And that in any relationship between God and a man, God alone has the authority to dictate the terms of that relationship?  So what does God say about this relationship?  "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (Jn 14:15) Not "If you love me, you should keep my commandments," but "you will keep my commandments."  Keeping God's commandments is a necessary (though not sufficient) part of loving God, of having a relationship with Him.  Christianity is certainly more than "just obeying a bunch of rules"--but it has to start there.  And part of obeying God is humble obedience to the legitimate demands of the legitimate authorities he has put over us.  For Catholics, the rubrics of the liturgy are part of that.

1 comment:

Athanasius contra mundum said...

There's that famous quote by James Madison, "If men were angels no government would be necessary." Of course that depends on whether or not we were fallen angels... but I digress.
A loving relationship I think is the starting point and the "rules" are a refinement, a rubric, guidelines per se.