Mackenzie Morgan Holloway, a worship leader and recording artist from Tennessee, speaks out against blindly accepting theologically erroneous lyrics in contemporary praise songs and emphasizes the importance of solid theology in worship music selection.
"I've kept pretty quiet about my convictions on mainstream worship music, but since it is such an important part of worship and the modern evangelical church, I realize just because not everyone agrees with my position is not a reason to stay silent," she wrote on a July 12 Facebook post.
Morgan admits that she had felt guilty about "singing and supporting" well-known praise bands like Hillsong, Elevation, Bethel Music and others for a long time. She thought that it was just her, since no one else noticed anything wrong with it. Nonetheless, she decided to do her own homework and study.
She also researched and examined what each band and their churches taught on Sundays, as well as their behind-the-scenes activities.
She said she was struck with "a terrible feeling of grief and sadness" when she saw what she had been supporting, adding that the particular issues were too many and long for her to mention in a post.
Specifically, Morgan singled out Elevation and Bethel as churches she would no longer support, emphasizing Pastor Steven Furtick's position on modalism, "which is the belief that God is not one being and three persons, but that God switches into 'modes' of each person of the Trinity."
"No matter what, we must all agree with this: theology matters. I can't even stress that enough," she continued. "It matters if a song is weak in theology and is not accurately displaying the Holiness of our God. It matters if churches are spreading a prosperity Gospel that is different from the Gospel found in Scripture. It MATTERS that each Sunday churches pay royalties to these churches in order to be able to sing their music, furthering these church's outreach and their false gospel message. "
Noting that music may elicit strong emotional responses from people, Morgan said that it is past time to examine the Scriptures to determine what God really requires in worship.
As an illustration of the kind of worship that focuses on man's emotions rather than glorifying God, she used the story of God striking Nadab and Abihu with fire because of their offerings, which is referred to in Leviticus 10:1 as "strange fire."
She urged Christians to research the backgrounds of the singers who were leading praise songs, as well as the beliefs of their respective churches. Because God's Word is the final authority, she encouraged worshipers to examine their own church cultures and traditions in light of the Bible's teaching.
Sovereign Grace Music and Cityalight are two of the Christian music labels she recommends as having "biblical churches with music and lyrics rich in theology to listen to."
Morgan thanked everyone who responded positively to her message in a Facebook Live broadcast on July 13. As of July 21, the post had received 11,000 reactions and was shared more than 21,000 times, indicating that the issue she highlighted is more widespread than most people realize.