In the most over-hyped video of our young year, spoken word poet, Jefferson Bethke, tells us all how much better Jesus is than religion. Same song, new verse.
It’s cool to be pissed at “religion” when you’re 20. I get it (though I can’t say I ever went through this phase). And then, as you age, you realize something: Religion is simply the social and psychological framework by which human beings organize their experience of the Divine.
That is, most human beings experience the Divine Presence — what Schleiermacher called the “feeling of utter dependence.” It’s one of the few things beyond biology that unites people across cultures and through the ages.
It’s naïve to think that billions of people will experience the Divine, but they won’t try to organize and categorize that experience. We do, and we find that our experience overlaps with the experience of others. We join with those others, and we find patterns of speech, symbols, and behavior that help us articulate our experiences.
And it’s not bad that we do this. It is, Mr. Bethke, inevitable.