JESUS As "LOVER"??
-by Andrew Strom.
What does the term "Passion for Jesus" mean to you? Would it surprise you to learn that whole Christian movements are now using it to mean a kind-of "eros" love for Jesus - a 'passion' for Him similar to what an earthly husband and wife have for each other? (-From the word "eros" we get the word 'erotic'). And what does the term "Intimacy with Jesus" mean to you? Would it surprise you to learn that many are now using it to mean sensual "eros"-type encounters with Jesus with Him as the Bridegroom and them as the 'Bride'?
You may think that such unscriptural practices must be out on the "fringe" somewhere. Surely they cannot be part of mainstream Christianity? Well, look around you, because this stuff is now everywhere. I live very close to one of the world's largest and most influential prayer centers here in Kansas City - and it has been a major source of this type of teaching for many years. And now it is all around the world. At this center you will find hundreds of young men and women who will tell you about being "ravished" for Jesus, "kissing" Jesus and 'swooning' in His arms, etc. Their entire understanding of "WHO GOD IS" and their relationship with Him is being shaped by this teaching. -And it is an utter twisting of Scripture.
Why is it important to have a right concept of "WHO GOD IS"? Why does it matter so much? Well, this one thing shapes every- thing else about our faith and our relationship with the Lord. At the
heart of a lot of cults and deceptions is a fundamental mis-apprehension of the true character and nature of God - ie. "Who He is - How we approach Him". It really does affect EVERYTHING.
Now, imagine that there is a new doctrine that re-invents our very understanding of God - a doctrine that sweeps the world and catches up many young people. So, is this new doctrine based
on a careful exegesis of the New Testament, you ask? -No! To your surprise you find that it is largely based on "spiritualizing" the SONG OF SOLOMON. Yes, that's right. An entire re-inventing
of our relationship with God based not on the New Testament, but on Solomon's lovestruck poetry about the body and breasts and comeliness of one of his 700 wives. -Wonderful poetry to be sure,
but what kind of basis is that for such a drastic change in our basic beliefs?
(So is there no benefit to be gained from an 'allegorical' understanding of the Song Of Solomon? -Certainly there is! Hudson Taylor and others used it this way. But that is not the point I am making. The real issue is this:- Should we re-invent our entire understanding of "Who God is" and how we approach Him - to fit in with a tiny book of semi-erotic poetry from the Old Testament? Should this become our dominant understanding of God?)
As history shows us again and again, to the equal degree that we lose our grasp of the real character and nature of God - to this same degree we will lose genuine Christianity. You cannot have the true New Testament Faith if you have lost the true New Testament Jesus. -Which is why it is so serious when people say that in the West today we have invented a kind-of "American Jesus"
to suit our self-centered, "me"-focused lifestyle. They point out that today you mostly hear of a Jesus who exists to make you "happy" rather than holy, a Jesus who is always a "friend" but never a Judge, a Jesus who does not any longer hate sin or demand repentance, but only wants you prosperous and 'blessed'. This is a Jesus that utterly suits our selfish Western mindset, but is found nowhere in the Bible.
And the new "Jesus As Lover" doctrine is just another twist in the ongoing tale of modern Christians distorting the character and nature of God.
Does Jesus love us? Of course He does - more than words can tell. And are we to love Him? Of course! -With all our heart, mind, soul and strength! But does this mean that we are to approach Him with a sensual "eros" love, like some sexual adolescent schoolgirl, "swooning" and smooching with our 'lover' Jesus? Is that what God's love means? Are we to exchange 'agape' for sensual "eros" and act like Jesus's "girlfriend" here on earth? (-Men as well as women?) God forbid!
Of course we know that in Scripture the corporate body of Christ (particularly at the end of the age) is described as the "Bride" of Christ. But isn't it obvious that this is talking about the 'CORPORATE' Body - not individual Christians? Are we each to become Jesus little "girlfriends" here on earth - or is it the "WHOLE BODY" that is to one day be the Bride of Christ? -Clearly it is the latter.
The effect of this doctrine on young men is particularly distressing. To describe it as "effeminate" is quite an understatement. As it is, the modern church is already known for being an "anti-masculine"
zone, with its flower displays, pink walls, mauve carpets, emotion- laden music, etc. A lot of commentators point to this when discussing the low attendance of men in our churches. But this
new doctrine takes this theme to undreamt-of depths.
Can you imagine zealous praying young men who relate to Jesus (ie. another MALE) as a "lover" whom they kiss and 'swoon' over? Can you imagine what happens when this becomes their basic
approach to God? -And this is just the beginning of the gender- bending weirdness that is starting to become "normal" in this movement. (Some are in such deception that they even have experiences of "Jesus" kissing them on the mouth, etc. The movement itself warns against "sensual encounters" but their very teaching leads directly to this kind of thing. Deceiving spirits
are always super-active in this kind of environment. Where do you think the famed 'incubus' and 'succubus' originate from?)
The ironic thing is that a lot of the people who are into this doctrine claim to be "seeking Revival". They really think that this is the kind of 'intimacy' that God desires. It is greatly influencing the modern 'Prayer' movement, the Prophetic movement and the 'Worship' movement (-which explains the recent rash of songs with "Song of Solomon" type themes: "I kiss you with the kisses of my mouth", "Take me into your chamber", etc).
I find their talk of "Revival" particularly ironic, because I have studied Revival for many years, and I am aware that all the old Revivalists prayed to a God who is very different from what is being presented here. -And their understanding of "WHO GOD IS" was utterly crucial to their obtaining Revival. They prayed to a God of holiness and majesty and awe - a God of glory who hates sin, yet sent His son to die for sinners.
The God that the old Revivalists prayed to was the "throneroom" God that Isaiah described- "I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple... And one
cried to another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips..." (Is 6:1-5).
This is the "throneroom" God who is described again in Revelation chapter 4 - where we are told that the four beasts cry, "Holy, holy, holy" day and night without ceasing, and the 24 elders cast down their crowns before His throne - over and over again. It is "HOLINESS" that is the chief characteristic of God! No other characteristic is ever repeated three times together in the Bible - let alone over and over, day and night! -"HOLY, HOLY, HOLY."
And actually, the full title of the book of Revelation is the "Revelation of Jesus Christ". So in other words, it is a 'revealing' of who Jesus is and what He is really like. And when John (the 'beloved' disciple) first sees the glorified Christ in Revelation 1, we are told that such is His terror-inducing holiness and glory that John fell at his feet "as though dead." -This is the true Jesus - as He really is.
In every true Revival, it is the God of majesty who reveals himself. For Revival is the "Glory of God" coming down. It is His very 'throneroom' presence coming down amongst men. The God of Revival has always been a God of holiness - a God of great glory. This is who we have for a 'Father'. Thus, even His children should approach Him with awe. And if we do not pray to this God, then we should not expect Revival at all. -That is one of the basic lessons of Revival history. -We must pray to the 'RIGHT GOD' if we are going to see true Revival.
Incidentally, the 'Bride of Christ' in Revelation is described as a 'holy city' - a "new Jerusalem" coming down from heaven. (Rev 21). So it is clearly a 'CORPORATE' entity that exists at the end of the age. -Not some individualized "girlfriend of Jesus" in the here-and-now.
It is a very serious thing to tamper with our understanding of 'WHO GOD IS' and how we relate to Him. In a lot of ways it is like preaching "another Jesus". -It really is that bad. If you hear phrases
today like 'Lovesick for Jesus', 'Bridal Paradigm', "Bridal intimacy", "Wooing", 'Romancing', "Kisses of our mouth", 'Fascinated', etc, then you can be pretty sure that you are being exposed to this
deceptive doctrine. I believe it is serious error, and I urge you to flee from it as far as you can, my friends. Please forward this to anyone whom you believe may be influenced by this doctrine. Feedback welcome! Our email- firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you all.
That's a shame if that is what is truly being taught to these young people. It just goes to show how satan can come as an angel of light and decieve the very elect. It could even be that some of these young people were very well meaning in what they thought they had experienced but somehow ended up decieved because it was not being lined up with the word of God. We live in times of such deception. I can't keep up with all of these new teachings that are coming out. All the more reason to get grounded in the word and prayer.
| 2008/3/10 15:16|
I'm wondering if I am in the group that is being branded false once again.
Jesus is the groom coming for his bride.
A loveless passionless bride?
are you serious?
| 2008/3/10 17:44||Profile|
This appears to me to be another blanket belittling of a segment of the body of Christ.
Consider this great love of a woman to her Rabi;
35But wisdom is justified of all her children.
36And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
37And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
I suppose we find ourselves in one of two groups.
Those intimate with Jesus and those attacking those that are loving Him.
| 2008/3/10 18:10||Profile|
I'm wondering if I am in the group that is being branded false once again.
Jesus is the groom coming for his bride.
A loveless passionless bride?
are you serious?
Brother, I think those who love His WORD more than life itself are in the company of those who are called His Bride.
The main thing I see in this modern Church - and Very Much So - is that there are "MANY JESUS's".
Each person has their own version of what "Jesus is like." That's Scarey to me personally.
If it's the Jesus of the whole of The Word - I can relax - but if it's "another Christ" - oh boy - my antenna goes up in a big way - and only because I'm jealous for Him with that passionate love of His Bride.
There's a major difference. We're living in the days of "counterfeit" spirits, teachings, gifts and "christs" as no other day.
Hudson Taylor and many others have done excellent commentaries on the Song of Solomon that are "sound" and Beautiful.
Even Richard Wurmbrand did.
Discernment is the most needed gift in the Church from now until HE comes.
GOD help us all to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves and to watch out For each other. Amen ? With His Love.
| 2008/3/10 18:31|
7There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.
8But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation
I suppose there will always be those that are indignant toward the ones intimate with their God.
| 2008/3/10 18:32||Profile|
Brother David, if you won't read from the sites posted on the Emerging Merger that discuss "contemplative spirituality", then may I just once again say that the book "The Beautiful Side of Evil" would be a good place to start to see that there are "Many Christs" within this generation and more yet to come.
The Author of that book was helped by staying with Francis Schaeffer and his wife at their place L'Abri and he is the Author who's sermon I posted three times in a row last week about "The Mark of the Christian" - which is about just LOVE.
I think you are misunderstanding the deceptions that are round about us. But I know you love God and I mean no harm at what you may be innocently unaware of.
| 2008/3/10 18:58|
I'm wondering if I am in the group that is being branded [b]false[/b] once again.
Hello David, this comment caught my attention. You gave an interesting comment, although the posts were not pointed to you.
David, don't you see as a mercy of God when there are someone here or wherever else to show (to you or me or whoever) and point us something in us that is false and we have considered it all our life as a authentic and real? Isn't that a wonderful mercy sent from God?
I am not talking about this particular situation, but about similar to this.
If the Lord show us through this or other way that something is false, than it is false, and we should be more than glad that our eyes have been opened, instead of searching arguments to defend our cause.
Brother, are you afraid of being false in something?
Are you sure that in everything you considered that someone here has 'branded' you false, that the same thing was not true? And that you have been always right?
For sure I am false in something, and I would like to consider it as a mercy when the Lord will show me what it is. And yes my faith and humility and pride will be put on [i]test[/i] when this will happen.
This is interesting situation, because no one branded you false, but you alone seems was convicted by the written here and something came out from you.
What you think, David, aren't we to spend more time, much more, in examining ourselves, our doctrines, our teachers when someone seriously has challenged them as a false?
| 2008/3/10 19:05||Profile|
I sure miss that guy.
| 2008/3/10 19:20||Profile|
Hey ALL -
I appreciate all your replies and was sincerly thinking I would get chastened by a Moderator for posting something that has already been covered. So I was hoping it would end with the beating horse comment.
So Krispy had to insert some humor, of that I am appreciative and it sure was funny.
Anyway, I too am concerned about our music and have even had to take a more conservative stance during our singing portion at 'church.' I have seen the videos of the Chinese/Vietnamese church (Has anyone seen the Vietnamese video done by VOM on the six or eight teenagers they brought over there?)and the faces of those singing masses was one of sheer ecstacy, they were happy, they were celebrating joyously.
So my question, Is what I saw in their faces different than what I see on the US TV programs and even in my own 'church.?' I see swaying bodies, eyes closed and arms out stretched. Is this different? Are those I speak about in the videos celebrating a JESUS As 'Lover,' notion?
Or are the ones in the TV programs and in my own 'church?'
The only difference I can state is that in one context there is the possibility of death or persecution and in the other a very slim possibility.
I have to say something else here, Could it possibly be true that only in the face of trial, persecution or death the Gospel is truly alive. In all its facets, from singing, to praying to preaching; in the face of significant turmoil it makes its truest expression.
I forgot who it was in the Jesus as 'Lover' thread, but the post was two songs. One was a love song to another lover, while the other was a hymn of old. I personally like the hymns better, but is one really better than the other.
IS not worship (singing) costly? those chinese and vietnamese were singing so extravagently in light of possible death. So David, in his purchase of the threshing floor of Araunah, in II Sam 24, said I will not offer anything up that has not cost me nothing.
It is one thing to offer up praise and singing unto God, it is another to offer up that same praise and worship to God under the possibility of death and doing it anyway.
my ranting and ravings are ended...will this thread go down in smoke and ashes?
| 2008/3/10 21:36||Profile|
IS not worship (singing) costly?
Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, [b]and worshipped*,[/b]
A primitive root; to depress, that is, prostrate (especially reflexively in homage to royalty or God): - bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.
Should we allow the modern day wordily christianity to shape our view of worship with lofty, touchy, emotional, melodic ballades which arouse just the soul and flesh and nothing else?
Yes, the question is very much relevant, is not the worship costly? Not singing, the question is worship. Worship could be express through singing, but it's not obligatory.
Is it worship costly?
Yes, it is! It will cost your life and everything! You must loose it!
Is it singing costing?
Yes it could be, if it born out of worship and fear from the Lord.
I like this quote:
"I was invited to a gathering one time, where their brochure announced there would be a worship leader demonstrating radical worship...
...the term radical worship did cause me to think of a couple of instances in the Bible which I would describe as being radical worship. Job, a righteous man, afflicted by Satan with Gods permission so that he lost almost everything, and was afflicted with a very severe skin disease and sat in a pile of ashes, worshiping God. I would call that very radical."
- George H. Warnock
| 2008/3/10 22:31||Profile|