Earlier this week I spoke of the hazards of drawing on sacred marriage symbolism carelessly, particularly in the conversations between Pagans and Christians.
At one point I stated, “God as husband has great explanatory value in a patriarchal culture, where vertical understandings of marital relationships are taken for granted. God as husband is an utterly confusing metaphor in an egalitarian culture where they are not, where marital relationships are understood more horizontally.”
Well, there are other ways in which sacred marriage symbolism can be drawn on carelessly, and cause confusion, and that is in the context of worship. In an article entitled, Jesus is NOT your boyfriend! Bridal Mysticism Gone Too Far, End Times Prophetic draws attention to a disturbing new practice that has emerged in some North American charismatic circles: Pseudo-orgasmic worship, complete with Jesus sex fantasies.
According to Paul Gowdy, Carol Arnott, a leader at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, reports that “she had her bride experience where she was taken into the very presence of Jesus and said that the love that she experienced was even better than sex”.
“A woman whom I see to be very Spirit filled, was talking to us at the dinner table about being taken into the “upper chambers” where Jesus laid her down on a bed of roses (because He is the Rose of Sharon He can do that, she said), and that He made love to her. She described to me this whole scene as if it were out of a romance novel.
I’ve heard reports from Kansas City of men being speaking of being “ravished in their hinder parts” by Jesus. While this may not be the viewpoint of leadership there, it reflects the sordid depravity behind the doctrine, and the logical end of such thinking.
This is what happens when you draw on the sacred marriage metaphor in a hyper-individualistic, hyper-sexed culture without sufficient attention to the scriptural and cultural context in which the metaphor was originally used. It all goes pear shaped. The metaphor, used so immaturely, then obscures rather than enlightens.