Thursday, November 05, 2009

Is Jesus My Boyfriend?

I read two blog posts today that I don't think are directly related to each other, but which couldn't correspond any better if they were.

The first is a post on one of my favorite blogs, Abraham Piper's 22 Words, which had the title "The problem with disliking Jesus-is-your-boyfriend music is that Jesus is (y)our boyfriend":
I’m uncomfortable as anyone with Christians being Jesus’ lover.

But that’s my fault. I shouldn’t blame those who thrill to this metaphor.
The purpose of this particular blog is to have the entire post be under 22 words, so obviously there's no room for exposition of his view (this also explains the rather long titles).

The second is a post from Professor John Stackhouse (Regent College) entitled "Jesus, I'm NOT in Love with You," in which he argues against "Jesus-is-my-boyfriend" music by saying that loving Christ and being in love with Christ are two completely different things, and that being in love with someone is something reserved only for your spouse. He goes into much more detail than Piper does, and I think his most compelling argument is the following:
But the New Testament never calls Christians Jesus’ fiancĂ©es or his brides. Instead, it is the Church collectively, and only the Church as a whole, that relates to Jesus this way–just as individual Israelites did not relate to Yhwh as so many spouses, but only the nation of Israel as nation was his beloved bride.
So who is right? Is Jesus my boyfriend or not? Are those songs helpful or not? I think the question comes down to the nature of an individual's relationship to the community.

My initial thought is that although Stackhouse is basically right, I don't know if the community can be separated from the individual that dramatically. I think there's overlap where it's not necessarily a problem to sing those songs, although I think there are maybe better things you could be singing about.

But those are just my preliminary thoughts. What are your thoughts?