The Common Good

Viral: "Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus"

Jeff Bethke
Spoken Word poet Jeff Bethke, via Twitter @JeffuhsonBethke.

Are you a Christian who spends a lot of time online? Then perhaps you've heard of Jeff Bethke. Bethke, aka bball1989, is a spoken word poet whose rhymes and videos are capturing the attention of thousands of Christians across the web.

His latest video is going viral among online Christian communities. Provocatively titled “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus,” the poem is a unique fusion of prophetic criticism, personal testimony, and a call to action. 

Here's a brief excerpt:

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?
Tell 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.

Bethke’s work challenges his listeners to second guess their preconceived notions about what it means to be a Christian. He challenges us to turn away from the superficial trappings of “religion,” and instead lead a missional life in Christ. He reminds us that church is “not a museum of good people; it’s a hospital for the broken.”

For more from Jeff Bethke, subscribe to his YouTube channel, bball1989, or follow on Twitter at @JeffuhsonBethke.

Matthew Santoro is a communications and new media professional in Washington, D.C. He was a Capstone Scholar of Religion at Oberlin College, graduating in 2007. Matthew completed his Master's degree in Political Science at American University in 2009. Follow him on Twitter: @Rantoro.

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