The following video has been going like a wildfire around the internet, but the question is, what do you think about it? Do you agree with its content? If so, why? Why not? Is religion dead? What do you think is Bethke’s definition of religion? Of grace? Two video postings are shown below. The first video is the original one that has gone viral, rapidly making its way around the internet, and the second video is a Lutheran response to its content. Let’s get the discussion going … what do you think?
Regardless of how we may feel about the videos, both Jefferson Bethke and Johnathan Fisk raise some interesting thoughts to mull over and wrestle with in our minds, as is evident by the videos’ discussion all across social media right now. There were parts of me when I watched Bethke’s video for the first time I was like, “Right on! Preach it!” But then I began to ponder it a bit more. With the release of the video we have been given a huge opportunity otherwise not present to talk with people about the “new” religion Jesus sought to bring and the nature of church and faith itself. The video has certainly touched a nerve with many who are tired of the institutionalized church with currently over 11 million views and counting (yes, that is an 11). We have a tremendous doorway of opportunity open before us to rightly speak on the deeper things of life as well as our love and passion for Christ’s Church, His beautiful bride.
Yes, religion matters because Jesus said it matters (man-made no, Christ-centered yes). The church matters, because it is God’s chosen vehicle to expand His Kingdom.
True, over and over again, Jesus said in many and various ways that He wants nothing to do with Pharisaical religious platitudes but instead He passionately desires our heart. He is not interested in eloquent prayers (thank You Jesus for that) or right actions, He simply wants us, just as we are.
This being said, the new religion Jesus brings is a message not about anything we “do” but rather it shouts that it has all been “done” — signed, sealed and delivered through the flesh and blood of Christ Himself, sacrificed on a cross and given to us through bread and wine. This new religion comes “to us” through the Word, Jesus Christ, as a free gift of God’s grace, which He so lavishly pours out upon us through Jesus’ death on a cross. Jesus lived and died in order to give us the most incredible gift of all … eternal life in heaven … an unconditional, no strings attached, pure and holy love! This is all grace, all God, active and alive in our life! Yes, it is all about Jesus, but it is also about religion because God sent His Son, Jesus, to fulfill what religion required as the two came together in the most unexpected of places: on a cross. In this moment we are forever pointed to a new way, a new relationship with God (Gal 4:4-6). We are a people of the cross and empty tomb; His cross is big enough to carry anything that engulfs our life. Victory is ours through Christ!
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children. (Psalm 103:14-17)
In the shadow of the cross,