Sunday, August 14, 2005

O Jesus, who art thou?

By: Jason Boyett

Relevant Issue #15 July - August 2005

This article deals with the following sub headings:

  • What A Friend We Have In Jesus
  • Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild
  • Republican Jesus
  • Christ Hippified
  • Romanticized Boyfriend Jesus
  • The Wild-Hearted Jesus
  • Jesus Is My Homeboy

Here’s an excerpt from the article

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 ole 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 Isaac 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 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, soul and strengths. 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 loooove Jesus, the main focus isn’t on Jesus; it’s about us. About our love for the Son 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.

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