So, recently, a video has been floating around sites like Facebook that's getting quite a bit of attention. It is titled "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus". There are many errors in the video as far as I'm concerned and in my own video spoken word response, I point some of those out. Here it is:
*Update/Just a Note:* So much of western Christianity is about the self and feeling good and emotions. Yet, that's precisely not what Paul and the other early Christians were about. So, where does some of this come from? Well, partially from a philosopher named WFG Hegel, who saw the world in counterparts. Good/evil, black/white, etc. This is part of where we get the grace/law, grace/works dichotomies. Then, when you add the earlier Christian thinker Martin Luther into the equation, the one who misread Paul as an apostle who, like himself, was torn apart with internal conflict, you get the problematic view of justification. Where Luther did a lot of good, this, I believe, he got wrong. Unfortunately, it has stuck and it has become a popular view among modern Christians. Pitting grace against law/works is often done, as with Luther, on an emotionalistic basis. That was the gateway to Luther's interpretation: his emotions! He "felt" free from the Law and he "felt" good about himself finally. But the problem is, his reading was anachronistic to a great degree! Neither Jesus, Paul, nor any other ancient Jew (or early Christian for that matter) was anti-Law or held to a grace/works or grace/Law dichotomy promoted in the video I'm responding to. In fact, at the end of Galatians, Paul rejoices in the Law and can even refer to it as the Law of Christ. And that my friends, is precisely the problem with this video floating around! As I said to a friend, at least he tried. So, it's not that I'm being antagonistic toward him as much as it is that I am attempting to entering into conversation with him, attempting to help him understand the historical roots of where his views come from, something he may or may not know (but judging by the content of the video, he most likely doesn't). Certainly, my video is not nearly as nicely done (I don't have that kind of equipment) and will not get played or sent around as much as his (that's perfectly fine), but if I got him to watch it and to learn something, I will have felt like I did a good thing! And really, that raises another issue: The notion that if something is aesthetically pleasing or professionally done, it is good or even right. If we stop and think for a moment, however, we realize that this is not always the case.