Jefferson Bethke, from his Facebook page
Jefferson Bethke of Tacoma, WA posted a Youtube video on 1/10/2012 which has 10,886,714 views as of 1/15/2012 which is entitled “Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus.” Because of some of the more outlandish comments people posted, he posted this on his facebook page on Friday 1/13/2012 “If you are using my video to bash ‘the church’ be careful. I was in no way intending to do that… The Church is Jesus’ bride so be careful how you speak of His wife. If a normal dude has right to get pissed when you bash His wife, it makes me tremble to think how great the weight is when we do it to Jesus’ wife. The church is His vehicle to reach a lost word. A hospital for sinners. Saying you love Jesus but hate the Church, is like a fiancé saying he loves his future bride, but hates her kids. We are all under grace. Look to Him.”
This is not a line by line analysis, but this is in response to some of the uproar it has created.
It opens with the words “What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion?” Very simple: then you are wrong. Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17. The Law is the religion God Himself set up under Moses. Jesus opposed hypocrisy and false religion, but he did not come to abolish religion. Christianity is both a relationship with Jesus the Christ and a religion.
Many of the questions he asks are obviously true, but like so many true statements are either misleading or dishonest. For example, Jefferson Bethke says, “What if I told you ‘Republican’ doesn’t automatically mean ‘Christian’?” I have never met, talked to, read about or heard of anyone who either believes that or believes anything like that. This is a either a straw man argument, that is, deliberately misrepresenting your opposition or religious hypocritical mockery. It is an appeal to man’s pride, the “I am not like this so I am better than you” type of pride. Voting for righteousness is important and the democratic party disdains righteousness. Why do we who vote Republican, understanding that we are choosing the lesser of two evils, have to be mocked by you?
But the worst lines are the outright lies. “I mean, if religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?” This is one of the Big Lies atheists constantly use against us. The Christian Religion has never started a war. period. False religions start wars and Christian use the military to defend themselves when attacked, but the Christian Religion has never, ever started a war.
“Why does it build huge churches but fails to feed the poor?” The Law commanded the building of the temple, mostly of gold, yet Jesus said “For you always have the poor with you.” Matthew 26:11 The greatest help to the poor the world has ever seen are the hospitals, orphanages, poor houses, retirement homes, rescue missions, etc. built by the Religion of Christianity.
“Tells single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever had a divorce?” The Religion of Christianity does not say that. Anyone who says this is not a Christian.
Though there are many hypocrites who fit the descriptions he gives, he fails to realize that by condemning all religion, he is just another hypocrite. “Now I ain’t judging, I’m just sayin’, ‘Quit puttin’ on a fake look.’” Yes, you are judging.
“Which is why Jesus hated religion, and for it he called them fools Don’t you see it’s so much better than just following some rules?” Jesus hated hypocrisy, not religion. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, as well as the rest of the Law. He is equating religion with the Law.
The key to this video are the lines “Now back to the point: One thing is vital to mention How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums See, one’s the work of God, but one’s a man-made invention” If he means by religion the works of sinful man to obtain salvation by his own efforts, then this section is entirely correct. But that is not the Religion of Christianity.
Jesus did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. A proper relationship with Jesus Christ will fill you with the power of His holy spirit to obey His Word. This is the Religion of Christianity.