Christian Churches Conflating Romantic Chivalry with Agape

Many Christian Churches have become temples to romantic love, with Frau Minne (the goddess of romantic love) occupying the Holy of Holies. Frau Minne was worshipped in medieval times by poets and singers who celebrated romantic chivalry, a practice which elevated women to a quasi-divine status. This non Christian tradition has gained more than a foothold in modern Church communities, to the extent that traditional Christian teachings are becoming obscured in its wake. The following illustrate some of the phenomena that have resulted:

Church and clergy often champion values of romantic love

Which encourages women to conflate Jesus’ love with romantic chivalry

Following the mold of Sir Lancelot, women have made Jesus into Sir Lovealot.

And pressures men to conflate God’s love with romantic chivalry

We are seeing women go on romantic dates with Jesus.

And a growth in the genre of “Christian” romance novels

Also the rise of Christian wives requesting “dating nights” with husbands

And finally congregations are singing romantic love songs to God, making evangelical Church worship sound like a Justin Bieber concert encouraging people to “fall in love with, have a love affair with, or become passionate or intimate with Jesus,” while characterizing God as a romantic ravisher of our souls.

Romantic chivalry is a love that’s woman-centered, whereas agape is neighbor centered; Love thy neighbour as thyself. The battle between these two different loves is the crux of a problem in the modern Church, because it ultimately confuses and conflates them. To put the problem simply: romantic narcissism is not agape.

Might any of this tell us why intelligent men are leaving the Church, and new men are not coming into it? You be the judge.