Once upon a time, Christianity was at the forefront of great artistic endeavors. Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel as an ode to God and humanity. Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart composed music for God’s glory.
Somewhere along the way, Christians stopped leading the worlds of art and music and began chasing after the latest trends. Rather than forge their own paths, they started making Christian versions of secular art. It’s no secret that over last 40 years, the latest trends in worship music are oftentimes watered-down versions of pop music.
In fact, South Park was prescient of this trend in a season seven episode titled “Christian Rock Hard.” In the episode, Cartman forms a Christian Boy Band Faith +1, with the purpose of winning a bet with Kyle that they could go platinum first. Cartman’s strategy was to take secular love songs and replace words like “baby” and “darling” with “Jesus.” This gave them such hit songs as “Touch Me Jesus,” “Pleasing Jesus,” and “Jesus (Looks Kinda Hot).” The creators of South Park were aiming their satire at Creed. But they ended up implicating the Christian Worship Industry, which was releasing songs full of sexual innuendo. Many refer to this as “Jesus is My Boyfriend” music.
In 2005, John Mark McMillan gave us the most obvious and puke-in-mouth inducing example with “How He Loves.” The song featured the incredible metaphor “When heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss.” The song was catchy, but people weren’t comfortable singing about making out with God. So David Crowder rerecorded it and changed the lyric to “When heaven meets earth like and unforeseen kiss.” This always bothered me more than the original line because it makes zero sense.
“How He Loves” isn’t the only offender. The Christian music industry continues to chase popular trends by using writers who also work for Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne. And so we get some real gem lines in songs that will cause teenage boys and immature ministers to chuckle or cringe when singing them.
So, the question is, can you tell the difference between a contemporary worship lyric and a romance novel quote? Specifically, do you know if the words worship Jesus or come from bestselling novelist and king of all things sappy Nicholas Sparks? He is, of course, the author of such classic works like The Notebook and Dear John. Take the following quiz to find out!Loading…
*Full disclosure: I’m creating this quiz while watching 1977's Slumber House Massacre. Even though it features an antagonist who murders high school girls using a large drill, is less disgusting to me than the fact that you could interpose Nicholas Sparks quotes into worship songs and most people wouldn’t notice