Sometimes this video from Jefferson Bethke has come up as a way for wayward christians to say they DO love Jesus but hate the church. Well, that’s like saying you love your wife but hate your offspring. It simply does not work this way and it is not what Mr. Bethke was conveying.
Here are the lyrics:
What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion? What if I told you voting Republican really wasn´t His mission? What if I told you Republican doesn´t automatically mean Christian And just because you call some people blind doesn´t automatically give you vision? I mean, if religion is so great, why has it started so many wars? Why does it build huge churches but fails to feed the poor? Tells single moms God doesn´t love them if they´ve ever had a divorce But in the Old Testament, God actually calls religious people whores Religion might preach grace, but another thing they practice Tend to ridicule God´s people; they did it to John the Baptist They can´t fix their problems, and so they just mask it Not realizing religion´s like spraying perfume on a casket See, the problem with religion is it never gets to the core It´s just behavior modification, like a long list of chores Like, ″Let´s dress up the outside, make it look nice and neat″ But it´s funny that´s what they used to do to mummies while the corpse rots underneath Now I ain´t judging; I´m just saying, quit putting on a fake look ‘Cause there´s a problem if people only know you´re a Christian by your Facebook I mean, in every other aspect of life, you know that logic´s unworthy It´s like saying you play for the Lakers just because you bought a jersey See, this was me too, but no one seemed to be on to me Acting like a church kid while addicted to pornography See, on Sunday I´d go to church, but Saturday getting faded Acting if I was simply created to just have sex and get wasted See, I spent my whole life building this facade of neatness But now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness Because if grace is water, then the Church should be an ocean It´s not a museum for good people, it´s a hospital for the broken Which means I don´t have to hide my failure; I don´t have to hide my sin Because it doesn´t depend on me; it depends on Him See, because when I was God´s enemy and certainly not a fan He looked down and said, ″I want that man.″ Which is why Jesus hated religion, and for it He called them fools Don´t you see so much better than just following some rules Now let me clarify, I love the Church, I love the Bible, and yes, I believe in sin But if Jesus came to your church, would they actually let Him in? See, remember He was called a glutton and a drunkard by religious men But the Son of God never supports self-righteousness, not now, not then Now back to the point, one thing is vital to mention How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums See, one´s the work of God, but one´s a man-made invention See, one is the cure, but the other´s the infection See, because religion says ″do″; Jesus says ″done″ Religion says ″slave″; Jesus says ″son″ Religion puts you in bondage, while Jesus sets you free Religion makes you blind, but Jesus makes you see And that´s why religion and Jesus are two different clans Religion is man searching for God; Christianity is God searching for man Which is why salvation is freely mine, and forgiveness is my own Not based on my merits, but Jesus´ obedience alone Because He took the crown of thorns, and the blood dripped down His face He took what we all deserved, I guess that´s why you call it grace And while being murdered, He yelled, ″Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.″ Because when He was dangling on that cross, He was thinking of you And He absorbed all your sin, and He buried it in the tomb Which is why I´m kneeling at the cross, saying, ″Come on, there´s room″ So for religion, no, I hate it; in fact I literally resent it Because when Jesus said, ″It is finished,″ I believe He meant it
If you liked the background music of Jefferson’s Bethke video, this is it:
A little idea for your next worship session
As you can see, worship can take many different forms, although not all are musical. This falls more into the “poetry” category. How powerful could a worship session become if you were to put this between several songs where the theme is “Freedom in Christ” or something along those lines? You could even be playing your own background music. Let’s travel down this road further: Did someone who is not gifted musically at all asked you to participate in worship? It usually ends up with a “sorry, not right now” or “we’ll look into it” and then… silence.
One of the reasons I brought this video up is because you can take someone who is not usually part of the band. You make them learn this poem, come up with another one or use a Bible passage while music plays in the background. It is demonstrated that people will actually remember better what was said if there’s music in the background. It makes the memory emotional (also prone to changes… be careful in abusing this!) but roots it deeper into the hearts and minds of people listening to it.
Another benefit is that you break the routine. No matter how good you and your band are, this breaks away from the typical 4-6 songs or a regular worship sessions, brings in a fresh breath into the sunday-to-sunday praise session. I encourage you to try it! Nobody has to memorize anything, just come up with the paper (we do read the bible from paper/tablet too, right?) and get it out. Try to connect it with the current theme/tracklist and you’ll have an epic worship session that will be remembered by many. But also, it really, really, really pleases the Lord when you try new stuff out for him 🙂