Jesus is not my boyfriend – what Southpark can teach the church

23 09 2009

I really appreciate Matt Redman’s honesty in this clip. I applaud his admission about searching Scripture and finding it hard to find the romantic imagery used in many modern worship songs.

I don’t know if you are the type of person who finds it a little challenging to sing songs that seem like love songs to God. When I talk about love songs, I’m talking about the ones you hear on the radio for lovers.

One of my favorite Southpark episodes is Christian Hard Rock from season 7.

What I really like about this episode is that it makes fun of Christian songs by saying the formula is easy. Just replace words like “baby” with “Jesus” and you have a Christian hit. For example “I love you, baby” becomes “I love you, Jesus.”

The problem with lyric writing like this is that it is self-focused. There are good things about acknowledging the thought and feelings we have about God, but they have to be based on the truth.

God doesn’t ask us to be in a love relationship with Him that is analogous to a man and woman falling in love. Though there is the image of the church as the bride of Christ, we are to love God by obeying His commands.

Jesus is not my boyfriend and He’s not supposed to be my boyfriend. He is my Lord, my Savior and my God. Did we ever consider that maybe God created a special love feeling for human beings that is similar but not exactly like the love we should have for God?

What is interesting to me is that when people encounter God in Scripture, they don’t go on about how beautiful or lovely He is. People usually are stunned, blown away by His holiness and His power. There is an awesomeness about God that cannot be described. It doesn’t cause gushy feelings in our hearts, but instead makes us fall to our knees.

I’m not saying that He is not beautiful or lovely, what I am saying is that it is not the emphasis of Scripture. Look up “beautiful” and “lovely” with “God” or “Lord.” Then look up “holy” and “mighty” with “God” or “Lord” and you will find many more hits.

This is what I am thinking: Scripture’s emphasis should be reflected in the lyrics of the worship songs we sing.





false worship can teach us about true worship

26 08 2009

One of the problems with finding a definition from the Bible on “worship” is that there is no verse that says, “Worship is…” In order to build a good argument to support my definition I will write a few blogs on specific words translated “worship.”

(I must add that recent discussion has made me reconsider my definition, and I will add another post with changes to the definition in the near future.)

The first word I will break down is the Aramaic word sĕgid. It is translated “to worship or honor” and is only found in chapter three of Daniel.

Interestingly, chapter three is about false worship, but the image is very clear.  NASB, ESV and NKJV translate the word “worship.” Most instances in this chapter are connected with other words “fall down and worship” or “worship/serve your/my god.”

Serving someone often places a person in a humble position. It also communicates that the person or object is worthy of being served. Falling down before someone is a helpless position and communicates that the person may have control over the prostrate one.

The motivation for worship was was out of fear from being punished by the ruler. Can we say they had a heart of worship? No, it was more likely just an act of worship.

Daniel 3 shows connection between worship with servitude, and giving honor and respect. Also as we read verse 12 the act of worship was a specific action. It was not a lifestyle.

What we learn from this passage is that worship includes an act of submission.





is there a reason for standing in church?

29 07 2009

Is there a reason for standing in church?  I grew up going to church. The only posture we had for worship was standing.

 

So, should we stand to worship God and if so, why?

Exodus 33:10 (ESV)
And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door.

The word translated “rise up” also can be translated “stand” as in the NIV. Standing is at least biblical, but is there a reason behind why it should be encouraged?

One of the attitudes we should bring in worship is honor. Did you notice that when a judge enters the court the bailiff announces, “all rise for the honorable judge ______?” When the President of the United States enters the House of Representatives chamber for the State of the Union address everyone stands.

God deserves more honor than anyone. If we stand to honor people, why not for God?

So, it’s biblically sound and the extra work of standing represent a heart attitude of honor.

I choose to stand not because I can’t see the screen, but because I want to honor God.