The Pen

If God was Your Boyfriend, What Would He Smell Like?

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24

God is Spirit.  He doesn’t have a body.  So, by nature, He can’t smell like anything.  This is a basic theological understanding.  Of course, there are anthropomorphisms in scripture.  God is written about as if he has hands, eyes, and ears but he doesn’t really have these things since He doesn’t really have body, being a spirit and all.  So, the question “What does God smell like?” is basically nonsensical.  There is, of course, the incarnation to consider.   The word became flesh and dwelt among mankind.   In the person of Jesus Christ, God the Son became incarnate.   Jesus, during his time on earth since He had a body (and still does) would have had a smell about him just like other people.  Since he was an intenerate First Century Palestinian commoner, the son of a laborer and companion of fisherman, it’s hard to imagine that he would have smelled very good (the biblical language about Christ being a fragrant aroma to God isn’t referring to any oil with which he may have been anointed).  Referring to the “intoxicating fragrance” of God doesn’t seem to make sense, even anthropomorphically.    This didn’t stop Christian Music composer Darrell Evans from doing just that in his song, Your Love is Extravagant.  Evans’ song is just one more example of erotic praise songs written for ever more feminized congregations to sing during corporate worship.

The lyrics to Your Love is Extravagant include the following stanza:

Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate
I feel like moving to the rhythm of Your grace
Your fragrance is intoxicating in our secret place
‘Cause Your love is extravagant

Imagine the last time you were with your spouse in a secluded space.  Now imagine what she (or he as the case may be) smelled like.  What were you doing?  Was it an experience that was pleasurable and memorable to your senses?  Did it capture your heart?  Do you want to do it again?  Was it an experience that you think you should be thinking about in church?

I’ll put it plainly; the fragrance of your spouse during an intimate time is something that lingers in the mind.  The perfume that is sold at the makeup counter at the department store isn’t cheap.  Intoxicating fragrances, extravagant love, and rhythmic moving go hand-in-hand and are highly prized among those who find them.

To be clear, I love Jesus, but I don’t love him like that.

Why are men expected to stand up in church and sing words like this about Jesus?  These lyrics are overtly erotic.  I can’t bring myself to sing them.  I certainly don’t want to sing these words and follow them up with a line about being “spread wide in the arms of Christ.” I’m not kidding.  That’s the next line of this song!  The song of course moves on to describe a love that covers sin.  It’s the defensible part that’s common to the of the modern worship song.  A love song is written about human relationships (like this one) and then some theological reference is tacked on to the end.  It’s obvious, yet music ministers continue to subject the males (and females) to these songs.

God does love me.  I love Him.  I’ll be happy to sing about it when a song is presented to me that describes this love in a respectful, biblical manner.   I literally won’t stand for another one of these songs being played and sung as a part of corporate worship.  Will you?

[Contributed by Seth Dunn]

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant