Should We Keep Singing Hillsong?

"When a megachurch scandal makes headlines, it doesn’t usually affect your Sunday morning set list. But Hillsong isn’t just a megachurch. It’s a major global force in worship music." - C.Today

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Bert Perry's picture

Mark Smith might remind us that a fair amount of Hillsong music is fairly shallow, and a certain other portion of it supports something of a prosperity Gospel mindset that we ought to abhor, but for the portion that isn't in these two categories, the "ick" factor of "this music is the product of an association that seems to have done a lot to cover up sexual assaults" ought to reduce Hillsong's prevalence in our song lists at church.  You really don't want to say with your song choices "Rape victim, we're not terribly concerned that the songs we're choosing remind you of your abusers."

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Andrew K's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Mark Smith might remind us that a fair amount of Hillsong music is fairly shallow, and a certain other portion of it supports something of a prosperity Gospel mindset that we ought to abhor, but for the portion that isn't in these two categories, the "ick" factor of "this music is the product of an association that seems to have done a lot to cover up sexual assaults" ought to reduce Hillsong's prevalence in our song lists at church.  You really don't want to say with your song choices "Rape victim, we're not terribly concerned that the songs we're choosing remind you of your abusers."

Bert's point is more important, obviously; but just want to point out as well that, like much of modern worship music, it's lyrically just not very good.

Look at this:

I'll walk through the fire
With my head lifted high
And my spirit revived in Your story
And I'll look to the cross
As my failure is lost
In the light of Your glorious grace

So Let the ruins come to life
In the beauty of Your Name
Rising up from the ashes
God forever You reign
And my soul will find refuge
In the shadow of Your wings
I will love You forever
And forever I'll sing...

I challenge anyone to look at that mishmash of mixed metaphors cloaked in vaguely Biblical imagery and tell me what it means beyond vapid emotional positivity.

This song and many others like it are a favorite in my school's chapel. A diet of this pablum lacks substance to maintain a healthy spirituality, and that worries me.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Regarding the song above, I don't find it difficult to interpret, and there's a lot more there than "vapid emotional positivity." A few seconds worth.... "walk through the fire" is a reference to trials of faith alluding to the three Hebrews of Daniel; "spirit revived in Your story" is a reference to the gospel and the strength we draw from reflecting on it; the rest of that top stanza is simply the gospel... sin + the cross = grace.
The second is a bit more obscure. I think the "ruins come to life" is probably a reference to life ruined by sin, reborn through faith... the rest is about the new life and its completely new relationship to God.

Is it great poetry? No. Is it theologically dense? Definitely no. Is it going to make my "songs I would choose" list? Definitely not. But hymnals are full of worse stuff.

Came across this at Church Leaders: Should Churches Still Use Music From Hillsong?

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.