A video poem posted on YouTube by 22-year-old Jefferson Bethke from Seattle has been viewed more than 19 million times. The video titled “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” has high production value with multiple angles, concise editing and beautiful architecture in the background. Bethke takes aim at organized religion, criticizing what he sees as its lack of charity, openness and connection with real people and real problems. The video has resulted in thousands of response videos. It’s clearly a hotly contested topic.

Pastor Diane Greble from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Fowlerville, Michigan watched the video and provided this candid response, “I’m glad this young man loves Jesus! I hope that he will not stop by comparing Jesus to religion, but to compare faith to religion.”

Greble continues, “Ultimately, Jesus calls us to live out our faith through love. [Bethke] says he’s not judging, but yes, he is. We all are far too good at judging other’s actions and motivations.

Pointing to a Christian lesson Greble describes how Jesus warned against judging others, “Jesus said this clearly when speaking of pointing at the speck in another’s eye while ignoring the plank in our own eye.”

Addressing the statement about the church and its members Greble added, “What I know about the church is that it is full of broken people who want to know that God will heal and forgive them and help them become ‘well’ so they can love throughout the world without fear of God. And the church is full of people who love well, and do great and amazing acts of love, whether small or large.

I hope [Bethke] will grow in love and faith and hope and gentleness and perseverance and trust and acts of compassion. Sharp words and harsh critique rarely attract people. These other expressions always attract people.

What do you think about the video? Leave a comment!

Has the Internet made a positive or negative impact on how faith is expressed?

Comments (2)
  1. Jason Smith says:

    I believe he has done a wonderful Job and he couldn’t be more truthful and as for Judging others the bible says in Matthew 18:15-22

    If your brother sins go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

    But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.

    If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as Gentile and a tax collector.

    Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

    Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.

    For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

    Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

    Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

    This is something we should never forget. We can confront other’s faults but we must do it right. This man was simply stating facts that he has seen because he never mentioned a person by name still alive today except for Jesus. The bible also says “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” and you have said that we are all far too good at judging. But are you not judging him when you say that he is judging others? The way I see it you are judging the fact that he has judged. That makes you no more than him and now me no more than you for I called this out as well. but I don’t believe this to be the sinful judging but the kind that does help others realize there faults and this helps us “win our brother” so to speak.

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