... it just scares me when our faith starts to devolve into legalism on one hand and humanism on the other.
Thanks for sharing this, I can relate to it. It seems that at one point, we are so eager to learn more about our faith, then once we've learned a little bit (esp. Church history!), it starts becoming harder to believe.
"My opinion" is that legalism is the inevitable result of the Church becoming wedded to the state (as it was from the time of Constantine until the end of the Western monarchies in the 19th and 20th centuries). The reason for this is that the state can never be separate from "the world," while the Church must be. The state must impose laws and enforce them, but the Church must be governed by the law of Charity (i.e. the Great Commandment), which is over every other law and by which alone can other laws be understood in a Christian context.
There is a wonderful hymn that is sung on Holy Thursday in the Latin Church: "Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est" (where charity and love are found, God is there). This is what we're about! Faith is supposed to lead us to charity, and if it does not, it ceases to be faith and easily "devolves into legalism on one hand and humanism on the other." The good news, however, is that the more *we* embrace charity, the less we are distressed by others' lack of faith, and the more we become able to build up their faith.
Let us all pray for one another, that we may be united in this bond!