Youtube is abuzz over Jefferson Bethke’s poem entitled Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus. There have been a few who have offered analysis of the poem here and here. In my personal opinion, I have never been a fan of trying to parse the difference between Christianity and Religion. It seems more confusing than helpful. However, when Bethke means religion, he is referring to self-righteousness, that is, the attempt to establish a righteousness of your own apart from Christ. Perhaps he could have done without the cheap shot toward republicans to start off the poem and could have done a better job of explaining that acts of righteousness are not in and of themselves wrong. Also, I have a sneaky suspicion that the fact that it currently has over 7 million views may stem from the fact that it appeals heavily to the non-believer because of its negative opinion of the church as a whole. I wish he were a little more gentle with those remarks, because the Christ-exalting way he ends the poem makes it worth listening to.
However, this video that Bethke made back in April 2011… I thought was awesome. If you haven’t seen the Rob Bell video he is remaking, scroll down to the end of this post and watch it first. Here’s how Bethke describes the Rob Bell remake video:
“The beauty of the gospel is that ALL the attributes of God win at the cross, not just love. Gods justice is satisfied, His holiness revealed, His love shown, etc. The cross is a cataclysmic crash between all of God’s attributes showing that he is both JUST and JUSTIFIER of the one who does not work but trusts in Him.”