Over the past few days, a video titled “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus” has been circulating nearly every social media platform known to mankind. I saw it posted by many of my Christian friends who are in support of the video and what is being said in it. It took quite a few reposts to peak my interest, but once I watched, my jaw hit the floor.
I am 110% offended by this video. In my opinion, Jeffrey Bethke makes a mockery of the teachings of Jesus Christ, for I do not believe that you can claim to hate religion and love Jesus in the same breath without making a complete fool of yourself. Bethke had a point to get across, which I am aware of what that point was. I am here to say that he did not effectively communicate his opinion. He convoluted the English language, used a few pretty rhymes, & spewed hatred towards millions of people both past and present. Instead of taking these issues up with Christian leaders who are not effectively teaching the Christian faith, Bethke chose a path of self-righteousness that not only humiliates himself, but sends a message of ignorance and delusion.
First and foremost, let’s define religion. Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe. Religion is the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices. Religion is commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance.(Webster) Pick up a dictionary and you will discover that religion is a very large beast. Religion can have everything to do with God and nothing at all. This is not a contradictory statement. This is fact.
Religion is the basis of intellectual thought for many. It is the moment when one realizes that they are not alone in their spirituality. These individuals then institutionalize this idea and it becomes religion. Religion is an order. Religion has rules, constraints, laws, and practices. Religion is created by men who have the passion & the hunger for more answers, for a better way of life, for more community, more fellowship, more accountability. Religion encompasses billions of people, thousands of belief systems, hundreds of Gods. It defines, provides, and inspires.Can religion influence wars? Absolutely. Can religion be misconstrued into a radical form of itself and become harmful? Absolutely. I am not arguing that religion is 100% positive. Some religions are full of hate & can be harmful to its followers. However, religion is not the root of the world’s problems. Our problems stem from hatred, greed, selfishness, jealousy, miscommunication - HUMAN EMOTION.
Bethke states that Jesus came to abolish religion, which is not a factual statement. Quite the opposite, my friends. Jesus came to fulfill the Law & Prophets (Matthew 5:17), not abolish them. Christianity did not exist before Jesus. Man created Christianity, which by definition is a religion. Man created the bible, which is the basis of the Christian religion. Jesus' disciples educated and informed others on who Jesus Christ was, why he was here, & what he did for the world for the sake of breaking away from the Jewish tradition so they themselves could freely practice their religion. Jesus Christ was the foundation of this religion. Without these men institutionalizing this idea, that Jesus was the son of God, a divine man, who spoke of love & kindness, ultimately dying on the cross for our sins so we could lead better lives - if this very religion did not exist, Bethke would not know Jesus Christ.
If it weren’t for religion, Bethke would not know Jesus.
The video’s title should have been, “Why I hate the immoral and unethical decisions that some religious leaders are making but love Jesus” or “Why I hate the evolution of Christianity but love Jesus” or maybe, “Why I love my religion and hate yours”. The latter seems to be what he is trying to say.
Jesus’ entire reason for existence was to preach love. If more of us practiced what Jesus preached, we might all be in a better situation than we find ourselves in today. However, believing in Jesus, trusting in God, & studying the bible does not give you the right to judge others, especially others’ religion. Judgment harbors hatred, negativity, jealousy, & greed. Judgment is what abolishes respect for not only yourself, but your neighbor.
Maybe next time Jeffrey Bethke can make a video about how love & faith can positively affect people. Sure, it won’t be as controversial, but atleast it will be based on fact.
Furthermore, we all know that voting republican does not make you a Christian. Unfortunately, this man is unaware that believing that Jesus is the son of God, who died for your sins, but was resurrected from the dead to accept his followers into heaven does make you a Christian. Christianity is a monotheistic religion based around this entire principle. It really ends there.
Maybe someone should inform him of his religion.
EDIT//Another great post written concerning the contradictions of Bethke's video. Please see here. It is truly a great read, and written by a Christian.
This message brought to you by an atheist (by definition) who will fight for religion & science until the end of time because yes, they both have a place in this world.