Thursday, December 07, 2006

When the single girl's intimacy with Christ goes a little too far...

...mysteries of divine union?
(Image from Wikipedia)

In "Dating Jesus," Christianity Today (December 2006), Agnieszka Tennant writes about a contemporary movement -- known as the "Bridal Paradigm" -- in which women go on dates with Jesus.

Tennant, who has written wonderfully about Anne Lamott --
She came to Jesus just as she was—a foul-mouthed, bulimic, alcoholic drug addict. One week after having an abortion, she surrendered to him in her very own version of the sinner's prayer, punctuated with the f-word.
-- and led me to Lamott's nonfiction (before I even knew about her fiction), writes more skeptically about unnamed books extolling a rather different sort of woman, whom she calls 'Christie.'

Christie is dating Jesus. This starts out innocently enough -- and Tennant is quoting some Christian book for single women -- with meetings at bookstores:
"[Christie spends her Friday evenings at Barnes & Noble] to drink coffee with the Lord and to read whatever book from the Christian living section he guides me to."
Christie soon invites Jesus over for a meal. She cooks a meal, sets the table for two, and spends the evening...
"... talking to God as if he is actually sitting there at my table with me, because I know that he is."
Christie attempts to enchant Jesus with her feminine charms:

"[H]e also deserves to occasionally have his princess sit at his feet while she is looking and feeling her best."

Christie even goes with Jesus on "prayer, praise, and pampering" retreats, encouraging others to do the same, claiming:
"You are running away with your Lover, not confining yourself to a convent."
Hmmm ... I suppose that there are all sorts of things that one could say about this, but I'll avoid the obvious ones and just comment that I'm glad that I'm already happily married because I wouldn't want to be Christie's next boyfriend.


At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A whole new subset of folks ready and primed for the right cult leader.

At 3:20 AM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

Creepy, weird, and dittos to Richardson. But this isn't new... Flaky women have been self-indulging in this hysterical claptrap for centuries. Examples abound in many of the stories of the female saints and nuns, in the Catholic church. But it isn't merely a Catholic phenomenon. You find pictures of these girls in the Wikipedia section, under "Get A Life."

At 4:04 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Richardson, that's a real possibility -- for some folks, a pastor is a stand-in for Jesus.

Remember David Koresh of the Branch Davidians and his interpretation of how young women in his congregation should anoint his 'head'?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:13 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sauer, I thought of a few Catholic saints (hence the image) and considered noting that this might be yet another example of how evangelicals drawing close to traditional Catholicism ... but I decided not to make too much of this "bridal paradigm" and just leave the connection at the level of image.

On your recommendation, I've checked out "Get A Life" and discovered what I've missed in living outside of the States for nearly twenty years.

I guess that a TV character who dies about 20 times really does need to get a life ... or maybe several lives.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:28 AM, Blogger Kate Marie said...

I loved your comment about not wanting to be Christie's next boyfriend, Jeffery.

For some reason, that story reminds me just slightly of this poem:

I Sing of a Maiden

I sing of a maiden
That is makelees
King of alle kinges
To her sone she chees

He came also stille
Ther his moder was
As dewe in Aprille
That falleth on the gras.

He cam also stille
To his modres bowr
As dewe in Aprille
That falleth on the flowr.

He cam also stille
Ther his moder lay
As dewe in Aprille
That falleth on the spray.

Moder and maiden
Was nevere noon but she:
Wel may swich a lady
Godes moder be.

It's a nice poem, but there's a tiny bit of that creepiness around the edges . . .

At 5:47 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

KM, I kinda liked that comment, myself. It's so perfectly dismissive ... in my not-so-humble opinion.

You're right about the "Maiden" poem -- it just barely manages to refrain from affirming the creepiness around its edges. A firmer trinitarianism is in order...

Jeffery Hodges

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