Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) has just released their list of the ten most popular worship songs sung in Churches around the world. Christians ought to take notice of the following article which recently appeared on the internet.
It is rather long article written by Gabe Hughes on the website “The Midwestern Baptist”:
In the future I may refer to some other songs he critiques because he is very Christian, perceptive and discerning in his approach. But just for now I will take CCLI’s number one song for 2019. Gabe’s article continues:
“Who You Say I Am” written by Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan
The same writing duo that brought us the chart-topping song Mighty to Save currently has the most popular modern praise song in the world. The official video for Who You Say I Am has nearly 100 million views on YouTube alone. It was released in June, 2018 as the first single from Hillsong church’s 26th live album There Is More. Fielding and Morgan are worship pastors with Hillsong.
Overall, the lyrics are fine. “Who am I that the highest King would welcome me?” “While I was a slave to sin, Jesus died for me.” “I am chosen, not forsaken. I am who you say I am. You are for me, not against me. I am who you say I am.” “In my Father’s house, there’s a place for me; I’m a child of God.” And like any Hillsong tune, many of these lyrics are repeated over and over and over again.
If the song existed by itself, I would say there’s nothing questionable about it. But the mere fact that this song comes from Hillsong makes it questionable. When they sing, “I am who you say I am,” what exactly does that mean? Does the singer understand that only those who are followers of Christ are children of God, or are they singing that everyone is a child of God?
Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston invites his congregation to stand up and repeat this kind of creed before the preaching begins. They hold up a Bible and say, “This is my Bible: I am what it says I am, I have what it says I have, I can do what it says I can do.” I believe that, too. But Joel and I believe two different things when it comes to understanding “I am what it says I am.” The same is true of Hillsong. If you asked them to actually define their terms, you would get a heterodox answer, contrary to the sound teaching of God’s word.
Should the song be sung in your church?
No, it shouldn’t. Again, if you just wanted to sing this song in your car, that would be one thing. But it doesn’t belong in corporate worship on the sole basis that it comes from Hillsong church. As Dr. Albert Mohler has noted, “Hillsong is a prosperity movement for millennials.” In addition to their false teaching, this is an organization that has been covering up pedophilia. Christ’s church should have no fellowship with Hillsong.” [my italics]
And what do we find? Many pastors and other Church leaders in Australia are slavishly and without discernment closely following songs such as this one. They care nothing for the seeker-friendly prosperity gospel being taught at Hillsong and other Churches, nor for the scandal-ridden news stories emerging from them.
It is no wonder the world doesn’t listen to the Church’s message when it doesn’t have anything vitally soul-saving to say any more. Or even if it does, the music it provides negate the message given by so many preachers.
I greatly fear for the Church in the current falling away into apostasy. I trust you do also. Prayer is our number one priority in these perilous times.