Elyse Fitzpatrick and more on romancing Jesus (Updated)

It seems that the page in question from Mrs Fitzpatrick has disappeared. Below at the bottom, I posted a link to the cached version. I also posted screen shots of the essay.

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Jesus knew what she was doing and he welcomed it.

The above is from Elyse Fitzpatrick and I’ll get to the problem in her essay further down. But first, context.

Nine years ago, Keith Burton wrote an article in Spectrum Magazine called Jesus Is Not My Boyfriend. Why?

It appears as if some talented writers of contemporary Christian songs need a little help from theologians and etymologists when penning odes of love to Divinity. This is especially true for the influential Praise and Worship movement … My problem comes with the confusing lyrics that transform Jesus from a Brother into a boyfriend, a Lord into a lover or a Savior into a spouse.

Because unaddressed sin only ever gets worse, not only songs, but essays, blogs, and books have turned Jesus into a boyfriend, lover, or spouse. This is wrong.

(I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me)
(I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me)
(I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me)
(I love, I love, I love, I love the way You, the way Ya, the way Ya)
I’ve had a long day I just wanna relax
Don’t have time for my friends, no time to chit-chat
Problems at my job, wonderin’ what to do
I know I should be working, but I’m thinking of You and
Just when I feel this crazy world is gonna bring me down
That’s when Your smile comes around

Hold Me song by Jamie Grace featuring tobyMac

The lyrics like Hold Me above are not infrequent. Books like Ann Voskamp’s or Beth Moore’s that contain sensual language to describe the Savior are also rampant. And there are countless blogs doing the same- turning divine knowledge of the revealed One True God into a prom date complete with giggles and what happens at the After-Prom. Most of these are written by women.

I fly to Paris and discover how to make love to God. …God makes love with grace upon grace, every moment a making of His love for us. [C]ouldn’t I make love to God, making every moment love for Him? To know Him the way Adam knew Eve. Spirit skin to spirit skin? Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

I also love how I could tell by the sweet tone of His silent voice whispering to my spirit that He was smiling…. I laughed with God. He laughed with me…. I am so in love with Him. I am so in love with Him. Beth Moore- When Godly People do Ungodly Things

One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains. I went into a deeply wooded area, feeling vulnerable and awed by cold, moonlit beauty. The air was crisp and dry, piercing to inhale. Suddenly I felt as if a warm mist enveloped me. I became aware of a lovely Presence, and my involuntary response was to whisper, ‘Sweet Jesus.’ This utterance was totally uncharacteristic of me, and I was shocked to hear myself speaking so tenderly to Jesus. As I pondered this brief communication, I realized it was the response of a converted heart; at that moment I knew I belonged to Him. This was far more than the intellectual answers for which I’d been searching. This was a relationship with the Creator of the universe. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

Some book titles on Amazon along these lines are: (HT Sharon Lareau)

The Wild Romancer: Uncovering the Romance Jesus Longs to Lavish on You by Brenda Cobb Murphy 2008

Falling In Love With Jesus: Abandoning Yourself To The Greatest Romance Of Your Life by Dee Brestin and Kathy Troccoli 2002

What is a person to make of a trend where perfect agape love of our HOLY GOD has been switched for eros with our prom date Jesus? Keith Burton from Spectrum Magazine explains why it is wrong-

While it is true that the Bible utilizes images of marriage to parallel Christ’s relationship to the church, two things must be taken into account.

Firstly, Christ relates to the church as a collective unit. He is married to the community as a whole and not to billions of individuals who claim to serve him–he is not a polygamist.

Secondly, the love Christ shares with his church is not defined by the Greek term “eros” from which the English word “erotic” is derived, but is expressed with the noun “agape” (pronounced ah-gah-pay) which denotes love demonstrated in deeds. Those who view themselves as children of God are not called to exercise eros but agape; they are not invited to brief episodes of self gratifying sexual intimacy but to a lifetime of social and spiritual interaction. (Jesus is Not My Boyfriend, Spectrum Magazine)

Now to the quote I opened with by Elyse Fitzpatrick. She holds a certificate in biblical counseling from CCEF (San Diego) and an M.A. in Biblical Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. She has authored 23 books on daily living and the Christian life. She also has a website where she blogs and is a conference speaker.

Fitzpatrick wrote a blog essay the other week titled Mary’s Wedding Vows where a biblical scene of humbly offering an anointing to the Sovereign God preceding His death, is twisted to an impetuous moment of a love-struck girl hurling herself with abandon at her lover. In order to make the verses she quoted fit her unbiblical scene, Fitzpatrick had to twist the scripture. (2 Peter 3:16). It was a theological train wreck full of doctrinal error and crass sensuality.

Sadly, a few years ago Fitzpatrick became involved in the hypergrace movement. Her 2012 book Give Them Grace seemed to reveal more antinomian stances. She was spoken of negatively in this 2015 article at Grace to You and this one in 2015. Her theological trajectory has been noted and warned against.

The invasion of such sensual imagery by these influential writers is a sad event. One would hope and pray that Christian women would have more sense and more spiritual maturity and discernment than to chase after things that are not much different than Tantric Buddhism. Anything that connects the divine through the body should be a no-go zone. The faith comes by hearing, not by sensuous feeling. It is an intellectual faith that comes in through the mind. What we know is most important.

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary explains the word know

Know, Knowledge
The Old Testament. The Hebrew root yada [[;d”y],translated “know”/”knowledge, ” appears almost 950 times in the HebrewBible. It has a wider sweep than our English word “know, ” including perceiving, learning, understanding, willing, performing, and experiencing. To know is not to be intellectually informed about some abstract principle, but to apprehend and experience reality. Knowledge is not the possession of information, but rather its exercise or actualization.

Thus, biblically to know God is not to know about him in an abstract and impersonal manner, but rather to enter into his saving actions (Micah 6:5). To know God is not to struggle philosophically with his eternal essence, but rather to recognize and accept his claims. It is not some mystical contemplation, but dutiful obedience.

I sadly cannot recommend Elyse Fitzpatrick to you and must sadly issue a warning against using her materials. This is doubly sad because of her long experience with Biblical Counseling. But anyone who sees Jesus in such a light is seeing a Jesus that does not exist, except perhaps in her own mind.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:6).


Screen shots of Mrs Fitzpatrick’s essayin question

elyse final

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:eGgyqS6I6E4J:https://www.elysefitzpatrick.com/marys-wedding-vows/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

5 thoughts on “Elyse Fitzpatrick and more on romancing Jesus (Updated)

  1. Thank you for this, I know it’s not always easy or popular to warn others! but what your doing is right and very helpful. like me at one time, not everyone can see that “Mary’s wedding vows” and the other writings listed are extreme and unnecessary “trifling and pressing of the word of God to suit the flesh” But the scripture clearly reveals Jesus was her Lord not her lover, as this kind of writing always suggest! Gods word unblemished is what we need, to confront, to humble and to make Jesus our Lord which will only ever be our true comfort, and give us the right biblical perspective to discern this kind of error. I once ascribed to and participated in this sort of Eros religion (a good description!) along with the other unbiblical teaching and aspects of the NAR. But God is good, and he disciplines those who he loves! Over a period of time he allowed me to be brought low into all of the demonic consequences of wrong worship and then he opened my heart to his truth! It’s ironic now, but a quote I once defended as truth and admired, now helps me to understand the error itself. When speaking of amorous and sensual expressions of worship, the mystic Thomas Aquinas once said that “There is no Lord between Lovers” how true that is, but he revealed (unintentionally) an attitude that (however covertly) puts man in a relational position with God as equals, which is the lie of all lies with devastating consequences! I pray God will use this article for his glory , and to cause any person who might have come here in defense (as I once would!) to see the truth. God Bless!

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