Are some worship songs over-romanticized?

Watch this clip of Matt Redman speaking candidly on romantic language in worship songs.

He makes some interesting comments on the issue.  I especially like the quote, “The church has been under-fathered and over-mothered.”
I’ve always been a fan of Matt Redman’s music because his lyrics are very Bible-based.   It’s refreshing to hear a ‘big name’ worship leader/artist be critical of his own music so candidly.  His desire to stay true to Scripture certainly conveys his humble nature.

I have my thoughts and all but I’m interested to hear from you guys.

What do you guys think?
Too romantic?  Inappropriate?
Is it all good in the name of intimacy?

P.S.  I have officially regained the I-want-to-blog mood.  Hopefully I’m not speaking too soon.


10 responses to “Are some worship songs over-romanticized?

  1. I love Matt Redman; he tries so hard to be Biblical and that’s a rare quality in our Christian culture right now.

    I really like how he’s concerned about the language that is used in the Word to worship God. His new album is very, very good.

    Hope you’re doing well, Eric!

  2. This is a really good thing he pointed out because especially for someone like me who listens to the melody and the chords more than the lyrics, it’s easy to get carried away and say a song is good without truly understanding what is actually being said.
    Like you said, it’s nice to see someone criticize his own music because best learning comes from failures. Great video.

  3. oh you know i’m gonna jump in on this.


    my thoughts: i really appreciate what matt had to say about walking the line between being scripturally/theologically “watertight” and contextually relevant. just the fact that he cares about that, to me, is a big deal!!

    what bothers me most about the romanticization of worship lyrics, though, isn’t so much that it’s a turnoff to manly men, but that i feel it’s not biblical, and kind of dangerous. i can sing songs that say “i’m in love with you” because (like matt) i know what we’re getting at, but it does bother me quite a bit. nowhere in the Bible do individuals say to God/Jesus, “i’m in love with you.” the idea of being “in love,” implying a romantic relationship, is strictly relegated to metaphor…

    the issue for me is that people in the church, especially (?) women, want so desperately to be ROMANCED by God. we love the feeling of being wooed and pursued, but we’re much more hesitant about actual relationship–the part that takes work, and sacrifice (unless he’s the one doing all the sacrificing. we’re fine with that…). and setting up “i’m in love with you” structures makes it hard for us to pursue that, mentally speaking.

    anyway, personally, i’m NOT in love with God. i want to love Him the way He loves me–fiercely, brightly, powerfully, way more than the heady stuff of romance. or, to think about it another way, romance is only phase one. “in love” fades. “Love” does not.

    [it’s hard with having only one word for the term, but i can’t help thinking that Paul, especially, would cringe if he heard us using “eros” to describe our relationship with God, you know? which is basically what we’re doing when we do the “you’re beautiful, so i’m in love with you” bit.]

    oh wait, and you know what would tamp down this effect a lot? less “i” and more “we” in corporate worship. it sounds more obviously weird when we say “we’re in love with you.”

    ok. the end to my ridic long comment.

    • i pretty much cosign to all you said.
      i think too many songs these days are a bit too ‘love song’-ish. i really dislike the “i’m in love with you” phrase in worship to God as well. that’s just pretty weird.

      i also think the whole “in love” aspect that is found in many worship songs these days can also unintentionally ‘teach’ feelings-based faith instead of truth-based faith. while emotion is a part of life and god-given, i think it’s definitely dangerous when songs are primarily geared towards moving emotions (intentional or not) instead of teaching truth and directing minds and hearts to the cross.

      and i totally agree with the whole less “i” and more “we” that is needed in corporate worship.

  4. yay! weird, i never really thought about worship songs in this context before.

    i remember josh speaking about the less “i” and more “we” in worship.

    btw, matthew lesko is a CELEB. he’s famous enough for people to recognize him! ’nuff saiddd

  5. i don’t know if i consider myself a ‘blokey-bloke’ but i do know what he’s talking about. i was struck when he said “the church has been under-fathered and over-mothered.” i think as a guy, it can be tougher to buy in to what the church has to offer. all this talk about humility and brokenness and being the “bride of christ” doesn’t really mesh with the way we’re wired. then on top of that, there are the mushy lyrics.

    there are also those days when i see people weeping and crying out to God and i feel inferior because my emotions are usually kept hidden well below the surface. its harder (as a guy) for me to be so open with my emotions. does that make me less of a christian? i know the answer is no, but the immature side of me likes to compare sometimes.

    i guess it boils down to pride and my ego saying i can’t let people see my innermost thoughts and feelings. the world has a very different view of “manliness” (think ford f 150 commercials) than the church does (humility, integrity, etc). as always, its a struggle to live in the world and not be of it.

    interesting topic.

  6. i realize i didn’t really weigh in on the topic at hand, but its similar. i concur with skim on the topic of worship. then again, how can anyone argue against her?

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