BuzzFeed’s Viral “I’m Christian, But I’m Not” Video Has a Few Problems


BuzzFeed’s ‘I’m Christian, But I’m Not’ viral video accidentally updated the Pharisee’s ‘Thank God I’m not like other men’ prayer Jesus warned us about.

The Gospel of Luke includes many parables, including one about a Pharisee and a tax collector. A parable is a simple story used to illustrate a moral lesson, and a Pharisee was a member of a Jewish sect known for its strict observance of religious ceremonies and practices and adherence to oral laws and traditions. It’s a short but very important read from Luke 18:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.” But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.’

This weekend, BuzzFeed posted a video called “I’m Christian, But I’m Not…,” in which five women and one man said they were Christians but they weren’t, you know, like all the other men and women who are Christians. They cheerfully reminded God and others that they weren’t homophobic or closeminded, or uneducated, or judgmental, or placing themselves on pedestals. Featured respondents proudly announced they fasted twice a week were “queer” or “feminist!” or listened to Beyonce. One said she wished people knew that “Just because we prescribe [sic] to a faith that has some really terrible people in it doesn’t make all of us terrible,” followed by someone saying that “love is the most important thing.”

It was easily the most unintentionally hilarious, if shockingly bigoted, BuzzFeed video ever produced.

Here are just a few of the problems with it.

1) No Mention of Jesus

Michael Wear, a former Obama and White House staffer, tweeted on Friday (before the video came out, if you can believe it):

When you build your faith around what type of Christian you’re not, your faith is not built around Christ. Below is the text and transcription of the viral video. Note the absence of any mention of Jesus. Text: “BuzzFeed presents, I’m Christian but I’m not…”

  • I’m Christian but I’m not homophobic;
  • I’m Christian and I’m definitely not perfect;
  • I’m Christian but I’m not close-minded;
  • but I’m not unaccepting;
  • but I’m not uneducated;
  • but I am not judgmental;
  • but I’m not conservative;
  • I’m not ignorant;
  • but I don’t place myself on a pedestal;
  • I’m Christian but I don’t have all the answers.

Text: “What are you?”

  • but I am accepting;
  • but I am queer;
  • I am gay;
  • but I am a feminist;
  • I’m a feminist;
  • definitely am a feminist;
  • but I do believe in science, in fact I think science makes God look really cool;
  • I’m not afraid to talk about sex;
  • I love me some Beyonce;
  • but I love wine;
  • I do believe in monogamy before sex but I will give you sex advice if you need it;
  • but I do go to church on Sundays;
  • I was a YoungLife camp counselor;
  • I do listen to Christian music, Christian rock, Christian rap, T-Mac, all the cool kids;
  • I have friends from all walks of life and different religions, and I love them all.

Text: What do you want people to know about Christianity?

  • I guess what I’d like people to know about Christianity today is that we’re all kind of not crazy;
  • We shouldn’t be judged on just the people that you see in the media, or just the people that you’ve met in everyday life. every Christian is different, and we deserve a chance to explain ourselves;
  • A lot of people think Christianity ruins people, but to me I think it’s people that are ruining Christianity, you never really see the good that happens, you only see the hypocrites, and the people who put themselves on a higher pedestal;
  • But at its core it’s really about love and acceptance and being a good neighbor;
  • Just because we prescribe [sic] to a faith that has some really terrible people in it doesn’t make all of us terrible;
  • I don’t think that Christians should judge people for who they are or what they do, I think everybody is in different part of life on their own path to wherever they’re trying to go. we’re all people and love is the most important thing.

Not a single mention of Jesus, the author and finisher of the Christian faith. In fact, you could easily switch out all references to “Christian” with any other religion or belief system and it would have the same amount of meaning. Consumer choices of Christians are interesting, I guess, and, hey, I like wine and Beyonce, too, but Christianity isn’t about our consumer choices.

Heaven forfend! We have a reason for the hope that is in us, and we should aim to make a defense of that reason even above our political inclinations. Now, perhaps—I certainly hope it’s the case—these six Christians from the BuzzFeed interview did make such a defense, and it was left on the cutting room floor. But when Christians get asked by a member of the media, “What do you want people to know about Christianity?,” let’s agree to take advantage of this rare opportunity by pointing to the object of our faith—Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Federalist

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