Hello everyone it has been about two months since I told you that I was reading this book called Jesus>Religion by Jefferson Bethke; Well yesterday was the day I was done reading it. I was going post the review last night; however a friend came by to watch the cowboys game and I wasn’t able to. So let me go ahead and write it tonight I hope you guys like it and give it a try.
Jesus> Religion I think it’s a pretty self-explanatory title or it just might confuse you. For me it confused me.. I have heard about the video that Mr.Bethke made but, I never seen it. I was pretty skeptical and I went into this book skeptical and with precautions; why you may ask. Well first of all I have to be careful of the books I read because, any wacko nowadays thinks that he can write what he thinks its considered his mighty opinion. Guys some might not like this review but being raw and honest here. A lot might say what aren’t you suppose to be a christian.? Well I am a christian and just because , I’m a christian it does not mean I’m going to read stuff that don’t go with what I believe in. For example; it’s like if you opened your house to a person that doesn’t share your same values or beliefs; you guys are gonna clash over anything.
Anyways let’s go back to the review the first few chapters I was in for a treat; I was constantly in shocked, furious, guilty, ashamed, sad and free. Wait you are probably thinking I’m on something right. But now this book broke a lot of stereotypes that are on christian nowadays myself included. There is a part in the book where Jefferson was talking to this guy about Jesus and the guy responded with this;
” I could never follow Jesus; I still want to drink beer.” and Jefferson’s thought was ” I still drink beer and don’t hate gays.” I’m not gonna lie this line took me back a step. I come from an old way pentecostal church and I have been taught that drinking is a sin and I still believe it. So reading this in the first pages of the book had me with a dumbfounded expression on my face probably; and I kept thinking ; what is this dude talking about? Are you freaking serious.? At that moment I was actually criticizing him not actually caring what the rest of the book might say or if the Lord might speak to my life through this book and my want to read the book it diminished. I was doing what Jefferson was talking about in the book that christians nowadays care about the superficial how you look to others instead of how really your life is with Jesus from the inside out.
By this time this guy had me hook with the way he was actually giving example to every single question coming in my mind just in his book. He cleared stereotypes that I had but never really addressed. Him saying that we use the Lord as a whim or as a personal credit card or santa when we want something for our own wants, but we never consider what we can actually give him instead. It’s something I have done various times and it shames me; because this wonderful Almighty God decided to give his only son as sacrifice for my life and the sins I have committed or might commit even though I wasn’t in the world yet.
” For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son; that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Now this book really touched my heart I remember crying two night ago reading it, because the Lord decided to actually make me see inside myself if I was really without sin. It touched my heart when he address his addiction with porn and lust, because it’s something that most of us go through and a lot of christian youth nowadays go through but don’t know how to reach out. I just love that he actually wrote was he was thinking and feeling in those moments when he felt the suffocation and the pressure to commit the sin and the afterward result.
“I was lying there, swimming in my own shame and guilt, when this still, small voice whispered into the depth of my soul:
I Love you, I Desire You, I Delight in You, I saw you were going to do that before I went to the cross, and I still went.
This page made me bawl my eyes out because it’s like in the moment I was going through every single thing he went through; I just can’t explain it. His writing and rawness made me notice the truth in what he was writing. It made me realize that I have been a hypocrite; I have been living like the religious leaders of the time the Christ walked on earth instead of living how Jesus lived by loving and forgiving myself from every sin and iniquity that had built-in my heart over the years. God wants us to be the real us, he wants me to stop worrying what anyone will think if I go out to eat with my friend alone; or that if anyone found out that I was hurt when I was younger by a family member it is a wound that hasn’t close itself since it happened.
I can definitely say that this book has made me search inside my heart and really look at my self in the mirror. Am I living what I preach or write about in this blog.? I throughly hope that you give this book a try and leave your thoughts in the comments.
P.S. God bless all of you.