Monday, January 16, 2012

Round 1: Jesus vs. Religion - The Idealistic 20-Something

Okay. Some very interesting stuff here about "religion" that was posted by one of my teenagers. There is a lot of truth here but there is reason to be cautious too. My Senior Pastor and I both posted comments that I copied and pasted here. Love to here your thoughts on this video. But wait! There are two more after this that I want you to see also that will mess with your mind as you consider the modern day church!

Doug Damron: A powerful message indeed....there is a difference between practicing a religion that looks like Christianity and following Christ whole-heartedly no doubt. The watch out with this poem is that it may cause some to forget the "centrality of community" to the work of making disciples of Jesus. Can't get two pages into the New Testament without discovering Jesus was working to create a Kingdom community (the Church) with a mission of transforming the world. You can't get three pages into the New Testament without discovering that being part of this community is difficult work--there are struggles, their is imperfection, not everone in Jesus' community looks like I do, thinks like I do, etc. Discipleship would be so much easier if it was only "me and Jesus" but thank God Jesus called me into a larger community with standards, expectations, practices, etc. that helps me to remember it is not all about me--it is about Him, through Us, changing the world. 

Me: I agree. I hate when teachers try to teach me something in their expertise. Who are they to tell me what to believe. In fact why read books. Who do these authors think they are?!? Let's just wallow in our self-righteous stupidity. Come on guys. The video gives us a lot to think about. You do need to be careful and thoughtful when considering a school, church, book, music, etc. You want to feed your mind with good stuff and live in community with people who understand their vision and purpose. There are plenty of examples all throughout history of people who have really screwed things up in the name of religion, education, philosophy, etc., etc., etc. But taking the church for example: when they come together and get it right, they are a powerful force for good to all people. We are all imperfect people in an imperfect world. If you also approach people with compassion and grace with a servant's attitude, well then, that is a good church practicing the right religion. You can either look at the church and "throw the baby out with the bathwater" or be a reformer with what you see is wrong. If you have better ideas, then do something about it. But to dismiss it entirely is cowardly and to think faith is merely a private matter is to dismiss centuries of theology and biblical teaching. The church is a "hospital"? True. But even in a hospital they receive healing and are sent back out into the world to live to the best of their abilities. Just some random thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Hey Scott- I wanted to add something, because this video has had a very inspiring and motivating effect on the kids in our neighborhood and church community- its being shared like crazy and has led some kids to check out our small groups and given other kids the bravery to share their faith in a new way. I think this kid speaks a language that other kids, and seekers and questioners can understand. He speaks as a kid, with words that are relevant and boils it down beautifully to the very basics of love and grace and relationship with Christ that really have to come first. You and Doug are right, the Christ-like community is essential, but sometimes this simple message from a kid can be the front line in breaking down barriers and walls first, making people think again about believing and letting God speak into their lives. This guy is from your church? Then you all are doing something right:) This isn't the first or last word on religion or on the love of God, the video doesnt explain everything there is to following Christ, but it is a good one that God is going to use to reach some folks where they are.

Scott Russ said...

Dear Anon, Thanks for the comment. This video is a really great conversation starter and lines up a lot with what David Kinneman says in "Unchristian". My hope is exactly what you are saying here: that this is not a reason to quit church altogether but to help make it be what it is meant to be. One of my teens posted it, he's not the creator of the video.