November 18, 2005

Watch Your Language!

I have found that I use the phrases: "That's awesome!" and "I love..." far to loosely and often. Of course this is not my problem alone. We often search for language and words to describe events and sights that seem to be beyond the bounds of the English language. Unfortunately, overuse and misuse leads to weak words.

This is especially true in our worship. I was recently at a conference, not Brian Mclaren, where a theologian I highly respected made a scathing remark concerning contemporary worship. Now, I understand that people have differing opinions concerning style and use of music in the church service, but you must still be respectful. This theologian jokingly said, "Contemporary worship is little more than 'God is my boyfriend' music." Everyone in the seminary setting laughed; because this was so obviously funny to them.

Maybe the problem is not that contemporary worship uses songs that sound like they are singing to a boyfriend or girlfriend, but that song writers use words and thoughts for their boyfriends or girlfriends that should be reserved for God. (Sorry for the length of that sentence.) When these theologians laughed I wondered if they had ever read Song of Songs. Talk about explicit language!

Maybe we have been guilty of using language for earthly relationships that should be reserved for the Divine Lover of My Soul. "You are the love of my life." "I love you more than words." Why are we more willing to use these phrases for a spouse or lover than for God? And, why is it not appropriate (according to some) to use these in regards to God? I think that is why pop and rock power-ballads often sound more like worship music than love songs to me. They are putting words and emotions into describing something that is not God.

We are searching for words to describe the deep emotions we feel, but shouldn't something be used to describe God alone? Or at least allow the same language to be used without feeling it inferior. Just don't try to get out of telling your spouse, "I love you."

1 comment:

  1. I don't think we have the words to describe God. What words would you use to explain the being that created our entire reality by speaking. Our language is totally inadequate.