I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
I'd stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
I wish the above were a parody of mine, but it isn?t. This is the type of stuff that passes for hymnody in America today. Sad, isn't it?
The above hymn is a prime example of what is wrong with Christianity in this country today. Rather than being the strong and risen Savior, Jesus is portrayed as a man who could make a really good boyfriend to someone. And we all wonder why more men don't come to church? It isn't that the Church doesn't have very male-oriented hymns. It does. Nobody sings those anymore, however. Onward Christian Soldiers gets replaced by the above hymn. The problem is we are not able to walk around in gardens with Jesus. We're stuck here in a war. Ooops. Did I say that? There is a reason why we are known as the Church Militant: we're at war and, most of the time, that war is against ourselves. As much as Pentecostals want to blame every bad thing that happens to us on demons and Satan, it is our own triune god, me, myself, and I that gets us into trouble. At the cross of our Lord is where we must fight this battle if we are to have any hope of being victorious. In the ultimate irony (sorry Twylah), God made us strong by being weak. Our God is a God who, in the same hands that healed and brought life to people, will also bring wrath and destruction. Our God is a God who fights for us and fights with us.
What is being preached in the Churches? "Jesus is my boyfriend." How many men do you think will go, "That's an awfully good thought!" So, the churches go on preaching an effeminate Christ (which, for those who have seen stoneworkers, know they are anything but effeminate (one of these days I'll have to give my theory on why Jesus was actually a geologist)) and the females gulp it up like Precious Moments figurines. The males ask, "Why should I believe in a God that acts like a poofter?" and walk away. The males that don't leave end up joining Promise Keepers and weeping all over each other. In essence, the church is turning boys into girls and males into females.