Riffing on the odd durability of the “That’s what she said” phenomenon, Lisa Colón DeLay writes that some contemporary worship music treads a thin, hazy line between the love of God and the, er, love of God.
Lyrically, too much is too easily sexualized, she says, and some music just seems to invite that kind of thinking without hindrance:
So now, it seems thousands of words and phrases are hijacked, and church gatherings are not immune to it either. Or, maybe it’s just me. It can be hilarious, dreadful, or just plain embarrassing. Recently, a few worship songs have sort of had their way with me on this, so to speak….
Basically, if a worship song talks about touching, my mind wanders….
The fact is love is risky. God is risky…Obviously risky and risqué has sort of been a fine line in songwriting. But, to be honest, I realize that love can often feel awkward as it gets emotionally deeper. When it starts to change and effect us–and affect us. The awkwardness is part of the path to greater spiritual maturity. (In this case, I’ll let you know for sure when I get there.)
Her point is that the potential sexualization of a relationship with God is an invitation to distraction. The mind wanders, and how one gets back on track in a worship context is anyone’s guess.
Last week, I sat with a singer-songwriter in Nashville for a day and pondered the art of preaching through the lens of songwriting. She talked about a time in her past of sitting down with the producers of contemporary Christian music. They would say to her, Write a song that’s about Jesus but could also be about your boyfriend. So we know we aren’t imagining things.
Obviously thorny territory. What say you?