I remember the first time I listened to music from Jesus Culture. I had no idea who these people were. I did know that the feeling which overcame me was not uplifting and I felt sure that God was not being glorified.
In a word – it was creepy.
Anointed music has the opposite effect on those who love the Lord Jesus Christ. We know when we hear pleasing music to our God.
Here is a song that I think is so Anointed. Whenever I hear it, I feel so close to the Lord. And I believe that He receives this as true worship:
A Closer Look at a Modern Day Trojan Horse: Jesus Culture
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” -2 Corinthians 11:13-15
I wrote yesterday on the New Apostolic Reformation and its explosive growth over the past twenty or so years. Today I want to take a closer look at one of the main reasons why their movement has become so influential. The NAR’s success and rapid expansion can be largely attributed to a group by the name of Jesus Culture. Jesus Culture is a Christian revivalist outreach ministry initially formed out of the youth group at Bethel Church in Redding, Ca. in 1999. The group was formed under the direct leadership of a man by the name of Banning Liebscher, and was led by the band’s front woman Kim Walker-Smith who is still with the band today.
Since their debut in 1999, the band has moved to Sacramento to plant a church, become one of the most well known and most listened to Christian artists in the world, they sell out concerts quickly at venues with tens of thousands of seats, they have a massive social media following, the videos that they produce go viral, and they are believed to have somewhere in the ballpark of 25 different projects on their record label. The point being is that Jesus Culture is not just a small non-influential band peddling a few gospel CD’s. This group has dominated the music industry, competing on billboard charts with artists as big as Taylor Swift. This is important to note because this group is not only in the game just for the love of music, or a sincere desire to worship, but also to promote a theological standpoint.
The band exists to share their message and to spread worship, by their own definition. An exert from their own website describes their mission as this:
“Jesus Culture is a global movement, awakening hearts to worship and demonstrate the love and power of God wherever we go. We are passionate to see campuses, cities and nations transformed and we have a mandate: to raise, equip, and mobilize those who were coming to fulfill the call of God on their lives. We do this through the ministry of conferences, events, worship, campus ministries, curriculum’s, resources and now a local church. Jesus Culture is continuing to grow in bringing young people into encounters with Jesus and equipping them to minister His heart to a broken world.”
I have had people tell me before that its not a big deal to use their music in church, there is nothing wrong with some of their songs, as long as my heart is sincere it doesn’t matter if the lyrics are completely accurate or not. For one, that is a shallow view of God, and a superficial understanding of what worship truly is. Secondly, the issue isn’t only whether some of the songs are passable in church without raising eyebrows. The issue is what are you bringing before a holy God in worship first and foremost, and also what kind of teaching are you exposing your congregation to?
Jesus Culture is very much intent on teaching their theology though the music they produce as well as through the preaching they do at concerts and events. So what message are they spreading exactly? This is a clip of Kim Walker-Smith, the band’s front woman, preaching about her alleged face to face encounter with God at a Jesus Culture concert in 2011.
“No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” -John 1:18
Let me put it bluntly, she’s lying. If she had truly seen God she would be dead. Her complete lack of reverence for God is abundantly clear throughout the entirety of her rambling. We wonder why the youth in this nation, and honestly many of the adults who should be able to discern and evaluate what is being taught, have an overwhelming attitude of complacency when it comes to having respect, a deep reverence, and a strong devotion to our God and Father and His written word of truth. According to Kim Walker-Smith, God revolves around us and how we feel. We have an issue in much of the Church today because we are allowing ourselves and our congregations be indoctrinated with this filth and we are doing nothing to confront it. We actually encourage it by bringing this into our churches. Much of the professing Church is going right along with this and saying bless God I am a Christian because I am just like everyone else in our culture who call themselves Christians. Carnal, emotions driven, and unconcerned with Biblical truth.
To keep things in perspective as to just how off the rails Jesus Culture is, this is a poster for an upcoming conference in September. Jesus Culture will be sharing the stage with Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Lou Engle, and Todd White to name a few. These are some of the most blatantly heretical false teachers alive right now.
In response to a question during a Q & A panel of whether or not a parent should be concerned with their child listening to Jesus Culture, John MacArthur gave this response:
“Absolutely you should be concerned. It’s the old clock that doesn’t run is right twice a day. If they never do anything that is acceptable then you aren’t going to buy into what isn’t. That has nothing to do with Christianity [Their music in concert], that has nothing to do with God. In fact I’d be afraid to put my mind in neutral and start yelling out loud with that kind of sensual music fill me up, fill me up, fill me up, [referencing a specific song played in concert by Jesus Culture] among a group of non believers who would go from normal non believers living in the kingdom of darkness to being demon possessed. I think your inviting a spirit for sure, but it isn’t the Spirit of God.
It has nothing to do with Christianity, again, this is paganism. This is the Kundalini cult that you can look on YouTube and see. This is paganism, this is what the Hindu’s do. The mindlessness of it. I think if you accept any of it, if you say well there is some good in it, you literally have left your young people open to I think, demon powers. I would run from this so fast.”… “I would even say that evangelical non-charismatic churches are using music that is unacceptable to draw people in.
They are using the music of the world to suck people in as if somehow people would get saved because the music of the world is attracting them. There is a big jump between being attracted to the music of the world and being regenerated by the Holy Spirit and the two have no connection. So this is so close to what is in a normal evangelical environment, this is so close to what people see in non-charismatic quote on quote evangelical churches, that it is a very small step to getting sucked in because the style is the same. But the theology present in it is un-biblical.”
Jesus Culture is good at what they do which is why they are able to come into the Church unnoticed and unchecked bringing songs with New Apostolic Theology woven into them. No one bothers to stay alert and be on guard against false doctrine, we have been wooed into a state of complacency and have a lack of concern for evaluating what we hear against what Scripture teaches. The American Church as a whole has become so worldly that we no longer stand out in contrast to our culture. We have completely disregarded Scripture’s command in 1 John 2:15 not love the world or the things in the world, and we have placed emotional experience, entertainment, and social prestige on a higher level than the theological accuracy of worship. – source
When we had a sound church to attend, I sang with the choir and also did many solos. I loved to sing the music of Twila Paris. I always felt that her songs were uplifting to the body of Christ, and were so worshipful. I felt that God received those songs as a fragrant aroma – much as He receives the prayers of the saints.
What music are you listening to? Do you find yourself caught up in music that is secular, because it brings back memories? I am not condemning all music that is not about our Lord. I am just telling the reader that it can become a slippery slope – you will be drawn to listen to the secular music more than music to our Lord Jesus.
This is probably why I have always loved the old Hymns. Most of them are so grounded in the Word of God. And most of them could be used to write a sermon; have you ever noticed that?
Brethren, be careful which music you listen to. It IS important.
Jesus Culture just takes the NAR churches false doctrines and sets them to music. Also, the repetitious Jesus Culture songs reminds me of the chants of Hinduism – over and over and over again.
Did you know that Lucifer was the leader of the choir of heaven? He had instruments built into him. Is it any wonder that music has such a dramatic effect on us?
24 thoughts on “The Power of Music: JESUS CULTURE Knows That Power and Uses It For Evil”
Hi Geri I love that song by Robin Mark.
I can listen to that song by Robin Mark all throughout the day. Many times it brings me to tears. It’s TRUE worship of the ONE who deserves ALL Worship!
Amen I don’t listen to that song much but I do like to listen to Sovereign Grace Music, keith and kristyn getty and others.
I’m sorry if this sounds morbid but is that song a good one to play at a funeral for a Christian I think it is because it reminds us we are only here a short time then eternity.
SATAN CAN AND DOES USE EVERY TOOL HE CAN TO DECEIVE PEOPLE THEREFORE IT IS IMPORTANT TO DAILY READ YOUR BIBLE AND SEEK REAL TRUTH FROM GOD NOT MAN
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Hi Geri off the topic question from this article would you agree that people who try to justify doing Yoga don’t know what they are talking but you me and others know the truth about Yoga.
Whilst I do not agree with Copeland et al, on many things, I’m not familiar with Jesus Culture. by the way you quoted John 1:18 – written 2000 yr ago. Since John (if you look at a direct from Hebrew translation) in Rev. 1:8 had an encounter with YHVH who told him that “I AM the Aleph Tav, et, first and the last , the beginning and the end, ” then 2 verses later the Son tell him “I AM the Aleph Tav, et, the first and last, the beginning and end, the firstborn from the dead” the implication seems to (seeing as he was face to face with Yeshua) that it’s entirely possible he also was with Dad. I’ve also heard testimony from some very godly people who had been taken up to heaven and talked with the Father. So while anyone can be sceptical, I look at their lives and character as well as the gospel they preach to weigh it all. Another point is that none of them sought the experience. Next, when Father hid Moses to protect him, so he wouldn’t die, Moses did not have the Holy Spirit IN him, was not redeemed by the blood of the lamb of God, thus had no chuppah (covering). Those redeemed by the blood of the lamb, are under the covering of His blood.
Next, Matt 7 says , “condemn not lest you be condemned, for with the same measure you condemn you will be condemned” – thus while we’re to be “fruit inspectors” and can judge fruit , expose heresy, (firstly in love), we do well to remember that none of us can cast the first stone of condemnation. I’m not saying I condone JC or any other “ministry” in error but the biblical pattern is to go the offender, then if they don’t hear, go back with 2 or 3 witnesses. If that’s not possible a brother in Christ shared recently if you pray for them to ABBA He can see to it that somehow His aforementioned pattern happens.
I appreciate your commentary on this subject, however I am highly suspicious of extra-Biblical revelations. We have the canon of Scripture. How do we know that people who say they have been taken to heaven, or people who say they have seen God, or even people who stand up in Charismatic churches with visions and “words of knowledge ” from God – really HAVE had these imparted from our Holy God? That was the primary reason I left the Charismatic movement in the 80’s. I was led to Christ by a couple who attended this type of church, so I went with them. Even as a baby Christian, I had unrest in my spirit at these services. It seemed to me that the emphasis was on what new revelations were being received by people in the congregation, rather than focusing on the infallible Word of God and learning from it. Also, sin and repentance were hardly spoken of by the pastor. Through the years, this movement has morphed into all sorts of heresy. Now, I’m not throwing the baby out with the bath water, but I am taking notice that all sorts of heresy and apostasy have come through the Charismatic churches. The NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) comes first to my mind. These people are actually teaching that the leadership of the NAR churches are the NEW Apostles, and their “Seven Mountain Mandate” is so-called NEW revelation from God. Who is in control here? Seems to me that “man” has taken control from God and is now steering the ship. This is HERESY and people are falling for it globally!
Geri thanks for your thoughtful reply. I understand where you’re coming from, as I was part of both Pentecostal and Charismatic fellowships in the 70s. My personal sense is that a lot of things that didn’t quite sit right or when excelsses happened , it was largely due to people not being properly schooled both by experienced teachers who were familiar with the proper use of the gifts, and by the Holy Spirit because people exercising them were caught up in the gift without spending time in both school of the Spirit and in the Word, to grow in their expertise and use of the gifts. I think though that far too may people in the body end up throwing out the baby with the bathwater so to speak. Paul said to EARNESTLY DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS and he exhorted people to learn the proper use of them. I went to camp meeting last night for the first time in 45+ years. It was a Pentecostal camp. I knew the speaker for 50 years, and hadn’t heard him nor spoke with him in close to that. He chose to preach on Yeshua’s instructions before His ascension “wait til you are endued with power from on high”. We now Jesus had alread breathed on them and said “receive the Holy Spirit”. After 10 days of prayer and waiting for the promise, the upper room was filled with a might rushing wind (ruach) and tongues of fire appeared over their heads and they all received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire.
He shared a personal experience. In his teens his best friend was asking to be baptised in the HS and fire, and at the camp I was at last night, back then, he went to the altar to pray, He was baptised in the Holy Spirit and was speaking in a language he didn’t know. All of a sudden a lady got up 4 rows from the front, who had a thick accent ans was yelling something. No one seemed to understand her so she came to the altar where they were, and they then could hear her saying, “Russian, he’s speaking flawless Russian”. Another person who was baptised in the HS and fire ,was speaking in Lithuanian according to a parishioner in the assembly. When Dave (the preacher was pastoring a small church in Northern Ontario, the Spirit began to be poured out and people were coming in busloads from all around to check it out. One investigator was writing down (as best as he could spell) what some of the languages being spoken were, The next day he took his notes to a professor at the local university, and asked if he knew what they meant. The professor said not offhand but they went to the library and he picked out dictionaries that the investigator wasn’t familiar with, Prof asked him if he was sure of what he wrote and he said yes , why? The professor told him the languages were ancient (Sumerian, Akkadian) and hadn’t been spoken in thousands of years.
Dave shared about a missions trip to Africa, where as they were going into the tent of meeting, a car drove up and one guy got out ,leaving two big strong guys in the back holding tightly to the guy in the middle. Dave asked what was going on and to shorten things, it boils down to the guy was from a local mental hospital who manifested like the guy in Gadarenes tombs that Yeshua encountered. Dave told them to bring him out they tried to resist saying he would kill but Dave insisted. When they brought him out (ho only spoke the local African dialect, which Dave didn’t speak) the demons spoke thru him in perfect English taunting Dave he had no power over them. Dave bowed and prayed, then he commanded them to come out – they did.
I say all this to say, without the enduement of power we engage in useless spiritual warfare. On the other hand, the same Spirit who took Paul to heaven, who opened John’s eyes of the spirit in understanding in Revelation to see into heaven, is quite capable of still doing so as the Father wills.
I’m not buying into any dispensationalism , or cessationism. The HS didn’t anoint and endue the first Christians (Messianic Jews) as a special bunch and then quit. That would contravene about 5 scriptures off the top of my head “GOD (YHVH) is not a respecter of persons.”.
I’ve known of others who’ve been in the presence of the Father as well, and it was for a specific reason.
One last thought, I fwd the video to my sister who’s a mature spirit-filled Christian who is deeply conversant with the scriptures. I asked her reaction. She told me it ministered to her so deeply she was in tears and it brought some healing to her. You see when she was growing up she always felt when God made her he used leftovers, She struggled with self esteem, (some cruel people used to call her “Leftovers”). I also “ran it by” several other believers who are mature whom I respect and they all said that it witnessed with their spirit – and again these were not baby Christians.
We are to mark and avoid false teachers. If we are to be true Watchmen on the wall, and we do not warn others that they have been deceived and that what they are involved in is heretical, the Bible says that their blood will be on our hands. Bill Johnson – pastor of of Bethel Redding teaches that Jesus was born again. This is HERESY! Jesus IS GOD and WAS GOD from before the foundations of the earth were laid. HE did not need to be born again. and any pastor who says so it leading the flock down the wide path to destruction. Our Savior Jesus Christ had to be GOD to be the sinless, perfect and only Sacrifice for our sins.
Again, I don’t subscribe to Bill Johnson, or K Copeland or any unscriptural theology. We can judge fruit, and call bad fruit bad fruit, but in the original Hebrew, Yeshua said in Matt. 7 “CONDEMN not lest you be CONDEMNED for with the same measure you CONDEMN you shall be CONDEMNED. ” Only Abba YAHUAH has the moral right and power to condemn – which He has ultimately assigned to His Son.
I wanted to share something interesting with you from Rev. 1 – in v 8 YHVH (Abba) talks to John telling him He’s the aleph and the tav (et) the beginning and the ending, (et) the first and the last”. Two verses later Yeshua tells John the same thing and adds ” and the firstborn from the dead”. (in my et cepher version – i.e. aleph tav cepher) . Now remember when Phillip asked Yeshua to show “us the Father and we will be satisfied” what Yeshua’s answer was ? (He who has seen me has seen the Father , I and the Father are one). Those verses in Rev. highlight that clearly.
And when people use that passage of Scripture about not judging lest ye be judged, they forget that Jesus was in essence saying that we better take a hard look at ourselves and make sure that we are not doing the same thing as the person whom we have judged. That’s why this whole passage of Scripture is together:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7: 1-5).
Are we called to judge the church?
“For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person” (1 Corinthians 5: 12-13).
But we are to judge righteously and fairly and only after we have examined our own hearts.
Hi Geri I have warned about Joel Osteen and very few will listen maybe some but I don’t remember
music is a tool and neutral in itself. it can be used for God or the adversary. I’m reminded of Gen. Wim Booth who founded the Salvation Army and had bands play lively music . For lack of a better descriptor at present, the stuffy oh so proper members of the mainline churches were highly critical of it. Booth responded “Why should the devil have all the good bands?”. Larry Norman modernised it in 1970 or so, with his song Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music? He too was criticised for using folk, blues and rock as vehicles to share Christ.
Thank You for your timely articles. Surely The Holy Spirit is speaking to your Spiritual Heart. Love is Jesus Christ.
I’ve always been suspicious when people say that they’ve “seen” God, but this lady apparently had a very long conversation with him! lol
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I have only just gotten through a little bit of what that young woman is saying. Were what she was saying true does she really expect us to believe that these two questions were from God. They were ‘me, my, mine’ questions. Had this happened to me I would be on my face before him despite having osteoarthritis in my knees and I would be speechless. If one is in the presence of the Creator of the Universe would one really be able to speak at all? Mind you she had already given me the spiritual negatives already, does it really bless the Lord to wear clothing that tight? Whatever happened to dressing modestly. Oh and by the way I have never heard of this group which is brilliant but I have heard of Hillsong and avoid them like the plague. By the way this is not Ian Pomeroy it is Julia Pomeroy, I am on my husband’s FB page because he is ill in hospital and there are no facilities there to use laptops/tablets etc.
Praying for your husband. Is there an update on him?
Oops I am so sorry I have only just come across your question. It turned out that, because of the medication my husband has to take due to psoriatic arthritis, it reduces his immunity and the cat, accidentally, scratched him with set up this massive infection. We live in Nicosia, Cyprus, and, because there are not that many English in Nicosia, Ian is now known as the “cat scratch man” at the hospital. He is fine now, thank you so much. He has other issues but nothing that we, God and the medics cannot deal with.To be on the safe side we now take the cat to the vets when she needs worming and de-fleaing, we dare not take a chance on her scratching Ian again.
We are still working our way through the fact that we were involved with Catch the Fire, going out on missions, etc, with them to various countries in the world for a number of years. It has almost reached the part where I am beginning to wonder what it is I do believe and whether I am even saved. However I tend to be of a negative frame of mind and my husband is able to encourage me. We have read in the last few months three books which have seriously impacted us: “A New Apostolic Reformation?” Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec; “The View Beneath ” Mishel McCumber and “Defining Deception” Costi Hinn and Anthony Wood. At present I am in the middle of reading “The Second Coming of the New Age” by Josh Peck and Steven Bancarz who show how the New Age has infiltrated the church through NAR. I can now see how often God protected us when I wanted to be more involved in this, that and the other and I used to complain so much. Needless to say I have begged His forgiveness and I am now utterly grateful that He kept some doors firmly shut. For example a young woman from a church we attended in Chester, England went to Morningstar and came back ready to start a work for the Lord and because my beloved and I had worked closely with Graham Cooke for several years we fully expected to be invited to be part of it. We never were THANK GOD!
There is a really good 4 part series looking more broadly at music within the church, covers what you are saying & more Geri.Thanks for your comments. I agree.
PS Have you written anything about Hillsong. We saw a video of theirs from the Christmas before last and I was utterly appalled, and even more appalled at those who attacked me for saying how godless it was and whatever happened to dressing modestly. I was told in no uncertain terms that this is the way they will reach young people – by looking like them! Seriously!
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