Quick Review of a Hillsong Worship Devotional

Everybody loves Hillsong Worship.

As Christians of the young adult age group in this century, we’ve all sung their songs in endless praise sets and listened to them for countless hours on our own time. There’s no question of musical talent. But how meaningful are these songs? What are they being built on, how closely are they interpreting the word of God? I figured it would be worth a shot to look at one of their short devotionals through the Bible.com.

You can see the plan for yourself here!

An important disclaimer: I hope it doesn’t sound like I am trying to discern the hearts of these artists. The only things I can judge in this case are ideas and interpretations of the bible.

Day 1:

This one caught me off-guard once he started quoting from The Message. I don’t run a campaign for any specific translation of the bible, but the Message is almost … childish. It’s a bible for those that aren’t actually studying scripture, for those that need help reading-through, and it’s simply not meant for leaders of the Church.

He then goes on to claim that Paul himself used the words “insignificant-dog dung”. Paul used the word skubalon which does mean dung, but that’s all he ever said.

Day 2: 

This is where the devotional went a little downhill for me, as the writer of the song What a Beautiful Name it is butchers chapter 1 of Colossians.

Her interpretation of the ‘mystery’ doesn’t follow the text, Paul clearly states that the mystery was the ‘great riches among the Gentiles, Christ in them, the hope of glory’. It’s literally in one of the verses they quote (Verse 27). Ephesians 3:6 is a bit more convincing if you’re skeptical.

They say the mystery is “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God”! If that was the case, how could he say it was just now revealed to his saints? This was revealed by Jesus a long time ago, not through apostles and prophets by the Spirit. The apostles received the spirit in Acts 2.

Jesus sure kept that mystery when he said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”

As a side-note, people criticize the line “You didn’t want heaven without us, so Jesus you brought heaven down”, but I don’t really see a problem as long as people aren’t being led to believe heaven is … actually here on earth. It’s pretty clear this is figure of speech.

Day 3: 

I’m happy with this one, and I’m glad I can say that because it would take a lot of effort to misinterpret Mark 4:35-41.

Day 4:

I get where he’s going with the passage he’s picked, but it honestly sounds like he picked a random passage in Romans about God’s nature. His explanation promotes something I generally try to avoid in bible study; discovering a meaning of your own but not capturing the meaning the author intended.

I’m not saying it’s bad to discover our own meaning, I’m saying it should be done alongside the truth. The passage he picks describes the peace we can feel knowing that God died for us while we were still sinners. Where in this passage does it talk about boasting? Couldn’t you use half of the other verses in Romans to the same effect?

Maybe from time to time we quote scripture to suit our own needs, find meaning from verses to help ourselves personally, but please, for the sake of others, go out and actually find the relevant verse. 2 Corinthians 10-12 comes to mind.

I wouldn’t encourage using the Bible like this.

Day 5:

The song is described as such,

So if you find yourself in a place of lack today, or in a season of waiting, take heart, ‘I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way.’

The Revelations verse literally says ‘God is with us’. It doesn’t talk about the topic at all, this verse could be used to cop-out of any situation possible, so I guess it works here as well. You’ll notice the Philippians verse actually talks about straining towards the goal, not so much of the waiting this song intends you to do.

Let’s talk about this ‘waiting’.

And while I’m waiting
I’m not waiting
I know Heaven lives in me

The writer clearly wants us to wait for the promise. She talks about it multiple times in the devotion, ‘we need to allow the promises of God to dispel the tension of waiting’, ‘on the other side of eternity, our waiting meets the promise’.

What exactly does this song want us to wait for?

Should I suffer long
This is not my home
I know Heaven waits for me

And though the night is dark
Heaven owns my heart
And I got all I need to sing

Go search up the lyrics yourself, I’m not just picking out the verses that prove my point. It’s waiting all for the promise of heaven. This isn’t what Christianity is about. Christianity is not about the hope of heaven, and it’s not about getting into heaven. I hope I don’t have to explain myself on this one.

I love the message, but the song ain’t singing the same tune.

Keeping in mind that this 5-day devotional was also made as an advertisement for the Christian Music streaming service Overflow, I hope it sheds a bit of light on the direction Hillsong is going as they continue to dish out more albums.

“Let there be light” huh …

God Bless,

Michael Ru


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