Last week a new video went viral called “Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus” by Jeffereson Bethke. This poem is part of the greater collage of what seems like “love Jesus and despise the church” rhetoric among some Christians. I do not really know anything about Jefferson Bethke but my guess is that he is a Christian with a very real experience that comes out in words through his poem. In fact there are times I feel exactly what he is conveying. I believe his video is well intended and creative. The problem is that our experiences do not always resonate with Scripture and therefore cannot be used as an accurate measure for truth. Since I am entering this conversation late in the game, I will not belabor the point. Here are two blog links that compare the content of the video to the truth of Scripture:
I would simply add one thought. We must be careful in our characterizing of the church. I am assuming the “they” that Jefferson is talking about in the video is the church. I know Jefferson says that he “loves the church” but I wonder if he understands that the church and religion are not necessarily two different categories but instead one is the action of the other. Churches around the planet are imperfect, full of sinners of which I am chief, and often distracted. This is why as the church we need the grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our critiques of the church, as the primary “religious” vehicle in the world, are often harsh and marring. My cautionary note is this. The church is the bride of Christ. Though she’s not perfect, she is His. She is being sanctified daily for His glory and she is carrying the gospel to the world in amazing ways. Just my 2 cents.