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

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Open Letter to “Worship” Leaders

First, I want to make a point that the people leading the music are MUSIC leaders and not “Worship” leaders.  Music is just part of worship.

The following is a modified version of a letter I wrote to the pastor and “worship” pastor at the assembly where we currently worship.  I wrote it as a thought-provoker.


Before I get to the meat of this letter, I’d like you to look at the lyrics in the following songs.  As you read the lyrics you may see that there is nothing really wrong with them.  The first song is intended for communion times, the second is just encouragement about the Word, while the last is an encouragement in a relationship with Jesus.

Again, Our Dear Redeeming Lord

1. Again, our dear redeeming Lord,
We meet in thy beloved name,
While from the fountains of thy love
Thy Spirit kindles like a flame.
For all the anguish of thy soul,
For thy great gift so full and free,
With grateful hearts all penitent,
Dear Lord, we do remember thee.

2. In token of thy bleeding flesh
And of thy blood so freely spent,
We meet around thy table now
And take thy holy sacrament.
We seek thy pardon, dearest Lord,
And may thy favor, too, be sent,
While in our hearts we turn to thee,
Renewed in faith and covenant.

As I Search the Holy Scriptures

1. As I search the holy scriptures,
Loving Father of mankind,
May my heart be blessed with wisdom,
And may knowledge fill my mind.

2. As I search the holy scriptures,
Touch my spirit, Lord, I pray.
May life's myst'ries be unfolded
As I study day by day.

3. As I search the holy scriptures,
May thy mercy be revealed.
Soothe my troubled heart and spirit;
May my unseen wounds be healed.

4. As I search the holy scriptures,
Help me ponder and obey.
In thy word is life eternal;
May thy light show me the way.

Come Unto Jesus

1. Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,
Careworn and fainting, by sin oppressed.
He'll safely guide you unto that haven
Where all who trust him may rest.

2. Come unto Jesus; He'll ever heed you,
Though in the darkness you've gone astray.
His love will find you and gently lead you
From darkest night into day.

3. Come unto Jesus; He'll surely hear you,
If you in meekness plead for his love.
Oh, know you not that angels are near you
From brightest mansions above?

4. Come unto Jesus from ev'ry nation,
From ev'ry land and isle of the sea.
Unto the high and lowly in station,
Ever he calls, "Come to me."

Now, just looking at the lyrics I don’t think anyone would find anything really objectionable about them.  Therefore Christians would probably be more than ready to use these songs for worship.

However, what if I told you these songs were written by and for Mormons, and are in the Mormon hymnal?  Does that change things?  I would hope so.  No matter how sound the lyrics seem, knowing where they come from should immediately eliminate them from use by Christians!  We should never use songs from sources which have false, aberrant or even heretical teachings.

Okay, so what about some of the songs we sing in Christian assemblies — are we using songs from sources which have aberrant, false, or heretical teachings?  Sadly, the answer is an emphatic “YES.”  I think it’s because most people aren’t aware of the problem.  Often the lyrics of these songs are innocuous, but they get very repetitive so as to work up the emotions.  More often the lyrics are vacuous and esoteric.  More importantly, no matter how theologically sound the lyrics may be, by using the song we give tacit approval to the teachings of the source.  Not only that, we also help finance these sources, and help spread their teachings.

Let me give examples of the particular sources which I believe we should find as problematic:

Source #1.  The teachings of this “denomination” include modern-day apostles, dominion theology, “strategic level spiritual warfare,” false signs and wonders, focus on “works” of the Holy Spirit, and that everyone has the same spiritual gifts as the apostles of the Bible.  In the previous assemblies where we worshipped, I refused to sing any song from this group.  So what is this source?  Vineyard.  Many of theirs show their charismatic foundation, but many have decent lyrics; however, their origin should still eliminate them from our services.

Source #2.  This source teaches the heretical Word of Faith doctrine, practices a lot of occult activities (such as “sucking” the “anointing” from a dead person in “grave soaking” trips), about every charismatic excess one could imagine, is part of the New Apostolic Reformation with dominion theology, teaches denigration of the deity of Christ, etc.  They target youth primarily.  Songs from this source just started invading our previous assembly not long before we left. This source is Bill Johnson and Bethel Redding, which includes the band, "Jesus Culture."  From the CCLI’s top 20 are the following examples:
This is Amazing Grace, by Riddle, Farro, and Wickham
Holy Spirit, by Bryan and Katie Torwalt
One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails), by Johnson, Gifford, and Riddle

Source #3.  Very similar in ideology and theology as #2, this source’s “worship” services routinely resemble a rock concert.  It is essentially a cult of personality, focusing on the leader.  Homosexuality is not condemned (although not really promoted), and one assembly had worship leaders who were a homosexual couple!  (One of the main leaders said they don’t want to address moral issues because they might offend people, and brags about how many homosexuals attend that assembly.)  Some of their “performances” (they cannot really be called worship services) have had some really crude and deviant skits.  Their leader has often stated that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. What makes this group even more dangerous is that they are spreading primarily because of their music!  As with #2, the youth is their primary target.  They seem to have more songs invading the church than the other groups, which is giving them more popularity.  Like #2, songs from this group just started invading our last assembly shortly before we left.  The group?  Hillsong!
From the CCLI’s top 20 are the following examples:
Cornerstone, by several writers, remake of “My Hope Is Built
Mighty To Save, by Fielding and Morgan
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Houston, Crocker, Ligthelm
Forever Reign, by Ingram and Morgan
This I Believe (The Creed), by Fielding and Crocker

What finally got me to write this was a song our assembly used recently, “Praise the Name of Jesus,” from Latter Rain.  Latter Rain is a dominionist teaching, with the “Manifest Sons of God” and “Joel’s Army.”  A lot of aberrational charismania is taught by Latter Rain groups.  I was truly taken aback when I saw the origin, and couldn’t sing it.  It is the first time I’ve ever seen a Latter Rain song in any assembly we’ve ever attended.

Because I know the origin of the songs by these groups, I can’t sing anything from them, just as I would refuse to sing songs by Mormons.

I think it is great to have a mix of good contemporary songs and traditional hymns, but even with both we should be discerning as to the content of the lyrics as well as their origin.  I highly recommend that you discontinue using material from these sources.


Anonymous said...

Excellent job Glenn! I like how you started out with the Mormon example. Kinda hard to argue after that.


Anonymous said...

Also, did you get a positive response from your music leader?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

No response yet, and I put it in his box at church on the 14th. I also put a copy in the lead pastor's box. I'm curious what response I may get.

Martha said...

Thank-you, Glen, for clarifying "music leader" over the heretical term "worship" leader. Since becoming a born again Christian in my adult years, I believe the Holy Spirit is my Worship leader, always leading me to Jesus and His teachings.

Great piece here!


Christian Ease said...

The point you made goes for just about everything we encounter in this culture. I always want to know what I may be supporting, from food to product from unscrupulous companies, to politicians supporting abortion. It takes a little time but I believe it's worth it.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Christian Ease,


Anonymous said...

So, you would not purchase "heretical" food from a Muslim, "godless" medicine from a liberal doctor or "deviant" music from a person from a different faith tradition... no matter how valuable, reasonable, good or sound the food, medicine or lyrics are?

That is not only insane, it's not biblical, nor is it Christian.

You guys are some obnoxiously belligerent and divisive people.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...


This is a perfect example of why you are banned from this blog. And I decided to post your comment to demonstrate the pure asininity of the way you take things out of context in order to attack people.

Your foolishness knows no bounds.

Anonymous said...


There are many churches in our area who perform yoga in their churches, who have yoga gurus as their members, promoting the benefits/goodness of yoga in our community, we have schools encouraging our children to do yoga to relieve stress among other things, we have pastors (one Lutheran pastor man) promoting Hinduism and Islam in his church (and he's also on the public school board); all proclaiming that it is perfectly alright to be a Christian and perform the Hindu practice of yoga. After careful research concerning the practice of yoga, concluding it is the antithesis of true Christianity and educating those who are willing to listen, I am considered 'divisive' and 'rebellious' because I choose to not bow down to the teachings/acceptance of yoga amongst born again believers/followers of Jesus.

One Pentecostal women encouraged me to do yoga for my body as well as stress relief. Her best friend is a yoga guru, who she faithfully endorsed in trying to drum up business for her. This woman ended up in bed for a little more than a year, unable to walk, due to a lower back condition which the doctors could not identify. I personally believe it was the direct result of doing yoga, a wicked and evil pagan practice that relies on the lower back for its demonic "energy."

So yes, many of us who desire to follow Jesus will be called out as belligerent and divisive....Jesus was crucified on that cross for our sins for that very same accusation. He didn't bow down to the gods of His day as we do not bow down to the gods of our day.

Praying for you Dan, in love and grace, pointing you to Jesus and His Word.

Wayne said...


Your letter was both excellent and thought-provoking! I can't imagine the worship leader and pastor ignoring it and continuing on with "business as usual" after seeing the light as evidenced in your explanations. At best, maybe your entire music selections might become revamped. (ok, maybe I am dreaming. At the very least, it will give them cause to really and truly think about the words of what they're singing (hopefully). I remain an optimist at heart.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Well, I've not received any comments from them -- not that I expected any. So far there hasn't been any of that stuff since, although I didn't miss last Sunday.