More and more today, we hear people saying that they are spiritual but not religious, meaning that they believe in God but choose not to encounter him within the context of the institutional church. One young man has chosen to post a video on YouTube in which he recites a poem about how he loves Jesus, but hates religion. I applaud him for taking the initiative to talk publicly about his faith. I couldn’t disagree more with his viewpoint. I invite you to watch and then to share your response by leaving a comment here on my blog (scroll down to where it says “Leave a Reply”). Remember, on my blog, all comments must be respectful. Respond to this young man out of love and Christian charity.
My own comment to him is actually a question:
I’m not doubting that you know Jesus but my question is, how did you come to know Jesus? To know the story of Jesus is to know Scripture, and Scripture, in particular the New Testament, is a product of the Church (religion) which you say you despise. Jesus becomes known to us through the proclamation of the Gospel by others. Paul encountered the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus but then sought out the Apostles to learn more about Jesus. Any attempt to proclaim the Gospel – including your YouTube poem – is in and of itself a form of religion. You are simply substituting your doctrine for the Church’s doctrine. I applaud your efforts to focus on a personal relationship with Christ, however, you are fooling yourself if you think that can be done in isolation.
By the way, it is precisely the “spiritual but not religious” population that I had in mind when I wrote my new book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness, which will be available in just a few short weeks.