John MacArthur and the folks from Grace to You (GTY) have done the body of Christ a great service by continually warning Christianity against the growing dangers within the Charismatic movement. One such person who has joined the ranks of GTY is Cameron Buettel, author of Once Upon A Cross | The Bottom Line.
Recently, Buettel teamed up with Jeremiah Johnson to do an expose on the dangers of Hillsong worship. However, Justin Peters (of JustinPetersMinistries.org), also weighed in to the important discussion below the article. We wish to acknowledge his comments on Hillsong before you read GTY’s article.
“I want to thank Cameron and Jeremiah for this excellent post. Hillsong music along with that of Bethel (Jesus Culture) has infiltrated and overtaken the music services of even non-charismatic churches. Doctrinal depth has been jettisoned for songs that emphasize feelings, emotions and ambiguity. There is nothing wrong with feelings and emotions in and of themselves provided that they rest upon a solid doctrinal foundation. Anyone who is not moved at the core of his being when reflecting upon Who God is and the magnitude of what He accomplished on the cross should probably take some spiritual inventory. However, “spiritual” feelings and emotions unmoored from doctrinal truth are exceedingly dangerous. These songs do not constitute true worship. Hillsong and Bethel embody and promote theology ranging from that of Joel Osteen to hard-core Word-Faith/N.A.R. like Kenneth Copeland, Bill Johnson, and Todd Bentley. When unsuspecting congregants sing these songs displayed on the screens in their churches and see “Hillsong” or “Jesus Culture” as the sources (listed underneath the lyrics) they make the natural (and understandable) assumption that if these songs are ok and are being sung in the church then the churches which produced them must also be ok. Hillsong and Bethel use their music as a hook to suck people into their heretical theology. Make no mistake, these churches are not really that – churches. They are false churches led by false teachers who preach a false Jesus and a false gospel. This may sound like a serious charge but as one who has studied this aberrant theology in-depth, I stand behind it. Thank you, Cameron and Jeremiah, and thank you, GTY, for this needed and timely article.”
With big apologetic names now speaking out against Hillsong, we are only expecting a rise in Hillsong apologists defending their founding prophet Brian Houston and his divine teachings. The typical judge not nutters. The judgers of judgers. The critics of critics.
Grace to You writes,
“This is no performance
Lord, I pray it’s worship
Empty words I can’t afford
I’m not chasing feelings
That’s not why I’m singing
You’re the reason for my song
And I only wanna sing
If I sing with everything
If I sing for you, my King
I can’t imagine why
I would do this all for hype
Cause it’s all to lift You high
At this point in the song—titled “Only Wanna Sing”—the music soars, the strobe lights fire up, and everyone on stage and in the crowd begins to dance with reckless abandon.
The irony is hard to miss.
That song—by the band Hillsong Young and Free—epitomizes many of the issues with much of Hillsong’s worship music: vague lyrical content, confused doctrinal perspectives, and an emphasis on style over substance.
Appeal Through Ambiguity
Hillsong’s philosophy fits well with the zeitgeist of our day. The social scientists now tell us that morality is subjective, gender is fluid, and truth is an illusion. Clearly, the precise theology espoused in ancient hymns won’t get the job done anymore.
Hillsong has probably done a better job than anyone else in filling the musical void that many modern churches have experienced. Their songs are catchy, their musicians are excellent, and their songwriters know how to “sound Christian” enough to salve the consciences of all in attendance. Consequently, their music permeates the Christian world, and their album sales are huge—even by secular standards.
Lest you anticipate some fundamentalist rant at this point, we need to be clear: This is not a screed against modern music infiltrating the church.
But we should be wary when our ancient and exclusive faith is overrun with modern songs featuring a fluid and indistinct message. In many instances, Hillsong lyrics are so vague they could be embraced by most religions.
At break of day, in hope we rise
We speak Your Name, we lift our eyes
Tune our hearts into Your beat
Where we walk, there You’ll be
With fire in our eyes, our lives a-light
Your love untamed, it’s blazing out
The streets will glow forever bright
Your glory’s breaking through the night
You will never fade away, Your love is here to stay
By my side, in my life, shining through me everyday
You wake within me, wake within me
You’re in my heart forever
Those lyrics come from “Wake,” a song with no distinctive Christian element. In fact, there’s little to distinguish it from the forlorn ramblings of a junior high love letter.
Hillsong pastors readily point out that all their songs are reviewed for theological accuracy. But when it comes to songs like “Wake” and “Only Wanna Sing,” what is there to review?
Doctrinal Gaps and Malpractice
Not all Hillsong worship songs suffer from ambiguity; some evidence attempts to be more theologically concrete. “What a Beautiful Name” is one example where the biblical themes are at least discernible.
The first verse references Christ’s eternality and deity: “You were the Word at the beginning / One with God the Lord Most High” (cf. John 1:1). Later, the song’s bridge refers to His resurrection: “Death could not hold You / The veil tore before You . . . For You are raised to life again.” And throughout the song, Christ is referred to as King.
However, the second verse is a great example of the doctrinal maladies that plague most of the Hillsong catalogue—malpractice, man-centeredness, and missing information
You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus You brought heaven down
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now . . .
The writer of “What a Beautiful Name” would have us believe that the reason for Christ’s life, death, and resurrection was because He “didn’t want heaven without us.” That’s a nice sentiment, but it’s not remotely biblical. In fact, it’s doctrinal malpractice by people who should know better.
Nowhere does the Bible state that an unsatisfying solitude in heaven was God’s reason for redeeming people. Rather, the theme that resounds throughout Scripture is God’s desire to glorify Himself by redeeming sinners. Romans 3:21–26 explicitly describes Christ’s atonement as the display of God’s righteousness. Undoubtedly, the cross was also the demonstration of God’s great love for sinners (John 3:16), but that doesn’t mean He was lonely without us.
Furthermore, that unbiblical statement flows out of the man-centered worldview that permeates almost everything Hillsong does. Rather than seeing ourselves as the undeserving beneficiaries of God’s redemptive plan, we become the central characters in a story that’s meant to glorify God.
The other major problem that plagues even the best songs in the Hillsong library is also evident in “What a Beautiful Name.” Even when they get it theologically right, the missing information robs the lyrical content of any useful meaning. “My sin was great, Your love was greater” begs more questions than they’re willing to answer. It’s exceedingly rare for Hillsong worship to even mention sin, but even if they do it’s left completely undefined.
Similar subjects like God’s wrath, repentance, judgment, depravity, and personal holiness are virtually absent from the entire Hillsong catalog. But those biblical realities form the necessary background to explain most things Hillsong does talk about: grace, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation. If grace is unmerited favor, we need to know why we don’t merit it. Mercy is meaningless without understanding the wrath that we deserve. Forgiveness is incomprehensible without grasping our personal guilt before God. And salvation rings hollow when we’re never told what we’re saved from.
At the Strange Fire conference, John MacArthur had this to say about another popular Christian band, and what passes for worship music in many churches today:
Let me explain worship in a simple way. The deeper your understanding of the truth of God, the deeper your understanding of God Himself, the higher your worship goes. Worship is directly correlated to understanding. The richer your theology, the more full your grasp of biblical truth, the more elevated your worship becomes. You don’t have to turn the music on for me to worship. Low understanding of God—superficial, shallow, understanding of God—leads to shallow, superficial, content-less hysteria. You can whip that up, you can create that kind of frenzy. It has nothing to do with worship; it isn’t worship; it’s not connected to worship; it is sheer hysteria in a mindless expression. You’ve been singing hymns this week. Why? Because there’s rich theology in hymns. We don’t have to go hysterical; we want your mind fully engaged. . . . I don’t need 7-11 choruses, seven words eleven times over. I need to advance the doctrine. I need to advance the richness. I need to deepen the truth and broaden the truth. And hymns have verses, not just five words repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated but never really with the nuances of theology. So, yeah . . . that’s not worship, that’s not even Christian. That’s no different than a rock concert. There’s a lot of ways to manipulate people’s minds, and they have figured out how do that.
Doctrine matters. At best, a steady diet of Hillsong music will leave you with an incomplete theology of salvation. At worst, it promotes unbiblical falsehoods about God, us, and how we can be reconciled to Him.
Style over Substance
It’s worth pointing out that we did not cherry-pick the lyrics referenced above. In a musical catalogue as vast as Hillsong’s, it wouldn’t be hard to find a few weak songs to critique.
Instead, the songs mentioned above come directly from our visits to Hillsong church services. For a few months now, we’ve been visiting Hillsong Los Angeles—one of the ministry’s most recent church plants. While the American audience is primarily familiar with Hillsong’s worship bands, CDs, and concerts, throughout most of the rest of the world, they are one of evangelicalism’s fastest-growing church networks. With franchises established all around the world, they’ve recently begun to expand into the US.
In our estimation, Hillsong represents the next wave of the kind of seeker sensitivity John MacArthur has warned about throughout his ministry. They are cut from the same cloth as Robert Schuller, Bill Hybels, and Rick Warren—they’re just aiming for a younger, hipper audience.
Hillsong LA’s church services are virtually indistinguishable from rock concerts. From the moment you walk in, your eyes and ears are assaulted by incoherent multimedia displays, with vague artistry passing for profundity.
While the familiar elements of a church service are there—prayer, worship, teaching, etc.—they’re usually designed and deployed as an appeal to your senses, not your soul. It makes you wonder what people think they’re committing to during the pseudo-alter call that ends every service.
In the end, Hillsong’s carelessness and ambiguity extend beyond their lyrics, touching every element of their global ministry. In the days ahead, we’re going to look at the practical theology they proclaim, and compare it to their own doctrinal statements and ultimately to Scripture.
What you’re going to see—as we have seen firsthand—is that the significant influence Hillsong wields is sowing confusion and corruption into the next generation of the church.”
Glenn Robinson said:
Its SO CLEAR to me now why these things are going on in the church (if it really IS Christ’s church!). Its because it is written, “GOD shall send strong delusion, that they may BELIEVE A LIE… because they received not the love of the truth.” I was in the choir in the 80s when we went to New Zealand with Brian Houston. In my opinion he never showed true Christlikeness in that time. All he seemed to be about was promoting himself (in the name of Jesus of course), and trying to make a big name for himself. Never, ever showed a personal interest to the nobodies amongst us (the have nots) or to myself. I’m not in any way disgruntled over this, its just my pure observation of the events at that time, and how he, Brian was always up the back of the coach making a big noise with the popular crowd amongst us, joking and making wise cracks. Inappropriate for a missions type of venture.
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
I first encountered Hillsong Church when I was in Church in Brisbane. I was part of Garden City Christian Church. It was a Pentecostal Church that taught the Bible pretty well. Then in April 2009 Brian Houston and Hillsong came along and converted it into Hillsong. I was there when it happened.
At the time I’d never heard of Hillsong, so it exited me. But as I’ve found out from many of my friends who’ve left including leaders there, there was some really worrying things that Hillsong did at that time.
I was a singer with the Worship team at Hillsong Brisbane. I served in the team there with Darlene Darlene Zschech and Reuben Morgan amongst others there. I served in just about every other area of the Church there: Welcome team, usher, car-park, maintenance.
I flew back to England and served with Hillsong London, I was asked to do photography at Hillsong Colour conference and I also served at Hillsong Conference also.
I also enrolled at Hillsong Leadership College in Sydney, in 2014, at that point I didn’t know they were teaching/preaching and walking in against what a Biblical Church should be. I have so much to tell about the things I’ve seen and sadly things that have happened to me at Hillsong. Including being physically abused and threatened by a man who’s training to be a Pastor there. (I have evidence of him doing this).
the Hillsong graduation ceremony can be viewed here on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=eVQDafglars I would encourage everyone to watch it before they take it down!
– Love from a discerning brother in Christ (Acts 17:11)
Rajsahota1s – Thanks for sharing your Hillsong experience. You can email us privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look forward to hearing from you.
Cheers, Team Churchwatch.
what do you think of this?
25 Confessions of a Worship Team
24 June 2014
A confession is a statement of faith and conviction that unites people around common beliefs. A confession is also the true story behind a situation or person often held in question. In other words, confessions tell of ”what really happens” up close and personal.
Our aim is that these would not only be declarations of faith and conviction of who we aspire to be, but they would also be statements of the ”true story” behind who we actually are as individuals and as a Hillsong Worship team.
SEE ALSO: 5 LIFE LESSONS LEARNED FROM OUR HILLSONG SONGWRITERS
25 Confessions of a Worshipping Team:
1. We know that leadership is for service not status.
2. We are not moved by accolades or criticism. We simply carry on following Christ and becoming His disciples more each day.
3. We know that our mandate is to be worshippers – always, in everything, wherever we are.
4. We are family – we laugh and cry together, walk the mountains and valleys together.
5. We look for the best in others and push them to succeed beyond ourselves.
6. We are a generational team who step aside to let others through.
7. We choose unity above personal agenda. It is not about ”me” and ”my” but rather ”we” and ”ours”.
8. We understand that if the team wins, we all win. Functioning together in unity is more important than the personal success of one.
9. We are willing to help with any task big or small because we value every part that is played both seen and unseen.
10. We honour the platform we’ve been entrusted with by living Godly lives and by serving with uncomplicated, humble spirits.
11. We build church and the Kingdom not just our own area.
12. We recognize that as leaders, we must constantly improve.
13. We prepare because we value excellence and diligence of craft in every area.
14. We refuse to be offended by feedback. Instead, we choose to grow and change.
15. We honour our leaders always and support the mantle upon their lives.
16. We lead from a place of personal devotion, humble gratitude, and confident authority.
17. We are a team that lives and breathes faithfulness, with a heart full of gratitude.
18. We are bringers of people, ideas, skill, craft, and talent.
19. We love and value the word and our non-negotiable is personal devotion time.
20. We love Jesus above all else. We speak of Him often and we keep His name on our lips.
21. We know that none of us are good enough without Him it’s His presence that marks us and sets us apart.
22. We recognize that our creativity is a gift from the Creator, for His glory alone.
23. We are aware of the Holy Spirit and lean into what He is doing.
24. We trust God in everything we do.
25. We are a team that is caught in the act of believing God always.
My prayer is that these will be useful to you, that they will inspire and challenge you no matter the role or part you play in church life, to be authentic and genuine in your love and pursuit of Jesus Christ.
HILLSONG WORSHIP WEBSITE
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I think if you replaced the words “Jesus”, “God” & “Jesus Christ” with “Brian” it would be pretty accurate. Also “kingdom” with “business” and “Holy Spirit” with “Frank’s ghost”. Yep, that would be about right.
Couldn’t answer on “Lead Artist” page for some reason:
Friend of Jesus “I wonder how many people have been brought into the knowledge of our Lord and Savior by hating them?’
How many are brought to God by lying to them? Does Hillsong follow this commandment?
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
“Show them love and they might listen.”
How can love be Christian love without the whole truth?
2 Corinthians 13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
“If they believe then Jesus can change them on the inside.”
Believe in what? Which God?
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
“When God changes their heart then their outward actions will begin to change also”
Which will only happen from a convert being born again via genuine faith in Christ of the BIBLE.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
P.S. Are you capable of NOT relying on sentimentality and guilt trips and instead defend your position using the bible *in context*?
Friend of Jesus said:
I don’t unstated a theology that only focuses on judgement and your so called truth, while ignoring grace and mercy and love. I have referenced the bible in context for you plenty thinker, but your pride blinds you. You misuse the scripture to promote hate and elevate yourselves. Hillsong, Bethel, and many others have reached many more with the Gospel of Christ, and changed many more live than you could think or imagine. They are the tool God is using. You are like the pharisees bringing the woman caught in adultery to be stoned. You make yourselves the judges by condemning others to hell. It is not Brian’s perfection that makes him a child of God but his faith/trust/belief in Jesus Christ. I suppose love your enemy would be out of context? The bible teaches to speak the truth in LOVE. You can lie to yourselves and to everyone else but you cannot lie to God. He knows the truth. I hope one day you soften your heart and try to put on the mind of Christ.
” I suppose love your enemy would be out of context?”
No. We are to love our enemies. However, those enemies speak lies. As a result, the Christian thing to do is warn people to mark and avoid them. Why? Because lies kill people, destroy people and steal from people.
And look at the servants you are defending? Why are they under investigation, in courts or Royal Commissions? If Christ calls them criminals – what neurons are not connecting in your head when you actually see such men in the news for breaking the laws of the land?
Again you made no attempt to show bible verses in context. You made a baseless accusation that I did with nothing to support that claim. Your repeated Guilt
trips in Christianese are not scripture. Your accusations that critics are lying to ourselves and others are very serious – PROVE IT or apologize.
Hillsong/ Bethel reaching people for Christ?! Mormons, JWs and Roman Catholics could make same claim. Jesus said to judge a tree by their fruits – are you obeying that commandment RE Hillsong? https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A16-20&version=KJV
Why do you love the wolves more than the sheep? Bible verses for command to love false teachers/ give them benefit of the doubt always please. There’s no commandments to even pray for false teachers!
P.S. I do not think I have ever condemned Brian Houston or any other Hillsong leader to Hell like you claim. God in his mercy may still bring them to repentance if and as He wills. Your repeated distraction tactics and calling critics “Pharisees” (which has lost its effect a loonnngg time ago) are making you look like a bad defender of Hillsong. Stop it.
“I don’t [understand] a theology that only focuses on judgement and your so called truth, while ignoring grace and mercy and love.”
You don’t understand *any* theology, because you are the friend of a false jesus. You are a blind person following the blind, and, just as it is written, you have fallen into the ditch with them. For this reason no one cares a single jot what you think.
Jamie Kurpiel said:
Thinker, I’m obviously not as familiar with the Hillsong church a you are. Can you please explain in what ways they are not preaching the Word in season and out……..”
Jamie, discernment 101 for Christians. Next time you watch/ listen to any preacher, whether TV, online or in church:
1. make sure you remember /write down the bible verse/s the preacher uses THEN
2. Open your bible /bible website to use the “who, when, where, what, why and how” rule to help you assess if they are using the verses in context. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Ws
E.g. Blessings promised to believers who obey certain commandments, exactly **who** are the promises given to – Jews in Old Testament at a specific time and place, early Christians in early churches, or all Christians for all time?
3. Is the preacher quoting the whole verse/ relevant verses or are they quote-mining the bible (using verses to try and convince others their personal opinion is what the bible says)?
IF a church leader is **repeatedly** – not an accidental once off – adding, subtracting or distorting bible verses to fit their message that is a MAJOR warning sign. Either they are unsuited for the task e.g. too biblically/ spiritually immature to be in any church leader role OR they are doing it on purpose e.g. more positive messages = more church attendees = $$$$$$$ to line their pockets.
– – – –
Hillsong Church is infamous for quoting all the positive-sounding verses in the bible and avoiding topics that offend the unbelieving world and self-professed Christians who still love their sins too much (e.g. Christians making excuses for remaining in sinful relationships outside of marriage).
The bible has a lot of negative-sounding passages as well as positive ones.
e.g. What resulted from Cain not repenting (Genesis chapter 4).
King Saul’s response to the direct commandment to slay Amalek and ALL his men, women, livestock etc. (1 Samuel chapter 15-16)
King of Tyre’s fate (Isaiah chapter 14), specifically referring to Satan/ Lucifer (verses 12-15).
Judas’ betrayal of Jesus (e.g. John 18:1-5) and decision he made afterwards (Matthew 27:1-5).
Anaias and Sapphira’s punishment for **pretending** to give ALL their money to the church (Acts 5:1-15).
Note: I did not give hints what happened in those passages so you’re more likely to read them yourself. It’s food for thought for YOU – in addition to (trying to) draw spiritual-seekers to Christ through music and worship……..
….is Hillsong willing to preach ALL of the bible i.e. specific passages that set Christians examples to follow/avoid/ reject so that Christians may GROW deeper in every part of their faith – knowledge, holiness and good deeds, and to GROW in their ability to love God with all their mind, heart, soul and strength?
P.S. to any readers who may know if any Hillsong preacher has preached on those specific passages mentioned above – GREAT!!!! Can you please give audio/ video links?
Friend of Jesus, congratulations! Follow this link to find out why: http://www.piratechristian.com/captains-log/2013/11/29/the-pharisee-card
Friend of Jesus said:
Sorry that you didn’t recognize the Bible references without book and verse attached. The lie I was referring to is your pride (yes pride is based on a lie). The proof is all over your post. You assume your interpretation is the correct interpretation, while ignoring certain verses that are contrary to your belief. When you don’t agree with a scripture you say it is out of context. Pride leads you to believe you know what the Bible says and it’s context better than me, or others with different views. If you did not have pride you would not demand an apology.
I was not specifically talking about you thinker when I made the comment about condemning people to hell. Much of that was more general to this website, that’s why it is writen in plural.
The pharisee coment was about how quick people on here are to “throw rocks” at others. The woman was caught in adultery. The law did say she was to be stoned, yet Jesus chose mercy.
‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like Brian Houston.’ – maybe you don’t mean to sound like this but, if your honest, this is what most of this site sounds like.
Insult my knowledge of the Bible, call me names, I don’t mind. Call Hillsong apostate, or Brian a false teacher, they won’t lose any sleep over it. The ones you are affecting, are the very ones you are attempting to help. It’s the babies in Christ, and unbelievers that see hate and judgement like what’s on this site, and they reject the Church altogether. You are also poisoning your selves with such traits that are not befitting for a Christian.
If you go into the Bible to prove others wrong, you are doing it wrong. If you go into the Bible to prove yourself right, you will not see the truth of the Bible. You were given the Bible to assist you, along with the Spirit, in learning the person of Jesus Christ and to transform YOUR life. The sword of the Spirit was not given to chop others into peices.
How do you interpret this scripture FOJ?
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world”.
That bible in your hand is the Word of God; it alone is inspired and inerrant. We are commanded to test the spirits to see if what is being taught is in line with the clear teaching of Scripture. In Acts 17:10-11 the Berean Jews were commended because, after they heard the teachings of Paul and Silas, they “examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
Are you being as “noble ” as the Bereans, FOJ?
Cheers, Team Churchwatch.
1. You should give bible references for readers less familiar with bible i.e. babes in Christ.
2. Proud *as well* as deceived now (hope you’re not applying to be Trump’s diplomat to North Korea…) Show actual evidence for lies/ deception believed by critics please.
3. Your claim suggested that I had declared Hillsong leaders were going to Hell. You need to communicate clearer for whom you are referring to then next time.
4. Don’t make wide sweeping statements. Don’t make accusations. Don’t make claims and refuse to provide evidence to back up your claims.
FOJ, in the Age of the Internet you have absolutely no excuse to not provide evidence and bible verses for your specific claims. I always show the courtesy to potential readers when I make any type of statement of any variety online.
That’s got nothing to do with pride. It is a social responsibility of people who are better educated/ more experienced with the Internet, to help other readers who do not have that strength for whatever reason. You, I and anyone else with that privilege will be accountable to God for what we did/ didn’t do with that privilege.
You refusal to put any serious thought into backing up your claims -when you repeatedly show you are intelligent enough to find the relevant information – demonstrates extreme intellectual LAZINESS and apathy. Each time I read your entries I am even more disappointed at how you refuse to use the brain God has given you.
Disagree with Hillsong critics- fine. But please stop resorting to the reflex “don’t judge EVER” default position. You can do WAY better than platitudes and guilt trips.
Use the bible in context *with references*, when relevant give links to highly respected sources with different theological perspectives to Churchwatchers. If not your entries will continue to be given an F grade by serious-minded readers.
Carl Lentz is a obnoxious hypocrite. He and his camp are always trying to put a humble face on, when in reality, they are the true pharasees. Definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing!
Jamie Kurpiel said:
I’m amazed at this article and the lengths someone would go to to attempt to discredit someone. For example, the article argues that basically repeated words are useless and basically do no good. Have you ever looked up the many repeated simple phrases in scripture? For example, just look up how many times, “You’re love endures forever, is repeated in scripture. The Psalms alone use this phrase numerous times. I guess someone should have told David, the other psalmists, and the Spirit, that its useless, and even “not Christian” to repeat such simple phrases throughout the scriptures. Even worse the article comments on the lyrics ” My sin was great; Your love was greater” and makes the statement that this “begs for more questions than they are willing to give answers “. Really? What is so hard to understand with those lyrics? And in what way are they unbiblical. In Romans 5:20 Paul said, “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more. Paul said, is not giving a license to sin, which is why he said a few verses later in Romans 6: 6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? “. But, Paul was clear that God’s grace is greater than any amount of sin. Does anyone on here actually believe that God’s love is not greater than our sin? Again, I’m amazed at the critique of these lyrics.
In addition, the article states that when Hillsong even mentions sin it is left undefined. What?! What does that even mean? For a song to be biblical or speak truth it MUST define sin in the song? So, I guess every song or hymn that mentions sin, but does not “define sin” is unchristian? So, I guess a song needs to label specific sins? Again, someone needs to go read the psalms or read the laments of Jeremiah. David often speaks of his sin without “defining it”. Seriously, is the writer of this article this desperate to discredit Hillsong that the writer will use such petty and ridiculous arguments Not to mention, the writer reads way too much into the lyrics. When the song says, “You didn’t want heaven without us” the writer makes the assumption that lyrics meant God was getting lonely. Those words, You didn’t want heaven without us” are absolutely true and biblical. All that is saying in essence is that God wants us to be in heaven. I mean, how clear is the Bible that God wants us to spend eternity with Him. How clear is it that God doesn’t want to lose any of his lost sheep. Again, the writer is making an assumption, an assumption that the song never states. It never even hints at the notion that Jesus died because he was getting lonely in heaven, unless to simply choose to read it that way. The lyrics are simply stating how much Jesus desires his children to be with Him in heaven.
Because in many “churches” preachers refuse to do their job i.e. preach GOD’s Word, the musicians are depended on excessively to do the preaching via music. The carriage is driving the horse. The back-seat passenger is holding the steering wheel while the driver is asleep. The child is parenting the dysfunctional parent.
In a way criticism from outsiders can seem unfair on songwriters. If the preachers would stop personal-anecdoting and pep-talking and actually PREACH, musicians would start spiritually maturing and the songs’ lyrics would improve as a result.
However with power comes responsibility. Hillsong has the responsibility to function as a church according to the bible. Near enough isn’t good enough for surgeons, pilots et. al., why are so many Christians willing to pay for a non-preacher play-acting “preacher-for-the-service” if the musicians get some of the message nearly right ‘most of the time?
I strongly suspect that many churches’ funds would disappear if the talented musicians did too. If that happened, it would be due to unsaved attendees no longer have their music idol to worship, and genuine Christians no longer having an excuse to not look for another church that preached more God-glorifying messages they hoped they’d get from their (now too small) Christian fellowship church…. one day….
“I’m amazed at this article and the lengths someone would go to to attempt to discredit someone. For example, the article argues that basically repeated words are useless and basically do no good. Have you ever looked up the many repeated simple phrases in scripture? For example, just look up how many times, “You’re love endures forever, is repeated in scripture.”
We’re amazed at your comment and the lengths you go to distort what the authors are saying. You’re being deliberately deceitful in your defense of Hillsong. Where in the scriptures do we see this in your example:
“You’re love endures forever, You’re love endures forever,
You’re love endures forever,
You’re love endures forever, You’re love endures forever,
You’re love endures forever,” [Scripture verse please]
You’re speaking like a true Hillsong Apologist. You need to argue like a Christian – one who can argue honestly and scripturally.
Churchwatcher, perhaps Jamie was thinking of several psalms that proclaim that GOD’s love endures forever every second verse? Remembering passages in first/ second person instead of (correct) third person is easily done – that’s why all Christians need to double check with scripture first.
A quick Google search also shows some modern Christian song lyrics using “your love endures forever” instead of HIS love…. another example of why well-meaning musicians shouldn’t be relied on preaching to the CHURCH.
e.g. over-personalised viewpoint. http://www.metrolyrics.com/your-love-endures-lyrics-third-day.html
Different transations give different emphases though.
e.g. Psalm 118/ 136:
…. his steadfast love endures forever (ESV)
…. that his mercy endureth forever (KJV)
…. his love endures forever (NIV, MSG paraphrase)
KJV using the word Mercy instead of love puts a very different angle on it. God showing mercy shows that we have fallen short of His standards. Mercy is a gift given by someone with the power to pass judgement on another person who has failed. Love is often mutual and reciprocal.
John Kurpiel said:
Thinker, you asked the question as to where in the Bible does it command us to love or pray for false teachers. Doesn’t Jesus command us to pray for our enemies and even those who persecute us? Yet, you seem to think that this would exclude false teachers? How about the fact that God demonstrated his love toward us while we were sinners and enemies? (Romans 5:8-9). What in scripture would make you believe that Gods love was demonstrated toward sinners and enemies, except for false teachers? Are you forgetting that this verse is stating that God loved us while we were still his enemy; while we were sinners? If God shows his love while all of us we were still enemies and sinners, then shouldn’t it be understood that his children should show the same love to others who are still enemies of God? We are not talking about loving the false teaching. We are talking about the person. For example, Paul was clear about those who were false teachers, and he called them out on it. But, did he still love those people even so? What did Paul say about his own people who rejected Christ? Those Jews were false teachers, as they continued to teach that Jesus was not the messiah. Yet, look at Paul’s words about these false teachers from Romans 92:-4. “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel.”
Tell me Thinker, does that sound like Paul still had love for these false teachers? He basically said he would give his own soul for them! So, please explain to me how you believe that we should not love or pray for false teachers, when a godly man like Paul still was willing to give up his soul for false teachers.
That is the biggest problem I have from what I have read from the posts on this page. It’s understandable if you are bothered or upset, if you really believe people are hurting the cause of Christ. Paul was upset and disturbed by the Jews and their teachings and actions. But, it’s not understandable if in the end, you are not also hurting for these very people, just as Paul did. The very fact that you state there is no biblical proof that we should pray for or over false teachers in evidence that you do not have sincere concern for their soul. If you did, why wouldn’t you pray for them? Do you really need a specific command to pray for false teachers in order to do so? Paul didn’t seem to think so. In fact, if you have the heart of God, why would you want to pray for them? God desires that all people be saved. That includes false teachers. Do you? Why wouldn’t you love them, just as God loved you at a time when you were still his enemy?
I’m very interested to hear your response. Please share some scripture that gives evidence to the fact that God would not have us pray for or love our enemies. I believe I have scriptural evidence to the contrary. I truly hope you will reconsider your position on this matter.
Paul in Romans chapter 9 expresses his love for his kinsmen, the JEWS. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+9&version=KJV
Those Jews were not believers in Jesus Christ. If they were, they would no longer be Jews. If those Jews had become Christians, would he still have been lamenting over them? Of course NOT! He would be rejoicing and over the moon!!!
To be a false teacher in the church, that person has to be preaching a false Christ, a false Gospel etc., only possible if they’re already pretending to be a Christian.
Also from the apostle Paul:
Pronouncing anathema on people who preach another Gospel.
RE my personal opinion on prayer for enemies and false teachers:
Prayer for personal enemies – who have harmed you/ your loved ones personally in past/ present – YES.
Prayer for preachers who *have just started* teaching false teachings -YES – that mature Christians and perhaps even leaders from outside their own church set them straight ASAP, resulting in false teacher proving they’ve repented completely by words and deeds to their own followers.
Prayer for preachers who have been shown by multiple people, leaders and now online discernment ministries how they have departed from scripture and how their conduct has brought disgrace on the Body of Christ – with not one sign of repentance shown- NO. Definitely not.
Jesus said “be wise as serpents but as harmless as doves” Matthew 10:16. https://gotquestions.org/wise-serpents-harmless-doves.html
People like yourself are as usual muddying the waters, sticking up for wolves and forgetting about the sheep in danger. Confusing enemies with false teachers *on purpose* is similar to those who demand people prove their forgiveness towards an abuser by demonstrating new-found trust in them. e.g. a Christian family leaving their children in a pedophile’s care (plead guilty, claims to have become a born-again Christian in jail).
Necessary consequences for sinful words and actions to bring them to repentance and genuine faith in Christ are the only blessings Christians should pray for false teachers to receive from God. Deceived sheep deserve Christians’ prayers more than the deceiving wolves.
John Kurpeil said:
Let me first say, that I am not Hillsong apologist,a s you defined me as. I’ve listened to some of their songs over the years, but I don’t know much about the Hillsong church itself. Personally, I have found their songs to be encouraging and uplifting, and I take no issue with that. But as far as the church, I’m not too familiar with them. I was commenting on flat idea that we shouldn’t pray for false teachers.. The problem is, how do you define false teachers? Do you define them as those who know and understand the truth, but blatantly choose to teach otherwise? Do you define them as those who sincerely believe what they teach is correct, but may actually be incorrect? For example, are you familiar with Joel Osteen? I happen to believe that he teaches a type of prosperity message where you will be blessed with earthly riches if you follow God. He also avoids talking about many issues in scripture. In fact, he has admitted so in interviews, stating he only wants to be encouraging. But, I believe we would agree that scripture, should also be used to “rebukes, correct, etc, as well. However, do I believe that Joel Osteen believes that he himself is a false teacher? Do I believe that Joel sincerely believes he is doing a good work for God? My opinion is that he does believe this. Of course, I’m not God so I can’t read his heart. Bu,t you can be sure that I pray for Joel, because he does have a great effect on thousands (maybe millions) of listeners. (In truth, I also pray for myself that I may continue to become aware of where I miss the mark in regards to God’s word and ministry). My point is, I don’t believe his prosperity message is right. I believe it is false. But, given everything I know from scripture, I absolutely do not believe that God is displeased with me for praying for those who teach such things.
And by the way, in no I am not muddying any waters. You made a false assumption, to assume that I care for false teachers more than sheep. The subject at hand was solely whether or not we should love or pray for false teachers. If I said we should pray for Islam terrorists to change their ways, would you simply assume that I believe we should pray for them more than the ones they are persecuting? I’m guessing from your response that you would assume that. But, you would be wrong.
Now, I absolutely agree with your point about Paul and his words to those the Galatians. But, Paul was specifically speaking to false teachers who distorted the gospel. Many people seem to confuse the gospel to include all of Gods command, all doctrine in the Bible. The gospel is the good news – the death burial and resurrection, and the salvation we receive when we put our faith in the gospel. Paul was extremely angry at those who were distorting the gospel of grace through faith in Jesus. As he says in Galatians 5, those are you trying to be justified by law, you have fallen from grace; you have been severed from Christ. These people were directly causing people to lose their salvation, because they were influencing people to add to the gospel of grace through faith – to say it takes more than Jesus’ work on the cross to be saved. I personally find a big difference between someone who may stick to encouraging messages, or and someone who out right perverts the gospel. I believe Paul would address the issue of those who are not preaching all of God’s word, but I don’t believe he would immediately jump out with extreme anger and say he wished they were eternally cursed, like he did to the false teachers in the Galatians letter.. Again, I’m not very familiar with the Hillsong church. I’ve seen posts on here accusing Hillsong of preaching a false gospel. So, I guess that means that they are somehow distorting the doctrine of grace through faith, or distorting the truth of the death burial and resurrection? Would that be correct?
Helpful definition in the article ” what is heresy and what is a heresy hunter”:
Heresy can be defined as any departure from Christian orthodoxy which is a teaching, doctrine or ****practice**** that goes beyond the apostles’ teachings – the faith that was once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).
Therefore it is NOT limited to departures from the true Gospel, and not limited to off-tangent teachings either. Outward behaviour and practices eventually demonstrate what an individual/ church really believes.
By false Gospel – Google easy believism. John 3:16 + promises Jesus will give you a purpose and a destiny (but don’t forget to tithe – you’ll get extra blessings guaranteed).
To realise what Hillsong’s errors are you have to become aware of their very colourful history and what Hillsong’s response to the exposure of their many failures is every time: minimise, deflect and name-call. This blog has done that very well.
e.g. search for entries related to “naked cowboy” and “silent night”.
A lot of immature behaviour and questionable moral standards demonstrated by CHURCH LEADERS not church members – would Jesus and the apostles have turned a blind eyes?
.”..such ***WERE*** some of you…” PAST TENSE. Of course we are all a work-in-progress until we die, but when Christians realise they have sinned they should confess them to God, each other and publically when needed.
Hillsong’s leader does not even repent when given theological correction e.g. Brian Houston’s tweet response RE modalism. http://pulpitandpen.org/2014/09/18/pp-transcript-brian-houston-asks-if-modalism-is-a-made-up-word/
John Kurpeil said:
Maybe you should take some of your own advice. Where in scripture does it say that it is unchristian to repeat Godly words in lyrics? So,you believe if a song ended with the following lyric, the song would be unchristian?
“Your love endures forever, Your love endures forever, You’re love endures forever,
Your love endures forever, Your love endures forever,
Your love endures forever,”
Please provide scripture and verses that clearly point these type of sequential Godly lyrics to be unchristian.
Right back at you. If you are going to argue like a Christian and say something is unchristian, then use scripture that plainly condemns this action, rather then simply give you own opinion, and scripture that in no way condemns the repeating of lyrics in a song.
And, I would love for you to answer this question. Do you truly not believe that God’s love is greater than our sin? How does that statement beg for more questions than answers. I believe that statement is pretty clear as well as being truth.
And by the way, bringing glory to himself was not the only reason God sent Jesus to redeem us. He sent Him to redeem us because he loved us, and didn’t want us to perish eternally. John 3:16. That is what the lyrics are stating when it says, Jesus did not want heaven without us. So yes, these lyrics are Biblically correct.
And, I’m still confused on about your opinion that songs are supposed to define sin. Could you please explain this? I’m sincerely not understanding what you mean by this. Are you suggesting that songs need to name or label specific sins to be godly songs?
I’ve just read
Very well articulated – is worth a read and passing the link onto others.