19 April 2007

Christian Songs that Annoy Me (Part 2)

Today, I present another song that just annoys me: Todd Agnew's "My Jesus":

Which Jesus do you follow? Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ, why do you look so much like the
[A little presumptuous, don't you think?]

'Cause my Jesus bled and died; he spent his time with thieves and
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant, so which one do you want to
[IOW, my Jesus can beat up your Jesus! Are "poor" and "arrogant" the only two choices here?]

[Furthermore, are you saying that you want to bleed and die for your sins? You can't be "like Jesus" in that way. The compassion, the social action, yes. The substitutionary atonement, resurrection, ascension, and high priestly intercession in heaven? No.]

Blessed are the poor in spirit, or do we pray to blessed with with the
wealth of this land?
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sands

My Jesus bled and died for my sins; He spent His time with thieves and
sluts and liars.
He loved the poor and accosted the rich, So which one do you want to

[Again, are my only choices "poor" and "rich"? Or is he asking, "which one (thieves, sluts, or liars) do you want to be?"]

Who is this that You follow, This picture of the American dream?
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side, Or fall down
and worship at His holy feet? holy

Pretty, blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion,-
is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred - or did you miss that
Sometimes I doubt we'd recognize Him
[I actually like this part - the Jesus portrait in every small church in America makes him look like a gentle hippie from California, not a 1st-Century Jew]

My Jesus bled and died He spent His time with thieves and the least of
He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable, So which one do you want to

'Cause My Jesus would never be accepted in my church!
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
[Hold it right there, Todd. If someone walked into a church dirty and bloody, I'd probably want to get him to a hospital, not the front pew! Also, MY Jesus is RISEN - he bleeds no more!]

[I know, I know - the point is that people sometimes care more about the carpet than reaching the lost etc., which is valid. But to suggest that making any decisions about facilities is a direct affront to Jesus is a stretch.]

But He reaches for the hurting and despises the proud
And,I think He'd prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
[Perhaps, but is stained glass therefore sinful? Come on...]

And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud
I want to be like my Jesus! I want to be like my Jesus I want to be like my
Not a posterchild for American prosperity, but like my Jesus
You see I'm tired of living for success and popularity [then you might want to reconsider making a living standing in front of crowds, singing, and selling albums with your pictures plastered all over them.]
I want to be like my Jesus but I'm not sure what that means to be like You,
Cause You said to live like You, love like You but then You died for
Can I be like You Jesus? I wanna be like you Jesus I wanna be Like my

Is it me, or is Todd a little arrogant himself here? The whole sarcasm in the middle works against the message of the song, not to mention the fact that this message comes in a form of a song that can be purchased (in two different versions!) on iTunes.

I do appreciate the attempt: the guy feels that the American church is lukewarm and has lost sight of the reason we are here, and to a certain extent, he's right. But if I went to his church, where Jesus would never be accepted, I think I'd be looking for a new church.

But there are so many little things in this song that bug me, like the "stained-glass crowd" comment, as if everyone who worships in a church with stained glass can not possibly be doing anything outside of their church. Maybe that's not what he's saying; but it comes across this way: either you are a social activist Christian or you worship a false Christ.

So much for grace. . . .

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