The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Problematic Worship Songs: THIS I BELIEVE (The Creed) by Hillsong

213

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

In an attempt to steer souls away from lies and to educate them about what the most essential doctrines of Christianity are, human leaders in the early Church got together and invented a set of creeds which could be passed down from generation to generation.  Some of those creeds became forgotten over time, but the Apostles’ Creed  became extremely popular.  Making a song out of something is a good way to remember it, and over the years, different Christian songwriters have taken a stab at turning the main sentiments of the Apostles’ Creed  into a set of catchy lyrics.  Of course adjustments get made here and there, and songwriters sometimes tack on some extra concepts that the original creed doesn’t cover.  But the point is that all of these songs are trying to answer the question: “What does a true Christian believe?” 

So what does a true Christian believe?  What makes a Christian a Christian?  In this post we’ll check out Hillsong’s musical rendition of the Apostles’ Creed.  Their creed summarizing song is called This I Believe (The Creed) and anytime someone starts throwing a creed at you, it’s a great opportunity to practice discernment.  Of course you need God’s help to discern well, so before you continue reading this post, ask Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to give you Their feedback on these lyrics.

The Apostles’ Creed starts off with a very brief summary of who our Gods are.  So does this song.

[Verse 1] Our Father everlasting; The all creating One; God Almighty
Through Your Holy Spirit; Conceiving Christ the Son; Jesus our Savior

You’re talking to Yahweh here, and notice how you credit Him for creating everything that is.  You also say that He’s all powerful.  Giving Yahweh alone the credit for creating things is not accurate, but it is biblical.  The book of Genesis is where you find the Creation account.  Moses wrote Genesis, and Moses had never heard of Christ.  Moses believed that Yahweh was the only true God, and he used the term Holy Spirit as an alternate title for Yahweh.  So we’re really just parroting Moses when we say that Yahweh was the God who created everything (see Rethinking the Creation Account: Who is Elohim?).

Now in famous Christian creeds, you’ll find that the Holy Spirit barely gets any attention.  He’s always shoved to the back of the line after some brief acknowledgement, and He’s often incorrectly described as a mere extension of Yahweh.  That’s what happens in this song: we’re talking to Yahweh and we use the phrase “through Your Holy Spirit.”  Such language fails to acknowledge the Holy Spirit as the separate Being that He is.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t belong to Yahweh.  He’s not the soul of Yahweh.  He is His own magnificent Being.  But you won’t find accurate teaching about the Holy Spirit in the Bible, because He simply wasn’t introduced until the end of the Gospels, at which point none of the Jews were ready to deal with Him, so they just went on using the term Holy Spirit as they always had, and to them, Holy Spirit was just another Name for Yahweh.

Judaism is a monotheistic or single God religion.  True Christianity is a polytheistic or multiple God religion.  Well, because we have no confidence in our Gods’ ability to guide us in life, it freaks us out to stray too far away from Judaism, even though Judaism is no longer valid now that Christ has introduced us to two more Gods.  So what you’ll find in the Apostles’ Creed and in this creed based song is a mishmash of monotheism and polytheism.  We cling fiercely to the old Jewish notion that Yahweh was the only Supreme God and that the Holy Spirit is nothing more than His Divine Presence.  Is this correct?  No, it’s 100% wrong, but this is what happens when you’re depending on the Bible to guide you in life instead of on the Creators of all things.  The Bible simply doesn’t spell out the tenants of true Christianity because the Jews who wrote the biblical records weren’t Christians—they were Old Covenant Jews who at the most were willing to grant that Jesus was Someone special.  But no one was comfortable saying “Jesus is God,” because monotheists don’t accept the notion of multiple Gods.

Well, if we get too carried away with imitating stubborn Jews, we’re going to end up in Hell.  Jesus says that we either submit to Him and the Holy Spirit as two more Almighty Gods or we fry.  We don’t want to fry. Frying is bad.  But you can’t jam more Gods into Judaism and Judaism is like our first teddy bear: we just can’t let it go.  So how do we straddle both camps?  How do we remain monotheists so we can be like the Jews who rejected Jesus (because there’s a worthy goal) while actually becoming polytheists in order to stay out of Hell?  After a lot of deliberating, Catholic bishops in the Roman Empire came up with an utterly ridiculous solution: let’s say that there are three Gods and one God at the same time.  Say what?  What kind of sense does this make?  None, but it doesn’t matter, because it sounded like just the thing that would keep us out of Hell while still allowing us to not have to part company with the Jews who rejected Christ (because that’s important).  This is how the famous Trinity doctrine was born.

Now the whole point of cooking up the Trinity doctrine was to get out of having to emphasize the separateness of our Gods, because at bottom, we want to remain monotheists.  In order to sound like monotheists, we exalt Yahweh as being extra Godly—He’s the Guy who created everything, and He’s the One we clearly identify as God in this song.  Then we downplay Jesus and the Holy Spirit as being mere extensions of Yahweh.  The Holy Spirit is just a Divine aura, and Jesus was Someone who Yahweh decided to birth one day.  Of course if Yahweh birthed Jesus, then He had to exist before Jesus.  Suddenly Jesus becomes reduced to being a mere created being while we never do allow the Holy Spirit to become more than some mystical aura.  This is what’s wrong with the Trinity doctrine: it was born out of a desire to remain monotheists, and that desire drives us to constantly reduce the supremacy of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Now of course no one in the Bible believed in this nonsense about a Triune God.  The New Testament writers openly reject the idea that Christ could ever be Yahweh’s Equal while they totally blow off the notion of the Holy Spirit being a distinct Individual (see How the NT Epistles Define Christ: Not God, Just Another Flawed Human). To them, there was no need to start talking about water, steam and ice.  Yahweh was the only God they were willing to recognize, and they simply felt no need to pretend that He has a split Personality.

Well, we Christians do feel the need to pretend that Yahweh is plagued with some kind of weird identity crisis because we’re so haunted by Jesus saying that if we don’t submit to multiple Gods, we’re going to fry.  Thus we have come up with the handy phrase “Our God is three in one,” which only confuses everyone and does nothing to fix the fact that we’re being little brats to not openly embrace polytheism the way that our Gods want us to.  And of course when monotheistic Muslims observe the way we worship three Gods and accuse us of being polytheists (which is a big no-no in Islam), instead of proudly owning it, we act all huffy and say, “No, we’re monotheists like you are!”  Avoiding being shunned by the followers of Judaism and Islam—now there’s something that is definitely worth throwing our Gods under the bus for.  What a bunch of disloyal twits we are.

[Chorus 1] I believe in God our Father; I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit; Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection; That we will rise again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus

It’s time to talk about this “I believe” business.  You can believe in facts all day, but until your soul gets off its rebellious duff and actually submits to all three of your Creators as the Supreme Authorities that They are, you aren’t going to be setting one toe into Their Heaven. Our Gods define a true believer as one who has been eternally accepted by Them in response to that soul giving Them sufficient submission.  Simply saying, “I believe that Christ is the Son of Yahweh,” doesn’t cut it.  Christ isn’t just someone’s Son—He’s God Almighty.  The Son of God was an earthly title that He used with Jews because the title meant something to them (see Understanding Jesus’ Use of Titles: Son of God, Son of Man, I AM).  But Jesus isn’t Yahweh’s actual Son—He’s Yahweh’s Peer.  Jesus claimed to be an I AM God, which is the same as saying He is an uncreated Being.  If you’re going to respond to Jesus correctly, you need to stop confusing His human charade on earth with His Divine Identity.  While Jesus looked like He was some helpless little baby, He was existing everywhere, and sustaining all that is.  While Mary was rocking baby Jesus to sleep, Jesus was holding her molecules together and setting up her next spiritual growth lesson.  Regardless of what kind of physical form Jesus chooses to take, He remains God Almighty, and this is a point that you need to be careful not to minimize.

Because we listen to the Christ-bashing dingdongs who wrote the New Testament epistles, we make an epic fuss over Christ’s resurrection and act like somehow that one moment has changed everything.  Well, the only reason Christ’s resurrection was such a shocker to the Jews is that they were refusing to acknowledge who He actually is.  Is it really so shocking that the Co-Creator of all life can manage to reappear in the same earthsuit He was crucified in?  Not if you understand what a true God is capable of.  But if you think that Jesus is just some bumbling mortal, then you think that it was Yahweh who raised Jesus back to life, and of course you’re very impressed that Jesus was chosen out for such a special honor.  This is what the New Testament epistle writers teach—that Yahweh raised Jesus.  And since they viewed Jesus as a non-God, it was not even possible to them that Jesus could have raised Himself, even though this is what Jesus said He would do (see Who raised Jesus from the dead?).  So while Jesus raised Himself to prove to close-minded Jews that yes, He really was an Almighty God, the Jews responded by totally discounting what Jesus did and they pretended that it was all Yahweh.  These are the same nimrods we’re exalting as brilliant in the Church today.

Hillsong is being ridiculous to suggest that merely believing in Jesus’ resurrection is going to get you somewhere.  Jesus’ resurrection is a historical fact.  Merely believing in historical facts never kept anyone out of Hell.  Until you submit to Jesus and Yahweh and the Holy Spirit as the Supreme Deities that They are, all of the beliefs you’re listing off in this song aren’t worth a hill of beans.

[Verse 2] Our Judge and our Defender; Suffered and crucified
Forgiveness is in You; Descended into darkness
You rose in glorious life; Forever seated high

In this next verse, you turn the focus onto Jesus as if Yahweh and the Holy Spirit have suddenly become irrelevant.  It is only Jesus who you describe as your Judge and Defender.  But who is Jesus defending you from?  From Yahweh, of course.  As they quote John 3:16 and talk about how Yahweh so loved the world, Christians simultaneously make Him out to be the mean, grumpy, ungracious God who just can’t wait to chuck everyone into Hell (see Songs that God Hates: Before the Throne of God Above).  Good thing sweet loving Jesus came along to teach us what forgiveness was—you know, because it’s not like Yahweh ever mentioned forgiveness in the Old Testament.  No, that whole concept of an atoning sacrifice was all Jesus’ idea—oh wait, no it wasn’t.  Since we’re so in love with the ancient Jews, we should pay more attention to their Scriptures and note that it was Yahweh, not Jesus, who first introduced humans to the concepts of grace, salvation, hope, mercy, and love in the Bible.  Given this, it’s more than a little insulting to talk as if Jesus is the only God who saves us.  It’s actually all three of our Gods who decide to extend grace to us at the time of salvation.  It’s not just Jesus.  And as for this baloney about Jesus descending into darkness—this is a reference to Him descending into the fictitious underworld of Hades which the Jews believed existed in the bowels of our planet.  How lame is it that we’re recycling Jewish superstitions in Christian creeds?  But this is what we do.

Jesus is omnipresent.  He doesn’t descend or rise—He’s always present everywhere.  He’s also the Co-Creator and Sustainer of both Heaven and Hell, so He really wasn’t stuck in Hell for three days until Yahweh let Him out (see Did Jesus spend three days in Hell?).

This business about Jesus ascending back up to Heaven and finally sitting down next to Yahweh is more insulting imagery which is intended to minimize who Jesus is.  In New Testament times, the king sat on a throne, and his lower ranking, much less impressive, much less powerful, favorite subordinate sat on a non-throne that was parked on the right side of the royal throne.  Look through those New Testament epistles and you’ll find that Jesus is always being described as sitting next to the Divine throne—never on the throne.  That’s just another way that the Jewish writers are reminding you that Jesus is so not God.  What is this garbage doing in a Christian creed?

[Chorus 1] I believe in God our Father; I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit; Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection; That we will rise again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus

How come we’re making such a fuss about Jesus’ Name as if it’s more important than any other?  In fact, why talk about Names at all?  Names are not Gods, they’re just words.  Names did not create us.  Names do not have power.  Ah, but the ancient Jews were big name flingers and they believed that names did have magical powers.  So here we are, recycling  more pagan superstitions by specifying that we don’t just believe in Jesus Himself—we also have a weird obsession with His Name (see Worship Song Analysis: THE NAME OF JESUS by Chris Tomlin).

[Bridge] I believe in You; I believe You rose again
I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord
[x2]

Why are we giving all of this special attention to Jesus instead of exalting all three of our Gods equally?  After all, this is supposed to be a song that reviews essential Christian doctrines, and the fact that we have three Gods is quite essential.  This favoring of one God over the Others is quite inappropriate and certainly not something that Jesus teaches us to do.

[Chorus 1] I believe in God our Father; I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit; Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection; That we will rise again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus
[x2]

For I believe in the Name of Jesus
For I believe in the Name of Jesus

The fact that you believe in the Name of Jesus has nothing to do with the fact that you will experience life after death.  Everyone will experience life after death, regardless of how they are responding to Jesus.  And while the apostle Paul would have us believe that we all must lie in the dirt until Jesus’ Second Coming, this is yet another useless superstition.  Death is simply the moment that your Creators decide to separate your soul from your earthsuit and take your soul on to another dimension, which Christians refer to as eternity.  You really aren’t going to “rise again,” as you say in this song.  It’s more like your soul will suddenly find itself in an entirely different situation and you’ll be dealing with the consequences—good or bad—of the soul choices that you made while you were here (see What Happens After Death).

[Chorus 2] I believe in life eternal; I believe in the virgin birth
I believe in the saints’ communion; And in Your holy Church
I believe in the resurrection; When Jesus comes again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus

The way you keep emphasizing your belief in the Name of Jesus is both nonsensical and irrelevant.  It’s also idolatrous, if you’re thinking of the Name itself having power that you can wield about.  Such a view is popular in prosperity and intercessory circles where souls are taught that merely tagging Jesus’ Name onto the end of their demands will somehow force Jesus to submit to their agendas.

Now believing in eternal life is certainly important, because it will help you make wise soul choices.  Christians emphasize the fact that Jesus’ earthly mother was a virgin when she had Him because this underscores the fact that Jesus is Someone special.  But then again, we also have a widespread problem of praying to and venerating Mary as if she’s some kind of demigod.  Our Gods hate idolatry, so fixating on Mary really isn’t going to take us anywhere good (see SAINTS: Who is your soul having sex with?).  What we need to understand is that Jesus is and always has been God.  His existence did not begin inside of Mary’s virgin womb.  As Jesus once said, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I AM” (Jn. 8:58).  His point was not only to claim equality with Yahweh as a second I AM God, but to also make the point that He has always existed.  We really don’t need Mary to be a virgin for Jesus to be Divine.  The fact that she was is yet another reminder that our Gods can do anything They want with whoever They want because They are sovereign, omnipotent Beings.  But our focus needs to be on Them, not on a human.

Now when you get to the lyric “I believe in the saints’ communion,” do you even understand what you’re saying?  If not, then you shouldn’t be singing it.  This particular phrase has been a bone of contention for many Christians.  If you’re a Catholic, then you’re probably going to be thinking about the mystical, spiritual communion that exists between all believers everywhere: those of us on earth now as well as those who have gone on to Heaven.  You’d also include those in Purgatory, if you believe in Purgatory.  Well, Purgatory doesn’t exist, and there really is no communication of any kind going on between humans in this world and humans in eternity.  So this phrase is problematic, because it’s encouraging you to focus on your relationship with other humans as being enormously significant when it really isn’t.

If you’re not Catholic, then you might interpret this phrase to merely refer to the congregation of all believers.  From the Protestant point of view, “the communion of all saints” and “Your holy Church” are talking about the same thing.  But again, there are problems with this language because when we’re talking about what makes a Christian a Christian, the focus should be on the identities of the true Gods and on the soul attitudes They require from us.  Unfortunately, this song doesn’t bother with soul attitudes, because the writers of the original Apostles’ Creed didn’t mention them.  Well, how can we possibly define what a true Christian is without mentioning reverential submission to the true Gods?  To instead say, “I believe in the reality of other Christians,” is utterly absurd.  What do other people’s soul choices have to do with you?  What if there are no other Christians in existence because all humans everywhere are refusing to submit to their Makers—does that change how salvation is acquired or  make it any less important for you to submit?  No, it doesn’t.  The existence of other Christians in any dimension simply has no bearing on your personal standing with God.  We are created as individuals, we are convicted as individuals, and we are judged as individuals.  So regardless of whether the society you live in emphasizes the importance of community or the importance of individuality, when it comes to dealing with your Creators, you need to learn to think like an individual, because that is how They are interacting with you.

[Chorus 1] I believe in God our Father; I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit; Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection; That we will rise again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus

[Repeat Chorus 1]

For I believe in the Name of Jesus

Because it fails to mention soul attitudes, this song has not given any useful answer to the question “What does it mean to be a Christian?”  Instead, it’s encouraged us to make a bunch of meaningless claims that we believe in the fact of our Gods, even though merely believing in Them will get us nowhere.  Demons believe in Jesus, too, and we can see how much good it’s not doing them.  Belief is not enough, you have to submit.

By the time we declare belief in a Triune God, exaggerate the importance of the word Jesus, and credit only one God for our salvation, we’ve wandered far off course from worshiping our Gods.  They simply don’t like it when we stand around declaring our belief in a bunch of things which They’ve told us are not true.  Is this so hard to understand?

FURTHER READING:
The Trinity Doctrine: Is it an obstacle to salvation?
Worship Song Analysis: IN CHRIST ALONE by the Newsboys
Offensive Worship Songs: GOD’S NOT DEAD by the Newsboys
Worship Song Analysis: SAME POWER by Jeremy Camp
Hymns That Lead Us Astray: There is Power in the Blood

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: