The video “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus” featuring poet Jefferson Bethke currently has more than 17 million views on YouTube and has become the subject of daytime talk show segments and countless video responses. While Bethke claims to hate religion, his poem reads like a plea for religious authenticity. He yearns for a faith that is free of hypocrisy and says, “There’s a problem if people only know you’re a Christian by your Facebook.” LinC looks at some of the points Bethke makes, and we’ll discuss what it means to have an authentic faith that goes deeper than mere words and gestures. Key Scriptures: Amos 5:21-24; Matthew 5:17-20; 23:27-33; Luke 6:46.
Next Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday, the day of the Christian calendar when we remember the time Jesus was transformed in front of his closest disciples. “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light” (Matthew 17:2); and Peter, James, and John were terrified by what they saw. Next week we’ll talk about fear and how even the things of God can be frightening. We’ll look at the roots of our fear, and we’ll talk about how God’s love liberates us from fear. We’ll also look ahead to Lent, which begins the following Wednesday.