Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Why We Love Jesus' Religion”

Categories: RELIGIONS, THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
     This guy made a video that has had over 15 million views on YouTube.  It’s entitled ‘Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus’.  Is this Scriptural?  Thanks.

Sincerely,
Viewer 15,000,000,001

Dear Viewer 15,000,000,001, 

We watched the video, and we can sympathize with that young man’s frustration with religion.  We share a lot of his feelings… but like all the other manmade views that he talked about, his views aren’t totally biblical either.

We are saved by grace, and no one can live a good enough life to deserve forgiveness (Rom 4:3-5).  If you need forgiveness, that, by definition, means you did something wrong!  Salvation is based upon our faith in Christ, not some behavior that we could boast of (Rom 3:27).  Yet, what we do does matter.  The man that says he has faith in God but shows a life of wickedness isn’t faithful at all (Matt 7:20, Jas 2:17).  Faith without works is as dead as a body in a casket (Jas 2:26).  Christians must strive to modify their behavior, but we can’t just modify our behavior, we must give our hearts and loyalty to Christ.  When the choices we make are controlled by our love and faith in Christ, then we are becoming the people we ought to be.  We would agree with this young man that it isn’t enough to “talk the talk”; we must “walk the walk” (Jas 1:25).

On the other hand, to use the blanket statement that, “I hate religion but love Jesus,” makes no sense.  The English Dictionary defines ‘religion’ as ‘a) the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, b) a particular system of faith and worship’.  Using either definition, Jesus died to set up religion!  Jesus purchased the church with His own blood (Acts 20:28), and the church is guided by the systems and laws found in the Bible (1 Tim 3:15).  Jesus also died, so people would worship God and devote their lives to Him (Jhn 3:16).  Jesus’ death was designed to start a religious movement that would change the world (Acts 17:6, Matt 28:19-20).  If we say that we love Jesus but hate religion because it gives us rules and ordinances for “behavior modification” (as that video calls it), we are making a contradictory statement.  If we love Jesus, we will modify our behavior (Jhn 14:15).  Jesus hated false religion and manmade religion, but He loves His church (Eph 5:25).

So, we would say the video gets some things right and some things wrong… about par for the course when we talk about spiritual things without using the Bible as our manual.