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Worship leader no longer supports Hillsong, Elevation, Bethel Music over ‘false gospel message’

Bethel Music
Bethel Music performs at an Open Heaven's conference in Redding, California, 2018. |

Tennessee recording artist and worship leader Mackenzie Morgan has gone viral after she posted on social media that she can no longer “stay silent” about what she says are heretical teachings of groups such as Bethel Music, Elevation and Hillsong Worship. 

In a July 12 Facebook post, Morgan, who leads worship for Refine Church in Lascassas, Tennessee, criticized what she dubbed the “false teachings” in some of today's most popular worship music. As of Tuesday afternoon, her post had over 10,000 shares.

Mackenzie Morgan
Tennessee recording artist and worship leader Mackenzie Morgan, July 13, 2021 |

After spending time studying mainstream worship music, the 24-year-old worship leader said she “was met with a terrible feeling of grief and sadness for what I was supporting.” She then specifically named popular worship groups Hillsong, Elevation Worship and Bethel Music. 

“Maybe it’s time we start looking at the Scriptures to see what God truly calls for in worship and get over what we want,” she continued.

Though stressing the problems with modern worship music are “too numerous” to list, Morgan specifically called out the teachings of Steven Furtick, the lead pastor of North Carolina megachurch Elevation.

“... I cannot support these churches such as Elevation and the teachings of Steven Furtick. For his belief in modalism, which is the belief that God is not one being and three persons, but that God switches into ‘modes’ of each person of the Trinity. Folks, that is heresy," she argued. 

A Charlotte-based Christian group previously criticized Furtick for his seeming rejection of orthodox views of the Trinity. They highlighted a sermon where the pastor quoted John 16:7: “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away.”

“How could you say something like that Jesus?” Furtick said. “How could you say it is good that you are going away? We followed you. We trusted you and now you are leaving us."

"No, I am not leaving you,” Furtick continued, imitating Jesus. “I am changing forms. Up until now, I have walked with you, but when I send my Spirit, I will be in you. So, I am not leaving you, I’m just changing locations.”

The group called Furtick’s comments “twisted" and accused him of promoting a modalist doctrine. Elevation's website, however, says the church holds to an orthodox view of the Trinity. 

Morgan went on to express her discomfort with Bethel Music, a criticism she said “should be pretty obvious.”

Bethel Church is regularly criticized due to its focus on supernatural ministry. Church leaders Bill and Beni Johnson have also personally been accused of heretical acts.

Bill Johnson’s “Jesus Christ is perfect theology” has come under scrutiny for promoting the idea that it is always God’s will to heal someone. Beni Johnson was accused of “grave soaking” after posting photos of herself lying atop the graves of iconic Christians such as C.S. Lewis.

Beni Johnson has also been slammed for her emphasis on angelology. She once explained in a blog post that there are “different kinds of angels: messenger angels, healing angels, fiery angels” who have “fallen asleep.”

“Theology matters,” Morgan continued. “I can’t even stress that enough. It matters if a song is weak in theology and is not accurately displaying the Holiness of our God. It matters if churches are spreading a prosperity Gospel that is different from the Gospel found in Scripture. It MATTERS that each Sunday churches pay royalties to these churches in order to be able to sing their music, furthering [their] outreach and their false gospel message.”

The singer said she regrets having “supported these churches” by singing their songs and “opening up the doors for others to discover their false teachings.” 

“What if the majority of the church is leading its people astray singing music that is less than worthy of a Sovereign and Holy God?” she asked.

Citing Leviticus 10:1-3, which speaks of God’s disapproval of false worship, Morgan urged people to compare worship music with Scripture.

"There are no gray areas in God’s Word," she declared. 

She concluded her post by recommending songs from worship groups CityAlight and Sovereign Grace Music.

In a follow-up Facebook video, Morgan thanked the thousands of people who supported her post. She admitted that she anticipated pushback by discussing her very “real concerns” with fellow Christians.

Morgan said she is now working with her church to help answer questions and “be a reliable source” about worship music. 

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