IS IT SLANDEROUS TO WARN PUBLICLY ABOUT ERROR?
December 15, 2004 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org) -
I received the following e-mail recently from a defender of Darlene Zschech and Hillsong Music. (My report on Zschech and Hillsong is “Darlene Zschech and Contemporary Praise Music” and is available under the Music section of the Apostasy database at the Way of Life web site.).
“I COULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT I WAS READING WHEN I READ THE ARTICLE ON DARLENE ZSCHECH AND CONTEMPORARY PRAISE MUSIC! IN FACT I THINK IT WAS SLANDEROUS! WHEN SHOUT TO THE LORD FIRST CAME OUT HERE IN THE UK I GOT A COPY AND I HAD NEVER HEARD OF HILLSONGS OR THE SHOUT TO THE LORD SONG AND THE FIRST TIME I HEARD IT MY HEART WAS FILLED WITH THE LOVE OF THE LORD. I HAD NEVER COME ACROSS A SONG AND A MUSIC MINISTRY SO POWERFUL AND NO ONE EXCEPT GOD HAD LED ME TO LISTEN! I JUST KNEW THIS WAS A SONG THAT GOD WANTED PEOPLE EVERYWHERE TO BE SINGING AND I NEVER REALISED THAT IT HAD WON SO MANY AWARDS. WE MUST REMEMBER THAT GOD LOOKS AT OUR HEARTS. CHRISTS DEATH AND RESURRECTION AND THE NEW COVENANT THAT WE NOW LIVE IN HAS SET US FREE TO BE THE PEOPLE THAT GOD WANTS US TO BE AND WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT WAYS OF WORSHIPPING GOD. IF WE TRULY LOVE THE LORD AND SEEK HIM THEN WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER CONDEMNATION! THANK YOU JESUS! JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO LOVE JESUS WANT TO UNDERSTAND AND RELATE TO OUR CULTURE TODAY DOESN’T MEAN THEY ARE IN ERROR. THEY JUST LOVE PEOPLE WITH GODS LOVE AND WANT TO REACH THEM IN A WAY THAT THEY UNDERSTAND. I KNOW MANY CHRISTIANS AND NON CHRISTIANS WHOS LIVES GOD HAS CHANGED BY THE MINISTRY AT HILLSONG AND TO SAY ‘THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING!’ IS OUT OF ORDER! BECAUSE I TELL YOU SOMETHING, IF THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING GOD SURELY DOES AND HE’S USING PEOPLE LIKE THEM TO BRING GLORY TO HIS NAME!”
REPLY FROM BROTHER CLOUD
Hello. You were very plain with me; so let me be very plain with you. You are a confused, feelings-oriented person, my friend. The truth spoken in Christian love with a concern to please God and further His work is never slanderous, and my only goal in any of our reports is to state the facts and give my Bible-taught observations on those facts, to give a warning to those who want to hear.
If you don't agree with my observations, that is certainly your prerogative. In fact, you are obligated to be a Berean Christian, to search the Scriptures daily and test everything thereby.
But please don't pretend that it is slanderous or hurtful or wrong to state the facts and to judge those facts according to the Bible.
God has commanded me to prove all things, and all things means all things (1 Thess. 5:21). My standard is not how I feel about those things or how something effects me emotionally. It is God's Holy Word, the Bible. If I have made some error in the facts I have quoted, please correct me. Otherwise, you need to forget your feelings and commit yourself strictly to the Scriptures.
If you are saved, there is a judgment seat of Christ in the future and we will not be examined there by our feelings or by a general consensus of popular thinking but by the Scriptures.
I have already given the facts of why I warn about Hillsong. (My report on Zschech and Hillsong is “Darlene Zschech and Contemporary Praise Music” and is available under the Music section of the Apostasy database at the Way of Life web site.) Rather than go into those things again, I will simply list some Scriptures which are my authority for analyzing ministries such as Hillsong and warning about them if they are contrary to the Word of God.
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thess. 5:21
"But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Cor. 2:15-16
"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11
"As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine." 1 Tim. 1:3
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:21-23
"Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." 2 Cor. 11:1-4
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Col. 2:8
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 3
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." Rom. 16:17
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, Knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:13-17