William Fawcett at Beyond Grace Blog wrote an interesting piece on the profanity surrounding the current teaching that is circulating throughout the church today called “the bridal paradigm.” In this teaching the metaphor of the Church being the bride of Christ is stretched to include a personal, physical relationship with Jesus for individuals.
Fawcett quotes Gibson in the following:
The second issue is that, while it is true that the metaphor of the Bride is used for the church as a whole, this same metaphor is never used for the individual believer. This may seem minor at first but it is actually very significant. It is the entire church that is the Bride of Christ. Each believer is a part but is not the Bride. It would appear that many of the prophetic teachers either misunderstand this or choose to ignore it. Due to this confusion, many of the statements of the prophetic teachers cause Jesus to sound like our personal boyfriend instead of our Lord. I have shared before of the man who claimed that he held Jesus for the first 30 minutes of his quiet time and then had Jesus hold him for the last 30 minutes. Jesus is not your boyfriend or lover. It is inappropriate to consider Him in this way.
This heresy is primarily being promoted out of IHOP’s ministry and Mike Bickle.
In 2002 CBN news reported “Some 20,000 mostly young people packed the Kansas City Convention Center on New Year’s Eve for a wedding ceremony unlike any other… as each person who came embarked on a marriage covenant with the Bridegroom of Heaven… From noon until midnight they danced and sang, fasted and prayed, and got ready to get married to Jesus. One by one, thousands of men and women, young and old, made their vows and walked under the prayer shawl symbolizing their commitment to Jesus.”
It is also taught at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship:
Sensuality, common in society, has indeed invaded the church. As noted previously, Teresa of Avila experienced “spiritual ecstasy” which was defined as “divine intimacy.” Many in the charismatic church, in a practice known as “soaking prayer” where one is directed to empty ones mind completely and trance-like states are not uncommon, have reported such experiences. 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”. Gowdy, an acquaintance of mine, was formerly pastor of a Vineyard church in Toronto which was a sister church to TACF, then known as the Toronto Vineyard.
Others involved in this practice have equated the experience to orgasm. My wife has heard women in mainstream Charismatic churches talk about these experiences in these terms. An anecdotal story, posted in response to the aforementioned CBN report, states : “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. The thought of Jesus actually making love to me made me sick… I was actually disheartened, grieved and shocked that she was talking about this. What gets me is that her friends who were with her all agreed as if this was sound biblical doctrine.”
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.
Lee Grady, in a recent Charisma Magazine article, writes of the charismatic craze of Spiritual Ecstasy which often involves drug imagery such as “tokin’ the Holy Ghost”. He states “it won’t be long before we see some Christians having sexual experiences at the altar. “It’s already happening,” my friend said. He described a recent “worship concert” in which one of the musicians simulated sex while stroking a microphone and whispering sensual phrases to Jesus. What is next-orgasmic worship? God help us.”
This teaching is heresy – plain and simple and should be labeled as such. Jesus is NOT your boyfriend! He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and these poor, deluded souls would do well to fall on their face and repent of such vulgarity.