Yeah, that’s a long title, I know. We can try using an acronym like W.I.L.T.W.I.H.R.A.L.J.V. but that’s just dumb. Anyway
Less than a month ago, a video was uploaded that went viral immediately. It was titled Why I Hate Religion and Love Jesus. It currently has almost 18 Million views. In less than a month. Yeah.
It features a young Christian with a desire to share his faith with others. He passionately and skillfully weaves his message through spoken word and the simple, yet effective and well-timed typography helps drive the point home.
Like any major YouTube hit it already has it’s share of responses – some positive, some negative. There are the response videos, parodies, the smart alecks, the violently for, the violently against, the so-violent-they’re-incoherent, the cringe-worthy Christians – everyone. I don’t know if you’ve seen it or have an opinion on the matter, but what I love about it goes beyond the 4:04 running time.
When I first watched it, I liked some of it. I had some concerns, but didn’t take the time to really think it through yet. As I was researching on it, I stumbled on an article written by Kevin de Young, a senior pastor in Michigan. He took the time to go line by line and thoughtfully show from Scripture which parts were accurate, which parts were wrong, and which parts were gray (open to misinterpretation by Pastor Kevin or others).
I read it and it reflected much of what I had bugging me when watching the video. So I was glad to see that addressed. But then he did something I didn’t see done in all the articles or videos I read about it. He addressed the author, Jefferson Bethke, directly.
He did it fairly, sensitively, gently, without flinching from saying what needed to be said. That balance was just so Christ-like. And it gets even better.
Jefferson Bethke responded. He was humble and honest. He received the correction and expressed his side of the issue as well. The exchange between them is documented in a follow-up blog. It was such a beautiful picture of a younger person and an older person coming to agreement based on Christ and His Word. They successfully expressed themselves, while sincerely listening to the other. It gave me so much hope for future of the church and the world.
Here are some lessons I took away from it:
1. If you’ve got a concern with someone, say it to them directly. Stop talking about them behind their back, dropping hints, or vague online attacks. The most loving thing we can do is to gently but truthfully speak to our brothers and sisters in error. (Matthew 18:15-17)
2. Be humble enough to receive correction. Unless we’ve got delusions of perfection, then we should expect correction as a regular part of life. Let’s not get defensive or angry. If we’re surprised at being corrected, then what are we thinking? That we assume we’re absolutely perfect all the time? Correction is part of growing up. Get used to it or God calls you stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)
3. The Word of God is the standard that unites us. Both men had good points. Both men needed to understand each other. They were able to do this because they had one standard – God’s Word. Emotions are volatile. Arguments are unending. The Word of God as our final arbiter will allow us to walk united.
That’s it so far. I just wanted to share the behind the scenes thing I found to this hit video. That’s why I love it.
LINK RECAP: READ THEM! FOR BEST EFFECT
Original Video: Why I Hate Religion and Love Jesus
First Blog Response by Kevin de Young: Does Jesus Hate Religion? Kinda, Sorta, Not Really
Second Blog with exchange between them: Following Up on the Jesus/Religion Video
Kevin de Young: About
Jefferson Bethke: Twitter