Why hating religion but loving Jesus is impossible

This video is making the rounds and I thought I’d watch it with my kids. I had no idea that thinly disguised anti-Catholicism was still all the rage.

I ended up using the video as a teaching tool to explain how using cliches, sloppy logic and misquoted Scripture might be wildly popular but it also spreads harmful misunderstandings.

Right in the middle of the video, my eldest son turned to me and said: “How can he say he loves the Church while he’s bashing it?”

Out of the mouth of babes, yo.

So, let’s examine this a bit closer.

First False Claim: “Jesus came to abolish religion.” This is simply untrue. In St. Matthew 5:17, Jesus says, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” Jesus didn’t come to abolish religion. When Christians say they hate religion but love Jesus, they should remember that Jesus was an observant Jew!

Unfortunately, the word “religion” has become synonomous with empty, meaningless ritual. But the problem, here, is not religion itself but religion without relationship. It’s an important distinction that is ill-served by a slam poet recklessly slapping the “religion-as-different-than-loving-Jesus” label to anything that looks (let’s just be honest, here)….Catholic.

Sure, there are plenty of lapsed Catholics (especially American) who make it seem like Catholicism is an empty, meaningless “religion.” But there are also plenty of Catholics who found the love of Jesus right in the very heart of Catholicism. I’m one of them.

Second False Claim: “Religion builds big churches but fails to feed the poor.” Again, just blatantly untrue. I hate to be the bearer of inconvenient facts, but the truth is that the biggest humanitarian organization in the world is…..the Catholic Church.

Third False Claim: “Which is so different from religious people and why Jesus called ‘em fools.”

The sloppiness here is more than a little annoying. Yes, Jesus often called out religious people who paraded their righteousness before men. But Jesus’ problem wasn’t with their RELIGION, it was with their desire to be seen, to live their zealotry before men instead of before God alone. This is why Jesus admonished religious people to pray in the privacy of their closets instead of shouting on YouTube how they love God so much better than all those OTHER people. Oh, wait. I digress.

Fourth False Claim: “I ain’t judging, I’m just sayin’ quit puttin’ on a fake look.” *sigh*  Here’s the thing: that little phrase “just sayin’” doesn’t exempt you from the fact that you just said something judgmental. It’s the passive-aggressive version of: “I don’t mean to be disrespectful but now I’m going to say something TOTALLY disrespectful!” I ain’t judging, I’m just saying you’re full of crap.

Fifth False Claim: “Jesus hated religion.” Which totally explains why He quit that whole observant Jewish thing. Oh, wait. What?

Sixth False Claim: “He doesn’t support self-righteousness.” You mean like a self-righteous YouTube video?

Seventh False Claim: “Religion says ‘do.’ Jesus says ‘done.’” Jesus also said: “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.” (St. John 14:15) Keeping commandments sounds a little like ‘do’ to me. And then there’s the whole “faith without works is dead” thing. (St. James 2:26 is SO annoying!) I’m not judging, I’m just sayin’.

Eighth (Scary) Claim: “I hate religion, in fact I literally resent it.” You don’t hate religion, you hate your IDEA of religion. Because if you really hated religion, you’d hate something Jesus loves.

Jesus isn’t greater than religion. Jesus IS religion.

Jesus is real, good, old-time religion.

And His grace saved a wretched, Jesus-lovin’ Catholic like me.

  • http://twitter.com/Joi_the_Artist Joi Weaver

    I think this is a phase a lot of young believers go through, especially evangelical ones. I did the same thing in my teens…then I went to college, found an amazing Anglican parish, learned a lot more about what Christian teaching actually is, and grew out of it. 

    When I was in high school, it was very common to hear that Christianity wasn’t a religion, it was a relationship. Which is sort of true, until you realize that ALL theistic religions are about being in a right relationship with God/gods. And we all have our rituals and traditions to help explain and maintain that relationship. 

    It seems to me that some of the attraction to this idea is the notion that one doesn’t need to bother with a community, one can simply be in a relationship with Jesus and it’s all ok. But it’s not: Hebrews makes that pretty clear, as do other scriptures. We have to be with other believers; we’re already a part of the Body of Christ, and to pretend to be a loner is simply trying to do the impossible. Yes, community is hard. People are imperfect, they WILL let you down, and you have to deal with the times when you let others down. But that’s always been the danger of love. 

    (I’ll end there, didn’t mean to go on so long! :) Fantastic post!)

    • Handsfull

      Wow!  I’m stunned!  My experience of Anglicanism has been the EXACT opposite of yours.  I’ve been attending one (the only church in town, lol!) for the last 4yrs and I have been stunned at the lack of biblical knowledge, church attendance, any form of teaching, or pretty much any form of life whatsoever!  In fact, for me the word ‘Anglican’ pretty much takes the place of ‘religion’… sad but true.
      You give me hope that maybe it’s just my lot of Anglicans that are like this, not the whole denomanation.

  • Tonia

    Interesting take…I don’t see the anti-catholic bias. I saw the big “C” in lyrics, but can you be sure he’s targeting the Catholic Church?  I’d use big “C” to talk about the universal church.  When he talks about big church buildings and religiousness, I think of evangelical mega-churches.  Catholicism didn’t cross my mind once.   Maybe it’s a bit of sloppy semantics, EE.  (WHAT?  an evangelical sloppy with semantics?!)  And  I didn’t feel like he was talking about throwing out the Ten Commandments.   I think he was talking about something else  – judging others and requiring behavior of others that God doesn’t require.   Jesus, observant as He was, broke all kinds of religious rules.  He wasn’t doing away with HIS law, He was fulfilling that.  But he was doing away with RELIGION’S laws, laid on men unnecessarily.  Both you and I have experience with that, don’t we, girl?  *shrug*  that’s the way I see the video anyway.  :)

    • Anonymous

      I’ve never known an evangelical who thinks their mega-church is man-made religion. The only way i’ve ever heard that phrase used (‘man-made religion’) is toward Catholics. I guess that’s why I saw it as anti-Catholic. :) but i see your point, too.

      • Tonia

        really?  well, you should hang out with me more often then, cause I think a lot of the evangelical world is man-made religion.  ;) 

      • http://thecannyfamily.blogspot.com/ Autumn

        this just blew my mind! my Catholic father dammed my husband to hell for leaving the Catholic church (not me, I didn’t know any better thanks to my protestant parents) for some other “man made religion.” his exact words. FTR – a Lutheran church and now we attend a non-denom. FIL views anything other than Catholicism as man made (or made up) with the big C being the only true church.  sorry for the side track, and, yes, I know most Catholics don’t believe his sentiment. 

        • http://thecannyfamily.blogspot.com/ Autumn

          father in law, i meant

        • Jabmo3

          You’re Father in Law is just reinforcing the dogmatic constitution of the church – it’s own “rules”.  Those are EXACTLY the rules of the Catholic church as clarified by Vatican II. Nothing has changed. It’s not his own views – it’s the Church’s views.  Dig a LITTLE deeper. It’s not fair to put the blame on him alone.  The Catholic Church views anyone OUTSIDE the church or anyone who has LEFT the church is NOT SAVED.  Also, you cannot know you are saved. Do you think you are saved? Anathema to you!!  I’m not joking when I say this is in the “rules” of the church. Don’t like it? Then REJECT it and go to a church that believes in the bible alone – without tradition being equal.  Because that’s another “rule of the church” (tradition and the bible are equal) – NOT!

          • Peony Moss

            “The Catholic Church views anyone OUTSIDE the church or anyone who has LEFT the church is NOT SAVED.”

            This is false.

          • Jabmo3

            I can prove my statement. Can you prove yours?

          • Josh

            then seriously prove it, from what Adam just wrote, you are in the wrong.  The Catholic Church recognizes in Baptism done ‘in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit/Ghost.’  Now, to be a member you have to be confirmed, but that is the same with Lutheran, Anglican, etc.  And please don’t quote hearsay, quote actual documents.

          • Anita

            Not true.  Unfortunately, not all Catholics follow what the Church says, but it’s important to separate what mistakes people make and what the church teaches.  The next quote is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church – you can look it up online.

            169
            Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of
            faith through the Church, she is our mother: “We believe the Church as
            the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the
            author of our salvation.”55 Because she is our mother, she is
            also our teacher in the faith. 

            So, it was wrong for that man to damn because even the Church doesn’t presume to give salvation.  They believe that God gives salvation and the Church is the teacher.

          • Jabmo3

            Given that both my statement and your statement are both rules of the church, it is clear that though the church doesn’t GIVE salvation it only happens within it’s RELIGION, which is a false one.

          • Adam Roe

            I’m not Catholic, but this is an incorrect statement.  Paragraph 818 of the Catechism addresses Protestantism and reads:

            “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.” 

          • elm

            The apostle Paul said, ‘As for a man that is a heretic, after admonishing
            him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him’ [Titus 3:10]. But
            those who maintain their own opinion, however false and perverted,
            without obstinate ill will, especially those who have not originated the
            error of bold presumption, but have received it from parents who had
            been led astray and had lapsed . . . those who seek the truth with
            careful industry and are ready to be corrected when they have found it,
            are not to be rated among heretics” (Letters 43:1 [A.D. 412]).

          • Guest

            May I point out that the early church preserved all teachings and doctrine through tradition (much of it oral) until the NT was written?

          • http://thehomespunlife.com Sisterlisa

            Guest, was the New Testament written or were ‘written letters’ compiled into the New Testament after they were collected over many years time?

          • http://www.mamasonfire.blogspot.com/ Snookerin

            Your statement about salvation is incorrect. See the Catechism. Also, the church existed prior to the bible as you know it. It is fine to  disagree with Catholicism. It is not fine to do so based upon misinformation.

      • Daisy

        I take it you don’t know many church-going non-Catholics then.  There are people in every branch of Christianity who see religion as man-made.  And there’s a reason for that — IT IS!  I was beyond confused when I read your blog as I couldn’t figure out where in the world you came up with this video being an attack on Catholicism.  You must be super sensitive about your religion.  Understandable, but THIS, my dear, does not single out Catholics.       

        • elm

          Not so sure the Catholic church is a branch, more like the trunk rooted in Jewish faith. The only man who made religion a man made institution is Jesus Christ. All the rest subsist in this one faith. They could be considered branches.

      • Lauren S

        As a person roughly the same age as this young man who grew up in a non-denominational evangelical church, I can tell you that many many people my age call the evangelical church they grew up in “man-made religion”.

      • Vosslers

        I’ve never once heard “religion” used to describe the Catholic church at all. I’m not Catholic and when people talk about “religion” they very specifically mean “man-made rules”. It is against a system of thought that leaves a relationship with Jesus aside and follows rules just for looks and for control. You can find this definition of religion in many places. It has been found all over the Christian church. This has nothing to do with only Catholicism. You have spoken of it often yourself.

        There is a common comment from people these days. They turn Jesus down by saying, “Oh, I hate religion.” What they seem to mean is that they hate people holed up in a room enjoying each other and no one else, exclusivism, upturned noses, “you can’t drink or dance”, judging, making assumptions about other people from little knowledge. turning toward Scripture without love, trying to control behavior, adding rules to what Jesus said. When Jesus came to abolish religion, what that meant was that He hated the manmade rules of the Pharisees. He came to fulfill the Law & the Prophets. The Law & the Prophets were not religion. What the Pharisees ADDED to them WAS religion.

        You really cannot have missed that in America a lot of people vote Republican because they are Christian. He’s saying, “Don’t judge Jesus by Republicans. The two don’t exist together.”

        He said we shouldn’t hide our failures or sins. It all depends on Him.

        He said that if grace is water, then the church should be an ocean.

        I never once saw “church” as a “capital C” … he used ALL capital letters the entire time except when the word “facebook” showed up!

        In fact, the whole point about Jesus hating it … is that He hated what the Pharisees made. What the Pharisees created … that is the definition of “religion” in this context. and there are modern-day Pharisees. And so, there are two definitions of religion. There is the one that everyone knows about: religion being a system of thought and faith such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, Islam, …. And then there is religion as in “the hateful things people have done in the name of Christianity over the years, be they many years back or yesterday”.

        I am having a hard time believing you’ve never heard someone say “I hate religion” or “Jesus came for relationship, not religion” and it’s completely referring to manmade rules. I have never once heard someone say that hate religion and have it refer to Catholicism.

        Perhaps you are sensitive about others’ opinions of Catholicism? This was a beautiful poem that said, “Don’t start wars, don’t have little coffee meetings and be happy with yourself while others are dying around the world, don’t look down at others, don’t make up extra rules for everyone to follow, don’t assume that’s what Jesus meant. Look for Who Jesus is in the Bible, judge Christianity by Who Jesus was, not by the person you knew growing up who was so judgmental.”

        I’m sorry you heard what he had to say to wrongly.

      • Guest

        I think that you are right in seeing an anti-catholic vibe in that the Catholic Church has retained a way of viewing the world that is pre-modern in many ways.  They have maintained a focus on the physical communion of the Church as meaningful, instead of a bunch of people with individual, personal relationships with Jesus who participate in the church in a vague, spiritual way. (n.b. this is no way is suggesting that Catholics don’t have relationship with Jesus but merely that they don’t have an obsession with this individual phenomenon).  Attacks on some mega-church ‘religion’ can be valid, as well as criticisms towards some actions of the Catholic Church ‘religion.’  But the man in the video is, perhaps inadvertently, attacking the liturgical church.  It comes from a mistaken belief that the liturgy (whether formal, as in the Catholic Church, or totally informal but still there, as in many evangelical churches) is completely a man-made structure that keeps people from God.  And that is patently false.

      • http://www.truth-makes-freedom.blogspot.com/ Jeannette Altes

        I never though of Catholicism when watching it. I thought of Charismatic/Evangelical Mega-churches, too. I guess because that’s what I was abused by and to me, this video nails them pretty accurately….

      • Nurse Bee

        Our mega-church (which thankfully we left), certainly had their share of man-made religion.   Maybe not hard and fast rules, but  there was a certain kind of unspoken culture that you had to agree with to fit in there.

  • http://thecannyfamily.blogspot.com/ Autumn

    Sloppy – yes. Trying a tad too hard – most definately.  But, isn’t some of this semantics? While reading some of your posts, on quitting church, etc., I’ve thought, well yeah, “religion” gets in the way of Jesus sometimes doesn’t it. You say church, some say religion, some say tomato…

    Maybe the point everyone keeps trying to make is just Jesus…let’s just come back to Jesus. This other stuff is just stuff – bad YouTube videos include. ;)

  • Txmom2jami

    When I watched this video, it never even crossed my mind that it was anti-Catholic. What did cross my mind was that it was anti-manmade rules, similar to what is found in many ultra conservative sects (think specific hair lengths for boys and men, skirts that Must be “x” number of inches below the knee…manmade rules that somehow make one more “holy” than another.) It was not offensives at all. I’m sorry you felt it to be an attack on your faith. I guess I see a difference between religion and faith. Religion = Pharisees ….. faith = disciples …..

    • Guest

      But Jesus didn’t attack the Pharisees simply because they practiced religion.  He attacked them for their false piety and self-serving interpretations.  That they loved themselves and ritual more than they loved the law.  There is a fundamental problem with your equation Religion=Pharisees.  It doesn’t fit with everything we see in Jesus including, as the writer above states, that Jesus observed the same religion.  When priests or pastors abuse their positions or ‘religious’ Christians do things that are hypocritical, it’s not that their entire religion is at fault.  It is that they are sinful, that they use religion to their own selfish ends.

      • College Minister

        yes, he attacked false piety, but not piety.  he spoke against empty religion, but not religion.  read James, and use that definition of religion and you sound like a complete fool to speak against religion.  Empty religion? sure … but the truly religious have fed the poor and built hospitals … what has this guy done besides post a youtube video bashing the church … he should be ashamed 

        • OpenHeart-OpenMind-OneLove

          That is sad you think he should be ashamed. He is merely looking for the Truth. if someone named College Minister is speaking that way of his search, then I think you should be ashamed. Instead, teach the people you interact with the Truth and the Way and lead them to a comfortable path instead of being confused. Lead by example by being open and honest and clear… be able to defend with an open heart and not a sharp tongue. This saddens me greatly. Peopl like you are the reason some to do not come to God… which is merely what Jefferson conveyed!

    • Tasha

      I am 21 years old and I feel as though I am more mature than some of these people on here. I am pretty sure if the Lord were to see these comments he would not be pleased. Jesus would understand the intentions of this guys video. I am sure he would understand the intentions of all of these comments but the way that this conversation is being handled is not by kindness and helpful guidance as Jesus would’ve have done so himself. All this conversation has done is speak sarcastic remarks and was meant to hurt people merely for expressing their feelings to the Lord. You all have missed the important thing here and that is Jesus told us to love one another not to make a person feel low by saying rude things. This is what this boy is talking about. He has experienced bad things from so called Christians who don’t follow the word of God but instead offend people with their tongue. That’s how people become lost. They meet too many people that have an agenda to prove something to others. You shouldn’t have to prove yourself to anyone. Jesus knows your heart and it won’t matter that you argued about something like this when you are being judged. I don’t think I offended anyone because this is the truth. Don’t worry about others because this is between you and God. Will you be proud of yourself for the things that you have said? Did you accomplish anything while doing so or did you make this situation worse?

      God Bless,
      Tasha

    • Tasha_stan

      I am 21 years old and I feel as though I am more mature than some of these people on here. I am pretty sure if the Lord were to see these comments he would not be pleased. Jesus would understand the intentions of this guys video. I am sure he would understand the intentions of all of these comments but the way that this conversation is being handled is not by kindness and helpful guidance as Jesus would’ve have done so himself. All this conversation has done is speak sarcastic remarks and was meant to hurt people merely for expressing their feelings to the Lord. You all have missed the important thing here and that is Jesus told us to love one another not to make a person feel low by saying rude things. This is what this boy is talking about. He has experienced bad things from so called Christians who don’t follow the word of God but instead offend people with their tongue. That’s how people become lost. They meet too many people that have an agenda to prove something to others. You shouldn’t have to prove yourself to anyone. Jesus knows your heart and it won’t matter that you argued about something like this when you are being judged. I don’t think I offended anyone because this is the truth. Don’t worry about others because this is between you and God. Will you be proud of yourself for the things that you have said? Did you accomplish anything while doing so or did you make this situation worse?

      God Bless,
      Tasha

    • Tasha_stan

      I am 21 years old and I feel as though I am more mature than some of these people on here. I am pretty sure if the Lord were to see these comments he would not be pleased. Jesus would understand the intentions of this guys video. I am sure he would understand the intentions of all of these comments but the way that this conversation is being handled is not by kindness and helpful guidance as Jesus would’ve have done so himself. All this conversation has done is speak sarcastic remarks and was meant to hurt people merely for expressing their feelings to the Lord. You all have missed the important thing here and that is Jesus told us to love one another not to make a person feel low by saying rude things. This is what this boy is talking about. He has experienced bad things from so called Christians who don’t follow the word of God but instead offend people with their tongue. That’s how people become lost. They meet too many people that have an agenda to prove something to others. You shouldn’t have to prove yourself to anyone. Jesus knows your heart and it won’t matter that you argued about something like this when you are being judged. I don’t think I offended anyone because this is the truth. Don’t worry about others because this is between you and God. Will you be proud of yourself for the things that you have said? Did you accomplish anything while doing so or did you make this situation worse?

      God Bless,
      Tasha

  • http://somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ suzannah {ShoutLaughLove}

    i had the same reservations. it’s sloppy, divisive, and a juvenile slam on high church and tradition.

    it’s popular to claim that christianity isn’t a religion–but that makes no sense!  he’s definitely conflating hypocrisy or empty ritual with religion, but that’s simply not fair or true.

    this liturgy-loving episcopal knows where you’re coming from:)

    • http://www.leighkramer.com/ HopefulLeigh

      Ditto to all of it. Except I’m a non-denom. :)

  • http://thehomespunlife.com Sisterlisa

    I didn’t hear him say anything against spiritual practices or traditional ceremonies. Maybe the word “religion” has a different meaning to him than it does to a Catholic.

  • Jabmo3

    If you know Catholic history and dogma you’d clearly see he’s speaking about it.  Most people don’t know the differences though.  And reading your take, Elizabeth, shows you are also ignorant of a lot of the history and dogma the Catholic church stands on.  I vote that the video is closer to reality, but I understand you’re on journey to your own PERSONAL truth.  You should read A Woman Rides the Beast.  I will certainly open your eyes to the truth if you’re seeking it.

    • Daisy

      Please point out one thing he said that is linked to Catholicism but not other Christian denominations.  There is no anti-Catholicism in this video.  

      • Jabmo3

        ” … why does it start so many wars” and “tell single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve had a divorce.”

        And, “dress up the outside – make it look nice and neat” …. “one’s the work of God and one’s a man made invention.” ….. “religion says DO, Jesus says DONE” and “Salvation isn’t based on merits, but Jesus’ obedience alone”

        and finally, “when Jesus said IT IS FINISHED, I believe he meant it”

        I’ll address just one.  You have to know the differences to hear what he’s saying – IT IS FINISHED meaning Jesus died ONCE to save all mankind instead of perpetually dying by believing that the sacraments are the ACTUAL flesh and blood of Christ.

        • http://bramboniusinenglish.wordpress.com Brambonius

          ‘Religions say DO, Jesus says DONE’, and focussing on ‘It’s finished’ is just the core of ‘born-again’ theology. It’s a cliché than can be stated as ‘the core of faith’ without thinking about who would disagree with it. For a lot of evangelicals it would be as logical as the Nicene Creed to other denominations…

          And yes, the Nicene creed was written with the arians in mind, but I don’t think everyone reciting it thinks about that, and neither does someone citing the bornagain cliches have to think about catholicism when affirming them….

          • Jabmo3

            It’s not a cliche. It’s a direct quote from Jesus.  He didn’t say, “I am finished”.  brambonius …. what do you think he was SAYING if it isn’t, “My work is done, I’ve accomplished what I came to do.” 

          • reb

            You need to read it in context. He had just previously said, “I thirst,” he took a drink of bitter wine, and then he said, “It is finished.” He was referring to the Passover meal from the night before, when he had left out the fourth cup of wine, the cup of consummation, which would have been shocking to the apostles. He drank the cup of consummation on the cross and then said, “It is finished,” meaning that he has become the paschal lamb.

          • http://likesunshineinthehome.blogspot.com/ Sarah H

            That’s really interesting, I’d not heard of that explanation before.

        • Tonia

          I think if you’ve spent much time within evangelicalism and its dogma you would hear all these things a little differently.   All of these are common issues within “religious” (meaning like the Pharisees) evangelical churches….EE has written about them herself when she talks about her former church.    Many evangelicals don’t know anything at all about what catholics believe, nor do they give it much thought.  I’d be willing to bet this kid is one of them.

          • Vosslers

            I bet you anything he doesn’t even know about perpetually dying. You’re reading your own knowledge into his poem that is talking about living a genuine life versus a life of hypocrisy. You are very right.

          • Vosslers

            I’m such a dork. I tried to reply to the reply you were replying to :) and it wouldn’t work, so I moved it to below yours and now it looks like I’m saying that to you, but I’m replying the person above you and then saying that I think you understood it correctly. (sigh!)

        • AmEat

          The Catholic church isn’t the only one saying these things.  I had a friend who was a single mom go to a non denominational protestant church and was told when she inquired about baptism for her son that he was not welcome and they wouldn’t baptize him because he and I quote “was a bastard child”.

          I have been to a few protestant church’s where you were expected to dresses of a certain length, men had to be in suits, etc.

          I grew up going to a baptist church but a lutheran school.  At school I was told unless I did good works I was not saved.  I think that was this young mans point…salvation has nothing to do with our works. 

          • DonB

            “…salvation has nothing to do with our works.”

            I wouldn’t say that.  Salvation is not dependent on our works, yes.  But our works flow from our salvation.  Our salvation, which is a gift, call us to do the works of building the kingdom.

          • AmEat

            Right, our works have to do with out salvation, but out salvation has nothing to do with out works…meaning salvation isn’t dependent on our works.  Our works flow from our salvation.

    • Christine

      Attention all commenters:  Jabmo3 is exemplifying the reason why Catholics are wary.  A Woman Rides the Beast is well-known as laughable anti-Catholic propaganda.  Many non-Catholics are unaware of this specific type of attack on Catholics – it is as ubiquitous as it is hackneyed and outdated.

    • Snookerin

      Catholicism stands on the love of Christ.This is why, despite all of the ugly in the Church’s history, we are atill here, we are still together.
      Why on earth do you read here, anyway? All of that ‘beast stuff’ is really silly. It’s like a bad soap opera.

  • Kathy K.

    I think the spoken word poem is well intentioned.  Raised Lutheran and married to a Mennonite, I recognized the evangelical church’s weaknesses.  Also I think he is differentiating between empty religion, pharisee style, and a life changing relationship with Jesus.  I hear him say he loves the church, the bride of Christ, while resenting some of what the church, even the bride, has become. 

    As for “do” and “done”.  Some folks believe they really can earn salvation, earn God’s approval.  Jesus says it is finished, he did it, and we come, accept his gift, and he changes everything.  Of course out of this faith – we will do.  But it will be a different sort of doing.

    Our backgrounds sure color the lenses that we look through don’t they?!

    I think the lad is young and well meaning.  Semantics.  Perhaps he needed an editorial assistant! = )

    Bless you.

  • https://creativecommons.net/prosario2000/identity Pedro M. Rosario Barbosa

    I totally agree with you.  He talks in the video of the double standards that many Christians establish, yet, he is doing his own.  As you said well … he is  “not judging” but he is judging and condemning.  All of us Christians have failures and weaknesses, and the video made crystal clear that he has his problems following Jesus by doing something He said not to do. 

    • Vosslers

      What double standard did he create? What is he judging? All he is saying is, “Learn of Jesus and don’t let your preconceptions of religion stop you.” That is what the poem is about: grace and love. And those are things you won’t always find in the church. And when it happens that you don’t find them, don’t turn your back on God … because that’s not what God is. He is grace and love and those people were not representing God.

      • http://traditionalchristianity.wordpress.com/ Elspeth

        It seems like the new comments were closed so while this looks like a reply to Vosslers, it isn’t.

        My take EE is that your post as written has some really good stuff in it. And you know I’m a die hard Protestant.

        But the video could be applied to any religion that is heavy on liturgy and rules as a path to salvation without an emphasis on loving Jesus. And I know plenty of evangelical or Protestant churches that fit the bill.

        I say keep the post but disconnect from the video because it does seem you read it more personally than it was intended. Yes, he could be referring to Catholicism, but IFB, ot some Presbyterians, or even a couple non-denominational churches I’ve run across.

      • https://creativecommons.net/prosario2000/identity Pedro M. Rosario Barbosa

        It is judging in so far as he is _telling_ you what you should think about Jesus or not, while at the same time condemning churches or other organizations for doing the same.  If my form of worship is not really harming anyone, who is he to tell me that I “will not” find God in Church or in any specific form of worship.  What if I find Him there as I have?

  • Yolanda Fay

    I did not catch any anti-Catholic sentiment at all in the video. I rather thought of Baptists. Obviously, one’s personal perspective influences their view of the video, but I don’t believe he was targeting Catholics. I also think that the majority of “religion” as it’s been institutionalized fits his description. I would like to have faith in religion as it should be, but it’s a blatant reality that religion does not represent Christ in the way that it used to or should. The modern church and the original church are not the same. It’s a tragedy that religion has degraded as much as it has, but I think he speaks to a truth that we’re prone to ignore. The fact that people don’t even agree on what “religion” means makes it difficult to have a discussion about it. Christians have become comfortable in empty ritual and the misguided belief that their salvation is dependent on remaining under the umbrella of religious belief. Assuming Jesus and religion are one and the same is to say that the way man has warped religion is in line with God’s plan. An honest look at even a small part of the religious history of Christianity will attest to the fact that we have erred in our construction of religion and lost sight of Jesus’ love in the process. Not all churches. Not all people. But the idea of religion as a whole? I say yes. The Christian denominations are not even united. How then can a religion that supposes to include all of them be infallible?

  • http://www.facebook.com/DanielJamesFraser Daniel Fraser

    Honestly you just sound bitter. 

    • Linda Bennett

      Please, don’t pull the “bitter” card. It’s become a way to shut down discussion and dismiss valid concerns by prejudging  motivation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DanielJamesFraser Daniel Fraser

     “I hate to be the bearer of inconvenient facts, but the truth is that the biggest humanitarian organization in the world is…..the Catholic Church”. – Where is your source for this information?
    “closets instead of shouting on YouTube how they love God so much better than all those OTHER people. Oh, wait. I digress.” First the guy doesn’t even say his name, second he admits publically about how he’s messed up, third at which point does he make the claim that he loves God better then anyone…again lacking as source to your claim of a false claim.  

    “He quit that whole observant Jewish thing. Oh, wait. What?”
    I’m not sure which Bible your reading but mine says that he ate with sinners and tax collectors and allowed his disciples to glean on the Sabbath, and healed on the Sabbath which was against the Jewish religious practices…so yes He did quit the whole observant Jewish thing. 

    ” “He doesn’t support self-righteousness.” You mean like a self-righteous YouTube video?”

    Or like a self-righteous internet blog? I don’t even see why you would post this. An attack of character isn’t a proper argument, deductive reasoning is, Philosophy 101. 

    ““If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.” (St. John 14:15) Keeping commandments sounds a little like ‘do’ to me. And then there’s the whole “faith without works is dead” thing. (St. James 2:26 is SO annoying!) I’m not judging, I’m just sayin’.”

    So is it by faith or grace that we are saved? Is what Jesus has DONE enough for you, or do you feel the need to DO something to gain God’s favor….which is the whole point of his poem, is that is by grace we are saved not by empty works devoid of God.

    Lets do some deductive reasoning here using your logic.

    Jesus is God. – Premise 1
    ” Jesus IS religion. ” – Premise 2
    Conclusion God is religion 

    That’s what your logic yields, which I think we could agree is a false statement, which means if the conclusion is not sound one of the premises must not be valid. I would say premise 2 would be the culprit, you attack this guy about making wild-far reaching claims, yet your doing the same thing, but worse because at least he has a valid point. 

    • Anonymous

      The Catholic Church has outposts (so to speak) in every nation on earth where works of mercy and kindness are done. We feed and educate more people than any other group on earth. If you look into the beginnings of most respected hospitals in our country and the world, they were started by Catholics. Visit the Catholic Relief Services website to see some wonderful work being done sans the splashy PR machine too many other groups  spend thier money on. 

  • Beth

    I certainly don’t agree 100 percent with every word he says (that almost never happens), but overall, I think his message is a good one. And like many here have pointed out,  I don’t think he’s singling out the Catholic church at all. Personally, fundamentalists were the ones who popped into my head as I watched. Are his word’s perfect? Of course not. Are yours? I know mine certainly aren’t.  But can God use this young man’s imperfect message to share the reality of His love? Yes, absolutely. That’s the beauty of it. God uses us for good, despite our imperfections. 

  • I Kristus Alene

    I also didn’t find it offensive or anti-church…in fact it was *this* mindset that allowed ME to heal in the after-math of life in the fundamentalist church we were raised in… for me I realize though that the structure of organized religion IS necessary for some, and I am not condemning the Church (my late Catholic grandmother is probably the greatest example of Christian I know.) I think his purpose was to be a witness to those who have been wounded by a Church group… be it Catholic or Protestant… wasn’t there hurt for you after the Assembly? I think he was saying “come to Jesus… his love is there even if no one has taken the time to SEE you, to reach you.” There is definite healing when you realize, you don’t NEED religion to find his Grace… but what you DO to express your faith… that is your gift, your sacrifice BACK to the one who’s blood covered and cleansed you.

  • Chuck Davis

    good job Elizabeth! I’ve always had a bit of a problem with those who try to make a dichotomy between Jesus and “the church” or religion. While understanding and having been one of those who has been wounded within “the system” of religion, sooner or later they will also discover there is no continuance of “life in Christ” or spiritual growth apart from community. It’s also a bit amusing how those who want to use scripture to emphasize a purely “personal relationship” with the Savior often foget it was the very institutional church that produced that canon! :) A non-religious Jesus or non-religious Christian is truly an oxymoron!

    • Vosslers

      This wasn’t against organization or institution. It was clearly against hypocrisy.

  • Derrick

    I couldn’t make it past three minutes on this video. This is unfortunately the level of critical thinking most people operate with in the evangelical church. Every sermon and every conversation is a series of rhyming platitudes that suggest that the speaker is better than the  hearer, unless the hearer is just like the speaker. It’s people like this that make me angry when they want me to trust their reading of scripture. I feel like I’m a native speaker of a language talking to some dopey college student on an exchange trip and all they know of my language are  the ridiculous phrases from their textbook. 

  • Janet

    As a Catholic, I do known that there is a lot of anti-Catholic ranting out there – the most popular being that the Catholic Church is the “Whore of Babylon”.  But I honestly didn’t see the video as aimed towards the Catholic Church.  Like a lot of others here, I felt it was directed towards legalistic systems.

    I don’t think (to address your son’s remark) that he was “bashing the church” – because I think that the church is not religion or religious systems.  The early Christians did not even have a word for “church” as a building – because they met in each others’ homes and called it “having church” – so the word “church” was more a verb than a noun – their word for “church” was “ecceslia”, I believe – which mean coming together as a community to “have church”.  This, I believe , is the way Christ intended His followers to worship – not in formal buildings or following legalistic rules – but to have the “agape feast” or meal, as they called it. 

  • http://therosarychick.blogspot.com/ Melanie

    Great post!

  • Katy-Anne

    Honestly you just sound overly sensitive and you read an awful lot into that video, and awful lot of things he didn’t say. It appeared to me like he was talking about ANY fancy church that was fancy but had no compassion no matter what denomination it is. Not everything is an attack against Catholics, and certainly not this. This is wonderful and it made me cry because I could so relate and it’s where I’m at right now.

  • http://turquoisegates.blogspot.com Genevieve Thul@Turquoise Gates

    He literally spews legalism in a very post-modern, antithetical way, even his body language. I had avoided watching this video because I knew I was going to get riled up even before I clicked play. I liked your dissection of the false premises, but I still only got about half way through before I had to shut it off.

    • Vosslers

      Legalism? lol, the entire poem was against it.

      • http://turquoisegates.blogspot.com Genevieve Thul@Turquoise Gates

        I know, right?!! Sometimes we are ironic when we’re trying to be cute.

        • Vosslers

          I honestly don’t get what you are trying to say. And I don’t at all see what legalism you were thinking was in the video. It’s not perfect, but it comes against self-righteousness … yet he’s confident, not judgmental. He’s addressing what others have experienced or believe about Christianity and showing how those experiences are not true Christianity. (from ancient times to yesterday)

  • KatR

    Honestly I watched this and didn’t see it as Catholic bashing. I see a kid (has this guy reached legal drinking age yet?) who has issues with institutional religion. Join the club.

    Let me also say that I’m really glad that YouTube wasn’t around back in the day to capture the  thoughts of my college aged self for all time.

  • Michele Bruce

    Thank you, for taking the time to post this. It sheds light on the fuzzy theology of the video. 

  • http://twitter.com/cjbmc Carole McNamara

    I think your post is an overreaction.  Have you forgotten the church that you left?  Can you say that you hated that church while you still love Jesus?  In fact, the blessing of Catholicism for you is that you were able to leave a broken, ugly, legalistic place and yet still wanted Jesus.  I didn’t see this as a slam against Catholicism.  I am Presbyterian.  Most charismatics see that as “practically Catholic.”  I mean, you can’t possibly be filled with the spirit and a Presbyterian, right?

    Here’s the thing:  I left a church a few years back that was broken, ugly, and legalistic.  From the outside everyone looked like they were superhuman, they loved Jesus and big families, loved “restoring the culture” and homeschooling – you know the theme of that song.  It has recently come out that one of the elders is in jail for pedophilia.  While we all try to wrap our minds around that news, it’s kids sorting through horrors like that who want answers to the question “Can I love Jesus but hate the church?”  This video prompts them to consider that the answer might be yes.

    I thought it was a well intentioned video by someone passionate to rid his life of whitewashing instead living an honest life before his fellow human beings, while following after Jesus.  As for being self-righteous, I guess every one of us sharing our opinion must claim to be so, huh?

    I hope you’ll reconsider a less prickly reaction.  Not all Christians “hate” Catholics.  Really, we don’t.

    • http://twitter.com/cjbmc Carole McNamara

      That being said, I do agree that the video kid could have (should have?) defined his terms better.  “Moralism” and “legalism” seem more accurate words in place of “religion” and “the church.”

  • Rachel

    I think one of the biggest struggles in Christianity is context. I know people raised fundamentalist and evangelical that can clearly see the weaknesses of that theology and to them, it weighs s oppressive, hypocritical and hollow. I know people raised Catholic that see, equally as clearly, the weakness of the idea of the CHURCH. To them it is oppressive, hypocritical and hollow. Since we don’t know his journey and we don’t know his experience it is hard to say where this young man is coming from. Maybe this young man has found his relationship with God, outside the Church after a past of betrayal, pain and oppression in the Church. I don’t know. However, I found this video to be a man expressing a desire for reality in his faith rather than hypocritical expression and I think that is something for which every Christian yearns. 

    • Rachel

      Also, I think the comments here help articulate the divide in Christianity. 

      Some Catholics seem to think that they have the only true expression of Christian faith and everyone else is to some extent fallen away. Some Catholics think that non-Catholic, Christians are damned. 

      On the other side, some Protestants, Fundamentalists, etc. think of Catholics as not sincere Christians or worse as idolaters. They think of the Catholic rituals as empty and some see Catholics as not really saved since they don’t require the “born again” experience. 

      It is sad that this divide exists. I hope that eventually there can be healing that allows joy when a person is able to realize God’s love for them whether it is through the rituals and prayers of the Catholic Church or the personal experience of being born again. 

      That being said, I did not agree with everything this man said (and was the reason I didn’t share this video) but I did find it interesting. 

      • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

        No. All Catholics who have thought it through or who believe the teachings of their Church believe “everyone else is to some extent fallen away” in and through their lack of unity and different beliefs. But that’s pretty much true of everyone, otherwise there wouldn’t be more than thirty thousand Protestant denominations and non-denominations. As someone who belongs to a church (or ecclesial community as the case may be) with which I’ve discovered after years of trying to figure Christianity out that I disagree on almost all matters of faith and doctrine, I know the tension that creates. Most people aren’t like that. They believe the church to which they belong correctly understands the faith, at least on important matters. It’s not possible to practice a religion without believing something, after all. And if you believe something, you can’t simultaneously hold the belief that it’s wrong. We don’t work that way. So by and large, most people belong to churches which they believe have it right.

        • HippieGramma

          I don’t know about that — many Protestants belong to a church because they like the programs, or the music, or the worship service. Little details in theology don’t matter as much as the right fit in “climate” for their family.  And at least in the mainline churches I’ve belonged to, we weren’t taught Catholics were wrong in their beliefs, any more than any other denomination (I realize that’s not the case in more conservative / fundamentalist traditions). 

  • http://parentingmiracles.net/ JessieLeigh

    I’m truly sorry, but I just couldn’t get past the cutesy rhyme-y-ness of it all.  I’m sure there are some who really enjoy that medium but I find it distracting and gimmick-y.

  • Tobias

    I think you’re spot on, Elizabeth, about this being a thinly veiled self-congratulation, at best a well-intentioned propaganda. It was also refreshing to see you point out the self-defeat inherent in his humble show-off. But at the heart of this discussion, I think, is the fact that some people see semantics merely as semantics, which is to say, nothing at all, and therefore amenable to whatever program or propaganda they have in mind. Increasingly, Christian intelligence is defined by this slipshod thinking. But others believe the words we choose have to be chosen carefully and defined honestly and intelligently, and Jesus doesn’t give us a pass on that. I’m Eastern Orthodox, and while I get that videos like this are supposed to offend the liturgical folks like us, they actually just betray an inability to grasp how words and their meanings relate to one another. Some of the comments here betray that as well. A slam poet plays loose and fast with words and then when you try to pin him down on his actual meaning (it is doubtful that he has one besides the one you’ve pointed out), he and his compatriots play on “But he never said ‘Catholic’!” and what have you. The problem is that, strictly speaking, he didn’t actually say much at all, and his meaning must therefore be divined by what we know about this specific type of gobbledygook and how it is so very often used. His stupidity doesn’t compel us at all to pretend that we’re as stupid. That’s for the people who don’t know that they agree with him that a passionately held belief should never be definitely expressed, and who think they agree with what he almost but never quite thinks he says.

    • Tonia

      I hear what you are saying on one hand….but don’t you think there is any room for simply understanding that someone is expressing – however sloppily, however carelessly  – their deliverance into grace?  He’s young, he’s passionate, he wants to tell the world about the freedom he’s found in Christ.   Are we really so sophisticated that we’ve forgotten how to just rejoice with the redeemed?   Isn’t your insistence that we have strictly defined terms (disregarding the whole issue that we are dealing with centuries of  differences in regard to definitions) and a masterly grasp of language before we talk about  Jesus veering into legalism?  

      • Tobias

        Certainly, but that sympathy we have for the converted diverges between us, I think, according to those aspects of their new-found belief that I believe threaten to derail that belief in the end or sometime between now and then. Have you ever heard of “neophyte disease”? That’s the extreme spiritual pride that (unfortunately) accompanies most people’s otherwise genuine conversion. I know I had ND pretty bad, at any rate. And most folks I know have had it. I’ve personally known hundreds of converts, and I only know of two people who didn’t have it. It’s when the seed–and it’s a darn good seed–is planted nearly everywhere but in the good soil, accompanied with a refusal either to transplant or to die. If you know your salvation history, you’ll know that ND was not nearly so present 2000 years ago as it is now, and it has gotten steadily worse. My understanding is that–bear with me here–the devil has slowly but surely been teaching us not merely to convert with ND intact, but to maintain it for as long and pridefully as we can as a sign of our spiritual maturity. We forget that St. Paul spent three years (or eight) in the desert being transplanted and then dying, so to speak, before daring to open his mouth about God. This young man, I’ll agree, is an easy target. I certainly don’t want to condemn his conversion or make him out to be a tool of the devil. But his video and nearly everything he says in it is, to me, part and parcel of an incredibly nefarious plan, indicative of ND’s ability to 1) make folks embrace both modernity AND Jesus equally, without being able to tell one is doing so, and 2) to engage in that embrace pridefully, as a sign of mature spiritual vision. When my sons do something wrong in the hopes of doing right, I delight in them all the more. But when they do wrong and do not recognize it as such–or worse, are self-congratulatory about their error–I have to show them the true way. When modernist Christians engage in anti-traditional traditions, or pick a showy way to condemn vanity, or point themselves out for condemning other people pointing other people out, and so on, it makes me fear for their, and our, spiritual growth. I hope the best for this young man, in all sincerity. He’s obviously got God-given talent (though I am not referring to his poetic or dialectical skills!). But I just hate seeing those gifts abused, especially for what I believe is a program of belief that will wither those gifts in the end or set them on the wrong altar.  Can you dig it?

        • Tonia

          I can dig it.  I’ve got four teens.  I know how important it is to guide while you’re cheering them on.   But as a lifetime evangelical (who has a deep love and appreciation for both Catholicism and Orthodoxy – in a way that probably only a sloppy evangelical could have.  *grin*)  I feel protective of this guy….I know this kid, he’s in my church, he lives on my block, he’s working at the gas station, he’s every ordinary evangelical kid who has been changed by Christ.   I know the doctrine isn’t all there yet.  I don’t think this video is a good example of evangelical theology.  But the momma-bear in me thinks we are using our big theology bats to beat down someone who needs an arm around his shoulder instead.  (And I just plain disagree that he is making slams on the Catholic church…he’s talking about his own churches and experiences.  I hear this same talk from young people almost daily.) 

          • Anonymous

            Here’s the thing. I feel for the kid, too. There are few things more winning than the eager zealotry of freshly converted youth. But this is also why we don’t make novices into head pastors or apprentices into Master Artisans until they’ve learned a few things. I can definitely appreciate the general message but still think it gets lost in the sloppiness and the mess of ill-advised cliches. I agree that maybe he doesn’t REALIZE he’s slamming the Catholic Church–he’s probably just repeating the popular refrain that is repeated in almost every single non-Catholic Church I’ve ever attended. You’re right, this is the way non-Catholic youth talks which is probably where he picked it up. But I know where that talk originates and it certainly isn’t from someone who appreciates Catholicism.

            I’ve been on both sides of the aisle. I find it remarkably telling that so many non-Catholics here can’t see the anti-Catholicism. I’m not even a “good” Catholic and I see it. :)

            It’s also true that the letter of the law without the spirit of the law kills–and that’s evident in many Christian groups, Catholic or otherwise.

            One word that has been redeemed for me IS religion. Another popular saying is: “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual.” I don’t think the two HAVE to be mutually exclusive. I’m religious AND I’m spiritual. I’m religiously spiritual. I’m spiritually religious! :)

          • Tonia

            hey girl. :)  I did a little research on the guy and he’s not quite so young or naive as I thought at first…so I am willing to say that the friendly arm around his shoulder should include a few words of guidance.  :)   As to the anti-Catholic thing…I don’t know.  I am trying to listen, trying to see your point.   Yes, all of Protestantism is in essence a protest against Catholicism.  But is that on the minds of young evangelicals like this?  I don’t mean to sound flippant or insulting, but I don’t think the Catholic church is relevant at all to these kids.  (A mistake, I believe, and the reason why my teens study church history.)    That’s my only beef with your post, sweetie….I think you are ascribing too much  intent to a rather unsophisticated young zealot.     Your comment box has sure been eye-opening today.  I think it can be very hard for those of us entrenched on either side of the fence to really understand the other.    Maybe, with some gentleness form the Lord, this guy will be able to have the word religion redeemed for him too.  Love ya!

          • Anonymous

            I absolutely agree that the Catholic Church is not doing enough to reach out to youth–at least, here in America. In other countries, Catholicism appears far more vibrant and very much alive (Africa and South America for example) across all age demographics. Perhaps I am ascribing too much intent and perhaps I also am extra-sensitive about anti-Catholicism since I used to be the most anti-Catholic out there. :) I appreciate your arm around MY shoulder and your words of guidance. Thank you, friend. xo. ((hugs))

          • Tonia

            Well apparently I am extra-sensitive to the plight of the naive young evangelical. :). And really… I am. They don’t get taught so many things and they have no idea, no idea at all, of their roots. So I feel for them, and I appreciate the Jesus love in them, just as I appreciate it in you and my other brothers and sisters across the Tiber…or on Mt Athos. :). I love you. And I love the good discussion. You know I’ll be thinking about “religion” when I use it now!

          • Anonymous

            And I will be thinking about the plight of the naive young evangelical. Thank YOU for reminding me. I love you so.

          • Vosslers

            This really feels kind of … well, this IS another definition of the word “religion”. It can mean Catholocism, Buddhism, …. It can refer to the inherent beliefs in each one. It can also refer to hypocrisy. And he was using that definition. I totally consider myself to be religious. But I also consider myself to hate religion. But I am a part of an organized religion. Just different definitions in each sentence. That’s all. I honestly think the only thing in the entire poem that COULD be construed as referring to Catholocism would be the “starting wars” thing. And that is true. It happened. But he isn’t talking about Catholicism. He is clearly speaking about people who, through the ages, added to the gospel. And that is wrong. To add to the gospel. To add to Scripture. I think it’s admirable of him to create something that might make someone else think twice about all the junk they’ve heard about religion in schools, in the media … and pursue Jesus.

  • Angela

    Thank you so much for this response!  I’ve seen the video posted on several FB pages and, though I didn’t watch it, even the title rubbed me the wrong way.  I love Jesus and I love the ritual of church (I’m not Catholic but a highly liturgical Presbyterian).  Every prayer we repeat, every creed we say points back to Jesus.  My pastor preaches that it’s all about Jesus and what he has done for us.  So Church and religion, when rightly done, point back to Jesus.  Thanks for your words!

  • Sarah

    As always Elizabeth you are brilliant!

  • http://clpcs-betterispossible.blogspot.com/ Better is Possible

    Elizabeth, Elizabeth – you had me until this post.  I saw this video and “catholic” never entered my mind. Your bias, judgment and unresolved hurt is showing through. I hear more agenda in your post than in the original video.
     Lighten up Liz! 
    This is poetry; artistic license is allowed, in fact expected. 
    Having grown up in the evangelical tradition…having been a passionate believer of Jesus for 50+ years, I get what this young man is saying. Organized religion does not equal a relationship with Jesus.Here’ s my stuff – this video spoke strongly to my 24 year old daughter. She IS a Jesus Lover and she has been let down by organized church (and not of the Catholic persuasion). This video sparked discussion between her and her friends – who are for the most part non believers.  This video became an impetus for personal reflection of her relationship with Jesus…This video served a purpose. Your response came as a violent response. and  hit me as someone coming to steal the word as it is put forth.Girl – chill!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jengal4 Jennifer Galicinski

      This comment is rather mean-spirited and unfair. “Lighten up Liz?” The man in the video is simply saying things that are UNTRUE and Elizabeth is doing an excellent job of exposing them.  I’m very happy to hear about your relationship with Jesus, but if you believe in God, obey his teachings, and are part of a faith community, I’m sorry to say, you are religious.

      There is a difference in scripture between good religion and bad religion, between religion that points us to God and his ways (“True religion that is pure and faultless is this: to take care of widows and orphans in their need”) and empty, hypocritical religion (like that of the Pharisees). So why are religion and relationship mutually exclusive? We need BOTH – outward actions of faith, worship, obedience AND relationship with the God those actions point us towards.

      So I say, hear, hear, Elizabeth! I’m not Catholic, but I agree whole-heartedly with what is written here. And there are PLENTY of theologians, pastors, lay persons and biblical scholars from a wide range of traditions and denominations who have written similar articles expressing their frustration with this man’s sentiment. She’s not alone, and for good reason.

      • http://clpcs-betterispossible.blogspot.com/ Better is Possible

        Ouch – mean spirited. Not often that us Canadians get that label. Blessings and and I hope you feel better for venting. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/jengal4 Jennifer Galicinski

          It’s hard to convey tone on these types of forums, apologies if it came off as mean-spirited.

          However, if you disagree with my perspective, please tell me WHY and not just attack me with sarcastic remarks that do nothing to further the dialogue.

          I was merely trying to defend Liz for what I thought was an excellent article and what seemed to me like an attack on her motivations and character with, “Your bias, judgment and unresolved hurt is showing through. I hear more agenda in your post than in the original video.”

          I don’t see it that way at all! I think she did a wonderful job of exposing a whole lot of bad theology and overly simplistic cliches in this video,  and wanted to counter-balance your perspective with another one that would leave a smile on her face and not hurt.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jengal4 Jennifer Galicinski

      There is a great blog post of an email exchange between Jeff Bethke (the guy in the video) and Kevin DeYoung, who wrote an excellent and fair critique outlining the strengths of the video and the misleading parts.

      JEFF BETHKE ACTUALLY *THANKS* KEVIN DEYOUNG FOR HIS CRITIQUE AND SAYS HE AGREES 100%!!

      I can’t post a link here but Google “Following up on the Jesus/Religion video by Kevin DeYoung” and you’ll find it. Both men seem very humble, lovely, and gracious.

  • Gayla

    I am not Catholic, but I so agree with what you say in this.   Thanks so much for posting.

  • Jennifer

    I used to say stuff like this back in my evangelical days and you’d better believe I was thinking about the Catholic Church when I said them.  And frankly, I looked down my nose at Catholics who chose ritual over relationship.  (Lord have mercy!)  I heard over and over and over and over again that Christianity ISN’T a religion, its a relationship.  And when the pastors were up there talking about “religion” they were talking about Catholics too.  So… I don’t know if this guy has Catholics on his mind or not, but I don’t think its all that far fetched to think he’s including Catholicism (or any high church tradition that looks “religious) in his little speech.

  • LizzyD

    I think he is trying to say what many people are feeling…the big disconnect between “religion” and “Jesus”. I am not capable of siting bible scripture but I see in my everyday life the judgement of people by the church or church-going folks. The starting of wars….and most of all the hate.

  • Anonymous

    I saw lots of antiCatholicism in this post and no, I dont think you overreacted. 

    He said religion builds big churches but fails to feed the poor. So which denomination builds big churches? I dot think he meant those storefront churches of new evangelicalism, no that was a dig. To mr video man, we build churches AND feed the poor. ( And Im sure the people paid to build those churches were glad to have a job, not a handout. )

    I think he meant well, but his naivete left him assuming falsehoods as truth and he went in the wrong direction.

    I wonder where he thinks the New Testament came from and would it have existed without a religion. 

    • Tonia

      Really?  You’ve never heard of a mega-church?  There are enormous evangelical churches out there building monstrosities.  This is a common theme of discussion amongst evangelicals and it has nothing to do with the catholic church.  

      • Anonymous

        Of course I have heard of mega churches…those buildings, however are seldom built in a old classic “Church” architecture. That is my whole point…when people criticize elaborate church buildings, they generally mean old classic St Patricks Cathedral types of churches and are thus criticizing liturgical worship, not evangelical. So I maintain my original point, comments like his are anti-Catholic.

        • http://www.truth-makes-freedom.blogspot.com/ Jeannette Altes

          Umm…actually, when I talk about elaborate, expensive church buildings, the last thing on my mind is the Catholic Church. I am definitely talking about the mega-churches….just sayin’. :-)

        • brothercambo

          Perhaps you are confusing “church” with “cathedral”.  If the poet had said “build cathedrals, but don’t feed the poor” I would agree with you.  However, since he said “churches” I have to think he was going after the protestant “clubhouses”.  
          It is never about what we do, but about what Jesus has done.  Aside from accepting Christ’s sacrifice, there is nothing we can do to get to heaven.  Our actions (rituals, rites, special feasts, gestures, postures …) are mostly “club” bylaws and very dangerous to our relationship with God.

      • Marie

        Agreed, Tonia. . .that’s what I find so frustrating about this conversation.

    • HippieGramma

      See, that’s one of the reasons I would think he was talking about any denomination BUT Catholicism — because Catholics have such a great track record of feeding the poor, helping the sick, etc, regardless of religious affiliation.

  • Riehls22

    Thank you for your gutsy and truthful defending of the Catholic faith! 

  • http://felicemifa.wordpress.com/ Felice Mi Fa

    Glad to finally watch this after observing all the buzz. I’ll copy what I wrote on facebook:  My main criticism is he tries to do too much, and ruins a compelling conversion story with an immature caricature of what he thinks religion is. Luckily, God forgives all, even awkward rhymes.

    I almost wish it were anti-Catholic, because then he would at least have a thesis. This just runs all the stereotypes of Christian denominations, soup-to-nuts, together into a mess.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1303954287 William Zachary Summers

    Can I get an amen?!

  • Pappel

    I read most of the comments below and one of the recurring themes are the manmade rules and how they are anti Jesus.  Well, there certainly have been manmade rules over the years that were ill conceived or evil in some cases.  However, one needs rules to live by.  For me, those rules are found in the ten commandments and the bible.
    To those who rail against the oppressive rules, I would suggest you look at the past 50-60 years in the US.  Look how the rebellion of the 60′s have dramatically changed our culture, some of it for the good but the majority of the changes have been very damaging.  And it all starts by a minor change here and a minor change there.  I mean, why can’t a girl have a dress one inch above her knee.  Or why can’t a guy wear those skin tight pants.
    Over the years, these changes have accumalated to a point where we have sex slaves traded in Atlanta and many other cities around the world.  We kill our babies before they are born and in some states kill the elderly.  One of our congresswoman said that a baby does not become human until they are taken home.  That has to be the most ignorant and, concurrently, damaging statements in the last 50 years.
    The point is that we all live according to rules.  There is no middle ground.  The ultimate question is do we live according to manmade rules (some of which are indeed found in the church) or do we live according to God’s rules.  The problem of many of the posts below, and getting back to my original point, we need to submit to the rules/commandments of Jesus.  Yes, submit.  Put others above yourself.  And, in our age of entitlements, that is very uncommon to see.  Hence, goofy but damaging videos.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1303954287 William Zachary Summers

    For the record, Ms. Esther, I do see what you’re saying about Catholicism (and Orthodoxy) as well. You’re gonna have a hard time saying it is explicitly Catholic because (let’s face it), he very craftily left it out of the lyrics so that he could not be caught on it. But he is all but naming it. He’s talking about it, he’s describing all of the same things that you hear every Protestant/Secular person express about the Catholic Church. 

    So, in my humble opinion, avoid all the dodgy tactics (didn’t actually say Catholic, big C vs. little c, religion vs. faith) and stick to your guns. Because you’re right here. Good job on your conviction.

    • PittmanOfLaMancha

      “…every Protestant/Secular person express”? I find your stereotyping to be disturbing. I am not a Catholic, but I do not say or think ill things about the Catholic Church. I am a Christian, and what I find important is our mutual belief in Jesus Christ. Next time you choose to stereotype a group of people, please remember to except me.

    • http://www.truth-makes-freedom.blogspot.com/ Jeannette Altes

      Hmm…I also am not thrilled with your stereo-type. I grew up in a pentecostal church that was anti-Catholic…am I never bought it. I feels like you are doing what you accuse him of doing.

      • http://www.truth-makes-freedom.blogspot.com/ Jeannette Altes

        * that should read  “and I never bought it.”

  • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

    Well said. I think you’ll also like Fr. Andrew’s comments on the video.

    http://roadsfromemmaus.org/2012/01/12/why-i-love-true-religion-because-i-love-jesus/

  • http://remnantofremnant.blogspot.com/ priest’s wife

    great post– I hope this video will actually remind people to live their faith and religion with joy

    God is good!

  • http://ronhead.wordpress.com/ Ron Head

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I found your post on this video from Sarah Moon’s blog, and I
    really your perspective. I wouldn’t have gleaned anti-Catholic sentiments from
    it due to my evangelical upbringing. Thank you for your take on this whole
    issue.

    My perspective is this dude sounds like he’s been hurt by the
    church (or at least the churches he was a part of), which is a something I can relate
    to because of the hurts and wounds from my church (but to be fair I’m sure I
    hurt and lashed out at people at my church too). The notion that Jesus hates
    religion yet desires relationships sounds awesome for people who were abused by
    religion (or more importantly by people within their specific brand of religion)
    because it would mean Jesus identifies, affirms, and desires to rectify their
    pain. But while Jesus certainly wants to do that, He also wants to do that for
    all His people, which, last time I checked, includes the Church (whether
    Catholic or Protestant).

    I’m sure he is very passionate and excited about the unmerited
    grace he has found in Christ, which is awesome for sure! But at the same time
    it sounds like he missing a vital component to all relationships, which is the
    willingness to work through the pain and messiness of relationships (and yes,
    there is pain and messiness with having a relationship with Jesus). But Jesus
    is in the business of redeeming all His creation, including the Church, and
    that means we are to be a part of it (I mostly speaking to myself here).

  • Sharon O

    I think the whole purpose of Jesus coming to us was to save  us from ourselves because God knew that anything we could come up with was not going to make the mark. You are right on when you say it is a ‘personal relationship’ with a loving God and Father.
    So much of todays religion would make the heart of the savior hurt.
    The name it and claim it theories, the ‘you need to be rich because God wants you that way’… not true. Rich is spirit. Not rich in money.
    It is all garbage, if we would go back to the simple truth of ‘God’s word and accept the fact that Jesus LOVES us and gave his LIFE for us so we could live. Who do you know that would do that? That simple fact alone should make  us all fall to our knees and be GRATEFUL. 

  • Heartoftexas643

    Perfectly stated! Thank you!

    Have a beautifully blessed day!

  • Devon Van Essen

    Love it! These are exactly the comments I wanted to write on all my friends’ Facebook pages, but I didn’t have time/didn’t want to have no friends. :)  Glad you did it for me, Liz!

    One thing I would add, though. Regarding “I literally resent it”… is that opposed to metaphorically resenting it? What does that even mean?  Seems like a poet should have a little stronger grasp on the denotation of words in his poem. I’m not judgin’ I’m just sayin’.

  • H-Mama @ Family Team

    loved Txmom2jami’s response to this.  i was brought up in another religion… and could easily associate the man-made rules of that religion throughout this video.  i didn’t find it offensive.  actually, it’s where i’m at today.  more of him… trimming the ‘religious fat’, so to speak.  hope that makes sense.  having said that, my step-dad of 20 yrs {passed away this yr} was brought up catholic… that led to many wonderful conversations.  i suppose we all see things {life, in general} through our own experiences.

  • Lisanole03

    I totally get what you are saying but this video is still powerful.  I have a 16 year old niece who has walked away from the faith because of pretty much everything he describes here.  Not that religion its self is flawed but that those who claim to be religious say one thing and do another.

  • Guest

    Amazing post! An an embarrassed member of this generation I appreciate someone pointing out our OWN hypocrisy. The new “church bashing” is to admit you love Jesus (“he was my homie”) but hate religious institutions. Maybe soon the youth rebellion will come full circle and the rebellious act will actually be to open a Bible, go to Church and learn about Christ. Would love to see that day. 

  • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

    For Jabmo3 specifically, who stated: “The Catholic Church views anyone OUTSIDE the church or anyone who has LEFT the church is NOT SAVED” and who then asserted he could “prove” his erroneous opinion. But it applies to anyone else who believes his false assertion.

    No, you can’t prove it because you’re wrong. It’s true that for a few
    centuries the Roman Catholic Church did stray from the ancient doctrine.
    (As far as I can tell the Orthodox never did.) But that period is long
    over. Yes, there is no salvation outside the Church, but the ancient and
    correct understanding of that doctrine is that we can see where the
    Church is, but we cannot see where it is not. And in the mass confusion
    of the current age, it can even be difficult for many people to see
    where the Church is.

    This is not the popular Protestant doctrine of an “invisible church”.
    (That doctrine looks more like a form of ecclesial docetism to me.) Both
    Catholics and Orthodox hold strongly to the creedal dogma of one
    visible, incarnate Church uniting all peoples. Rather it’s an
    acknowledgement that it’s the Spirit who forms the Church and ultimately
    we are not the judge.

    I’m not Catholic, but I did go to a Catholic school for several years
    and have friends and family who are Catholic. If you are a Christian and
    wish to judge the faith of other Christians, you best be rooted in
    truth. (Actually, it’s best not to speak at all, but it’s made even
    worse when your statements distort the truth.)

    From the Catechism, then.

    817 In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its beginnings
    there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as
    damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions
    appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with
    the Catholic Church — for which, often enough, men of both sides were
    to blame.” The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body — here we
    must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism — do not occur without
    human sin.

    “Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and
    disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and
    unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.”

    818 “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who
    at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such
    separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the
    Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers …
    All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into
    Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with
    good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the
    Catholic Church.”

    819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are
    found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written
    Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with other
    interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.”
    Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means
    of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth
    that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings
    come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to
    “Catholic unity.”

    838 “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized
    who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the
    Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion
    under the successor of Peter.” Those “who believe in Christ and have
    been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect,
    communion with the Catholic Church.” With the Orthodox Churches, this
    communion is so profound “that it lacks little to attain the fullness
    that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist.”

    [Sidebar: I'll note the Orthodox, who believe they, rather than Rome,
    have maintained the apostolic faith, perceive a somewhat larger barrier
    to a restoration of communion with the Catholic Church.]

    It goes on to discuss the Church’s relationship with the Jewish people
    and with Muslims and with other religions. Then a section discussing
    “Outside the Church there is no salvation.”

    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the
    Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation
    comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the
    Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.”

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    “Those who through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may achieve eternal salvation.”

    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”

    • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

      Hmm. I copied it from a narrow reply box to a wider new comment one part way through. Looks like that messed up the formatting. Oh well.

      • Anonymous

        No worries. It’s the SPIRIT of the formatting not the LETTER of the formatting that matters! :)

        • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

          Lol! That’s too funny.

      • Tonia

        Scott, you know I’m a huge fan of your comments whenever I come across one.  :)  I really want to know what you think the implication is for Protestants in this then….are you saying that I can’t receive salvation unless I’m in the Catholic church or even better, the Orthodox church?  I wouldn’t ask this question of very many people, I’m just really curious how you see this because I like so many of your opinions.  :)

        • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

          No. I largely agree with what the Catechism now says (as opposed to what was in effect the dogma of the Catholic Church for a few misguided centuries). I thought the sections I posted were pretty clear. Specific excerpts from them.

          “All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with
          good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church”

          “Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church.”

          “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the
          Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.”

          “Those who through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of
          Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere
          heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they
          know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may
          achieve eternal salvation.”

          That last extends even to people in other religions and those who have never heard Gospel at all. As Paul writes in Colossians (I think) the euvangelion of Christ has been proclaimed throughout creation. Something cosmic changed when Christ came out of that tomb. Think of the young soldier in The Last Battle who had thought he was faithfully serving Tash, only to discover he had truly been following Aslan all along.

          After trying to learn all I can about the history and story of this ancient faith in which I rather reluctantly found myself, I do think the Orthodox have a better claim (including as they do the Patriarchies of Jerusalem and Antioch) to their assertion of historical roots. And I largely agree with them on the dogmas they feel Rome has added to the apostolic tradition over the last thousand years. And, as I hinted above, the divide is deeper than the Catholic catechism perceives. There are some ways in which Catholicism and Protestantism are more similar to each other than either are to Orthodoxy. I suppose that’s only natural since in many ways Catholicism gave birth to Protestantism.

          Nor have I discovered any significant areas in which I disagree with the Orthodox. I can trace the things they teach throughout history. It’s a thread of faith and belief that grows and expands and develops. There’s always more to know about God. But it’s a thread that’s continuous rather than discontinuous. I haven’t been able to find that anywhere else. And more importantly, they describe the God of Love (so much so that he joined his nature with ours) that I encountered and who would not accept my rejection, but kept coming back with love. I didn’t discover anything new in Orthodox. (Heck, the Jesus Prayer came to me unbidden and became my prayer when I still knew nothing about Orthodoxy other than a vague thought that they were some sort of Catholics. Which was wrong, of course, but I think where many people are.) Again and again, I discovered what I had always believed about God since I found myself something like a Christian.

          Even so, I don’t really see a path toward becoming Orthodox. That may change or it may not. In this age of confusion, such things are not always clear. But I’m not worried about whether or not God loves me. Heck, he loved me when I was more Hindu than not and when I was exploring many different paths. I can see that so clearly now in retrospect. I don’t think he’s going to stop loving me now because I’m a member of an SBC Church.

          Not sure if that answered your question or not. If it didn’t, maybe rephrase it and I’ll try again.

          • Tonia

            You’re right…I didn’t read the quotes very well as I am stealing time in-between homeschooling and laundry *ahem*. That’s how I read the catechism too…and I’m pretty much in the same boat with orthodoxy. It speaks to me in a way my soul knows. I don’t know how to explain it any other way. But I do feel called, at least for now, to remain within my roots as an evangelical. I don’t see it changing…but God might have other plans I guess. Thanks for the response, I was just curious, not trying to trap you or anything. :)

  • Ejaytupe

    Thank you.

  • http://www.faithpermeatinglife.com Jessica @ FaithPermeatingLife

    I’ve been Catholic my whole life and I did not see this as targeting Catholicism in any way. In fact, several of my Facebook friends have posted this video and all of them have been evangelical Protestants.

    As others have said, it depends on your definition of religion. And of “observant,” for that matter. Jesus drew a clear line between God’s Law and the manmade rules that were an interpretation of or addition to that Law. He followed one and flouted the other.

    Another unclear definition: self-righteous. What makes this video self-righteous? Did Jesus not point out the flaws in how the religious leaders of his day were acting? What makes this young man doing the same “self-righteous”? He is speaking what he believes to be truth. What makes his video self-righteous and your blog post not?

  • Clairezip

    I don’t have time to read all the comments right now, but wanted to say something really bothered me about that video and I haven’t had the time to sort it out, so many of my friends were loving it and posting it, but it didn’t sit with me.  I think you nailed a number of the things that sat wrong with me.  Thanks for being a different voice out there. 

  • http://pmerrill.com/ paulmerrill

    Thanks for being straight-up with us … as always!

  • http://cuppboard.blogspot.com Elizabeth Erazo

    I understand your point of view, and I’m saying this as a non-Catholic. The only thing I ask is that you show this man mercy. He is speaking these words because no one has ever bothered to show him (and he has not bothered to find) the beauty, truth, and majesty of the true Church. He is saying these things because he has been fed the Protestant assumption that there is no visible Church, no tradition that is not of man. 

    Because if you follow rituals and traditions as a Protestant, they truly ARE empty and without meaning:Communion? Just a piece of bread and grape juice. A memorial service.  
    Baptism? A symbol of commitment, an optional public display of faith. 
    Ordination? Just a degree from a school, a certificate to hang on your wall. 
    Music? Whatever moves your heart to “worship”. 
    Worship? Whatever moves your heart. 

    You see, if he has never truly encountered Catholicism, all rituals he has experienced probably ARE empty and of man. And, as a protestant, you look at the Catholic Church and it seems, on the surface, like the MAJORITY of  worship are these “symbols”, these rituals, plus even MORE. 

    It never really occurs to you that something actually HAPPENS during these rituals – that they are not merely symbols, but SACRAMENTS. At least, it didn’t to me until my “sola scriptura” mindset came down like a deck of cards. 

    I think this video is anti-Catholic, but mostly out of ignorance and not bigotry or mean-spiritedness. 

    • Anonymous

      You’re probably right. Father forgive him, for he knows not what he does.

    • Tonia

      Beautiful comment! 

    • KatR

      I can’t even find the words for how offensive and ignorant this comment is.

      • http://cuppboard.blogspot.com Elizabeth Erazo

        Hi KatR. Obviously, my lack of knowledge shone through in this comment. If you could illuminate the areas you found offensive, or in which I displayed ignorance (or even arrogance?) I could properly apologize, clarify, or even learn something new. 

        • Tonia

          I don’t find it offensive at all.  It’s been my experience as a nondenomenational christian.  At some point you have to deal with the fact that there is nothing truly compelling behind all the “symbolism”.  I know most of my evangelical friends don’t agree, but I think your comment is the logical outcome of evangelical theology.   I remain an evangelical, but I sure am studying the church fathers with much interest.

          • KatR

            I’ll just start here and respond to both you and Elizabeth Erazo.

            Maybe there is nothing compelling behind the symbolism FOR YOU. And that’s fine. But that is not true for everyone.

            The idea that Communion and baptism and ordination etc, etc have to be done the Catholic way, with Catholic meanings assigned to them,or they are worthless, or that they aren’t precious to people in Protestant churches, is just wrong.

             

          • http://studyinbrown.com/ Tonia

            Hi KatR, I apologize for being a bit hasty in such a public forum about such a delicate topic.  I resonated with what Elizabeth was saying and wasn’t as careful as I could have been with my comment.   I didn’t mean that baptism and communion, etc aren’t valuable or meaningful at my church.  I mean that because they aren’t sacramental in the way Catholics or Orthodox understand them, they have less compulsion behind them.   For example, a few years ago we went through a terrible incident of abuse at our church.  For awhile I was too hurt to attend church anywhere and so we didn’t go for over a year.  Friends would tell me that God wanted us to go to church, and quote the usual scriptures about fellowship and not forsaking the body, etc. but after awhile I saw that within evangelicalism there really isn’t any true compulsion for me to attend church in a building.  If I need fellowship I can just have believers over.  I can hear good preaching all over the internet.  I can even take communion by myself.   (Not saying this is the wisest approach, just that there is no real reason not to do them this way.)   But for Catholic/Orthodox, there is real consequence to not going to services – they are truly compelled to attend, to receive the Eucharist, etc.    As I said before, I remain within evangelicalism, but I see it as a problem for our theology that we have removed the sacraments from our worship.  (I am speaking as a nondenom, too, so I know it’s a bit different for Lutherans or Episcopalians, etc.)   I hope that helps you understand what I was saying at least.  I don’t want to belittle the very real and precious fellowship we have within our churches.  I myself take great comfort from weekly communion and worship at my church.    God bless.

          • Tonia

            Hi KatR, I apologize for being a bit hasty in such a public forum about such a delicate topic.  I resonated with what Elizabeth was saying and wasn’t as careful as I could have been with my comment.   I didn’t mean that baptism and communion, etc aren’t valuable or meaningful at my church.  I mean that because they aren’t sacramental in the way Catholics or Orthodox understand them, they have less compulsion behind them.   For example, a few years ago we went through a terrible incident of abuse at our church.  For awhile I was too hurt to attend church anywhere and so we didn’t go for over a year.  Friends would tell me that God wanted us to go to church, and quote the usual scriptures about fellowship and not forsaking the body, etc. but after awhile I saw that within evangelicalism there really isn’t any true compulsion for me to attend church in a building.  If I need fellowship I can just have believers over.  I can hear good preaching all over the internet.  I can even take communion by myself.   (Not saying this is the wisest approach, just that there is no real reason not to do them this way.)   But for Catholic/Orthodox, there is real consequence to not going to services – they are truly compelled to attend, to receive the Eucharist, etc.    As I said before, I remain within evangelicalism, but I see it as a problem for our theology that we have removed the sacraments from our worship.  (I am speaking as a nondenom, too, so I know it’s a bit different for Lutherans or Episcopalians, etc.)   I hope that helps you understand what I was saying at least.  I don’t want to belittle the very real and precious fellowship we have within our churches.  I myself take great comfort from weekly communion and worship at my church.    God bless.

        • http://cuppboard.blogspot.com Elizabeth Erazo

          Yes, I am replying to myself here. I was thinking about this, and I composed my comment poorly. There are indeed some protestant traditions that are sacramental, and although we can debate about the theological merits of such sacraments, they do not view them the way I expressed in my comment. I was speaking from my personal experience, as well as realizing that this guy attends Mars Hill, which is clearly not a sacramental church. 

          Hope that helped a bit! Also hope it didn’t make it worse! :/

        • http://thecannyfamily.blogspot.com/ Autumn

          “truly are empty and without meaning” – would be the offensive part. jeez louise, can we just stop tearing down how the other guys do it.

  • HippieGramma

    I had a comment all written and the post title keeps jumping back out at me.

    Question:  Can someone love Jesus and hate the PROTESTANT church / organized religion?

    Or put another way, CAN someone find Jesus outside of organized religion, whatever the flavor?

    Not trying to start an issue at all, I’m just really trying to understand the thought process.  I grew up in a very Catholic community, and yet I honestly don’t think people automatically think of Catholicism when they talk about problems with organized religion.

    But I guess if one’s experience with Jesus were dependent on regular observance of liturgy and rituals, it would seem like an attack, is that it?

    Very interested in this topic.  I got the video on facebook from protestant and evangelical friends, complaining about their own churches.  I get the feeling the kid had no idea why it would be insulting to Catholics as a group.

    • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

      I checked out the website he runs with another guy where they post multimedia spiritual presentations (including this one). I don’t think he’s as young or naive as many seem to think. He presents himself as an artist and, well-intentioned or not (how can I judge intentions?), I think he’s also trying to build his online presence.

      I also did not gather the impression that he hated organized religion, per se. Looking at his various presentations and his favorites books, it seems he likes Mark Driscoll. (So he’s clearly not against evangelical mega-churches in general.) From the other things, it appears he’s firmly in the more hard core Calvinistic Reformed or Neo-Reformed camps.

      And I certainly know what those groups think about the Catholic Church. So I tend to think Elizabeth wasn’t really off-base. While I saw many things in the video that struck me as clearly off-base, I didn’t catch a specifically anti-Catholic flavor myself. But as I recall, the group/cult within which Elizabeth grew up was theologically slanted in that direction, so I imagine she’s more in tune with the innuendo and “code” about the Catholic Church from groups like that.

      But sure, people find Jesus in all sorts of contexts and situations. Hmmm. “Finding Jesus” makes it sound like he’s lost or hidden. Not sure that’s the phrase I would use, but I grasp your meaning.

      • Tonia

        After I wrote about 50 comments here I went and checked him out too….yeah.  I wish I’d done that before.  :)   

    • Anonymous

      To whatever degree Jesus is in their midst, no I dont think we can hate non-Catholic churches. But to whatever degree people are misled or abused in these churches, I think its ok to hate whatever sin lead to the lostness and abuse.

      I read a lovely story of a woman in africa raised by atheist parents and she never ever heard of God spoken, but as she grew, she saw in a sunset the majesty that must have come from One who is majestic…she found God and Christ and His Church.  So, yes, God can be found outside the Church. FOr many converts to Catholicism (such as me) we met Jesus outside the Church (He was there) but chose to worship Him from within it.  

  • Lara

    Hmmm…  I agree that he wasn’t very logical.  This video bugged me as well with all the Christian Lingo that doesn’t mean a whole lot any more.    But what I do believe is that today’s  christianity (at least from my experience) looks a lot like the religious elitism that Jesus DID come to abolish.  I was a Pharisee when I was sitting in my old church.  I finally saw that and left because I didn’t want to be called a viper by Jesus.  There is hints of this truth in his message, maybe?  I believe religion is supposed to offer freedom, grace, love, mercy, justice and humility.  I think he’s starting to stumble into this and hasn’t quite got there yet.  
    And oh how much I hate the phrase that Jesus didn’t say “do” he said “done”.  Dude read the gospels.

    • Lara

      Sorry for the terrible grammer!  “There ARE hints of this truth in his message, maybe?”

  • http://davereed.tumblr.com davereed

     I’m a protestant but I agree with all of your points, here. Good work, Elizabeth

  • M J

    Not anti Catholic. Sorry you felt that way. I was convicted too, and as a bible believing Christian who has a theology Degree I must say your first point is contextually OFF. Fulfilling the Law is a simple reference to completion of the final sacrifice and FINAL rendering of man back unto the Father. Jesus bridged the Gap, it was no longer Religious rules, but relationship. 

    1.) believe in your heart and confess with your mouth. Jesus is Lord. God raised him from the dead.
    2.) do the will of the Father.

    do those 2 things not because you are able, but because God’s perfect love, and Grace enables you too. And you will live blessed in this life, and eternally in the next.

    • Rev Rachel

      If EE and others saw this as anti-Catholic, then who are we to say that this is wrong?  Maybe it wasn’t the intent of the poet to come across that way, but that is certainly how he was interpreted by some.  Haven’t you ever said something that others heard in a way you didn’t intend it?  And wasn’t it important for you to hear how they heard it?  This is EE’s interpretation of the video, and we can disagree, but we don’t have to judge her for her interpretation.

  • Alicia Therese

    Heck. Yes. 

  • Beccaap

    Excellent, thought out, and well said.  Thanks!  

  • http://www.facebook.com/audrasilva Audra Christensen Silva

    Maybe someone should just ask him. Aren’t we supposed to go to our brother when we have an issue? We can speculate all we want on his motivation, and whether it is about the Catholic church or just various religions in general, but asking him what he meant by such and such would surely clear the air.

  • Reagan

    My two cents: 

    First, from what I’ve seen, this video tends to resonate with the twenty-somethings, while those older than them seem to find various aspects of the video offensive. Why is this? Probably for lots of reasons. We have fast access to any information we want, our cultural surroundings are more diverse than ever before, and scandal after scandal has rocked both protestant and catholic worlds. 

    Second, as someone who has both a  fundamentalist and catholic background, I think I get why some people see this as an attack on legalism (i.e. I think of fundamentalism), while others see it as an attack on the catholic church. Just my opinion and experience, but fundamentalism and catholicism are sometimes quite similar. In some ways, it is the same song, just a different tune. Granted, there are also drastic differences, but some of the over-arching attitude and undercurrent beliefs are very similar. Which is why so many–protestants and catholics alike–are reacting to this video.

    Personally? The title irritated the shit out of me. But much of what he said resonated with me. I think young college kids like me love the Church (as long as it is kind to others, we usually don’t give a rip whether it is catholic or baptist), but are tired of all the meaningless pomp and circumstance in all its’ forms, if it doesn’t result in love. 

  • Margie Hearron

    I’m confused by you, Elizabeth Esther. If you said that you have walked away from Church why are you participating in Catholic services (mass)?

    Are you not judging the young man in the YouTube video?

    Do you understand what he’s coming from? Do you understand that he’s protestant , and that most protestant Christians don’t have a positive view of Catholicism?

    Jesus  is God. Jesus is pure in what he taught. He only gave one commandment. He asked us to Love God and to Love our neighbor. Faith without works is dead, but works do not produce faith. Salvation is based on faith through grace and not based on works.

    Religion is man-made. Jesus didn’t like ‘religious’ people. He didn’t like religious leaders. Jesus taught His followers the true philosophy (God’s will)  and character of God. He was always against religious people. Religious people need to control others.

    Basically, I see the guy in the YouTube video as a young man of a particular culture and generation that sees a word differently than you and many others. The words “religious” and “religion” connote different things to the young man and many youth that are in his generation.

    Can you really criticize the spoken word if you don’t view it in light of the christian experiences of the author? Don’t you really have to either understand his world or be able to actually speak to him in person to really get his perspective on what he wrote and recorded??

  • Missycarlson1983

    I did not take this as Anti – Catholic AT ALL and furthermore what is the difference between a supposed “self righteous” You tube video or a blog???   Just curious.  

  • Philip ziegler

    Picking apart this guys video line by line is an easy way to misconstrue the meaning behind his words, much like how picking just one verse outta the bible can warp the meaning behind the passage…. This young man although his wordings in some parts aren’t ideal but his general message is that God hates religion if it’s not in it’s “pure form” as it is written in James, what this guy (I think his name is Jeff) is saying in that religion in its true and pure form is the love of Jesus and not a rule book and that society today likes to think of religion is how well you follow the rules and how badly other people don’t, and if you think about his one line about the church not letting Jesus in, now I know that not all churches are the same but I have been in some churches where I can’t say they would let Jesus in. What I mean by this is; Jesus came from a carpenters family in other words, a common family wihouth riches, and the bible also says that Jesus was nothing that would be desired by man, which is most commonly interpreted as he was homely, so by today’s standards he would be an ugly and most likely homeless man who is friends with all then other homeless people and all the criminals a drunkards. And can you honestly tell yourself and others that all, or even most churches would let some homeless man with all his rough friends into their church and that all or even most of the congregation would look upon him with love, what he is saying in this video is that we as Christians must not focus on the rules and viewing life as a pass or a fail, but we must demonstrate Christ’s perfect love so that we may belong to a true and pure religion that the Lord would rejoice in.

  • Philip ziegler

    Picking apart this guys video line by line is an easy way to misconstrue the meaning behind his words, much like how picking just one verse outta the bible can warp the meaning behind the passage…. This young man although his wordings in some parts aren’t ideal but his general message is that God hates religion if it’s not in it’s “pure form” as it is written in James, what this guy (I think his name is Jeff) is saying in that religion in its true and pure form is the love of Jesus and not a rule book and that society today likes to think of religion is how well you follow the rules and how badly other people don’t, and if you think about his one line about the church not letting Jesus in, now I know that not all churches are the same but I have been in some churches where I can’t say they would let Jesus in. What I mean by this is; Jesus came from a carpenters family in other words, a common family wihouth riches, and the bible also says that Jesus was nothing that would be desired by man, which is most commonly interpreted as he was homely, so by today’s standards he would be an ugly and most likely homeless man who is friends with all then other homeless people and all the criminals a drunkards. And can you honestly tell yourself and others that all, or even most churches would let some homeless man with all his rough friends into their church and that all or even most of the congregation would look upon him with love, what he is saying in this video is that we as Christians must not focus on the rules and viewing life as a pass or a fail, but we must demonstrate Christ’s perfect love so that we may belong to a true and pure religion that the Lord would rejoice in.

  • Philip ziegler

    Picking apart this guys video line by line is an easy way to misconstrue the meaning behind his words, much like how picking just one verse outta the bible can warp the meaning behind the passage…. This young man although his wordings in some parts aren’t ideal but his general message is that God hates religion if it’s not in it’s “pure form” as it is written in James, what this guy (I think his name is Jeff) is saying in that religion in its true and pure form is the love of Jesus and not a rule book and that society today likes to think of religion is how well you follow the rules and how badly other people don’t, and if you think about his one line about the church not letting Jesus in, now I know that not all churches are the same but I have been in some churches where I can’t say they would let Jesus in. What I mean by this is; Jesus came from a carpenters family in other words, a common family wihouth riches, and the bible also says that Jesus was nothing that would be desired by man, which is most commonly interpreted as he was homely, so by today’s standards he would be an ugly and most likely homeless man who is friends with all then other homeless people and all the criminals a drunkards. And can you honestly tell yourself and others that all, or even most churches would let some homeless man with all his rough friends into their church and that all or even most of the congregation would look upon him with love, what he is saying in this video is that we as Christians must not focus on the rules and viewing life as a pass or a fail, but we must demonstrate Christ’s perfect love so that we may belong to a true and pure religion that the Lord would rejoice in.

  • Philip ziegler

    Picking apart this guys video line by line is an easy way to misconstrue the meaning behind his words, much like how picking just one verse outta the bible can warp the meaning behind the passage…. This young man although his wordings in some parts aren’t ideal but his general message is that God hates religion if it’s not in it’s “pure form” as it is written in James, what this guy (I think his name is Jeff) is saying in that religion in its true and pure form is the love of Jesus and not a rule book and that society today likes to think of religion is how well you follow the rules and how badly other people don’t, and if you think about his one line about the church not letting Jesus in, now I know that not all churches are the same but I have been in some churches where I can’t say they would let Jesus in. What I mean by this is; Jesus came from a carpenters family in other words, a common family wihouth riches, and the bible also says that Jesus was nothing that would be desired by man, which is most commonly interpreted as he was homely, so by today’s standards he would be an ugly and most likely homeless man who is friends with all then other homeless people and all the criminals a drunkards. And can you honestly tell yourself and others that all, or even most churches would let some homeless man with all his rough friends into their church and that all or even most of the congregation would look upon him with love, what he is saying in this video is that we as Christians must not focus on the rules and viewing life as a pass or a fail, but we must demonstrate Christ’s perfect love so that we may belong to a true and pure religion that the Lord would rejoice in.

  • http://evenonesparrow.blogspot.com even one sparrow

    Thank you for going bit by bit through the video like this. I just heard about it this morning.  This is a very popular opinion in today’s PoMo world of PoMo Chrisitans (PoMo = Post Modern).  Another popular one is that the Bible gets in the way of true Christianity.  No lie.  I know a lot of college students (we work in college ministry) who say they believe in Jesus ahd what Jesus was all about but don’t think Jesus can really be found in the Bible…  um… ?

  • Melissa Yarno

    There are a log of comments here, but I just wanted to weigh in as someone who grew up (but no longer) an independent evangelical fundamental bible believing baptist, etc. The list of adjectives they used to describe themselves took up an entire line on the back of the bulletin.

    There was plenty of catholic, protestant,  and other sect (including southern baptist) bashing that went on. And with that background I didn’t pick up anything  in this video being being anti-catholic, or anti any other specific sect.

    There are many different types of “liturgy” and “formality” and “legalism”. Many times I think we only use those terms in reference to a church that has written and documented ways they go about worship. However, the “evangelical” sects have plenty of their own “laws” and “formalities” such as if you don’t do bus visitation every Saturday then you aren’t part of the spiritual “in” crowd”. If you are raised in that church and you choose to pursue a career other than full time ministry then you are less of a christian, etc. Girls skirt too high (i.e. close to the knee, instead of mid calf)  top to tight, immediate judgement. The rules many not be written down, but they are there and very well understood.

    On the subject of “man made” I would say any physical church that is worried about increasing its membership  size falls into the category of “man made” in some areas if not many. Christ is not about numbers.

  • Melissa Yarno

    There are a log of comments here, but I just wanted to weigh in as someone who grew up (but no longer) an independent evangelical fundamental bible believing baptist, etc. The list of adjectives they used to describe themselves took up an entire line on the back of the bulletin.

    There was plenty of catholic, protestant,  and other sect (including southern baptist) bashing that went on. And with that background I didn’t pick up anything  in this video being being anti-catholic, or anti any other specific sect.

    There are many different types of “liturgy” and “formality” and “legalism”. Many times I think we only use those terms in reference to a church that has written and documented ways they go about worship. However, the “evangelical” sects have plenty of their own “laws” and “formalities” such as if you don’t do bus visitation every Saturday then you aren’t part of the spiritual “in” crowd”. If you are raised in that church and you choose to pursue a career other than full time ministry then you are less of a christian, etc. Girls skirt too high (i.e. close to the knee, instead of mid calf)  top to tight, immediate judgement. The rules many not be written down, but they are there and very well understood.

    On the subject of “man made” I would say any physical church that is worried about increasing its membership  size falls into the category of “man made” in some areas if not many. Christ is not about numbers.

  • Mimzy

    There are a log of comments here, but I just wanted to weigh in as
    someone who grew up (but no longer) an independent evangelical
    fundamental bible believing baptist, etc. The list of adjectives they
    used to describe themselves took up an entire line on the back of the
    bulletin.

    There was plenty of catholic, protestant,  and other
    sect (including southern baptist) bashing that went on. And with that
    background I didn’t pick up anything  in this video being being
    anti-catholic, or anti any other specific sect.

    There are many
    different types of “liturgy” and “formality” and “legalism”. Many times I
    think we only use those terms in reference to a church that has written
    and documented ways they go about worship. However, the “evangelical”
    sects have plenty of their own “laws” and “formalities” such as if you
    don’t do bus visitation every Saturday then you aren’t part of the
    spiritual “in” crowd”. If you are raised in that church and you choose
    to pursue a career other than full time ministry then you are less of a
    christian, etc. Girls skirt too high (i.e. close to the knee, instead of
    mid calf)  top to tight, immediate judgement. The rules many not be
    written down, but they are there and very well understood.

    On
    the subject of “man made” I would say any physical church that is
    worried about increasing its membership  size falls into the category of
    “man made” in some areas if not many. Christ is not about numbers.

  • Nheinrichs

    I saw this on Facebook and read afew of the comments below, and I think ‘Kathy K’ phrased her comment really well. Adding on that though, Solomen tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6 to: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” Solomen gives us some really sound advice here. God loves us and He is the way He is, because He understands in His wisdom that it’s best for Him and us. Jesus died on the cross so that we could freely be forgiven of our sins and have that personal relationship with God that God always desired for us. Once we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts we allow ourselves to freely partake if the forgiveness that He offered us on the cross. All we need to do then is trust in God in all things, and we can’t go wrong; God knows better then us and we can freely personally ask Him for advice in all things because of Jesus. Hope this helps Liz :)

  • Ed M.

    That poem was spot on!  The same way you can use the scripture to beat anyone up you can to discredit what he was saying.  The church today is in a bad space.  You read revelations and when the Lord spoke to the churches.. he wasn’t very kind in his words.. because of what we see today,I believe.  I am embarrassed by many Christians I see because I do not see Christ in anything they say or they do.. They speak hate and control over everything they want.  They pick the law apart and use parts they want ignoring others.  The church in this country has come to believe that one political party is of God and the other of the Devil.. it’s absolutely absurd.   I don’t understand how anyone can watch that video and not get it! 
    and to the blogger, I was raised Catholic and as an adult searched the scriptures to validate every single ritual and rule…and I was not able to find them in the old or new!  The Catholic church is a great humanitarian organization however with todays resentment towards the Catholic Church, you can’t be surprised.  They were involved, from The Vatican down to small parishes across this planet, in a systematic coverup of decades of abuse, possibly centuries of abuse.. And yet true repentance hasn’t taken place.. just blame and payoffs!  So to understand how a new generation of christians are feeling the church may not be all that Jesus wanted.  And when I say Church, I mean believers…  Jesus will have a spotless Church, believers, that He will return for.  He said that the Lord will not dwell in a man made temple but in the hearts of individual believers.. I don’t see many Christians in this country walking as Jesus would.. I do see a lot of them the type of religious man that He scolded.. 2000 years ago the religious men.. talked to God.. were involved in the govt of their time.. had all the money and everything one would want.. They also had a lot of hate in their heart.. they couldn’t even see when their God was amongst them.. as with this young man’s poem.. I believe that many of the religious men today are no different then the ones 2000 years ago.. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1400095261 Edward J Munoz

    That poem was spot on!  The same way you can use the scripture to beat anyone up you can to discredit what he was saying.  The church today is in a bad space.  You read revelations and when the Lord spoke to the churches.. he wasn’t very kind in his words.. because of what we see today,I believe.  I am embarrassed by many Christians I see because I do not see Christ in anything they say or they do.. They speak hate and control over everything they want.  They pick the law apart and use parts they want ignoring others.  The church in this country has come to believe that one political party is of God and the other of the Devil.. it’s absolutely absurd.   I don’t understand how anyone can watch that video and not get it! 
    and to the blogger, I was raised Catholic and as an adult searched the scriptures to validate every single ritual and rule…and I was not able to find them in the old or new!  The Catholic church is a great humanitarian organization however with todays resentment towards the Catholic Church, you can’t be surprised.  They were involved, from The Vatican down to small parishes across this planet, in a systematic coverup of decades of abuse, possibly centuries of abuse.. And yet true repentance hasn’t taken place.. just blame and payoffs!  So to understand how a new generation of christians are feeling the church may not be all that Jesus wanted.  And when I say Church, I mean believers…  Jesus will have a spotless Church, believers, that He will return for.  He said that the Lord will not dwell in a man made temple but in the hearts of individual believers.. I don’t see many Christians in this country walking as Jesus would.. I do see a lot of them the type of religious man that He scolded.. 2000 years ago the religious men.. talked to God.. were involved in the govt of their time.. had all the money and everything one would want.. They also had a lot of hate in their heart.. they couldn’t even see when their God was amongst them.. as with this young man’s poem.. I believe that many of the religious men today are no different then the ones 2000 years ago.. 

  • Monique

    One
    problem is that many of us have different definitions of “religion”.  I like to distinguish between the Church and
    the Body of Christ: The Church being the man-made structure (where people think
    of the Church more like a “club”) which the guy in the video seems to be
    equating with “religion” and the Body of Christ being all believers ~ all those
    filled with His Spirit.  I believe His
    Body, believers, are in many “churches” ~ including both Catholic and
    Protestant.  I was raised Catholic, and
    now attend an evangelical church, so I tend to associate the anti-religion with
    a legalistic/fundamentalist Protestant church.  I don’t think about it as anti-Catholic, but
    can understand the reaction.  I
    personally wouldn’t send this video along….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Kerns/100000658746013 Ron Kerns

    apparently…he’s never been to our church…(as is most people who criticize ‘big churches”)….sure, we go to a HUGE church…massive.
    Not only do we “feed” the poor, both physically and  spiritually, but, most importantly, the ministries of our church “serves” those people by “enabling” them to feed themselves…and, to be self-sufficient.

    But, if you just simply drive-by our church, and see it’s 1-million square foot building…you would never know that. You’d just ASSUME that our church was “just a big building”, and one that doesn’t do anything to “feed the poor”.

  • http://bunkersdown.com/ Ami

    I really enjoyed your post.  There are days when I think you are one of the bravest people I know.  
    And isn’t Catholic bashing so two years ago?  I thought Mormon bashing was the latest trend.  (Said in my very best tongue in cheek tone.)

  • Heather Fuller

    it’s interesting to me the different reactions to the phrase “i hate religion”. i have my own reasons but i won’t go into them.

  • http://blueberriesforme.wordpress.com/ Blueberriesforjackie

    I noticed the anti-Catholicism. I think that Catholics are used to picking up on the subtleties people mean when they are talking about rules and rituals and such. I think he meant it as a criticism of other denominations too as well.

  • Rev Rachel

    Wow!  I am a bit amazed by the level of vitriol that has emerged in response to EE’s post.

    First, I want to say, EE’s response was to poetry, which is supposed to be interpreted.  She gave her interpretation.  Maybe it’s not your interpretation, but that doesn’t make what this video stirred up within her wrong.  Poetry is supposed to stir up things within us.  Instead of telling EE that she’s wrong, let’s commend the man in the video, even if we don’t agree with him, for getting us to think and for challenging us.  And let’s commend EE for doing the exact same thing by posting her response.

    We all hear things through our own filters.  We all see things through our own lenses.  And we all, each and every one of us, make our own interpretations.  Maybe this guy didn’t mean to come across as anti-Catholic, but that is how some people (and EE is not alone, judging from these comments) heard it.  And perhaps it would be a good idea if he knew how he comes across.  If he’s in any way open to dialogue, he might appreciate hearing how his words were seen as hurtful to some.

    When I first saw the video, I didn’t immediately think, “Oh, it’s anti-Catholic” because that’s not my lens, my filter.  Like many of you, I saw the mega church.  But when I read EE’s post, I could certainly see how she interpreted it as she did.  And it caused me to reexamine my own interpretation and to make room for her’s beside mine.  Did it mean that my original interpretation is wrong?  No, it just means that this piece, even if it’s not great poetry, is speaking on many levels to different people.  If itchallenges you and brings you into a closer walk with Jesus, then hooray!  Let’s celebrate.  If it offends you, try thinking about why it offends you (like EE does here).

    But let’s keep the vitriol, sarcasm, and condemnation of each other’s experience our of this.  We’re broken enough as it is, and I don’t think it is the intent of either EE or the man in the video to fracture us even more.

  • Greg

    I think perhaps you should promote Jesus as much as you do your man-made religion.

  • Greg

    I wish you promoted Jesus as much as you do your man-made religion!

  • Jackyhatherley

    Me thinks the lady doth protest too much!!

  • Guest

    I am 21 years old and I feel as though I am more mature than some of these people on here. I am pretty sure if the Lord were to see these comments he would not be pleased. Jesus would understand the intentions of this guys video. I am sure he would understand the intentions of all of these comments but the way that this conversation is being handled is not by kindness and helpful guidance as Jesus would’ve have done so himself. All this conversation has done is speak sarcastic remarks and was meant to hurt people merely for expressing their feelings to the Lord. You all have missed the important thing here and that is Jesus told us to love one another not to make a person feel low by saying rude things. This is what this boy is talking about. He has experienced bad things from so called Christians who don’t follow the word of God but instead offend people with their tongue. That’s how people become lost. They meet too many people that have an agenda to prove something to others. You shouldn’t have to prove yourself to anyone. Jesus knows your heart and it won’t matter that you argued about something like this when you are being judged. I don’t think I offended anyone because this is the truth. Don’t worry about others because this is between you and God. Will you be proud of yourself for the things that you have said? Did you accomplish anything while doing so or did you make this situation worse?
     
    God Bless,
    Tasha

  • April Dorris

    You make good points, but I didn’t see this as an attack on the Catholic church.  I didn’t see it as an attack on any denomination at all, but an attack against a certain mentality that seems prevalent in the church these days.  He missed the mark on some of his facts, but that does not negate his intent. 

  • MissT

    I have been reading many responses to Jefferson’s video and I am entertained by people’s responses. Severely involved religious people tend to see his video as negative and blasphemous. Younger folks tend to love his open-minded concepts. I have to agree with txmom2jami. I also believe that he is not speaking to “religious” people who walk in good faith, who practice what they preach, who do not judge and who accept others and offer love. On the other hand, I am confident he is speaking to so-called religious people who feel empowered by claiming to belong to a religious affiliation (rather Catholic, Christian, Judaism, etc). Indeed he is noting that religion IS manmade regardless who how long it has been around b.c. or a.d. alike. Those who have studied the Bible for example, know that scriptures were not written and spread by spoken tongue. With that, we all know how a story changes as each person says it. The Bible is manmade and conclusively, religion is manmade. This does not discredit its teachings.
    I hear Jefferson’s honest intent… to want to be accepted, to find love where God is, to not be torn apart & put down by religious folks. He should not haves mentioned judgment because of course, he is judging. You call him self-righteous, I call him as curious as to anyone who does not know God or is having trouble deciding the right path… definitely not self righteous. For some reason, I feel his lyrics are being taken too literal, i.e. not feeding the poor. Yes, churches (all of them) are well known for feeding the poor. The sad thing is that sometimes religious folks turn their back on their family members who “sin” because it’s so easy for them to judge their family, yet they will feed an addict or guide them in hopes to “save” them. The contradicts of man (just as in Jefferson’s video) are the sole reason some do not see the Light in religion. Again, I don’t think he was trying to appeal to people who walk in good Faith.
    This video really hit home for me. I was raised Christian, private schools, etc. I studied religion in college solely to find out why Christians judge Jews and Jews judge Buddhist and why Muslims are judged by all. The core of almost all religions are the same. The stories are incredibly similar (as I call the guidance, lessons, not necessarily words of Christ… words of humans used to teach others to lead a good life.)
    It’s important we see the positive in all things… to not bash one who is trying to learn, trying to find his way. His way may not be “your” way. But, he may lead “someone” to God’s love (and I believe, all of our God’s is the same God, rather belief in Trinity or God alone.)
    I think Jefferson’s piece is something each “religious” person should reflect upon instead of firing back about his errors. Just sayin’

  • http://paint-me-a-picture.blogspot.com/ Lindsay

    Thank you for posting this. I thought all the same things when I saw the video. I didn’t have guts to share it because I am still struggling with being a closet Catholic (converted a few years ago from fundamentalist, charismatic cult myself and still trying to find a way to share what I think/believe with others).

  • theologos

    The “slammiin” this young man does is against “hypocrisy” not religion. To venture into a theological world one has to know something more than rhyming words. Concepts is what theology is about. The appeal here is to young people who are unhappy with hypocritical, empty practices that are masked as Christianity. To say, “I love the church” but hate religion is a bit of equivocation. We cannot let a generation determine new meanings for good old words. There is a standard to uphold. Just because something sounds and looks good does not qualify it as true. 
    Elizabeth did an excellent job of pointing out the fallacies and inconsistencies in this “slam.”

  • Nancy

    I love this blog post. Thankyou! This video urked me the moment I saw it, yet I couldn’t articulate why. You’ve hit the nail on the head.