Friday, January 13, 2012

Christian Response to the "Hating Religion" Video

From my previous post you should be able to infer that I found the viral popularity of the "Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus" video to be discouraging and disheartening. It's one thing for one guy out there to write that poem, and make that video. That event in itself wouldn't bother me so much, because I could just write that person's thinking off as anomalous and not representative of any large swath of Christians. But when my first exposure to the video came via an explosion of praise and enthusiasm from Christians, that makes it more troublesome in two ways: 1) It means that many Christians already had similar thoughts and 2) The fact that it is being spread primarily as a positive thing may influence other Christians to adopt a similar attitude.

Of the four times it appeared on my facebook on the first day, each post only had positive feedback on it. It's possible that those who felt like I did about it just kept their dissent to themselves, perhaps not wanting to offend anyone. But, in any case, there are many, many Christians out there who either agree with the sentiments expressed in the video, or at least don't find them harmful.

To my relief, in the day or two following the appearance of the video, there has also been a substantial number of critical responses to the video from the Christian blogosphere. Many of which echo the criticisms from my post, others that took the video to task for different, but extremely important reasons, and still others that fall somewhere in the middle.

This one by my friend Ron focuses on the misunderstanding of the significance Christ's work displayed in the video, reducing that work to solely "dying for our sins", while failing to emphasize the utterly crucial regenerative aspect of Christ's resurrection. Resurrection which enables Christ's followers to change, not merely to be forgiven.

This post, by a friend of a friend, largely echoes my points regarding conflating one certain mode of religion for religion itself.

This post by my friend Scott wasn't written as a response to the video, but it was something he wrote previously that he thought was applicable in light of the video. It's about how -- despite the sometimes understandable desire to want to do so -- we can't separate Christ from His church, and say we love Him but not it. And if the Church of Christ is not "religion" then there's no such thing as "religion".

This post does an excellent job of highlighting the fact that using religion to erect a false facade to cover our brokenness is not the fault of "religion", but the fault of those of us who sinfully misuse "religion".

Finally, this post does a phenomenal point-by-point breakdown of the inaccuracies and fallacies of the video in a way that I wanted to do, but felt it would require too much effort. Even my post focusing on essentially one aspect of the video was fairly long. So, thank you for picking up my slack, sir.

I'm sure there are many other similar backlash responses out there, and thank God for that. I thought I'd just share a few of them that I found encouraging. While the "spiritual-Christ-follower-but-not-religious" attitude is still seemingly epidemic, it's good to know I'm not alone in opposing it.

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