North Point InsideOut is a worship music band that was formed in Andy Stanley's mega church, North Point Community Church, in Alpharetta, GA. They're well known for their song "Death was Arrested". I've personally heard this song performed several times in worship services.
Sound in Worship's goal is to take a look into the most popular worship music influencers and providers who are being actively used in worship services today. We want to provide biblical analysis, and to warn the church when necessary. We want to also recommended solid worship music artists, bands, and sources as much as possible. When looking at North Point InsideOut, it's obvious we're not analyzing a band like Bethel Music. With that being said, let's take a look at this band and church and answer the question: Should my Church Sing North Point InsideOut songs for worship?
A good approach when looking at a church is to start with its leader. For North Point Community Church, that is Andy Stanley, son of Charles Stanley.
Andy Stanley has been spoken of recently in regards to his "unhitching from the Old Testament" teaching. This has drawn attention from many in Christian circles. Dr. Albert Mohler wrote on this subject in August 2018 in this article. This promoted many discussions as well as a debate between Jeff Durbin and Andy Stanley on the Unbelievable podcast (as well as this YouTube video). Ken Ham raised the question on the Answers News broadcast, "Is Andy Stanley a False Teacher?"
One point that really sticks out on this subject is something that Dr. Mohler brought up in the above referenced article. It should be no surprise that it is Scripture. We're talking about "Unhitching" from the Old Testament, but here we have a passage where Jesus is in no way doing that:
"And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captive and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, 'Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.'" (Luke 4:17-21)
In the John MacArthur Study Bible, Dr. MacArthur notes about this passage:
"The passage Christ read was Isa. 61:1–2. He stopped in the middle of v. 2. The rest of the verse prophesies judgment in the day of God’s vengeance. Since that part of the verse pertains to the second advent, he did not read it."
Verses like that make me want to stay hitched to God's Word in all the books He inspired through the Holy Spirit, and that includes both Testaments. Dr. Mohler also wisely refers us to this passage from the Sermon on the Mount:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."(Matthew 5:17-19)
Rather than unhitch, let us cling to God's entire Word and not to worldly philosophical concepts that lead to worldly results.
When looking at someone like Bethel Music, it's quite simple to say that we should not use their music because their theology is soaked in dangerous false teaching. I don't think we can compare North Point to Bethel Church.
With that being said though, I would, at the very least, be cautiously slow to use North Point InsideOut's music as well. For the same reasons as other churches with this kind of teaching, though North Point isn't Bethel, I wouldn't feel completely comfortable knowing about a church goer entering into Andy Stanley's teaching via an introduction to it by his church's music. When a church uses any band's worship or "worship" music, it's in many ways giving that band its approval. It's saying, "we use their resources, and you can too."
Though I do not believe Andy Stanley is comparable to Bill Johnson, his teaching around Christians unhitching from the Old Testament is concerning. As far as "Death was Arrested" goes, nothing stands out as blatant heresy. I have read that some do have concerns with the song lyrically, and I can see how they come to those conclusions. The Berean Test comes up in a Google search on this song, and they critique the song with some good insight.
With all the other great resources that bring no worry of a church promoting something unbiblical, I don't see a reason to use North Point InsideOut's worship music, but the concern of it compared to Bethel, Elevation, or Hillsong is not quite equal in my opinion. I would approach your decision to use their music with prayer and study. Please don't hesitate to reach out on this topic! I'm certainly willing to learn more about this church and music ministry.
By the way, shout out to Dan for suggesting this topic, and inspiring the opportunity to take a look at North Point InsideOut from a biblical perspective.
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