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

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Another Hillsong Pap Song


This song was used in our assembly a couple weeks ago, and I finally got a chance to examine the lyrics. The author of the lyrics has enough problems as it is, being very ecumenical in her ideology and singing for the Pope.

So let’s dissect this song a wee bit:

Worthy Is The Lamb (Thank You for the Cross)
Hillsong Worship, Songwriter: Darlene Joyce Zschech

Thank you for the cross, Lord
Thank you for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came
And gave amazing grace

I’m always amazed at how much Christians virtually worship the cross on which Jesus was crucified.  It wasn’t the cross which brought our salvation!  God could have used any other method of execution, because Jesus didn’t really pay for our sin by the punishment of the cross, but rather the punishment of God and by dying to pay for our sins. 

Thank you for this love, Lord
Thank you for the nail pierced hands
Washed me in Your cleansing flow
Now all I know
Your forgiveness and embrace

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious

High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

Here we use the KJV “darling,” a word which has a whole different connotation nowadays, as in a word you call your sweetheart! In KJV it means “only one.”  When “darling” is used in a modern song like this, it really slants to the “Jesus is my boyfriend” genre. 

Thank you for the cross, Lord (thank you)
Thank you for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came
And gave amazing grace

Thank you for this love, Lord
Thank you for the nail pierced hands
Washed me in Your cleansing flow
Now all I know
Your forgiveness and embrace

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious

High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious

High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

Notice the inane repetition!  This may be a fine song for personal listening, but it is NOT for congregational singing!  The intent of the last half of this song is obviously to manufacture emotions.  

This pap does NOT belong in the assembly for worship—NOTHING associated with Hillsong should ever be used in the assembly.

14 comments:

Martha said...

In agreement with your article, Glen. I had an interesting conversation with a charismatic/Pentecostal woman, who is an ardent follower of Todd Bentley, say to me in conversation, "Jesus is my husband, more than my own husband." She also cornered me another Sunday, and boasted about her "birthing experience" on the floor when she was "in the spirit."

After her montage, I simply asked her if she could point me to the Scripture where the "birthing experience" is mentioned. Her face became a blank slate and she walked away. It is from women such as these, that I receive sympathy cards stating of my loved ones, "I hope they knew Jesus," or this, "I hope they had a great love for Jesus." This spiritual elitism is fodder for spiritual abuse and it grieves those of us who are looked down upon by these followers of rank heretics. Evidently, no one knows Jesus better than the charismatics and the Pentecostals.

Jesus is now our husband?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Martha,

Well, if the Catholic nuns can be the bride of Christ, I suppose charismaniac woman can be also! :oD

Actually, this whole false bridal paradigm is from spiritualizing Song of Solomon to be about Christ and the Church -- which it definitely isn't!

Doug Evans said...

I agree with your assessment, worship music is supposed to be a sing-along to worship God, but CCM is designed to get the congregation to worship the lead guitarist. Our little church of Bereans has only one instrumentalist - a classically trained concert pianist. She would NEVER dream of interrupting a hymn to show off her "chops" by going full Chopin in a slammin' solo on the 88s.

Cross - I fully agree, if any inanimate object should be proudly displayed it would be the empty tomb, but that's kind of hard to put on a necklace, or charm bracelet, or ear rings...

Darling - that's a left over from a language that's been dead for 200 years: pre-King James English. It derives from the middle English derling which means pretty much what the modern use of darling entails, but it also means "minion" and "household god" It also makes the script of 'The Quiet Man' more quaint... or weird.

Inane repetition - All that shows is an inordinate lack of understanding of the subject on the part of the song writer. It also allows for so much more lead guitarist worship on the part of the congregation.

The majority of the CCM bands that I've heard performing in goat pens truly need to shut off KLOVE, turn off the Hillsong Channel on their TVs (yes, there is such a thing) then pick up a hymnal and learn. They can 'rockify' the hymns all they want but in the end they will have a God glorifying, Christ worshiping hymn that the congregation can sing along with. And maybe they will read the lyrics and learn something. Last Sunday our worship session ended with a hymn that contains everything that you need to know

Jesus loves me, this I know
'Cause the bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
We are weak but He is strong
Yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me
The bible tells me so

Martha said...

@Doug Evans

You make some valid points, adding to Glen's post. A classically trained pianist for singing songs of praise.....I would love to go back to the single organist or pianist. I'm forgetting what that sounds and looks like anymore.

I have discovered that "the praise band" participants will not like you very well if you don't raise your hands up to the ceiling; if you don't look up at them in awe at all times; if you don't follow "their leading," which is difficult to do when they ad lib; and especially when you don't pat them on the back or offer "compliments and praise" over their "serving the lord or their awesome talents."

Praise bands love the praise of man. Hence the term "praise bands."

Courtney said...

No offence, but maybe you need to get with the times a little....being this critical of a song written and released 17 years ago doesn't seem like the greatest use of your time...

just my .02

Doug Evans said...

@Martha

You're more than welcome to join our little band of Bereans, come for the music, stay for the teaching. Our pianist has two sons that occasionally join her, one plays violin and the other plays cello. We have been trying to get her to cut loose and play a bit more classical music for special events, but she doesn't like to show off in Church.

Our "worship leader" not only has a beautiful Irish tenor voice, but he plays also the organ, although it's a rare blessing when he does do it for us.

The Lord was truly graceful and generous to me when He led me to this little family

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Courtney,

So, I need to "get with the times"?!?!? Just don't worry about bad teaching because it is 17 years old?!?!?

Anti-trinitarianism is over 1900 years old, so should I just "get with the times" and never expose that heresy for what it is?

This song was new to me, regardless of how long non-discerning churches have been using it. Therefore, it is an excellent use of my time to expose it for the bad teaching it presents, the worthlessness of using it in the assembly, and the fact that coming from Hillsong no church should ever be using it to begin with, as I noted in this article:
https://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2016/09/open-letter-to-worship-leaders.html

Fred said...

Good article, Glenn. As someone who spent a number of years within the Charismatic movement years ago, I can relate to how they tend to see things. Everything is based on how they FEEL about something. Music is especially helpful to cause people to believe that God is near or moving within them.

It's based on emotion and nothing more. As some have already pointed out, there is precious little proof from Scripture for many of the ethereal/ecstatic experiences they seem to adore and yearn for. Without them, they do not "feel" whole or spiritual at all.

Jesse said...

My my, I cannot stand singing in the church because so many of the songs sound outright lousy!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I refuse to sing anything from Hillsong, Bethel, Elevation, or Vineyard.

Johanna in NZ said...

We sing this song in our church, and it is one of the few Hillsong songs that I can tolerate.
Here are my thoughts from your article, which I found needlessly negative:

The cross - Paul said, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14

Darling - this word could also be translated as 'beloved' - Our Lord Jesus is the Beloved Son of the Father, and I am sure beloved of the angels as well.

Repetition - I believe that there will be a lot of it in Heaven, judging from the accounts in Revelation. To sing "Worthy is the Lamb" - surely that will never get old. At least they were saying something worth repeating.

Jesus is the Bridegroom of the Church, and this marriage will last into eternity, so I guess you could say that He is our husband, more than any earthly husband, though I personally don't describe Him as such.

I'm glad that you love the truth, but please also remember that you don't have a monopoly on it. Be careful of spiritual pride. I'm afraid you may be in danger. God bless.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Johanna,

Firstly, I never even intimate that I have a monopoly on truth, nor do I have any so-called "spiritual pride." Your suggestion that I may be in "danger" demonstrates YOUR false judgmentalism.

You think my criticism of this pap was "needlessly negative," yet you had a needlessly negative response to it. How ironic.

Your comment really didn't address what I wrote, rather you just made your own comment about what the song means to you. I stand by my analysis of this song being nothing but pap which should not be used in the church.

Johanna in NZ said...

I'm sorry that my comment offended you, as I respect the work that you are doing. The lack of discernment in the Church today is appalling.

I will rephrase and try not to be so negative:

Even though I can't stand Hillsongs in general, agreeing with you that most of them are 'pap' or even worse, this is one of the few that has some merit. It focuses on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, and the line 'the darling of Heaven crucified' is particularly poignant, as we are reminded of the love between Father and Son and how the Father allowed His beloved (darling) to be crucified for us. How great is the love that the Father has shown.

Even though the repetitions can be tiresome, perhaps they will remind us of the fact that we will be singing 'Worthy is the Lamb' through eternity.

The focus on the cross of Christ is a theme throughout Paul's letters and indeed in hymns throughout history, so there is nothing unusual or idolatrous about thanking God for the cross. God could have used another method of execution, but He chose the cross. It was an excruciating death, and the Son of Man was lifted up on a tree, to become a curse for us, who were under the curse. The cross also symbolises the reconciliation found through Christ's death - both vertical (between God and man) and horizontal (between people). Is it any wonder that JW's and Mormons, who preach a false gospel, despise the cross symbol?

You are right that I can be judgemental and have a fair amount of pride myself, which God is working on. We need each other to speak the truth in love. I believe that God wanted me to warn you, and it was done in love for a Christian brother. If I was wrong, then forgive my foolishness.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Johanna,

I respectfully disagree with you. First, we shouldn’t be using this song for anything, even if the theology was perfect. Why? First, because the author has some serious error in her personal theological beliefs so she shouldn’t help finance them. Second, it comes from Hillsong, which is a totally aberrant and heretical church organization which uses their music to entice youth into their false teachings. See my article at. https://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2016/09/open-letter-to-worship-leaders.html


Again, I don’t believe the Scripture says anywhere “thank you for the cross.” We point to the cross only as a symbol of the execution of Christ to pay for our sins, and it could indeed have been through any method. But overall this is a minor point in the song — I was just pointing out the fallacy of the lyrics and why it ends up being pap.

Again, the word “darling” was a 1611 term which meant “only one” while today it means “sweetheart.” To use an anachronistic word like that surely points to the “Bridal paradigm” because I’d wager 99% of people don’t know what “darling” means in the context of KJV. Why use a word which points to false teaching when modern English is better? This really puts spiritual danger into the song.

As for the repetition, the purpose behind the repetition in these modern songs is to manufacture emotion. That has nothing to do with true repetition of praise.

There was no reason to warn me about anything, and of course I forgive people who offend me. However, just to set the record straight — I wasn’t personally offended, rather I was amused because of the irony.

I suggest you rethink your admiration for this song and see it for what it is rather than for what it pretends to be.