Ok so we’ve all seen the video by now. For those that don’t you can watch it here:
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.
- a 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.
- a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
- the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
- the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
- the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.