Dating Jesus: A Creepy Spirituality

Agnieszka Tennant’s “Dating Jesus: When ‘Lover of My Soul’ Language Goes Too Far” is one of the creepiest things I have read in a long time. She reflects on an “eros-laced” trend of female spirituality that is being pushed by Christian publishers and that has been embraced by not a few women in evangelical churches. She writes,

In a popular book, I learn of women who set up date nights with Jesus. Christie enjoys her Friday nights by going to Barnes & Noble “to drink coffee with the Lord and to read whatever book from the Christian living section he guides me to” or by cooking a wonderful meal and setting the table for two, then “talking to God as if he is actually sitting there at my table with me, because I know that he is.”

The author of this book calls women to “prayer, praise, and pampering” retreats: “Although God certainly loves us even with unshaven legs, no makeup, and a bed-head hairdo, he also deserves to occasionally have his princess sit at his feet while she is looking and feeling her best.” She casts these retreats as exciting dates. “You are running away with your Lover, not confining yourself to a convent.”

In another book, the author assures her readers that “you are the one that overwhelms his heart with just ‘one glance of your eyes,'” quoting from the Song of Solomon. “His gaze is fixed on you,” she writes. “He is captivated by your beauty.”

These teachings have spread into churches. My friend’s mother took part in a “tea with the Lord,” during which she and the other women wore their wedding gowns—those, at least, who managed to squeeze into them—and fancied themselves as brides of Christ. An influential Kansas City church teaches thousands of people the so-called Bridal Paradigm, which encourages a quasi-romantic relationship with Christ. And who among us hasn’t detected an eerie resemblance between a contemporary Christian song and a pop diva’s breathy rendition of a sensual love ballad?

I think Tennant’s conclusion is apt:

I have little patience for taking biblical metaphors too far and giving one’s relationship with God an air of irreverent chumminess. Somehow, the scenario in which “his princess” shaves her legs for a date with Jesus seems to leave little room for fear of God.

“Dating Jesus: When ‘Lover of My Soul’ Language Goes Too Far” – by Agnieszka Tennant

7 Responses to Dating Jesus: A Creepy Spirituality

  1. Nate December 8, 2006 at 7:16 am #

    Creepy!

  2. Luke Britt December 8, 2006 at 9:34 am #

    What’s funny is most men will agree that this is absurd, but are then forced to sit under songs that have some erotic feel.

  3. Jonathan Moorhead December 8, 2006 at 11:54 am #

    This is certainly endemic of our pop evangelical culture.

  4. Debbie December 8, 2006 at 1:28 pm #

    there are 2 songs that reflect our passion for Jesus and i like both of them

    Draw Me Close to you
    Never let me go
    I’d lay it all down again
    to hear you say that i’m your friend
    you are my desire
    no one else will do
    no else can take your palce
    to feel the warmth of your embrace
    help me find a way to bring me back to you

    you’re all I want
    you’re all I’ve ever needed
    you’re all I want
    help me know you are near.

    By Michael W Smith

    I more I seek you
    the more i find you
    The more I find you
    The more I love

    I want to sit at your feet
    drink from the cup in your hand
    lay back against you and breath
    and feel your heart beat
    this love is so deep
    it’s more than i can stand
    I melt in your peace
    it’s overwhelming

    By Christ For the Nations Worship

    reflecting on the Apostle John leaning on Jesus at the last supper.

  5. Wesley December 8, 2006 at 4:23 pm #

    This has unfortunately been the going trend in Evangelicalism for awhile now. I’d say there are allot of modern praise hymns where “Jesus” could be replaced with “Jessica” and it would still sound ok. But yeah, your right going this far is creepy.

    The cultural idea of John leaning on Jesus at the Passover Supper is different from having a “Jesus is my girlfriend/boyfriend” spirituality which the Bible doesn’t portray.

  6. Nicole December 10, 2006 at 11:53 pm #

    Wow, that really creeped me out when I read it. Pretty sad how far people will go.

  7. Robin February 23, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    I also knew a guy (John San Antonio Tx, 1988) who had a good laugh as he referred to himself as the “Bride of Christ”, (not that he was gay!)

    However, shortly before he died in a head-on auto accident, he had a dream the week before where Jesus said, “You ARE my bride and I am going to call you to be with me soon”. He died a week later.

    So, what we think isnt that imortant. What God thinks is. And it is not up to me to pass any finaly judgement the weirdness of others.. who knows what GOD thinks? Man looks at the outer, and GOD judges the motive and heart.

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