"Here's probably the reason I hate religion the most violently. Religion tells you this. Religion tells you it's all about what you do!"
Cathedral in Europe
Have you seen the YouTube sensation "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus" that has had over 16 million hits? Take a look…
Jefferson Bethke, who posted this video on January 10th, came to my attention earlier today as I watched CBS This Morning. I found the remarks of this 22-year-old interesting as he attempted to speak for his generation. Here is what Bethke said before a national audience:
"I think my generation has been inundated or inoculated with the hypocrisy of religion, and so I think that's the good and the promising future is my generation just wants authenticity. We want to know that whatever they say they believe. And I think there will be a resurgence of grace following, Jesus loving, Bible believing people who will maybe transform and change this country for the good because we believe and we have that power and that grace with us."
If you Google Jesus>Religion or Why I Hate Religion or Jefferson Bethke, all kinds of articles show up. Fortunately, I did just that prior to seeing the CBS This Morning interview. After reading an article at The Christian Post, I had a much better understanding of who had primarily influenced this young man. Here is a pertinent excerpt:
"In a tell-all interview with The Christian Post, Bethke shares his views on religion, the controversy surrounding his video, and changes he wish he could make to his message, now gone viral . . . Bethke, a member of Mars Hill Church (Federal Way) in St. Auburn, Wash., told CP that Mark Driscoll, pastor of the main Mars Hill campus in Seattle, and Tim Keller of Redeemer Church, have also described “religion” as: “a short-hand that is synonymous with legalism, hypocrisy, and self-justification, which has nothing to with the institution.”
Yes, you read that correctly — Bethke is a member of Mars Hill Church. He was sure to mention during the CBS interview that he is from the Seattle area and that Mark Driscoll is his pastor. Another interesting tidbit on Bethke is that he was baptized three years ago.
If you check over at The Resurgence website, you will find Bethke's video on display. Here's my question regarding this interview — is this an orchestrated attempt to keep Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church in the spotlight? You be the judge…
Two of the key phrases Bethke stated in his rap poem were "Religion says do, Jesus says done" and "So for religion no I hate it; in fact, I literally resent it…"
Now take a look at Mark Driscoll's video (by the same name, hmmm….), which was put on YouTube in 2007 and see where Bethke got these and many other theological ideas.
In this video Driscoll yells: "Here's probably the reason I hate religion the most violently. Religion tells you this. Religion tells you it's all about what you do!"
I am grieved that Mark Driscoll is having such a profound impact on a segment of this generation of believers. Let me assure you that Dee and I are keeping our own children (who are also in this generation) apprised of Driscoll and his bizarre teaching.
David Sessions, homepage editor for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, has penned one of the most succinct descriptions of Mark Driscoll that I have ever read. This 2008 graduate of Patrick Henry College (who also belongs to Bethke's generation) wrote: (link)
"Just about everything Driscoll says seems calculated to go viral. One of the biggest evangelical celebrity pastors, he’s developed a reputation as a testosterone-oozing Calvinist bruiser who shouts down his congregation, swears from the pulpit and sometimes seems to think that if you’re not cut out for the locker room, you’re not cut out for heaven. If you’re a woman, you’d better make sure you keep your husband fed and serviced.
A quick review of Driscoll’s greatest hits: Stay-at-home dads are “worse than unbelievers.” James Cameron’s Avatar is “the most demonic, satanic film” he’s ever seen. A wife should keep herself “sexually available” to her husband and, if she believes the Bible, better be giving him frequent blowjobs. “Effeminate” church musicians should be mocked on Facebook. Abstaining from alcohol can be a “sin.” The church has turned Jesus into a “a Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ,” when he’s actually a “prize fighter” who is “coming back looking for blood.” The Bible says women can’t have leadership positions in church because they’re 'more gullible and easier to deceive than men'…”
If only conservative Christian leaders would be so bold. Their silence regarding Driscoll's crude, pornographic shenanigans is deafening…
We are dedicating this week to exposing Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church. Driscoll and his ilk claim to be doing church differently and in a culturally relevant manner. They profess that they are rejecting religion and meaningless tradition and replacing it with a theology that encourages believers to be "grace following, Jesus loving, and Bible believing", as Jefferson Bethke put it.
However, we at TWW claim that Mark Driscoll is just another same old same old leader who utilizes what appear to be cult-like tactics and zany theology to entrap unsuspecting seekers.
In our upcoming posts, we will provide testimonies that show a very different side of Mars Hill Church — one that we believe will be shocking to our readers. Furthermore, we will be offering some suggestions about steps to take in order to minimize the possibility of getting sucked into a controlling and doctrinally suspect group. You will not want to miss this important series!
Lydia's Corner: Isaiah 15:1-18:7 Galatians 1:1-24 Psalm 58:1-11 Proverbs 23:12