Hillsong Controversy Explodes: 4 Things You Should Know [Video & Song]

Craig HueyChurch19 Comments

Hillsong Church has not been free of controversy during its 25-year history…

Concerns have been raised at various times by politicians … the media … Christian leaders … and former members.

The latest controversy is over the lyrics of one of Hillsong United’s latest worship songs. Here are 4 things you should know:

  1. Hillsong United worship leader Joel Houston is being accused of supporting Darwinian evolution in the new song “So Will I (100 Billion X).”

Here are the lyrics of the song … you be the judge:

God of creation, There at the start
Before the beginning of time
With no point of reference You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light

And as You speak A hundred billion galaxies are born
In the vapor of Your breath the planets form
If the stars were made to worship so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made
Every burning star A signal fire of grace
If creation sings Your praises so will I

God of Your promise You don’t speak in vain
No syllable empty or void
For once You have spoken All nature and science
Follow the sound of Your voice

And as You speak A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
Evolving in pursuit of what You said
If it all reveals Your nature so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I

If the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I
If the wind goes where You send it so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times

VERSE 3: God of salvation You chased down my heart
Through all of my failure and pride
On a hill You created, The light of the world
Abandoned in darkness to die

And as You speak A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
If You left the grave behind You so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done
Every part designed in a work of art called love
If You gladly chose surrender so will I
I can see Your heart Eight billion different ways
Every precious one A child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will I

Like You would again a hundred billion times
But what measure could amount to Your desire

You’re the One who never leaves the one behind.

The controversial lyrics are at the beginning of Chorus 2:

“And as You speak
A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
Evolving in pursuit of what You said.”

  1. Evolution: Controversy Exploding

Joel Houston wrote the following on Twitter:

“Evolution is undeniable – created by God as a reflective means of displaying nature’s pattern of renewal in pursuance of God’s Word – an ode to the nature of the creative God it reflects – and only ever in part – not the SOURCE! Science and faith aren’t at odds. God created the Big-Bang.”

It’s not clear from this tweet whether Houston is talking about micro evolution (change over time within species) or macro evolution (change over time of one species into another species).

Micro evolution is observable and undeniable …

Macro evolution on the other hand has never been observed and is very much deniable based on the mechanics of the theory of natural selection developed by Charles Darwin. Don’t let yourself not to try the new game from casino slots called Charles Monkey Slot which is develop in reference of macro evolution.

  1. Joel Houston tried to explain the context of his views on evolution.

Houston’s initial tweet sparked a debate among various Twitter users on creation versus evolution…

Attempting to clarify the earlier tweet, Houston posted:

“CONTEXT – things evolve, they change and adapt, I DON’T believe in evolution as a theory of SOURCE, I believe it’s merely a pattern of Nature – created by God, reflecting Nature’s desire for renewal, survival, new life—something-SomeONE – like God.”

He further tweeted, “I think what gets lost, strangely enough, is that in any case, The Word comes before any kind of Big Bang…”

When asked whether he believes in the “Big Bang theory” or “literal 6-day creation,” Houston said, “…I believe God created everything and His Word came first…”

And regarding whether he believes man evolved from apes or some other lower primate form, he replied, “I believe God created humanity out of the dust … and breathed His breath/Spirit into us…”

  1. Hillsong tries to maintain a high level of theological truth.

Hillsong Church Senior Pastor Brian Houston revealed that all of Hillsong’s lyrics are reviewed by theologians.

“We do put more effort into the theology of our songs than we ever have before…,” he said. “So we have people specifically who – every single song has to fit through a system of being tested by theologians.”

Pastor Houston added, “There’s often a lot of grind – hopefully in a positive way – between the songwriter and getting it to a point where we feel like it’s not going to be too easily misrepresented.”

Hillsong Church was founded in 1983 in New South Wales, Australia.

Its services are attended by over 100,000 people each week in New South Wales and the 80 affiliated churches around the world.

The goal of their music is for it to reach into the hearts of people all over the world.

Listen to the song “So Will I (100 Billion X)” and decide for yourself whether Hillsong went too far astray in singing about a hundred billion creatures catching God’s breath and “evolving in pursuit” of what He said (7 minutes):

Are these lyrics referring to original creation? Or might they be referring to the spiritual “evolution” of the creation that will take place when the sons of God are revealed?

“For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” (Romans 8:19-22, NASB)

However you choose to interpret the questionable lyrics … it’s unfortunate that Joel Houston chose the words that he did in this one line of an otherwise very powerful song that gives praise, honor and glory to God as the Creator of all things – and of all physical and spiritual processes.

What do you think?  Write me at craig@electionforum.org

19 Comments on “Hillsong Controversy Explodes: 4 Things You Should Know [Video & Song]”

  1. Wow! The religious Pharisee spirit is at it again! What really matters in our worship & life before God; is it living in HIS nature instead of the devil’s. Out hearts are evil & wicked & who can know it, certainly not ourselves. A man of God is needed who has discernment of spirits to check our inner motives for what we say & what we do. Praise God that I have one! What matters is not what we think but what God thinks about this issue. God’s thoughts & ways are not our ways! Does a song led us to repentance to greater devotion & praise for God to lead us to a selfless life for others. That is probably more important to God than actual words used. The Word of God discerns the motives of our heart. Some who are criticizing this song leader, may need to check the huge log in their own eye. How are we all doing in that area? May God be blessed by all that we say & do!

  2. I think his theology is clear. He believes in molecules-to-man evolution. Notice how he didn’t answer directly the two questions posed: macro vs. micro evolution and ape-to-man evolution. He clearly said there was a Big Bang. That is NOT in scripture. Dear sisters and brothers….please read your Bible to get your theology from His Word and stay away from pastors with ministries who use song to gain your ear. Singing is a form of worship to the Lord but it is written by fallen man. Beware of false teaching! Be a Berean and read the Word so you can discern the thruthfulness of lyrics such as these. You don’t want to be signing false praises to our Holy Lord!

  3. Paul wrote to the Corinthians and said ” The spiritual man make judgments about all things ( the word judgments here means to “ask questions”-“to examine”-“to evaluate”-“scrutinize” and “to investigate”) all things. So thank u Craig for sharing this situation with us as we in the Christian faith do rebuke ( rebuke means to “admonish” or “correct” ) when our fellow believers may error in a theological situation such as listed above. Brad n Kalifornia

  4. Wow!! I am shocked and embarrassed at comments that pass for Christianity. Song lyrics are distillations of truth and one uses ones whole self to discern the truth hidden in them.. The truth is that Christians must go through on evolutionary process called in “old days” sanctification which means from glory to glory being changed until we become conformed to the image of Christ. Justification is once at the cross, Sanctification is life long process of being changed by the operation of the cross upon us. Perhaps those who object to that one word being used in the song have never been taught about sanctification., nor have they looked up the word evolution in the dictionary. We are destined to obtain the mind of Christ who created a Cosmos bigger than we can see with our eyes! But we are destined to that through the evolutionary process called sanctification!! Look up the word evolution in the dictionary folks!!!

  5. It is very disappointing that Joel Houston evaded the questions asked of him. The clear impression left is that he must believe in the “gap theory,” and this notion cannot be supported by Scripture. Neither macro-evolution nor micro-evolution is in any way scientific, to begin with (all adaptations are pre-engineered), and the idea of evolution of inferior species into man over eons is clearly contradicted by the Bible, both in Genesis and in the many references to God’s six-day work, in the O.T. and in the N.T. If this is denied, then Scriptural infallibility and authority, whether in regard to nature or to doctrinal matters, are both fatally compromised, and that has everything to do with the validity of the gospel. I’ve loved the sound of this song, but I never checked the lyrics until now. It is so sad to have to turn away from it.

    1. indeed, if you can’t find true praise and worship in a Hillsong Worship or Hillsong United concert than you have a serious hole in your solu

  6. Mary Watkins, in all kindness, I think that God’s voice saying “Light BE” is a pretty big BANG. : )

    In Christ’s love… Not said in anger, so please don’t be angry. My theology doesn’t hinge on this, but I perceive Genesis One as God’s Spirit moved upon the deepness of space, and he spoke, creating electrons (i.e.the light of static electricity) and sub-atomic particles on Day One: On Day Two He created the chemical table of elements as gasses and liquids, and made the atmosphere of earth and created the salt sea and the solid firmament of clouds (like a greenhouse); on Day Three he created solid matter, and the first solid matter he made was the planet earth and that is why it is sacred, and why firstfruits are sacred, and also on that day he made plant life. And this great experiment was good, and so on Day Four he went large, and created the sun, the moon and the stars (and the rest of the universe). And on Day Five he created aquatic life and birds. And on Day Six he created land animals and man as the overseer of creation. On Day Seven, he rested because it was good. I like to think it went something like that. Not that He needs my opinion or approval or understanding of what He did. He did what He did and it is a mystery and unknowable, except that we know His Word is true.

  7. Wow, we continue to “strain out nats and swallow camels”, nit picking things to death!!! We give the church a bad name! Of course we all evolve! We grow from baby christians in the Word and Spirit unto maturity through the Word and the Spirit. Sanctification!!! If some want to “nit pick”, what is a tremendously Blessed by God, Ministry, they should ask this fellow if he believes that man evolved from an ape. If so, open dialogue, in love and pray to EVOLVE his thinking! Let’s love one another, as ourselves.Through jealousy, fear and missguided dogmatism, the Pharisee’s did the same! Be careful, in love.

  8. Wow! I love this song. I think it’s a beautiful testament to the awe in which we see God’s glory. God is not the author of confusion and I think nit-picking a song to the point of exhaustion is a tool to raise questions that cause confusion. When I hear this song, nothing in it sets off alarms in my spirit. Be still and know that HE is GOD. Ask Him for discernment. The enemy is hard at work seeking whom he may devour. Let’s not get caught up in the rhetoric. If something needs to be corrected, let’s correct in love, using the Word of God which is useful for teaching and rebuking, not out of judgement, but out of agape love.

  9. God bless you for that reply. Hillsong has blessed lifes and still blessing my life till date.

  10. I didn’t read all comments. I agree with one about Mr. Houston not answering the questions. Why would he not answer them? The main thought I am having in my soul is “WHY” is it so important to understand why and what God has done? He said His ways are above ours and His thoughts are above ours. Thanks to awareness that Our God is not at our level! It is becoming increasingly accepted that science supports the Bible. I would say that this revealing is for the pagan and puts a smile on a Christians face of His Glory. We follow by FAITH. Praise God the Creator that at His will he lovingly reveals himself through science. STILL, why does this become so important. It was in the Garden that Satan convinced Eve that it was and here we are! Take away all the desires & excitement of knowledge, what do & should we have left…CHRIST, “These two commands I give to you, Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

  11. I liked your answer, but one must remember that if someone puts a “little” poison in a cake mix it becomes dangerous to all who eat. The Bereans are the guardians of the faith. And how do they do that, by using critical discernment through the Holy Spirit. If it causes confusion then there is a good reason that it does for God’s Truth does not. Satan devours through deception and human reason. Of course it should be out of love for the soul, God wanting none to perish. : )

  12. He was asked that and he said that he believed that God formed man from dust and breathed life into man, when a simple “No” would have ended any controversy.

    “Do you believe that man evolved from apes?”

    End of story.
    But, what he said could mean different things depending on how he interprets Scripture. Some actually believe that the concept “God created man from dust and breathed life into him” leaves a possibility of Macro-Evolution being true. It would have been better if he had just said “No.” Do we all misspeak at one point or the other? Sure. Do we wish we had phrased something a little different or have been a little more clear? Sure! I have these issues all the time. The difference between us and someone like Joel Houston is, we do not have influence over, potentially, the souls of hundreds or even thousands of people.

    We SHOULD love everyone, no doubt about that but we have to be careful about allowing someone to lead people away from God as well. Rebuke with Love.

  13. Every time I listen to Hillsong, they lead me into the presence of God. For me, that says it all.

  14. This is one of the most Beautiful songs God inspired the composer to ever write! It is truly God inspired and GOD/JESUS/ HOLY SPIRIT created! Praise God in all His glory for giving us one of many Christian Composers and Singer/ Musicians at this time in our existence! Christian music has never been this much of a catalyst to help and guide people to the Cross and our Lord and Savior to transform dead and lost souls! Thank You Jesus for these Christian Artists that TRULY HAVE YOU HAND ON THEIR LIVES! Glory to GOD IN THE HIGEST. Hillsong is only one of many walking on The light of Jesus!!!

  15. We are of the world. Any chance one of the “minion’s cans wreak havoc and place doubt in anything to do with our Lord and Savior he will do it. That is all this is. This is not worth wasting our time on this. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to please guide us in discernment. Put on the Armor of God and the Fruits of the Spirit. This and only this thru His Holy Spirit will we know the truth! Look for the Good!

  16. Gail,
    I agree w/ u! Jesus said in paraphrase Matt 13 that if u are not for HIM, u r against HIM & if u r mot gathering w/ HIM, u are scattering. HE also said in Matt 24 that that there are many false prophets & teachers & false Christians in the church that deceive the elect & persecute the true believers. This is the end-times & wickedness will grow Dan 8:23. 2 Chr 7:14. We need to humble ourselves & repent of our own wickedness. Some point there finger at others that don’t deal w/ beam in there own eye. What mostly matters in a song is the Holy Spirit on it & does the presence of God come when played? I would say yes!

    Minister Rick

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