Monday, November 2, 2009

In Love With Jesus?

by Michael Spencer

Come follow me, and I will make you all mushy
Jesus, I am so in love with You
-Matt Redman
Let what we do in here, fill the streets out there. Let us dance for you (x2)
All of my life, and nothing less, I offer You, my righteousness
- Charlie Hall, "Madly"
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy loveLeading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!
-Samuel Francis
The times, they are a-changin'. We have gone from singing about the overwhelming, faithful, constant, covenant love of Jesus Christ for Christians, to singing about the most changeable, gullible and frothy of human emotions- romantic love. These days, our worship is full of announcing that we are "in love" with Jesus.
If the problem were simply music, I'd leave it alone. Better people than this writer have painfully noted the "God is my girlfriend" bent of modern praise and worship music. In fact, the brilliant people over at Lark News have taken us over the edge into the possibility that Wal-mart might have to ban certain Vineyard worship CDs in the future for their explicit lyrics. The satirical article says "The ground-breaking — some say risqué — album includes edgy worship songs such as "My Lover, My God," "Touch Me All Over," "Naked Before You," "I'll Do Anything You Want," "Deeper" and "You Make Me Hot with Desire." If you think that's over the top, you aren't listening to much CCM these days.
Some very sharp culture watchers have traced the influence of romanticism and romantic language on evangelical piety over the last two centuries. A hymn like Samuel Francis's "In The Garden" could be interpreted in several ways, but the romantic interpretation is the most obvious. Such a hymn could only be accepted and become popular in an evangelicalism that had already been considerably influenced by femininization and romantic imagery.


Greg Rice said...

I heard an interview with Matt Redman regarding the line "Jesus I am so in love with you" from "Let My Words Be Few" and he admitted that if he had written the song today, he woud have changed the lyric to "Jesus I am so in awe of you."

Matt Redman is a great songwriter and does not make it a habit to write mushy lovey dovey lyrics to Jesus. One slight faux-paux should not be held against him.

Robert Tewart said...

I caught that same interview. I didn't mention it in the article because I could't site the source.

Thanks for your comments!