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o jesus, who art thou?

taken from relevant magazine, july/august 2005.

written by jason boyett [the pocket guide guy].


Romanticized Boyfriend Jesus

  Contemporary worship music has done a lot of good things for the Church over the last 30 years, not the least of which is enlivening the worship experience for a generation that had trouble relating to centuries-old hymns and might-as-well-be-that-old Gaither choruses. However, the modern worship movement brought with it an unfortunate by-product: the extreme to which we've taken the "Bride of Christ" metaphor. Song of Solomon was one thing. John Donne and Teresa of Avila took it a step further. The classic hymnster Issac Watts even threw his hat into the ring with "Jesus, Lover of My Soul."

  But us? We've driven the Love Truck over the edge. You won't get far in contemporary worship music without running into achingly intense expressions of desire for the Son of God. Critics have called it the "Jesus Is My Boyfriend" syndrome, in which the Bridegroom has become the object of our romanticism. Oh, how we love Jesus. We long to be with Him. We want to touch Him. We want to see His face.

  Sing it with me now, and be sure to scrunch your eyes up with emotion: "Jesus, I am so in love with You."

  Good: God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, and believers are instructed to love Him back with all their hearts, minds, souls and strength. Magnifying God through worshipful music is a good place to start.

  Bad: But it's the magnifying God part we often forget about. Because when we sing songs about how much we looooove Jesus, the main focus isn't on Jesus; it's about us. About our love for the Son of God. Next Sunday, count the number of self-congratulatory songs that talk about what we, the worshippers, will do. We will worship. We will lift up our hands. We will shout, stand, sing, clap, etc. The majesty, holiness and glory of God? The Savior who rescued us from sin and death? Not so much the focus there.


sounds like a familiar drum beat...

Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2005 at 08:57PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

Yeah, I read this one too. I think it was my designated "token valuable article" for this particular issue.

I thought some of it was a bit of an over-simplification (which, I guess is what the article was actually trying to criticize), but I suppose some simplification was needed since it was a semi-brief article, not a 1,000-page tome.

This part that you quote, however, is spot-on.
Jul 25, 2005 at 04:14PM | Unregistered Commentermeegs
I read the article too and enjoyed it. But, I have to say that "Romanticized boyfriend Jesus" was my least favorite commentary. I think in this instance it is our culture that has stolen the true nature of "Love" and "Romance" away from God and assigned it to each other. We say things like "You complete me" & "soul mate" to refer to our relationships, and you only have to listen to the radio for a few hours to see how the opposite sex has been made into an idol of happiness and completeness. THis is the place where God should sit, not some boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. God is the one who completes us, who fulfills us. The marriage relationship is a picture (just a shadow) of God's relationship with his people. I don't think the "romanticized" ideas in hymns and contemporary christian songs are misplaced at all. It is in our culture that they are misplaced to put love between two people on the throne rather than love between God and his creation.
BUT--- the part about our focus on ourselves and our feelings over and above God's character and actions is a pertinent observation.
Aug 24, 2005 at 11:54AM | Unregistered CommenterDevonaide

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