Manly Worship?

It has been argued time and time again that contemporary worship songs are ‘too feminine’. Love songs to Jesus are labelled ‘Jesus is my Boyfriend’ songs and regarded as stumbling blocks for the ‘man’s man’ in the church. There are too many phrases like ‘pouring out my heart’, ‘you’re beautiful’, ‘I love you’; songs are filled with lyrics loaded with girly words such as precious, lovely and ‘darling of heaven’.

I have three initial thoughts on the subject.

Firstly, a lot of the ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ style songs are in fact written by men. Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and a whole host of other male contemporary song-writers. How does singing these songs written by these men of God make worship ‘too feminine’?

Secondly, How is it that men are happy to use ‘feminine’ language to say that a curry was ‘beautiful’ or that their team’s goal was a ‘lovely’ strike, or that their car drives ‘like a dream’ but as soon as they’re in church trying to engage in worshipping God – who is far more beautiful and lovely than any dish or sporting achievement or vehicle – feminine language is a stumbling block?

Finally, I do agree that variety of language, themes and styles can only be a good thing in the Church’s worship repertoire. The psalms are full of a blend of masculine and feminine poetry. We do need to widen our scope for describing our emotions and thoughts and theology and expressing our worship. But refusing to worship using songs because their ‘too girly’ is not the answer.

Blokes of the church, Man Up!

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