The overwhelming problem with our culture (and with humanity under the power of sin in general) is that we look for God in the wrong places. For example, in the political sphere we look for God's salvation. People (particularly in American politics- rooted in the Reformed tradition) look for God's salvation and grace in politics. They use religious language to describe their political programs. They make unreasonable assumptions about the possibilities of the application of God's law and human nature (I have several examples in mind on the left and the right!). God corrects this misperception though by destroying all these messianic projects.
Similarly, in the kingdom of the right, people try to approach God according to the law, when he wants to be found as gospel. The human motive here is not only the idolatrous claim that we can control God with our good works (something present in most world religions), but in a more subtle form of trying to provide moral order. Most Protestant denominations have this problem. Most Lutheran have this problem!!! Though the Church does have a role in teaching morality and clarifying God's law (so that we do not engage in self-chosen works!) its primary role is not to provide moral order. That is the role of parents- if that doesn't work, the government. Parents, who's vocation it is to be a law to their children, want to be their friends. They want "grace" in their relationship with their children and so they burden the church with the role that it was not meant to provide. They try to inculcate morality by forcing their children through confirmation or whatever. As a result, the gospel is watered down and people come to view the Church as either as a useful way of getting people to be moral or as an oppressor taking away freedom. Either option results in idolatry and works righteousness. Either option looks for God in the wrong places.