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In many blogs about discernment, you'll find a major focus around the negatives. It's essential to point out negative things so that change can come and the church can be warned, but what's often missing is a solution. Pointing towards great examples is just as important as leading away from negative ones. People have to have somewhere to go after learning a hard truth. For those that learn about Bethel Music's dangerous and bizarre false teaching, an alternative is needed. Who can they listen to now? Where are the trusted artists who are grounded in sound doctrine?
Below you'll find artists that explain how they wrote songs and what is important to them. I believe you'll be encouraged!
Listen to how CityAlight chooses to go about worship. Their focus is on providing biblically sound music for the church.
Rich Thompson, songwriter for CityAlight says, "I'm particularly passionate about seeing churches equipped with songs that are simple and easy to sing, but are full of biblical truths." Wow! Simply put, all artists should follow suit.
He goes on to explain, "what we're doing here is, essentially, teaching theology, and so we have an enormous responsibility..." Rich gets it and that is so encouraging. Do you think that is the most popular approach in contemporary music? I wish it was so, but that's why we're here. We're here to shed light on great examples.
Listen to the entire video and you'll see more about their approach. They said that they wrestled with the lyrics and had great discussions around them. This is so serious to them, and they know that deep theology takes time to work through. You won't hear CityAlight claim that they received an extra-biblical revelation to provide them their lyrics. You also won't see gold dust falling from the ceiling at their concerts. They make sure what they're putting out is biblical so that the church can worship in spirit and truth.
They have several great songs, which comes natural when you have their approach, but there are a few that really standout to me. Check out "Only a Holy God", a song packed with deep and sound theology. When listening to this song you're being constantly reminded of the holiness and magnificence of God. Also, "Yet Not I but Through Christ in Me" is outstanding. Just take a second and think about that title. It points out that it is God who gets us through the storms of life, and about Christ's gracious work of salvation that we could never accomplish.
If you want biblical truths playing in your mind all day, and you do, then find a CityAlight playlist and just listen. If you already know them you may be hearing, "come and behold Him, the One and the Only..." in your head. What a blessing!
Norton Hall Band is another group that I don't hesitate to recommend. I'll let you know up front that they play hymns mostly. There is great wisdom in doing that! Just reading old hymns for a brief time makes you wander how those writers did it. Many were able to reveal life changing truths in one line. So who could blame Norton Hall Band for favoring hymns?
From my perspective, and maybe others, it seems that Norton Hall Band has a way of adding a touch of modern to these hymns. Don't picture EDM. They use traditional instruments and talented musicians to praise God in truth.
Check out their heart in this quote from their website, "The purpose of this band is to lead in worship that centers around the gospel and is birthed out of the Word of God." What more could you ask?
Yep, both of them! These guys have music separately, but I've recently gotten familiar with their work together. I could just tell you to listen to "Magnificent, Marvelous, Matchless Love", and you'd be thankful and satisfied musically. That song is so good! It was written by Matt Papa, Aaron Keyes, Luke Brown, Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty. It's like an anthem of joyful praise with a chorus that builds so strongly. Their music is just like that. It's super strong in doctrine and singable for all.
When listening to their music, and others written by the artists above, you'll grow in sound doctrine. Give them a try and you'll know what I mean by "strong".
This is not an exhaustive list... yet. Please comment your favorite biblically sound artists below. We'll research them and get them added to this post if we see that they should be recommended to the body of Christ. Don't hesitate to reach out!
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