Full Lyrics of “Why I hate Religion, but love Jesus” – a poem by Jeff Bethke

If you’ve hung out this blog for a bit, chances are you know how much I love creative displays of the Gospel Message.

I actually wrote a whole Blog Series about this topic called “The Power of Creative Preaching”. I’ve also mentioned before how much I admire what Jeff Bethke is doing, when I talked about his viral video on Sexual Healing. Well he did it again. His (at this point latest) video called “Why I hate Religion, but love Jesus” has scored over 11,000,000 views within just 5 days and is now approaching 23 Million hits!

If you haven’t seen the video yet, I got it ready for ya below. Beneath the video you can also find the official Lyrcis, in case you want to read along or review them. Have fun!

Lyrics by Jeff Bethke:

What if I told you, Jesus came to abolish religion?

What if I told you getting you to vote republican, really wasn’t his mission?

Because republican doesn’t automatically mean Christian,

And just because you call some people blind, doesn’t automatically give you vision.

If religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?

Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor?

Tells single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever been divorced

Yet God in the Old Testament actually calls the religious people whores

Religion preaches grace, but another thing they practice,

Tend to ridicule Gods people, they did it to John the Baptist,

Cant fix their problems, so they try to mask it,

Not realizing that’s just like sprayin perfume on a casket

Because the problem with religion is that it never gets to the core,

It’s just behavior modification, like a long list of chores.

Let’s dress up the outside, make things look nice and neat,

Its funny that’s what they do to mummies, while the corpse rots underneath,

Now I ain’t judging I’m just saying be careful of putting on a fake look,

Because there’s a problem if people only know that you’re a Christian by that little section on your facebook

In every other aspect of life you know that logics unworthy

Its like saying you play for the lakers just because you bought a jersey

But see I played this game too; no one seemed to be on to me,

I was acting like church kid, while addicted to pornography.

I’d go to church on Sunday, but on saturday getting faded,

Acting as if I was simply created to have sex and get wasted.

Spend my whole life putting on this façade of neatness,

But now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness.

If grace is water, then the church should be an ocean,

Cuz its not a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken

I no longer have to hide my failures I don’t have to hide my sin,

Because my salvation doesn’t depend on me, it depends on him.

because when I was Gods enemy and certainly not a fan,

God looked down on me and said, “I want that man!”

Which is so different from religious people, and why Jesus called em fools

Don’t you see hes so much better than just following some rules?

Now let me clarify, I love the church, I love the bible, and I believe in sin

But my question, is if Jesus were here today, would your church let Him in?

Remember He was called a drunkard and a glutton by  “religious men”

The Son of God not supported self-righteousness, not now, not then.


Now back to the topic, one thing I think is vital to mention,

How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums,

One is the work of God one is a man made invention,

One is the cure and one is the infection.

Because Religion says do, Jesus says done.

Religion says slave, Jesus says son,

Religion puts you in shackles but Jesus sets you free.

Religion makes you blind, but Jesus lets you see.


This is what makes religion and Jesus two different clans,

Religion is man searching for God, but Christianity is God searching for man.

Which is why salvation is freely mine, forgiveness is my own,

Not based on my efforts, but Christ’s obedience alone.

Because he took the crown of thorns, and blood that dripped down his face

He took what we all deserved, that’s why we call it grace.

While being murdered he yelled “father forgive them, they know not what they do”,

Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you

He paid for all your sin, and then buried it in the tomb,

Which is why im kneeling at the cross now saying come on there’s room

So know I hate religion, in fact I literally resent it,

Because when Jesus cried It is finished, I believe He meant it.

Wow, what do you think about this video? Why shouldn’t you be able to have similar impact? How could you use god-inspired creativity to reveal the heart of Jesus to the people around you? Let me know by commenting below.
Also, if you’d like to stay updated on future creative christian videos like this one, don’t forget to subscribe!
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About Daniel Vogler

I like to live life to the fullest and explore the full potential we as human beings carry to impact the world for the better. I'm also a BSSM 3rd year graduate, speaker, artist and social marketing consultant. If you'd like to learn more about me, feel free to contact, or follow me.
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  • http://dustinstout.com Dustin W. Stout

    I think the video has a lot of great things to say! At the same time, it has a lot of misleading terminology that doesn’t really paint an accurate picture of who Jesus really is. I know his intentions were pure, but sadly he’s presented some concepts and ideas that are manipulative for the non-believer.

    Kevin DeYoung said it best over at TheGospelCoalition: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2012/01/13/does-jesus-hate-religion-kinda-sorta-not-really/

    All-in-all, I think God’s sovereignty and grace will allow it to be used for good.

    • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

      Interesting thoughts, thanks for sharing that Dustin! You should check out this video response by a catholic priest: “why I love religion and love Jesus”

      I think the whole misunderstanding here is two different definitions of the word “religion”. For some it’s the institution and tradition that simply acts out God’s will on earth. Other (like Jeff Bethke) understand it more like a spirit of self-righteousness that’s leading away from the real deal (relationship with God), by distracting us with rules and regulations.
      I personally choose the middle. I wouldn’t say that all religion is bad, but I also recognize that religion on steroids produces death, not life. At the end of the day it’s not too much about what we’re doing or not doing. It’s about if we’re being with Him or not. See what I mean?

      • http://dustinstout.com Dustin W. Stout

        Yep, I think you nailed it. Semantics & how people define the word religion is what it comes down to.

      • downstatesteve

        Daniel, thanks for posting the priest’s response video. That priest nailed it — faithful Christianity often goes hand in hand with the discipline and sustained contemplation that a thinking, compassionate religion fosters. Yes, organized religion has problems — but so does every single non-denominational, go-at-it-my-own-way Christian. Christian charity requires that we treat each other with respect and love. I have to say, though, I find the priest’s video much more logical and careful in its reasoning than the one created by Jeff. (Both videos are thought-provoking, yes…and catchy as all get out.)

  • Dave

    I agree that not all religion is bad. Living in a catholic country being religious is everything, but, as a true Christian I also agree with Jeff that they are using their religion to make themselves look righteous when behind that is just a broken spirit looking for a real touch of the Holy Spirit. Before the Catholics react to Jeff’s video, they should first look at the mirror, even a catholic priest on our school said that He still sins and it’s okay because that’s just how humans are, I mean, even a kid knows that that was a very wrong teaching!if they think Jeff and all the people that agrees with him is wrong then……….I pray that God will just bless them:)

    • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

      Thanks for your input, Dave. I remember going to a traditional lutheran church with my Family when I was a child. By the time my older sister was 15 she was helping with the children’s ministry there. One day the Pastor of the church kicked her out, because she told the children that “Jesus is the only way to the father.” The Pastor couldn’t believe that today someone would seriously be so intolerant to think that Christianity is the only way to God! He asked her “What about all the Muslims, Jews and HIndus?! Are they not going to heaven? How can you dare to say something like this?”
      In germany 30% of the population is Catholic. An other 30% are traditional Lutherans. Unfortunately I’ve rarely met anyone in those churches (including the pastors or priests) who actually had a living relationship with God, or even believed in the deity and resurrection of Christ… Pretty devastating, isn’t it?
      It makes me sad to see how many people seem to be so cold (I mean they stick their noses into the bible every day!) and still are so blind and far away from God’s heart.

      • Dave

        Good thing we got Jesus in us to understand and have wisdom on how to deal with these certain challenges!.we heard that Bill Johnson is coming to Singapore this march, some of our youth pastors are going, hope i could have the chance to go and also be fired up!

        • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

          That’d be awesome!!! I never get tired of listening to Papa Bill (that’s how we call him around here haha)
          How’s life in Singapore? I’ve never been there…

  • Danielle

    Thanks for writing down the poem :) now I can read it over and over and share it with others. :)

    • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

      Sure thing Danielle. I figured with words as powerful as those, it’s helpful to read along and not just listen :)

  • LightWalk3r

    Ohhh snap, tht was pretty good but I have to say tht not everyone is going to get tht because you see in christianity their is many religions like for example Catholics or baptis, do you get wat I am trying to say?

    • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

      Hey LightWalk3r, thanks for the comment.
      I think I know what you mean. I believe it comes down to how we define the word “religion”.
      For some it’s the institution and tradition that simply acts out God’s will on earth or as you said the different denominations of Christianity. Others (like Jeff Bethke) understand it more like a spirit of self-righteousness that’s leading away from the real deal (relationship with God), by distracting us with rules and regulations.
      I personally choose the middle. I wouldn’t say that all religion is bad, but I also recognize that religion on steroids produces death, not life. At the end of the day it’s not too much about what we’re doing or not doing. It’s about if we’re being with Him or not. See what I mean?

  • LightWalk3r

    Thx for the replied Daniel, Yahhh ic wat u mean, I get wat he is trying to say but a lot of ppl will not get it because they think tht Christianity or anything u believe in is a religion, the thing is tht religion is just a tradition, the point of searching for God is to have a relationship with him not a tradition with him and the thing is tht their is only one way to meet him, to have a relationship with him and it’s trough christ but thx for the post I loved it

    • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

      Yes, I get you. His statements are definitely controversial and can easily be misunderstood. They actually have been misunderstood especially by catholics. I think in general it’s good not to try to offend others (as the apostle paul advices), but sometime a controversial message is necessary to wake people up…

      • LightWalk3r

        Yahh Ic wat u mean and it’s true but their is a limit cause the word of God wasn’t meant to argue or battle, how r u going to make someone see with    controversial messages when they r blind, wat we can do is help them, like with our testimony, how God changed us and how he is still changing us, tell them about anything we have experienced or seen like healing, inner healing,  deliverance and any sort of miracle, for them to become interested and hungry for the word of God and remember seek and u should find, now wat we do is to help them to know the father, to establish a relationship with him so they can experience it for them self’s. Sorry for the grammar, I am really young so I am use to writing like this cause of txting lol and thnk u for ur time and I hope he keeps writing cause this guy is a genius and an amazing writer and may God keep using him 

        • LightWalk3r

          And sorry for the long comment lol I haven’t express my self in a While now so Yahh sorry bro

        • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

          No worries, I like long comments!
          I totally agree with you. I too find it the most effective to show people God’s goodness instead of correcting or criticizing them.
          How old are you, you’ve got quite some wisdom on you already.

          • LightWalk3r

            Ohh k lol good, Yahh for real bro… Ohhh I am 16 and when I was younger lol, I was attending to a really religious churc, tht it made me blind while I thought I could see then I got tired and did wat I wanted to do but about a year ago I went the church i am attending now and this church is different then any other church I have attended cause miracles happen like crazy, the first time I attend they gave me a word of knowledge and every thing was true and tht day I had an encounter with God and since then my life had changed forever so Yahhh like God has used me for mirecles and Yahh it’s just crazy amazing like all the glory to God bro

  • PEC

    Great video! Greetings from Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Cherokee Rose

    I cried. I don’t know why. :) I just did.

  • UT-rabble-rouser

    Absolutely awesome.

  • Miss.b.

    All i can say is this is true!!