Back when I was in high school, South Park did an episode about the Contemporary Christian Music scene where Cartman and the boys because superstars. They figured out a simple formula – replace “girl” or “baby” with “Jesus” and you have a contemporary Christian hit!
Mercifully, I was an incredibly naïve high schooler and honestly had no idea what half the jokes meant, other than that it was dirty (that link is NSFW). But the episode highlights something a lot of people have known for a while – Christian discussion about God is often innately sexual.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but combined with a purity culture that turns sex into a verboten topic confined only to married couples, it creates an environment where no one can really acknowledge the innuendo. We can’t really have an honest and open conversation about the links between the sexual and the holy if we’re not able to talk about sex openly.
But that’s a post I’m too tired to write. So instead, I have a quiz for you. I’ve taken sample lyrics (purposefully out of context), and all you have to do is answer the question: is this from a song about God or a song about a sexual relationship? (Answer key below).
- “I want to travel every bendy line from your throat to your heel.”
- “My love I’m not forgotten I can feel sunshine in the rain”
- “Scream my lungs out you are my only one”
- “I know now, just quite how, my life and love might still go on in your heart and in your mind, I’ll stay with you for all of time.”
- “the way that you move me takes me far away I seek no escape”
- “I’m sorry that I hurt you It’s something I must live with every day”
- “Take me to the heights where love controls, far away from home but feels so close”
- “I didn’t mean to be the one to cut in but you got to stop and think about what you’re doing.”
- “when I run, lead me, when I sleep, keep me.”
- “change a hawk to a little white dove, more than a feeling that’s the power of love.”
- “oh everyone says, there’ll come a day when I’ll walk alongside him.”
- “because I love you, I’ll do anything. I’ll give you my heart, my everything. Because I love you, I’ll be right by your side, to be a light, to be your guide.”
- “I’m nothing but a selfish worm, I’m nothing but a privileged puppet, and did you think I’d stay the night, did you think I’d love you forever?”
- “Lips that need no introduction now who’s the greater sin, your drab eyes seem to invite (tell me darling) where do we begin?”
- “Feel me like a fingertip, sometimes I fall, I slip.”
- “Coming down with something outrageous, look out now cause it’s so contagious, this feeling’s got me reeling, so amped up that I hit the ceiling.”
- “Splashing in the ocean, I’m losing control, dark sky all around, I can’t feel my feet touching the ground.”
- “So break me shake me hate me take me over.”
- “You couldn’t stand to be near me when my face don’t seem to want to shine.”
- “I was made just for you, made to adore you, I was made to love and be loved by you.”
- Sex (“Bendy Line” by The Prayer Chain)
- God (“When I Remember” by Blindside)
- Sex (“The Only One” by Yellowcard)
- Sex (“Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling)
- God (“Consume Me” by DC Talk)
- Sex (“The Reason” by Hoobastank)
- God (“Broken Heart” by Falling Up)
- God (“Wait” by Everyday Sunday)
- God (“Shine Your Glory Down” by Rebecca St. James)
- Sex (“The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News)
- Sex (“To Know Him Is to Love Him” by Amy Winehouse)
- Both (“Because I Love You” by Stevie B.)
- Sex [but probably also God] (“Impossible Soul” by Sufjan Stevens)
- God (“Feel Good Drag” by Anberlin)
- God (“My Life Be Like (Ooh Ahh) by Grits).
- God (“Love Addict” by Family Force Five)
- God (“Flood” by Jars of Clay)
- Sex (“Break Me Shake Me” by Savage Garden)
- Sex (“Push” by Matchbox 20)
- God (“Made to Love” by TobyMac)
So how'd you do?