Religion—in the Worst Sense of the Word

I stumbled across this video in one of my RSS feeds. Honestly, it is difficult to believe that people like this still exist. It is embarrassing. It just goes to show you that religion—in the worst sense of the word—is still alive and well. Frankly, it makes it that much more difficult to communicate the true nature of Jesus to the world.

If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.

David Wilcox, maybe my favorite singer-songwriter, captures this in his song called “Good Man” from the album Vista. It says,

Let me apologize in advance
For the way my friend behaves
He’ll pick a fight and take a holy stance
He’s so proud that he’s so saved

I hope you don’t judge Jesus
By the things my friend will say
He holds a bible like a dagger
And he twists it just that way

He just loves conversation—like a cat loves a bird
I guess he’s always been a good man—in the worst sense of the word

The good knights went out to save the day
In the age of the crusades
A sharp sword on a tortured soul
They were sure the point was made
Any tool can be a weapon
If it’s used with that intent
The devil’s great at quoting scripture
And confusing what it meant

So all the evils done for Jesus —it is a history so absurd
But there will always be a good man—in the worst sense of the word

They ‘jacked a plane to make a sneak attack
They were trained to die in flames
Their last words were to God above
Just to praise His holy name

For all the terror and destruction
They felt no sense of shame
You gotta wonder why religion
Can make people so insane

But their devotion was unquestioned—follow straight and never swerve
The devil always needs a good man—in the worst sense of the word”

This is the first thing I thought of when I saw the video above. By the way, David’s new album, “Open Hand” is fabulous. I highly recommend it.

Question: Do you distinguish between “religion” and true faith? Do people like those in the video embarrass you?
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  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ingersoll Beth Harkins Ingersoll

    Do I think this church has problems with its belief system? Absolutely. There's obvious issues.

    What really bothers me is the reaction of "Christians" to this spectacle. This is all over the blogs I frequently visit, and I'm distressed by all the condescending and snarky comments. There are many referring to the preacher's "bib overalls" (hello, judgement!) and lack of membership (what about the state of those 14 souls?).

    Is this how Jesus would respond to this preacher and his tiny congregation?

    There's a word for us – mockers. Christians participating in this kind of behavior is what gives Christianity a bad name, moreso than pastors of teeny churches. Instead of making fun of them, we need to be hitting our knees and asking God to open the eyes and hearts of this congregation, revealing the falsehoods they now believe, and use this situation for His glory.

  • http://jeremywight.blogspot.com Jeremy Wight

    So sad. Pray for them

  • http://true-small-caps.blogspot.com Derek

    These are the KJO people. I'm more sanguine than most of your commenters: I think television viewers will understand that this group is not representative of Christians as a whole.

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelGHolmes @MichaelGHolmes

    This is just sad and narrow-minded!!!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    I can't do anything about any other person's walk with God, so I don't go looking for things to criticize. None of us are perfect but all of us are loved, including those church members on the video. No matter what foolish things I do or any other believer in Christ does, God's absolute love is steadfast and unchangeable. Our focus is to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves. My prayer is that God will reach deep into everyone's heart and reveal His perfect, complete, and real love for each one of us.

  • Brandon

    I wonder if The Shack or The Message will start the roasting? :)

  • Tom Estes

    First of all, doing a book burning is crazy, that is undeniable. But you seem to think one is crazy if they believe the KJV to be the only correct version, which isn’t fair.

    For the record, it is also an undeniable fact that the all other versions actually have verses removed, and have sort of important words like “blood” and “Jesus” taken out. Am I crazy if I don’t want a Bible like that?

  • kyle watson

    I'm disappointed that my two published books are not on the list to be burned. What a great and free marketing tool.

  • Butch Maltby

    We joust and make fun of extreme cases of silly faith like this church but wander through most Christian bookstores and the same senseless palaver screams at you. The great books linger long after the crowds have left. But like a teen consuming cotten candy at the state fair over and over and over again we have a Christian publishing enterprise still "dumbing down" with "Hey come feel good!" books. My intelligent non-Christian friends laugh. I sometimes cry about it.

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    Someone above stole my thunder with a slightly different version: I have heard one man actually say that the KJV was good enough for St. Paul, so bless God, it's good enough for us.

    This story also reminds me of two other real happenings, over the years. Back in the '70s, a church in the midwest had been having "revival" services. The evangelist had been railing against sex and violence, bringing TV into the discussion. So before the week was over, he called for every member to bring their televisions to the church for a big bonfire to be built out back, one night. The members did that, but one fellow was more enthusiastic; he brought a shotgun (or maybe a rifle) and blasted the picture tube out of his set–in protest, of course, against violence and sex on TV.

    The other embarrassment took place more recently, when Terry Schiavo's feeding tube had been removed. And, sadly, this was shown on national news. One man in the crowd trying to get past a guard screamed at the guard who was only doing his job. His statement: "Jesus Christ hates you!!" Oh, yes, I cringed.

  • Lorraine

    I wish more people would read the whole series fo books that begins with "1632" by Eric Flint. I understand better now why we absolutely MUST have separation of church and state–for the benefit of the church.
    Lorraine

  • http://aquiman.fireknights.net Patrcik Aquilone

    I am amazed at this, but not shocked. I have seen this before and will see it again. Sad, sad, sad.

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  • http://www.chaseyourlion.com Heath

    Stuff like this makes my heart break and blood boil. The toughest thing is that you can't reason with people like this even if you showed them all the newer Greek and Hebrew manuscripts since the KJV was first published. Sadly, the more attention this guy gets the worse it makes us all look.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Arkmow Arkmow

    I find their behavior very embrassing, but at the same time I see an opportunity to show the real Jesus to our genereation. Most likely sinners will talk amongst themselves about it and the mocking ones will use it to taunt us. But we need to steal the show by bringing it up first. Then we have the upper ground from which to declare Christ in all His glory. Thank you Amazing Grace Baptist Church for giving us a conversation starter. I strongly disagree with their stance, but I thank God for the opportunity to lift up Jesus.

  • alex

    Nice overalls. ;-) Those are 14 confused people.

  • http://twitter.com/2020VisionBook Joshua Hood

    Unfortunately, these type of people create many of the false stereotypes that cause nonbelievers to dismiss EVERYTHING, and throw the baby out with the bathwater. May God give those who are exposed to these fanatics wisdom and understanding to evaluate and understand their error, and not be further alienated from “Christians”.

    Joshua Hood
    2020visiononline.org

  • V. Erickson

    I think what truely upsets me just as much is the silence of Christians. We watch these things and say nothing. Oh, we may shake our heads and talk to each other but we don’t stand up and say we don’t agree. Our silence is sometimes mistaken for acceptance or agreement. Just look at Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. They protest against homosexuality in the most hateful way. One sign said, “God hates faggots!” They have expanded to protest at funeral of known homosexuals. Just read the entry on Wikipedia to see what a vile example they are to the world of Christians. But what to we do in response. We shake our heads, say that so wrong and move on through our lives. Why don’t we stand up to the Westboro Baptist Church and other haters and perverts of God’s Word? Where are the protesters that stands across the street from their signs with signs of our own. We have the truth on our side. “God is love!!!” “Judge not lest you be judge.” I wonder how the homosexual community and others would respond to Christians who stood up and shouted back at them. “They’re not with us.” ” They are counterfeit.” ” They have no truth because they have no love.” ” We’re not with them.” ” They do not speak for us.” When will we begin to shout louder so the world can hear us over them. “God is love and in Him there is no fear or shame.” ” Because He first loved us first we are able to love.” “Christ taught us what real love is. Love is patient. Love is kind…” Let’s stop shaking our heads, watching new stories about churches like this one here and Westboro Baptist. Let’s get so busy showing them who Christ really is that we become God’s representatives not them!!!!

  • Rob Sorbo

    Wow. Scary.