How Deeply Should We Separate from Hillsong?

Hillsong is both a sort of denomination/movement and a musical group, producing some popular praise choruses  (Mighty to Save, Shout to the Lord),

The belief system of the church/group is of the "name it and claim it" type, not just charismatic.

Lately, it seems like the church/group is no longer willing to condemn the gay lifestyle, which is troubling to those of use who hold a Biblical position.

Here is a mild article from the conservative "God Questions" site:

So how does this relate to Biblical separation.

Consider the following:

1. Many of the songs in our hymnal were written by folks we would never allow in our pulpits.  Some were authored by liberals (O Holy Night, I Heard the Bells on Chrsitmas Day) others by Roman Catholics, high church Anglicans, or sinless-perfecitonism Methodists.

2. Where is the line between heresy (in contrast to mere false doctrine) and error?

Also, feel free to comment upon how dangerous Hillsong is or how much of a bogey-man some make of Hillsong.

3. Does their extreme popularity color the issue at all, or does it not matter?




I think Hillsong is nothing short of heretical, and we need to even separate from songs they have written.
24% (6 votes)
I think Hillsong is heretical, but we can still use their music with a clear conscience, based upon the content itself.
8% (2 votes)
I think Hillsong is in serious error but would not call it heresy, but we should avoid their songs.
8% (2 votes)
I think Hillsong is in serious error but we can selectively use their songs.
36% (9 votes)
I think their status is changing and they are on a downward slide; right now, we must keep our eyes open.
4% (1 vote)
I think Hillsong is generally okay, although I disagree with them on some points.
0% (0 votes)
Hillsong is fine by me.
0% (0 votes)
Other or none of the above.
20% (5 votes)
Total votes: 25
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There are 8 Comments

Bert Perry's picture

I would agree that the charismatic bent of Hillsong is cause for pause, but really if we're going to get anywhere in music, we need to get away from "guilt by association" arguments (choice 1).  The reason to avoid Hillsong is that most of what I've heard from them is simply vapid.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture


I've never listened to anything from them, and never sung anything from them. For me, it is a different world. But, most people aren't as isolated as I am on that score. Anyway, back to my sanctified Led Zeppelin . . .

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry Nelson's picture


For those who've never heard any of their music, here's one example:

"This I Believe (The Creed)" by Hillsong:


Here are the lyrics:

Our Father everlasting
The all creating One
God Almighty

Through Your Holy Spirit
Conceiving Christ the Son
Jesus our Saviour

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus

Our Judge and our Defender
Suffered and crucified
Forgiveness is in You

Descended into darkness
You rose in glorious life
Forever seated high

I believe in You
I believe You rose again
I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord

I believe in life eternal
I believe in the virgin birth
I believe in the saints' communion
And in Your holy Church
I believe in the resurrection
When Jesus comes again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus

It's basically a lyrical/musical rendition of the Apostle's Creed [ ].

Is this song doctrinally acceptable?  Biblical?  Unbiblical?  Why or why not?

Aaron Blumer's picture


What's Hillsong?

I've heard the name a few times but that's about it.

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.

AndyE's picture

Hillsong is a movement and its leadership sees itself as a global church with a “distinct sound.”  (  I don’t want to be a part of that movement and don’t want to have anything to do with encouraging that vision, expanding its influence, or communicating its message through use of its music.

Here are some links that refer to that idea:

Australian CourierMail Article

NY Times Article

Bert Perry's picture

OK, I still disagree with portions of pentacostal theology--didn't look deeply, but as a "mild cessationist", there are places I'm not willing to go.

Listening, here's what I like:

1.  Instead of simply trying to "fill the void" with a hodge-podge of instrumentation, the musicians are sometimes given free rein to complete discernable melodies and harmonies.

2.  They do modern music a bit better by putting in decent "bridges" and such. 

3.  The lyrics stray far less often than most CCM into hints of "Jesus is my boyfriend."

Here's what I don't like:

1.  Still too much "filling the void" instead of using really using the tools of dynamics, tempo, melody and harmony.

2. What is with the whispering into the microphone and sighing as they sing?  This one is almost a theological issue for me, since if music is intended to speak the Word of God to the people of God, shouldn't it be generally sung clearly?  Engage the vocal chords and such and don't let the air slip by them?  

(there's a place for some "whispering", and they're not as bad as most CCM, but really?)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ron Bean's picture

Until this discussion I didn't know anything about Hillsong. However I had sung Shout to the Lord a number of times. That's probably why I occasionally speak in tongues when I'm sleeping. It's like those years of Wesley hymns that have been warping my soteriology.


"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan