Jesus and religion

If you're gonna read this post you have to read it the whole way through, and you have to read the links, also. Mmkay?

I don't know if this happened on anyone else's Facebook news feed, but mine has blown up over this Youtube video on Jesus>Religion by Jefferson Bethke.

I first want to say that I believe Jefferson's heart in this is good - to seek truth and share it with others. To share that Jesus is our focus, not everything else. Even in the video's description he says he wrote the poem to"highlight the difference between Jesus and false religion" so maybe that's what he's referring to the whole time, but this poem has started quite the debate on the internet.

So in seeking truth together as Christians, it's important not to just agree with anything that comes our way (I am so guilty of this). I'm not a super-knowledgeable theologian with a degree, but I think the people below bring up some legit points. I think this is good to consider if you've watched the video, because I do not think that as Christians we are meant to hate religion. And probably the fear of the people who spoke out saying why we shouldn't necessarily agree with Jefferson's poem is because they don't want Christians going around thinking it's okay to hate "religion," because that's not really what God wants for us.

So that's kinda all I've got. I'm not saying I'm an expert, I'm really just pointing you to resources that were helpful to me in understanding why Jefferson's poem isn't 100% on.

I will say that I'm all for discussing and seeking truth, but I'm not crazy about when people put others down in the process. I think that is the downfall of a lot of people who are replying to Jefferson's poem.

Audrey Assad's addressing of the issue is good because it's short (I appreciate that) and mostly solid. In it she also links to this other dude's post which is long, but has a few good points in it.

This dude's response kinda makes me sad because I really do believe when you put others down while trying to make a statement, your point loses a lot of value. I don't think it's necessary. But if you try to look past his superiority complex, I think he brings up a few good points as well.

Lastly, I like this guy because he responds to the poem with a similar poem. I like what he says because he also clarifies that what Jefferson is referring to is hypocrisy, not religion (I think all of these responses mention that).

I hope this was helpful. If you have anymore resources (I'm sure there are more than these) leave them in the comments!


  1. I must admit I didn't quite catch what people were so up in arms about when I watched it the first time. I think I automatically replaced "religion" with "hypocrisy". That said it did annoy me that he relied so heavily on the bad philosophy of someone like Christopher Hitchens, whose book "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" was the one that I mentioned before during our walk in the park.

    It's not religion that causes wars and hatred, it's fallen people. Jeff does quote "It's not a museum for saints; It's a hospital for sinners". He has some good points, but has too much that's not biblically based.

    The one link you posted to the Catholic guy, who is definitely a little over the top sometimes, does bring up a good point. We should be willing to fight for something that has worth. Jesus flipped over tables in the temple. And any guy should be willing to protect his wife with his life in a dark alley.

    I wonder how much good discussion this video has actually brought out.

    1. Good news ... I figured out how to reply to posts! Yayyyy! I bet a lot of discussion is coming up about it, I just hope and pray there is someone who is willing to question it in every discussion.

    2. Unfortunate news, it doesn't let us, or at least me know, via email or anything, so I didn't realize you responded until just now when I saw that you responded to people before.

      I take back my comment doubting how much good discussion is coming out of it. It's never a bad thing to actually argue for or against something, as we can't really say we believe something unless we act on it and have support for that belief.

      Truth is important.

      Although that brings up how faith flows into our beliefs, but that's a different discussion entirely.

  2. Here's another source, the best yet (in my opinion): http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2012/01/13/does-jesus-hate-religion-kinda-sorta-not-really/