Jesus Hates Religion? That’s News To Him.

*UPDATE*: Please click here for an encouraging update on this story.

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“Watch your life and doctrine closely.” – 1 Timothy 4:16

This week a video has been circulating on the Facebook wall of many of my Christian friends and several of our own church members. Ironically, the video promotes the very arrogance of Facebook faith that it decries. Anyway, while I understand the point of the video, I believe it presents a perfect teaching opportunity with regard to how we as Christians should engage the world with discussion about the gospel.

Essentially the video is creating a contrast between “Religion” and “Christianity”. More centrally the poet in the video focuses in on the concept of ‘grace’; poorly I might add.

Check out the video here and read my concerns below. Click image to play.

To get the point, just read the bold. For a more thorough explanation, read in detail.

You should know that I appreciate the sentiment of the video. I don’t disagree with the goal which I assume to make Jesus known and loved. What I do have concerns about is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls “Cheap Grace” which essentially takes a flippant view of the cost of grace and thereby doesn’t attract to Jesus but rather draws the sinner to a stand-in who has far less focus on personal holiness.

We should not retreat from vocabulary that has been defiled, we should redeem the terms. I’m very concerned that this type of theology runs to the other end of the spectrum and actually does more harm than good. I’ll back up my concerns with corresponding scripture so you may investigate on your own.

 

There are two main reasons I am spending time to provide commentary.  

First, I have a responsibility to believers in our church to teach biblically-based doctrine and call out bad doctrine when I see it (Titus 1:9). Writing on my blog is one way I can do so without taking up a Sunday morning service for this topic.

Secondly, the unbelieving world is mocking this video for its blatant logical flaws. Please do not copy and paste this video link on your Facebook again without looking at the video’s comment section. Sometimes atheists are just angry and wrong. This time I think they have a point. The illogical nature of this poetry is striking and I honestly can’t blame an atheist for raising concerns. One of the most powerful comments I read was ” Rhyming words together does not make them more true.”

We cannot afford to replace True and Eternal with Trendy and Entertaining.

Greatest Concern:

Making Jesus and ‘Religion’ seem mutually exclusive creates a logical fallacy to the unbeliever.  It is vital for Christians to understand how language can create a roadblock to faith if indeed our goal is to reach anyone with the gospel we profess. The bible simply does not create this tension between Jesus and Religion.  In fact, James 1:27 tells us that there is a religion that God accepts:

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

A few specific quotes of concern:

0:18- “Jesus > Religion”

Faith in Jesus IS a religion. I understand what the poet means but an unbelieving world sees this as incoherent and unintellectual.  Simply put, this is playing word-games. This is called a false dichotomy. You lose the very people you’re trying to reach by making such a false statement. This kind of semantic statement only appeals to the ‘cool’ religious people who don’t want to be identified with ‘uncool’ religious people.  It’s like denying that your parents exist because they drop you off at school in an old station wagon.  You may not like the looks you get, but they are still in your family.  If you’re attempting to reach people far from God, this statement that Jesus > Religion is counter productive. If, however, you want to give the warm and fuzzes to religious people who understand the heart of Christianity, this kind of statement works. I care most about people far from God so I don’t want to run them off with a huge logical fallacy.  I submit that we’d all be better off if we agree to make sense.

 0:24- “What if I told you that Jesus came to abolish Religion?”

I would tell you to read your bible. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17

0:40- “Why does it build huge churches but fails to feed the poor.”

I personally have never seen a large church that did not serve the needs of the poor. In fact I’ve usually seen the very opposite. Larger churches tend to have more resource to do more locally and around the world. Nearly all missionaries reach their communities through need-based social causes such as drilling for water, raising livestock or opening orphanages. When is the last time you’ve seen a church of 35 people do these things? I have been blessed to serve inside and work with dozens of mega-churches (2,000 or more members) and every one of those churches has a significant outreach to the orphan and the widow. I’m sure some mega churches exist without mercy ministries. I simply don’t know them.

Churches who hold to the Christian religion and honor God’s word faithfully are churches who obey Jesus’ teaching to the scribes and Pharisees.  It’s not an either/or but rather a both/and.  “You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Jesus, Matthew 23:23)

Throwing stones at large churches is a cheap attack to win favor with those who have a personal problem with the church. This common attack line reminds me of Judas when the woman poured her perfume out to worship Jesus. He claimed it would be better used for the poor when in fact he was greedy and wanted to justify his own sinful heart. Most Christians who do not obey God through tithing attempt to justify with these kinds of attacks. Truth is, Jesus said to continue the former while adding the latter.  No Jesus vs. Religion here.  No abolishment.  Just religion that’s pure and undefiled.  Read John 12:1-11

 2:15- “Jesus hated Religion.”

No, please see James 1:27. Jesus ‘hated’ no one to my knowledge. Jesus was angry at the people misusing the temple to rip off worshippers who were making pilgrimages to the temple courts. He called for the church to be a house of prayer but he did not call for the downfall of organizing as a church. In fact, the Apostle Paul who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament responded to his life changing encounter with Jesus by starting many churches (organized centers of the Christian religion). Paul certainly didn’t think Jesus hated religion. God hates sin done in the name of religion, sure. But sin is sin. He hates sin, not religion.

 2:42- “Jesus and Religion are on opposite spectrums.”

 No, again please see James 1:27. This false premise also turns away anyone thinking logically about the cool video. I like cool videos but I prefer them to be true when it comes to doctrine.

2:46- “Religion is a man-made invention.”

God created man and man responded with worship. Sounds like God started religion.  Again, religion was hijacked by people for sinful and selfish purposes but even with this knowledge, you and I have a decision… retreat or redeem? I prefer that we follow Jesus’ model and redeem the broken things, not run from them.  Let’s not detach ourselves from 2,000 years of Christian history because sinful people hijacked a beautiful religion of faith in Christ.

2:57- “Religion says slave, Jesus says son.”

Correction: Paul calls us slaves to righteousness. Romans 6:15-23  This is the entire concept of Lordship. He becomes our Lord. Our life is not our own, we were bought with a price. We go from being slaves to our sin-nature to slaves to righteousness by surrendering our lives to the will and purpose of God. We don’t like to use this word but ‘doulos’ means bond-servant. In essence, ‘voluntary slave’. In scripture there are certainly other metaphors used such as ‘son’ and ‘brother’ and ‘friend’ but we cannot throw out descriptive terms of the believer such as ‘disciple’ and ‘follower’ and ‘bond-servant’. These words are not mutually exclusive.  The joy of the Christian life is that we are all of these in one.  In each word we find truth about ourselves and the nature of God.  To pit these terms against one another is akin to telling me I can be a son or a father but not both.  I am both.  In Christ I am both ‘doulos’ and ‘son’.

3:06- “Religion and Jesus are two different clans.”

Repeating a lie does not make it true. 

3:10- “Religion is man searching for God, Christianity is God searching for man.”

Again, this is not true. Paul says in his famous speech at Mars Hill in Acts 17:26-27 “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,”

3:47- “I hate it, no I literally hate it.”

 I’m sorry you may hate the Christian religion but I love it.  I love the church, I love the faith, I love Christ and I love God’s word. I also despise sin, I don’t simply ‘believe’ in it.

Please understand, I don’t doubt that this poet loves God’s word.  In watching other videos of his I find a ton upon which we agree.  It is obvious that he is talented and gifted in communication.  Sometimes we simply choose the wrong expression and others echo our words without thinking critically for themselves.

As I thought further on this video and why it stirred my heart I felt that the word ‘religion’ should have been replaced with the word ‘legalist’.  Legalism or moralism are not the same as the Christian religion.  With that adjustment I would likely have gladly clicked ‘share’ and moved on with life.  Unfortunately we aren’t instructed by Christ to mindlessly click ‘share’.  We are challenged to watch our lives and doctrine closely.

I challenge all believers to be cautious in passing around videos that are heavy in emotion but sketchy on doctrine.

Demonstrate love for God’s word by taking time to read and study it. It is the very breath of God.  Without a healthy understanding and love for the scriptures we will fall prey to the enemy’s plan to distort reality to something that seems warm and fuzzy but does not actually represent the greatness and goodness of God.

More important than studying the word we should love it enough to allow it to study US.

 I don’t retreat from the phrase ‘Christian Religion’; I work to redeem it.

Further reading: James 1:19-27Acts 17:26-27Titus 1:9Matthew 5:17

 

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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18 thoughts on “Jesus Hates Religion? That’s News To Him.

  1. Well, I’ll start the first volley. Everything you said is true, however I think it’s a question of semantics. Sometimes it’s not the words someone says, it’s what they are saying. People give their Yea & Amen to a video like this simply because it perhaps expresses what they can’t articulate.

    The Biblical definition “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” is hardy what people have in mind when they attempt to define Religion. And Religion is by no means what they denounce. They are rejecting the world view – the same view that Jesus condemned when He turned the mercantile businesses out of the house of God and when he referred to the leaders as whitened sepulchers.

    The pairing of Christianity with politics; the silence of the mainstream denominations when wackos do evil in the name of God and the heaping of man-made law are all things that Jesus and his followers today find abhorrent. Is it True Religion? Certainly not! And yet we are stuck with this word. Can it be redeemed? 2,000 years has not managed it and while I like to be optimistic, I’m not hopeful.

    We live in a bumper sticker age and once that sticker gets applied, I don’t know what solution can peel it’s gummy residue off. Perhaps Religion has outlived it’s usefulness in this day and age and the translators need to come up with something that is more appropriate. Having spent the greater portion of my life studying an archaic (albeit good) translation of the Bible, I realize that words, at some point have not only lost their meaning but sometimes become antonyms of the original meaning, as this may be the case.

    We do need to be lights in a dark world and set on a hill so that all may see. There are good congregations that attempt to stay true to the mission and calling of God, but there are many that have the “form of Godliness, but deny the power thereof” Unfortunately, to the greater part of the world, that describes Religion.

    By the way, you preached a “bad” message Sunday:)

  2. Being frustrated shouldn’t give one license to be biblically illiterate.

    I agree with you that the reason people pass it along so quickly is to articulate how they are receiving it. My own bride wrote me this afternoon after my post saying that she passed it along in part b/c of people calling her ‘religious’ and it’s frustrating. I get it. I really do. We still have a responsibility however to articulate a response that is both emotionally satisfying and intellectually honest.

    Again I just point to the comment section. How does the unbelieving world take it? The atheist or agnostic who hears “Jesus hates religion” simply says “Are you joking? Jesus IS religion.”

    I simply submit that we should be able to express our faith in a way that is emotionally gratifying and biblically accurate.

    It was “bad”??? ohh… I see what you did there at the end ;^)

    BTW Ed, Thanks for commenting… I’ve been getting emails today from people saying it’s broken.

  3. I rarely comment on this sort of post, but I have to jump in here. While the pop-culture appeal of the poem may not match my own more traditional sensibilities, I think the poet is preaching the Gospel. I see no indication of cheap view of grace – indeed, quite the opposite, as he attempts to describe the costliness of sin.

    I think, to be frank, you’ve dismissed the poet’s message in your first sentence: “Anyway, while I understand the point of the video, I believe it presents a perfect teaching opportunity with regard to how we as Christians should engage the world with discussion about the gospel.” And then you’ve gone on to talk about your points.

    I take issue with this kind of theological quibbling, because I think it’s all over the blogosphere and does more to hinder us than help us. You mention that you understand the point of the video. You can engage the sentiment of it and – for the most part – probably agree with the idea that empty religious ritual is lifeless and has no inherent value. You may even give him some biblical credit for alluding to verses like those found in Amos 5. We, as Christians, almost intuitively get what he is saying…not that he hates the church – in fact, he says he loves the church…but that he hates religious hypocrisy.

    If his word-choice confounds atheists, well, then I think that’s his target. I think the intended audience is nominal Christians, and, in that light, he communicates very well.

    I’m not saying this poem is a perfect creedal statement. Which is why I think a point-by-point theological counter-argument to a poem does more to confound the watching world than any possible contradictions within it. The coolness or marketability of the video might grate against some sensibilities (my own included!). But that doesn’t take away the truth of what he’s saying.

    I have no real conclusion, I guess, except that it pains me to see the Christian community picking at a video like this. I don’t think there’s anything to fear theologically from this man’s testimony. In fact, even the points you’ve listed, seem to be more about proving his word choice wrong than applauding a general message that is pointing people to Jesus. What do you think?

    I always worry that comments like these might come across as personal critiques. I really don’t want to pick at you, but I do want to engage…

    • I rarely comment on this sort of post, but I have to jump in here. While the pop-culture appeal of the poem may not match my own more traditional sensibilities, I think the poet is preaching the Gospel. I see no indication of cheap view of grace – indeed, quite the opposite, as he attempts to describe the costliness of sin.

      Thanks for dropping by. With complete respect I don’t see what you see. Where do you see him present the gospel? We may view ‘the gospel’ differently. I’d be interested to see how you see it. I see his position being to chastise legalist Christians without confronting sin. I see him giving ammunition for people who do not want to use words like ‘obedience’, ‘discipline’ and ‘atonement’.

      I think, to be frank, you’ve dismissed the poet’s message in your first sentence: “Anyway, while I understand the point of the video, I believe it presents a perfect teaching opportunity with regard to how we as Christians should engage the world with discussion about the gospel.” And then you’ve gone on to talk about your points.

      To the contrary. I agree that legalism isn’t faith in Christ but to say that the Christian religion IS legalism is where I believe it does damage to the faith. Say that you hate legalism… don’t try to create a new word for religion. Faith in Jesus is religion. Scripture is clear that Jesus didn’t come to abolish religion. Art doesn’t trump the dictionary or the scripture.

      I take issue with this kind of theological quibbling, because I think it’s all over the blogosphere and does more to hinder us than help us. You mention that you understand the point of the video. You can engage the sentiment of it and – for the most part – probably agree with the idea that empty religious ritual is lifeless and has no inherent value. You may even give him some biblical credit for alluding to verses like those found in Amos 5. We, as Christians, almost intuitively get what he is saying…not that he hates the church – in fact, he says he loves the church…but that he hates religious hypocrisy.

      You and I agree. I get his goal. There is a reason people in my church forwarded this on. The problem is that words have meaning. It is not ‘quibbling’ when a person says that Jesus came to “abolish” religion when Jesus himself DIRECTLY contradicts that statement. It’s not ‘quibbling’ to point out that we should see ourselves as slaves as well as sons when the bible actually says that. These are not trite matters. Our view of God depends on our understanding of theology. Is Jesus our Lord? What does Lord mean? Does scripture call us to holiness? “Be holy as I am holy.” Is it reasonable to have behavioral standards? These are all vital questions to our faith and it’s irresponsible to spend this much time, energy and effort to get a video distributed to a million people and being this far from reality. That is what I view as not helpful to the cause of Christ.

      If his word-choice confounds atheists, well, then I think that’s his target. I think the intended audience is nominal Christians, and, in that light, he communicates very well.

      What does he communicate? You’re okay, I’m okay, keep swimming in sin? Where is the call to repent?

      I’m not saying this poem is a perfect creedal statement. Which is why I think a point-by-point theological counter-argument to a poem does more to confound the watching world than any possible contradictions within it. The coolness or marketability of the video might grate against some sensibilities (my own included!). But that doesn’t take away the truth of what he’s saying.

      I’ve never suggested that this is a ‘perfect’ anything. My post isn’t ‘perfect’. The standard isn’t ‘perfection’. The standard is fidelity to scripture. If you read the scripture references I gave… I’m not coming up with weird connections… I’m providing direct statements that contradict his assertions. If a person doesn’t want to be publicly questioned they shouldn’t publicly post a well polished video making claims with big bold letters.

      I have no real conclusion, I guess, except that it pains me to see the Christian community picking at a video like this. I don’t think there’s anything to fear theologically from this man’s testimony. In fact, even the points you’ve listed, seem to be more about proving his word choice wrong than applauding a general message that is pointing people to Jesus. What do you think?

      As I said in my post, I don’t believe this video is helpful to actually point to Jesus but rather a shadow of the Jesus we know. We are both sons and slaves to our Lord Jesus. We repent to Christ, we pray in His name, we trust in pain, we cry out to him in trail… Jesus isn’t a good luck charm or a genie in a bottle we rub when we need help. How we view Jesus matters. I’m simply pointing out the necessity for us to study scriptures and not simply click ‘share’ because something makes us feel good about ourselves.

      Also, if you were to watch any of my preaching you would see I’m not some old angry preacher. I’m very relaxed and jovial and I don’t critique. I’ve been blogging since 2003 and maybe 2% of my posts critique others. When I do it’s because I think there is something that needs to be said.

      I always worry that comments like these might come across as personal critiques. I really don’t want to pick at you, but I do want to engage…

      I receive you well. No worries. You respectfully have engaged and I hope I’ve honored you with respect. I pray God’s best for you today.

      • So I’ll do my best to answer each paragraph briefly, because I appreciate the amount of time you’ve given to my comment, so thanks for that! Let’s see…

        Re: “Thanks so much for dropping by…”

        I see him challenging legalistic Christians, yes, but I see him also put himself in that camp when he talks about being a church-kid following all the rules. So I think there’s a humility there – more of a personal struggle against something that kept him from understanding grace. I think that’s a helpful starting point, and it puts me in mind of a prodigal-son sort of confession (which is perhaps why I’m reacting so strongly to what feels like elder-brother-ish unwillingness to celebrate with him). I don’t see this at all about tossing aside obedience or discipline. BUT, I think the heart of the gospel is that behavior isn’t part of the equation. We keep trying to make it such, but grace really is free. So certainly this isn’t a complete theological statement of the Christian life, but it is a statement about Christ’s work – taking our sin into himself, expiating it, and resurrecting over it. It is a statement about the external fact of our belonging – based on Christ’s work alone. So I say: there’s the Gospel! And for those heavily burdened Christians or those hiding behind the to-do list of religious behavior, I think it’s a powerful presentation of good news.

        Re: “To the contrary…”

        Does he say that Christian religion is legalism? I’d have to watch again. I think one of the crucial reasons people are upset about this is interpretation of the word “religion”, something I personally see as a negative term meaning manmade practices we use (Christian or no) to manipulate God into doing what we want. I see religion as very different from tradition, form, liturgy, or ritual. Would you agree that the religious way of thinking he describes falls into the camp of legalism? I would, so I think it’s fair that he starts out with an arguable statement but then goes on to clarify what he means.

        Re: “You and I agree…”

        You are right. These are all important questions for the faith. Can any four minute anything address them all? No. Can there be misinterpretation in works like this? Absolutely. But that’s true with anything. My husband is a priest, and it makes me think of his sermons. If he tried to represent every piece of Christian doctrine surrounding things, he would never stop preaching – haha! There is a sense where this is directed at a certain audience – in my opinion, it’s those who find belonging because of their behavior – and so he’s addressing those points. If one of my children is a pleaser and I know that’s a piece of his core personality, then I make it a point to tell him I love him just as he is. Does that make sense?

        Re: “What does he communicate?”

        I think the whole thing is a call for repentance and turning away from religious doing. I do think there is a sense that we really are free to live however we please. Now I strongly believe that God’s ways bring life, and once we have a taste of that, we will choose it and walk in those ways. But we don’t have to. You and I are free to live exactly as we please. It doesn’t change Christ’s work on the cross.

        Re: “I’ve never suggested that…”

        My view on Scripture is that it’s not to be used as a point-by-point for anything. Yes, I think your verses make valid points. Can I find ones that support his points? Yes. So where does that leave us? How does this help? You’re absolutely right that we can’t reach perfection, and, I would argue, we can’t reach complete fidelity to Scripture. Church history constantly challenges me in this when I see men and women dying for things mainstream Christians don’t give a second thought to today. Or I read a church father’s interpretation of a passage that is so wildly different than my own, and – dare I say it – something I would today view as heretical. (I’m thinking particularly here of multiple layers of allegory to specific passages – something we would never dream of doing with our what-did-the-text-really-mean approach). What I mean to say here is not that we stop caring about truth. Or that we stop appreciating Scripture. But that we stop thinking we have somehow arrived at the “right” interpretation of Scripture and use it to counteract someone’s “wrong” interpretation.

        Everyone should feel free to challenge someone in the public sphere. He is putting himself out there for sure. I just get this sense that what is really going on here is personal dislike of a slickly polished video, it hurts our “darlings” and the aesthetic sensibilities we hold dear. I think that’s fair. Someone can say they think it isn’t sacred or pleasing or beautiful. But that’s really different than saying it’s heretical and dangerous.

        In the end, I’m just not that worried about him misrepresenting Jesus, particularly because I am guilty of doing that every day. If Jesus was willing to entrust his church to people like me and this man, I’m not worried about the fallout. I see more in this that Jesus is being lifted up, and I think he will continue to draw all people to himself.

        And, this is not logical at all so I hesitate to even put it in a forum like this – haha!, I sense a hardness in these kind of “watch-out-this-isn’t-truth” kind of conversations that I can’t put my finger on. Everyone always says they’re doing it out of love or love for the truth, and I think that’s a very real piece of it, but I also think there’s something else going on there that bends more toward judgment and picking at each other and less at rejoicing in the good. That’s hard to articulate, but there it is. It has a bit of the feel of a club mentality to it – and (though I don’t know your own personal story) I’ve been interested to find that my friends who’ve reacted to this most strongly have come out of a hyper-evangelical mindset and discovered a historic-liturgical tradition. So I wonder if there isn’t some of that church-culture woundedness or disillusionment playing into this as well.

        At any rate, thanks so much for the great conversation! Peace+

  4. I agree with the author 100%! To me religion true Christianity religion has got a bad rap throughout the years and we don’t need anymore Jesus hates religion videos that’s all I’m saying..

    Now if he would have said Jesus hates false religion, and wars have been started by men in the name of religion, then that is different, but what about the people who use the bible to say slavery was ok? Does that mean Jesus hates the bible? I can create a video saying Jesus hates the Bible based on that?

    People have given religion such a bad name that even Christians are afraid of the word.

    I know it is about a relationship with Jesus, and I hope other people understand the difference in knowing of Jesus and having a relationship with Him..

  5. Its a relationship not a religion. this guy says this because he’s a part of the church. What God wants from us is a relationship with him. Not people coming together for looks every Sunday.

    • Of course it should be said that sound doctrine and sanctification *is* important. IT’S THOROUGHLY BIBLICAL. but the young man in the above video is making A VERY VERY IMPORTANT POINT: “the very religious” often become very sanctimonious and even unloving, prideful and can tend toward becoming pharisaical. – THIS is what we must guard against in our hearts. – and in THAT sense: the video-rap-message IS ENTIRELY VALID. I recommend it to everyone. It’s both thought-provoking and anointed. it has (in only a few days time) gone TOTALLY VIRAL … over 7.3 MILLION views.(!) … it has struck a deep chord in countless people, … and rightly so. – because it puts its finger on a VERY serious internal problem.

  6. I do not want to get into a argument with anybody, but I would like to make one point. I believe it is pretty dangerous to put a equal sign between religion and The Law of God. And I say that mainly because the Law of God is still one, while at this time in the world there are 21 major religions. There are many more, but 21 major ones. So it is very easy to see how religion is indeed man created. I grew up russian-orthodox, and I can tell you that russian-orthodoxism is a religion. And one that has little to do with God, although it proclaims to be “christian”. I’ve been taught that I have to do good deeds, and that on the judgment day God will balance my good deeds with my bad deeds and depending on which one is heavier, I would go to heaven or hell. This is religion: a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Has little or nothing to do with God.
    On the same time, I believe a lot of people take the message of the video the wrong way, as a license to sin and live the way they want, since God loves them anyways. I just had this discussion with someone from our church and it scared me to see how a simple statement can be altered to sound whatever we want it to say. Yes, grace is priceless, yes, we cannot earn it and it is given to us by God, but it is not free. It requires us to die in order to gain everlasting life. And once it is give to us, we are indeed free. Not free to live as we want, but to live in the freedom of God, no longer slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.
    This is just my opinion on the whole matter. 🙂

  7. I definitely agree with the author, and will admit to having been caught in the “Jesus > Religion” mindset. And while He certainly is, there is a definite need for clarification.

    I would like to give my personal thoughts behind the video. A video like this can be as dangerous as it can be good, simply because the definition of religion in this day and age varies largely with the person reading it.

    For example, the word “police”, though originally meant to represent the protectors of our safety, does not always stir the best feelings in many. They are very commonly associated with corruption or power hungry. While this is certainly not true of the original creator’s intent, it has obtained a negative stigma from society based upon some bad experiences some have had with the force. And certainly you would not expect to change their opinions by walking up to them and stating, “No no no! The police force really is good, despite what you have experienced from them.”

    Others, however, may have a family member in the police force, and it has been integrated into their lives that police really are there for their good.

    So in the case of “religion”, it really is sad to see such negativity associated with the word for some, but it really comes down to the angle at which the word was initially received. I being someone who grew up with the Christianity certainly don’t view it as an evil word, but I can definitely see how someone who grew up feeling repressed by man would make the immediate association with “bad” or “not what Jesus wants for us.” Religion was defined differently for them than for me.

    So really, it is not about trying to mash into peoples’ brains that “No religion is REALLY THIS, no man! its THIS,” and writing about it all day, perhaps we would be more productive by redefining “religion” through our actions as religious followers of Christ. After all, “religion” is just one translation of a word’s true meaning, and if the definition of “religion” is changing, perhaps we too must find a different word to associate our true intent as Christian followers with.

    Just look at how the word “gay” has changed over time. I certainly can not expect people to actually believe it just means “happy” still.

  8. [smart remark edited out]…my cousin posted the “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus” video on Facebook…I watched, and was perplexed just a little. I know my cousin well, she is a religious person. She doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk. So I was a bit confused as to why she posted the video. Like you, I thought that to the non-believer the video would seem illogical.

    Everything under “A Few Specific Quotes of Concern” were pretty much the same concerns I had. You articulated my concerns so well, and I appreciate that. One of the BIGGEST things that made me say, “WHAT?”, was when he said something about believing in sin. I was thinking, “OK, tell me more…” For me, it’s not enough to believe that sin exists, but one must “detest all sin.”

    I can go on and on, and I apologize for my ramblings, but I just want to thank you for your comments regarding the video.