So…this video has been making its rounds on Facebook and I am finally inclined to provide my opinion on it in a little bit more depth.
First off, the kid is spot on in a lot of areas. In general, the church, or people in it, do and say things to make themselves appear better than they are despite being sinful and wicked and truly in need of a Savior. To an outsider, these people appear shallow and judgmental and, above all, hypocritical.
Second, “religion” does not, under any circumstance equal “Christianity” or “faith” or anything else. Religion, according to Webster’s Dictionary is about the institution, the rules, etc. It has nothing to do with the heart. When the actor in this video says that Jesus came to abolish religion, it is most certainly true by this definition. Christ wanted the religious “elite” of His time to get real and stop being fake believers. They worshiped God with their mouths and with their outward actions, but their faith inside was DEAD. Truly, this is what Christ came to remove from the world.
Third, the actor speaks about the church having lavish houses of worship while not feeding the poor. I can agree with this point to a certain extent as well. I have seen churches so concerned with building a new sanctuary while neglecting the poor outside its walls. However, I have the fortune of being a member of a church that did both. We have a beautiful facility and regularly send missionaries, both locally and around the globe, in order to share the word of Christ.
Essentially, this gentleman is partially right. Actually, he is totally right if he is basing this off of his experiences in life. We cannot discount one man’s feelings about religion simply because “that’s not how my church does it.” Do I agree with him 100%? Absolutely not! I have been blessed to not be exposed to so much negativity in the church. We have our problems, that’s for sure, but I cannot wrap my mind around the church or belief system that has hurt this man so much.
That brings me to my final point: I have been DISGUSTED by the stance taken by some of the religious on Facebook and elsewhere. Instead of loving this man and trying to understand, many have taken to railing against his position, calling him a “fool,” “uneducated” and flat-out wrong. To be frank, I find that position to be most ignorant. How can someone be wrong when sharing their experiences? I would also submit that those most offended our the most convicted. I mean, why would someone be so upset about the video unless they felt they were being called out? To be very honest, the actor was right (based on responses) when he said Christians don’t back up their words with actions. The same Christians who “believe” that we should be “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) are the ones insulting this guy and making him out to a liar and a crackpot.
The moral of the story: When somebody doesn’t agree with you on the basis of your faith and gives a laundry list of negatives as reasons, do not denigrate their opinion. Find out why. Try to understand. Most of all, SHOW THEM LOVE.