a list for friday—worship songs I have trouble singing, part 2 (repost)

Before jumping into my list, we begin with some honorable mentions contributed by helpful readers after last week’s post.

Their picks for the worship song they just can’t sing included Famous One (for a number of reasons, including the line “For all you’ve done and yet to do”), Breathe (“The song just bugs me for some reason. Mainly I feel like we are suffocating”) and How He Loves (“you know, the Sloppy Wet Kiss song”).

Much ire was directed at I Could Sing of Your Love Forever. The whole song is about dancing with joy and it’s usually sung by “a bunch of stoic, middle-class white people, doing nothing that even remotely resembles dancing,” said one. Another person succinctly summed up my feelings when he said, “Why is this song always performed so it seems like it DOES go on forever?”

But the winner from last week’s comments was my college friend Tom who shared the verse from a song that, he said, “makes me want to shower each time I hear it.” Go check out the comments from part one.

And that leads us into today’s list…..

1. You Are My Passion

Objectionable lyric:

Now will You draw me close to You?
Gather me in Your arms.
Let me hear the beating of Your heart,
O my Jesus, O my Jesus.

You are my passion, Love of my life
Friend and companion,
My Lover.
All of my being longs for Your touch.
With all my heart I love You.

Why: If the example from Tom didn’t convince you (seriously, go read it), here’s another example of the “Jesus, my boyfriend with whom I apparently get very physical” genre. And we wonder why there are no men at church.

A good rule of thumb: If you would be too embarrassed to stand up with a microphone and speak the words to your spouse, please do not sing them to your Savior.

2. Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?

Objectionable lyric:

Open up the doors and let the music play
Let the streets resound with singing
Songs that bring your hope
Songs that bring your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice

Why: How, exactly, does one dance upon injustice? Are special shoes required? And for that matter, why are we going so easy on injustice? Why aren’t we stomping on it? Or kicking it? Or giving it lots of paper cuts and then squeezing lemon juice on it?

3. Above All

Objectionable lyric:

Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all

Why: First, I’ve never connected with the image of a rose falling onto the ground and being walked on as a parallel for Jesus being beaten and nailed to wooden beams. Neither does “taking the fall” seem adequate (or even respectful).

But my bigger issue is that in typical American style we have made this song “above all” about us. Yes, Jesus laid down his life so we could know God, but the final chapters of each Gospel indicate he was focused on God’s glory, not Jennifer Taylor. Some worship leaders change “and thought of me” to “and now you reign.” It’s not a bad idea, folks.

4. Worthy is the Lamb

Objectionable lyric:

High and lifted up
Jesus, Son of God.
The darling of Heaven, crucified….
Worthy is the Lamb.

Why: It would only be worse if Jesus was called the sweetheart of heaven. “Honeybunch of heaven” has too many syllables. But “heartthrob of heaven” could work…….

5. Great is the Lord Almighty

Objectionable lyric:

Great is the Lord Almighty, He is Lord He is God indeed
Great is the Lord Almighty, He is God supreme

Why: Simply put, I cannot sing about “God supreme” without thinking of Taco Bell.

Okay, your turn again. Why the erotic subtext to so many Christian songs? Am I way off on “Above All”? And what would you do to injustice?

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