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Just a rant

I hate this song so much it makes my teeth itch. HATE it. It is sometimes used as a worship song; not at our current church, but at our church in Virginia. You may have heard some treacly praise songs called “Jesus is my girlfriend” songs. You know, those songs that you can substitute “Peggy Sue” for “Jesus” and it still works out okay. (Musically, anyway, existentially it is not okay.)

This song is, for me, the epitome of those songs. Every time the song was sung at my church in Virginia, I had to leave the sanctuary or I might have actually said the horrible things I was thinking. And also, so I wouldn’t throw things at the worship leader. I HATE this song.

Okay, I’ll compose myself. My friends in Virginia laugh at me for my rather extreme reaction to a pop song. They’d hum it just to get me going. I firmly believe that anyone is entitled to listen to any trash they like (that’s right, I said trash), but using it as a worship song is a different matter.

The reason I hate this song so much is it’s complete and utter disrespect for the Creator of all that is. “My sweet, sweet song?” Why don’t you just nick-name Him sugar dumplin’? And then there’s this nonsense,

“You are my strong melody, yeah
You are my dancing rhythm
You are my perfect rhyme
And I will sing of You forever.”

Gotta add that yeah in there.

I found this gem in some of my notes on interesting book quotes. It’s from Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich, is a book about the difficulties of middle-class employment. I don’t particularly agree with her conclusions, nor her “research,” but she makes one spectacular point. To set this up, she is at a church job networking function.

I am considering escape when a fellow named Francois takes over and demands that we all come and sit in a circle around him. This must be the point when the networking will take place, and with so few people present, there should be plenty of opportunity for give and take. But no, he launches into what I now recognize as Job Search 101: the need for an elevator speech, a polished resume, and of course the need to network, network, network. Networking is so central to life, he confides, that we should be taught how to do it in kindergarten and primary school. And who should be our first networking target? The Lord.

I’m sorry, this is too much for me. I endured the Norcross Fellowship Lunch as an atheist, but now at Mt. Paran Church of God, I discover I am a believer, and what I believe is this: if the Lord exists, if there is some great spinner of galaxies, hurler of meteors, creator and extinguisher of species–if some such being should manifest itself, you do not “network” with it any more than you would light a cigarette on the burning bush. Francois is guilty of blasphemy. He has demeaned the universe as I know it.”

Blasphemy. To call the Great God of the Universe, the Great Perceiver, the I AM, “my sweet, sweet song” is blasphemy.

Compare and contrast.

First we have this:

“You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song.”

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Cleansing breathe. Now this:

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

How is that the atheist gets it, but the church does not?

5 responses to “Just a rant”

  1. Anne Avatar

    AMEN!!!! Jesus is my boyfriend songs make me crazy, too. I’ve never heard the one you mentioned, but there are plenty of other ones that make me nuts.

    Preach it!!

  2. Jema Avatar

    There are a lot of “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs that are just horrible. I’ve never classified that song as one of them. If you have ever known a songwriter intimately, the way they hear the voice of God through music and song, they honestly do hear Him as a sweet, sweet song. I am married to a man who would describe God as a sweet, sweet song. Not your taste, perhaps. Blasphemy? Harsh.

  3. April Avatar

    Anne, your lucky. It’s freakishly catch. It gets in your brain and lives there.

    It’s either blasphemy or really sloppy thinking. A song is by definition created, an expression of the songwriter. It is one thing to say “The voice of God, the Spirit’s guiding, etc. is a sweet, sweet song.” It is quite another to say the Omnipotent LORD of the Universe is a sweet, sweet song. It also more than passes the “girlfriend” test. If you sang the chorus using a girl’s name, you’d think pimply faced, hormonal teenagers. That’s, um, disturbing.

    I think the problem is not that some songwriters are purposefully blasphemous, but rather that they don’t consider the theology at all. The emphasis is on a catchy tune with clever phrasing instead of singing truth. They put the music above worshiping God in truth.

  4. Marcy Muser Avatar
    Marcy Muser


    I totally agree! I hate that song too.

    In church Sunday they showed us a DVD by Louie Giglio. If you’ve never heard of him, you’ve GOT to go to YouTube and look him up, and see some excerpts of his fantastic talks. He really puts into perspective the “great spinner of galaxies, hurler of meteors, creator and extinguisher of species,” as the author you quote mentions.

    There are other songs we sing in church that I dislike, for similar reasons. And I agree – I think these songwriters don’t stop to really consider what they’re writing about, to THINK about the theology before they just put out another catchy tune.

    Thanks for bringing this up!

  5. April Avatar

    Marcy, I’ve heard of him, but I haven’t heard him. A little critical thinking from writers of sacred songs would be appreciated.

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