Ask Your Preacher
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.
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.
Catechisms are religious texts with teaching by questions. Is AskYourPreacher.com a catechism?
Dear Devout Definitions,
Saying that AskYourPreacher is a catechism is kind of like saying that since a wagon has four wheels that it is the same as a car. Though there are similarities between catechisms’ question/answer format to teach doctrine and AskYourPreacher, we aren’t at all the same.
AskYourPreacher doesn’t use fixed questions and answers – these are real questions that real people ask us on a daily basis. We would NEVER want someone to use AYP as their sole source of Bible knowledge. Use the Bible as your sole source of Bible knowledge! Catechisms are designed to be used as manuals for worship, doctrine, etc. Our goal is to help refer people back to the Bible and away from man’s traditions – basically the opposite of what catechisms do.
Where is the authority to entertain oneself with musical instruments? If God doesn't like something, why should I?
Dear Radio Silence,
The Bible never says that God doesn’t like musical instruments; it just teaches that when it comes to worshipping God, we should use our voices as our instruments (read “Instrumental To Worship” for more details on a cappella worship). God also doesn’t want us going to the zoo as a part of worship, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t like animals! Just because something isn’t part of worship, doesn’t mean that it is inherently wrong the rest of the time.
I have been struggling with this for some time now. I could make this a much more detailed question, but I will try to shorten it the best way I can. When it comes to dating and meeting someone we hope to spend the rest of our lives with, is it wiser to allow things to happen on their own or to engage in things such as online dating? I realize that God allows us to help ourselves, but I often feel doing things such as online dating is perhaps just a way that individuals try to speed up the process and that it might inhibit natural occurrences (i.e. the real deal) from happening. Any feedback would be great.
The Bible gives no specific statements about how to look for a future spouse. Online dating is neither condemned nor endorsed by God’s Word. Rather than advocate one particular way to find a spouse, God instead speaks to the attitudes we must have and the dangers that exist in the world of romance.
- Don’t force it. Song of Solomon is an entire book devoted to romance and marriage. The chorus of that book is the same over and over (Songs 2:7) – it is a warning to avoid forcing relationships merely for the ‘fun’ of romance.
- Avoid all appearances of evil (1 Thess 5:22). Make sure to never put yourself in a situation with someone of the opposite sex that would compromise your (or their) reputation or morals.
- Who they are matters more than how they look. The Bible praises godly spouses for their character (Pr 31:10). Beauty fades, but one’s values endure. Make sure you are spending your time getting to know the person for who they are and for what they find important.
- Treat them with respect. The Scriptures tell us to treat people of the opposite gender like brothers and sisters (1 Tim 5:2). How would you want your siblings to be treated? Make sure you are behaving in a godly way toward anyone you are dating or courting.
- Surround yourself with godly advice. When we are in the here and now of a romantic relationship, we often get caught up with our emotions and lose perspective. That makes it especially important to get the advice of those around you who are wiser and less biased. Parents, grandparents, and other trusted advisors should be sought out as you search for a mate. Surrounding yourself with many good counselors protects you from making a emotional decision that has lifelong consequences (Pr 11:14).
- Last, but not least, we are told to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). God wants us to bring our concerns to him, and our desire for a godly spouse is no different. Pray that God sends you someone to faithfully be your mate for life.
Marriage is one of the greatest blessings that God gives mankind. If we do it God’s way, finding a spouse can be a joy and lead to a lifetime of happiness.
Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading? Does this refer to preachers not getting paid? Or people in the ministry serving? Not being compensated? Forgive me, but I don’t have the context of what Paul is saying here.
Dear Cattle Call,
In 1 Cor 9:9, Paul says, “Don’t muzzle an ox when he is treading out the grain.” Oxen were often used to break up the grain and grind it using a giant wheel or other similar methods that employed animal power to break up the grain. In the Old Testament, God commanded that an ox that was being used to work the grain should be allowed to eat while it worked (i.e. it shouldn’t be muzzled – Deut 25:4). In 1st Corinthians 9, Paul is comparing that command given for the benefit of working animals to the attitude we should take toward those who are preaching the gospel (1 Cor 9:10-11). Just like an ox that treads the grain deserves a bite of that grain from time to time, preachers who dedicate their lives to the gospel have every right to be paid for their work (1 Cor 9:14).