Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus Controversy

I kept seeing status updates about this video. At first, I paid no attention and skipped it. You hear the saying “It’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship” until you no longer listen. I agree with the saying, I just feel it’s overused. So, when I saw this video continually being posted, I shrugged and kept going……that is until I started seeing status posts of people who disagree with it. It peaked my curiosity.

What’s my personal opinion? Well, here goes:

I believe that a lot of Christians have a very rule-based view of Christianity. When I think of ‘religion’, I think of legalism.

Being a Christian isn’t about keeping a list of do’s and dont’s. It’s about being filled to the brim with His love and His spirit. It’s about sharing that love with everyone around you.

Now, I do believe that the Lord does ask us to do certain things. But, notice His greatest command:

And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’

-Matthew 22:37-39

Love. That is the greatest commandment, and the second greatest. Must be pretty important if He felt the need to make it the top two. When a person is filled with that love and embraced in His grace, they can’t help but do the things He asks us to do. Those things flow from that love for Him. The only way to have that love for Him is to experience His love for you.

There are two different versions of ‘religion’. There’s the version that Christ talked about. The love-based religion. And then there’s today’s version. What Christians have made it into. And what the guy in the video is talking about, I believe.

I think it starts to bleed into ‘religion’ and ‘legalism’ when someone does the things as a list of to-do’s. A chore list. Not because they truly, and whole-heartedly want to be used in every way for their Lord. ‘Religion’ isn’t about Christ. ‘Religion’ is focused on outward works and appearance. Christ is focused on inward works and inward appearance.

To me, religion is an excuse to put God in that box of rules. He’s this way and that way and handles a situation like this and that, etc. In reality, not one of us can ever fully understand Him, and He can’t be put in a box of our expectations.

I personally love this video and fully support it. I think this guy says a lot of things a lot of Christians need to hear. Does it ruffle some feathers? Make some uncomfortable? Challenge their beliefs? For sure. But is that honestly a bad thing? What’s so wrong about being uncomfortable and being forced to research what exactly you believe and why you believe what you believe?

I feel that too many Christians focus on being comfortable. So I encourage everyone to research. To not be scared of discomfort. To be ok with their beliefs being challenged and asking questions. How else are you going to grow?

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4 thoughts on “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus Controversy

  1. Ya, I think he just should have said hypocrisy/legalism. Technically, Christianity is a religion. There are just lots of problems with Christians. We just all gotta work on following Christ better, not ourselves!

    • I don’t think it’s so much his terminology as it is people jumping at any reason to attack. It’s pretty clear what he’s saying, but it seems many people just heard the word ‘religion’ and stopped really listening to what he was trying to say. I think it’s a really great lesson. A lot of people believe similar things, they just use different terms. We have to be careful to not make assumptions, but instead really listen to what they’re saying.

  2. I think that there are more than just two types of religion. Yes, there is that love-based religion you mention, and there is also the rule-based. However, there is also the mixture of the two where one follows all the rules because he loves Jesus Christ and strives to be like him. As an Orthodox Christian, there are a lot of rules I have to follow, but I do it because I sincerely believe that they are for the betterment of my soul. When I think of the other religions I have been in the past, I can’t help but agree with this guy. The things they teach aren’t right, but I don’t think that not having any religion at all is a mistake. Inevitably one starts to find “loopholes” in Christ’s sayings and begins making excuses. Suddenly the not having a religion becomes itself a religion. So you could even say that this guy who hates religion follows a religion, even if it is his own. I don’t want to pick an argument, but I do want to share what I believe.

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