Who let the church decide?

the church has no exclusive right to brand the lyrical content of songs “worldly”

I want to place an issue on the table, essentially to stimulate healthy discussion and to encourage serious thought.

The issue has to do with the lyrical content of songs and their categorisation, particularly from the church’s view.

Of special interest is where the church brands certain songs as “worldly” or secular if these musical selections did not steer clear of references to such matters as sex, romance or expressions of love for ones life partner.

Let us call in the King of Israel in the 10th century, Solomon, a man of God, renowned especially by Christendom as an extraordinarily wise man, to help provide some answers or to bring perspective to this burning controversy of lyrical content.

Being a song writer himself, the lyrics he recorded in his book in the Bible, Song of Solomon, may create more confusion in the minds of some sectors of the Christian community or in others, varying explanations on the content and intent of this book. Whatever the result, lyrics are lyrics and Solomon has provided in black and white for all to see, some very provocative expressions in this portion of the sacred Word by which Christians live and have their being.

For example, if the following lyrics to a song was sung in any Christian church today, the performer, if he is a member, would probably be excommunicated and if he is not a member, may never be invited back.

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for your love is better than wine.

“Because of the savour of your good ointments, your name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love you.” Song of Solomon 1: 2 and 3. And how about “Your two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.” 4:5.

Wow, are these words really in the Bible? Yep! When I was a youngster my pastor would try to explain Solomon’s sentiments by saying he is expressing his love for the Church as the Body of Christ and not any love or romantic feelings for any woman. Daah.

Does not matter to whom the lyrics refer, lyrics are lyrics. Besides, when one put music to these lyrics nobody is going say they refer to the church.

Even if they point to the church the analogy used is still provocative and conjures up feelings and ideas not necessarily seen as strictly sacred in today’s conventional thinking.

I believe the point Solomon is seeking to make, is that Christians have sex, engage in romantic experiences and admire the bodies of their partners. Of course there will be other views. That is expected.

Here is a little bit more food for thought from Solomon.

“By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loves: I sought him, but I found him not. “I will rise now and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways will I seek him whom my soul loves: I sought him but I found him not. “It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loves: I held him and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house and into the chamber of her that conceived me.” Song Sol 3:1,2 and 4. He that has ears to hear let him hear and in this case, he that has eyes to read let him understand. emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb

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