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Found this page while searching for that song, because it appeared in news article recently. I recognised the song once I heard it, but not these particular lyrics. I think that, rather than asking why the author is struggling to defend his art, we should ask whether it follows an acceptable pattern. Is vague, easily reinterpreted poetry (a) acceptable in God's eyes (b) for a corporate setting? Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, “I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine. As I'm sure you know or can guess, that's from Song of Songs, 7:7-9. Of the many justifications given of why this book appears in the bible at all (God's love song over his people? His bride the church? The bible's equivalent of a theatrical interlude?) none really fills me with any sense of authority. Some bits are certainly beautiful... others wildly crude, yet others just bewildering. Yet it's there. In scripture. Breasts, body shots, brutality and breasts. Did I mention breasts? There are a lot of them. Solomon might have gotten a little fixated. Is Song of Songs suitable for corporate worship? Certain bits undoubtedly are (He brought me to his banqueting table?) Some bits more uncertainly so - my church used to sing a song "Hold me" by Brian Houston. Very questionable imagery indeed, but not a million miles away from the above book. In fact, the more I think about it, the more that song makes "How he loves" look blander than bread and water. There is a wider question about the proportion of "ooey-gooey" songs, love songs to Jesus with no real content, vs songs with a message. Christians with our heads firmly in the clouds. But there is no denying that these songs have their place in our corporate worship though I would like to see it diminish in some churches in favour of active expressions of God's love for us. In case your were wondering, the image of a sloppy wet kiss personally makes me think something akin to one of the Bill and Ted adventures, where they're in hell and meet the archetypal granny puckering up to give her grandkids a massive kiss on the lips. The love and devotion of a God who wants to show his adoration for an undeserving, unwilling world. Heaven meets earth, though earth isn't sure it wants it. In it, we glimpse the desire of God for his church. It's a little comfort, as they'll be cleaning lipstick and saliva off the pulpit for days. If the song gives you pause, pulls you out of worship and forces you to spend a second examining the remarkable and crazy relationship we have with our amazing creator, I can't see where the problem is. May the wine go straight to my beloved, flowing gently over lips and teeth. I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me. That's Song of Songs 7:9-10. One sloppy wet kiss, God (heaven) and his bride (earth), straight from the bible. If John Mark McMillan had claimed that was his justification, would this blog post have happened?
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Jan 29, 2015