A young Christian named Jefferson Bethke recently posted a video on Youtube entitled "Why I hate religion, but love Jesus." The video is a spoken word presentation of the Gospel. It has gone viral, already receiving over 16 million views. The video has been the subject of numerous evangelical blogs, and at least one network TV show. Click on the link below to go to the Lifeway Ministries Research site for a look at the video itself, and also Bethke's appearance on the CBS Morning Show:
Many (including the priest who appeared with Bethke on CBS) have criticized the video for saying that Jesus came to abolish religion. You might think that, since I make me living in the organized religion business, I would agree with these critics. On the contrary, I think Bethke is right on. Now, perhaps I would have used different terminology. After all, what he is really talking about is self-righteousness, not organized religion as a whole (and Jesus was DEFINITELY against that). But Bethke used the term "religion" for its shock value (a tactic Jesus used as well). Based on the popularity of the video, I'd say his tactic worked.
More importantly, if you listen to what this guy says, it's a powerful presentation of the Gospel. I'm willing to bet that many of the 16 million people who have watched the video would never sit through one of my sermons, or any sermon at all...but through a video like this, they hear about Jesus' love and atoning death. I don't know much else about Jefferson Bethke, but consider me a huge fan.
I'd love to get your thoughts on this as well...