Jefferson Bethke (the same guy who did the “Why I hate religion, but love Jesus” video) is at it again with a thought provoking video called “The Unforgivable Sin” based off his thoughts after reading Matthew 23. The video is a good challenge to actually put your faith into practice and do something, but it falls short.
First off, let me just say, I don’t understand why “The Unforgivable Sin” is the title of this video. The unforgivable sin he mentions is not the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit as is mentioned in Matthew 12:31, but merely using profanity. Oh wait, the more controversial the title for a video on youtube, the more views it will probably get…now it makes sense.
The title aside, Jefferson brings a great challenge about truly believing the Gospel of Jesus. The basic premise is if a Christ follower truly believes the Gospel message to their core, they will be more giving, compassionate, and selfless. They will have eyes to see the broken. He paints a quick picture of going to a Christian school as a very poor student and never once having the principal or those at the school talk of giving money or possessions to the poor and oppressed.
Then he says,
We play this game of neglecting the bigger issues because usually it shows we don’t really believe the Gospel… we really don’t trust in the gospel. We don’t understand that Jesus came, sacrificed, pursued, and died on the cross for us.…
When you understand that everything has been freely given to you by an eternally, loving and gracious God, then you want to turn around and freely give everything you have to others.…
If Jesus fully emptied himself for you, what’s keeping you from emptying yourself for others?
And I agree with him wholeheartedly.
My critique of the video is that Jefferson stopped there. He didn’t address those who serve but do it in a way to bring accolades to themselves. He didn’t address how and why Jesus even stood up for the poor and oppressed. It wasn’t just to stand up for them and make sure their needs were taken care of. It was to redeem their souls. Taking care of their physical needs was the entry point to the change; the catalyst to the conversation. So…
My simple question for you is…IF you yourself do things for others selflessly, then kudos to you. I hope you do it for the right reasons. I myself don’t serve as much as I would like, so the video was in fact a little convicting. But IF you actually integrate these activities into the ministry you do, leading students and others to serve, how do you bridge the gap between actions and words to explain the Gospel both to those you serve and those who are witnesses to the scene? That is the redeeming activity; the why behind the action.
How do you challenge your students and those you serve with to actually verbalize their faith while they serve? Is there a cool phrase or question you use to bring up Jesus?