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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Grace To You & The Hillsong Controversy

Truth does divide, but we can't ignore error ....
Grace To You has posted some blog articles related to Hillsong during the past couple of days.

Hillsong Music's Weakness 

Hillsong's UnBiblical Message  

The articles by GTY aren't just about music (although one of them is focused  more on the lyrics of the songs).
I am thankful that they have addressed this.

Hillsong's music is very popular in many churches due to the music being pleasing to the ears.
While not all of Hillsong's lyrics are wholly bad, you can see symptoms of poor teaching in many of them.

Hillsong churches are not known to be bastions of solid Biblical teaching.
Like many churches today, sound theology does not seem to be a priority.

Grace To You highlighted one of  Hillsong's churches in California - where the teaching and atmosphere encourage a low view of God.
Sadly, this kind of a low view of God and Scripture, eisegetical teaching, and rock concert mentality are not all that uncommon in America.  It's not just a Hillsong issue.

A lack of sound Biblical teaching, and lack of reverence for God generally leads to unBiblical practices in the church.

Here are a just three symptoms:

Casualness about the things of God

Allowing women to teach and or exercise authority in the church

Allowing people who practice sinful lifestyles to lead

This leads to a church full of people who are either unbelievers or are spiritually malnourished.

Christianity without distinct doctrine is a powerless thing. It may be beautiful to some minds, but it is childless and barren.  - J.C. Ryle

I was rereading a portion of Chapter 2 of Reviving New England (by Pastor Nate Pickowicz) recently, and I'm afraid that many pastors today practice one of more of his examples of wrong ways to handle Scripture.
Even some seemingly good churches can fall into some error by lopsided teaching.
I believe that J.C. Ryle also talked about how it can be wrong to put too much focus in preaching on one point of doctrine to the detriment of others.

Let us never forget that truth, distorted and exaggerated — can become the mother of the most dangerous heresies! - JC Ryle

Ryle also wrote warnings of error to churches (highlighted in the following post on Monergism's site):
15 Key Quotes from J.C. Ryle’s “Warnings to the Churches”

I'm glad that GTY is pointing out serious problems to warn the flock (other Christians), and to encourage right thinking.
This is what leaders in the church should do (although some churches may go overboard when that is most of what they do).
That is not the case with Grace Community Church though.
If people think that it is, then they probably have not really looked into what is taught there.

Christians do need to to pay attention to warnings.
We need to know the Scripture better than we do.
We need to take God more seriously than we do.
It is so easy to get sucked into error and heresy when we don't filter what we believe through the lens of Scripture.

UPDATE: Additional GTY Article on Hillsong
Hillsong & Man  - Here is a partial quote in their response to what Hillsong teaches:
"..., even the greatest victim still needs to appreciate the depth of his own guilt in order to grasp his need for the Savior."

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