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Lance Goodall 10 August 2019


There are signs that the standards at New York’s Time Square Church are slipping

 

The following two videos show the desire for Time Square Church to remain hip and sheik. We see the congregation happily singing Hillsong’s “What a beautiful name”.

Apart from labouring the Chorus and the bridge which you see in these two videos. The way the two song leaders try to whip up enthusiasm is quite disturbing.

 

 

I ask the question — what is their policy on songs from a church that is in their suburb and who preaches a different gospel and worships a different Jesus?

Let’s just look at the lyrics for a moment….

 

 

You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

His glory hidden in creation? Sounds sort of right, but the scripture tells us the opposite “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament his handiwork” – Psalm 19:1,2

And again in the book of Romans

Romans 1:19-21 (KJV)

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

So if we fail to see God’s glory, it’s not God veiling himself, but rather our hearts failing to see divine truths starring at us!

 

What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

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

 

 

You didn’t want heaven without us. Again is this true, is this accurate?

‘You didn’t want heaven without us, so, Jesus, you brought heaven down.’ The question is, Does saying, ‘You didn’t want heaven without us’ imply a man-centered gospel? The statement isn’t necessarily false, but the implications could be skewed.

Additionally, the word ‘so’ is used afterwards, implying that the following statement of ‘bringing heaven down’ was founded upon the first statement of not wanting heaven without us. Much like the word ‘therefore,’ ‘so’ implies heaven was brought down in response to God not wanting heaven without us. Do you believe these lyrics are biblically valid?”

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Lyrics Matter

Historically, it’s the hymnody of the church that has, alongside preaching, been one of the most powerful means by which a church is taught. I would guess that in some churches the songs may be even more decisive in the way truth is embraced because the preaching may be so thin when it comes to doctrinal teaching. Of course, the songs may be very thin as well.

You can sing very thin songs that just repeat even great sentences like “his name is great.” That’s true, but does it ever say why it’s great or how the cross grounds its greatness? I say amen to the struggle, and I commend every worship team to be vigilant over the lyrics of what their people are singing.

The New Testament teaches plainly that people need to be shown what their real terrible condition is under the power of sin before grace can really be the God-exalting reality that it is. See Ephesians 2:1–10 and Ephesians 1:4–6, for example.

The question is not whether a statement in a song is literally true by itself but what effect it has on the people. That is, how does it fit into their view of God?

It may be that the same truth will be sung one time in one context, but it will not be sung another time in another context because the whole tendency and tone of the context is going to be misleading. It’s going to confirm error in the hearts of the people.

I dislike this lyric. It fits too easily into a theology of a God who created this universe because he was somehow lonely, or somehow created a ‘human-like’ vacuum inside himself,, and then saved people for the same reason. He just couldn’t be happy without us?

God’s delight in us is the overflow of his fullness, not the compensation of his emptiness. Does the song help the people feel that wonder? That’s the question.He does loves us and intensely, but this is not his primary motive. Rather it is God’s glory and name that is at stake in all of His creative and redemptive transactions.

“There is no reason for any church to sing songs that are misleading or even questionable.”

But somehow these extra-biblical songs enter our church psyche and become the norm.

There are hundreds of gospel-rich, doctrinally faithful, Christ-exalting, songs. So many that we don’t have to use the ones that seem theologically skewed, or suspect, and that may mislead God’s people.

So why is Time Square Church doing it? Is there no discernment? Has the church become too busy and too popular now that David Wilkerson’s prophetic tone has dissipated? Is Carter Conlon leaving the choice of songs up to some music director in the church, who is lacking maturity on these issues?

What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You
You silenced the boast of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring the praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, God, You reign
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name above all names

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, God, You reign
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name above all names

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

And note, as I have mentioned before this terrible habit of repeating phrases over and over which form a mantra which is a dangerous place to be.

It was this reality of singing the mantra of ‘man centred’ worship that woke me up one Sunday morning to the need to reassess my long-term involvement with Hillsong Church. I was standing onstage as a member of the choir, singing about freedom. Everything was about man, and my heart changed the actual words so that I could lift praise to God and adoration to Him instead. I left the church six months later.

We now worship our own personal Jesus!

The popular 2014 hit from Hillsong ‘Oceans’ is eight minutes long, you have a mantra right there.

Jimi Hendrix spoke of this cathartic experience;

People want release any kind of way nowadays. The idea is to release in the proper form. Then they’ll feel like going into another world, a clearer world. The music flows from the air; that’s why I can connect with a spirit, and when they come down off this natural high, they see clearer, feel different things. (Jimi, Life Magazine’s October 3, 1969)

Isn’t this the euphoria that Hillsong are offering it congregants?

Larry DeBruyn, in his book Church on the Rise, writes:

Rock music and mysticism share something in common; both  engender  indescribable  feelings  of  religious experience. In the connection between music and mysticism there exists real danger for Christian believers.

The danger is that individually and corporately, they will substitute man- made, man-centered, mechanically induced and non-rational musical experiences for genuine ones mediated by the Holy Spirit through the propositional and cognitive Word of God. (Church on the Rise, pp. 134–135)

This quote shines as a beacon to any wayfarer who wishes to venture out into the dangerous waters of Hillsong’s music mantras.

Hebrews 2:1-3a

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. (drift)

For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;

 

For more on this topic go to Hellsong The Music of Hillsong 

 

 

HELLSONG - The Music of Hillsong - In Praise of Folly by [Goodall, Lance]