Here is what Jeffery said about his peom:
A poem I wrote to highlight the difference between Jesus and false religion. In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day. At it’s core Jesus’ gospel and the good news of the Cross is in pure opposition to self-righteousness/self-justification. Religion is man centered, Jesus is God-centered. This poem highlights my journey to discover this truth. Religion either ends in pride or despair. Pride because you make a list and can do it and act better than everyone, or despair because you can’t do your own list of rules and feel “not good enough” for God. With Jesus though you have humble confident joy because He represents you, you don’t represent yourself and His sacrifice is perfect putting us in perfect standing with God the Father.
Here is a response that:
What Jeffery is pushing against is everything that sets itself against our Christ. The Law and the Prophets are good! “Religion” as a system that sets itself against THE God in heaven is evil. I don’t myself with “religion.” I associate myself with the universal community of Christ-followers. Jesus Christ came, not to establish a system, He came to establish a community of followers and worshipers of Him.
All glory goes to Him and not to any other man or system. Examine yourself to see if you follow Him.
Update 05/15/2012, Here is a Jeffery follow up. He explains more of his heart here.
- Wall Street Journal Commentary on Video
- “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” Analysis and Critique (kirkmillerblog.wordpress.com)
- Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus – a poem by Jefferson Bethke (rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com)
- Poet Slams Religion but Preaches Jesus (elephantjournal.com)
- Jesus vs. religion? (breathenetwork.org)