“Jesus is my boyfriend”

WhymenhategoingtochurchOver on Youthblog Ian has posted his review of a new book called “Why men hate going to church”. With a stack of reading leering at me I’m not sure I’m going to buy it but the book and Ian’s review raises again that question we’ve all asked sometime or other (out loud or inside), ‘why is the church like this’.
The quote that nails it is, “Your system is perfectly designed for the results you’re getting”. Ian’s review picks up some of the features of church life that often make things difficult for men. There will be immediate parallels with young people and church which are worth chewing over.

So, in the spirit of the thing, I offer my own horror experience of a worship song which I heard recently during a prayer time (which, apart from this song, was great). Afterwards I discovered I wasn’t the only guy cringeing…

It’s a love I can’t contain when you touch me with your heart,
It’s a feeling I can’t explain when you kiss me with the kisses of your mouth.
Come and kiss me with the kisses of your mouth.

Any quality “Jesus is my boyfriend” lyrics you’d like to contribute here…?

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10 Responses to “Jesus is my boyfriend”

  1. John Smulo says:

    No way! Those were actually lyrics to a Christians worship song? I’m cringing even more than normal!

  2. claire says:

    Finding ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ lyrics difficult is something which has been attributed to men and I understand why this is, but I have to say also that as a girl, I feel exactly the same way. The lyrics you mentionned make me feel uncomfortable and uneasy and kinda embarrassed if I’m honest! On the new wine live album from this year there is a song with the lyrics, ‘here I am your laid down lover’ which is a shame cos the song is all right up until this point. I mean I guess I can see where she (interestingly in light of the debate!) was coming from but ‘laid down lover’ has totally different connotations for me let alone someone outside of church or just coming in to it!

  3. Tim Abbott says:

    John, I do want to make clear is was a worship song in the listening sense, not the singing sense! I suspect some may try to justify it from a Song of Songs perspective, but I don’t think that helps either as it implies a kind of semi-erotic love relationship with God that’s not supported anywhere else in scripture and again leaves people feeling uneasy, or even queasy.
    Claire, thanks for sharing a female perspective on this – though it doesn’t surprise me. Your example from New Wine Live is even more worrying as presumably lots of people were singing this (and are probably now singing it back at their churches). My colleagues are similarly alarmed.

  4. Amy says:

    I have yet to find the hymn it’s found in… so maybe others could help…
    But my favourite lyrics have to be:
    “You have raised our fallen manhood…”

  5. sally says:

    Listening to or singing those lyrics is surely enough to make most of us cringe- we really need to think hard about what we say or sing… we have a tendency to disengage brain when it comes to worship which is unhelpful and unhealthy!

  6. sally says:

    Listening to or singing those lyrics is surely enough to make most of us cringe- we really need to think hard about what we say or sing… we have a tendency to disengage brain when it comes to worship which is unhelpful and unhealthy!

  7. Pete Lev says:

    But isn’t there something healthy about the expression of intamcy and live for Chirst?

  8. Tim Abbott says:

    Sally – this is one of my concerns. Sometimes very poor theology can slip under the radar in the form of a worship song when it would raise a few eyebrows if taught from the front of the church.
    Pete – Thanks for your reminder about the place of intimacy and love in our relationship with God. I quite agree that we should express this in worship and that to do so is a healthy thing. These are my specific areas of unease…
    One is that people, and especially young people, learn quite a bit of their theology through worship songs and I think we need to make sure we’ve thought clearly about what we’re communicating through song.
    Whilst admittedly a bit critical and slightly tongue in cheek, I don’t mean this post in any way to deny the importance of opportunities to sing of God’s love for us and ours for him, but I think we have to be very careful when we start using what might be seen to be sensual or even slightly erotic language.
    The other area of unease relates to the original starting point for this post (Ian’s review of the book “Why men hate going to church”) which is about the way the church represents faith to men (and, I wonder, young people). Many of the young people we work with have enough problems with what they know or have experienced of sung worship so I’m wearing a bit of a missional hat on this one.
    I acknowledge that this whole area is basically one of wise judgement, particularly by those of us who plan or lead worship activities. I’m just wanting to hold up a mirror to what maybe on the fringes of good worship songwriting.
    Thanks again for providing some balance.

  9. Tim Abbott says:

    Sally – this is one of my concerns. Sometimes very poor theology can slip under the radar in the form of a worship song when it would raise a few eyebrows if taught from the front of the church.
    Pete – Thanks for your reminder about the place of intimacy and love in our relationship with God. I quite agree that we should express this in worship and that to do so is a healthy thing. These are my specific areas of unease…
    One is that people, and especially young people, learn quite a bit of their theology through worship songs and I think we need to make sure we’ve thought clearly about what we’re communicating through song.
    Whilst admittedly a bit critical and slightly tongue in cheek, I don’t mean this post in any way to deny the importance of opportunities to sing of God’s love for us and ours for him, but I think we have to be very careful when we start using what might be seen to be sensual or even slightly erotic language.
    The other area of unease relates to the original starting point for this post (Ian’s review of the book “Why men hate going to church”) which is about the way the church represents faith to men (and, I wonder, young people). Many of the young people we work with have enough problems with what they know or have experienced of sung worship so I’m wearing a bit of a missional hat on this one.
    I acknowledge that this whole area is basically one of wise judgement, particularly by those of us who plan or lead worship activities. I’m just wanting to hold up a mirror to what maybe on the fringes of good worship songwriting.
    Thanks again for providing some balance.

  10. Tim Abbott says:

    Sally – this is one of my concerns. Sometimes very poor theology can slip under the radar in the form of a worship song when it would raise a few eyebrows if taught from the front of the church.
    Pete – Thanks for your reminder about the place of intimacy and love in our relationship with God. I quite agree that we should express this in worship and that to do so is a healthy thing. These are my specific areas of unease…
    One is that people, and especially young people, learn quite a bit of their theology through worship songs and I think we need to make sure we’ve thought clearly about what we’re communicating through song.
    Whilst admittedly a bit critical and slightly tongue in cheek, I don’t mean this post in any way to deny the importance of opportunities to sing of God’s love for us and ours for him, but I think we have to be very careful when we start using what might be seen to be sensual or even slightly erotic language.
    The other area of unease relates to the original starting point for this post (Ian’s review of the book “Why men hate going to church”) which is about the way the church represents faith to men (and, I wonder, young people). Many of the young people we work with have enough problems with what they know or have experienced of sung worship so I’m wearing a bit of a missional hat on this one.
    I acknowledge that this whole area is basically one of wise judgement, particularly by those of us who plan or lead worship activities. I’m just wanting to hold up a mirror to what maybe on the fringes of good worship songwriting.
    Thanks again for providing some balance.

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