We are expected to depend on lawyers as our substitute to represent and save us in court. So we look for people with the most expertise and inside connections that we hope can be trusted to represent our case before hostile accusers, witnesses and a stern judge.
We know that the most important skill of a successful lawyer is not their ability to discern and expose the truth about us in order to achieve a fair outcome of judgment. Rather, we depend on our lawyers to have the most cunning to use procedural techniques to manipulate the court to to bring about a favorable outcome for us at the expense of the opposition. In short we depend on the performance skills of our lawyer to save us, placing more emphasis on skill of subtlety than on integrity or relationship.
This means that our interest in having a relationship with our lawyer lasts only as long as we need them to win our case. As soon as our case is won (or lost), we have little interest in maintaining any contact with our lawyer, and if we won we are free to return to our previous life and be 'normal' again.
This is how our worldly 'justice' systems function, and sadly most Christians have projected this way of thinking into everything the Bible tells us about God's justice, thus distorting and even defeating nearly everything Jesus was sent to do in order to save us. Our way of thinking about lawyers (a class of people Jesus never had anything good thing to say about while He was here) undermines God's desire to reestablish deep friendship with His children and to draw out our trust in His faithful love for us. By twisting everything to make our problem out as being primarily a legal one rather than an issue of trust in our loving Creator, and relying on a counterfeit system of justice that is dependent on manipulation of procedures and outwitting opponents where meaningful relationships not even allowed, Satan has succeeded in blinding billions of people to the real truth about Jesus and the intentions and attitudes of our heavenly Father. This is precisely what Jesus came to unmask, yet the enemy has taken everything He accomplished and distorted it into making God looks worse than before.
This way of thinking intuitively leads us to have little interest in our heavenly Lawyer once our case has been won with God, that stern judge looking to meticulously enforce every last detail of the law. This logic leads us to believe and teach that Jesus is the most skillful manipulator of legal slight of hand procedures who has out-smarted the opposition to provide for us a legal loop-hole through which He can sneak anyone into paradise and escape the fury of an offended deity, but only if we subscribe to just the right formula or say the right words.
Salvation then has been twisted into a heavy emphasis on performance, either our performance, the performance of our lawyer or both. Then to add injury to insult, we have been taught that our Lawyer has taken on our punishment in our place in an ultimate maneuver of legal fiction. This is so bizarre that even our worldly court systems refuse to allow such a thing and view it as just. Yet this legal hocus-pocus remains entrenched as the greatest scam ever promoted in the history of the universe, and nearly all of Christianity blindly embraces and promotes this view as 'the gospel,' thus giving God's reputation even more damage than it had before.
This way of thinking will naturally lead people to subconsciously presume that once their case has been won by their substitute, they have little need for much of a relationship with their Lawyer. Of course the very expensive bill invoked will require that they are expected to worship and praise Him for the rest of eternity as payment for His valuable services of keeping them alive. But the presumption is that now that their case has been sealed permanently in their favor, they are free to live any way they feel like since the legal performance of perfect behavior required for salvation as well as the imposed penalty of death for misbehavior have both been satisfied by the great Substitute who has been killed in our place by the great but heartless Judge sitting on the throne of the universe.
How Satan delights in such a view of God, knowing full well that to any reasonable thinking person this is nothing short of reprehensible. This legal view of salvation not only is repulsive to morally upright people, but for those longing for something better in life than continuing slavery to sinful malfunctions and broken relationships it places God in such a twisted light that He is not that much different than the devil. Any God who would threaten to torture a person in flames of fire for disagreeing with them or failing to love and honor them is in league with the devil, not a good alternative. No wonder so many doubt the very existence of the devil, for if God is as sick and twisted as what Christianity makes Him out to be, there is little need left for a devil in our thinking. As the saying goes, 'With friends like that, who needs enemies?'
One of the reasons for this problem is the extreme danger of projecting our ways of thinking and doing things to each other here in this messed up world onto our perceptions of how heaven operates. No wonder God insists that our ways are not His ways and that His thoughts are infinitely higher than our thoughts. If only we would take His words more seriously, we might start to be more willing to open our minds and hearts and begin to see that God is always far better than what we insist He is like – even those of us who have rejected most of the above views of how God operates.
I suspect that the most righteous person on earth has only begun to scratch the surface of perceiving the real truth about how wonderful God actually is that will be discovered when we finally come closer into His presence. Oh that we would become willing to humble ourselves, to lay aside our pride and prejudices to allow Him to reveal to our hearts and minds the real truth about Him that has actual transformational power to liberate us completely from all interest in sin.