Friday, January 20, 2012

Yeah, We've All Been There

So surely by now you've seen the spoken word performance, "Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus." But just in case you've been under a rock for the last week, here it is:

First, let me say there's some good stuff in there.  I think when I was younger I said a lot of similar things from the pulpit, but without rhythm. 

Second, the young man here sounds like every 19-year-old Bible college student I've ever known, who is super passionate, has had a semester of Church History, and thinks church will be so much better when he or she is in charge instead of the "frozen chosen."  Human hypocrisy and apathy are infuriating but sometimes the most self-righteous people are young, passionate Christians who throw out the baby with the bath water when it comes to structure and tradition.  As others have pointed out, American churches today probably have a bigger problem with a few cooler-than-thou 30-year-old hipsters, than with all the 60-year-old traditional Republicans, because it's the younger, disaffected group that's abandoning absolute truth and using fuzzy definitions.

I can't possibly say any of this better than Kevin DeYoung,

"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.

"But the only problem was that Jesus did not hate religion.  He was a Jew, went to services at the synagogue, observed Jewish holy days, did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them, founded the church, established church discipline, instituted a ritual meal, told his disciples to baptize people and to teach others to obey everything he commanded, and insisted that people believe in him and believe certain things about him."

Read DeYoung's firm but gentle critique here[Highly recommended]

DeYoung has been corresponding with the young man from the video and it seems that he's had some positive affect on the young man.  Like all of us, we need a mentor to balance us out when our zeal outpaces our wisdom.

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