“Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus” is Theologically Bankrupt
A video about loving Jesus has gone viral, with almost 2.5 million views this week. Part of the reason is that the video is also about hating religion. See below:
I am not going to respond directly to the video. A great response has already been written to the video by a blogger named Zack Hunt.
I want to offer some thoughts, and ask some questions. I think that Zack Hunt responded very well, and I agree with him (although I think that the argument against “faith alone” isn’t all there – “faith alone,” I believe, refers to the moment of decision, but the true sign of faith is works, therefore I agree that faith can never remain alone, but it is that act of faith in the moment of decision that is referred to).
Mr. Hunt even points out that the poet in the video has some good points: things like using faith to entice people to vote Republican, sexuality, and Christian identity being defined by your Facebook status are all serious, negative issues in today’s Church. I also believe that “organized religion,” or at least the “little-c” church has burned a lot of people.
How do we reconcile these divergent views? The video “Why I hate Religion, but Love Jesus,” is theologically bankrupt, yet I cannot escape the fact that it address issues with the church. Are we simply arguing semantics over the word “religion?”
Ultimately, as everyone else who has written a response to this video has said, there is a false dichotomy; you cannot love Jesus and hate religion. Jesus himself was VERY religious. The thing about religion is that it is composed of people. The thing about people is that they are not perfect. Therefore institutionalized religion will never be perfect! The real miracle is that God still works through people, and institutionalized religion, every day.
What do you all think?
And while I’m at it, here is a “spoken-word” video response by Michael Halcomb.