Coffee, Theology and Jesus

working out our messy faith over coffee

Tag: Religion

Importance of Christians Engaging not Excluding the World

Warning: This post is a little longer than usual.
In this post we really wanted to address how we (as Christians) are to approach people with different beliefs. It’s a hot button issue inside the Church with an array of different methods to either interact or share Christ with people of different beliefs. This post was written mainly by Rob with Tim writing a little bit here and there to polish off the edges. How we interact with people outside the Christian faith is of utmost importance and we see Christ be an amazing example, as well as the disciples, apostles, and other people in the Bible. In a world of talking points, political rhetoric, and more talking points, it is important that Christians stand out not just in the things they say, but how well they love with their lives. People are watching and waiting to see how followers of Christ are going to handle a lot of the hot button issues of our time. Here are our thoughts.

Interactions with Non-Christians

Interaction with those of a different religion, theory, or idea is something that can’t be avoided in the world today.  Nor should it.  However, this should be prefaced with a few things.  There is no “one-size-fit-all formula” and we should not expect a certain number of converts in a certain time period.  Evangelism is not Christians persuading non-Christians to join their theology.  We aren’t to be watching numbers and setting time based goals.  These are humans we are talking about, not our personal projects.  God wants to save every single person (1 Timothy 2:4) to be saved from their sins for His glory and their blessing.  Evangelism is really Christians following the leading of the Spirit of God who works sovereignly with people  in His time and purpose.  We are reaching real people with real needs in real circumstances.  But how do we do that?

In Love: Without Condescending The Individual
Spreading the gospel is something that every Christian has the responsibility of doing.  If not for the direct command of Christ “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15) we could rely on our inherent love for other humans to dictate this commission.  As Christians, we cannot avoid that anyone who does not accept Christ as their personal Savior will spend eternity in Hell.  This should touch the heart of every Christian reading this blog.  Our mission is to reach people with a message that can save them for all eternity.  Therefore, everything we do should be out of love not condescension and care not inferiority.  Paul was such an effective evangelist because he never lost sight of the fact “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).  Had it not been for the grace of God in my life I would be in Hell for all eternity.  We, as Christians, are only looking to share how God’s grace has changed us and offer that same hope to others in Christ Jesus.

I’ll tell you what love isn’t.  Love is not using every opportunity to tell every person you met how terrible of a sinner they are and how they only deserve Hell.  Probably not a good conversation/relationship starter.  The best evangelist we have is Jesus himself.  Now, we don’t have God’s omniscience but we do have His example.  In each situation where Christ would evangelize He first developed trust and a relationship.  Think about the woman at the well (John 4:4-42).  First, it was unbelievable to that woman that a Jewish man was even speaking to her (+1 right there).  She was a Samaritan and a woman.  However, He took the initiative and went to where she was.  Ever wonder why she was coming to the well at that time of the day?  It wasn’t the typical time.  She most likely wanted to avoid the other women because of the life she was living.  Christ came to her where she was.  He then tells her what He can do for her; He can give her living water!  There is no doubt that the kindness of this man spoke greatly to this woman.  She already sensed that she was valued in the eyes of the man before her.  Our relationships with others won’t be built in a specified amount of time.  I don’t believe we have the full story of the conversation between Jesus and this woman.  Perhaps it will be days/weeks/months/years of friendship before the proper door opens to share the gospel.  The point is that we should be displaying the attributes of Christ’s love long before we share the message of the gospel.  I heard a saying that goes “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  There is a reason that Christ sat and ate with sinners.  Because it is sinners He is trying to reach.  No better way to build a relationship then over some food and/or coffee.  That is what sitting and eating with sinners is all about.  Want to build a new relationship with an unbeliever?  Grab some food/coffee and listen.  Ask what is going on with their life and actually listen to the answer.  Don’t worry about telling them their sins are taking them to Hell.  Remember this is all about God’s timing; not ours.  If we are sensitive to the leading of the Spirit we won’t miss a good opportunity to speak the gospel but when we try to force it down their throats it does nothing but look bad on Christians.  Care about the person because I can assure you that God loves them regardless of their belief.

But what about when the opportunity finally comes up and perhaps our friend here asks us about the Gospel?  How do we share it?

In Truth: Without Compromising His Message
This one can be a little more difficult.  This is one of the major reasons that Peter says “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).  Gentleness and respect is what we are talking about when we say “in love.”  The first half of that verse says “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy.”  Interesting.  What I am reminded of is that this gospel is unchanging.  The gospel deals with the holiness of our Savior and therefore we should not alter it in any way.  We don’t need to change the message to make it more acceptable or to take an edge off it.  We need to present the truth.  Let’s go back to the woman at the well.  She and Christ have a relationship now and Christ in His omniscience sees the opportunity to face this woman with the truth of the message.  Her sin.  He asks her to go get her husband.  He confronts her with the issue she was looking to avoid by going to the well at that time of day.  But because He already established the relationship she didn’t throw the bucket of water on him and run back to her home.  Christ didn’t cover up the “ugly” part of the gospel to make it easier to swallow.  When our friends ask us about the gospel the issue of sin must be addressed.  Now, I wouldn’t suggest calling out the wrong you see in everyone else.  That would be the wrong way to go about it.  Christ had the lady confront her own sin before he spoke about it.  If it looks like someone is getting uncomfortable and upset about the topic and no longer wants to discuss it that would be a good time to let it go and talk about something else.  Too often Christians get the “Gospel Mode” going and can’t get out of it.  Just because someone asked you about an attribute of God doesn’t mean you have to point out the fact that pre-marital sex is wrong.  God is the one who is working with hearts/souls/minds and we are just “clay vessels” carrying the message of salvation.  Let God do His work and we must be faithful to present the uncompromised message of salvation.  Not this “feel good gospel” because that won’t save anyone from Hell.  But the reality that Christ died on the cross for sins and only a sinner can be saved.  Christ said “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).  Sinners are the ones who need Christ (thankfully I am definitely one of those which makes me eligible for forgiveness).

So the question then arises:  Well, if I am supposed to witness to nonbelievers and Jesus sat and ate with sinners, shouldn’t I go to the strip clubs, bars, and night clubs so I can relate to them?  We should go to where they are right?  How do I do that?

In Life: Without Contradicting My Testimony
As a messenger of the gospel my life is the greatest message being given.  If my life doesn’t display the love of Christ then no one will care what my lips are speaking.  This is why we stress the attitude of Christians so much on this blog.  The world around us is watching us to see if we practice what we preach and all too often Christians are coming up way too short.  I was once told “we represent a giving God so when we go to others we better go giving.”  Whether that is money, food, time, or whatever I think there is a lot of truth in it.  So first, our lives must reflect our Savior; not deny Him.  I will defer to the words said before an old DC Talk song “What If I Stumble.”

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him with their lifestyle.  That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

Tim & Rob

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The Condescending Christian

Condescension: (n)
1: voluntary descent from one’s rank or dignity in relations with an inferior
2: patronizing attitude or behavior

I think this is a word we are all familiar with.  A word we are all disgusted with? Perhaps.  A word we are all plagued with.  More likely.

I’ve been discussing Christianity with various friends recently and we have all come to the same conclusion: Christians are not very Christ-like.  It reminds me of the first time the label “Christians” was used in the scripture.  We have all heard this before, but in Acts 11:26 we see that “in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.”  The ironic thing is that this is an adjective and was not word that the believers called themselves but was a description that the pagans in Antioch gave them because they were following Christ.  The term was most likely a derogatory term given in mockery but the pagan world looked and saw people following Christ.  I wonder if they were being mocked because they actually acted like Him who they were attempting to follow.  Jesus said “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first” (John 15:18).  Contempt and mockery comes along with bearing the image of Christ.

Why do I say image instead of name?  “Christian” has become a nominal claim that holds no value but bearing the image of Christ is what we are called to do; be a reflection of Christ.  I believe a major problem in Christendom is that we are trying to be too “Christian-like” and forgetting to be “Christ-like.”

Now, this is not 100% true in every local church but it is a trend I am noticing more and more that the Church is shutting their “doors” tighter and tighter.  Obviously by doors I mean their hearts.  The attitude in local churches is that if you are on the inside you have been blessed and are a select group of “God’s elect” but if you are on the outside then you are not worth our thoughts.  It is interesting that Christ was never holed up in a building with the religious leaders of the day and reminiscing on how much better He was than the rest of the population (for He very well was MUCH better).  He was mocked for sitting and eating with sinners, for talking to a woman at the well, for calling children, for rescuing prostitutes, and loving the “scum.”  However, modern Christianity has turned their face from all of these ones that desperately need our love because we want to be “Christian-like.”  Christians don’t talk with non-Christians! Christians don’t get their hands dirty! Christians don’t sit and eat with sinners!  We want to stay in our “Christian boxes” and remind ourselves how great we are compared to all the sinners!  Paul knew nothing of this attitude when he writes to Timothy “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I AM chief” (1:15).  Paul knew he never lost his nature as a sinner and it motivated him to reach other sinners!  I remember hearing Billy Graham tell an interviewer that the first step for a gospel preacher is to first love sinners for whom Christ died.  Gospel preaching becomes dry and lifeless when the motivation behind the message is not a sincere love for the lost!  Why are people leaving churches to never return?  Because Christians are not “Christ-like.”  Christ didn’t have to provide entertainment to get a following and He didn’t need fancy projectors and loud music.  He only needed His love for every single person.  What happened?  They CLUNG to Him.  The world knows very little of God’s love because we have been called to be the vessels of His love but instead we shut ourselves in and pat each other on the back for being such a good Christian while lives are being torn apart, people are hopeless, and the world is spiraling out of control.

When I was in California recently I was talking to my friend and he was sharing with me some of the various things he has gotten himself into out there.  Every other Wed he goes and gives out burgers and Bibles to homeless people in LA.  Two of the ones he has reached come to services regularly on Sunday because he takes time out of his day to just sit and talk with them and helps them in any way he can.  This was just one of the things he was into and I really looked up to him for that.  He surely isn’t being very “Christian-like” but he certainly is being very “Christ-like.”

I’m not sure when we lost sight of the fact that we are only sinners saved by grace but we have.  Let’s step out of the box of our condescension and back into the life of love for people around.  I don’t care what race, sexual orientation, religion, or social status our neighbor is, they should all be getting a glimpse at the love of Christ.  Would my neighbor be able to call me a follower of Christ or is it just a label I’ve slapped on myself because I go to a Christian church?  What about you?  Lord, change my heart and help me to love like Christ.

-RM

 

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Kicking God Out!

Tim stated in his status today:
“Well as expected we have politicized the CT shootings. Conservatives blame the “absence” of God in schools, and liberals blame guns. There you go, keep fighting for your agendas, that’s definitely what we want to see. Finger pointing, blame games, rhetoric. it’s insane.

P.S my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. God goes where He pleases, He is God. We didn’t “kick” him out of anything. Besides, the Bible tells us that God looks at the heart of men, not the outward deeds. We can pray all we want in school publicly, but if it’s out of forced religious duty then it doesn’t matter to God. He wants our hearts.”

First I would like to say our hearts, prayers, thoughts, and love go out to all the suffering families.

But I would like to follow up on Tim’s points and elaborate a bit.  I don’t care about the political agenda of either side to be quite honest so if you are looking for a politically charged post, please move on.  I do care about the notion of “Kicking God Out.”  My first question is “where does God reside?”

Where Does God Reside

“Heaven,” shouts an excited child.
“AMERICA” declares a passionate patriot.
“Among the children of Israel,” explains an avid reader of the OT (Exodus 29:45).
“The Temple,” states one reading the dedication of Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 7:16).

What are we told, in this age that we are currently living, where God lives?  Acts 7:48 tells us not in a temple made with hands.  1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

God dwells in the Temple but not a physical temple.  Any person saved through faith in Christ is become “temple of God” and is the dwelling place of the Spirit of God.

So where does God reside?  In those who have been saved through faith in Christ Jesus.

Kicking God Out

Since we answered the question of where does God live/dwell then it’s easier to answer the statement that “we kicked God out of our country/schools/etc.”  Did we?  If I was at Starbucks and stated to the gentlemen next to me, “See that guy over there delivering tortillas to Qdoba?  I just kicked him out of here!”  The gentlemen may rightly state, “I don’t ever remember seeing that man in here?”  That is basically what we are saying when we claim that we are kicking God out of this country.  God doesn’t live in schools, in church buildings, in the Senate or Congress, in the White House, in stores, or in countries.  God lives in people.  So unless we are actively removing the Holy Spirit from individuals we haven’t kicked God out of anything.  I understand the concept that we remove the 10 Commandments from walls and declare “SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!” at every opportunity but that isn’t removing God.  God isn’t a person confined to a particular location He is the I AM.  I strongly disagree with “we pushed God out of our country so He took His hands out.”  God doesn’t promise protection to any nation besides Israel but somehow we get the notion that because the USA was founded on “Christian principles” we are a nation blessed by God?  In the NT there is the idea of God’s protection over a group of people but it isn’t a nation.  It is the church of God.  1 Corinthians 5:5 says “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”  Paul is telling them that they need to excommunicate the man who had been sleeping with his step-mother and that he should be handed over to Satan. Obviously not literally, as I firmly believe it is impossible to be controlled by Satan if you have the Holy Spirit, but into His realm outside the protection of the local church.  So unless we have been kicking God out of individuals then no one has kicked God out of anything, publicly.

However, I do agree with the sentiment that has been expressed that we shove God out of every area of our lives and then wonder where He is during tragedy.  Read the story of Job and take a lesson on dependence upon God in ALL circumstances of life.   This is different from the public removal of God into the personal removal of God.  As Christians, we can do this.  We are the dwelling place of God which means He should have access to every area of our lives.  But, what about the movies I watch? What about the management of my time?  What about the places I go?  What about the things I say? My job/school decisions?  It seems we push God out of active involvement in our lives and then wonder why things go wrong.  That’s not to say a Christian solidly grounded in God will not experience hurt, pain, sadness, or storms.  Actually, on the contrary he/she will probably experience more but when you are grounded in God the joy is unwavering and peace is overwhelming.  One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 23:26, “My son, give me thine heart.”

As a nation, it is impossible to “kick God out.”  Sure it is possible to deviate from the “Christian principles” but that won’t cause national tragedies.  God doesn’t punish anyone else for another’s sins.  But privately, we (at least I) have all been victim of pushing God out of certain areas of our lives.   When that happens we won’t enjoy that relationship we have, complaints will flow off our lips, and our joy will diminish.

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”  John 15:11

Christ gave us the key to joy in the preceding verses, especially vs 5.  One of the “I am” statements of Christ.  If we are abiding (remaining) in Him our joy will be full.

-Rob

 

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Jesus, the socialist? – Rob

Disclaimer:  I am not into politics myself but I am into clearing up misconceptions about my Lord. This was one that just continuously caught my eye.

JESUS WAS A SOCIALIST!!!! JESUS WAS A LIBERAL!!!!!  HE WANTS US TO TAKE CARE OF THE POOR, THE WIDOWS, THE FATHERLESS, THE MOTHERLESS, THE ABANDONED, etc etc etc.

I’m not sure how many times I’ve heard this argument that Jesus was all about taking care of the less fortunate.  I suppose I would agree.  Was not His entire mission in coming to Earth about “helping out the less fortunate?”  The less fortunate could be summed up in one word.  Sinners.  Sure, Christ came to save sinners; to die on a cross for all of mankind.  But, let’s look into the Bible a litter deeper to see what His “political” stance was.

Let’s start in the OT.  Yes, I know, a big scary collection of laws and rules for the nation of Israel.  But the God of the NT is no different from the God of the OT.  In Malachi 3:6 we read “For I am the LORD, I change not.”  I think that is pretty clear and we can all agree on that.  So what can we learn from the OT?

Numbers 18:24

For the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a contribution to the Lord, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance.  Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance among the people of Israel.

Deuteronomy 14:28, 29

At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns.  And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.

What do we see here?  We see the nation of Israel taking care of its own people.  The Levites were not given an inheritance when the division of the land of Canaan was given.  The tribe of the Levites was separated to the service of the sanctuary and the Lord was their inheritance (Deuteronomy 10:9).  But were they just freeloading off the rest of the nation?  Waiting in their tents till that Friday came around and they would receive their check?  No, the Levites were hard at work.  I would venture to say they were not given a division of land because the work of the priests was never done!  So the tithes that the rest of the nation gave were used to take care of their own people.  We also see that every third year they would tithe their produce and invite all people that were within their towns to come and enjoy what God had blessed them with.  It’s obvious then, that God is a socialist, right?

Wrong.

This would be one of the three ways I see in scripture that God gives as acceptable means to take care of the poor.  I would label this as “through the Church.”  In the NT, until the rapture, the Church is the main focus and where God is working through.  In the OT, the nation of Israel was the main focus and where God was working (and will continue after the rapture of the Church).  There were three tithes required (based on 1/10ths of incomes) which included:

  • Support of the Priests (Deut. 14:27, Lev 27:30-34, Num. 18:24-26)
  • Finance of the religious feasts (Deut. 14:22-26)
  • Support of the needy every three years (Deut. 14:28-29)

These were not government run coercions to produce equality and spread the wealth but God designed to take care of His people.  The main reason for the tithes was to pay for the cost of the feasts and provide for the priests.  Every three years they would hold a feast for the needy among them which would only show them the mercy and love of God.  The tithe to support the needy wasn’t a requirement of money but of food.  Interesting.  I guess we could see here that God is in favor of a “flat tax” system as well haha.  It didn’t matter how much money you had, the tithe was still 10%.  Why? To support the work of God.  Even in the OT, there was no free gifts.  Look at the law of gleanings (you can see it in action in the story of Ruth and Boaz).  When a farmer harvested his crops, he was not to go back over his field a second time to gather anything that was missed the first round but was to allow the poor to come and pick up what was left behind for their families.  There was always work involved when it came to aid to the needy.  Doesn’t sound too much like the socialist/liberal view to me.  Look at what Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”  But, there is a place for the Church to take care of some of the financial burdens of the Church and to provide charity to those that need it.  What guidelines do we have in the NT for that?  Again let’s look at Paul’s writings.  1 Timothy 5 gives us some good insight as to “how far” the Church should even go.  Verse 9 puts an age restriction on it, and verses 4 and 16 tell us the family is the first support and only if there is no other support should the Church step in.  Verse 10 tells us that they should have a good reputation and dedicated years of service.  Paul tells Timothy to deny younger women from getting help from the Church.  Some serious restrictions.  This isn’t because Paul was a woman hater but because it was not the Church’s duty to provide help as some sort of charity to anyone and everyone.  That was never God’s plan.  Yes, the Church should help out in the local community but only when it is something that God would deem as worthy.

What about the other two methods of “welfare?”  Well, we touched on one above in 1 Timothy 5:3-16.  The family.  If you notice verse 8 says “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  Strong!  We have an obligation to make sure people in our family are taken care of.  Obviously, I think the same restrictions apply.  I am not going to pour money into a family member who is going and spending it on alcohol and drugs.  But I could pay for rehab, provide food and shelter (as long as it doesn’t endanger my family), etc.  These are things that we should be more than willing to do for our family.  OUR FAMILY.  Got that?

What is the last one then?  Individual charity.  Matthew 6:1-4 says:

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.  Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others.  Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

What is the point?  If you have a burden to care for the needy and you are able then do so but, do so on your own and in secret.  Don’t herald to all around about what you are doing and giving.  At no point does Christ ever mention a method whereby the government should control what you give and redistribute the wealth.  That is the goal of liberalism and socialism.

I am not saying Christ is a conservative.  God is God.  If anything, He is apolitical and will reign in an absolute theocracy.  If you look at the list of evil things in Mark 7:20-23 we see Christ declaring both greed and envy as evil.  The list isn’t partial either way.  The greed of the poor man is just as evil as the greed of the rich man and the envy of the rich man is just as evil as the envy of the poor man.  The Bible gives us three methods of taking care of the needy and none mention allowing the government to do so.  Personal responsibility, family responsibility, and Church responsibility should all be carried out within the confines of God’s character.  Christ didn’t go around throwing His salvation at every person He walked past.  Nor should we go around throwing our money to every person we walk past and it definitely shouldn’t be done by the government.  All this nonsense about Christ being a liberal/socialist has got to stop.  He is God and that is final!  Do not apply titles to Christ that He does not claim.  His mission was Calvary not welfare.

~Rob

Why I hate the “Why I hate religion but love Jesus” Video – Tim Whitaker

Ok so we’ve all seen the video by now.  For those that don’t you can watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

Let me start by saying the good about this video.  I like this guy, his heart seems in the right place.  He genuinely wants Jesus, and wants to know Jesus.  Wow, awesome.  He also understands some of the MAJOR issues plaguing our church culture today.  He understands that just because you say ” christian” on facebook doesn’t mean you are one.  He understands that we have cared far too much about the outside appearance instead of the heart of people.  And he also understands that we need to really understand our faith.  The problem is, I don’t think he undersands the faith he is claiming.

I’ve heard all the slogans in the Christian culture “It’s all about relationship and not about religion” “It’s against my relationship to have a religion” and “I hate religion but love Jesus”.  I used to say some of these slogans myself.  The problem is looking back, I really didn’t understand what the heck I was saying.  I became a casualty of what I call slogan Christianity.    Slogan Christianity is when your faith goes about as deep as the slogans you’ve heard, and the 10 verses you grew up with (maybe more if you went to AWANA or VBS).  It’s dangerous because when you rely on catchy little phrases and a handful of verses to define an entire life, and when some of the slogans go viral (such as the “It’s against my religion to have a relationship”), people blindly follow the slogan without defining the terms.  In the example I gave we have to ask what exactly what is religion? What is relationship?  If we don’t understand what they mean, then they are useless.

This is the problem I see in this video.  While it sounds nice to the ear, it is empty. there is no depth, nothing is defined, nothing is articulated clearly.  What is this guy’s definition of religion?  Because religion can mean MANY different things.  In fact the word religion can mean several things.

  1. set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing amoral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
  2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
  3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
  4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
  5. the practice of religious  beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
Now look at some of those definitions.  Almost all them can fit in to the Christian faith.  There are general things Christians agree upon and practice (such as prayer), there is a body of people (the church),.  Christianity is a religion by definition! There is no way getting around it.  Just because we use the word “religion” doesn’t mean it is necessarily a bad thing.  The word religion is from Latin, and (at least in its etymological parts) it literally (and yes, I mean literally literally) means “reconnection” (re + ligio).  the word itself is completely Christian!
This is what I mean when I say we have to define what we mean.  Just because it’s a popular notion for Christians to be against “religion” doesn’t mean it’s right.
But what does he mean?  Well any Christian who grew up in the culture probably gets what this guy is saying.  He is saying that the core and fundamental heart of Christianity is not morality but it is Jesus. Jesus must be our starting point, NOT morality.  Once we start with morality we then believe that we can somehow earn the love of God.  This idea is completely contrary to the Christian belief system.
Also it is important to know the Scriptures.  At one point in the video the speaker says “What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion”. This is not true.  Jesus is pretty clear in Matthew 5:17 “”Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”.    Jesus did not come to abolish the Jewish religion and laws.  He came to be a fulfillment of what was spoken prior to His coming.
This brings me to my other major issue with this video.  The speaker exudes a terrible understanding of Judaism, the Torah, and exactly who the Pharisees were.  I don’t blame him, because I didn’t know much better until this past semester, and I still only have a tiny grasp on the issue.
The Pharisees were masters of the Torah.  By age 12 the Jewish children had the first five books of the Bible memorized.  From there only the best became Pharisees.  These were not ignorant people, they were immersed in the Torah all the time.  They were some of the greatest teachers and minds of the day.  The new the Law EXTREMELY well.  Sometimes in Christianity we don’t give them enough credit.  We just write them off as idiots.  This is not the case, they were extremely intelligent.  It is important to understand that the law at the time was the only words given by God to the Jewish people.  There was no understanding of a “trinity” to a Jew before and up to Jesus’s day.  The common Jewish person did not have  a “personal” relationship with God.  In fact in Exodus the people told Moses to be the communicator between God and them.  These are just a few things to keep in mind when it comes to the Pharisees, and the Jewish people.  They thought that the coming Messiah was going to establish an earthly kingdom (and after reading more of the Old Testament I can see why!), they had no idea he was going to be God himself coming down among them. There is a a huge context that we need to understand before we go around throwing God’s chosen people under the bus in ignorance because it is a popular talking about.
What’s my point? My point is this.  Jesus loves religion, He came for religion.  Jesus literally came to reconnect us with God.  So before we as Christians go around throwing slogans around like a beach ball at a nickelback concert ( I can’t take credit for that one liner), we need to understand what the terms we use actually mean.  Part of the Christian life is trying to understand and define basic ideas that we grew up with.  Here are a few I recommend to try and break down.
Define Grace
Define Salvation
Define the Gospel
Good luck, and welcome to the conversation.
For a much more in depth view on this.  Check this blog out.  Really well done when pertaining to this subject