Someone recently asked a question about teachers who say the Bridegroom Paradigm is not Biblical. Here was part of my response:
John 3:29 describes Jesus as the Bridegroom. Revelation 21 describes the New Jerusalem as being like a bride. Jesus uses the parable of the Ten Virgins in Matt 25. These alone keep the Bridegroom paradigm on the table.. unless someone wants to claim that Matt 25 doesn’t apply to Christians.
In terms of actual interpretation, yes, there are many layers of meaning. Scripture is poetic, which means that it has artistic and literal meanings—BOTH.
In terms of the paradigm itself, technically, Israel/Jerusalem is the actual Bride, and the Gentile Church is the FRIEND of the Bridegroom. However, furthering our walk with Christ by considering the relationship between Bride and Bridegroom can be useful and accurate.
But let’s make this super-simple, and not to be crass, but look at what their objection actually implies: They accuse Bridegroom paradigms of being grotesque. No one is claiming that people will have sexual intercourse with Jesus in Heaven. If they did, that would be crazy. Since we’re not, then everyone knows what we mean—the same thing as John the Baptist means in John 3:29.
I see no reason that Song of Songs can’t be useful in understanding our walk with Christ. That’s what Bridegroom paradigm means. If people argue with that then they may also tell you a lot of other loopy stuff.
Keep your defense simple. Then, when people still object, it becomes clear that they have a heart issue. In this case, maybe its the EFFECTIVENESS of the Bridegroom concept that they object to. Maybe it makes them uncomfortable because they really don’t know Jesus all that well. Don’t say so, though. Just remember: when you can’t convince someone, it’s often because what we’re talking isn’t what we’re really talking about.