Can You Like Jesus But Hate Religion?
Many people don’t know that Jesus was very quick to trash religious institutions and traditions. In fact, Jesus may have been the most sacrilegious person ever to walk the face of the earth. In Jesus’s day, it was the religious people who couldn’t stand him; the “immoral” people—the prostitutes, tax collectors, and social outcasts—were the ones who loved and followed him. And Jesus loved them back. What does this mean for today’s religion? What happens when you remove the “religion” from Christianity and are left with just the Christ? Take a look here.
Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection
- Before watching this film, how would you have described Jesus in a sentence or two?
- Have you ever felt like you had to jump through hoops to prove you're good? How did that make you feel?
I think Jesus was the most sacrilegious person you would have ever met, in that he would have been the least religious person you would have ever met. Sacrilegious actually means that you tear religion away from something. It was the religious leaders of his day that couldn't stand Jesus, and that's actually who he butted heads with. It actually wasn't the immoral people of his day - the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the sinners of his day were the ones who flocked to him I think because in Jesus, through Jesus, they saw hope. I've talked to, you know, hundreds of people that are not in the Christian faith and I haven't found too many people that don't love, at least, what they think Jesus was. I think intuitively, we all actually go - if God's really real, why wouldn't he have sent us like, the best human being you would have ever wanted to be around? When religion becomes about controlling people and getting people to jump through our hoops to prove they're good, I think it's gotten completely off track from what Jesus intended, and that's why Jesus and pharisees butted heads. And that's why they crucified Jesus. He threatened their power base. For them, it was about having their will be done and keeping in power. What most people don't really know is that Jesus literally came in and just started to just trash religion, religious experiences, religious traditions, religious institutions. Uh, he hated all that stuff, and so, um, I think if people knew that more about him, they'd actually really like him 'cause I think a lot of us you know, we're tired of all the religious stuff. At the same time, that doesn't mean that everything that happens in the name of religion is bad. When it empowers and unifies people to stay connected to God, loving God and loving one another and turning outward like Jesus did to serve the world around them, then it can be a good thing. When it becomes self-serving and about dominating and controlling, then it becomes a bad thing.