On Friday we posted a video - "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus" - that had been making the electronic rounds lately. It created a good conversation when it landed here.
The video was churning up commentary in several places a once, including with our Lutheran friends. Blogger/pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber was asked to respond.
After confessing that there is much about the content of the video in which to be in sympathy, Bolz-Weber notes the specifics of her divergences with it.
I too reject religion that does little more than prop up an identity of sanctification and righteousness based in the successful adoption a particular affect, style, personality and way of speaking.
I too think that Jesus is about grace and being with those on the margins and the unbounded way in which God is always coming TO us.
I believe that religion can be beautiful. For every war it has started how many hospitals have been built? How many children found homes? How many people found community? How many non-profits established to serve the poor? How much beauty created?
So…I believe in Religion AND Jesus. I believe in the Gospel. I believe in the transformative, knock you on your ass truth of what God has done in Christ. I believe that I can only know what this following Jesus thing is about when I learn it from people I would never choose out of a catalog when we all gather together as the broken and blessed Body of Christ around the Eucharistic meal. I believe that I am the problem at least as often as I am the solution. I believe in participating in sacred traditions that have a whole lot more integrity than anything I could come up with myself. I believe I need someone else to proclaim the forgiveness of sins to me because I cannot create that for myself. I believe that Jesus is truly present in the breaking of the bread and that where 2 or more are gathered he is there. That’s religion AND Jesus. May God make us worthy of it all.