File this one under ‘Mind-Blowing Stuff That Shows Up on my Facebook News Feed.’ Yesterday, a friend shared the following video, purportedly a worship song entitled “I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up.”
Of course the punchline is delivered as the verse ends with “…my hands to the Lord.” And just in case you were tempted to believe that the lyrics were an unfortunate oversight by a sincere lyricist, the second verse hammers home the premise by starting with “I think I’m gonna hurl.”
Apparently this is a track from the upcoming children’s sing-a-long compilation, Crazy Praize Vol. 3.
Now, I can’t remember the last time I was accused of being too conservative, but I have to admit that I was shocked and appalled by this song. It struck me as totally irreverent and inappropriate, merging the serious business of praising God with bathroom humor (assuming you can make it in time).
But what was more shocking was that I seemed to be the only one who felt this way. I anticipated a firestorm of comments. But as I write, my friend’s post has received just two ‘likes’ and one comment: “Hilarious.” I shared an acappella rendition of the melody with a few members of my church softball team last night, and they seemed to universally laugh and affirm that it was a great song for kids.
So as I settled into bed last night and reflected on my day, I was forced to ask myself: Was it the ‘Praize’ that was crazy, or me?
It occurred to me that the creators of this song could possibly be much more devout than me, or at least more deeply entrenched in American Evangelical culture, if such a thing can be defined. I have always shied away from pop Christianity, from Jars of Clay to Left Behind. I’ve gravitated instead to the centuries-old hymns and carefully-planned prayers of the Episcopal church.
But could my tendency toward tradition be interpreted as a tendency to distance myself from God on a personal level? Could it be that these song-writers’ personal relationship with Jesus allows them to write a song like this? Do they understand his sense of humor well enough to know he’ll laugh along with them?
What I finally admitted to myself as I tried to fall asleep is that I’m still a little scared of God. In my mind, he demands respect, reverence and a healthy fear in addition to our love and adoration. That’s why I cringe when I hear “I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up.” But I also know that there are thousands and thousands of Christians whose faith is so deeply entrenched in their life, that their books, their music and even their jokes never fall outside of their Christian worldview.
So is the ability to sing “I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up” a sign of shallow, flippant irreverence or a sign of faith so pervasive that even our gross-out jokes cannot be separated from it? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.
Footnote: One of the benefits of blogging for Patrol is that, in researching online, I often come across hidden gems. Case in point: Another crazy praize video.
TagsAndrew Sullivan Apologetics Arts Atheism Barack Obama Belief Bible Book Review Books Capitalism Catholic Church Catholicism Charles Taylor Christian Christianity Christianity Today Church Conservatives Evangelicalism Evangelicals Facebook Faith God Gospel Coalition History Jesus Journalism Mark Driscoll Marriage Marvin Olasky Marxism Media New Sincerity New York Times Patheos Philosophy Politics Religion Religion and Spirituality Rob Bell Ross Douthat Same-sex marriage Secularism Theology United States
Subscribe to Patrol via Email