Worship Music or Self Worship?

As I so regularly declare, theology matters. What we believe about God, and who we believe He is, is vital to our relationship with Him. If we see Him as a Santa Claus, sitting back waiting to give us everything we desire, then we are not having a relationship with the Almighty God. If we think that He is on His knees begging for us to accept Him and have a relationship with Him, then we are not having a relationship with the Almighty, Sovereign God of the universe. We can only know the True, Living God, from what He tells us about Himself in the Bible, and everything we do, say and believe upon about God, will come from our view of who we think He is. Our theology is CRUCIAL to having a true understanding of who God is. Anything less, or apart from the God expressed and described in the Bible, means that you are having a relationship with another god. Hopefully most of us know that by now.

I find that while many Christians are careful to be true to their theology in the church they attend, the books they read, and the teachers they listen to, they are quite careless when it comes to Christian music. I have been pondering on why this is so and I have come to a few conclusions. The first one is simply, enjoyment. The Charismatic and Pentecostal movement has definitely led the way with some really good Christian worship and praise music. In Australia, Hillsong and Hillsong United has smashed the world with hit after hit of really inspiring and easy to listen to Christian music. The Christian City Church group (C3), has also released some pretty good stuff. In America there is so much Christian music that is easy to listen to and quite inspiring, and that’s the key here; the music is enjoyable.

Secondly, I think that the reason many Christians are so willing to listen to Charismatic and Pentecostal worship music (and they love it), is because they are ignorant of the really bad theology of the churches and bands the music comes out of. Let’s take Hillsong for example. Hillsong are a prosperity gospel church that started in Australia. They have become a worldwide phenomenon, and they have grown wealthier and wealthier. They teach a weak gospel, which at times can be considered, another gospel. Their ‘church’ is a massive structure with marble floors and chandeliers. They hand bins around to collect ‘the tithe’ and they weasel your money out of you using inapplicable Old Testament scriptures. Their theology is rubbish. How do I know? I’ve been there. I used to attend Hillsong so I know firsthand what they teach and what they stand for. Naturally, their music flows from what they teach as a church.

C3 is even worse in its theology than Hillsong. They are greedy, money-grabbing, scripture twisting charlatans. I have never heard so much misused Old Testament preaching as from their churches. And it’s not limited to one or two, they’re all like that. There’s one in particular that is really bad, in fact it’s a smaller offshoot and it’s become a cult, still under the C3 banner. They excommunicate people who question or challenge the Pastor, they ban their congregation from having any contact with those people who have left the church, and they tell their members who they can and cannot socialise with. The spiritual abuse at some of these ‘churches’ is reprehensible. I know so many beautiful, godly people forced out of these churches because they questioned the Pastor/s about some of the false teachings, and the hurt and pain they’ve experienced is devastating.

And there are far more of these style churches in the USA, and around the world that manage to produce great sounding music while leading their members into hell. Do you even bother to check out the theology of your favourite bands?

So I have to ask you; does theology matter enough to you that you’d give up the sweet sound of your favourite Christian bands once you understand how bad their theology is, or is your entertainment more important to you? Where is that point where you will honour God with every area of your life, but still ‘praise’ Him with music written by godless and worldly Christians (yes, an oxymoron).

When I was in the Charismatic movement I loved the music. I bought all the CDs and t-shirts, and went to as many concerts as I could. I wanted to support these bands. When I left the Charismatic movement, I left behind their music, and I felt such a void. I realised then that it was the music I was worshipping! I loved how it made me feel, which is so sensual and worldly. It was never about God (even though it was in my mind); it was always about how I felt when I listened to it. And if you’re honest, you’d have to say the same thing. You can pretend that it makes you feel closer to God, but really, it’s all about how YOU feel. If you want to feel closer to God, read the Bible, recite the Psalms, pray! Music doesn’t have to be that medium that takes you closer to God. What is praise music for? It’s about praising the Lord, declaring who He is and what He has done. It’s not about how you feel, and if that’s what you love about it, I beg you to address this sensual, self-seeking behaviour, because that is NOT from God.

I have been so blessed to find some Christian music that declares the truth of the Bible and the truth of God, from God-fearing, Reformed Christians. It may not be as entertaining as Hillsong, but it is based on truth and sound theology. I go over every word of the music and the theology of every band/singer with a fine tooth comb. I test them, just as the Bible commands me to do. If their private faith and beliefs do not align with the Bible, then I discard their music. I wouldn’t sit and listen to a Joel Osteen or Kenneth Copeland teaching, so why would I expose myself to music from the likes of these false teachers? What we listen to is important.  Music stays with us, and penetrates our brain and our thoughts. We can’t help but play over the words in our heads. I want God’s word/s to be played over and over in my head. Theology matters, in every area of our lives. I pray that you will receive this message and act upon it. Throw that trash music out, with its false teachings and godlessness, and fill your head with the purity of God’s word and strong Biblical theology.Imageived, 

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