Do you love Jesus?

Posted on March 9, 2012

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This video went viral probably about three or four months ago. If you have a Facebook account I doubt you missed it. In fact, if you are anything like me, it’s likely you saw it ad nauseum. I rarely watch videos on Facebook. In fact, the more times it pops up, the less likely I will be to watch it. something about following a multitude I suppose. Well, dad asked me, during the height of the frenzy, whether or not I had watched it. After that I watched it within a couple of hours. I figured if it was “intriguing” enough for dad to say something about it, it was worth taking the four minutes required to see what all the fuss was about.

Of course, I don’t know Jeff Bethke. I have done little research on him. I do know he goes to Mark Driscoll’s church Mar’s Hill. And he’s got a Facebook pate. I don’t know his spiritual condition. I don’t know the state of his heart. I don’t know if he is saved. I don’t really know his theological slant. I don’t know his religion bias. My reason for pointing these facts out is because when you see, hear or read something such as this, being able to put it in its proper context is paramount. Because my dad could get up and read this, or say something very similar, and I could say “amen” because I know what my dad means when he says things, or uses certain words and phrases. It’s like asking a Catholic if they believe in, “salvation, by grace through faith, not of works.” we may be using the same words, but myself and a Catholic means two entirely different things even though the syntactic pattern would be the same if not completely identical.

So, in a vacuum, I do trust this guy. as I dissect and provide some Biblical, albeit personal commentary, on this rhyme it is done so from the position of possibly being incorrect of his intention. I do know, me personally, would be highly unlikely to say stuff like this, and put it in a public venue, for the reason that it could be taken wrong.

Before I actually get into the body of his soliloquy, let us define precisely the word ‘Religion’

From dictionary.com –

noun

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing amoral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious  beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
Basically religion is any belief of a spiritual nature. So, I’ve got news for you….if you believe in Jesus, you have a religion. In the loosest sense of the word, but still you have a religon.

so, here is what I think.

What if I told you, Jesus came to abolish religion?

Is this true? is this an accurate representation of what Christ’s purpose, when he came to earth was? It was said of Christ, that he did not come to abolish the law, arguably the center of religion in that day, but to fulfil it. did you catch that? the word “fulfil” mean; to complete, to bring to completion. So I ask again, did Christ truly come to destroy religion? Or did he come to perfect it?

What if I told you getting you to vote republican, really wasn’t his mission?

Because republican doesn’t automatically mean Christian,

I agree with this entirely. your political affiliation matters so little in light of eternity. That is not to say that how you vote is not important,  but that it attaching an “R” to your name….means nothing.

And just because you call some people blind, doesn’t automatically give you vision.

As a stand alone sentence, there is nothing to disagree with here.

If religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?

Once again, I question the factual veracity of this statement. It is, at best, an unspecific claim. To be historically accurate,it was the Catholic church starting wars. circa the “Crusades”. don’t just blame religion as a whole for what one or two denominations have done.

Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor?

Tells single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever been divorced

Emotional manipulation alert! these are designed to be heartstrings jerking statements, but add nothing nor make a valid point. That being said, one could make the argument that building vast edifices of worship resplendent with all manner of awe-inspiring artifacts and architecture and designed to simply make people stand in silent awe of a man-made structure…..perhaps the money could be spent better…. but to feed the poor? I’m not so sure about that. the churches primary injunction, as found in the Holy Writ, is to evangelize a lost and wicked world. now, if that can be effected, perhaps, by buying a “poor person” a sandwich, by all means, do so. But a church that focuses primarily on the carnal belly of one and neglects the ministration of the soul….I would argue doesn’t truly love Jesus.

Yet God in the Old Testament actually calls the religious people whores

Religion preaches grace, but another thing they practice,

No doubt the lord himself used strong, yes even, derogatory language to the “religious” people of his day. if religion preaches grace and does not practice it, does the problem truly lie with religion or fallen man?

Tend to ridicule Gods people, they did it to John the Baptist,

No argument here.

Cant fix their problems, so they try to mask it,

Not realizing that’s just like spraying perfume on a casket

o wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death. one could argue at salvation what was done was spray perfume on a spiritually dead person. I criticize this as literary and poetic exaggeration. I as well realize that exaggeration is often used, and quite effectively for that matter, to make a point. but by the authors own admission he is seeking yo point out the excesses and hypocrisies of religion, I would contend that he is guilty of what he criticizes.

Because the problem with religion is that it never gets to the core,

my religion did….maybe this man’s problem is get has a bad religion.

It’s just behavior modification, like a long list of chores.

Let’s dress up the outside, make things look nice and neat,

wait! so is the outside NOT supposed to look “nice and neat?” Knowing Jesus will result in behavior modification. Where there has been no modification of behavior, it is because there has been no Jesus. Why you get saved you have a, dare I even say, ‘long’ list of responsibility’s. The way this man phrases it, it makes it appear as a negative, the idea of ‘chores’ rarely conjures up images of spiritual bliss. But following Christ is a positive not a negative. I say, fix the heart, and the outside WILL look nice and neat.

Its funny that’s what they do to mummies, while the corpse rots underneath,

Ok??? What exactly is the point of this?

Now I ain’t judging I’m just saying be careful of putting on a fake look,

Hypocrites is a term often used by Christ himself to characterize the ‘religious’ people of his day. And as a result, is an activity we should all be on guard against.

Because there’s a problem if people only know that you’re a Christian by that little section on your Facebook.

This unfortunately, is true. Even worse, people can’t tell that you are a Christian, because of the content of your Facebook.

In every other aspect of life you know that logic is unworthy

Its like saying you play for the Lakers just because you bought a jersey

This is actually a very good illustration….I wish I would have thought of it.

But see I played this game too; no one seemed to be on to me,

I was acting like church kid, while addicted to pornography.

I’d go to church on Sunday, but on saturday getting faded,

Acting as if I was simply created to have sex and get wasted.

This isn’t religion’s fault…this is a fallen and sinful man’s fault.

Spend my whole life putting on this façade of neatness,

But now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness.

Agree.

If grace is water, then the church should be an ocean,

Yes, the church should manifest grace. But not to the exclusion of holiness, and righteousness, and dedicated and purity……and I could go on. Don’t be so one-sided.

Cuz it’s not a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken

I no longer have to hide my failures I don’t have to hide my sin,

It’s not a matter of hiding failures or sins…..It’s an issue of cleaning your life up.

Because my salvation doesn’t depend on me, it depends on him.

Agree. Agree. Agree. But based on a lot of the rest of this content, I doubt we mean the same thing.

because when I was Gods enemy and certainly not a fan,

God looked down on me and said, “I want that man!”

I feel that this is, perhaps, and overly simplistic way to put salvation, and God’s desire for us. It seems a mite trite. I really can’t put my finger on it, but in the context of all else that is said here, I don’t like the implications.

Which is so different from religious people, and why Jesus called them fools

Don’t you see he’s so much better than just following some rules?

He is trying divorce following Christ from having a set of standards and a rule book to live by.

Now let me clarify, I love the church, I love the bible, and I believe in sin

It’s unfortunate that he felt the need to clarify, because I, for one, was beginning to wonder, especially about the last one.

But my question, is if Jesus were here today, would your church let Him in?

Remember He was called a drunkard and a glutton by “religious men”

That doesn’t mean that he was a drunkard and glutton, in fact to imply that borders on outright blasphemy.

The Son of God not supported self-righteousness, not now, not then.

Agreed here. There is not place for self-righteousness.

Now back to the topic, one thing I think is vital to mention,

How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums,

One is the work of God one is a man-made invention,

One is the cure and one is the infection.

Simply not true. If you go back to the definition of religion, you see that name given to any actions that relate to God. There are good religions, there are bad religions. But, I do think that religion, in and of itself is a neutral entity. It is kind of like a movie. There is nothing inherently wrong with a movie. What makes it wrong, is the content. Same with religion, it is just a vehicle, now if the contents  of the vehicle are corrupt, it doesn’t make all vehicles corrupt.

Because Religion says do, Jesus says done.

Religion says slave, Jesus says son,

Religion puts you in shackles but Jesus sets you free.

Religion makes you blind, but Jesus lets you see.

Not my religion. I don’t really care for the word ‘religion’ in general because it is truly such an ambiguous term. That being said, it’s not religion that is the problem, but rather the men that are in the religion.

This is what makes religion and Jesus two different clans,

Religion is man searching for God, but Christianity is God searching for man.

I personally dislike the term, ‘God searching for man’ it seems as though it implies that God need us….and he doesn’t

Which is why salvation is freely mine, forgiveness is my own,

Not based on my efforts, but Christ’s obedience alone.

Agree.

Because he took the crown of thorns, and blood that dripped down his face

He took what we all deserved, that’s why we call it grace.

While being murdered he yelled “father forgive them, they know not what they do”,

Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you

He paid for all your sin, and then buried it in the tomb,

Which is why im kneeling at the cross now saying come on there’s room

Agree

So know I hate religion, in fact I literally resent it,

Disagree….He is not using the term ‘religion’ correctly I don’t think

Because when Jesus cried It is finished, I believe He meant it.

I Agree with this statement.

So for me…I love Jesus, AND I love religion

I agree more with these videos.

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