It's not quite a quiver full, but it's a start!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

God VS. Man

This morning, I posted about God's convictions on my life about reading Scripture rather than just reading man's view of Scripture. This afternoon, the affirmation and confirmation of that message was completed in my life! Amen! There has been a video going around Facebook. A video that has gotten a lot of Christians following it, saying they love it, sharing it with everyone. Honestly, until today I had not even watched the video. The video is entitled "Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus." Just based on the title I KNEW that it was completely un-Biblical. Just based on the title I knew that it had been written by someone who was against "established religion" probably because he had gotten his feelings hurt by someone who claimed to be a Christian or because he saw such hypocrisy in the church that it made him hate Christianity. If only Christians really understood the way "feel good" faith really hurts those who are not believers, how it actually pushes them away rather than brings them to a true relationship with Christ. If Christians who preach grace above all else really understood the path of destruction it really takes. Preaching grace as an excuse to continue with your lifestyle, preaching grace to escape the conviction on your life, and preaching grace to make a sinner feel good about themselves so they want to become "saved" leads to nothing but false teachings like the ones presented in this video. Yes, watching this video, it's like you almost want to force yourself to agree with him because it sounds so good...

...actually, as I watched it for the first time it made me sick to my stomach. It made me sick knowing how many people have seen this video and are passing it around as truth (oh, how the great deceiver must be loving this one), knowing how it's just close enough to come across as true, but it's just not close enough to actually be truth. Click here to see a review that breaks it down line by line and why it is just not Biblical fact that is presented in this video (please take the time to read it). This is just proof of the harm that can come from listening to man's word rather than the word of God. Proof of the harm in getting caught up in something that sounds good, something that we know others will like, rather than truly comparing it to Scripture before we choose to actually listen to it. Actually, the man in the video himself after reading the review that I linked to above responded. Here is what he had to say,

"I just wanted to say I really appreciate your article man. It hit me hard. I’ll even be honest and say I agree 100%. God has been working with me in the last 6 months on loving Jesus AND loving his church. For the first few years of walking with Jesus (started in ’08) I had a warped/poor paradigm of the church and it didn’t build up, unify, or glorify His wife (the Bride). If I can be brutally honest I didn’t think this video would get much over a couple thousand views maybe, and because of that, my points/theology wasn’t as air-tight as I would’ve liked. If I redid the video tomorrow, I’d keep the overall message, but would articulate, elaborate, and expand on the parts where my words and delivery were chosen poorly… My prayer is my generation would represent Christ faithfully and not swing to the other spectrum….thankful for your words and more importantly thankful for your tone and fatherly like grace on me as my elder. Humbled. Blessed. Thankful for painful growth. Blessings."

The writer of the review had some amazing things to say about this young man,  and also about some things in our own personal lives here. I ask you to read that link as well! I have to say when it comes to this video (and everything else that circulates the social network) I'm right there with the author of these reviews when he says, "I like cool videos, but I prefer them to be true when it comes to doctrine." Amen. I hope the posts today have at least opened the door to the realization that a lot of the things we hear from man, although they may sound good, are just not Biblically accurate. And that, most of the time, we really do need to step back and actually search the Scriptures ourselves. Especially if we are going to be spreading someone else's words as Biblical truth. I'm sorry that this young man had to learn the hard way that no matter how many people are listening (or you expect to listen) you must ALWAYS make sure your theology is "air-tight". And, yes, I've made, and will make, these same mistakes, we all have. And, yes, there is grace to forgive us these mistakes. The problem is, grace does not cover the damage that this post has done to the Kingdom. The false information that it has led others to believe, the non-Christians that it actually pushed away due to the illogical statements of it all (just read the comments from non-believers about the video if you don't believe it pushed people away), the damage that it did to his own reputation when it comes to his future messages. Yes, grace does cover us when we make mistakes. Unfortunately, grace doesn't save us from the consequences our actions have on others.

 For another VERY good link about this topic you can also go here! Here is a little snippet of that post,

"Religion equals self-righteousness, moral preening, and hypocrisy. Religion is all law and no gospel. If that’s religion, then Jesus is certainly against it.

But that’s not what religion is. We can say...
that’s what is has become for some people or what we understand it to be. But words still matter and we shouldn’t just define them however we want. “Jesus hates religion” communicates something that “Jesus hates self-righteousness” doesn’t. To say that Jesus hates pride and hypocrisy is old news. To say he hates religion—now, that has a kick to it. People hear “religion” and think of rules, rituals, dogma, pastors, priests, institutions. People love Oprah and the Shack and “spiritual, not religious” bumper stickers because the mood of our country is one that wants God without the strictures that come with traditional Christianity. We love the Jesus that hates religion.

The only problem is, he didn’t. Jesus was a Jew. He went to services at the synagogue. He observed Jewish holy days. He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill them (Matt. 5:17). He founded the church (Matt. 16:18). He established church discipline (Matt. 18:15-20). He instituted a ritual meal (Matt. 26:26-28). He told his disciples to baptize people and to teach others to obey everything he commanded (Matt. 28:19-20). He insisted that people believe in him and believe certain things about him (John 3:16-18; 8:24). If religion is characterized by doctrine, commands, rituals, and structure, then Jesus is not your go-to guy for hating religion."


  1. Thanks so much for your commentary. When I saw the video I could not understand why so many Christians where ok with it. I understand the message but I think that people should also care about the presentation of that message. For some to say that even though his theology was flawed but his heart was in the right place misses the point that we are witnesses to a hurting world. If they are only seeing a Christian who hates religion what hope do they gain?

    Even though it can be so hard to see hypocrisy and legalism in some churches we shouldn't shy away from "religion." We should present the gospel in the context of true religion.

    I love the passion I see in lives of "followers of Jesus" but it breaks my heart when those same people say they are not "Christians." Why must it be an either/or? When will the world see Christ following Christians?


  2. We were talking about this video last night in ministry group. If you redefine terms to make the "world" feel more comfortable about Christianity then you are in the end just hurting your own ministry. It's so easy to try to water down or conform the message to make it sound appealing, but then what are you doing? You're not leading them to salvation, but instead leading them into a man-made version of religion. If someone is "saved" because they are drawn to something in your message that is not even Biblical then you did not help them in any way, and in fact did actual harm to the Kingdom.

    It's easy to watch this video and say, "I know what he meant, I know where he was going, if you just replace the words then it's good..." But the problem is that's not what was said and what it can be translated as is a completely un-Biblical message. In fact, I have a VERY serious problem with someone who would admit, "If I can be brutally honest I didn’t think this video would get much over a couple thousand views maybe, and because of that, my points/theology wasn’t as air-tight as I would’ve liked." A COUPLE THOUSAND VIEWS AND HE DIDN'T FEEL IT WAS IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO HAVE AIR-TIGHT THEOLOGY. When would it have been important enough to him? If you share with even ONE person it should be air-tight. Especially on the internet where it has the ability to reach millions...The sad truth is he had the ability to reach thousands, and instead (if you read a lot of the comments made by non-believers) turned people who were on the very verge of salvation away because he felt the need to say something "revolutionary". Next time he should just stick to Scripture. At least then if people are turned away it's not because of his own personal views, but because of their own unbelief.


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