Monday, January 23, 2012

Generating conversation

For a somewhat innocent YouTube video, Jefferson Bethke's video Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus has caused quite a firestorm and now quite a bit of attention for Jefferson. He was on CBS news this morning and got to talk just for a few minutes about what he was trying to say with this video.

What was weird was having the the other guy, I assume he is a Catholic priest, on stage during a six minute segment. I found it interesting to hear the "priest" say that when Jefferson was baptized that he became part of the institution, a part of organized religion. First of all, that guy is flat out creepy looking and the turtleneck just makes it worse. Second I am not sure why they invited Jefferson to be on the show if they were really planning on letting the other guy keep telling Jefferson what he meant especially someone who represent the epitome of organized religion.

I think it is generally healthy to have this conversation out in the public square instead of in intramural discussions among people who are already believers. I don't know that the conversation really captures the linkage between the institutional church and the sort of religion that is antithetical to the New Covenant community of believers but I do like that it engages many people who see, to various degrees, religion as hypocritical and empty. We can spend lots of time arguing about points of doctrine among believers with a great deal of eloquence and yet find ourselves tongue tied when facing someone who doesn't talk like we do and look like we do. The Great Commission is not really a command to try to convince people who are already believers why our doctrinal stances are correct but to reach the lost, those who need Jesus first and foremost long before they need to decide which kind of church they are going to join.

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