Discernment, Sermons

Why Our Church No Longer Plays Bethel or Hillsong Music (or Elevation or Jesus Culture), and Neither Should Yours

Want to see what it looks like to have a pastor who loves God, God’s Word, and his sheep more than the applause of men? Give this sermon a listen. Pastor David Henneke, of First Baptist Church, Kingsland, Texas, walks his congregation through the Scriptures dealing with false teachers and false doctrine to explain why FBC will no longer use music associated with Bethel and Hillsong. He also warns them away from several other false teachers.

(This is also a good sermon to listen to if you’re confused about expository vs. topical preaching. This is a good example of a biblical topical sermon.)

(Technical difficulties? When you click the Play button on this video, you may get an error message. However, simply click on the line that says “Watch this video on YouTube,” and you’ll be able to watch. If that doesn’t work, copy and paste this link into your browser bar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7R6AKFlWhI& or go to YouTube and search for “‘Why our church no longer plays Bethel or Hillsong Music’ Pastor explains false teachings”.)

Justin Peters and Todd Friel discuss the theological problems with Bethel, Jesus Culture, Hillsong, and Elevation music and why your church shouldn’t use their music in this video interview: Why Your Church Shouldn’t Play Bethel and Hillsong Music.

Is it wrong to sing songs from Bethel if they are theologically correct? In this episode of Redeeming Truth, Pastors Costi Hinn, Dale Thackrah, and Kyle Swanson provide insight into the dangers of supporting ministries like Bethel [and Hillsong, Jesus Culture and Elevation Music], that have a false understanding of who Christ is.

If you are looking for theologically accurate worship music to listen to or sing in your church, we have put together a Spotify worship playlist that you can listen to. Costi has also written an excellent companion article on his blog: Should Your Church Sing Jesus Culture & Bethel Music?

Additional Resources

Stop Singing Hillsong, Bethel, Jesus Culture, and Elevation by Scott Aniol

Why I Don’t Sing the Songs of Hillsong and Jesus Culture by Dan Cogan

Bethel Church (Redding, CA)/Bethel Music/Jesus Culture

Hillsong/Brian & Bobbie Houston

Elevation/Elevation Music

The Mailbag: What Is the New Apostolic Reformation?

The Mailbag: Should Christians Listen to Reckless Love?

God’s Not Like, “Whatever, Dude,” About How He’s Approached in Worship

The Mailbag: False Doctrine in Contemporary Christian Music

Hillsong’s Theology of Music and Worship

20 thoughts on “Why Our Church No Longer Plays Bethel or Hillsong Music (or Elevation or Jesus Culture), and Neither Should Yours”

  1. Thank you for speaking out about this ! Why would we want to align ourselves in any way with these false and heretical teachers ?!


  2. Praise God. So glad eyes are being opened! Praying more pastors would follow suit. They are to protect the sheep!


  3. I cannot find Pastor Pastor David Henneke’s church of First Baptist Church, Kingsland, Texas. It always says “This site cannot be reached.” Can you tell me about this?


  4. Very telling of what kind of church this is that a pastor would spend his time with this “sermon” instead of just preaching the gospel.


    1. Yes, he’s very much like Jude, isn’t he?

      “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 3

      Scripture says pastors are to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). And one of the qualifications for a man to even be a pastor is:

      “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:9

      I’d say he’s doing a pretty good job of obeying Scripture’s instructions to pastors.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am totally in agreement that biblical churches should not be aligning with convoluted worship. This is not exclusive to these massive, global Movements that are leaking lies and deception into modern day Christianity aforementioned in this article, but also solo musicians and/or duos that are under the authority of heretical teachers and false gospel organizations like NAR, IHOP, etc who promote New Age mysticism and have found a way to mask themselves under their first and last name -so you won’t discover the connection until you seek out their background, and they are likely to be affiliated with these dangerous groups. We need to be aware of the wolves that come in sheep clothing, that is, artists with their misconstrued theology that are hidden in the Lyrics- some even a part of the writing process for other artists who happen to be biblically sound. Associations matter because if they did assist in the composition of a song we are presenting at church, we are now in a position of leading the congregation to unintentionally participate in a song meant to worship a different god, NOT the God of the Bible. The reason I’m bringing this to your attention is because some songs on the playlist that were provided here have been written by those watered-down artists that are part of these powerhouses: Bethel, Hillsong, Elevation and Jesus Culture. It’s hard work when you are called to lead worship, but the time and research you put in to what’s being projected on a screen is absolutely vital and should correlate with the efforts that the message your pastor is preaching from the pulpit. I would like to thank you for being bold and speaking the truth on this matter which seems to be so controversial these days -many pastors should learn the importance and value to follow Christ in pure, holy worship and not focus on their feel-good experiences and what’s pleasing to the ear (for satan disguises himself as an angel of light and deceives many). Worship goes beyond music, it’s a Christian’s way of life – but beware of those that use it as a “channel” ,who turn it into nothing but repetitive white noise and static. Be Bereans my brothers and sisters in Christ, & God bless!


  6. He cherry picks the Bible and then ignores a key part of one of his picks, that the test for “false doctrine” is whether it matches what *Jesus* says, nothing else.


    1. I’m afraid you’re incorrect, Matthew. I’m not sure which “he” you’re talking about since there are a lot of them in the post, but they’re all handling Scripture correctly (2 Timothy 2:15), and every word of Scripture is breathed out by God (2 Timothy 3:16), so they are comparing everything to “what Jesus says”. If you’re insinuating that they should only be using the “red letter” texts (the words Jesus verbalized during His earthly ministry) then you are actually promoting false doctrine.


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