Paul Chappell’s blog for October 28, 2014, is entitled “Doctrine Still Matters: What’s Wrong with Hillsong?” Pastor Chappell rightly warns about Hillsong’s belief in the continuation of tongues, their denial of eternal security, and their “refusal to take a stand against transgender lifestyles.” In the introduction, he says, “Over the years, many have spoken out against Hillsong. The overall assessment I have heard has centered on music issues—specifically their CCM style. Sometimes we critique an area that may be worthy of attention (after all, music is a powerful, important part of worship and worthy of concern), but we can miss the larger picture and the deeper issues. Thus we condemn a ministry for an expression of a deeper issue rather than identifying and separating from the real issue(s)” (Chappell, “Doctrine Still Matters”). I would like to know who Pastor Chappell is talking about here, but to my knowledge very few fundamental Baptists have spoken out publicly against Hillsong in any sense. I am one of the few who has done so in print, and I have most definitely addressed “the larger picture and the deeper issues.” In various articles and in the 520-page Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians, which we published as a free eBook, we address Hillsong’s heresies extensively. We have gone further to address the deepest issue, which is that Hillsong is a prominent part of the end-time, one-world church, and the “spirit” that is “experienced” in its music is not the Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of truth. No one is doing more to build the one-world “church” than Hillsong, and those who use Hillsong’s music (or any of the charismatic contemporary musicians) are building bridges to that dangerous world. Yet Chappell’s Lancaster Baptist Church uses Hillsong’s music as well as the music of many others who have the same character. At least two of Hillsong’s worship songs (“Stronger” and “Shout to the Lord”) have been used by one of Lancaster’s mixed ensembles. A few months ago, Mark Rasmussen Jr., son of the vice president of West Coast Baptist College, published a soft rock cover of Hillsong United’s “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” on YouTube. Pastor Steve Rogers posted the following insightful comment at Pastor Chappell’s blog: “Does this mean that you are publicly repenting of the past use at your church, LBC, of HillSong music like ‘Shout To the Lord’? Are you now requiring students and staff to separate from CCM music that has the same type of doctrinal issues as HillSong? This article seems to directly contradict your continual practice of using and adapting this same kind of CCM music at Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist college. I would certainly rejoice at such a repentance, but to preach and warn against what you are currently practicing, without first publicly repenting of it, is problematic to pastors and other churches who have observed such a contradiction. Thanks.”
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