Discussion going on about a YouTube video released this week with 10 million hits already. "Why I hate religion but love Jesus" by spoken word artist Jefferson Bethke, was also the most watched video on Facebook. Jeff seems a nice guy and his message sounds like mine when I was his age. Some people are confused by his take on religion and statements that Jesus came to abolish it. Here's my take:
There is such a thing as dead, empty, powerless religion which God rejects.
"I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies." Amos 5:21
And there is also religion done right.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
In my youth, I tended to reject the word 'religion" outright as always negative and something to contrast the way of Jesus against. But now in my fourties, I tend to embrace the word more and try to redeem it by showing and attempting to live religion done according to the way of Jesus.
I probably agree with Kevin DeYoung who had some email exchange with Jefferson and . . . well . . . its all good, bro!
Interesting sidenote. Back in the day, the word "religious" was only used to describe monks. Later on the meaning widened to include non-monastic believers in Christ. These days, we argue whether the word is helpful at all.