Jesus Culture’s “I Am In Love With You” or Why We Have To Be Careful As Worship Songwriters

I start with a testimony on God’s sense of humor.

As a new Christian some 7 or so years ago put in position of leading worship at my church, I found myself disliking worship songs with excessively “lovey-dovey” lyrics for God. Particularly, I was dismissive of those worship songs that became comedic fodder for the likes of such folks as the creators of South Park.

Says South Park character Cartman: “All right, guys, this is gonna be so easy. All we have to do to make Christian songs is take regular old songs and add Jesus stuff to them. [some sheet music is shown. Cartman has already crossed out the original author’s name] See? All we have to do is cross out words like “baby” and “Darling” and replace them with [writes next to “baby”] Jesus.”

I directed a lot of my lovey-dovey-worship-song-hatin’ vitriol for the song Draw Me Close To You.

On one particular Saturday morning, my church praise band and I were asked to open for another band for a Men’s Breakfast. I had just written my first worship song (There For Me), so I was happy to introduce it to the 150 or so strangers there.

I boldly, confidently (and, certainly, pridefully) introduced it with: “I have to confess that I have had problems with lovey dovey songs like Draw me Close To You, so I wrote this song to replace it in corporate worship.” This was a Men’s Breakfast, after all. We needed to keep our manhood intact and not lead worship with these silly worship songs that made it sound like we were Christ’s girlfriend, right?

When we were done with our set, the second band took the stage.

Guess what song they led with? Yup. Draw Me Close to You.

I spent the whole song embarrassed, smiling, praising, and all the while apologizing to God for my pride, all the while laughing with Him at His amazing sense of humor.

Now, with all of this out of the way, let’s go back to the headline of this post.

Jesus Culture is a very talented group of young people. They have an incredible passion for God. But, some would say a bit too much passion… and I might agree, notwithstanding the above.

Their passion for God is admirable, but they are an example of how we – as Christian songwriters – have to be careful with our selection of words.

Take this lyric from their song “I Am In Love With You.”

I Will not keep silent, I will sing out
The wonder of God and His great love
Everyday my heart is in lust for You
So I will abandon myself to You

If we convert that bolded line to the strict definition of the word lust, it would be like singing out to God this [sarcasm on]wonderful[sarcasm off] bit of verbiage: Everyday my heart has a very strong sexual desire for you.

I would say that this is taking the bride metaphor a bit too far, don’t you agree?

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1 Comment

  1. Rich Rich
    July 17, 2013    

    first off, i agree that worship artists need to be careful with their lyrics

    however, and respectfully, the song in question was written by darrel evans (jesus culture does very few originals, relatively), and as he himself has pointed out, the line is “my heart is *enlarged* for you” – – which is reflected on the lyrics off the Jesus Culture website (http://www.jesusculture.com/media/albums/Lyrics-for-Jesus-Culture-with-Martin-Smith-Live-from-New-York.pdf)

    i just had to point that out. if “lust” were the actual lyric, i agree and would hope 100% of christians would be taken aback.

    thanks, and stay blessed!

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In May, 2005, Rob was a secular, Jewish, thirty-something, Los Angeles, personal injury attorney whose idea of getting up early on a Sunday was getting up for the third quarter of the first televised, NFL games.

Thirsting on the idea of playing in a band for the first time in a decade, Rob finally accepted his neighbor's request to get up at seven-in-the-morning on Sundays in order to participate.

Eleven months later, his world was turned upside down by Jesus. Instantly, he began leading songs on the worship team and, today, he now leads that same LIFEhouse worship team in which he was initially invited to join as a non-believer.

God is cool like that.