MercyMe

The following is excerpted from The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians, which is available as a free eBook from the Way of Life web site -- www.wayoflife.org

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MercyMe is a rocking contemporary band that is ecumenical and charismatic. The band was formed in 1994 and “gained mainstream recognition with the crossover single, ‘I Can Only Imagine.’” In 2009, Billboard magazine named the band the Christian songs artist of the 2000s and the song “Word of God Speak” was named Christian song of the decade.

MercyMe’s songs are used by fundamental Baptist churches that have the philosophy of “adapting” contemporary music.

The band’s music has gotten progressively harder. The album This Life is described as “dance floor ready ... a breezy style that’s part Beatles, part Electric Light Orchestra ... slamming pop ... a unique El Paso vibe with a long and winding guitar part and standout bass.” The album All That Is Within Me is described as “an exuberant, defiant, stand-up-and-shake-your-fist-at-the-devil rock & roll worship album ... a thundering, classic rock backdrop.” In describing the album Coming Up to Breathe, thefish.com says, “MercyMe will rock you ... they have gotten more upbeat and aggressive.” The song “One Trick Pony” is described a “this bluesy-country-rock swampy thing ... a dirty sound compared to all of our clean pop stuff that we’ve done in the past” (www.thefish.com/musiclivepage.apple.com/ interviews).

They want to share their faith “without being forceful or pushy.”

The boisterous rock & roll context of their “worship services” has caused even their own lead singer and song writer Bart Millard to question whether the “worship” at their concerts is really directed to the Lord.

“When you’re on stage and the crowd starts going crazy, it’s almost a little frightening. It’s scary just from the sense that we’ve worked up to the point that we’ve done everything we could to call upon the name of the Lord -- to have His presence there and literally to be on holy ground, in the midst of a Living God. When all of the praise starts going all over the place, you get really nervous about it being in the right direction. After a while you start to wonder: Are they worshiping the Father? What exactly is going on?”(www.ccmmagazine.com/news/stories/11535185/mercyme).

Like the vast majority of the influential contemporary praise musicians, MercyMe is radically ecumenical. In early 2011 they included Roman Catholic Matt Maher on their Rock & Worship Roadshow.

MercyMe is also in the business of breaking down the walls of separation from the world. In their “Cover Tune Grab Bag” series they sing such things as “Jump” by Van Halen, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson (complete with choreographed Jackson-style dancing), “Crazy” by Outkast, “Ice Ice Baby” by rapper Vanilla Ice, “La Bamba,” “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “It’s the End of the World” by R.E.M., “Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi, “Hard to Say Goodbye” by Motown, “More Than Words” by Extreme, “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, “Footloose,” “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “Hold Me Now” by Thompson Twins, “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da” and “I Feel Fine” by the Beatles, “More Than Words” by Extreme, and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper.

It is obvious that the members of MercyMe fill their minds and hearts with a
lot of licentious secular rock. They don’t merely listen to some carefully-selected rock, they listen to tons of it. The remarks left on their YouTube videos demonstrate MercyMe’s worldly cool influence. “These guys rock! ... awesome ... I wish my parents were as cool as this ... Dude!! ... I get the impression that they like the Beatles. Sweet! ... This is great! And the dancing! Oh my goodness!”

MercyMe is responsible before God for every professing believer that is captured by the demons that led the Beatles, Van Halen, Michael Jackson, and every other godless secular rocker that they promote in “innocent fun.” And so is every other CCM “artist” that encourages the love of secular rock instead of separating from it as God’s Word demands (e.g., Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:11; James 1:227; 1 John 2:15-17). And so is every fundamental Baptist pastor and song leader who brings these people’s music into the churches.

MercyMe’s popular “Word of God Speak” worship song is charismatic mysticism. Consider the lyrics:

“Word of God speak, would you pour down like rain, washing my eyes to see our majesty. To be still and know that you’re in this place, please let me stay and rest in your holiness. ... Finding myself in the midst of you, beyond the music, beyond the noise. All that I need is to be with you and in the quiet I hear your voice.”

The “Word of God” here is not the Bible; it is a mystical feeling, a direct revelation. It is found in the “quiet,” “beyond the noise.” It is an experience of the “presence” of God. It is the same thing that is taught by the Contemplative Prayer movement that was borrowed from Rome’s dark monastic past and that is currently sweeping through evangelicalism.

This “open yourself to the flow of the Spirit” has led to all sorts of unscriptural doctrines and practices. It is this type of mysticism that led CCM song writer Jack Hayford, author of “Majesty,” to say that while he was driving past a Catholic church God told him not to criticize it and he has heeded that “voice.” It is the same mysticism that convinces charismatics that they are communing with God through “tongues” even though it is nothing but ecstatic gibberish. It is the same blind mysticism that makes an individual think he is “basking in the Spirit of God” when he falls to the floor.

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