Christ or Chords? The Manipulated Emotionalism of Hillsong, Asbury, and Pentecostalized Evangelical Worship

“The use of music to manufacture “feelings of spirituality” is exactly why Hillsong and the whole contemporary worship music movement are so popular—take away the music, and you eliminate the “feelings of spirituality.”…The use of music to manufacture “revival” is what drove the events at Asbury—take away the music, and you eliminate the “revival.” Since when is a bunch of college kids swaying to music for multiple consecutive days revival?”

(Scott Anoil – By the Waters of Babylon) When Christ was asked about the great commandment in the Law, he answered without hesitation: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Mt 22:37). True worship of God is centered in our affections for him. As Jonathan Edwards rightly observed, “True religion, in great part, consists in holy affections.” Indeed, a purely intellectualized worship is no worship at all.

This is one reason God has commanded that his people sing in corporate worship. Singing, Paul explains, allows believers to express their hearts to God, particularly thanksgiving (Col 3:16, Eph 5:19). The inspired songs of Scripture are filled with heart expression such as lamentcontritionthanksgiving, love, and praise.

However, the role of emotion and music in worship today has departed considerably from biblical precept and example. In fact, I would suggest that the relationship of emotion and music to worship in contemporary Christianity has shifted to such a significant degree that it hardly resembles what Scripture models. View article →



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