Posted in praise songs, theology

We are a singing people

By Elizabeth Prata

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Photo: EPrata

We as believers are a singing people. In lesson 2 of RC Sproul’s teaching video series “What Did Jesus Do?: Understanding the Work of Christ” (free at Ligonier) Sproul talks of the Songs in the Bible; OT’s Song of Moses, Miriam, Deborah, and in the NT, the Infancy Hymns of Mary, Simeon, and Zacharias, and also Revelation’s New Song. He explained that whenever God does a huge act of redemption, gratitude and awe springs forth in praises in hymn of the great God. These are recorded in His word, these songs of praise and thankfulness being a beautiful segment of our faith. Continue reading “We are a singing people”

Posted in jesus is not my boyfriend, praise songs

The Romanticizing Jesus movement is turning women into camp followers

I’ve been hearing snippets of lyrics that drive me crazy. Hearing friends talk about books with words that grieve my spirit. I could not figure out why at first, but then it came to me. These words are part of a new paradigm aimed at women, in which Jesus is romanticized as our high school prom date. Is this new trend bad? Oh, yes, it’s bad.

First, some examples of the Romanticism of Jesus. This one is from Beth Moore- I call it “Date night with Jesus at the Zoo”.

“Christ seemed to say, “Let’s go play.” And that we did. I hadn’t been to the zoo in years. I heard about all the improvements, but I never expected the ultimate: Starbucks coffee! (OK, so I don’t have my health issues down pat.) Can you imagine watching a baby koala take a nap in a tree on a rare cold day in Houston with a Starbucks grande cappuccino in your hand? Now that’s a Sabbath moment! God and I had a blast.” (The Beloved Disciple, p. 220)

Or this from Moore:

“After an April snowstorm, Moore writes, “I heard the voice of God speak to my heart: “Come and play.” I love that He said “Come.” Not “Go.” “Come.” That meant He was already there. I also love how I could tell by the sweet tone of His silent voice whispering to my spirit that He was smiling. You know, you can tell that kind of thing in the voices of those you really know. “I built a snowman. I used grapes for eyes, and a half-moon shaped sesame snack for the mouth. I didn’t make a nose. I have enough for the both of us. He’s wearing my hat and scarf, and I rather hope he doesn’t get them wet. I let him borrow them because I was coming back inside. I laughed with God. He laughed with me…. I am so in love with Him. I am so in love with Him.” (When Godly People do Ungodly Things,” p 124).

Or this from Ann Voskamp via book reviewer Tim Challies

“I fly to Paris and discover how to make love to God.” This closing chapter, “The Joy of Intimacy,” is her discovery of God through something akin to sexual intimacy. In a chapter laden with intimate imagery she falls in love with God again, but this time hears him urging to respond. She wants more of him. And then at last she experiences some kind of spiritual climax, some understanding of what it means to fully live, of what it means to be one with Christ, to experience the deepest kind of union. “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?”

EWWWW! It’s bad enough to have date night with Jesus because you are “in love with” Him, but to fantasize about sex with Him skin to skin? Just awful. But that is the natural slide downward where this trend is leading us. Below, I’ll show you why.

So I was going to write a blog entry about how Jesus is not my boyfriend. And then I googled “Jesus is not my boyfriend” and there were lots of hits. LOL, many other better bloggers than I have already written about this trend. I am late to the party. Here are some good examples I offer to you to check out–

Internet Monk: Romanticizing Jesus

Do Not Be Surprised: Jesus is not my boyfriend

World View Weekend: Jesus wants to give you a hug?

Slaughter of the Sheep: Jesus is my boyfriend/girlfriend songs

Todd Friel, Wretched Radio, “Warning Against Jesus is My Boyfriend Songs” (video)

Spectrum Magazine: Jesus is not my boyfriend

The trend began in Christian music, and in Friel’s piece he not only warns about the lyric but also the amorous phrasing and the manner in which they are sung, breathlessly and sexily. All this is a no-no. Unfortunately, the trend has now launched off music and invaded books and other materials mostly aimed at women.

So I got to thinking…why. Why this sudden trend toward Jesus as the hugging boyfriend? In my belief system, Jesus is the KING OF LINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, advocating and adjudicating for us with Yahweh at the throne in the courts of praise where the pillars shake. He is not a Romantic date sliding down a rainbow on a unicorn to give us a cupcake! (I read that somewhere. Isn’t it good? I wish I could give credit). So what’s up with all this? Take a deep breath, here we go.

It is all about the battlefield. We know from many scriptures that we are in a battle. We are fighting the good fight. (1 Timothy 1:18-19; 1 Timothy 6:12; Ephesians 6:12; Jude 1:3; ) We are given armor to help us, the main weapon of which is His word. (Eph 6:13-14).

Nowhere in the scriptures does it say that this battle is for the men only. Lift up the helmet visor. There’s a woman in there! Nowhere does it say the armor is for the men only. Women are in this fight too.

But women are always satan’s first target. He approached Eve in the garden, not Adam. (Gen 3:1). Paul warned Timothy that in the last days false teachers will creep into households to capture weak-willed women (who are laden with sins- yet another reason for frequent confession, ladies!). (2 Tim 3:6). Women are a target. Just look at the havoc wreaked with the Feminist movement.

Just as with so many things of Jesus, the opposite of what we expect in this world is what is actually true: the weak will prevail, the meek shall inherit, the first shall be last. In this case, it is that staying ON the battle field is safer. Therefore Satan’s goal is to get women off the battlefield.

As long as you are a soldier fighting to resist satan all ways and all days, wearing the armor and wielding it in Holy Spirit strength, you are safer than if you’re off the battlefield, relaxing. And yet that is where satan has gotten so many women.

They have taken off their armor and have suspended the fight. Now they are not a warrior, they are a camp follower. Originally a camp follower was a woman married to a soldier who traveled with the soldier. Sometimes his family went along too.

Below, Camp Followers: wives and families.

Source

Satan has got the women off the muddy, stinky, dirty battlefield to go into the tent and rearrange the curtains. He’s gotten women off the battlefield and into romanticizing war. We went from this:

To this:

Now that we have dispensed with armor and gotten in touch with our softer side, we did the same to Jesus. No longer the LORD OF LORDS, He is the high school date with which we cuddle in the rocking chair kissing skin to skin with warm embraces. What will be the next progression? You read Beth Moore’s snippets of her date with Jesus. She is “so in love with Him.” What is the next thing that satan will do? He always perverts everything, pollutes it. We have left the Godly relationship behind. We’ve entered into a romantic relationship. The next step is to change from a romantic relationship and to sexualize it. Isn’t that the progression? Always.

Like the lyrics of Hold Me featuring tobyMac (HT Sola Sisters)–

(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
Oo, I love the way You hold me, by my side You’ll always be
You take each and everyday, make it special in some way
I love the way You hold me, in Your arms I’ll always be
You take each and everyday, make it special in some way
I love You more than the words in my brain can express
I can’t imagine even loving You less
Lord, I love the way You hold me

What happened to the wifely camp followers? Many women, if their husbands were killed, had to make a living. They entered into sexual relationship with the men. As prostitutes.

Women are going AWOL from the battle, seduced by the violins and lollipops from the army band at the back of the battlefield, to go into the tents and wait out the battle. And while the women are waiting, they yearn for the perfect man to come in and sweep them off their feet, give them the love they always wanted and never had, listen to them, hold them in the rocking chair. Ugh. And then they descend into a perverse sexual relationship and their degradation is complete.

Jesus is not my boyfriend. He is not my lover.

Dear ones, the battle is wearisome. It is dirty. It is bloody.

Battle Hymn of the Republic
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

The battle seems to go on, and on, and on, and on…but His day is coming, and we need to be ON the battlefield when He does. We cannot be listening to gross lyrics like “hold me in your arms, never let me go, Lord I want to see your face, feel the warmth of your embrace.” (Hillsong United, Draw me Closer to You). We cannot be off in some snowfield making a snowman and having a blast with God. We cannot be making love to God spirit skin to spirit skin!’ (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts). Women are seduced off the battlefield and turning into whores for Jesus.

I agree, that is rough language and a rough charge. But what else 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?

“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.” (source)

What are the men to make of this sexual imagery with Christ? Does Ann Voskamp’s husband (if she has one) feel comfortable with her sexual allegory and eroto-porn language? How would he feel if it was Justin Bieber she said she wants to enjoy a greater intimacy with spiritual skin to skin? Or worse, the man next door? If he came across her drafts of her book but included in it was language exactly the same as what ended up in her book but instead she used the name of Joe next door? Adultery is not good. That is what I mean by whoring for Jesus!

If you listen to praise music, or read Christian books or studies by women, here are a couple of clues to tune into,

1. Who is the subject of the song? Even the nicest sounding songs or books take ourselves as the subject. Hillsong United’s Draw Me Closer to You is about… ME.

2. How long does it take you to figure out the song is about God? In the Hold Me song where I listed the lyric, the Lord was not mentioned till nearly the end.

3. Does the song have good theology? Can you recognize scriptural verses in there?

“Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty! God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!” Obviously refers to Isaiah 6:3.

Amazing Grace’s ‘blind but now I see’ is from John 9:25.

4. Is the song sung in a straightforward way or are there additional sexy trills and moans added? If it is a book passage or a bible study (God forbid!) then are there words that allude to a fleshly relationship of a more carnal nature, talk of kissing or embracing?

I trust in my Divine and Majestic God as Lord and Savior. He is also my Comforter and my Friend. He is not my boyfriend and He is not my lover. His grace is sufficient for me.