Hillsong

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Nicki
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Hillsong

Postby Nicki » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:53 am

I've noticed Hillsong church and its music (in particular its theology) being mentioned unfavourably a couple of times here - just wondering what people think of them exactly. I think we sing a few Hillsong numbers at church (I'm not certain because they never have a credit at the bottom). I do enjoy and appreciate contemporary church songs and I think most of them have good theology - they're usually full of Scripture for one thing.

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Re: Hillsong

Postby Nicki » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:37 pm

:sbump:

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Re: Hillsong

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:25 pm

While not all songs, I see many songs setup a "Me-ism". Worship songs are about God a spiritual visitation upon the person, even borderline commands to God to reveal Himself. Some even "bless" God, as though we are sovereign and have a power to bless God. While, such might be unintended, what one is actually saying becomes left at the door because one is so much seeking an experience with God. It a way, the words and songs become more about a spiritual experience, during worship of what-have-you, with meaningless repetition of words rather than sincere words spoken.

If you are skeptical of what I say here, then I encourage you to throw a few songs my way. I'll point out issues I have with any. But, now you have the above lens, I'm sure you'll be able to more readily see the fault yourself in such songs more clearly.

In addition, the theology in sermons and the like often fail. Again, a "Me-ism" of sorts is quite pervasive in sermons that are common to motivational speakers and primarily geared towards "Christian living" with more emphasis of "living" rather than sound doctrine and a solid exposition of Scripture -- and by such I mean really coming to and exploring Scripture on its own terms, like a theologian, rather than always trying to draw some message from such to be applied in our every day life.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Hillsong

Postby Nessa » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:14 am

Kurieuo wrote:While not all songs, I see many songs setup a "Me-ism". Worship songs are about God a spiritual visitation upon the person, even borderline commands to God to reveal Himself. Some even "bless" God, as though we are sovereign and have a power to bless God. While, such might be unintended, what one is actually saying becomes left at the door because one is so much seeking an experience with God. It a way, the words and songs become more about a spiritual experience, during worship of what-have-you, with meaningless repetition of words rather than sincere words spoken.

If you are skeptical of what I say here, then I encourage you to throw a few songs my way. I'll point out issues I have with any. But, now you have the above lens, I'm sure you'll be able to more readily see the fault yourself in such songs more clearly.

In addition, the theology in sermons and the like often fail. Again, a "Me-ism" of sorts is quite pervasive in sermons that are common to motivational speakers and primarily geared towards "Christian living" with more emphasis of "living" rather than sound doctrine and a solid exposition of Scripture -- and by such I mean really coming to and exploring Scripture on its own terms, like a theologian, rather than always trying to draw some message from such to be applied in our every day life.


To a certain extent I do agree with you. But on closer reflection since this thread, I feel somewhat differently.
I listen to this song a bit...For anyone bound with fear, it is encouraging.



Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior


Also this one which reminds me of scriptures from habakkuk



even when It hurts like hell I will praise you

When I look at the bible it is chokka block full of me-isms. I am not saying this is good as in a good place to stay but often I think it's a real place to be and God can work through it. Maybe I am just more honest with my own feelings lately and realise I'm not really the nicest person out there.. And am quite taken back at my own selfishness and Me-isms. I can think horrible thoughts such as not wanting someone to be happy because I'm not. But as I dont deny my me-isms, God can work. If we sing a me-ism song and we do still love God then he can work on our hearts. And if we are meaning the lyrics then at least we are being honest. Better that than singing a really God focused song and paying God lip service.

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Re: Hillsong

Postby Nessa » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:26 am

Also there are a few scriptures out there including Psalm 34 that talk about blessing the lord at all times

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Re: Hillsong

Postby Kurieuo » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:49 am

You win, good songs.

Hillsong was born out of AoG in Australia which is my denomination of origin. So such resonates with me, despite sadly many being rationally all over the place.

When in church, there are many Hillsong songs sung or similar to such, which I just cannot get into. Telling God what He should do like bring a revival, make Himself known, healing and the like. Despite it not all being that way, there is nonetheless a very "what is in it for me" type Gospel. Come to God, believe in Christ, and He'll make everything alright.

When one has reached a dark moments in life, they've gotten on in life, thoughts of "where is God" can set in. I've seen this personally. Such feelings and the resentment of such people, has been setup, especially in places like Hillsong which focuses upon spiritual experience, healing and prosperity. God can meet one's dreams, hopes and aspirations, all they need to do is come to Christ.

Those who I'd never question their belief in Christ, as life has gone on it seems what they ultimately believed in a god meeting all their needs, hopes, desires, dreams. They may reach a point in life when they're sick of being flat, they turn on Him "what has God ever done for me!?". When you hear such words, and they go looking to other things rather than God who has "let them down" (because the God they believe in doesn't match with reality), it makes me wonder about what kind of system of theology cultivated such...

Second, there is spiritual jealousy that is inspired. Those who "appear" to have it, and those who don't. Those who "prophecise" and those who don't. Those who "heal" and those who don't. Those who talk in "tongues" and those who don't. Those who "hear" God and those who don't. Those who "interpret" and those who don't. Those who have stories and those who don't. God appears to pour out His love more upon some than others. The churches cultivate such by praising those with who who appear very spiritual, even at times giving them the pulpit which they parade themselves upon. Spiritual envy is common. When spiritual appearances is more important than sound doctrine, such might be loving God with soul, but the mind is far from loving God.

Third, given rhemas and common snippets of Scripture quoted here and there given as messages from God, one quickly learns to "hear" God speaking directly to them via Scripture. There's a message in it for them. It becomes about what God is telling them, personally, to do with their life, in that particular moment, wherever their eyes land on Scripture as they flip open the Bible. Such leads to very subjective and wrong interpretations, and ones which have nothing to do with the fuller context of words they're actually reading.

Fast-forward to times where they're suffering and trial, it might be a broken marriage, and then one personalises and uses Scripture to justify their desires and wants. Anyone with anything say to the contrary is seen as judgemental, unloving and lacking understanding. Their subjectiveness starts overtaking and it becomes appear God is merely that which they "feel" and want to be the case. To use an example, if they're unhappy in marriage, well "God is love", "God wants me to be happy", my marriage isn't working... I'll look elsewhere. Just an example. One I'm familiar with, highlighting how Christianity more becomes centred around the individual rather than Christ.

These are some dangers within such, there are dangers to any church or denomination. It is important to understand. Especially when one is feeling inadequate or like God isn't there, that they're not backsliding, God does love them even if He's not ministering to them, even if they don't "feel" Him, even if their hopes and dreams aren't being fulfilled. Yes, songs can be very inspiring, such inspiring worship with the lights, smoke, all sorts of instruments, and like -- very experiential rather than dry and dull. "Bright and shiny", yet many do end up feeling burnt and hollowed out for one reason or another due to the Christian teachings, spiritual and social games played, culture and continual emphasis that God will meet all our emotional needs and desires.
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Re: Hillsong

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:34 am

I like their music and it can be very inspirational.

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Re: Hillsong

Postby Nicki » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:40 am

Thanks everyone. K, here a few 'Hillsongs' (my first time posting links - I'd post the actual videos as Nessa did if I knew how!) -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtUNQpu2b7Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzXYSJhNu2g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Lab0SHGXkA

I couldn't find the one that goes 'I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground' - I like that too. And here are some other songs more often sung at my church than the Hillsong ones - I didn't know most of them were by the same band.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCEtqL7HTZQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp-kT3Pl3tw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLIKjKRU0YY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_KXsMC ... 0DrkigpPQc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoezWBP ... 0DrkigpPQc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoC1ec-lYps

So are Hillsong songs even more about me-ism than other contemporary ones? I understand the issue with focussing on experience all the time - I was part of an AOG church for a few years which was somewhat like what you describe with the spiritual gifts (and maybe some jealousy) but since then I've been at Baptist and Church of Christ congregations where no one speaks in tongues or anything. It tends to be not about experience for its own sake so much as receiving from God so we can reach out to others.

Regarding sermons, however - I very much appreciate the talks at our current church which are engaging, dynamic and pretty much all about Christian living and applying the Bible to life. The senior leader said once he doesn't think much of people who teach God's word in a boring way - I've sat through that kind of thing a few times in the past! His last talk could be boiled down to 'purpose over popularity' - choosing to do what we think God wants us to do even if other people don't like it. Good idea? He's always encouraging people to read the Bible for themselves during the week too.

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Re: Hillsong

Postby Nicki » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:42 am

Nessa wrote:Also there are a few scriptures out there including Psalm 34 that talk about blessing the lord at all times


Quite right - 'bless the Lord, oh my soul...'

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Re: Hillsong

Postby Kurieuo » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:27 am

Nicki wrote:
Nessa wrote:Also there are a few scriptures out there including Psalm 34 that talk about blessing the lord at all times


Quite right - 'bless the Lord, oh my soul...'

Not to make a big thing of it, but It's wrong to me. I just think, what does it even logically mean to "bless God"?

We can say "God bless you" because God has the power and we hope God will bless. We have no power in and of ourself to bless others with (beyond human means), and especially no power we can bless God with. NIV better renders Psalm 34:1 better as "exalt".

If one uses "bless" in the sense of gratitude and thankfulness, exalting God, then such is fine. But, to "bless God" for me, "bless" has different connotations. I dare say, many just utter words in songs, without thinking them through. I can't do that, and such can lead to all sorts of distorted and accepted beliefs.

Came across an article by John Piper which articulates the "blessing God" issue quite well: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/wha ... -bless-god
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Re: Hillsong

Postby Nessa » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:19 am

Yes, I did check other versions and thought the kjv says 'bless' but you are right that interpretation is key.

Nicki, youtube links...

[youtube] y1RQciil7B0 [/youtube]

You paste the youtube page address inbetween youtube code. You must delete my spaces tho and delete some of the youtube address just keeping letters and numbers that appear after / or =


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Re: Hillsong

Postby B. W. » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:37 pm

I think Hillsong has some great music and yet like with anything some not so inspirational songs too that have a chant like hum to them.

As long as the gospel is preached so be it. I do not know much about the Australian Hillsong churches; however, a few here in the USA seemed to have strayed into some odd doctrines. As I understand it, the Hillsong churches are not locked into a cookie cutter model so they permit liberty for their Pastors to teach freely. It is those that go after odd teachings that I have mentioned as I would any church if they did the same. However, I did not want to give the impression they all are bad.

Hillsong leads the praise market in Chrsitian Media as Maranatha and Vineyard did years ago. You might go further back to Fanny Crosby hymns as well to. D L Moody used pianos with the latest Christian music of his day during his meetings. I think Charles Finney played the Violin during his meetings too. All these were controversial in their period in history.

I see Hillsong music as no different. It is a tool God can use to reach people. That I am glad for. As with any Christian music you can get some folks who excellent singers and musicians but not anointed in the least in the mix.

I use songs I write such as: Riding My Harley to the Sky or You ever had one of those Days at Evangelistic meetings. If I sing and play these in Church - I probably be reprimanded by the powers that be... both are Christian songs. The Harley song is a blues number and the one of those days song is a country style. Songs work great for outreach to the unchurched and unsaved and those tainted with sin and sorrow.

Here are the lyrics to one song a friend and I wrote that can't be sung anywhere in a church venue and it is copyright protected 2010. This song is not A Hillsong tune by a long shot but the truth it contains is fitting:

The Clean Bride
Music and lyrics by
George Moore and Bryan Melvin


Lord why don’t we pay the full asking price

Why don’t we ever sit down and count the cost anymore


Guess we live in a micro-wave so-ciety

McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell ~~~ and such

We gotta have it our own way fast

That’s how the world thinks, I’m sorry to say

But the Kingdom of God, is to have it his way

But the Kingdom of God, Is to have it his way



Lord why don’t we pay the full asking price

Why don’t we ever sit down and count the cost anymore


Everyone is preaching dis-counts, In the Kingdom of God

Come on Down for Nineteen Ninety Five

We’re spending our money on things that just won’t last

That’s how the Church thinks, I’m sorry to say

But the Kingdom of God, is to have it his way

But the Kingdom of God, Is to have it his way



Trust and obey for there is no other way, His ways will always remain

Lord it is time for a change, Lord it is time for a change (Top Verse – end)

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Re: Hillsong

Postby Nicki » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:01 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Nicki wrote:
Nessa wrote:Also there are a few scriptures out there including Psalm 34 that talk about blessing the lord at all times


Quite right - 'bless the Lord, oh my soul...'

Not to make a big thing of it, but It's wrong to me. I just think, what does it even logically mean to "bless God"?

We can say "God bless you" because God has the power and we hope God will bless. We have no power in and of ourself to bless others with (beyond human means), and especially no power we can bless God with. NIV better renders Psalm 34:1 better as "exalt".

If one uses "bless" in the sense of gratitude and thankfulness, exalting God, then such is fine. But, to "bless God" for me, "bless" has different connotations. I dare say, many just utter words in songs, without thinking them through. I can't do that, and such can lead to all sorts of distorted and accepted beliefs.

Came across an article by John Piper which articulates the "blessing God" issue quite well: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/wha ... -bless-god


As the article says, the phrase is in quite a few Bible verses so I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I guess I've always been unsure of the exact meaning of it but it's obviously positive (unlike, say, cursing); I never thought of it as implying superiority to God. Hey, it's in his word; it must be right. Did you see my song links - it turns out most of the songs we sing are not Hillsong ones but feel free to critique.

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Re: Hillsong

Postby Nicki » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:03 am

Nessa wrote:Yes, I did check other versions and thought the kjv says 'bless' but you are right that interpretation is key.

Nicki, youtube links...

[youtube] y1RQciil7B0 [/youtube]

You paste the youtube page address inbetween youtube code. You must delete my spaces tho and delete some of the youtube address just keeping letters and numbers that appear after / or =



Ah, so that's how you do it - I didn't have a clue. y#-o Thanks.

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Re: Hillson

Postby melanie » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:06 am

I think a distinction needs to be made between what is okay in regards to music, what personally lifts us to God and the detrimental aspects of a 'church'.
There are some songs on commercial radio that to me mean something spriitual. The lyrics touch me and I exhalt that meaning in praise to God.
Some of my favourite hymns I learnt through my Cathoilic schooling, and whilst I don't adhere to Catholicism, those hymns remain an integral part of my worship.
I also grew up listening to Hillsong and actually owned a few CDs. Again I can take away some fabulous songs, with uplifting lyrics of praise and worship but at the same time balancing an understanding that the church itself, Assemblies of God was and is a 'church' that is flawed. In my opinion, flawed extensively. From its pastors to its practices.
Music I believe was a very influencal, pivotal marketing point of the 'church'. As is seen in Hillsong.

That doesn mean it isn't without value, for God makes His path straight even within the most crooked of means. If it brings you joy and you exalt the lyrics to God then there is nothing at all wrong with that.


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