Popular Christian music groups teaching heresy?

The blog post below addresses the astonishing lack of discernment among self-professed Christians when it comes to contemporary Christian music (CCM).  The truth of the matter is that most CCM really isn’t Christian at all — not even close!  How do I know that? By listening to the lyrics.  More often than not CCM is unbiblical, even blasphemous! But many Christians don’t have the spiritual discernment to pick up on it.  Sadly, some  people who profess Christ really don’t care about the words that go from their lips to God’s ears.  Why?  Mainly because worship is all about me, not about God, so little or no attention is paid to the words we sing to Him.

But words matter, and what we say to God should matter a lot.  Instead, Christians are focusing on themselves — their feelings and experiences….have I hit a nerve?

So now to Learning the Path’s post.  Some of the videos are disturbing to watch.  I urge you to watch them anyway.

Worship music

Purity In Worship

Think of this scenario. A pastor is reading Alistair Begg’s book, “Preaching for God’s Glory”. He sees a point that he would really like to make the next Sunday. When he’s done reading, he picks up Brian Houston’s “You Need More Money” from the heresy shelf, in which the same point is made (This is a hypothetical). He gets up in the pulpit, and instead of using quotes from “Preaching for God’s Glory”, he uses the quotes from “You Need More Money”. What is wrong with this?

I can think of two major things:
1. This gives credence to Brian Houston. It will likely cause his undiscerning congregation to listen to Brian Houston, quote Brian Houston, read Brian Houston, and even recommend Brian Houston to others.
2. Brian Houston’s writings reflect his theology. What he said will be said leaning towards the point he wanted to make, using the same hermeneutic (Way of reading the Bible) he usually uses, and showing the same errors common in his theology.

Now, can we agree that a Church-goer’s theology is usually relatively similar to that of the pastor? So let’s look at the congregants at Hillsong Australia (Brian Houston) and Parkside Church of Cleveland (Alistair Begg). In this case, Hillsong Music and the Gettys (Who are former members of Parkside).

Let’s say someone is given an option of who to sing in Church. They can choose between Hillsong’s “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” and Keith and Krystin Getty’s “In Christ Alone”. What if that person were to go with the Hillsong song? Would it be just as wrong as quoting Brian Houston above Alistair Begg? I would say yes. The same two points still stand. Hillsong’s music still reflects their theology, and it is still endorsing a group that preaches the Word of Faith heresy and false Prosperity Gospel. It would be as if you had Brian Houston come in and write your worship music for you.

What’s sad is that some of the most popular music groups out there have some of the most terrible theologies. Hillsong promotes Word of Faith heresy. Jesus Culture happens to be under Bill Johnson, a Hyper-Charismatic who denies Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) and stated that Jesus ceased to be God on the cross. This comes out not only in their music, but at their concerts (I will discuss this further later on). Jars of Clay’s singer and songwriter, Dan Haseltine, said, “I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?”. Amy Grant isn’t much better, as she has knowingly preformed alongside Lesbians and has known about her Gay Fanbase since she was 18 without calling any of them to repentance. Matt Maher is a devout Roman Catholic who has preformed for Pope Francis. Do we really trust these people to write our worship music? To write the songs we sing when worshiping a Holy God? These people wrote these songs to idols, so why would we repeat them?

Furthermore, the music has taken a grip on people my age. Most of the teenagers who claim to be Christian would prefer to sing a Hillsong song over hearing a theologically solid sermon. It has went from a Local Church to a full denomination with 15 churches just in the city of Sydney alone. The denomination has 100,000 weekly attenders. Many celebrities are a part of this denomination. It can almost exclusively be attributed to their music program. Bethel Church in Redding, CA is another megachurch that has benefited from this. It is the Home Church of the band Jesus Culture, and the spearhead of what is called the New Apostolic Reformation, which is a cultic movement. They have promoted Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley, Kris Vallotton, and T.D. Jakes. If you don’t understand the corruption of the Music Industry here, watch this:

Continue reading — more videos.

Read our White Paper of the New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism and the Word of Faith Movement

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

44 Responses to Popular Christian music groups teaching heresy?

  1. Scott January 18, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

    The arguments in this article are weak, relying on the fallacy of guilt by association. If any of these artists are guilty of heresy then please cite specific examples in their lyrics, writings or pronouncements.

    • Eric January 18, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

      No. Those are established problems with Jesus Culture, Bethel, Hillsong. His point isn’t to prove the presence of their false teachings all over again, but to consider the implications of embracing their music. If we sing their songs, we give tacit approval to their doctrine.

      • Scott January 19, 2016 at 11:51 am #

        Eric, by that logic, if you were to sing “Amazing Grace,” you would be giving tacit approval to the Anglican Priesthood to which John Newton was formally ordained.

        • Jacob January 25, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

          Scott, though I do not know a lot about the Anglican Priesthood, I believe they maintain the historical episcopate. Where the Roman Catholics get it wrong is that they have the Pope, which is no where prescribed in scripture. With that being said, I believe John Newton proclaimed the true gospel, correct me if I am wrong. Where it gets iffy is that Hillsong, Bethel, and Jesus Culture is they preach false gospels and proclaim heresies from the pulpit. John Newton, to my recollection didn’t preach a false gospel or teach the Word of Faith Heresy. Now while some of their music appears orthodox, you have to understand their music through their teaching. I choose not to buy their music, because that music goes to support the music, but the church as well.

          “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.” 2 John 1:10

    • Rick Rockwood February 18, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

      Agree. In the old days this was ‘a smear’ or ‘yellow journalism.’ There are lots of reasons to scrutinize the lyrics of all music – contemporary and hymns. But this is just a smear.

    • Tim July 28, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

      Guilt by association!!

      Wow!! Bible 101 gives grave warning associating with false teachers!!! Even to give Godspeed The Bible says you are a partaker of their Evil Deeds!!

      A three year old gets that dear sir!!

      I reprove you in the Lord!! For you to teach these things makes you an enemy of the Gospel!! I would be careful publically denouncing the clear teaching of Gods word Found in III John .Just one page and you missed it!!

      Not Good !! Teacher!! Let there not be many teachers Jesus said and you are living proof of that fact!!

      Shame on you brother!! Get grounded in the word before preaching it especially in public for all to see and be misled by your false proclamations supporting Gods Enemies!!!

  2. Darrel January 18, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

    People like Scott have no interest in glorifying the Lord Jesus, only in perpetuating the myths of the current day “church” scene. He knows very well the heresies found in these popular songs, but rather than face them and call them what they are—foul blasphemies—-he chooses to makes excuses and shift the blame away from the songs, the performers, and the listeners, and the buyers of the CD’s. The arguments are far from weak, but to the point. If they lack anything it would be that they could be more pointed, uncovering the real problem with CCM: most of the ‘players’ are admittedly lost, in it only for the money, with 50% or more being gay (this dirty little secret is well hidden from public view). Scott further states that there is no such thing as “guilt by association” which is completely contrary to Scripture. Not only is it found and condemned throughout the OT, but specific verses can be found throughout the NT. Rom. 16: 17 & 18 make no room for cozying up to unbelievers and fake “Christians”. Yet Scott and his like-minded but ignorant followers are all too eager to make room for anyone who wears the banner of “Christian” and would have us eat from the hand of the wolves spawned in our own gathering—Acts 20:27-30. 2Thess. 3:6 tells us to withdraw from every ‘brother’ who walks disorderly, contrary to the Gospel. See also verse 14, same chapter. 2Tim. 2:16 tells us to ‘shun profane babblings’, but Scott would have us welcome heretics into the love feasts and accept their nonsense as Gospel–all in the name of some convoluted “unity” contrived in hell. He would invite those described in Titus 1:10-11, and rather than stop their mouths, give them the pulpit. There are many other Scriptures, but the point is that there is guilt by association. The next time your pastor, or any idolized “Christian” speaker refers to, quotes, praises, or begs support for the double-minded and doctrinally unstable (that list is filled with ALL the current “heroes of the faith”) hopefully the red flags will wave and alarms will go off. If they don’t, you’re in trouble. 2 John 1:9-11 must be our guide when we choose who we listen to and follow. It is better not to be a part of a ‘church’ that does not preach/teach the Gospel (like Hillsong and the like) than to be a part of such folly and receive the reward that will receive: hell.

    • Greg January 19, 2016 at 2:57 am #

      And how do you know that 50% or more are gay? Try speaking with love not hate. Did not Jesus make friends of tax collectors, adulterers and prostitutes?

      • Rick January 19, 2016 at 10:40 am #

        Yes, Jesus make friends of tax collector, adulterers and prostitutes… BUT they converted and stopped sinning. How many of those churches repent and convert?

      • Darrel January 19, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

        Don’t be so lazy. Look to it yourself!

        • Greg January 20, 2016 at 3:34 am #

          Well isn’t that an intelligent response. If you make a statement as outrageous as you did at least back it up with some facts.

          • Darrel January 20, 2016 at 10:56 am #

            You’re still lazy, Greg. Do you know how to use Google?

          • Greg January 20, 2016 at 10:30 pm #

            Darrel firstly I had to deliberate on whether or not to reply to your insane comments and I’m still not sure whether or not I should but here goes. You made the comment that 50% of worship singers are gay with absolutely nothing to back up an obviously incorrect statement that you pulled out of who knows where. When I questioned you on it you called me lazy and told me to look it up for myself however you’re the one who made the statement. I can assure you that the Internet is not full of facts and if you think that everything that you read there is correct then you are more foolish than I first thought. Before spouting “internet facts” check the source of your information first and don’t tell other people that they’re lazy for not supporting your intellectually lacking argument you buffoon. And by the way don’t bother replying to this post because I am deleting any record of this hate filled site and therefore won’t be looking at any other tricuspid answer that you might come up with.

    • Scott January 19, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

      Darrel, you have no idea of what your are speaking of. Since when did you become the Holy Spirit, able to judge my motives? You were able to ascertain all the things you said about me from the mere 2 sentences I wrote previously? For the record, I never endorsed any of these artists or ministries. I simply said that if accusations are to be leveled against them, those accusations need to be substantiated. I am by no means giving them a pass, instead I would encourage everyone test what any teacher or artist says against the word of God. You have sinned against me with your false accusations and need to repent.

      • Darrel January 19, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

        You did no such thing, Scott. Read your own first post again and tell me SPECIFICALLY how anyone should conclude the things in your second post. Guilt by association is so easy to prove, but you reject it and are complicit with it. Don’t expect anyone to read your mind. Speak plainly.

    • tai May 16, 2016 at 8:07 am #

      Look i understand BUT seriously they has never been the Christians that you guys talk about.. tell me when they existed , soon after the apostles died look what happened , Killers and Murderers took over .. and have dominated every major church since.. and whilst we are being all judgemental and all NOT one of you have called out the absurd idolatry that has permeated Christianity.. From so called Jesus pictures , image , stained glasses in churches etc etc .. Films about Jesus continued in the same theme of he so called looks, it appalling
      what about the false doctrine of HELL, and how the devil and his cohorts will be punishing anyone in it, so many images have blinded people to think thats is actually what will go on ..
      how about the bad festivals introduced to replace the jewish ones that very few in the west celebrates

      …BUT!!!!!GUYs whilst you mean well you all dropped a clanger.

      GOD LOOKS AT THE HEART .. so never mind what Church you are in or even if you are in the synagogue of Satan even.. GOD sees the heart and knows all who truly believe in him in spite of wherever they are.

      The world is in chaos BUT he is not .. Trust him with all your heart and his LOVE will forgive immeasurably….

  3. Greg January 19, 2016 at 2:53 am #

    Jesus said “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37. For a church to sing in worship a song by Hillsong or Bethel does not in anyway support that church’s beliefs unless the words themselves are heretical. I fail to see the lyrics of songs such as O Praise the Name of the Lord Our God or Man of Sorrows as being heretical. If I am wrong please tell me why. Instead these are uplifting songs giving praise and worship to our Lord and God. I don’t attend either of these churches and I don’t agree with prosperity teaching however I also don’t agree with the holier than thou attitude taken by those that are Pharisee like in their condemnation of these churches. I see young people from our local “prosperity” church feeding the homeless, looking after those that need help and working with the poor in spirit. Are you doing this and following what Jesus preached? I agree that some of the preaching is wrong and I wouldn’t attend these churches because of that however I would also be reticent to condemn all that they do. In the main these churches are filled with people who love God and to me that is what is most important. Let Jesus sort out the rest.

    • Michael January 19, 2016 at 11:15 am #

      We are instructed to judge. You are misquoting scripture and not taking in the whole doctrine. The book of Matthew explains it deeper. We are required to judge and discern.

      7 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

      2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

      3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

      4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

      5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

      In Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. – Just even singing Hillsong music or music from the people/groups mentioned above is like leaven or yeast. The proverb is true which says that “a little leaven leavens the whole mass of dough”. And so, in your case, the malcontents may be few, but they will soon ruin the whole Church.

      • Tim July 28, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

        We are called to do the Right Thing, not just a good thing. A good thing is not always the right thing, however the Right Thing is always Good in the Eyes of God.

        Regarding a heretical church doing good things is not something to praise, for by the good things social gospel many will be compelled to hear their gospel for that is the reason to feed the poor.

        So you feed the poor and save their body and then send them to a heretical church to teach them to be twice the sons of hell that their teachers are.

        Wisdom is found in the uncompromised doctrines!!!

        Read Galatiians of the Severe Rebuke to his followers who were being led astray by false preachers who were less false then we have today!!!

        Be careful supporting the “good” of the wayward damnable shepherds!!!!

        Tim

    • Darrel January 19, 2016 at 11:37 am #

      Your comment is not a solution for the ills of the church today. It is the definition of the problem. You immediately assign to anyone who gives warning to the church about false prophets the label of ‘judgmental’ or that of one who ‘condemns’. Yet the same Jesus Whom you so glibly quote also said: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with RIGHTEOUS judgment” (John 7:24). But you would hamstring the church into silence and not allow any warning to anyone about anything, all the while claiming the “high ground” of “love” in direct contradiction to the instructions of Scripture. You would have us bypass, ignore, or redact 1 Cor. 2:14-16; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 1 Cor. 6:1-6;2 Tim. 4:2 (how could Timothy “rebuke” anyone without first making a judgment as to what is right and what is wrong?). The prevailing attitude is that anyone who claims to be Christian is one, no matter what they believe, preach, or live. The silence you demand from others and pass your own judgment upon them when they do not conform to your own standard of “love” is an age-old tool of the evil one. Such a mantra boils down to this: believe what you will as long as you claim to “love” Jesus and are a “Christ-follower”. The simple answer to that nonsense is found in Matt. 7:21-23. It is ALWAYS a “tell” when one comes to the defense of other men at the expense of the Gospel, which is exactly what you are doing, Greg.

    • pastor g January 26, 2016 at 1:46 am #

      Gentlemen: I apologize for butting into your conversation. But after reading through much of this sparing match, I felt moved of God to offer what I trust will be some Biblical wisdom. For the one favoring the “we’re not supposed to judge” mantra, I find it Interesting that you quote only those parts of those verses that fit your point. It should be clear to most believers that not everything God teaches about a topic/subject/concept is encapsulated in a single verse or context of Scripture. The “whole counsel of God” must be sought and “searched out” diligently for holy wisdom to “dawn in our hearts” (read Acts 20:27-32; 17:11; 2Tim.2:15; 2Pet.1:19). That obviously takes work, so there’s no room for laziness in the study of Scripture. So while the Bible is the only single source from which we can deduce objective (not subjective) Truth, God calls us to the “work” of mining that “Gold” out of the ore. But in Jn.7:24 (which, by the way, is a disagreement Jesus is having with His critics over DOCTRINE), He said, “Judge not.” Now, that would prove your point (not mine), IF I agreed with you and only quoted the first 2 words of a ten-word verse. This is an apt illustration of why anyone quoting partial verses out of context ISN’T counseling with the wisdom of God. The verse actually says, “Judge not according to the appearance, but JUDGE [with] righteous judgment” (KJV). The NKJV gives a better grammatical understanding, “Judge not according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” First, away with this nonsense that Christians aren’t supposed to judge. Jesus and Paul literally taught us that the Christian who DOSEN’T discerningly judge with God’s wisdom is being IRRESPONSIBLE in their faith. The world desperately needs our love-laced, continual correction and instruction. To appease them with a watered down Gospel and musical accompaniments to match would make us peddlers of heresy. Some are comfortable floating their raft in those waters. They’re building big churches and preaching to massive crowds. They get book deals and have their faces plastered all over “Christian” bookstores. Jesus said He would build His Church without their help. We can ill-afford to lose sight of the fact that we are called to be God’s “ambassadors” in this task (2Cor.5:17-21). We dare not faint in this ministry entrusted to every member of the Body of Christ (4:1). We are called to “renounce the hidden things of dishonesty” [and darkness], (v.2a) and to be careful not to “…handle the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the Truth commending ourselves to every mans’s conscience in the sight of God.”(v.2b,c ). So speak, speak carefully, and ask yourself if the way you handle your words is honestly depicting (to employ a play on words), a “man-infested” with the Truth? Better yet, ask God–honestly. If there was not reason to judge, God’s revelation would have no purpose. And (by the way), those who condemn Christians for judging are (hello), in fact, JUDGING them for doing so. It’s like saying, “There are absolutely no absolutes!” The common sense is that two things that are opposite are not the same; a basic premise of philosophy. This is how God’s Truth makes the “wisdom of this world foolishness.” (1Cor.1:18-2;8). So let’s put away that circular argument once and for all, in the same way the Bible says we are to, “Therefore, put away lying. Let every one of you speak Truth with his neighbor, for we are all members of one another.” (Eph.4:25). We must put away (divorce ourselves from) these senseless argumentations. Paul said “He that is spiritual judges ALL things.” (1Cor.2:15). Why? Because only by the rebirth of a man’s spirit (otherwise dead in trespasses and sins–Eph.2:1), and diligent, prayer study and practice do the “spiritual things of God” become accessible, apparent and understandable for anyone (see 2:14, the verse just before that). Furthermore, the “wisdom of God” spoken of in the context of First Corinthians 2 (and contrasted with the world’s wisdom: especially at 2:6 & 7) has no appeal to two specific types of people: (1) those lost, and thus without the “spirit of Christ” indwelling them (as defined in Rom.8:9); (2) those with the “spirit of Christ” who refuse (on any issue), to WALK CONTRARY TO the Spirit of Christ within them. They latter may have be “bought” with the blood of the Lord Jesus, but they refuse to “bring it” when it comes to bringing the world the whole counsel of God. So only those that are His by new birth, AND, who are abiding in His Word (Jn.15:1-7), can rightly and faithfully exercise their calling to “judge with righteous judgment.” These are categorical differences between the lost and saved. And when the saved find more in common on critical moral issues with the lost than they do with the Lord, the saved and spiritually-minded, they forfeit, knowingly or unknowingly, the influence and power of the Spirit they grieve (Eph.4:30; 1Thess.5:19). On the basis of those two criteria, spiritual access to “…even the deep things of God” (1Cor.2:10), is given via Scripture and the reign of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. The lost (the “natural man”), are still under “the spirit of the world” (v.12), Thus, their appraisal of “the thing of the Spirit of God” is that they are “foolishness…neither CAN they know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Cor.2:14). So “JUDGING” in the most Spirit-filled, Biblical sense–JUDGING that PLEASES God–is when we place an “appraisal value” on the things we see and hear around us that is the same as God’s. Whether “out there” in the world, face to face in our relationships with others, and most certainly, JUDGING those things within the context of the Christian community and the churches is a Biblical imperative. CCM artists don’t get a free pass, just because they’re rich or famous; or because they’ve mastered the art of stroking our emotions with their romanticization of lofty Christian concepts. A singer or songwriter has no more right to lie in lyrics than a preacher has to preach a lie in the pulpit. The concept of affording them a measure of “poetic license” in their work stops at whatever point the metaphors in play start to drift from Scripture. For instance, Maranatha Praise in 1993, made popular, “Let The Walls Fall Down.” It was popularized through the Promise Keeper’s Movement. A redefined measure of “love” was supposed to be both the muscle and the missile that knocked the walls down. PK (and a lot of others), sought to support that lyric by saying it was expressive of the “middle wall of partition” in Eph.2:14 . But the use of the metaphor was being categorically transformed to call for a coming together of those can’t walk together because (according to Amos 3:3) they don’t agree doctrinally. Moreover, the partition referred to in context draws upon the one in the outer courts of the O.T. Tabernacle that separated the Court of Women from the men. Paul is making the point that Christ’s salvation is non-discriminatory between male and female, Jew and Gentile, slave or freeborn–that ethnicity or heritage didn’t matter. He died and rose again for them all. But that was stretched to mean that it was time for doctrine to dissolve into the lap of “love” so that an undefined, doctrineless “unity” could be experienced. And thus, the mantra coined was, “Doctrine Divides!”… and those that tenaciously hold to its dogma are “divisive” and should be dismissed from these conversations. But it is noteworthy that unity (defined in those terms) is of no interest to God. The unity He seeks for His redeemed ones is “the unity OF THE SPIRIT in the bond of peace. So along came another song by Maranatha: “He is our peace/who had broken down every wall. His is our peace/He is our peace.” “Every wall? What about the walls that separate up from down, truth from error, light from darkness, believer from unbeliever, animal from man, and Heaven from Hell? Doctrine has the purpose of purifying, not enslaving; of directing and sorting, of not allowing distortions to demonize the righteous and elevate the wicked. Doctrine is given to insulate us from evil, not isolate those unlike us from the Truth. There’s that “D” word again, just like Jesus was arguing in John 7:24. So these songs became the mantra of a movement that called all denominations together regardless of the breaches over doctrinal imperatives. The Body of Christ was told that they weren’t walking in “love” if they didn’t accept that their “Roman Catholic ‘brothers'” were “ONE” with them. Where did that train ride take us after 25 years? Today, Pope Francis is promoting, “We are all children of God.” Even atheists are included in this new circle of “love.” But not too many out there were discerning the errant message those types of songs and movements were sending and seeding in the hearts of the undiscerning. Today, “Christian America” so-called, has gone to seed on a false unity for unity’s sake. Doctrinal dogmatics is the new dirty word in the world’s vocabulary. And unfortunately, many in the church who won’t invest their time in Bible study are buying up the world’s dictionaries on spiritual terminology and meaning. They are divesting themselves of doctrinal stances to stand with world, deceived into thinking that will make the world a better place. But Jesus didn’t die to make good men better or to remove the longing for Heaven the evils of this world force to hunger for. Today, theologically speaking, the insane are running the asylum, priests and people alike, “…and, (to quote Jeremiah addressing a similar time in ancient Israel), “… My people love to have it so…” (5:31b). God asks, “…But what will you do in the end thereof?” If we fail at discerning the true appraisal value of these things in God’s eyes, we will have fallen under the sword of God’s enemies from which we were once delivered (Rom.5:8-10). Is there any question about how this would grieve the Holy Spirit? God needs His redeemed ones who walk in His ways to inform the world of the true and eternal dangers it’s facing. This is not a game, and the devil plays for keeps. So discerning truth from error and making judgment calls on the issues of our times (1Chron.12:23), isn’t an option for believers. It’s a duty. This isn’t just “allowable” within Christian ranks, it’s COMMANDED. Doing so is not a suggestion to right-minded Christian soldiers, it’s an order (2Tim.2:1-7). We are to believe these things, live out these things (Phil.2:12, 13), and teach them to “faithful men who shall be able to teach others also.” (v.2c). Secondly, while I agree that a footnote on the percentage of CCM artist who are “gay” might have been helpful, the contextual “aura” of the statement (if you’ll pardon my use of the term), is probably more inclined to mean 50% of those in CCM are “pro-gay” advocates > meaning (to varying degrees of course), that they have “no problem” accepting that gays can be “Christians” too; that they should have a “right” to be “married” and all the rest. Bulls have a “right” to run through fine china shops in India too, but it’s pretty hard on the china. Most whose minds are frying (and dying) in the grease of that think tank would not agree that the church needs to attack this thinking with the Word of God, ANYTIME it shows up within the church. And while I’ll admit that the “family” of CCM artists are NOT “the church” per se, ALL of them (no poll statistics necessary) claim to be speaking, singing, writing, or advocating “for God” as “God’s representatives.” So they claim they are “God’s people” and representing “God’s ways” to the world. So yes, it matters what these people promote to be true. And since their forum or platform is public, lets put another myth in the grave where it belongs: the idea that each artist has to be contacted one on one by the person(s) making a judgment call on what they say, sing or write. Those singing that song do so on the basis of Matt.18:15-19. First, that is not the context of Matt.18. But secondly, when these people “go public” with their thinking, the time for Matt. 18 is already past. When “Christians” (or those deceived or pretending to be Christians), sing errant theology over and over and over and over and over and over again via these songs, guess what gets stuck the listener’s heads. And when we incorporate that music into the worship of the church, we become complicit in their sin. Somebody please tell me how we can be so deceived as to sing lies back to God and call in “contemporary worship?” Errant beliefs are the progeny of nearly a half-century of this kind of music. PRINCIPLE: Christians are responsible to God for addressing the world with the Truth of God, at whatever level God gives any of us influence. The concepts culture and the world we live in are adopting and embracing are promoting a worldview contrary to the one taught in the Bible. That worldview is both monistic and mystic. “All is one” (monism) is the principle belief of Universalism.Mysticism appeals to our emotions at the expense of Truth. In mystical monism, there is not distinction. All things are “relative” because all things are “related” to the “One.” It matters not how you relate to Him, Her or “It,” or what name you give to your “god,” because all path lead to the same place and there is no “divisive doctrine dogmas’ to say otherwise. Man is NOT separate from God due to his sin. After all: we all worship “God” in our own ways and by whatever name WE feel comfortable with. That is what’s being injected into many of the tributaries that come together at the headwaters in the mainstream of CCM. But there are sharks in those waters. Knowing that all expressions of sin drive both individuals and society at large further away from God, the danger that that God and the Gospel will be ambiguously defined and that millions will remain objects of His wrath (Jn.3:18; 16:8) is real. How can the Body of Christ be silent or indulgent…and still sleep at night? (Or, maybe the better question is, “Doesn’t that just about define who the Body of Christ really is and who is really AWOL in their thinking or lost altogether”)? The doctrine of homosexuality being mainstreamed for instance, needs to be lovingly attacked with the Truth of God. But that’s NOT a trumpet call for attacking individuals wading deeply into the cesspool of what homosexuality is. Some may be militant and malicious. Other may be deceived. Some know it’s evil and just don’t care. Like the guy who beats his wife, they couldn’t care less about what the rest of the world thinks about it. Homosexual individuals need lovingly confronted with that Truth in an engaging manner. (I did not say to indulge them in dialogue), so they can help understand that what they do is ‘alright.’ It’s NOT alright anymore than south or north make no difference when we travel. There is a “highway of holiness,” so to speak that Isa.35:8 describes as a road where only those walking in the ways of holiness can abide. All other roads are less than holy and do not “all lead to the same place.” Yet, much CCM has those blowing the trumpet of unifying the world’s religions and spiritualities together for a “blended whole.” God calls it syncretism and He hates it. “Many” are coming, speaking, preaching and singing “in Jesus’ name,” things completely out of character with His name. Jesus said they would come “…and deceive many” (Matt.24:5c). Peter said that when we they came they would “bring in false prophesies and damnable heresies” and that “many…would follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the Way of Truth shall be evil spoken of” (2Pet.2:1, 2, emphasis mine). Verse 3 declares that they’ll be driven by covetousness and will use ‘feigned word” to “make merchandise” of the saints. But we are not to miss this fact from verse 1: “…even denying the Lord that bought them…”. That’s right, they’re been redeemed–bought by the blood of the Lamb–but through self-indulgent sin they will make a money market out of the world and the church, and do it, “in Jesus’ name!” In Jesus’ name they will “make merchandise of you.” This is what these people have been instrumental in bringing together, AFTER demolishing the doctrinal walls that separate Truth from error in DOCTRINE. This is NOT an act of “love in Jesus’ name.” It’s helped to fix hatred of Jesus’ name in the heads of generations. This confusing message is lyrically on display for the world to mock our Lord. Sin, in whatever form, needs to be confronted. But sinners drowning in sin must be confronted in the manner Jesus confronted the woman at the well of Samaria. Jesus walked nearly 112 miles out of His way because He’d been told by His father that He had a ‘divine appointment’ the Father had booked for Him. “He must needs go through Samaria” is the Holy Spirit’s commentary on His journey that implies all of that (see Jn.4:4; 14:10-12, 16, 26, & 31; 15:26, 27. According to Jn.16:14, the only way we can glorify the Father is to receive the things of Jesus and show them to the world.” There is no room for sheepish disciples in that calling. Out of the journey to Samaria came a saved prostitute; through whose testimony a whole town full of men who may even have been some of her customers believed. The goal of God is always redemptive. He corrects with warnings that condemnation will come UNLESS they repent and be saved. Jesus tested this woman’s honesty about the way she was living that did not beat around the bush. Our message must be the same for the thief and the prostitute, the liar and the cheat–so both the world and the carnal can keep their accusations of homophobia and hate speech to themselves. The apologetic community dare not waver on attacking the issue: the doctrine and the very idea of homosexuality. The “Church of the the living God” is called to be “…the pillar and ground of the Truth” (1Tim.3:15). So “Church”– DON’T YOU DARE back off or back down from that high and holy calling. Pulpits failing on those and similar issues hold the lion’s share of responsibility for dropping the ball on that. (And since I preach from one of those pulpits every Sunday, I get to say that). With all that understood, attacking the issue of homosexuality being mainstreamed in the cult of culture, our public schools and institutions is one thing. Attacking individuals who happen to embrace that sin as “okay” is quite another. So finally we’ve arrived at the juxtaposed truths of being called to judge without being condemnatory or falling into “judgmental-ISM.” Making Righteous judgments is an activity, not a mentality. Jesus said, “Judge not that you be not judged; for with whatever judgment you judge, you shall be judged. And with whatever measure you measure, it shall be measured to you again”, (Matt.7:1 & 2). We must learn to attack the sin of homosexuality without attacking homosexuals FOR their sin. Because all sin is an abomination to God, so-called “lesser sins” bring just as much potential condemnation on a person as greater sins. The balance of prohibitions against “judging,” (when the whole counsel of God is observed and obeyed), is to confront lovingly without taking assumed position that WE are THE “Judge of the living and the dead. Jesus was not putting a moratorium on judging. He just wants us to remember that every one of us will be judged by the measuring stick of the Word of God. So don’t approach with an attitude of arrogance and attack in a spirit of condemnation. Approach each person redemptively, with the goal of reaching them for Christ–not just telling them how dark and evil their dark evil is. Peter teaches that our apologetic is to “give a [rational] reason for the hope that lives within us” but to do so, “with gentleness and fear.” There should be a compassionate tenderness evident in our confrontations. He should be short on religion and long on grace. Were it not for God’s mercies, we would all be consumed (Lamentations 3:21-23). His compassions fail not; neither should ours. Have pity on them, not in an “holier than thou” tone or disposition of heart. They’ll detect that in a heartbeat and run from the Gospel you should be working to gain a hearing for as fast as they can. As grandma used to say, “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.” Jesus never back down from calling sin, “sin.” But when He did, sinners were drawn to Him and converted; not condemned and pushed away. Jesus wanted it to be clear to those He spoke with, that to reject Him and His Truth, was to stand, “condemned already” (Jn.3:18). But He also wanted it to be clear that if they repented and placed their trust in Him while their was still breath in their lungs, they could be forgiven and saved. So as we believers address these issues overtaking the social media circles of America, there is no need to be sheepish on what the Bible teaches and how if will effect men eternally. But there better be a fear of the Lord abiding in our hearts and a tear choking our voices when we confront individuals with the Truth. They may not receive our words, but we best be sure that we give them every reason to return to them in the process of dealing with them. Jesus LOVED the most wicked around Him, because He knew that they were the product of the Fall of mankind from Eden forward. They are the satanic victims of a sin-cursed world. We all are. That doesn’t make them or us any less responsible for our sins, it merely cites the powers that drive men away from God and His Truth. If we are going to our best job of serving the Lord Jesus Christ as we bring even the grossest sinner among us God’s Truth, they must sense within us, a heart breaking for them. We are to be approaching sinners with the Gospel, not attacking them with it. Yes, God’s Truth is to be our declaration, but it’s not a declaration of war. Our calling is not to “dialogue” with them so that we can become more comfortable with their sinful ways. We are to be direct and firm, but we are to use discretion that mimics the Holy Spirit’s fruit (Gal.5:22). The fire of our passion must be sprinkled with divine compassion, if we want men to come to Christ through our work. We’re not responsible to “seek” consensus, we’re responsible for molding it. We’re responsible to attack the false concepts and ideologies the world is embracing and peddling to the corruption of our young people. But we are to do so AS we call men and women to come to God. We are to JUDGE those within the church who claim to follow Jesus, but whose lives depict otherwise. So when CCM singers, songwriters, producers, etc., advocate in conversation or lyric that they disagree with the dogmatic nature of Jesus’ teachings on matters of faith and practice, the church or Christian that DOESN’T make a judgment call against them is sinning against BOTH them and the Lord. For the most hateful act anyone can commit against another human being is to know the Truth that will set them free, save them from eternal separation from God, and speak it not.

      • Heather January 28, 2016 at 12:08 am #

        Yes Yes Yes!!! Thank you for sharing all of this!

      • Heather January 28, 2016 at 12:24 am #

        Btw… If you blog (or podcast), I would love to follow you.

        • pastor g January 28, 2016 at 11:34 am #

          Google decided my blog (formerly “Sling and Stone”), didn’t belong on their website and took it down, acting like it was for non payment, when I tried desperately to pay their silly little fee. So, I am presently investigating the best way to reinvent it. We may attach it to the website of the church I pastor in State College, Pa., or we may get another independent domain and go major on the effort. But you can reach me at pastorgreg55@gmai.com

  4. Ukulelemike January 19, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    The entire mess that is CCM, or Contemporary Worship Music, is a complete mess and is unchristian from its beginning. It seeks to emulate popular secular music, and even if the lyrics are decent, it is an unbiblical mixture of the world’s music with God’s message, and this is forbidden in scripture. Now we are seeing CCM performers coming out publicly, declaring themselves gay and saved, or coming out as unbelievers. No surprise on either front. Churches ought to refute it and rebuke it soundly and come out from among them.

    • berlorac January 19, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

      Ukulelemike, I agree that the vast majority of CCM and Contemporary Worship is unbiblical, due to the dearth of solid lyrics. But don’t bring the style of music into the equation. The music of the world is always contemporary to those who live in any particular era. I suppose you would say that Handel’s “Messiah” is an “unbiblical mixture of the world’s music with God’s message.” In fact, you would have to say that because Handel’s music was contemporary, bearing great resemblance to any of the other “classical” composers of the time.

      Today, we have different instruments and genres, but that doesn’t automatically make the music “unbiblical.” Can you describe what “biblical music” is? Maybe ukuleles, mike?

      • pastor g July 9, 2016 at 7:25 am #

        The problem is not with Ukulelemike’s point of view, but with the word “contemporary.” The CCM industry coined the term and it’s an oxymoron. For instance, “Contemporary Christian music has been around for nearly 50 years. At what point does it become old? Your illustration that Handel’s Messiah was “contemporary” in it’s day is a non-sequester argument, making it a mute point altogether. “Contemporary” (as you used the term) was lifted out of the context of a proper noun title and given a Webster’s Dictionary definition. You did a “bait and switch” argument. “Contemporary” in the CCM industry is a proper noun, depicting a categorical genre of music. In your use of the term in criticizing Ukulelemike’s point, you also made a ridiculous and gross assumption that he would consider Handel’s Messiah worldly. You created a “straw man” argument, lit it on fire, and blamed your opponent’s argument for the flames that set off the smoke detector.

  5. lyn January 19, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    Concerning Charles Finney – http://defendingcontending.com/2009/01/25/exposing-an-old-heretic-charles-g-finney/

  6. Arjën January 20, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    A well written article full of sincere warnings and Christlike refutation first of all. But what are your opinions on the likes of Casting Crowns, Building 429, and Tenth Avenue North? Because when I listen to their lyrics, there seems to be nothing wrong with them, and from what I can deduce from their songs, it seems to me that they are Reformed in their theology…

  7. Darrel January 20, 2016 at 11:52 am #

    The list of errors and heresies of Charles Finney is too long for blog post, muchless a reply. However the short list includes:
    1) “Salvation is the work of man” a direct quote from CGF.
    2) a man could “lift himself up by his own boot straps” false theology characterized his life and his ‘preaching’.
    3) the Blood of Christ was superfluous (unnecessary) to him (Heb. 10:29)
    4) hell does not exist
    5) man can approach God if he chooses to (Rom. 3:11)
    6) total depravity, the sin nature of man does not exist.
    7) after “salvation” the new “Christian” never commits another sin (sinless perfection
    on earth—-1John 1:6-10)
    8) he preached “revival” an unbiblical concept, nowhere to be found in Scripture, as
    the concept of “revival” exists since Edward’s day.
    9) his version of “revival” was heavy on experiences accredited to the Holy Spirit
    (as dangerous then as it is now) as evidenced by the above portion of his memoirs.
    10) he brought to the church the “altar call” which resulted in a “decisional
    regeneration”, which is NOT genuine salvation.
    11) by his own admission, his life’s work was a failure, the ones that were “saved”
    at his “revivals” were no where to be found in a church just a few months after
    their supposed “salvation” (the same is true of Billy Graham)

    The fruit of CGF’s revivals and altar calls is seen in the fact that there was no lasting effect in the people that pretended to salvation. The same is true today as seen in Matt. 13:3-9. Those who actually think themselves to be “saved” after they prayed the “sinner’s prayer” or filled out a ‘decision card’ or were pronounced “saved” by some ignorant (of the Gospel) preacher are the ones most in danger. No doubt many if not all will agree with CGF, as he talked about “waves of love” and the rest of the nonsense he spouted, after they have made their “decision for Christ” but none of these sincere and well-meaning folks are ever saved by a decision they have made—NOT ONE. Your decision has nothing to do with the salvation obtained by the Lord Jesus Christ for His elect. Rather, it is a mockery of the Father and the Son.

    A very detailed picture of the end result of this “decisional regeneration” is found in Matt. 12:43-45. V. 43 begins with the unclean spirit leaving a man, promoted by the “decision” just made. Like Finney, most “feel” they are clean, even ‘forgiven’ and heaven bound. For those who put faith in the prayer they prayed the question is: how long did it last? did you find yourself back in the same sins you were in before you were “saved” and enjoying them even more? did you ever ‘feel the need’ to pray the same prayer for ‘salvation’ a second time, a third, a fourth? was repentance a momentary thing that passed quickly, or is it with you still to this day? Eventhough the unclean spirit may have been evicted for a while, if the Holy Spirit does not take up residence within a man then the unclean spirit will return and bring more of his kind with him (V. 44 & 45). This will always be the result of the “altar call” that originated with CGF along with the “sinner’s prayer” not matter how it is ‘modified’, ‘improved’, ‘enhanced’, or made acceptable to those who are being deceived by it ON PURPOSE by those who inflict it upon you.

  8. Alton Mitchell January 24, 2016 at 8:26 am #

    Why argue and tear down other believers for their music? Let’s work on all the unsaved ones and somehow getting the church like-minded again so we can move this Word like the apostles got it over the world in 2 years. That’s no media, but each one win one. No more division, let’s go to the Word and let it speak for itself.

    “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”
    ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭1:20‬ ‭KJV‬‬

  9. Heather January 28, 2016 at 12:16 am #

    Great article!
    I myself defended the rise of CCM at one point. I’ve been known to say ” as long as my heart’s right, why does it matter if I sing their song?”.

  10. Anhonestapproach March 9, 2016 at 5:16 am #

    What I struggle with is the money involved. If it was going to feed the poor etc fine.
    Many of our Christian worship leaders / song writers live like footballers and their wags in the millionaire houses. Children at large fee paying schools. Swimming pools etc

    Now profiting from the gispel i cannot see anywhere in the bible, unless someone can show me. Where people who are serving the poor struggle to get buy each day.

    Their argument is my heart is not for money. But where your treasure lies you will find the heart.

  11. Kevin April 7, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

    Sadly, Christian music is merely reflection of what is taught from the pulpit week in and week out. Whether it is modern “worship,” or beloved hymns, Christian music is rich with erroneous theology based on improper reading and teaching (dividing) of scripture.

  12. NR Thompson July 7, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    Wow, You know, this back and forth strikes me as very King-of-the-Hill. Fight, fight, fight, call each other names, impune everyone’s motives, and you win what? The winner is still standing on a pile of dirt in the middle of an insignificant childish battleground and everyone’s nose is bloody and all eyes are black… …including Christ’s.

    The unregenerate world is watching. Grow up.

    Oh, and go take a look at the mass of moderns that stand in desperate need of the healing message of the gospel, dying every day, in their sins… While you all bicker about why we shouldn’t sing “Jesus, Lover of my Soul”…

  13. R Scott September 30, 2016 at 7:41 pm #

    So many of these comments are so tragic. Ripping Christian brothers and sisters apart over minor or imagined issues, when they are truly worshiping the Lord and helping many be discipled. Brian Houston is an outstanding man of God, I listen to him regularly, and I have been taught at a very conservative Christian school and studied the Scriptures since I was 8. Accusing Finney of not believing in hell, calling the New Apostolic Reformation a cult etc etc like some comments and this article do is simply ridiculous. I’ve read Wagner’s articles, Bethel church’s statement of faith, etc and why anyone keeps attacking these fine people over what are simply minor doctrinal differences is beyond me. Heresy is one thing, minor doctrinal disputes and charismatic practice are another. If anyone has a problem, I’d say it’s those who go on and on in their many mean spirited false accusations. Jesus will have some strong words for you at the judgment seat. Paul said he rejoiced that Christ is preached (Phil. chapter 1).

    • Amy Spreeman October 3, 2016 at 10:01 am #

      R Scott, Jesus had some pretty strong words for those who bring apostate teachings and teach little ones to stumble. A lot of warnings to mark and avoid these people and their teachings, not cuddle and coddle them. Please read your Bible and stop being politically correct. These are dicey times for the Church.

    • Kay October 6, 2016 at 9:44 am #

      As someone who has consistently met with brothers and sisters from all kinds of backgrounds, “charismatic”, “non-charismatic”, baptist, methodist, lutheran, house church in europe and US and china….AMEN to you Scott! Christ is all in all!

      • SheilaKaye October 24, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

        Seems entertainment has taken front row in the congregations. It’s all about the “me” society that has sprung up over the last 75 or so years. More and more congregations feel a need to retain the brethren by entertainment, separate “fun” Sunday stuff for kids so they won’t have to endure the worship service, bringing in the evangelists and other big-money speakers and music groups for entertainment. This has nothing to do with worship of the Almighty God, but everything to do with making sure that the masses are entertained. If a Christian can’t sit for a couple of hours and learn straight from scripture without somehow being entertained, something has gone wrong and it started happening a long time ago when Christians were being worldly and entertained and not paying attention.

        Christ is certainly NOT in ALL and if you believe that, you have been fed a lot of contemporary church pablum.

  14. Jada February 23, 2017 at 12:30 am #

    This article says that CCM uses emotion to trap people into their music and teach them false doctrine. But isnt feeling God a huge part of being a christian. If we dont love God (which is an emotion) that means we arent going to heaven. SO wouldnt feeling something during worshiping a good thing. When people cry or are on their knees when worshipping does that mean they are not worshiping God cause they are feeling emotions?? I believe that music that makes you feel something for God is amazing. Jesus Culture’s music got me through a really tough time. They reminded me of Gods love and how i am never going to be alone. Dosentm God want us to praise him and empty our hearts.

    • Amy Spreeman February 23, 2017 at 11:06 am #

      Hi Jada, that is a great question. I would ask, if Scripture is our all sufficient authority, then we must find those feelings of emotion in God’s Word. Certainly worshippers feel emotion when considering His holiness, but we don’t see this as a prescription for the Christian life. Those feelings of love as an affection are not mentioned in Scripture as a requirement for going to heaven. But faith is.

      What we want to let our readers know about Jesus Culture is the false theology it teaches its hearers. Jesus Culture is worse in its theology, I would say, as Hillsong music. I think you would find this podcast discussion fruitful and informational: http://www.piratechristian.com/berean-examiner/2016/10/3-reasons-to-avoid-hillsong-music

    • Maggie February 23, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

      Jada, the more I study the Bible, the more I learn of God’s character and His relationship with me. My emotions can come and go, but my faith stands on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. It’s important to understand the difference between good and false theology, and I hope you follow up on this information.

  15. Manny1962 February 23, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

    As a rule of thumb, anything with the word CULTURE, SOCIAL and POLITICS linked in any way to Christianity or Jesus warrants a huge red flag. It usually leads down a path that’s not scriptural.

    • Shea February 23, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

      I’d like to add entertainment to that list. Christ’s teachings are all about self-denial to the betterment of others. Americans spend so many $billions on entertainment they can no longer discern the evil in the entertainment industry and it is all evil, as are the music industry (think Christian groups with label contracts), the fashion industry, and even the food industry. These are at the root of gluttony.

Leave a Reply