Bear Grylls, the TV host and author who describes himself as an unconventional Christian, recently shared with his 5.6 million followers on Instagram that Jesus was not religious and “a wild one”.
Grylls shared a controversial image of Jesus taking a selfie and explained that he was “totally non-religious, 100% free, fun, loving & insanely generous and kind.” According to Grylls, Jesus was always healing and caring for the poor and sick, and he hung out with those who society had shunned.
Grylls has been known for his appearances in Discovery’s “Man vs. Wild” and hosting “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” on National Geographic.
Grylls cited Matthew 9:10-13.
The verse reads: “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
In an interview with The Christian Post last month, Grylls said he believes Jesus “would really struggle with 99% of churches nowadays.”
“Our job in life is to stay close to Christ and drop the religious, drop the fluff, drop the church if you need to because that means so many different things to different people anyway,” he said. “Keep the bit of church which is about community and friends and honesty and faith and love. All the masks, performances, music and worship bands and all of that sort of stuff — I don’t think Christ would recognize a lot of that.”
Grylls, who released the new book Mind Fuel: Simple Ways to Build Mental Resilience Every Day, expressed distaste for what he called “religious language,” sanitizing messages in such a way that people “can’t be honest, can’t express doubt and can’t fail.” The Church, he said, is “the place to have doubts and questions.”
Grylls, a former United Kingdom Special Forces soldier, remarked on how the early Church was a group of individuals who gathered together to eat, drink, doubt, struggle and argue. He believes that many churches today have moved away from that.
He suggested that many people in modern congregations are likely struggling with things like substance abuse and pornography and that it would be a relief if pastors acknowledged this reality before their congregation.
Grylls is known for going on many dangerous expeditions. He has scaled Mount Everest and survived a 1996 free-fall parachuting accident in Africa. Grylls’ books have sold over 15 million copies worldwide, ranging from survival skills guides to fiction.