Monday, January 16, 2012

Hate Religion.... Love Jesus

This video has made the rounds and I pass it on to you.  The points made a good points and yet in the midst of all of this I find myself torn by some sympathy to his points and frustration over the somewhat false perception of "religion" and "church" that he uses.

I pass this on only because it seems to describe the feelings of many who have become fed up with the "church" and "religion" while remaining affectionate toward Jesus and in search of a "church" that is more like Jesus and less like "religion."

No one but a fool would argue that the "church" and "religion" have masked and dulled the Christ whom the Scripture unfolds to us but I refuse to grant the premise of this young man -- namely that they have so masked and dulled Christ that He can no longer be found there.  In fact, it is because of the Lord acting within the church that have the Scriptures and sacraments as the means of grace that continue to call into being the Church and call individual Christians into that community of grace.

Oh, well, you listen to it and tell me what you think....


Rich Kauzlarich said...

See Pr Fisk response "Freestylin': Jesus = Religion" on YouTube

Anonymous said...

Rich, thanks for the recommendation. I saw that video awhile ago and wasn't quite able to put into words why it bothered me. Pr. Fisk gets it.

BrotherBoris said...

I think Pastor Fisk put this guy in his place.

Janis Williams said...

Having part of the Truth is not Christianity. Putting your finger on problems in the Church does not excuse abandoning it.

Man's rebellion can "feel right" but be wrong. When we turn on what Christ has given us (the Church/Religion) we turn on Christ. When Jesus says we will know the Truth, and that He is the Truth, He doesn't mean PART of what He is/teaches.

James said...

The person in the video describes the spiritual exhaustion and disillusionment that a person experiences by belonging to a congregation that embraces the Theology of Glory. Attendance and participation rates may be low at LCMS churches, but not because of the theology. Lutherans need to learn how to "do" fellowship in order to foster a sense of community and belonging. Therefore, the problem as defined by this person does not apply to the Lutheran church.

The LCMS needs to take the wording from the video and place it on a prominent place of the synod website. The solution: Jump off the Charles Stanley-style Law! Law! Law! treadmill and embrace the Theology of the Cross. Lutherans need to market this aspect of the Church to disaffected Evangelicals. The LCMS needs to encourage fellowship and offer the Lutheran church as a place of rest from Law! Law! Law!

The Willow Creek Association and TCN offer programs designed to counter laymen reactions of exhaustion and disillusionment to the Theology of Glory. Such programs never advocate ways that Lutherans should market the Theology of the Cross. In fact, such consultants argue that the Theology of the Cross is turning off the 18-35 year old demographic. For example, the hymnal and liturgy should be replaced with Evangelical praise band music.

Why should LCMS "church growth" congregations use the same consultants. It is no accident that over time, such congregations begin to worship and pray just like (bad copies) of the "hip" and "cool" non-denominational mega-churches. Do Lutherans really want to transform their churches according to the Andy Stanley, son of Charles:

It is no accident that Charles Stanley's son, Andy Stanley is a featured speaker at Willow Creek conferences:

More Law! Law! Law! Like father, like son. No wonder so many people hate "religion."

Anonymous said...

Since churches are led by sinful
pastors who minister to sinful people
then the church will always have
an image problem. Only the Word and
Sacrament can level the playing field
until Christ returns on the Last Day.

This is the difference between the
church militant and the church

Anonymous said...

The problem is that he is basically lying. If you examine each of his points, many are just plain not true, others are misrepresentations of what is really happening.

Like building big churches and not feeding the poor.

What a lie. Tons of people were employed building those buildings which meant they got to eat and learned a trade to build other buildings. In those buildings they were taught to love and serve their neighbors and were forgiven their sins. The church was the only social service agency and the offerings were used in part to feed the poor.

People had religions and temples before Christianity and those temples were out right abusive. You could feed yourself if you sold your son or daughter to the pagan temples to be prostitutes or worse to be sacrificed outright.

And all that refute just one of his lies.

The guy apparently hates Christians and casts aspersions on them.

For comparison's sake, view D.S. Lockridge's testimony of Jesus.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Mr Bethke could use a copy of Rod Rosenblatt's "The Gospel for Those Broken By the Church".


Chris said...


It is not the church that has dulled and masked Christ, but the sinners who run it which, sad to say, includes both you and me.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say I understand where he is coming from. He has been hurt by the actions of a church or person(s) in the church. Probably judged by them and made to feel less of a person. I have been treated like a leper in my own church because I don't fit into their perfect mold of married with children. I'm divorced and though no one cares to find out what happened, I'm labeled. I go to church every Sunday to be fed God's word & sacraments but no other involvement. It's sad, it's really sad.

Sage said...

Anon who is divorced, keep going and be fed by what is there. I went one further and have been remarried. It's true, they don't understand what happened to initiate the divorce, but we go on with God's forgiveness.

Perhaps if you reach out and initiate the contacts you will find a better reception. I know on my first visits, I thought the congregation was a bit stand offish, but I was determined to continue going. I wasn't overly gregarious (I'm a true introvert), but I would speak to one or two each week and smile at the others. It didn't take long to feel a part of the congregation after that.

Just some thoughts...