Monday, March 15, 2010

"Jesus is My Boyfriend."

So, lately I've been hearing from a lot of people a lot of criticism of songs that are apparently "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs, where if you took out Jesus' name in the songs and inserted someone else's name (the one you love, obviously), you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Honestly, I have a hard time having the same criticism as these people. I guess I can see their point, but aren't we supposed to sing songs of how much we love and adore God? Yes, He is far more than anyone that we could ever love and He is absolutely incomparable to anything that we have ever experienced, but if we want to express our love for Him, why can't we express it in a way that we know how to do, which is to describe it in terms of a human relationship? I think that love songs to Christ have come under far too much criticism. I don't know if I'm just not listening to the same music that other people are, but the songs I'm hearing are absolutely fine.

Right now I'm thinking of a song by Phil Wickham called "Always and Forever." In it he sings, "You are my Love, my Life, always, forever..." Sure, that could also be sung to another human being, but we are supposed to sings songs of adoration and love to our King. I do believe that there needs to be a balance between how many of those types of songs we sing and praising God for the things that He has done, but I don't think it's fair to criticize the love songs simply because of what they are.

I think people have gotten carried away when it comes to criticizing things, that we have forgotten about the things that are actually important. We spend all of our time judging this and that, thinking this is stupid and that is dumb, and not realizing that we may actually be missing the point of the things that we are being critical of. Does that make sense?

I mean, I know that I have the same issue as well. I tend to pick apart every little thing in a song or a sermon. I become very judgmental and want things to sound good on my terms instead of realizing what the other person is trying to say. Should we be critical and discerning in our lives? Yes, yes we should. But we can definitely become too involved in it, and unfortunately I think the reformed culture has taken being discerning to an extreme - even to the point of mocking things that they don't agree with.

This needs to change. Instead of having superior attitudes over the things that we disagree with, maybe we need to actually take things in and consider what the person is really trying to do or say, and if we still disagree with it, then maybe we just need to hold our tongues.

No, we are not here to please others and to make them happy, but we need to be mindful of them and the fact that they are made in God's image just as much as we are. We may disagree with other believers on certain issues, but really... if we agree on the basic doctrines of the faith, shouldn't that cause us to be more unified instead of becoming divided on small issues? Instead of alienating those that we disagree with, we need to embrace them because God has called us to be unified as a church.

It has been rare that I have seen criticism be uplifting and encouraging to the person that it is against. This is what causes divisions in the Church, and it needs to be stopped. Be discerning, yes. But don't be so critical to the point that you bring down fellow believers and end up hurting and pushing them away in the process.

Philippians 2:1-11

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus ever knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I'll bite :) My concern is not over the concept of adoration or love of God, as the Psalms best of all proclaim. What concerns me is thinking of our love of God in romantic terms, which is the feeling I often get. I am not "in love" with Jesus, because that carries those connotations. We get to enjoy so many amazing angles of our relationship with our Lord, including brother, friend, counselor, father, king, priest, etc. Lover is not one of them, and I don't feel sorry saying so. Is the church the Bride of Christ? Yes, CORPORATELY. My personal relationship with Christ is never described that way. And frankly I refuse to sing songs with lyrics that express love of God this way, because it gives me the creeps.

    As to criticism, you are right, it can become almost a game to criticize, and we need to guard against this! However, when it comes to worship, we do need to remember that if we are not worshiping in truth (per John 4), then we are not in fact praising God, we are speaking untrue things about Him. That's blasphemous, and frankly it doesn't scare us as much as it ought to. So, while all criticism needs to be done carefully, and spoken in love, it is surely the truth that truth both unites, and divides, and rightly so; Paul certainly didn't shy away from speaking harshly when necessary (just read Galatians!)

    I'm not familiar with the song you quoted, and maybe it is fine. To reiterate, I would say that as long as our adoration and love is expressed in Biblical ways, I'm not too worried. But I think a lot more care needs to be taken in the songs we sing and the praise we give, because I fear God is not honored by much of it.



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