Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Inerrancy Summit, Shepherds Conference, 2015: Keith and Kristyn Getty

Keith and Kristyn Getty lead the music at the summit on inerrancy in Southern California for 2015.  I didn't know until I started watching one of the sessions on livestream, but I've got to comment.  I knew the Gettys were popular with conservative evangelicals and many fundamentalists, but I had never heard them live or even in a recording, that I know of.  I was glad to see and hear, because I think I'm more informed now and I want to describe it for both those who have and haven't heard.

I knew that Steve Pettit, now the president of Bob Jones, used the Gettys music, perhaps in a more tame or conservative fashion.  I remembered also that David Cloud had written about their music being used at West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster.  I only knew they were the Gettys because they were in the schedule for the conference.  What I recalled as well was that the Gettys are known as modern hymnwriters with dense theological lyrics.  Having watched them now, I can see why they are popular.

Keith Getty is on the piano and his wife sings out front.  This is a huge auditorium, full mainly of men, but she is out front leading the singing.  All of these men are being led by this woman and her voice.  It isn't a manly situation.  She is the furthest thing from manly and the music itself isn't.

Getty plays the piano like an entertainer and in a style best described as soul.  Soul combines elements of "gospel," rhythm and blues, and jazz.  The feel is a softer version of Billy Joel or Elton John.  I think he might see that as a compliment.  He does the soulful eye clinching, placing his face close to the piano, with a gentle bobbing of his head with the rhythm.  Today his act would be considered authentic, which is a common judgment under postmodernism, where an act could be authentic.

Kristyn sings for effect with a breathy, sultry quality, mouth close to the microphone in very intimate fashion.  If a woman came up to talk to me with the same quality that she sings, I would hope no one was either watching or listening, and I would quickly excuse myself.  Except she's singing to God, supposedly.  I think that's what they would say -- that she's singing to God in a style like Marilyn Monroe sang 'Happy Birthday' to President Kennedy.  She has a kind of hippy quality to her of the nature of Joan Baez, the throatiness, the clenched eyes, all the artificial signals of fake authenticity.

As dense as the lyrics of the Gettys may be, and others have advertised, they are not anything as good as the hymnal we use at our church.  It's still a different quality of poetry than the old hymns and more fitting for this popular modern music they sing.  The music doesn't match the words.  It isn't reverent.  It isn't holy.  It is sentimental at best and erotic at worst.  The group of four doing the 'worship leading' is also effeminate, which should not be the kind of 'leading' for a huge group of men.  Everyone in the auditorium should just have handed in his manhood card upon being led by this group.

I know I'm going to get myself in trouble, but MacArthur himself said in his Strange Fire Conference that music was the gateway to the Charismatic movement.  The Getty music is Charismatic.  I understand that there is worse, but that is no consolation.  When I went to look up the Gettys to learn some more, because I know they are influential, the videos on youtube were their appearing on the Harvest Show on LeSEA Broadcasting network.  I looked into the Harvest Show and LeSea, and LeSea is Lester Sumrall, a Pentecostal preacher, who started the network.  It didn't surprise me with the name "Harvest," a very common designation for Charismatics.

Getty is very much associated in name with the songwriter and musician Stuart Townend, whose music also has become popular with conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists.  Townend is the worship leader at Church of Christ the King.  I went to their website and they have the back of a playing card as a symbol of the church, Christ the King.  King of Hearts.  Get it?  Clever, huh?  His Wikipedia article says, "Townend has led worship and performed events across the world at many conferences and festivals, including the Stoneleigh Bible Week in the early 1990s to the early 2000s, Together On A Mission, Mandate, Mission:Worship, Keswick Convention, Spring Harvest and many more. He has also featured on Songs of Praise and worked alongside other high profile Christian musicians including Keith Getty, Lou Fellingham and Phatfish."  There is zero jump now from Townend to Getty to MacArthur to fundamentalists.

Keith Getty has written one of the most well known Christian songs.  I really didn't know it, but it is a hit, which has been sung by many different performers, entitled, "In Christ Alone," very popular especially in Great Britain, that hot bed of Christianity.  Sure, salvation is in Christ alone, but the style of music is not anything like what it is to be in Christ.  In Christ I'm a new creature with old things passed away.  Their song says "yes" to old things.  In Christ the old things remain with the Gettys.  I'm sure there are those who would swear on their sincerity.  I would guess that Elvis was sincere too when he sang his gospel music.

The Wikipedia article on Getty is informative.  The last sentence of the first paragraph states:  "Keith and Kristyn Getty are currently living in the United States where they write music and tour."  They tour, and their tour has brought them to the Shepherds Conference.  And what is the big idea for the Gettys?  There is a section on their philosophy, for which the last line comes from Kristyn and reads, "To try to search for the melodic ideas and song structure that might bring more people in—that's what we're trying to investigate. Is there a way to bring everyone together musically?"  They want to bring more people in.  The question should be, "What does God want?"  And the discussion is over. Everyone should then conform his taste to what God wants.  But that's not the way "worship" is today.  Today the significant question surrounds what will bring people in.

The worship wars pit the older generation, the one less effected by postmodernism, that understood and still might understand objective beauty.  The new generation has moved beauty and art and even religion over to the upper story that is subjective, where there is wide latitude for everyone's taste. They are trying to bring these two sides together.  Could that be a good thing?  Is that biblical unity? If you think so, then we don't think very much alike at all.

What is very sad is that John MacArthur and all these folks in Southern California, including Ian Murray, who I've got to believe disdains this kind of performance, pushes this upon all of these people.  It isn't true worship.  It is modern syncretism. It masquerades as spirituality with the lilting Celtic feeling combined with the blues.  It's an impostor, and yet it is presented as worship there in a conference on inerrancy of scripture.

Some might say, "If this is bad, then why is it so acceptable to so many?"  We're in bad shape, that's why.

It will be interesting to see the reaction to this.  I wish it was repentance, but I would anticipate something closer to the response you get from a dog, whose food has been taken away.


Tyler Robbins said...

I saw the opening song you mentioned yesterday. I thought the performance was silly, over the top and the lady was a too breathless and sensual with her delivery. It sounded better when I minimized the tab and read the news while listening.

I have listened to several Getty hymns, and I didn't think they were awful. They're not fit for church, though. Seeming them live put a bad taste in my mouth.

Is it too much to ask somebody to just stand there . . . and sing? The announcer guy did "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" just fine without all the eye-clenched, soulful head bobbing, or attempting to make love to the microphone.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Tyler.

Those who commented anonymously -- in general, I'm not accepting anonymous comments for this post. For the most part, you've got to own your comments for this.

Andy Efting said...

It doesn’t surprise me at all that MacArthur would use the Getty’s. It’s more surprising and disappointing to me that Fundamentalism (in large parts) have embraced this style as well. I don’t know when that type of style became acceptable but it is deeply troubling to me. I agree that the charismatic influence of the artists often comes through in the songs they write, but it is the sensuality of the performances that is the most disturbing to me. In general I think we are so saturated with sensual pop music in our lives from TV, commercials, radio, walking in the mall, that it doesn’t trigger the check in our conscience like it used to or should.

On the other hand, I don’t have a problem with *some* of their songs performed in a classical manner. Many of them are theologically richer and have tunes that are less trite than some of the gospel-song type fare I grew up with.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Andy. I concur that if their songs have richer theology that we should deem that better than something else. I agree with that. It's as if, however, that Keith Getty has some special ability or talent there. I see it as just an excuse. Many older hymns are not being sung, because they were replaced by revivalism. Why not just bring those back? We've got them in our Trinity Hymnal, Baptist Edition, and they are better than Getty's.

Kent Brandenburg said...


There have been two anonymous comments and I choose to bring them into the equation this way.

First, someone wrote LOL, period, no commentary. That's the other side on this.

Second, I was challenged to repent for calling the stuff "effeminate." It's not difficult to see this music as effeminate, so I double down on that. Do they sound that way to you, regarding 'worship leading' a crowd of men?

Jeff Voegtlin said...

Kent, thank you for your report. I'm one of those that have not seen the duo do their thing.

I wonder whether people get offended when you use the effeminate description because of an inherent opposition to the distinction between genders that God has put in humanity?

To appease them, perhaps you should in the future describe it as an androgynous sound?


JimCamp65 said...

Reading all of this reminded me of a statement made by an older preacher, "It is easier to take the KJV away from a man, than it is to take away his music".
The older generation was saved OUT of Rock & Roll (see David Cloud's testimony for an illustration). This new generation was "saved" into it. In my dealings with these modern "christians", it is peculiar that the big issues that they are "passionate" about are attending movies, allowing rock music, denouncing dress standards, & denouncing the KJV.
And nothing else matters, nothing.
Their favorite religious personality teaches Baptismal regeneration - "So what, his music speaks to me"
Their favorite translation teaches that Jesus Christ sinned or was born of Joseph, "So What"
These types will carry on a well thought out, lengthy argument for pants on women, but have no clue why you should never attend a charismatic church?!
I'm sure everyone reading this blog knows of instances where the emerging churches are now using secular Rock & Roll. I saw a video of one church using AC/DC & another singing "sympathy for the devil".
The host of men who will descend upon this particular article denouncing Bro. B for questioning this music should notice that those churches now using secular R&R, started off with little compromises.
Bro. Cloud had a master list of churches that had progressed along this path.

My 2 cents.

Lance said...

Those convinced that music is neutral will never see distinction in heteropraxy that is performance centered rather than worship and edification centered. Their ears are closed to the distinctions and to those trying to point out the distinction because they "like" and "enjoy" what they hear. They cannot even recognize that they are just being emotionally moved by the music when the same truth when simply taught or spoken fails to move them. The question must then be asked, what are they being "moved" to do?

The Preacher said...


Excellent analysis.

The reason they are troubled by the biblical term "effiminate" is because they are one. Throw a stone into a pack of dogs and the one that yells got hit.

We keep it simple in our assembly as it relates to music... songs out of the hymn book (that does not have to be true, but any songs lyrics first and foremost must be biblical), sung by all (we assemble as the body of Christ, then we should worship together as the body of Christ), and without musical instruments (the bible is not against instruments).

Charles e. Whisnant said...

I have been away from your site for a while, now I see why I have.

Kent Brandenburg said...

It's fine Charles. Your position isn't defensible. It isn't historic or biblical Christianity. it is moving worship into the subjective category, not able to be judged, of course out of pragmatism. I believe you know it.

Acceptance of Getty style worship is tell-tale. You're fine with a thrice holy God having that directed his way. I wouldn't want it directed my way, let alone his, but you like it.

Charles e. Whisnant said...

Having listen to the conference this week has been such a blessing. Tonight music couldn't be better. Did you hear it, have you an opinion?

As to the Getty style just because its may not be my style does not necessarily mean its wrong.

Preaching styles can be just as wrong as wrong style music.

Hymns and expository preaching are best to express Godly holy worship.

Hope you have a wonderful worship service this Sunday.

Kent Brandenburg said...


The music there is eclectic. Preaching "styles" is not the same as "music styles" exactly. Preaching is to people, but the singing is to God. Come on, Charles. I didn't hear the music. I can't take the time to hear it all, but I am interested. Some of the stuff there isn't very good actually, but some of it is excellent. I agree there can be bad preaching, mostly when it isn't scriptural.

Are you saying music is amoral? Are you really saying that? That it is a matter of taste.

I'm going to write another complete post on things, so I'll stop here.

Charles e. Whisnant said...

Dialog like this is not easy. Writing a blog would be better. Short comments often do not covey the right spirit which is intend to do so. A conversion that does not attack but informs is what I would rather do. It would be nice if you lived around the corner, we might have a good time talking. I enjoy learning. I think I will too write a blog. Thanks.

Larry said...

Kent, you said Preaching is to people, but the singing is to God.

This is a curious statement since the Bible says that we are to "with all wisdom teach and admonish one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." That seems to make it pretty clear that music is to other people, not just to God. I am not sure where this idea that music is only to God and not also to and for others came from, but it didn't come from the Bible.

However, I wonder, is your complaint actually against the music or the style of performance? It is unclear to me which you are referring to.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I know you're an intelligent guy, so I know you can figure things out, as can John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, and Albert Mohler. Pragmatism isn't smart, because it is a form philosophical and spiritual and intellectual suicide, but smart people still fall for it, because they won't get the credit they want for being smart, so it is also a pride issue.

I've written a book on music that you have likely never read where I cover these passages in depth. MacArthur himself understands that the audience of the song is God and that the audience is merely a byproduct. I believe the teaching and admonishing, two participles, is separate from the singing to the Lord in Col 3:16. In Eph 5:19 eautois, which I believe is a dative of place, so the understanding is "among yourselves." I believe MacArthur takes the same position, so you'll have to argue with the guy I'm talking about too.

In Col 3, the teaching and admonishing one another is the Word which dwells in you richly. The Word is being taught and admonished. That will result in biblical texts for sure, but they are sung to the Lord. Look at the psalms and find one place where the singing is to people. None. And we're talking a huge sample size.

The style is wrong. The leadership is wrong. And the words are written to parallel with that music, which makes them not as good as other texts -- they are more trite than the older hymns, but I think that those words could be acceptable if with different musical style. I believe you understand everything I have just said.

Kent Brandenburg said...


By the way, if you don't stand up against what the Gettys do, then I believe you stand with them in what they do. At this point, I don't know where you stand, except against me here.

After weeks of never appearing here, this one brings you out of the woodwork to comment, and to come to the rescue. I assume you'll deny this, but this seems to be the type of thing that gets you going.

Larry said...

I wrote this last night and never posted it. I appreciate your confidence in my intelligence, but what does a comment about pragmatism have to do with my comment? I didn't say anything about that. I am opposed to pragmatism. That came out of left field.

I only had two things. Neither had to do with the Gettys. I have no affinity for them. You have seen them and listened to them more than I have apparently. By and large, I agree with you. I am not sure why you would think differently. That didn't come from anything I said. I agree with you on her singing; I think it is inappropriate for worship. I haven't seen him play and I don't know a lot of their songs. From what I know I think some of their songs are good songs when done appropriately. I think some are weak. I have no idea why you think I would stand with them. My question was about what you were objecting to. I am still not entirely clear but my understanding is that some of their words are decent enough with other tunes (though not as good as some older hymns).

You are correct that I haven't read your book. I didn’t know you had one. I understand your position, but I don’t buy it. It's not the way most translations take it. I agree with the KJV here. The most natural reading is that psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are probably dative of means, perhaps related to all three participles (singing is a participle as well). I have no problem arguing with MacArthur but I don't know what he says. I am preaching through Colossians right now (2:8-15 tomorrow) so I will have a chance to revisit this soon. I will certainly give it more thought. I haven't looked at this in depth in quite a few years.

As for the psalms. Psalm 1, 2, 95, 96, 100, 105 and 106 are all to people and that's just a few examples just flipping through pages randomly. I don't think there is always a clear line between "to God" and "to man.” When we sing truth to God, we are teaching others by what we say; when we sing truth about God, we are also teaching others as well as bringing honor to God by speaking the truth about him.

As for you, I am not standing against you here; I don't have a strong opinion on your views because I don't have anyway to judge them. I haven't seen what you are talking about. The only thing I took issue with was your claim that music is to God not to people. (And that was actually a side point to the main point which was my question.) You disagree with me on that and I am fine with that. You won't answer to me for it.

As for coming out of the woodwork, I don't comment much anywhere these days. I haven't written on my own blog in a very long time. I have other things to do. And this takes too much time. Even this response has taken way too long because I am trying to be careful with what I say. I have started comments previously, but decided not to post because I don't think it would be profitable.

If anything, this exchange reminds me why I don't comment much anymore. It's just not worth it. You seem to go into high gear at a simple point from Scripture and a question. You can't seem to just respond with grace. I am not particularly bothered by it. It makes me roll my eyes and chuckle a little. Perhaps you were looking for a “fight’ over this and are disappointed you didn’t get it so you jump on the first thing that looks like it. I think there is one truth and that all truth matters. I am not weak on that. One reason I don’t interact with you much is because I think you are too often outside the truth of revelation and you have had your two or three warnings.

As for this topic, it doesn't get me going. I don't really even pay attention to it much.

It does remind me of a Sunday morning when our song list was entirely Watts and Wesley, maybe two of each that morning and maybe one other. A man who had visited a few times wanted to know if we could sing some of the old stuff like Farther Along. I laughed. I told him we were older than that by several hundred years.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I'm glad you are not with the Gettys, but it appears that you are coming here somehow to justify them -- it reads like that, and I say, "appears," which does count for something. My diagnosis of their lyrics is that they are a little more shallow or shall I say, less psalm-like, than what I read in the Trinity hymnal -- we can judge this based on an objective basis.

With the psalms, I'm talking about "sing to," "sing unto," "making melody unto," etc. That's what wrote. There are 70-90 of those if my memory serves me correct, and none of them are to men or people. Sure the content of the psalms themselves apply to people, but that's not where singing is directed, and nowhere is it directed there. You still haven't proven that. This point you're making is a red herring related to what I'm writing.

So you think that with "speaking to yourselves," you have a dative of "means." Yourselves are the means of speaking?

It's fine that you either do or don't comment. You're welcome too, but you don't usually, and this is where you do. This is what got you to comment, the differentiation between preaching (edification) and singing (glorification). I'm not saying people won't be edified with singing, but they aren't the audience like they are in preaching. That doesn't mean either that I don't think preaching is worship. It is, but different in quality.

I don't really have to look for a fight on this. It is a fight. The fight has already started. We know which side will win in the end, but we also know which side seems to be winning now. I have no problem with saying it is a fight and that it appears to be a fight.

So you are saying right now -- the first I'm hearing it -- that I am on my third warning. Is this Titus 3 or Matthew 18? That's interesting to me. So you are saying that it's obvious that I've been through the 1st and 2nd of these and past the 3rd? That's how you see those passages, as they apply to me? I don't know of getting the 1st of such of these either from our church, where it applies, or from outside of our church, even.

If I'm going to repent of moving outside the truth of revelation, Larry, it would good to know where it is. And I would also be interested how you judge when someone has done that. At what point does a scriptural issue for you become one of these? Am I preaching a false gospel? I'm very serious when I say I am interested in what you are saying.

John Mark IB said...

Dear Pastor Brandenburg,
thanks form this post I'm one who came out of the horrible rock n roll scene from the 70's thru the 80's and heavy metal stuff really nasty too, I also used to think oh wow I can just go from the worldly music and still keep on "rockin for The LORD" used to listen to Rich Mulins Awesome GOD
and thought
wow that's great stuff based on how it made me feel etc., I never knew much about the issues and still don't know too much except from what I'm learning
from you and stuff so thanks for your stance, I need it and definitely appreciate the much needed help in this matter of proper GOD honoring music, thanks have a blessed week instead of anonymous for me you can just list me as John Mark IB until I figure out how to
comment here thanks again, hope you're well

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks John Mark. Glad it has helped.

Larry said...

Quickly and numbered for the sake of ease to follow your paragraphs:

1. I neither said nor implied anything about the Gettys, either for or against. The only reference I made to them was to ask what you were talking about. You made an unwarranted assumption. That doesn't count for anything.

2. If Col 3:16 means what it says, then teaching and admonishing through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs requires singing to one another. In Scripture (if that is our authority), music clearly has a horizontal component in which it is used to teach and admonish one another. It is not only praise to God. It seems hard to say that the singing isn't directed to people when it is clearly directed to people. Read the psalms themselves. Psalm 95:8 says "Do not harden your hearts." That is nonsensical if it is "to God" since I am assuming God is not in danger of hardening his heart. It makes sense only if the singing is used to teach and admonish people. In singing that, we are singing to people. Psalm 96 is a command to sing to the Lord. That makes no sense if it is directed to God. It is clearly directed to man, and in singing that, we are singing to people. And what follows in Psalm 96 is a lesson (a teaching) on why we as humans should praise God. There is also a warning or admonishment to worship and tremble before him. Again, that makes no sense unless it is directed to people. These are the words of the Bible; they are authoritative.

3. "Yourselves are the means of speaking?" Seriously, Kent? I said "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are probably dative of means." The datives are the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (ψαλμοῖς ὕμνοις ᾠδαῖς πνευματικαῖς). "One another" is an accusative, not a dative. I am not sure how you can be so dogmatic and not even know what the datives are in the sentence? We are to teach and admonish one another by means of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. And that is demonstrated in the psalms that you appealed to.

4. I have always felt welcome to comment here. It just hasn't always been profitable or beneficial for me (or you probably).

5. My point about the fight was this blog post, not the issue in general.

6. My point with the two or three warnings was not a direct application of either Matt 18 or Titus 3. It was the principle that we have had our exchanges and it is unlikely that anything I say will convince you. It was an explanation of why I don't comment here often.

7. As for being outside of revelation, an example is your position on the Bible. You have added to what God has said and denied what he has exemplified in his Word in order to teach something else. You have leaned more on tradition than revelation. You maintain ecclesiastical relationships with people from whom you have been commanded by Scripture to separate because of their false teaching on this issue. You maintain those relationships, however, because you agree with them. And you disagree with me. I am fine with that approach. I am sure that we could probably have a good conversation over lunch or coffee. But I could not participate in ministry with you, nor you with me because of our views on the authority of Scripture and its role in our faith and our church. That issue is to important to me to allow false teaching on it, even if it is well-intended. You disagree with that, and I am fine with that. You won't answer to me.

I judge these things by the Word, by the things laid out clearly in Scripture. Hopefully I am constantly growing in that. The centrality of the issue (both in Scripture and ministry) will determine for me the response. If someone differs with on the identity of the sons of God in Gen 6, it's not clear and will can still do a lot together. If someone differs with me on the nature of baptism, that is clear it will severely limit our fellowship and partnership, though perhaps not our friendship. If someone differs on the gospel, that will affect everything.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Larry,

If you have a last word I will probably leave it, but there are a few things here I think I need to address, and your numbering will help.

1. No comment.
2. and 3. We're talking about the direction of music in the church, and I say its always to God. I challenge you to show me one place where "sing to," etc. is to people. You show me none and do not admit that you show me none. We have a gigantic sample size, nearing 100, that are to God and zero to people, so that point stands. That God wants to hear sung to Him, singing to the Lord, both in col 3:16 and eph 5:19 "to the Lord." The TR and the critical text both have punctuation after eautou in Col 3:16, separating "teaching and admonishing one another," from "in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," singing to the Lord. I referred to eautois in Eph 5:19 as a dative of place, and didn't refer at all to eautous or psalmois, etc. in Col 3:16. "Speaking among yourselves."

I get your argument though, because I've heard it from you, and from quite a few other CCM defenders. Singing is to be directed to people without one example of that being done so, because of the participial phrases "teaching and admonishing one another," "speaking to yourselves," and then that many of the psalms are applied to people. This contradicts every single time with a huge sample size that you read "singing to," but you are willing to open up people as the audience of sacred music with that argument. And since people are the audience, the music is crafted to the taste of people. That's where you are and will be, Larry, with your argument. I don't think it works, but at least it's here to read for everyone.

4. I've never understood the point of someone saying "it isn't beneficial to me to comment here" -- that kind of comment. Only people to the left of me ever say it. I've heard it many times from you. I've also read you say it many times to others. It reads as arrogant. Just keep it to yourself. You're not better than other people. You don't need to inform them that they are not beneficial for you to talk with.

5. You ascertained that the point of my post was to fight. The post is a fight about something, but it is a fight that already has long existed. The fight is even called "worship wars" by many.

6. Three warnings could only allude to Titus 3 in the Bible, unless I'm mistaken, but I accept that you didn't mean it that way, but as something far more ambiguous.

7. This paragraph is incomprehensible to me. It would be great if you could show what you are saying. I've shown many times here just the opposite and I wrote, even before your original comment, I'm pretty certain, in the follow up post, from Muller, that the truth is just the opposite of what you're saying. Your position is the one originating out of scientific materialism, the brand new position, invented by Warfield. Try to find the term "inerrancy" used like Warfield from the invention of the printing press up to Warfield. I do think mine is traditional, i.e. historical, the only true position of the church, but because it is biblical. Heresy arises after the truth is established. What I believe was already established when your position arrived in history. This is what Muller was saying.

I think there are reasons why we won't fellowship, proximity perhaps the greatest. I see the other side, which perhaps includes you, as inconsistent in this, separating in an arbitrary way.

Paul Nelson said...

For those of us who missed this "opportunity," do you know if there is video of the Getty's at the Shepherd's Conference? I'd like to see it for myself before commenting.

Larry said...

Kent, Just to tie this up from my end, you are demonstrating why I find it unprofitable to comment here often. It doesn't advance knowledge or understanding or wisdom. And you apparently don't pay attention what is actually said sometimes.

1. No comment? This is part of the frustration. A clear example of you being wrong is pointed out and you have not a word for it. No, "Oops I misread that." No “I apologize.” There is simply "No comment." Is it really too much to ask that you treat someone's words fairly and acknowledge when you don't?

2 and 3. You say I have shown you no places where singing is directed to man. Yet I gave 7 and used the words of the psalms to point out why they make no sense directed to God. If you disagree that they are songs or that they are directed to man I would be interested to know why. If I am using the wrong text and should be using a text with different words, make that argument. That would be profitable. But to say I gave no examples is simply wrong.

Even a song like “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” which I imagine you sing, is directed to man. It is filled with imperatives to various groups to worship Christ. Those vocatives show it directed to man and not God.

No one disputes that we should sing praise to God, and not to man. No one should dispute that singing, in the Bible, is sometimes directed towards man in command and example. It is not praise, per se. It is teaching and admonishing (the words Scripture uses for it) and it is what some songs in Scripture actually do.

When I say that psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (PHSS hereafter) are datives of means, you respond with "Yourselves are the means of speaking?" Yet I clearly identified the datives of means as PHSS (not yourselves) and you did not notice that, apparently. You switched the referent to what you wanted to say rather than using my words for what I said. I wasn’t referring to Eph 5:19 which is clear from my comments on preaching through Colossians and revisiting this soon as well as by my use of ‘teaching and admonishing’ which is in Colossians and not in Ephesians. (But even in Eph 5:19 the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are datives, probably of means not place.)

You seem to believe that if music is directed towards people it therefore must lead to CCM. That is non sequitur, Kent. One can follow the biblical command and example and not go into CCM.

4. I realize you don't see the point, but this exchange supports it. For you to say what you have said seems to indicate either you didn't read what I said or you are being dishonest. I don't think you dishonest, (though I think you have a tendency to frame things the way that is most beneficial for you). But no one can read what I have written and honestly claim I have given no examples of psalms directed to men, or that I said anything about the Gettys in my first post. Why would I post here knowing that my words don’t actually matter? You will see in them whatever you want. It's not profitable because you don’t respond to what is said in sometimes such as the psalms I gave as examples or in the subsequent post to this where someone asked you two questions and you ignored them and instead pontificated on something else.

6. Three warnings was an allusion to Titus 3 using the principle of it, not a direct application. The point is that after so many exchanges, it is obvious that further exchanges will not bring advance. There is no longer any profit in them.

7. I find it hard to believe that that paragraph is incomprehensible to you, Kent. You are smarter than that. And you have had these conversations multiple times with multiple people. To not comprehend that is, well, incomprehensible.

You can claim my position is arbitrary, but that won't make it so. I think it is actually very principled.

Anyway, I will probably continue to comment on occasion. I have always felt welcome to do that. Don’t take my lack of commenting as any statement either for or against what you are saying.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Like in the past, the music from the platform isn't in the official material. They have the videos of the sessions, but not the music that was sung or played. Maybe there is a copyright situation there. In the past, when I watched things live, this same thing happened, that is, people couldn't confirm or deny what I was saying. I did put a link in the article to what they do. It's very similar to what they did. No one was "song-leading" in those situations, but it was of the nature of a "worship team" type of song leading, where someone is up there singing, and everyone joins off of the screen in front.

Terry Basham, II said...


Very interesting article and the comments too. I like in Christ Alone and I can't think of any of their other songs.

I watched the livestream too and I don't know if I saw the same set of songs you did but it didn't appear to me that she was in "Marilyn Monroe" mode.

(I'm reading your post on the Inerrancy Conf and got side tracked by this link. I'm going to comment over there.)

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Terry,


I find some of the words of the Getty songs fine. I don't think we need them, because there is plenty that isn't being used that was abdicated around the time of Finney.

Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Kent then the kingdom of God is not for you then. Cause its like saying, if your disable then you should not lead the church in singing. Because they are not manly enough or has the leadership skills to lead them. Their muttering bring shame to the worship cause its not holy enough, etc.

Extremely sad coming from someone who claims that they are the ones that got everything right. This is your error.

Effeminate? Is this a joke?

Its wrong for you to make your personal preference a theological matter when it clearly isnt.

I advise you learn from the pastor of the conference on how to critique things properly.

They will teach you many biblical things that you have failed to see.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I posted this anonymous comment, because I get a lot of them, and usually don't publish them, but I thought readers should read it as an example.

Steve Rogers said...

Yes Pastor B, you should learn from evangelicals and their followers like anonymous, how to critique properly. You can't use Biblical reasoning you must use emotionally charged appeals and completely incongruent reasoning if you're going to convince your readers.
It's really not funny it's sad. It's sad that discernment and the Bible command to prove all things is foreign to the thinking of so many claiming Christ as Savior and Lord and Gods Spirit as their teacher and guide.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If Association is wrong then well inviting Hitler to a charity fund or even to a singing concert or a speaker conference should be fine then? John macarthur and the whole movement have been talking about this and now the Getty has become a major bridge to draw tired reform youngster to the Charismatics. Because their songs are so much more emotional so much more vibe so more fun! So what Getty is doing is disastrous! And even worse now they have extended their arms to Tim Keller for their sing Conference 2018 a very strong catholic preacher who is also reform.

This is a very depressing day and hardly anyone or leaders like John macarhur is worried about it?

Anonymous said...

I was suspicious of their effort to associate with John MacArthur, the arch contender for the faith once delivered to the saints. My thoughts matched the concern of the author of this article. The Gettys can draw a lot of people into their ecumenism via John MacArthur. As all false Christianity, they look for credibility that genuine believers can give to them. If they could conquer John MacArthur’s well-taught congregation and followers, they’ll be well on their way to deceiving the remainder of genuine believers into embracing the false unity of ecumenism. Frankly, I was surprised that John MacArthur would associate with them. I pray that he will speak to this in light of Jude, 2 Pet. 2., Romans 6, 2 Cor. 6, etc. per his usual stand against false unity and anti-biblical Christendom.

Carol said...

I had the same initial thoughts as the author of this article. I was suspicious as to why the Gettys would want to associate with John MacArthur, the arch contender for the faith once delivered to the saints. Frankly, I am quite surprised that John MacArthur would associate with a false religious organization. Of course, the Gettys, as well as any false Christianity, seek credibility from genuine believers. John MacArthur said himself that giving them credibility provides them with false security and confuses the world. If they can draw in John MacArthur and his well-educated congregation and followers, they will be well on their way to drawing in most of the Church.

I hope that John MacArthur addresses this in his usual stand against false Christianity in light of Jude, 2 Pet.2, 2 Cor. 6, Rom. 16, etc. The Gettys are not only charismatic, they are ecumenists working at creating a false unity designed by Satan. I pray that John MacArthur stands up as guardian of the truth against this anti-biblical Christendom.