“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.