(Orange, Texas)

September 22, 2012

The danger of false statements

John Warren
The Orange Leader


A recent episode of Nightline caught my eye.

A young, online Evangelist is hoping to send the message that Jesus does not equal "religion" in a YouTube video, that has attracted over 18 million views and incited hundreds of comments on the true meaning of faith.

The video,  "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus," has become their most-watched video. 

That’s more people than Billy Graham would have sitting in an arena.  The controversial video showcases what Jefferson (Jeff) Bethke says, “his journey to discover this truth – the difference between Jesus and false religion."  

"What if I told you, Jesus came to abolish religion?" the poet asks. "If religion is so great, why has it started so many wars? Why does it build huge churches but fails to feed the poor?"

Jeff, if you told me that Jesus came to abolish religion, I would say that is not the truth.  

If Jesus came to abolish religion, why would we find Him speaking in the synagogue you say He came to abolish?  

If Jesus had no interest in a church, why would He surround Himself with a group of hand picked men He called His disciples, whose training and purpose was to tell and recruit others to follow?  Wasn’t it Jesus who gave His disciple Peter, a position within the group, that indicates His purpose?   

Matthew 16: 18 - In Jesus’ own words:   “Here is what I tell you. You are Peter.  On this rock I will build my church. The gates of hell will not be strong enough to destroy it.”  

Not even the voice of a 22 year old idealistic young man on YouTube.  I think Jesus came not to abolish religion but wanted to transform people, the people who were within and outside of the temple faith.  I think that was a very revolutionary concept for His day.  Half truths are very misleading and dangerous, though poetic. 

One of the most disturbing statements Jefferson made was this: “When Jesus said it is finished I believe that He meant it.”  

Sorry again Jeff, words taken out of context do not equal the truth.  Jesus mission, as a live human being was finished on the cross, but that only means that it was the beginning, for He rose the next day.  

And for those who had been with Him in His ministry for three years, it was a new beginning. 

Thank God they took that mission up.  They all gave their lives that we may know the Savior and His story.  

The church is far from perfect but I dare wonder where we would be without it.