168. THE PROBLEM WITH MUCH OF TODAY’S SO-CALLED ‘WORSHIP’ MUSIC
(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
The Bible states of those who have become partakers of an eternal inheritance in heaven
because they believe that Jesus Christ rose again from the dead and have confessed him as Lord with their mouths: “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with REVERENCE and GODLY FEAR. For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12: 28 -29)
This scripture highlights the problem with much of what is promoted today on Christian radio stations, television, the internet and even in some Churches, as ‘gospel’ or ‘worship’ music.
Worship should be directed to the awesomeness of God, not the glorification of our flesh, “feeling good” or as has become quite popular in the Caribbean where I reside, “getting something and wave”.
I first heard the statement ‘’get something and wave’’ in worldly songs that were being aired by taxi and maxi-taxi drivers, as I traversed from one point to another and it is a known fact that this term originated in such worldly circles. It is heard particularly around the Carnival season in the Caribbean, which is a season, for those who don’t know, of revelry, vulgarity, filthiness, debauchery and glorification to the devil.
Now, sadly, this statement which originated in darkness, has caught on in so-called ‘Christian’ circles. Instead of being different as God has called us to be in 2 Corinthians 6:17, so that our light can shine in a dark world that has forsaken him and his righteousness, many people who say they are Christians are taking their cues and inspiration from the garbage presented in worldly music. They are creating songs that sound so similar to the world’s songs, that you can’t even tell the difference anymore.
They pathetically try to sanctify it, by including some words about Jesus, as if God would accept such an offering. Anything that was created by the devil’s inspiration and to bring glory to the devil, has no place in Christian circles. We ought not to take the devil’s work and sound and technique and that which was offered first to him and then try to clean it up and offer it to God. It is downright disrespectful.
God is not a God of sloppy seconds and he most certainly is not glorified when we offer to him what was first offered to the devil.
If God created music, which he did, he is certainly able to give his children inspiration as to what words, technique and sound to use when crafting a song. We don’t need to ask the devil for his advice or to use what he has already inspired his children in the world to use.
To those who say that they are Christians therefore and create ‘Christian’ music that closely resembles that of the world, you are sending a loud message to the world, that the God you claim to serve is not enough and that you therefore have to go to satan’s songs and musical techniques, to get ideas. You are saying that only satan’s music is appealing to the masses and you have therefore decided to use that and add some words about Jesus to it.
How pathetic, nonsensical and disturbing! God is not mocked!
When people who profess Christianity adopt the world’s revelrous, sensual and ungodly music as their own instead of setting their own pace and creating their own sound, they become like salt that has lost its saltiness.
The beauty of Christianity lies in us being distinct from the world, not joining hands with it.
Matthew 5:13 states: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
Genuine worship never loses its reverence and respect for God and does not try to imitate the world. It does not draw from what has already been offered to the world but is birthed from relationship with God. Jesus is always at the core of its focus and it does not care about money, fame, popularity, the masses, entertainment, competition, music charts or awards.
Now, I have heard songs of all types, some slow, some upbeat. Most times, you can tell which ones were created out of a right heart of worship and which ones were created by so-called Christians, for the wrong reasons, namely, to please man, gain popularity with the masses, be competitive or to deliberately sound like music that the devil inspired those in the world to create. In the latter case, those who create such music, deceive themselves, as they have convinced themselves that they are doing what they are doing to bring glory to God. Yet, what they are doing, due to a love of the world, is trying to pass revelry off as worship.
The Word of God is clear. 1 John 15-17 tells us:
- “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
I said it before and it breaks my heart to say it again: It is becoming more and more difficult to tell which song is a so-called CHRISTIAN song and which one is inspired by the devil because they sound so much alike.
That is not a good thing. That ought not to be. The distinction is fast becoming blurred and many so-called Christian songwriters and listeners love to have it so!
If we sound like the world and use phrases that the world uses, so as to fit in with the world, how is the product that we create going to bring glory to the God we claim to be serving? Is it really God that we are serving or our own lusts? Are these songs that we are crafting and deliberately trying to make sound like the songs of the world, really for God’s glory or for our own? Is the exaltation of Jesus Christ really the reason why we create these songs or to make a name for ourselves on the music charts and at our concerts?
There is a particular Christian radio station that I used to love listening to some years ago and today, I can’t. There is way too much garbage trying to pass itself off as Christian music on it and the spirit in me is not at all at peace with it! In my view, that station has seemingly joined hands with the world and yet it still thinks that such music, which sounds more and more like a secular radio station as the years progress is bringing glory to God.
We are definitely in the age of deception and we are so deluded. Many people who profess Christianity are dropping their standards because in their minds, serving the Lord in a separate and different way from the world is boring and will not yield them the support, popularity and financial rewards they are after. It is all about ratings and today, anything goes and everything is acceptable but only in man’s eyes, not God’s.
His standards remain. He is still the same (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). He still expects the Christian to look different and sound different. He still expects whatever music we are offering to him as worship, to be reverential in sound, tone, words and origin and be a stark contrast to what is offered by the world.
As if in a state of slumber, most people who profess Christianity do not even seem to realize what is happening! The high Christian standards are slipping so quickly as time progresses, that I shudder to think what ‘Christian’ music will sound like, ten years from now.
I REFUSE to go DOWN the road I see many Christian radio stations going. They don’t seem to realize that our standards are being compromised for the rubbish that the world produces. The sad truth is because we refuse to be separate and sanctified unto God, we are not influencing the world. The world is influencing us.
I am living in an age where, once the words ‘Jesus’, ‘God’, ‘Lord’ , ‘praise’ and ‘worship’ are thrown in flippantly somewhere in a song, it is called WORSHIP music, when in truth and in fact, there is NO reverence whatsoever, no respect, no adoration, no bleeding of the heart to the Lord, only feel good, dance plenty and enjoy one’s self.
Some of the so-called worship music being aired are not even from people who have a relationship with Jesus. They can sing good or play an instrument well and they see dollar signs in the so-called ‘Christian music industry’, so they join the bandwagon. Then, without applying any God-given discernment, we as Christians, simply accept it all and sing along!
What a shame! What exactly are we exposing ourselves to?
Now I have no problem with upbeat songs. I have heard many songs that are upbeat and jolly but are still reverential and still point the focus where it belongs, on Jesus. Conversely, I have heard some that are slow in pace, quite melodious but are anything but Godly, seeking to promote pride, sensuality, frenzied emotions or some other fruit of the flesh, definitely not the spirit.
Genuine worship songs are songs that were created while meditating on the awesomeness and magnificence of God (not ratings in the music charts) and are accepted by God when sung in humility, respect and REVERENCE to God, where our hearts connect with his because we are moved (sometimes even to tears) by his awesomeness.
Sadly, much of what is released today and played as WORSHIP or Christian music is anything but that. If a song appeals more to your flesh or to your emotions than to your spirit, it is NOT worship music. At least, it is not music where the Lord is the subject of the worship. Genuine worship music to the Lord, should have the power to bring you to your knees with thanksgiving, to make you humble yourself in the sight of the true and living God and amend your ways, not jump up high like if you were intoxicated or carry on like if you are in an emotional frenzy or a fete.
There is a reason that God calls his children to be sober, not intoxicated by the madness around us (1 Peter 5:8). Where are our standards? Where is the RESPECT, the REVERENCE, the GODLY FEAR that God deserves?
Not everything from our past needs to be done away with and embrace the new. Many of these so-called ‘new’ types of songs embrace ‘new age’ principles that are anti-Christ in beliefs. This reminds me of the Israelites in Jeremiah 6:16, where the Prophet told them:
- “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”
We are to approach the throne of God boldly yes but not disrespectfully. He is not on par with us. We are mere human beings while He remains a thrice holy GOD.
On the necessity of reverence for God, Psalm 89 declares: “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.”
Sadly, it appears to me, that many so-called Christian radio stations don’t do their homework anymore. They play whatever is offered on the market and is popular, not caring whether this is a song that Jesus would be truly pleased to identify with and that passes the reverential test. They don’t even seem to conduct background checks, in so far as they can and prayerfully with discernment, to determine whether a song was created by a Christian or group that is truly seeking to serve the Lord in spirit and in truth.
John 4:24 states: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Much of today’s Christian music seems to be more about entertainment and concerts and swaying a crowd, than it is about bowing reverentially before the knees of Jesus and bleeding out our hearts to him in song.
Then, there are the songs that appeal to nothing but your emotions, which have been sent from the pit of hell. Yet, they sound so good and the words seem to be so well crafted, that unless you are discerning, you would be easily fooled, like many Christians who are fast asleep to what is happening today.
We must ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment, as the devil has planted many false groups and individuals into Christian circles, who sing with beautiful voices, lovely ‘out of this world’ sounding music and evoke quite a lot of emotion. Yet, they are not of the Lord.
A few of these groups, which, in discernment, I firmly believe to be FALSE and not genuinely of Christ but with an agenda from the devil are: Hillsong, Bethel Music, Jesus Culture and Elevation Worship. There are other groups and individuals but these groups especially, I believe are being used to a great extent by the devil, to deceive the masses.
If when you listen to these people, you don’t feel at all right or at peace in your spirit, there is a reason for this! If you are a genuine Christian, then the Spirit of truth which indwells you is against that spirit of antichrist, no matter how beautifully and deceptively packaged the devil may try to make it.
I always felt uneasy when I used to listen to songs from these groups and certain individuals, although I did not quite know why. There was something about their videos that felt more like darkness, than light but because their songs sounded so good and were so emotionally captivating, I tried to ignore it but I couldn’t. Even where I saw no video but simply listened to their song on the radio, as beautiful as it sounded to the ear, there was something in it that was not in agreement with my spirit.
If you ask the Lord for discernment, to open up your spiritual eyes and you take the time to really study what these people believe and the lives they live, you will realize that they are not of God, although on the surface, the songs they sing sound nice and the lyrics seem to be okay.
The music of these groups and individuals, sound like it is out of this world because it is. Many times it sounds that way and it seems as if they have an added advantage because they have drawn from the inspiration of the devil, who operates in the spiritual realm and knows about music from when he used to operate in heaven.
If you really take the time to observe, you will notice that such persons tend to dress in dark attire and the whole vibe of the music setting SCREAMS darkness, although the lyrics of the words seem be about light. The words look good and the music sounds lovely but if you are a genuine Christian, you can’t quite put your finger on it but you KNOW that something is not right. You KNOW that for some reason, you do not have complete peace about such songs, as you would another worship song. Quite frankly, there is something impure about the offering.
I have learned to listen to the Holy Spirit when he speaks. If I don’t feel at peace about a song, no matter how lovely it sounds or how good the words seem, I do research on the group or the person and the results tend to show why I had an issue. Some of these groups embrace false doctrine and some do not even believe in Jesus Christ and have never surrendered to his Lordship, yet they are singing about him, as if they knew him.
If your spiritual eyes are open as they ought to be, you would SEE that there is an air of darkness that pervades these songs, their videos and even in the way these singers dress, so much so that you KNOW in your spirit, those songs are NOT reflecting the light of Christ, no matter how lovely and eerily supernaturally wonderful they sound.
Admittedly, I too have been duped in the past. I have learned however, that what I need to do to avoid being duped is to listen to the Holy Spirit and to allow him to guide. No matter how nice a song sounds and how moving the voice and lyrics, if I sense uneasiness in my spirit, I don’t ignore it. If I have no peace in my spirit about that song or there is something about it that bothers me, even where I don’t know what it is or why I feel the way I do, I go and do my research. I google the singer or the group.
Most of these times when I have done my research, I find out that the person singing it is not even a Christian or has renounced Christianity or is living a life that is in open rebellion to Christ’s instructions (like engaging in adultery) or that that person or group promotes some false doctrine or is affiliated heavily with those that do.
All I can say is to do your due diligence. Do not just accept what is being played on your Christian radio stations as songs that are ‘Christian’ and glorifying to God. Guard your eyes, ears, mind and heart, as the devil will seek and is seeking to infiltrate these entrances. Not because the well meaning people who work at some of these radio stations have been duped, does it mean that you must be duped as well or accept what they have selected to play.
The devil has succeeded in planting many false prophets in this area of music and many (although not all) songs that are promoted as ‘Christian’ songs and that are being played by so-called Christian radio stations and even in the Churches, have NOT been created from God’s inspiration and are NOT for the glory of HIS Kingdom.
Do NOT be deceived. Do NOT be accepting of everything. Keep your spiritual eyes open and ask God to help you to reject any song being promoted as Christian worship music, if it does not bring HIM glory. If you have his Holy Spirit inside of you and you ask him to deliver you from this deceptive age, he will guide you into all truth (John 16:13).
(Written on 23rd October, 2016, added to thereafter)
Five years ago, I wrote on this issue of false worship and false worship groups and highlighted four false groups in particular, namely, Hillsong, Bethel Music, Jesus Culture and Elevation Worship.
Last night, I happened upon a YouTube video entitled: WHY YOUR CHURCH SHOULDN’T PLAY HILLSONG AND BETHEL MUSIC and it was refreshing to know, that there are other Christians that have discerned the depths of the satanic operation at work in these groups and with their music. Not all of the Church is asleep. Praise God.
I have attached the Video below. Listen and let the Holy Spirit convict you and convince you, as HE sees fit.
(Addendum written on 16th October, 2021)
Dear Reader, if you found this Article informative, useful or interesting, then you may also be interested in reading the following under the ‘BIBLE-BELIEVING Daughters of God’ Page:
- Note 272 – ‘False Worship – Elevation, Hillsong, Bethel, Jesus Culture And Others’
- Note 18 – ‘Riches, Abundance, Breakthrough & Promotion – Lies From The Pit Of Hell’
- Note 22 – ‘Are You Spiritually Sober Or Intoxicated?’
- Note 27 – ‘You Cannot Command Your Morning Or Your Day’
- Note 42 – ‘Ten Red Flags That That Speaker Or Teacher is a Wolf Disguised In Sheep’s Clothing or Operating Under the Devil’s Deception’
- Note 99 – ‘Are You Serving the Real Jesus?’
- Note 190 – ‘Offering Strange Fire Unto The Lord’
Additionally, under the ‘SINGLE DAUGHTERS’ Page:
- Note 292 – ‘Our Words Have Power – A Lie From The Pit Of Hell’