Why I hate Religion, but love Jesus

Surely you’ve seen the You Tube video by now. It’s crazy how many have watched it – maybe 16 million or so. It’s good. Really really good. I posted it on my Facebook as well….

But something’s funny about it – and the reactions it’s received. Let me try to explain:

The ones who loved it are Christians.

The ones who hated it were Christians.

He (the dude who did this) hates religion.

But he loves Christianity. He mentioned several times about “being a Christian.”  I mean, he mostly loves Jesus (which is good), but he also seems to love “being a Christian.”

And thus….the confusion for so many.  Why can’t we get this?

So here’s the thing – the ones who hated this video said things like “You can’t separate religion from Jesus or Christianity from Jesus or religion.”  Right?

The ones who loved it, didn’t catch that on one hand he was busy “hating religion” while on the other hand not acknowledging that Christianity is a religion.  True?  They simply cheered the good and creative message. Fair enough.

But as soon as I watched it, I thought to myself – oh my, this kid is good – and slightly confused. I also thought – that, like me – he’s going to make both sides angry.  “Both sides” being the “I am a Christian and Jesus is the founder of Christianity” side, and the “I’m a follower of Jesus and I’m not a big fan of ANY religion – including the one I grew up in,” side.  And sure enough – both were either confused or upset.

That’s why I’ve chosen to say things like “I dislike ALL religions – including my own.”  Or “All religions are equally well-intentioned but misguided.”  And JESUS is the answer. He is the way to God. He is truth. He is life.  He doesn’t just know the way – he IS the way!  And without a doubt he was against the religious folk and religion itself. Not sure how you can argue against that.

So the problem comes happens when we agree with the above paragraph, and then go on talking about Christianity NOT being a religion but a relationship. It doesn’t make sense to anyone (except maybe us).  If Islam and Hinduism are names of religions that have millions of people following them – and they are simply that – religions with followers/adherents; then why can’t we simply say that Christianity is the same.  It doesn’t cost us anything to give that up.

It clears the water.  Un-muddies the pond. Then we don’t have to think about WHICH version or form of Christianity we’re defending or exporting.  The answer would honestly be – none at all. And since we don’t need to defend or export Jesus – life all of a sudden gets simpler. We simply lift him up because he’s awesome and let each person make their own choice. We don’t hold back. We love Jesus. No apology necessary.

But let’s not keep switching back and forth from Jesus — Religion —- Christianity —- Jesus….etc.   Stick with the one who can take you somewhere.  And He’s a person – not a thing. Not a doctrine and FOR SURE not a religion!  Even ours!



  1. Jared Holsing says:

    Personally, I don’t think we’ll ever get away from Christianity being a religion. I think it’s better for us to redefine the word itself around what Jesus actually calls us to. Communion is, in my opinion, prescribed and patently ritualistic and religious. I’m not sure how we get around that.
    So, I took the guy’s comments with a grain of salt and interpreted them as his muddled attempt to redefine religion (even though on the surface he seemed to be repudiating it altogether).

  2. Dave Hall Jr says:

    It reminds me of the passage where paul talks about following Apolos or following Paul is bogus. Christianity is such a sneaky alternative because it seems to have the name Jesus in it even though it really doesn’t. So what do you think of being called “saints” or “The Way?” Or what if I really start talking your language and suggest “people of the book?” Do these alternatives have their time and place? Or should we just stick with following Jesus?

  3. randdmiller says:

    You can count me among the 200,000 (and counting) likes…….

    Also stumbled into an Islamic response to the video (which clearly delineates the borders between Islam and Christianity).

    No idea if the original video was intended to do this — but there might be a serious conversation happening – and I’d sure like to see where it goes.

  4. Bob Wheeler says:

    So are you saying that Jesus didn’t actually teach anything (doctrine) and He didn’t actually found anything (the church)? What was He doing with His disciples then?