Episode 15: Should We Sing Bethel?

Ordinary Radicals
Ordinary Radicals
Episode 15: Should We Sing Bethel?

In this episode of the Ordinary Radicals podcast, Jonathan Hayashi and Brandon Boatner speak on whether or not churches should sing songs from Bethel?

What is even Bethel? Why is this even an issue? Is this even a problem within churches worth covering within the podcast?


Some highlights from today’s episode;

  • If you would have asked me 2 years ago this question, I would have answered differently.
  • Dangerous belief: “If I have enough faith then I could have healed my mom from her sickness, and she wouldn’t have died.”
  • The music itself is not evil. The intent to use music to reach those who are far from God is not a bad thing, it’s an awesome thing! We ought to use music and whatever we can, but not in an area that doctrinally dangerous path.
  • Music is a vehicle to carry the message. Doctrine is carried through music!

  • If you were to remember the very last sermon preached, what were the big three points? Most people are going to struggle to do that. But with music? You will be able to sing an entire chorus.
  • Do doctrine and theology even matter? Can we not just put away that theology and talk about Jesus? Is that even possible?

  • Doctrine matters! Theology matters! That is the reason because music implies and informs the mind, this podcast episode is so important to be conversed and be covered.
  • Worship is a hot topic and should always be a hot topic! Why? Because worship matters.
  • Doxology should always be driven by our Theology. Both go hand in hand. Our worship is always informed by His Word.

  • For the sake of the gospel, Christians ought to put away comfort and preference for the advancement of the gospel!
  • As Christians, we do not interpret God based on our circumstance but based on the eternal, inerrant the doctrinal truths of the Scripture.
  • If you want to be true to and not sing anything that goes against doctrine ever, well then you have to write all your songs.
  • Allowing the Word of God to transform our lives, rather than tradition to inform our practice.

  • People say, “Well, where love and mercy meet, that’s the cross.” I will say no. The cross is where love and wrath meet.
  • There are so many good Christians songs. Therefore, if it comes across wrong to you, just don’t sing it.
  • A.W. Tozer said, “Need is a word for the creature, not worthy for the creator”

Here’s an outline from today’s conversation;

Intro: How do we record the podcast?

– Conversation with a member: “Should we sing songs from Bethel music?”

– The topic of worship can be a cause for even a church-split. It is a hot-topic issue.

– Black & White issue? “No Hillsong and no Bethel Music!”


1. What’s Even the Problem? Why Is This Even an Issue?

– Bethel History: Charismatic denomination (Spiritual gift of speaking in tongues, healing).

– Cult background? Bill Johnson (lead pastor) believers he has a direct revelation from God…. Etc

– “Speaking it into existence” idea of God needs to follow whatever request man makes.

– Charismatic in the Theological realm: Towards the left side.

– The spiritual gift of healing: “Name it and claim it!” like prosperity gospel church.

– Bethel’s strategy: “We will reach the world through MUSIC!”

– Music is an incredible tool: Examples? Twinkle, twinkle little stars & ABC song.

– Martin Luther: Wrote songs that tide to their sermons before they even preached them.

– Doctrine and theology: “Faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” (Jude 1:3).

– Jesus being fully God and fully human (hypostatic union) is a theological statement!

– Do doctrine and theology even matter? Should we sing Biblically?


2. What Roles does Music (Doctrine) Have in Our Singing?

– Scripture is my sole authority even in singing.

– Preference of genre of music? Worship must be Theocentric (God-centered vs. Man-centered).

– “Hymns are always doctrinally sound!” Well, not always.

– “Draw ME close” vs. “O Come, let us worship before the LORD!” (Ps  95:6).

– “Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” (Ps 36:5).

– “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy Name!” (Ps 103:1).

– Scripture reading: Didactic study! Exegeting through Psalms is a study of the Attribute of God.

– Mighty Fortress by Martin Luther: The battle hymn of the Reformation with spiritual warfare.


Examples of Hymns and the Writers

– “It is Well with My Soul” by Horatio Spafford did not believe eternal punishment.

– “Joy to the World” by Isaac Watts did not believe in the Trinity.

– “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” John Wesley believes that people could lose their salvation.


Doctrinal Triage by Albert Mohler:

– (1) Doctrinal Foundation (1st order issues: Example the Trinity).

– (2) Disputed Doctrines (2nd order issues: Example the Sacraments).

– (3) Opinions (3rd order issues: Example the Creation Order).

– The Ecumenical Council of the Early Church.

–  The doctrine of Incarnation on Jesus humanity & divinity: Council of Nicea (A.D. 325)

– The doctrine of the Trinity issue with Arianism: Council of Constantinople (A.D. 381).


Pastor theologians had major issues.

– Martin Luther with Anti-Semitism.

– C. S. Lewis with Eschatological belief.

– Charles Spurgeon with severe depression.

– John Calvin with the belief of antinomianism.

– J.I. Packer with view on eschatology.


David’s Psalms: Praying through Psalm 51?

– “Semper Reformada Ecclesia Reformada” which means, “The church reformed, always reforming according to the Word of God.”

– Protestant Revolt? No, it was the Protestant Reformation. RE-FORMING BACK to Scripture.


If you were invited by Bethel to lead music at their church, would you do it?

– Question: Would you preach at Joel Osteen’s church? Kenya West (Jesus is King) went.

– Arminian vs. Calvinism: Example of Charles Spurgeon and D.L. Moody’s friendship.

– Eschatological Theology: John McArthur and R.C. Sproul (Covenantal vs. Dispensational).


3. Are We Doctrinally Sound in the Singing with the Music?

– The motive of the Heart: Example, do the top 10 CCLI songs to become a mega-church? Or theology?

– Doctrinally sound? For example, “Above All” the line in the chorus line.

– “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief” (Isa 53:10).

– Flexibility in the selection of songs for worship service.


Resources mentioned in today’s podcast



If you have a question you would like answered on the show, fill out the form on the podcast page here at jonathanhayashi.com.


Thanks for listening! If you have found this podcast helpful, go to iTunes and leave a rating & review! That is one simple way you can help me get this in the ears of as many people as possible. Thanks for the help!


Ordinary Radicals Podcast is a member of the HNR.GD Network

Leave a Comment