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Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus

I’m watching Huckabee on Fox News (8:00, Saturday, Sept 15). One of his guests this evening, near the end of his program, is a young man who says he loves Jesus, but hates religion. You can see this program again at 11:00 tonight and a couple of times tomorrow as well.

He differentiated “church,” as the body of Christ and family of God, from “religion,” which he defines as a whole lot of things that have little to do with following Jesus – but which most religious people believe to be absolutely crucial. (I did not catch it if he gave any specific examples.)

What do you think about his premise? 

To me it sounds very much like Rubel Shelley’s book, I Knew Jesus Before He Was a Christian – And I Liked Him Better Then. The premise of that book is that the early Christians were seriously attempting to follow Jesus, but by the time of Constantine (early 4th century) the church became an arm of the Roman Empire as the “official religion” of Rome. From that time on, Shelley says, the Church became more interested in power than in following Jesus.

How about it? Is Jesus really the focus of the church today – or is is something else? Something like Power? or Status? or Tradition? or any one of many Idols we may worship more than we worship Jesus?

Let me know what you think in the comments.


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