Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus" and Responses

A family member sent me this video which I now know has gone "virial"--over 17 million views.  He asked what I thought.  I've put my comments that I sent to him below the video.  The original video has spawned a number of responses.  The two listed below are interesting.  The first response is from a Muslim.  Then there follows a Christian apologetic response to the Muslim video.  For those interested...

A few thoughts I wrote to my family member:
1.  First, I liked his focus on Jesus and grace.  This is central. 
2.  He seems to be speaking out of his past hurt with legalism ("religion") and this seems to color everything he says.  We all speak out of our past in the sense of being influenced by it but here the guy seems to go lopsided--see below. 
3.  He sets up the dichotomy between Jesus and Religion.  The way he defines religion is a problem.  Hey, who wouldn't hate what he says is "religion."  He uses the old definition: religion is man's attempt to get to God.  If that's his definition then I'm against that too.  But why think that is THE definition of religion?  What happens is that people put Jesus on one side and "religion" on the other.  And then under religion they put things like "church".  He seemed to do that at a few points even though he had his "clarifications" mid-way through.  Jesus established the church, its rituals (baptism and communion) and its leadership.  If you love Jesus you have to love the church--even though Jesus is perfect and his wife (the church) isn't.   
4.  I get nervous about the the dichotomy of "doing" vs "done" (the way he ends the video).  If we're talking about justification--how a person is declared righteous before a holy God-then he is correct.  The work of Christ alone received by faith alone is the key here.  But the Christian life also includes the life of faith (sanctification) which should be one of faithfulness and Jesus very clearly speaks to this (see Matthew 5-7) with lots of things to "do."
Here is the Muslim response:

And here is the Christian apologetic response which was sponsored by Alpha and Omega Ministries:

Also, Alpha and Omega had an article responding to the false claims in the Muslim video.  That can be found HERE.