JESUS As "LOVER"?? -by Andrew Strom. What does the term "Passion for Jesus" mean to you? Would it surprise you to learn that whole Christian movements are now using it to mean a kind-of "eros" love for Jesus - a 'passion' for Him similar to what an earthly husband and wife have for each other? (-From the word "eros" we get the word 'erotic'). And what does the term "Intimacy with Jesus" mean to you? Would it surprise you to learn that many are now using it to mean sensual "eros"-type encounters with Jesus - with Him as the Bridegroom and them as the 'Bride'? You may think that such unscriptural practices must be out on the "fringe" somewhere. Surely they cannot be part of mainstream Christianity? Well, look around you, because this stuff is now everywhere. I live very close to one of the world's largest and most influential prayer centers here in Kansas City - and it has been a major source of this type of teaching for many years. And now it is all around the world. At this center you will find hundreds of young men and women who will tell you about being "ravished" for Jesus, "kissing" Jesus and 'swooning' in His arms, etc. Their entire understanding of "WHO GOD IS" and their relationship with Him is being shaped by this teaching. -And it is an utter twisting of Scripture. Why is it important to have a right concept of "WHO GOD IS"? Why does it matter so much? Well, this one thing shapes every- thing else about our faith and our relationship with the Lord. At the heart of a lot of cults and deceptions is a fundamental mis- apprehension of the true character and nature of God - ie. "Who He is - How we approach Him". It really does affect EVERYTHING. Now, imagine that there is a new doctrine that re-invents our very understanding of God - a doctrine that sweeps the world and catches up many young people. So, is this new doctrine based on a careful exegesis of the New Testament, you ask? -No! To your surprise you find that it is largely based on "spiritualizing" the SONG OF SOLOMON. Yes, that's right. An entire re-inventing of our relationship with God based not on the New Testament, but on Solomon's lovestruck poetry about the body and breasts and comeliness of one of his 700 wives. -Wonderful poetry to be sure, but what kind of basis is that for such a drastic change in our basic beliefs? (So is there no benefit to be gained from an 'allegorical' understanding of the Song Of Solomon? -Certainly there is! Hudson Taylor and others used it this way. But that is not the point I am making. The real issue is this:- Should we re-invent our entire understanding of "Who God is" and how we approach Him - to fit in with a tiny book of semi-erotic poetry from the Old Testament? Should this become our dominant understanding of God?) As history shows us again and again, to the equal degree that we lose our grasp of the real character and nature of God - to this same degree we will lose genuine Christianity. You cannot have the true New Testament Faith if you have lost the true New Testament Jesus. -Which is why it is so serious when people say that in the West today we have invented a kind-of "American Jesus" to suit our self-centered, "me"-focused lifestyle. They point out that today you mostly hear of a Jesus who exists to make you "happy" rather than holy, a Jesus who is always a "friend" but never a Judge, a Jesus who does not any longer hate sin or demand repentance, but only wants you prosperous and 'blessed'. This is a Jesus that utterly suits our selfish Western mindset, but is found nowhere in the Bible. And the new "Jesus As Lover" doctrine is just another twist in the ongoing tale of modern Christians distorting the character and nature of God. Does Jesus love us? Of course He does - more than words can tell. And are we to love Him? Of course! -With all our heart, mind, soul and strength! But does this mean that we are to approach Him with a sensual "eros" love, like some sexual adolescent schoolgirl, "swooning" and smooching with our 'lover' Jesus? Is that what God's love means? Are we to exchange 'agape' for sensual "eros" and act like Jesus's "girlfriend" here on earth? (-Men as well as women?) God forbid! Of course we know that in Scripture the corporate body of Christ (particularly at the end of the age) is described as the "Bride" of Christ. But isn't it obvious that this is talking about the 'CORPORATE' Body - not individual Christians? Are we each to become Jesus's little "girlfriends" here on earth - or is it the "WHOLE BODY" that is to one day be the Bride of Christ? -Clearly it is the latter. The effect of this doctrine on young men is particularly distressing. To describe it as "effeminate" is quite an understatement. As it is, the modern church is already known for being an "anti-masculine" zone, with its flower displays, pink walls, mauve carpets, emotion- laden music, etc. A lot of commentators point to this when discussing the low attendance of men in our churches. But this new doctrine takes this theme to undreamt-of depths. Can you imagine zealous praying young men who relate to Jesus (ie. another MALE) as a "lover" whom they kiss and 'swoon' over? Can you imagine what happens when this becomes their basic approach to God? -And this is just the beginning of the gender- bending weirdness that is starting to become "normal" in this movement. (Some are in such deception that they even have experiences of "Jesus" kissing them on the mouth, etc. The movement itself warns against "sensual encounters" but their very teaching leads directly to this kind of thing. Deceiving spirits are always super-active in this kind of environment. Where do you think the famed 'incubus' and 'succubus' originate from?) The ironic thing is that a lot of the people who are into this doctrine claim to be "seeking Revival". They really think that this is the kind of 'intimacy' that God desires. It is greatly influencing the modern 'Prayer' movement, the Prophetic movement and the 'Worship' movement (-which explains the recent rash of songs with "Song of Solomon" type themes: "I kiss you with the kisses of my mouth", "Take me into your chamber", etc). I find their talk of "Revival" particularly ironic, because I have studied Revival for many years, and I am aware that all the old Revivalists prayed to a God who is very different from what is being presented here. -And their understanding of "WHO GOD IS" was utterly crucial to their obtaining Revival. They prayed to a God of holiness and majesty and awe - a God of glory who hates sin, yet sent His son to die for sinners. The God that the old Revivalists prayed to was the "throneroom" God that Isaiah described- "I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple... And one cried to another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips..." (Is 6:1-5). This is the "throneroom" God who is described again in Revelation chapter 4 - where we are told that the four beasts cry, "Holy, holy, holy" day and night without ceasing, and the 24 elders cast down their crowns before His throne - over and over again. It is "HOLINESS" that is the chief characteristic of God! No other characteristic is ever repeated three times together in the Bible - let alone over and over, day and night! -"HOLY, HOLY, HOLY." And actually, the full title of the book of Revelation is the "Revelation of Jesus Christ". So in other words, it is a 'revealing' of who Jesus is and what He is really like. And when John (the 'beloved' disciple) first sees the glorified Christ in Revelation 1, we are told that such is His terror-inducing holiness and glory that John fell at his feet "as though dead." -This is the true Jesus - as He really is. In every true Revival, it is the God of majesty who reveals himself. For Revival is the "Glory of God" coming down. It is His very 'throneroom' presence coming down amongst men. The God of Revival has always been a God of holiness - a God of great glory. This is who we have for a 'Father'. Thus, even His children should approach Him with awe. And if we do not pray to this God, then we should not expect Revival at all. -That is one of the basic lessons of Revival history. -We must pray to the 'RIGHT GOD' if we are going to see true Revival. Incidentally, the 'Bride of Christ' in Revelation is described as a 'holy city' - a "new Jerusalem" coming down from heaven. (Rev 21). So it is clearly a 'CORPORATE' entity that exists at the end of the age. -Not some individualized "girlfriend of Jesus" in the here-and-now. It is a very serious thing to tamper with our understanding of 'WHO GOD IS' and how we relate to Him. In a lot of ways it is like preaching "another Jesus". -It really is that bad. If you hear phrases today like 'Lovesick for Jesus', 'Bridal Paradigm', "Bridal intimacy", "Wooing", 'Romancing', "Kisses of our mouth", 'Fascinated', etc, then you can be pretty sure that you are being exposed to this deceptive doctrine. I believe it is serious error, and I urge you to flee from it as far as you can, my friends. Please forward this to anyone whom you believe may be influenced by this doctrine. Feedback welcome! Our email- prophetic@... This article is being discussed on the Forum at- http://www.revivalschool.com God bless you all. Andrew Strom.