If you want to fill the world with silly love songs, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you want to fill the church with them, I say, “Stop it!”
Tune into your “get you through your day” Christian music station and you will hear grown men, whining like love sick puppies, “Nothing else can take your place, or feel the warmth of your embrace.” Who are they singing to? The One who holds the universe together by the power of His word, or a chick?
Take the Quiz
Here are six phrases from six contemporary songs. Can you pick which phrases belong to secular songs and which to the sacred?
1. All I need to do is just be me, being in love with you.
2. My world stops spinning round, without you.
3. I never want to leave; I want to stay in your warm embrace.
4. I’m lost in love.
5. Now and forever, together and all that I feel, here's my love for you.
6. You say you love me just as I am.
The first three are from a popular Christian band called Big Daddy Weave, the second half are from Air Supply.
More and more of our Christian music is sounding one note: Jesus loves you soooooo much. Do I doubt for a second that Jesus loves His children? Nope, but it depends on what your definition of “love” is.
God “agape” loves His children. Agape love is not an emotions based, warm and fuzzy kind of love. Agape love is a self sacrificing, “I will help you despite how I feel” love.
Not only do we use “love” in romantic ways to sing about God, we have added other romantic phrases to our Christian music repertoire: hold me, embrace me, feel you, need you. This criticism is not new, in fact, it has existed since Godly men began endeavoring to sing anything but the Psalms.
There are two consequences to this “Jesus is my boyfriend/girlfriend” music. Needy, emotional women continue to need more counseling, self help books and conferences where they can spread their wings and soar. Men simply are not showing up for church. It is my belief they simply can’t stand the mood manipulating worship times designed to help them “feel the Lord’s embrace.”
Without theology in music, we are offering fluff that will not comfort when bridges collapse and test reports are negative. Songwriters could provide true hope if they would write about the sovereignty of God rather than crying about “how safe I feel when Jesus is holding me.”
Is there anything wrong with being reminded that our God is our help from ages past? Of course not, the Psalms are loaded with promises of God’s comfort. But unlike the Psalms (and theology based hymns), contemporary music is void of the reason why we should not worry. We do not worry because someone purrs that we shouldn’t fret, but because God is our shelter in the stormy blast and our eternal home. Our comfort comes from knowledge, not caterwauling.
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