Jefferson Bethke, Religion and the Evangelical Inquisitors

A year ago, a young Turk, Spoken Word poet Jefferson Bethke, puts out a winner evangelistic YouTube video, which has garnered in excess of 24 million hits to date. And the response from an outfit called the Gospel Coalition, a self-appointed Evangelical ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’? No less than three of its regular bloggers saw fit to take Bethke to task on points of minutiae. To his credit of his person and profit to his ministry, Bethke responded with humble supplication to assuage the ego of one of these Guardians of the Faith.

The fiery darts that originate from within Christendom were more frequent and with understandably more sting than those from outside. If one is largely naive of the state of Christendom, one is prone not to place another shield against that direction.

About the actual critique though, I’ll be honest, there were times after the poem came out that I just started to crumble. The pain of the critiques was too painful (which I talk about later)… But the tone, words, and down right vitriol from fellow brothers and sisters in the faith have crushed me. I’m a 22 year old dude who has only been out of college 6 months, and who has only been walking with Jesus for a few years. I am beyond thankful to the older godly men who chose to pick up the phone and find ways to contact me privately, before discussing me publicly. I personally had to stop reading and trying to follow the blogs because Jesus showed me pretty quickly it wasn’t healthy for my heart (whether praise or critique). The ones I did come across stung. Some hardly even dealt with my content, but wrote more about my character, my salvation (or lack thereof), my looks, my poetry, etc. Part of me was extremely hurt, while part of me started to really wonder how blog posts fit into the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:36.1

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