My lovely wife Debra was kind enough to pass on to me an interesting article she found:
Todd Friel on Hugging Jesus
Kind of one of those articles I don't want to resoundingly agree with publicly, because of the potential backlash of Jesus Boyfriends and Girlfriends out there that dig those kind of songs, but definitely worth a read. While I've been interminably frustrated with the über-lame "Jesus is my boyfriend" style of music, I'd never before considered that one of the reasons these songs are so lame is a fault of the English language. Because we have one predominant word for love, which in Greek and other languages can be translated in different ways, we end up lumping shallow, feel-good emotional love, romantic eros love, and agape charity-love all into one devil of a four letter word. It is an interesting point he makes.
It is a bit ironic when you consider what is viewed as the "secularization of Christian music". Commonly this refers to adopting the sounds, styles, instruments, and techniques of secular popular music, with guitars, electric instruments, drums, "avant garde" compositions and the like, but to me the far more relevant side is the secularization of lyrics. While still under the pretense of being "Christian", we've basically taken the lyrics of classic love songs and interspersed them with "Jesus" and "King" and wallah, Christian music.
"Wallah" is one of the better words in this world. I'm not sure if I found the correct source for its etymology, but here is a possibility:
I was listening to Rubber Soul by the Fabbissimo Quattro today and I heard the following line delivered by Lennon on the song "The Word"..."now that I know what I feel must be right, I'm here to show everybody the Light!" All too often that is what we run into, in political ideology, religious discussions, debates on terminal ballistics of handgun ammunition (ha!), whatever. Somebody feels something they assume to be right, and then they have to take that Gospel to everyone else. If only we could depend a little less on feeling, and more on more substantive measures, perhaps our differences wouldn't be debated with such rancor. Sing it, John...
"It's SO fine, it's SUNshine, it's the WORD! LOVE!"