FAQs and Controversies (incl. Affirmations and Denials)

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What is the Bridal Paradigm?

We affirm that the Bridegroom message is about Jesus’ emotions for us, His beauty, His commitments to us (to share His heart, home, throne, secrets, and beauty), and our response of wholehearted love and obedience to Him. This message starts with experiencing Jesus’ heart, emotions, and affections for us, and understanding that He delights in us, enjoys us, values our work, and calls us to partner with Him in ministry.

We affirm that the bridal paradigm refers to having a bridal perspective of the kingdom. As Christians, we see the kingdom through the eyes of a bride, with wholehearted, loyal love for God. There are many paradigms of the kingdom of God in Scripture, including agricultural, military, and economic paradigms. The Spirit uses the bridal paradigm of the kingdom to transform our hearts, so that the first and great commandment to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Mt. 22:37–38) might take first place in our lives.

We deny, we refuse, all sensual overtones in proclaiming Jesus as the Bridegroom. Jesus is not our lover or boyfriend. We do not go on “dates” with Jesus. Receiving the “kiss of God’s Word” (Song 1:2) has nothing to do with physically kissing God. Neither the spiritual interpretation of the Song of Solomon nor references to “the romance of the gospel” have anything to do with sensuality, but with the adventuresome love that is filled with a spirit of abandonment that sacrificially loves and obeys Jesus. An example of this is seen when Paul and Silas sang songs of love to Jesus after being beaten and thrown into prison (Acts 16:22–26).

Jesus was the first to introduce the bridal paradigm to the Church. He referred to Himself as a bridegroom (Mt. 9:15); He compared the kingdom to His Father arranging a marriage for Him (Mt. 22:2); He described ministry as those encountering Him as a bridegroom (Mt. 25:1); He will return in answer to the prayers of His Church crying out in her bridal identity—“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’” (Rev. 22:17).

Passages that point to Jesus as the Bridegroom God: Isaiah 54:4–12; 62:2–5; Jeremiah 2:2; 3:14; 31:32, Ezekiel 16:13–15, 32; 23:1–45; Hosea 1:2; 2:7, 14–23; 3:1–5; Matthew 9:15; 22:1–14; 25:1–13; John 3:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 19:7-9; 21:9; 22:17.