Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Etymology of "laid-down lover."

Etymology (noun)
1. the derivation of a word.
2. an account of the history of a particular word or element of a word.
3. the study of historical linguistic change, esp. as manifested in individual words.

The term "laid-down lover" has picked up momentum in the Apostolic/Prophetic movement in recent years. Some have said it is a reference to "laying down our lives" (c.f. John 15:13) other's have posited that it is perhaps sexual in nature. I would suggest, that depending in the speaker, it can have either or both meanings.

The harvest is ripe! God is calling forth a new breed of missionaries, a generation of laid-down lovers who will run into the darkest corners of the earth, call in the outcasts, bring in His Bride, and compel the poor to come to the wedding feast. -Heidi Baker

Heidi Baker has been using this term for quite a few years and is generally given credit for coining this phrase. Seen here at 06:45 (video) Baker uses the term "laid-down lover" at a Toronto (TACF) meeting. In the context of how she was using it, and in the context of her life (and I'm not endorsing some of her theology and practices), I think she is using it in the form of laying down our lives.

However, comments like the following, by Carol Arnott, co-leader of TACF, generally serve to muddy the waters. Arnott is cited as having said, regarding her so-called "bride experience" that she was taken into the very presence of Jesus and the love she experienced was "better than sex." Eewwww!

The phrase gained popularity at the so-called Lakeland Outpouring. One of the musicians at that show was Heather Clark, who performed a song called "Laid-Down Lover." Taken out of context, the lyrics are rather suggestive.

I want to be a laid down lover
I want to be a laid down lover
I want to be a laid down lover
filled with you

In the video, it doesn't help that philanderer and alcoholic Todd Bentley is seen twitching on the floor while Clark sings over him.

Regarding the phrase, Heather Clark states:

The scripture that I think of for this year is from Psalm 23 "He makes me lay down in green pastures." God comes to us and refreshes us in a place of plenty. His yoke is easy and His burden light and it's a time to rest in His promises, knowing that He is in charge and will take care to do what He says He'll do.

Indeed, Clark's song did much to popularize the phrase. One Bentley apologist states on her websiite that "Laid Down Lover is a phrase I picked up during the Lakeland revival. Heather Clark sang a song by that name and it’s stuck with me."

Rick Pino, another worship leader at Lakeland, was also impacted by the use of the phrase, and penned this song in 2009. Although with a strong MSoG flavor, the song conveys the concept of laying down ones life.

They overcame by the blood of the Lamb
And by the words of their testimony
They loved not their lives even unto death
They loved not their lives even unto death

Raise up an army of laid down lovers
Raise up an army of laid down lovers

If we die with Him, we will live with Him
If we move with Him, we will rule with Him
If we lay down with the Lamb, we’ll roar with the Lion of Judah
We’ll roar with the Lion of Judah

So what do we make of it?

The charismatic movement (now Apostolic/Prophetic) has long been confused in the whole intimacy thing, probably no thanks to Carol Arnott. I remember many years ago a really annoying "worship" song that used the phrase "sweet release," whatever that means. Mike Bickle has popularized what some have called the "Jesus is my boyfriend" interpetation of the Song of Songs, and in spite of their denials, it has confused a lot of the young 'uns.

Javanut, over at the Coffee Talk with Java blog, has shown us where this all ends up. Go there (easy return). She also makes a good point in showing who this gal in the video above is tied in with. It's mainstream Apostolic/Prophetic. Well, as mainstream as the A/P can get.

The Grey Coats blog asks us "Well, Who didn't see this coming??"

I think it's sad, because it has destroyed the possibility of a rational, theologically-sound conversation about the concept of intimacy with God.

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

-C. Austin Miles


  1. I can't watch that video with my son around me...I'll watch it later.
    And no, Greycoats, I ain't surprised at all...

  2. I wasn't surprised at all. it's just getting more and more redonculous.

  3. Good blog my friend! Might I just add that the bible never mentions individuals as being the "bride of Christ". That phrase is only used of the whole Church.

    The idea of being "married to Christ" is Catholic in origin and mystical in application. I believe we should follow the bible rather than Catholic mysticism don't you?

    Btw - Javanut (aka Crystal) is female :)

  4. MistyEdwards 12-29009.mp3
    at IHOP's OneThing 2009

    Starting around 11:00, Edwards is preaching pretty good, telling us how we deserved hell, but then she screws it up by just making things up.

    "and Jesus stood in the gap, and he took that cup of wrath that had your name on it, you should have drank it, it should have been me, He took that cup, and he drank of that cup, he drank of the cup of the marriage wine, and He looked at the world, with his arms wide open and his heart wide open, and He said "marry me, marry me, I want you." He said "I want you.""

    Hmm, I missed that in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Go Figure. I mean, I understand why they could think that, but the kids being preached to probably think this was scripture.

  5. it depends on how you see it...this is a generation where Christians are radically exclaiming the love that we have for don't enclosed yourself on how traditionally you understand God..the relationship we have for Jesus should be more than GOD to should be Bridegroom to a bride..

  6. Not in the individual sense that the Bridal Paradigm teaches...

    The bride is the "church" as a whole...

  7. There is a generation arising that has counted the cost of giving everything to Jesus and they realize that everything is worth total abandonment. Once one has experienced the manifest glory of the Almighty and had a head-on collision with the love of Jesus, the pursuit His face and a real intimate relationship with him is worth laying down everything. "I've counted the cost and you're worth it."

    I personally think that Misty Edwards, Mike Bickle and Heidi Baker are walking with God in such a way that a phrase like "laid down lover" only communicates a holy romance with their God and King. The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. This is the great romance. This is holy. I am sorry that it is difficult for some to see the purity in this type of love.

    As for Todd Bentley I read the article that you hyperlinked under "philanderer and alcoholic."

    The advice given in that article should be taken to heart:

    "The enemy wants to use these failures to undo the work of the Holy Spirit if he can."

    "I am aware that the devil wants to tempt some people to say, “I told you so.” Do not allow yourself to become his instrument by using the sword of truth without mercy in this way. Before you cast a stone, remember that you are not without sin yourself. This is how pride can gain a subtle hold in your heart. What you sow now, you will reap in the future.
    Had you lived during the reign of King David would you have judged him for his moral failure? While he was in sin, God saw David’s heart and knew that he could be corrected and redeemed. His sin and God’s judgment on it as well as God’s redemption of the situation are recorded in Scripture for everyone to read."

    As for the second video, it would not load on YouTube. I am guessing however that with a title like "Trance Evangelist- Penny's Pleasureland" and the similar videos such as "Stripper for Jesus" and "How to get high without drugs" that this video lacks any real connection with your thesis.

  8. This video

    Uses the term "Laid down lover" in the context of the article. Should load or you can go direct to YouTube.


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