Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A sloppy wet kiss??

So I'm not sure if you've all heard the song 'How He Loves' by John Mark McMillan. It has been made famous by Jesus Culture from Bethel Church in Redding; I posted about it here and here. The lyrics are below. I love the song, it carries such weight and is definitely being used by God to bring people into an encounter with his heart. We listen to it all the time, switching between Jesus Culture version and John Mark McMillan's version. I prefer the former, Jane prefers the later.
Anyways, the reason I write this is the line in the song 'heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss'. I'll be facilitating worship at a conference for teenagers in a few weeks and I definitely want to sing this song and I've been talking to Jane about whether to sing that line or change it or skip the verse or what to do.
I know some churches skip the second verse, but that's not an option for me. Way too powerful to leave out and dilutes the song for me. The second option is to change the lyric. I know one church sings 'heaven meets earth with a passionate kiss' which is a relatively good compromise and one in which I was considering, THEN I heard David Crowder Bands version of the song and they changed the lyric to 'heaven meets earth with an unforeseen kiss' and it killed me. I was so disappointed that they would take the song and change the lyrics and release it to the general public. It's like a slap in the face to John Mark McMillan. Hey we dig your song but your theology is a little off so we're gonna change the lyrics and release it ourselves. Maybe I'm reading too much into it and maybe I was just annoyed because they did such a terrible version of the song. Seriously, they butcher it in my opinion. You can hear it here. I should add that I'm a big fan of David Crowder Band so I was really hoping I'd love it.
Hearing their version made me want to never change the words. I love the imagery, the poetry of a Father embracing a child. The image of my brother picking up his son and giving him this big huge kiss that affirms his son and it's nearly like nothing Andrew can do can get him out of it. He thinks he doesn't want it but it's so overwhelming and full of love and sincerity that he can't but rest and let his daddy kiss him and love him. That's what our daddy in heaven wants to do with us, overwhelm us with his love and passionately embrace us.
As a worship leader my roll is to lead people into the presence of God and I don't want anything to get in the way of people encountering their saviour hence my seeking wisdom on what to do with this song. I also think that maybe half the leaders at the conference will take issue with the lyric so there's also that to deal with as I'm not one to rebel for rebellion sake. I may end up changing it so as to make it easier for people to agree with/sing with but it will pain my heart that I have to dumb down such a beautiful image.

He is jealous for me
Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great Your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.

Yeah, He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves.

So we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean we're all sinking
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way

That He loves us,
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves


Lucas said...

yea i feel what you are saying about the Crowder version but I read on his blog that what they just released is the radio edit not the true album version so there is still hope :)

Anonymous said...

the first time I heard it, it minged me out and was distracting.
But now I love it too.
You could keep the line and tell the kids why you love it. Invite them to hear / understand it the way you do.

Anonymous said...

I am personally offended by the lyrics - Our church sings it and I cringe - also, I am a literature major and the "word pictures" don't do it for me - IMHO it does not honor God to gross out half the congregation.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I wonder if anyone was grossed out when Jesus sat with lepers and prostitutes. Or when flames shot from the heads of his closest followers. Wow, talk about upsetting the flock. If you want a quiet, reserved, unchanging (it doesn't change and neither do you)"worship service" . . . well, there's plenty of them out there.

Donna-Marie said...

How can you be a literature major and not be interested in word pictures. That's what literature is.

Jess said...

at first i tried to reason out that that sloppy kiss refers to the generous father kissing his long lost son. sloppy means clumsy, this is acceptable if applied to the father's kiss. But "clumsy and wet" kiss... wet kiss just sounds a torrid sexual kiss. personally it's uncomfortable. reminds me of "your body is a wonderland" by john mayer.

but I'm thinking if Christ and the Church are to be married someday, could their kiss be torrid and intimate? a sloppy wet kiss?

davenport89 said...

I think you may be reading to much into it. I mean everyone has their own opinions, but its funny how I felt exactly the opposite about this, I was disappointed to hear that this was going to be Crowders single off the new album cause that one line creeps me out. So when I discovered the new line I was pumped. The reason I don't like it is, again as referenced by jess, sloppy and wet, makes me think of an awkward jr high moment. That is my personal opinion. But the second far exceeds that. In corporate worship it doesn't work. The congregation can lose focus instantly and because they start thinking about that line, and think to themselves 'what'd he just say.' Songs aren't worshipful inherently they help us to be worshipful, and concentrating on the one line of this song starts to steal the worship that God deserves.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you have already decided on what you will sing, but I just wanted to share my opinion on this. I think it would be very sad to remove that part of the song. We are the *bride* of Christ! And yes, God loves us intimately! He loves us like a husband loves his wife. Why should that be removed? It is such a power part of this song and more importantly its the *truth*!

davenport89 said...

anonymous, you are right God does love us intimately more then are wives. But he doesn't love us sexually. There is a difference.

I understand everyones concern with taking from the song and all that, but the author of the blog even said he was trying to figure out what to do because he was playing at a youth event. This song is awesome, the metaphors are awesome, but this one line throws it all out of wack for a lot of people, so what is wrong with removing it? Obviously DCB talked to the writer because he had to give them the okay to record it. so isn't this just a huge moot point? Some like it, some don't. For some it triggers a thought of a father kissing his toddler, for some it triggers a thought of 8th graders awkwardly kissing on a bus.

James Thayer said...

What did you end up doing?

I hope you left it in. The image of heaven meeting Earth is fantastic.

Dave said...

So, I know this is a bit of a late comment, but I've been doing this song like we do it at church [Life Center in Harrisburg, PA] using the original lyrics. Last night, Israel Houghton led at our church and did this song. He had a further twist... And Heaven meets Earth and I feel It's kiss..."
Which for me totally sets the following line into a better context - I feel It's kiss and my heart turns violently inside my chest..." I'm leading it tomorrow morning and will likely do this version!

K. Williams said...

The picture I see is of a Father who has longed to hold his son again and finally does when His son returns home. He is unconcerned with mannerisms, etiquette or conducting himself appropriately; He has thrown off restraint and is only focused on the return of His son. He kisses His son passionately all over his face (not taking care to carefully pucker his lips ever so gently to place a well-meaning peck on the cheek). He loves His son more than anything and is wildly-passionate about it!!!!! GOD LOVES US ALL WITH AN UNQUENCHABLE LOVE AND HE IS NOT ASHAMED TO SHOW IT!!!! Bless the name of Jesus!

davenport89 said...

K. Williams... I wish everyone got that picture, bur sadly people not deep enough in there faith do not. They hear sloppy wet kiss and think of 8th graders with braces frenching in the hall after school.

The question is, why fight so hard to include one line in a song when you know it can (and has) brought the focus from Christ to a phrase in the song. It then begins to steal glory from God. Why even fight it?

As a worship leader it isn't our job to make people worship it is to create a worshipful environment that makes it easy to worship the God of your universe. When you have something that hinders that environment and it can be fixed by changing a single phrase in a song, would you not do it?

K. Williams said...

Davenport89... I agree with all you have said. I guess it depends where you come from. I would lean in to hug my father, but most of the time he would stick out his hand to shake my hand. I wish my father would have gotten "sloppy" with me and picked me up and spun me around in the middle of a crowd and kissed me all over my face... I wish he didn't care so much about what it looked like or how uncomfortable it made him feel. Too bad he never broke free and loved me the way I know he wanted to inside.

K. Williams said...

I do have one more comment: when Jesus healed the blind man with the use of saliva and dirt, why did He do this? I'm sure the Jewish culture of that day (or any day for that matter) didn't accept the use of bodily fluids in the healing process. Why did Jesus choose to do it this way? Why didn't He just speak the word alone or use a million other ways that would have been accepted by all the people? Why use one that would cause a stir? I’m sure some people in the crowd, stuck in their religiosity, were disgusted by this and turned and left grumbling and complaining. Jesus wasn’t a “yes man” doing whatever He could to please whomever He could. He only pleased the Father. May we be unconcerned with the judgments of those around us and love them into the Father’s arms because the kindness of God leads us to repentance.

Josie said...

I was really disappointed when I heard that David Crowder took out the "Sloppy wet kiss" part of the song. It was personally my favorite line. I know that line might make some Christians feel uncomfortable.. but should it? For those that have a problem with that line, maybe they should read Song of songs sometime and see if that makes them feel uncomfortable.

And if what Lucas said was true about the radio edit, I'm a little disappointed with that too. How can you expect anyone to respect christian music when you are CENSORING the artistic creativity? The Christian Music biz is turing into a music factory, mass producing crappy products that are all just shaped by the same cookie cutter. Ever wonder why Bands like Reliant K, Switchfoot, POD and those bands switch to secular labels?

I and anonymous was right, Jesus hung out with lepors, prostitutes, and had a nack for ticking off religious people with the way he spoke. It's like woody Guthrie said "If Jesus preached in New York what he preached in Galilee, we'd lay him in the grave again"

Ferg said...

Thanks for all the comments. I can't with all integrity leave the line out. I left it in.

I do take on board what the concerns are and I didn't sing it to certain audiences because I don't want to be a 'rebel' but if I sing the song, I sing all of it and not the watered down version.

The Father is on a mission to reveal His heart to us and this song can be a catalyst for that. I'm so thankful for it, all of it!!

K. Williams said...

Thank you, Ferg. I believe that God is in the midst of a mighty transformation in the lives of those who worshipped with you (not just because of this song). May God bless you and give you incredible favor before all men as you minister God's unfathomable love through worship. I believe you found wisdom in a multitude of counselors as you sought His face.

Anonymous said...

I was grossed out when I heard the song - and still am! Everyone I have asked about what image comes to mind when they hear "sloppy wet kiss" say they think of a dog! Well, the Almighty God of the Universe does not deserve that image nor should it be a sexual thing. Leave how God wants to reveal Himself to His written Word - whatever things are pure, true, etc. about covers it.

Eric E. Kidwell said...

God created sex, God loves sex, and yes he meant it for a man and a woman. The way I hear it is that as Jesus comes back for his bride, heaven meets earth. Nuf said. And I love it!

Anonymous said...

I'm a worship leader and I love this song. I have seen it spread like wildfire in our church and community and we have witnessed some amazing times of ministry through it. I've never known of a lyric different than the 'sloppy' one and so we continue to sing it this way.

Although I can see why some people who are immature in their faith might need for these lyrics to be changed in order to 'not be distracted' by them, I think maybe we are all missing the point of what this lyric is saying altogether.

This lyric isn't about lovers, it isn't about friends, it isn't about brothers, sisters, mothers or fathers... it's about the Kingdom of God. If we pray the Lord's prayer and ask 'Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven', we are asking that the things of the Kingdom would happen here on earth. That God would be present and active in our world right now. This process of 'Heaven [meeting] earth' is a collision that wrecks everything we think we understand about God. In fact I might go as far as to say that it would be 'sloppy' like a kiss.

Just my opinion... Here is what the writer of the song has to say on the subject...

Anonymous said...

Another thought I wanted to share... Someone on here a few posts back said that it was our job as worship leaders to create an environment where people find it 'easy to worship'. Maybe someone here can tell me when worship is easy??? Worship for the most part is a struggle because our selfishness is forever in conflict with the selflessness of worship. It is never easy to worship. What's even more difficult is that God calls us to a lifestyle of worship. Every day since I have decided to follow God's calling on my life has been met with opposition from the world. I would challenge you to lead worship, not with the goal of comfort, but with the goal of challenge and perspective.

Shake things up... it might get 'sloppy' but maybe that's the whole point of this song in the first place.

davenport89 said...

Sadly, I disagree yet again. Worship is not hard.  Yes, living a lifestyle of worship definitely is, but when you realize how great God is, how huge is love is and how deep his grace goes it really becomes quite simple to worship. Our goal as worship leaders isn't to sing awesome or play awesome, it's to do our best to lead others into the throne room to worship, why would I try to make this more challenging? So if candles help get some people closer to experiencing God, let's get them, or backgrounds with mountains help show Gods power, get them and so on and so on... But on the flip side, if there is a lyric that hesitates and breaks that worship with Christ, why have it? I'm not saying I dislike it or anything, but if it hinders worship why?
I have understood the lyric from the beginning, and think it is a wonderful picture and illustration, but to a new believer or someone hearing this song for the first time it will really be distracting. It can steal their attention away from concentrating on the love of God (which is what this song is really about, not 'getting sloppy').
I am not trying to be uber spiritual, I'm just trying to think logically...If God deserves all the glory, and we lose part of the audience because they are thinking about sloppy kiss, why do it? Its hard enough to get people to let down their guard and sing to an all powerful God, why add a speed bump.

Anonymous said...

I am no fan of comtemporary Christian music and this song pushed me over the edge.
When I hear this line, I thought "what is next - is Jesus gonna give us a hickey?"
As the Bride of Christ, I hope the Church will not have "the bloody sheets" waved around. This line is simply vulgar. If it is meant to shock, well, it does.
It pained me no end to sing this "song" on All Saints' Day, Reformation Sunday, while in the rack ahead of me was a hymnal of fabulous theologically correct doctrine based songs which have withstood the test of time until recently. Somehow the church's teaching and singing has been watered down to silliness and triviality. As a missionary to "christian" cults, I am very aware of how little people know good church history, doctrine and how to present that to those who don't believe. Now it is all about what we feel, so a "wet sloppy kiss" seems wonderful.
How sad.

TimA said...

I heard the song just a week or so ago and, though I understand why the chorus is good to sing about how the Lord loves us, the sloppy wet kiss line, speaking as a song writer, struck me as being poor writing, just a line borrowed from a Keith Urban song where he says "warm, wet kiss." Then again, I didn't like it in that song either! It distracts me away from the purpose of the song, like it was thrown in there for effect, rather than truly contributing to the message. I get why the songwriter might've written it that way to express what perhaps he was feeling at the time, but he could've chosen better words here in my opinion. And, by the way, regarding someone's comment, I would suggest that thinking that the line is a good line has nothing to do with one not being "deep enough in there [sic] faith." It's simply poor writing. However, if the song is impacting people to draw them to the Lord, I say "great!" whether or not the sloppy line is removed; though, I can't bring myself to lead people in singing it that way.

LauraRS said...

I love John Mark McMillan, but I will concede that I wish the line was worded slightly differently. HOWEVER I firmly object to those who said that this line of the "like a sloppy wet kiss" represents a theological inaccuracy and that it is saying that the relationship between Christ and the Church is sexual. The two objections get a similar answer. To the person who said it is sexual, look at the line. It says "like." It's a comparison to such a kiss. God frequently compares His relationship with His people to a husband and wife relationship and sex is often invoked as a reflection of a spiritual reality between us and Him. It speaks of love, intimacy, romance, and care, among other things. Check out Hosea 2. God says that He will marry His people and they will "know the Lord." The word "know" in the Hebrew is the same word in the Biblical euphimism "Adam knew his wife." God's people will have a close, intimate, experiential, and complete knowledge of the Lord. God constantly uses the image of sexuality to point to and explain a deeper spiritual truth between us and Him. Such imagery is Biblical and therefore theologically sound. I think we need to learn to embrace the husband and wife (sexual) imagery in the Bible so that we have a deeper understanding of Jesus' heart for us and go deeper in relationship with Him. The sexual image of "sloppy wet kiss" doesn't offend me because God uses sex as a reflection of spiritual truth all the time. While I don't like "sloppy wet" because it sounds a little gross and unromantic (I like "unexpected kiss"), I do like that the wording makes you sit up and pay attention. It demands that you see what it's saying. Dig deep into the heart of God, you will find intimate romance there. Like someone else said, check out Song of Solomon.
[Side note, just because something is sexual doesn't mean it's impure. Sex can be pure if we stay within the liberating boundaries that God has set for us. God said to "be fruitful and multiply" before man fell in the garden (Genesis 1). You and I were sexual before we were sinful. It's a gift.]

Anonymous said...

Very well stated !
Your comments sum up, and answer (to those who have ears) almost all the previous comments.
Was a little startled the first time I heard the lyrics, but then most of Jesus' words are startling, if not sometimes offensive too. Les

Anonymous said...

Very well stated !
Your comments sum up, and answer (to those who have ears) almost all the previous comments.
Was a little startled the first time I heard the lyrics, but then most of Jesus' words are startling, if not sometimes offensive too. Les

davenport89 said...

Laura, I don't know if anyone said sex is inherently evil or wrong, if they did, they are dumb. Sex is a gift. And you are definitely right about the Hebrew word for know (yada) in the old testament, because is used both for knowing someone sexually, intimately and/or casually/friendly. God speaks in Hosea and says "Thou shalt call me Ishi, and call me no more Baali." Both of these words mean husband, but Baali also means owner, or master. Ishi means husband as well, but also completion of love, sweetness and familiarity. God is not saying in Hosea 2 that he will sexually know us (in verse 20), but that we will know Him in a familiar way, that it will be the "completion of His love." We have never truly known God because He is God. He is our master, our protector, he owns us! But when the Christ returns, we will get to know Him, like a best friend or sibling, not just as God!
I never said that God doesn't use Sex to allude to how intimately close we will be to him. But sloppy and wet is a strange line for me, but I don't even hate the line. I know the word "like" is in there, but I will reiterate that it makes me think of two Jr. Highers making out by lockers after school, sloppy and wet. What about heaven meeting earth is sloppy or wet? Beautiful, unforeseen, 'unexpected'..the list continues, just don't think sloppy and wet are very good adjectives.
But anyways what it comes down to for me, It is just not worth the risk of having some believers get sidetracked and lose focus off Christ during worship. Thats the basis of my whole decision of why we (our church) do the song with "unforeseen" instead of "sloppy and wet." I don't think its unbiblical, or theologically wrong. Because it is meant as a picture or illustration. It is just distracting to some people. And I would guess that is the same reason Crowder changed it as well.

freefun0616 said...



Luke said...

Hey all. Great interaction & good thoughts. I do believe that God loves us too passionately for words and that Christ loves his bride (the church) but not all aspects of human marriage are comparable to Christ & Church. The intimacy of sex between married man and woman, as designed by God, reflects an intimacy yet to come when Christ is with his metaphorical bride but this in no way suggests that there will be anything like a sexual relationship between the latter two. Sex just points us to that even greater intimacy. Among commonly sung worship songs, there are many (hymns and choruses) that are lyrically almost perfect thru and thru but have one line that just kills it. This song is sheer power…amazing. But I think that this one line comes as close as it can to killing an astounding and striking worship song. No one should EVER be surprised when listeners trip on this ‘sore-thumb’ line. IMHO

Luke said...

P.S. I made the mistake of commenting before reading Davenport89's comment. If I had read it, I wouldn't have wasted time writing my comment. I would have just typed "ditto to Davenport." P.S.II It's still a breathtaking song!!!

allen said...

At first it will take you aback, but then you realize that GOD really does love us that much, and it is exactly like a father showing affection with his children...kinda like a Bill Cosby "ZERBERT". I do not see anything in the lyrics about lips.
If you will look at Psalms 85:10, you will see where David talks about (rightousness and peace have kissed each other).
Do you not want the AFFECTIONS that God wants to give you, or do you just want to walk around, never feeling, experiencing his affections, all uptight wondering if he loves you(me).

Eric said...

I'm amazed that this one line could offend so many. Have we gotten so obsessed with our religious fronts that the term "sloppy wet kiss" causes us to throw in the towel during worship. John Mark McMillan isn't trying to create the image of us kissing God. That's ridiculous and nuts. A sloppy wet kiss; wow. It's all about God's infinite love for us. Sometimes His love is unexpected, messy, not always what we think it should be. Look at His birth and even more so His death. Unexpected, messy, but what love! He loves us that much.

Jack The Artist said...

SLOPPY what does the word mean and what do you see when you hear it the word is speeking for itself messy unkempt and also witout useing a dictionary hehe some of my worz that i type r mispelled sloppy os far from perfect

Jesus did settle for one sloppy wet kiss


Rachel said...

Personally I find the sloppy wet kiss line pretty odd to have in a worship song. I sang the song on Sunday at Ccurch and found it distracting. Not a good line in my opinion. It makes me think of a slobbery dog I'm afraid.

Also I found the "I am a tree" line a bit wierd to sing too.

Pastor David Holt said...

I think saying "wet sloppy kiss" in reference to God is unwise. Most people will think about a man and woman passionately kissing and not God loving us when singing this. I do not find the bible supporting this line. I think it is sloppy theology! Way too much worship today is man centered instead of God centered.

rjmusic84 said...

Wow if you are actually offended by those lyrics i really feel sorry for you... The Fathers love is passionate, greater than we could ever know, there is for sure nothing sexual about it! I pray that you can see the purity it these lyrics and Daddy God will wipe all of the religion from your lives. Please know that i am not judging you. I say this out of love only to help. God bless and may he give you all SLOPPY WET KISSES!

rjmusic84 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke said...

I had to walk away from this last post by jmusic84 and clear my head before thinking of responding at all. I always want my words, ALWAYS, to be agents of preserving the bond of unity in the Spirit of Christ.
I’m going to take a shot in the dark and guess that the writer of this comment is a young lady between the ages of 18 and 24 who hasn’t been a Christian very long. Please, forgive me if I’m way off but this comment does sound extremely judgmental and moreover in such a way as I have often seen in young believers. I would like to suggest to you that you print off your comment and take it to the wisest old veteran of the faith that you know and see if they don’t think there are ways you might be speaking ethnocentrically. (By the way, I highly recommend to you “Anthropology and the Christian Witness” by Charles Kraft on the subject of ethnocentricity. This is a book that Heidi Baker requires all of her interns to read before coming to work at Iris Ministries, as I understand.) Back to this song…the writer is a member of a small Christian subculture to whom these words make sense. I think that it is a very dangerous and “ethnocentrical” mindset to think that just because these words offend a given person, (someone outside the writer’s small subculture), that the offense is sustained because those offended simply need religion washed from their lives. Don’t get me wrong…I too pray that God would wipe the religion from my life. Amen and amen to this prayer! But, apparently you should also pray that God would wipe it from Dave Crowder’s eyes as well because it seemed important enough to him that he change the words to “unforeseen kiss” before he recorded it.
Also, really quickly…Kraft deals with the subject of cultural forms. A form is, simply put, a thing in a given culture, tangible or intangible, to which we attach meaning. Take for example the “f” word. I know many Christian who have no problem using this word because they attach no meaning to it at all. But there are some Christian on the other hand who are aghast at the sound of this word because they were taught in their culture to attach a certain meaning to it. So, come a little farther with me here. I have heard a certain prophetic evangelist say that “there is a bedroom relationship with Jesus and there is a workroom relationship with Jesus.” No doubt he was comparing the intimacy found in a relationship with Christ to that of the sexual intimacy of marriage like that found in the Song of Solomon. Well, what if I change the words around a little and just say that “man, every time I get alone with Jesus, he just f—ks me spiritually.” There are going to be some people who will say: “stop being so self-righteous and Pharisaical about this terminology.” They too could say that I need the religion washed from my life since I don’t like this phrase. And guess what, the ones saying this are likely going to be the Christians who attach no meaning as a cultural form to the “f” word. My point: an ancient Chinese proverb says “if one man calls you and ass, ignore him. If two men call you an ass, get a saddle. It seems clear that there are many who are tripping on these words and I think it is the epitome of ethnocentricity to assume they are just blind to not see it the way you do. But, it is meek and humble to consider that there might be something skewed in one’s own perspective.
And from a different angle…I have a degree in music and I have studied and written poetry since I was barely verbal, (according to my baby books), and I find that artistically speaking, this phrase is just a poor choice of words because it doesn’t fit the rest of the song.

rjmusic84 said...

well actually you are way off lol I am a guy and have been a christian since i was 4. As for the rest of you comment... i am not going to argue about it. we are christians and are all in this together. So to each his own. Us arguing about is not going to get anyone saved. This is the kind of thing that the devil uses to distract christians and turn them against each other and I am sorry if any of my comments offended you or anyone else. We are each different so we are not going to agree with each other on everything, but it is our choice to ignore our differences and work together and one body as the bible says or fight and hate each other because the other has different views on things.

Sam said...

I, too, cringe when I hear this song in church. Regardless of the explanations for the use of the phrase, "sloppy, wet kiss", my feelings about it haven't changed.

To worship leaders: If the lyrics offend so many in your congregation, change them or don't sing the song. We are all there to edify one another. If I'm offended in church, I hope it's with the truth and not simply with a song that half the church stumbles over. Songs are simply tools. They speak to some people and not to others.

If you think people are shallow in their faith if they don't like this song, are you shallow in your faith because you don't like one of my favorites? "Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand."

If this song were the inspired word of God I would say, Great, let's sing it. But it's not. It's someone's interpretation of their experience and knowledge of God. We don't all have to "feel" the same way about everything and we cannot. We are all individuals made in the image of God. To those who like the song, let them sing it unto the Lord. To those who don't like the song, let them keep silent unto the Lord. So whether you sing or keep silent, do it unto the Lord. And respect the other person's choice in the matter without judging them.

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Cranum said...

As a worship band vocalist, I love most of this song too. The song is powerful, the story behind it is powerful. However, much as we may want to justify this lyric, the term "Sloppy Wet Kiss" is understood to the vast majority of the English speaking world to mean tounge kissing or french kissing, a deeply sexual form of kissing. This would only be a father child form of kissing in an incestual situation, and certainly not a Godly one. People are grossed out because they understand the true meaning of this term, even if the writer of the song and many of my fellow sheltered Christians did not. I for one refuse to sing the thing with that lyric in there.

The first time I heard this song, that lyric hit and the rest of the song was lost. I was dumbstruck trying to figure out if someone was trying to make our relationship with God a sexual one (as some people have tried to imply) or if someone was just that naive. I didn't even hear the rest of the lyrics.

As for the person who commented on Jesus sitting with lepars, etc.... that's not an apples to apples comparison. This is upsetting to congregations more in the way if you told them that Jesus was a stripper or something. Disgusting thought, but for a different reason than you gave my brother.

You can put lipstic on a pig, but it's still a pig. You can try to justify this lyric, but it's still blatantly sexual even if by accident.

theotherneo2 said...

When I heard this lyric I instantly imagined the kiss of a young child. A kiss of love so innocent and sweet, yet a little uncomfortable and overwhelming for the recipiant.

Chad said...

I love it. Sloppy wet kiss. That is exactly how I kiss my kids. I cant believe people would use the thought that its sexual. get your minds on higher things.
Also, people the word "distraction" has been abused for the sake of controlling aspects of their environments in worship times. The fact is, humans are distracted because their hearts are distract-able. To go along with this mentality, it would become like being with Pharisees. Lets shut the children up, the disabled up, the people how annoy us up. This song distracts me. that shirt distracts me .

Rick said...

"Sloppy Wet Kiss" was the reason I fell in love with the song when I first heard it sung by Kim Walker on You Tube. It reminded me of my father picking me up at 4 years old and giving me that big sloppy suck on your cheek "I love you son" Kiss.
I'm certain that is what the author meant.

I think the problem here, is that not everyone in the country is familiar with the common phrase "sloppy wet kiss". I understood exactly what it meant. Here in the Midwest I've heard it hundreds of times growing up. It was always a reference to a parent and their child. (never boy/girl) I could understand that people in other cultures or even in the USA that haven't heard it may come up with their own word picture.

I've heard the changes to that lyric and they are all awful, they all reference a boy/girl type of kiss. And David Crowder (though I live his music) is the most lifeless version.

I may seem a bit defensive because that song has changed my life in 2007 and forever will be one of my favorites. And to hear people butcher it out of ignorance (as well as my own church now) breaks my heart.

Matt said...

I honestly like the Sloppy Wet Kiss lyric. It just a means of describing just how passionate heaven is meeting earth. :)


Matt Carpenter

L@ said...

the song made me cringe even with the more conservative lyric change. it struck me as a sub-par high- schooler's attempt at poetry: stuff in a few half-baked poetic bits that sound clever, but actually hold little meaning and are unrelated one to the other.

besides the 'kiss' part, why does the lyricist change to addressing God in the 2nd person for two lines. it does nothing at all for the content, understanding, or poetics!

we sing this occasionally at my church, and i stomach it, mostly because english is not the mother tongue of most of our congregants. The 'sloppy' version is perhaps not theologically wrong, but only because it really doesn't say anything at all about incarnation, God's omnipresence, or whatever 'heaven meeting earth' is supposed to concern. But while it is neutral in that regard, it does a great disservice in that it is a stumbling block to those who are bothered or simply confused by it. But ultimately this is a judgment i would place on the leadership of one's Christian community. Church leaders could best gauge the potential for stumbling that these lyrics present.

Also, let's not talk about 'integrity' in keeping or changing those troublesome parts. The moral issue (to which we need to maintain integrity) is whether this does harm to our Christian co-worshippers.

in conclusion, nice tune, passable lyrics, depending on your congregational make-up.

Jacob lee said...

It's crazy this thread has lasted as long as it did - and its interesting to see how many interpretations of that line "sloppy wet kiss" is out there. from an imagery of the intensity of love between a father and His creation to being a gross image that deters worshiper from worshipping God. Don't forget how David worshipped God until his clothes fell of and said he would be yet even more undignified.

If anything you have to know context. The song was written in 2003 the very next day after John's friend Stephen was killed in a car accident. The song was written from the perspective of Stephen coming face to face with Jesus for the first time. Stephen died brutally in that accident. It wasn't instantaneous, it wasn't quick it was ugly and horrible. The line "sloppy wet kiss" is actually a cleaned up analogy to how Stephen met his Savior. It was messy, ugly, not pretty but still beautiful because he got see Jesus.

In the end we will all think what we want to think. Despite what people say, most of us will hold on to our own belief. But let's all be sure of one thing. Our ways.....they are not like His ways. Our thoughts.....they are nothing like His thoughts. God is not offended by intense literary image. if He was Song of Solomon would never have made it into scripture. Let's not assume that because it offends us that it offends God.

ethan said...

It's a great song and Kim Walker sings the best version. I love the picture of a child running up and holding back nothing kissing his heavenly father, (animal cracker parts stuck in the corner of his mouth and everything). He accepts us just as we are and gives us back even greater love if you don't like the song no one is making u listen to it... stop being a whinny christian.

Unknown said...

I love the lyrics of that song! We sing it at our church. I have always pictured that line as a sort of poetic description of the rain hitting the earth really hard. I thought that it might be or prophetic in depicting the spiritual rain referred to in the book of Joel, where it says that "in the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, your young men will see visions, and old men will dream dreams, and your sons and your daughters will prophecy." That sounds like a kiss from heaven to me!

Oh by the way you already changed the words if you replaced "Oh" with "Woah" :) ...but I hope you kept the line in!

Matt said...

my comment is really @ Rachel
"...Also I found the "I am a tree" line a bit wierd to sing too.
May 31, 2010 1:28 PM"

interesting - i just was looking at Psalm 1:1-3
(particularly vs 3)

1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

I don't know if this is where the author got that image, (I think there are other references to having wisdom ie. the fear of the LORD, is like being a Tree deeply rooted in Proverbs - maybe other Psalms I can't remember right now...) but it helps me understand how we can stand through the tumult storms of life when we are rooted in his power.

But does God really Love us to the point of bending us under his mercy? probably so as well...

Since, I'm already here though, I'll chime in a bit on the discussion...

this seems to have generated more discussion than I can actually follow... (if I've repeated what someone else said I apologize...- but here goes incase this may add in a positive way to the discussion which I hope it does)

It seems like a lot of ppl saying the same things... I was under the impression that this was the same kind of kiss that a little kid gives... but in the blogs (I think referenced in the original blog post ""
Though I've not seen a crucifixion - the Bible give a pretty "sloppy" depiction of it in Isaiah - I have seen a child be born... (let me say WAY sloppy...) So if that is the imagery he was going for then this is a lot nicer way to say it...

But as a few have said if it offends and prohibits them from worship then... take it out... It's not wrong to challenge people to understand God better or worship him deeper... but is a "worship" time really THE right time to do that?

I would hope that the McMillan and Crowder came to the conclusion that it's better to change it some than to cause others to stumble... see the apostle Pauls take on that concept in 1 Cor 10:

23 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. 24 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”[c]

27 If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’ sake[d]— 29 the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

Laura Krämer said...

Just found your blog. And this post is a bit old for me to comment on, but I felt it worth the time to do so.

I get what you are saying. I was extrememly uncomfortable with the "sloppy wet kiss" when I heard it the first MANY times. I just didn't get it.

And then--it came to me.

God's arrival into our world was not neat and pretty. He was born in a stinky old animal trough. Kind of messy. Kind of sloppy. But it's real. Believe me I would take Heaven's sloppy wet kiss over a neat and tidy one any day.

Thank you for posting your thought process on this matter. You've given many a place to reflect and dialogue.

I wonder if in the 3 years you've posted this if you've had any new thoughts.

On the journey with you,

FOJ Connector said...

In 1st Corinthians Paul saids: If what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall. The wording of sloppy wet kiss has destructing too many people in the worship services.

Thomas Braylen said...

As i ended up being a little lady in addition to the parents received many site visitors, I'd from time to time head out in addition to cover within the cabinet. Repeating this, I possibly Sloppy kiss could prevent his or her frustrating demonstrates connected with devotion : including soaked, bad smooches for you to covering, unavoidable hugs. Consequently, the reason why feel My spouse and i becoming self-revealing right here? : Showing an individual in which this is simply not precisely what it appears to be: anxiety about intimacy. you can read more

John said...

In Genesis 6 we read that God was grieved by the sinful condition of mankind and He sent a flood. In the cross of Christ we see Him grief-stricken by the sinful condition of mankind and the rejection of His beloved Son. Grief produces overflowing tears and runny noses. As loved ones console, hug and kiss each other they experience each others tears and runny noses and it is all good because of love. In divine grief we cannot fully understand, God kissed the earth by His Son on the cross for us and it is because of how He loves us. Thank you God.

Edward Ash-Borer said...

After spending the first 55 years as an Evangelical, and seeing the "worship" deteriorate into a me-centered touchy feelly exercise, I converted to Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy says "God is Holy and I'm a sinner" Post-modern Evangelicals say the "God's my buddy and I'm a winner" Go read Isa. Chapter 6, then go read Knowledge of the Holy by A W Tozer. Then repent for your blasphemy and sacrilege.