Why are Christians so offended by lyrics like this? What does that say about us?
We’ve sung John Mark McMillan’s song, “How He Loves” since 2007. It’s been a theme song for our church. I love its pure passion and raw poetic flair.
Real transformation begins when we finally realize how He loves us.
David Crowder made this song popular a couple of years later and changed a few of the words. I suppose he did this to make it more palatable for “Christian” consumption, which leads me to my subject. But before we go further, the reference…
The original John Mark McMillan lyric goes like this:
“So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss”
David Crowder changed the lyric to this:
“So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss”
Here’s why I’m bringing this up now. A few days ago, I was watching a live performance by John Mark McMillan of this song on YouTube (below) and decided to read some of the comments. Most were positive, but some were offended by his “sloppy wet kiss” reference.
Besides the irony of some people’s indignation that John Mark McMillan would change the line when the reverse was true, I was wondering, what would make us think this line is so “disgusting” and “blasphemous” in the first place?
Frankly, I’ve always been puzzled by this whole thing.
Have we never read the Song of Solomon? Clearly, this Divine song is allegorical of Christ and His bride, and there are some pretty graphic and even steamy sections therein, little one.
Here are just a couple of the PG-rated examples of how the Shulamite (us) describes her beloved (Jesus):
“Kiss me—full on the mouth!
Yes! For your love is better than wine” (Songs 1:2 MSG)
“When my King-Lover lay down beside me,
my fragrance filled the room.
His head resting between my breasts—
the head of my lover was a sachet of sweet myrrh.
My beloved is a bouquet of wildflowers
picked just for me from the fields of Engedi.” (Songs 1:12-14 MSG)
Dearest Shulamite, would you sing this song at your Shulamite church? Would it get any airplay on our Shulamite Christian radio stations?
I wonder what would happen if songwriters actually started writing songs like this? Not to mention, like the more mature-audience rated response from the Beloved in this song!
My question is, why do we think we have to sterilize and neuter any passionate expression of worship for a God who is called Love?
What does this say about how we see our loving Father? Do we really think that He’s some stoic, uptight deity that’s so thin-skinned He needs our protection from this kind of raw expression of worship?
Is He such a religious prude that He would be offended by such uninhibited child-like devotion from His own darling children?
As a parent, would you be offended and grossed out if your 2-year old daughter ran up to you and wanted to plant a big sloppy wet one on your kisser? I think not. But where do you think we got this love response to our children from?
I really like David Crowder, and I appreciate him having made this wonderful song so popular, but when I first heard it on the radio I have to admit that I was dumbfounded. What??? Did the decency police decide it too dangerous to our safe and moral sensibilities?
Are we really that fragile in our relationship with God?
I don’t even get “heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss.” What is that supposed to mean anyway? By trying to make a very powerful word picture tasteful, it’s been made totally tasteless–like fat-free cheese. Looks good but tastes like plastic. It has no power to penetrate the human heart. Sure, it’s been made acceptable for those who apparently don’t want to express anything so authentic but, by doing so, it becomes uninspiring and, for all intents and purposes, meaningless word-baggage.
To quote the Scarlet Pimpernel, “There’s nothing in the world quite so bad as something which is not so bad.”
I love the picture of heaven meeting earth with a BIG SLOPPY WET KISS! Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! I think that’s exactly what our inoculated hearts need–better yet, that all our religiously repressed passions and emotional dysfunctions would get bear-hugged right out of us by our heavenly Papa!
I love exactly how this song was originally written. It’s raw, it’s passionate, it’s powerful. It’s on fire with God’s love. It’s wild-eyed and wonder-filled, expressing something beautiful and bold that beckons us to go deeper into the fullness of joy and pleasures at His right hand. That’s worship.
How He Loves
By John Mark McMillan
© 2005 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (IMI))
He is jealous for me loves like a hurricane
I am a tree bending beneath
The weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of
These afflictions eclipsed by glory
I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me
Oh how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us so
(Yeah) He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves
We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking
So Heaven meets earth
Like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way that
CCLI Song # 5032549