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Bear Grylls: ‘I Think Jesus Would Really Struggle With 99% Of Churches Nowadays’

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Bear Grylls announces a giveaway of his book, "Mind Fuel." Screenshot from Facebook / @Outdoors.com and Bear Grylls

Survivalist Bear Grylls recently shared some of his views on Christianity, saying he believes that the modern Western church is a far cry from what Jesus would want it to be. 

“I think Jesus would really struggle with 99% of churches nowadays,” said Grylls in an interview with The Christian Post. “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. 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.”

Bear Grylls: Choose Spiritual Connection Over Religion

Bear Grylls is a best-selling author probably best-known for the show, “Man vs. Wild.” He is a former member of the British Special Forces and at age 23 summited Mount Everest not long after breaking his back in a skydiving accident. 

In addition to “Man vs. Wild,” Grylls has participated in other survival focused shows, such as “Escape from Hell,” “The Island,” and “Running Wild with Bear Grylls.” His books include “Soul Fuel: A Daily Devotional,” “Never Give Up: My Life in the Wild,” and his latest, “Mind Fuel: Simple Ways to Build Mental Resilience Every Day.” 

Grylls is also a Christian who speaks openly about his faith. In a 2017 article in GQ magazine, he wrote:

For me, having a Christian faith can be difficult to articulate. It’s like describing ice cream or swimming—it has to be tried to be felt. But, in a nutshell, my faith tells me that I am known, that I am secure and that I am loved—regardless of the storms I may find myself in from time to time, regardless of how often I fall and fail.

Speaking at the Global Leadership Summit in 2019, Grylls said his faith is like a backbone for him and is something that he relies on every day. He acknowledged there have been many times he has tried to live his life without God. But even though he has survived living that way, he has realized that he needs Christ’s presence to be complete and fully alive.

In the GQ article, Grylls differentiated faith from religion. “I meet so many people who don’t want ‘religion,’ as such,” he said. “I get it. I feel the same. And, in fact, so did Jesus, the heart of all Christian faith. Faith and religion are not the same thing.” He continues, “The Jesus I read about in the Bible was fun, free and wild. He loved a party and he always hung out with the nonreligious folk. The only people he ever got angry with were the overly religious types.”