There’s been a huge conversation about the Youtube sensation “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus” by rap artist Jefferson Bethke.
After 18 million views and a lot of buzz, NPR’s “All ThingsÂ Considered” picked up the story and ran an extensive feature A Pulpit For The Masses: YouTube, Christians Click.
I first encountered the buzz on Dan Wilt’s blog which also included an excellent counterpoint video by Catholic priestÂ Fr. Claude (Dusty) Burns aka Fr. Pontifex “Why I Love Religion and Love Jesus”.
Dan’s commentary offered his typically thoughtful and nuanced insights:
“Religion is the set of tracks faith runs on â€“ any faith â€“ it offers systems and ways of keeping faith alive over millennia.”
“But our humanity can push us to serve Religion rather than Jesus.”
Three points I’d like to add to the conversation.
1. Bravo to Jefferson for being a provocateur! The video launched a conversation that has gone viral. People talking about Jesus. That’s awesome. And that’s the best aspect. Well done.
2. At the core you have to think deeply about two questions.
- What is religion? What is it really supposed to be about?
- Who is Jesus?Â What did He say about religion?
I’m not going to write a theological treatise on that. But I’ll offer this perspective.
There’s good religion and there’s bad religion. Because “religion” has and always will be the work of humans, it will always be flawed. Sometimes unintentionally, sometimes horrifically.
3. There may be “good” religion and “bad”religion, or just “Losing My Religion”.Â
There is not a “good” Jesus and a “bad” Jesus. There is only one Jesus.
He is He is always right, always true. He is truth.
The killer app question is this.
Who do you say Jesus is?
What difference does He make in the way you live your life?
I’ll leave it at that. Here’s the op-ed video.