Love Jesus, Hate Religion? Fr. Robert Barron Fires Both Barrels

Sometimes, something goes so viral that all you can do is shake your head and wonder, “what are people thinking?” Then again, I realize that many of us are conditioned to respond to things that are nearly correct, even if they are, in truth, way off base. Consider the mad rounds of clapping in recent political debates when swaggering candidates talk of killing our nation’s enemies, alleged or otherwise, foreign or domestic. Or the real estate, or Dot Com bubbles.

I chalk it up to the “madness of crowds,” “animal spirits,” and in the case of religion, a lack of curiosity about what Christianity truly is all about, which I was guilty of for most of my own life. And, dare I say it, how ’bout that Bible, huh? Willy Wonka knows.

In the interest, then, of balancing ignorance with truth, I present Fr. Robert Barron’s responses to the “Hate Religion, Love Jesus” video of Jefferson Bethke for your viewing pleasure. There are two videos, actually, which means that Bethke’s video, and more importantly the erroneous thoughts that it is founded upon, contradict Christianity so egregiously, that Fr. Barron and the good folks at Word on Fire devoted enough time to put close to 20 minutes of video up to address it. Think of these as both barrels of a double-barreled shotgun firing ammunition of charity, and clarity.

Video #1

Video #2, wherein we learn the meaning if a few words and rediscover a few heresies that many have never heard of, and didn’t even know they were unwittingly following.

  • Michael Snow

    Thankfully, we are now seeing articles like yours which are a refreshing breeze in a world of dumb-downed definitions. I understand what our brother in the video was saying, and he clarifies it somewhat in the first sentence under the video that few will read.

    But, of course, there is nothing new in his title. It flows from the ‘evangelical’ mantra that “Christianity is not a religion, it is. a relationship.” This is a sad state of mind for those who cannot handle “the holy conjunction”=AND.

    Over a half century ago, Elton Trueblood described our culture as a cut-flower society. Cut off from its roots, it withers and dies. Anyone who is rooted in the history of the first two millenia of Christianity knows that those from Augustine to Wesley to Trueblood, wrote of true religion versus false religion. But today, many have abandoned truth and smothered it with experience.

    This points to a major ‘disease’ of our day. C.S. Lewis provided an antidote for the spirit of our times, for any who wish to take the medicine, with his rule for reading:
    “…after reading a new book, never allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one…keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds…”

    • Zai

      As a former protestant (now roman catholic), I have to say I agree. We have abandoned truth for experiences and, in the case of most protestant faiths, vague spiritual feelings (as feelings are experiences in themselves).
      That said, I have come to believe that religion itself is necessarily a relationship. It is not an either/or question, but rather a both/and sort of thing.
      When you think about it, religion consists in various trappings and rules. These rules are fairly universal though with certain serious differences. My meaning here is that all relationships are built on such things, they just look differ depending on the type of relationship. When you go talk to a king certain behaviors are expected, you have to follow certain rules. When you talk to your friends, different rules apply. So, it makes sense that relating to a being such as God would have certain rules and behaviors that accompany it.
      The problem with the Protestant viewpoint is that they have separated rules, decorum, and the like from relationships when that has always been their substance. There are mystical and unexplainable facts about relationships, but relationships are filled with these other behaviors and rules. A father is not to treat his daughter the exact same as his son, he has to abide by different rules based on gender, personality, and things of that sort.
      This is an argument I have with my Protestant mother. She thinks the rituals are a sign of “religion” without “relationship” when they are, in fact, aspects of my relationship to God. I hope that made sense haha.

  • The Frat Pack + Me

    Father Barron is a flat out genius!

    • gaya

      Thank you Fr. Barron for taking time in commenting on this song, it will surely reinforce my children’s idea that good music,books and friends assures their well being in their adult life!