from Pantperthog to Knockando

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Manly Christianity

There's an interesting story wending its course on my brother Dave's blog, concerning 'men and church'. One commenter (behaving slightly nebbishly) is laying the blame squarely at churchgoing men having a high level of education. Be warned! According to him if you went to church as a child or teen and/or went to university that means you're probably a pooftah or you act like one.

But on a serious note, there is something interesting in the original 'research' that Dave linked to. Men apparently don't like 'wet' churchianity. It's one of those surveys where you see the findings and think 'well, duh!' But then there is a lot of slightly-offputting-to-men stuff going on in churches.

Stuff like the music. There seems to a be a trend in modern hymnody towards 'love songs to Jesus'. The one I find a bit disturbing is one that includes a line "By your side I would lie", which always strikes me as homoerotic. I tried to find it online to reproduce the lyrics here, but couldn't. Instead I found one just as bad:
Closer than my thoughts
Closer than a kiss
How could it be
More intimate than this?

More honest words than these I'll never find.
With all my heart, my strength, my soul, my mind.

I love You, I love You, I'm Yours and You are mine.
I love You, I love You, I love You Jesus Christ.

Let me hear Your voice
Whisper Heaven's song
Deeper into You
Is where I belong

Now here's the thing. I recognise Jesus Christ as my saviour and Lord. I have chosen to follow him. Does that mean I love him? Well, yes, of course. I love Jesus. But - and here's the line that some of these songs seem to cross - I'm not gay for him. But if I'm made to sing that song by an overly sentimental worship leader, it sounds like I am.

And that's one reason why men don't like going to church.

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2 Comments:

At 12/5/09 12:17, Blogger Blue, with a hint of amber said...

The one which always makes me cringe is :

Verse 1
You are God in Heaven
And here am I on earth
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus I am so in love with you

Chorus
And I'll stand in awe of you
Yes I'll stand in awe of you
And I'll let my words be few
Jesus I am so in love with you

Verse 2
The simplest of all love songs
I long to bring to you
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus I am so in love with you

Chorus
And I'll stand in awe of you
Yes I'll stand in awe of you
And I'll let my words be few
Jesus I am so in love with you
Asking some of my mates to come to a room of people they don't know and sing love songs to a bloke they have never met? Hmmm.

 
At 20/7/09 20:25, Blogger Johanna said...

I like this post on John Stackhouse's blog on the subject (and no I don't really read his blog):

http://stackblog.wordpress.com/2007/09/16/jesus-im-not-in-love-with-you/

Also makes the point that just because some women (and John Donne) like the idea of Jesus being their boyfriend doesn't really make it ok.

Which reminds me, Catherine of Siena had quite the interesting vision:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/december/17.56.html

Jo

 

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