Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dancing with Jesus

I had someone send this to me via email asking for my opinions.

Go HERE and watch the skit, while ignoring your desire to snicker at the Christian Yoga link advertised along the bottom of the video, and then come back for my comments.

Again, make sure you took the 5 minutes or so to watch the video or my comments will make absolutely no sense.

Are you sure you watched it?


1) First, as a disclaimer, I do not have a problem with the use of drama to illustrate spiritual truth. I know some of my Reformed minded friends, after watching this video, would argue that it is a clear reason why drama has no place in church. I, however, am fine with drama as long as it does not detract from the centrality of the word being taught from the pulpit and the skits performed are theologically accurate, biblical, and tastefully done. I realize that eliminates maybe 93% of all drama done in our churches these days, but tastefully sound drama can have a meaningful place in our worship of God.

2) I don't know what is more appalling. The image of a spurned "boyfriend" Jesus unable to win the heart of his love interest, or the vacuous comments posted under the video gushing about how it made the person cry and weep.

3) Along the lines of the dejected boyfriend Jesus I am only bitterly reminded of my experience with girls in jr. high and high school, when after many attempts to woo my love interest with purchases of movie tickets and ice cream, she cruelly stabs my beating heart by going out with Matt Flett or Daniel Pruett or some other miscreant. But I digress...

4) Why is it a nymph like young, female co-ed the Jesus figure is prancing around with? Wouldn't a college guy have the same experience being spiritually awakened by the Lord? Or perhaps a middle aged business woman, or an Army Ranger specialist, or long haul truck driver?

5) I realize the girl dancing around with the Jesus figure is suppose to symbolize the excitement and joy of the girl's new found relationship with the Lord, but why do Christians believe our experience after salvation will be like palling around with Jesus like He is our best and only friend? My experience upon being saved was quite the opposite. Rather than seeing my new faith as a time for fun and games with my buddy Jesus, I became sober minded, and my thoughts turned to an earnest understanding Christ's Lordship in my life and the seriousness of doctrinal truth pressed upon my heart. I had spent nearly an entire year as a freshman in college engaged in the frivolity of a "Jesus is my buddy" mindset that was promoted in the Baptist Student Union, and I didn't want to have anything else to do with it after I was saved.

6) In light of God's promise to discipline His sinning children as explained in Hebrews 12:3-11, I think it would had been an outstanding twist to see the Jesus figure seize a bull strap, yank the girl from the various sins, and whipped her breeches.

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Blogger P.D. Nelson said...

As one of your Reformed friends, all right semi-Reformed since I am baptist, I would say that this is why drama shouldn't be part of the worship service. Because it becomes entertainment for the worshipers. Not that I am totally aligned with the RPW I still have issues. However, i find also your critiques of the video and the comments are dead on this is an total example of the "Jesus is my boyfriend " scenario we find in many CCM songs. This si just fleshed out. So to speak. So how can this relate to grumpy old fifty year old curmudgeons like me? Not to mention the examples that you gave.

8:49 PM, December 10, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Well one important application for us older folks is that we should be instilling in our kids a high view of God and Christ. If we only promote this idea that Jesus is a buddy, their understanding of him will be reduced to mere humanity. That is probably the main thing which rubbed me wrong about this entire video. The utter sacrilege of the person of Christ as a fun day friend.


5:35 AM, December 11, 2007  
Blogger Kim said...

As I was watching this, I was asking myself the same questions you mention: why is this scenario depicted using a young girl and a guy?

It was probably done so because of the audience it was being shown to. That doesn't make me feel any different, but I would guess that is why they used the scenario. Plus, the song in the background is by Lifehouse, which is a popular teen band.

For those who were brought to tears by this drama, no doubt the cheering from the crowd when Jesus steps in was a factor in generating said emotion.

Dramatic presentations have such an impact with young people. Like you, Fred, I see that they can have their place (but not in worship services), but this was fairly romanticized. How about showing a middle-aged woman prancing around with Jesus instead of a pretty girl?

11:49 AM, December 11, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I hear you Kim. Like I said in my main post, a long haul truck driver would have the same "experience" with Jesus as this girl had. That is why the whole aspect of it being a young, good looking Jesus (though I am sure "good looks" are subjective here) and an attractive girl gives a romantic picture of our relationship with Christ, which is appalling in my mind.

By the way, do you have a tag where I can read all of your Beth Moore reviews or will you link them all in one post so I can see them in order? I have people asking me about her all the time, at least my wife, and I am sure she, as well as I, would like to have a reliable source to offer as a critique.


1:25 PM, December 11, 2007  
Blogger Kim said...

Fred, I have a place for labels on my sidebar. I have tagged my posts about Beth Moore there.

For what they are worth, anyway. The fans of Beth Moore didn't seem to thankful for my contribution.

6:58 PM, December 11, 2007  
Blogger Hayden said...


Good analysis. Being a Youth Pastor I would give you a hearty amen on this one. I agree with you on the aspect of drama as well.

Let me give you a window into my week here. I get MULTIPLE telemarketing calls from every 'teen group' imaginable trying to sell me this type of stuff. It really tries my patience at times. I even had one group tell me that it would be 'unCHristian' of me not to at least preview their material. Like some ministry in Dallas Texas is going to know what my students need to hear more that I do.

Sadly, this is the sad state of youth ministry. Sappy skits that play on the emotions. This skit was actually done at a national youth conference (if I remember correctly).

All this to say (as I step off my soapbox) we need faithful parents and pastors to teach the youth of the church. Too often youth ministry is handed over to the young man that is 'good with the kids'. He may have a lot of zeal, but, so what he doesn't know the Bible too well?!

From the front lines of the youth ministry wars,


7:26 AM, December 12, 2007  
Blogger Chris Hemmelman said...

This sort of shallow Jesus is my boyfriend theology just kills me. Having been involved with youth ministry for a number of years I have witnessed this sort of thing far too oftn.

And we wonder why young people are walking away from Christianity in droves? If you're going to present Jesus as a boyfriend don't be suprised at the breakup.

11:56 AM, December 19, 2007  

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