The Worst Spin Class Ever

In Dalrock’s post “A god we must obey” he wrote:

Pastors Dave Wilson and Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. both teach that a wife’s sexual attraction (or lack thereof) to her husband is a signal from God regarding her husband’s righteousness.

Another form of [the message of  is the idea that a woman’s sexual/romantic desires are sanctifying.  Drs Mohler and Moore teach that the romantic feelings of the wife (instead of the commitment of marriage) are needed to purify sex.  Without the wife providing the purifying cover of her romantic desire, married sex becomes dirty, merely rubbing body parts together.  Former CBMW president Owen Strachan had something similar in mind when he described God honoring romance.  All of this of course goes back just over a thousand years to the idea of courtly love, which CS lewis describes as:

The sentiment, of course, is love, but love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love. The lover is always abject. Obedience to his lady’s lightest wish, however whimsical, and silent acquiescence in her rebukes, however unjust, are the only virtues he dares to claim.

Great stuff. Dalrock’s absolutely right. I added this comment:

I’ve twice now listened to a Modern Scholar’s audiobook “Masterpieces of Medieval Literature”, and the author (Timothy Shutt) speaks extensively on the rise of courtly love; referencing C.S. Lewis’ book several times.

But he also goes back one step further, which I found very compelling. He says the fuse was lit by St. Francis of Assisi, who promoted a new affective style of Christian worship. According to Shutt, St. Francis created the first creche (Nativity) and emphasized emoting over the motifs of Baby Jesus, and Mary as the mother of an infant. This emphasis opened the door to a feelings-based style of worship, and transmuted the idea from love-as-obedience to love-as-warm-feelings. He says this permeated the whole of European Christianity, including and especially Christian concepts of marriage and romance.

Every time I think about how emotionalism has overrun the church, I think about this video… You have to see it to believe it.[1] Don’t miss the appropriated lyrics. As an effort of pseudo-Christianity it gets high marks in several categories: lazy, disturbing, and bullshit. In a word: relevant.

Check out the face of the girl at the 3:37 mark. She doesn’t know how to behave.

[1] I think I saw this years ago at Michael Spencer’s Internet Monk, before he died.

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15 thoughts on “The Worst Spin Class Ever

  1. Oh man. That video triggered some serious flashbacks from my Pentecostal upbringing. The emotionally-amped “worship” services function as a pressure-release valve for the euni of white working-class life in Bible Belt flyover states, but as you can see, that pent-up energy is usually exploited by showboating, self-aggrandizing charlatans, who don’t have enough creativity or drive to make it in the secular world. I’ve been in those services–hell, I played in those bands–and it’s all about the feels. My first step toward a sacramental understanding of the Faith was guilt over playing a lick to get people dancing in the bar on Saturday; then playing the same lick on Sunday to make them “enter in” to worship. Turns out the problem wasn’t the bar; it was the church.

  2. That made me cringe. I forwarded it to see the poor girl and that was it. You can’t just take any song you want and stick a couple of “Jesus” and whatevers in it to make it a worship song… UGH!

  3. I had to confront my own irrelevance by looking up the original song. Never heard it nor of it. Now I somehow feel less informed than in my ignorance.

    Why don’t men go to church or sing the songs? That stuff right there boils down the reasons why. We intrinsically sense the wrongness of being whipped into a frenzy by some hipster in skinny jeans prancing and gesturing effeminately on stage or alternatively by some fat slob with a skrillex-mohawk, going on about lover Jesus.

    The chicks dig the music, tho’, and the “men” who make it.

  4. That video was too painful for me to finish. I notice there are roughly 50/50 likes/dislikes on it.

    Reminds me when I attended a youth conference in high school where they had 2 rappers singing something about “Jesus in yo trunk”. I remember the older students raising eyebrows and commenting on the nonsense of the lyrics.

  5. Their are some good non-traditionally styled Christian songs. But lo! the drek is wide and deep.

    As to Francis, I think there are many good things he did, but we can’t lie to ourselves in that he was on the effeminate (not gay) side. Which leads all the wrong sorts to be enchanted by him. I imagine he finds that frustrating.

  6. That courtly love situation pushes arranged marriages out of the picture, I’m pretty sure. Though most marriages among upper and middle classes would still have been arranged, the idea of an alternative way to wed—following one’s heart—is likely a bit poisonous.

    A.J.P.

  7. @AJP

    That courtly love situation pushes arranged marriages out of the picture, I’m pretty sure. Though most marriages among upper and middle classes would still have been arranged, the idea of an alternative way to wed—following one’s heart—is likely a bit poisonous.

    Courtly love wasn’t about marriage, as it was in line with the prevailing morality of the day that a husband and wife shouldn’t have passion for one another. Marriage was for duty sex and children. Courtly love was reserved for the wife of another. After around five centuries later the Puritans started bringing the idea of romantic love into marriage.

  8. (Timothy Shutt) speaks extensively on the rise of courtly love; referencing C.S. Lewis’ book several times.

    But he also goes back one step further, which I found very compelling. He says the fuse was lit by St. Francis of Assisi, who promoted a new affective style of Christian worship.

    I think Shutt may have the order reversed. I just looked both up in Infogalactic. It has courtly love beginning around 1099*, and has Assisi’s birth as either 1181 or 1182 with his first live nativity scene occurring in 1223.

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Francis_of_Assisi
    https://infogalactic.com/info/Courtly_love

    Either way, the connection is fascinating, especially since courtly love itself is influenced by (one could argue an outgrowth of) the strict warning against passion in marriage by early church fathers.

    *I’ll have to correct my post to state that courtly love goes back “just under a thousand years” instead of just over a thousand years.

  9. @Dalrock

    I think Shutt may have the order reversed. I just looked both up in Infogalactic. It has courtly love beginning around 1099*, and has Assisi’s birth as either 1181 or 1182 with his first live nativity scene occurring in 1223.

    I’ll have to listen to it again. Perhaps I misremembered Shutt’s statement.

    That IG entry for Courtly Love noted that some critics dispute the whole idea since the term “courtly love” is rarely used in the medieval era. Shutt rebuts it by making a comparison to the modern idea of a bad boy: Anyone who mimicked every single bad boy trait (cigarette pack in sleeves, stubble, white tee shirts, motorcycle) exactly according to every detail would be perceived as silly, but on the other hand that style is everywhere in advertising—especially those directed at women–and so to deny that bad boys are the modern kind of sex symbol would also be silly.

  10. “Puritan” is not more than a slur against the Congregationalists who founded the popular country known today as the United States.

    A.J.P.

  11. @AJP

    “Puritan” is not more than a slur against the Congregationalists who founded the popular country known today as the United States.

    It started off as a slur against them, but eventually was adopted by Puritans themselves.

  12. Puritan is also a word which disparages the virtue of purity, which is par for the course when alien influences like the papacy have designs on this, like I say, popular country.

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