We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, January 4, 2016

Across the Lands

Yesterday in church we sang a song I’ve never previously heard, and it is a good one; from the team of Keith Getty and Stuart Townend — a team that understands what hymns are supposed to be about.

Here are the lyrics for “Across the Lands.”  I trust you will find them to be as worshipful as did I.

You’re the Word of God the Father,
From before the world began;
Every star and every planet
Has been fashioned by Your hand.
All creation holds together
By the power of Your voice:
Let the skies declare Your glory,
Let the land and seas rejoice!

You're the Author of creation,
You're the Lord of every man;
And Your cry of love rings out
Across the lands.

Yet You left the gaze of angels,
Came to seek and save the lost,
And exchanged the joy of heaven
For the anguish of a cross.
With a prayer You fed the hungry,
With a word You stilled the sea.
Yet how silently You suffered
That the guilty may go free.

With a shout You rose victorious,
Wresting victory from the grave,
And ascended into heaven
Leading captives in Your wake.
Now You stand before the Father
Interceding for Your own.
From each tribe and tongue and nation
You are leading sinners home.

Stuart Townend & Keith Getty copyright fields display it Copyright © 2002 Thankyou Music (Adm. by CapitolCMGPublishing.com excl. UK & Europe, adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family, songs@integritymusic.com) m)


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Townend has produced some good modern hymnody.


Doug Evans said...

I love hearing a new hymn in our little church. I wasn't brought up in the protestant tradition so most of them are new to me. However this Sunday Pastor Paratus was waxing emotional on how we fail to properly honor and praise Jesus (Revelation 5 was the subject) and in closing he waived off the music leader and requested that the pianist not play the planned closing hymn but instead play the piece she played during Communion. It wasn't in the hymnal (that I know of), no one ever said the name of it, but everyone knew what it was and sang beautifully. Not knowing the hymn and not having the music I could only listen and the beauty of the words and chords. I remember thinking that when we get to heaven the new songs sung there will be so much more beautiful, but I can't imagine how.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Wow, that's too bad you don't know what the hymn was!

Alec said...

Glenn, beautiful!

Anonymous said...

It may be a nice hymn, however, the Gettys and Stuart Townsend have questionable discernment. They cite Bono and the Beatles as major influences. Keith Getty called Bono “brilliant theological thinker”. They have associated with Leonard Sweet, Matt Maher, and also call C.S. Lewis a major influence. Stuart Townsend is a charismatic and ecumenical in nature. Is it wise to promote the Gettys?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


With your judgment as to hymn writer associations, you may as well refuse to sing many of the old hymns!

These are song-writers, not pastors. Their hymns I have posted are all theologically solid, and musically sound for congregational singing.

I don't know Bono's theology - he might be as Getty states.

Being charismatic is not a reason for denouncing someone unless their brand is charismania and WOF e.g.

Define "ecumenical" in context of Townend. I'm "ecumenical" in that I believe real Christians can be found even in the RCC and SDA.

IN what way do they cite the Beatles as influence? Many people find them to be influential in musical matters, not personal ideology.

So the have "associated" with people who may be a bit off theologically -- are they now guilty by association? I associate with Catholic and charismatic friends. And, guess what -- I and may Christians have been influenced by C.S. Lewis' teachings. He was a brilliant man and had some really good apologetics. I do not recommend him to immature believers, but I have no problem with people who are influenced by his apologetics.

As long as the Getty/Townend team has theologically sound hymns, and their personal theology is orthodox, I'm not going to condemn them. It really is difficult to even find consistently orthodox pastors, let alone musicians! I only expose teachers/musicians who are constant in their false teachings (rather than an erroneous belief here and there) or seriously problematic associations which affect their personal beliefs and lives.

Anonymous said...

A song writer is held to a different standard than a pastor? A pastor has a standard held to him by God in the care of God's flock as an undershepherd, but we all should follow the same standards. One is not more important than the other.
The Gettys state that the Beatles are a major musical influence. Did the Beatles separate their personal ideology from their musical matters? I would say, "No." Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Rocky Raccoon. All You Need Is Love. They were worldly in their thought and later tried mysticism and it shows in their music.
As for Bono, the Gettys call him “brilliant theological thinker”. Bono says that heaven and hell are on this earth (Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas,
2005, p. 254). When he does attend a church, it is often at Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco. Google Bono and you can see that his theology is self-centered. But the Gettys look up to him. This is more than "a bit off theologically", as you state. Look up Leonard Sweet. Look up Matt Maher.
As for ecumenical, I would refer to being willing to associate -- work together with -- with those that have a different doctrine than what the Bible teaches. They even state that they seek to build bridges across denominations.
As for C.S. Lewis: Lewis rejected the historicity of Jonah and Job. He believed in prayers to the dead and confession to a priest. He held to theistic evolution,
believing that “man is physically descended from animals” and calling the Genesis account of creation “a Hebrew folk tale” (Lewis, The Problem of Pain). He denied the eternal torment of hell and claimed that followers of pagan religions can be saved without acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour (Lewis, Mere Christianity; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle).

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


I'm sure if you looked at the lives and beliefs of every hymn-writer for all the old hymns, you'd find a lot of things to criticize them for. For example, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" was written by Martin Luther, at times a rabid anti-Jew, and he taught the heresy of baptismal regeneration, as well as the almost Romanist consubstantiation version of the Lord's table. His theology was very much the same as John Calvin's abominable TULIP.

YES a pastor is held to a different standard than a song-writer. A song-writer is not a shepherd of the flock. The pastor is certainly held to higher standards than the average layman, which is why standards are specified for pastors in 1 Timothy and Titus.

The Beatles were a major MUSICAL (not lyrical) influence for a lot of musicians. Their earlier stuff is what I hear/read is what musicians are referring to when they say they were influenced by the Beatles' music.

Okay, so they think Bono is a great theologian. Does that affect their songs? Being misinformed or ignorant of such things does not make the Getty/Townend team heretical or dangerous.

I know who Sweet and Maher are. Again, associating with people does not mean you agree with their teachings/ideology. As I stated, I associate with Catholics and even pagans (Gasp!). I have associated as friends with Mormons! (gasp again!) Perhaps you should read 1 Cor 5:9-10.

Why shouldn't we "build bridges" between Christian denominations? I consider as brothers and sisters those in the LCMS, PCA, E-Free and other denominations. Our differences are not with non-negotiable doctrines. We can also "build bridges" with people in the RCC or SDA to help them understand why they need to leave such denominations.

I am also well aware of C.S. Lewis' heresies, but that does not negate the fact that many solid believers - including myself - have been influence by Lewis' apologetics teachings. His apologetic principles helped initiate a whole apologetic movement.

A major problem you seem to have is that the Getty/Townend team, between them, have stated they were influence in various areas by various teachers who were not solid theologically. But being INFLUENCED by someone does not mean you agree with everything they did or said. What matters is in what way a person was influenced - for the good or the bad? I maintain I was influence for the good by C.S. Lewis' writings, even though I disagreed with much of his theology. I have been influenced musically by many, many pagan musicians, but I was influence by the good aspects and ignored bad lyrics or ungodly tunes (which, by the way, can be very subjective).

I daresay your life has been influenced by non-believers -- everyone in the world is influenced by others with same AND opposing beliefs.

Until I see heretical lyrics from Getty/Townend, or until they start practicing occult activities such as some of those in "Jesus Culture," I am not going to tell people to avoid their hymns.

Anonymous said...

Hey Glenn,

Do you have any advice on how to do worship in small group bible studies?

One of the problems is there is not always musical talent for singing. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

P.S. FYI I think the poster above was getting their info here:

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Anonymous Jan 10,

Wow, thanks for that link to David Cloud's legalistic nonsense. I used to get daily news e-mails from that site, and I have Clouds books about CCM and KJV. I find him to be super legalistic in his ideology, using so many logic fallacies, and I'd guess you are correct that it's probably where the commenter got the information.

As for how to do "worship," I'm assuming you mean singing. We always just use good hymnals and sing a capella, although we have had someone accompany with guitar a couple times.

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn, Thanks. A few more questions -

Can you recommend a couple of hymnals?

What are your thoughts on using cd's or canned music and singing along?

And do you have any other thoughts on different ways to worship?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Well we have a Lutheran (LCMS) hymnal from our days worship with them, and our other one is "The Celebration Hymnal" which we got years ago at Family Christian Store.

I'm against using CD's or canned music - just karaoke to me, and when the church uses it, it drives me nuts.

Ways of worship are individual. And it doesn't have to include music - music/singing is not the definition of worship, although too many people think that.

Anonymous said...

"Ways of worship are individual. And it doesn't have to include music - music/singing is not the definition of worship, although too many people think that."

I agree.

I was looking for other ideas for small corporate worship e.g, reading psalms together...

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Oh, yes, we've also read the Psalms together. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Glenn, We have had difficulty finding a church that isn't apostate, reformed or legalistic. :(

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Likewise!! it's epidemic nowadays.