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Jesus > Religion

Jesus > Religion

A video making the rounds talks about how Jesus came to abolish religion. He says that is possible to love Jesus but hate religion.

Lisa Fullam at dotCommonweal says:

I recommend it to you not because I agree with everything this fellow says–though I’d love to have him in class to bring up this kind of discussion! I post this here because I suspect he represents a very widely held set of notions among Millennials. These are the young folks who not only don’t darken the doors of churches, but don’t see any reason for doing so. As they see it, the Christian churches’ concerns simply don’t mesh with their concerns. (Ask any campus minister–many, if not most, will tell you that aside from a small group of, often, fervent “traditionalists,” most students are not so much alienated from church as utterly uninterested. It’s not hard to get a larger group on-board for social justice initiatives, but the whole Church thing? No thanks…)

But it’d be a mistake to confuse indifference to religious institutions with indifference to Jesus.

So…does this fit with your experience of millennials? And how might the Church address the needs of this generation? Or will we continue to preach to the (aging) choir?

Continuing our discussion about what is “core” and what is “negotiable.”


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Cyberia Rune

Thanks, Willie Goforth, for explaining the background and thrust of the video. Often, the opening says something quite well, but people kind of “fall off the bus” as the reasoning plays out, and I think that’s part of some of the replying comments that I’ve read above.

We might take a second to define “Religion” in context, since the rift between Pharisee and Sadducee, the “Righteous” and the “Just,” seems to be the main point in the video – and something that I’d hope we’d all agree on – in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, or today!

I’m so “not a fan of Rap,” that it took me a few lines to catch on that it’s a rap piece, but afterward, I still enjoyed it! Thank you, Andrew Gerns, for putting it where I’d find it too!


Rev. CW Brockenbrough

Well, my frustration with the attitude conveyed in this video is based on a lot.

I’m frustrated by the idea that “religion” is the problem; it’s not. Religion is the practice and expression of faith. But, especially among young, conservative evangelical adults, “religion” is seen as this unwelcoming, unfriendly set of rules to follow.

I’m frustrated that this sort of perspective (as presented in the video) is considered new, edgy, revolutionary — but it’s the same message that’s being preached in any given conservative evangelical church. I’m frustrated that churches that appear to focus more on “religion” than “Jesus” (such as the Episcopal church) are considered less Christian, regardless of the fruit. Because of the tendency to assume that any recitation (of prayers or creeds) or “old traditions” (like hymns or liturgy) are empty and meaningless, but the latest songs from the big-name pop-worship groups are relevant. Or that food pantries are a ritual, but missionary work is meaningful. There’s value to all of it, and dismissing anything “old” or “small” as a requirement of “religion” (not an expression of faith) only harms the Christian community as a whole. The fruit (whether a church or an individual) is more important than the appearance; if a community is improved in its overall atmosphere, whether by schools, religious programs, access to food and healthcare, or any other service-based or positive-aspect, that is a church or person focused on using religion to express faith. Conservative, liberal, regardless of denomination…religion is a tool to explore and express faith, not the extent of belief.


Thanks Sheena – please sign your full name next time you comment. ~ed.


Well, for one thing: churches DO feed the poor, and have for a long time, when nobody else did. Even today, churches are involved in doing mission work all over the world.

And as mentioned above, many people have spent years of their lives working through the church at all sorts of service to others.

Churches have built universities and hospitals, too.

Bill Moorhead

Not just a river in Egypt. Yeah, sure, there are some things that I would probably phrase differently, but, come on, folks! Read the Gospels again! And then explain to me what this young man is getting wrong.

I think this is deeply related to Andrew’s January 6 posting:

Clint Davis

What is the point of this? Do millenials really see this and think, “yeah!”? “My youth minister’s awesome, he talks in [bad] poetry in an edgy video, cool!!” Give me a break. Next. Notice I’m not even addressing the message, it’s trite and simplistic, a mere diatribe against hypocrisy, which is better aimed at specific instances than in general. And yet, I get the conflicting message of: “You call yourself a Christian, but you’re sinning on Saturday night” and then “The Church is first of all for sinners.” By the time he got to the blood running down from the crown stuff, at the end of the video, I was over it. There’s a time for a bloody Jesus, and it’s called Holy Week, the rest of the time it’s dangerously close to torture porn. Would YOU want everyone rehearsing with glee the gruesome details of your torturous murder at the hands of an indifferent government? Maybe on the anniversary of the thing. The rest of the time, the meaning of it is more than sufficient. I probably disagree with this guy about that too.

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