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We received an email to look into the band called Planetshakers. Thank you to Roger for making this suggestion.
As with any artist or band, it is best to use real examples of their ministry as a worship music producer. I'm going to be using their own website, planetshakers.com, to do so. This allows them to "speak" for themselves, and for you to have the ability to discern this group as well.
From the "church" page of their website:
"Russell and Sam Evans are the founders and global senior pastors of Planetshakers Church—a large and rapidly-growing church that gathers in 5 local campuses across Melbourne, Australia, and 3 international campuses in Cape Town,South Africa, Geneva, Switzerland, and Singapore."
Sam is the wife of Russell, which is a profession of this church's stance against Complementarianism.
To add more context to their large impact, Spotify shows them as having over 700,000 monthly listeners. This is no small outreach.
Their website continues:
"They are passionate about producing fresh praise and worship music that facilitates personal encounters with God and brings healing and breakthrough to people’s lives."
The word "healing" is tossed around in many ways. Oftentimes, false teachers and "faith healers", such as Benny Hinn claim to supernaturally heal people. They would consider these tasks as signs and wonders. With that being said, here is another quote from their website:
"After a radical encounter with God, Russell established a conference called Planetshakers in 1997. The conference quickly became renowned for its passionate praise and worship, its ability to stir hunger in young people for encounters with God, and the frequent outbreaks of miracles, signs and wonders."
This kind of description lines up very closely with Bethel Church's theology. These "outbreaks of miracles, signs and wonders" are often spoken of but never shown or documented in any way. This can be, and is often, used as a way to take advantage of a congregation.
To be clear, miracles do happen, but they happen on God's terms.
Usually a church's "Our Beliefs" section contains standard statements. It can be hard to find anything out of the ordinary from a doctrinally sound church. Here are a couple of quotations from this church's page:
"We believe that in order to live the holy and fruitful lives that God intends for us, we need to be baptised in water and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to use spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues."
This description is alarming when taken with the whole of their message. Some hyper-charismatic movements preach that speaking in tongues is a required sign of salvation. This quote does not directly indicate this, but it is odd that they threw that last line in there. The cessation and continuation debate can be had at another time.
"We believe that God wants to heal and transform us so that we can live healthy and blessed lives in order to help others more effectively."
This statement lines up closely to the prosperity Gospel movement. God wants us to be obedient and faithful in the good and difficult times. There have been many faithful martyrs in our faith as Christians.
Another troubling quote comes in a description of Russell Evans:
"He is passionate about empowering creatives to produce music and songs, and other artistic expressions, that are powerful and anointed in the message, but also innovative and contemporary in style, so that church continues to be attractive to and accessible for all people."
The true church doesn't need help in being attractive. This lines up with the seeker sensitive movement to "attract" churchgoers, rather than boldly preaching the gospel and trusting the Holy Spirit to convict and bring the lost to repentance and salvation.
He also advertises his book on their website called "The Honor Key" and claims this in its description:
"God has a great deal more for us than the narrow slice of life so many of us experience – more abilities, blessings, and inheritances. He wants us to experience heaven on earth – to live life and to live it abundantly."
As with any church, worship band, or movement you will see claims that seem sound in doctrine. Such as beliefs that Jesus is God, and is part of the Trinity. This church makes some of these claims, but they must be taken with the entirety of their overall messages.
Sound in Worship does not recommend churches to use Planeshakers music in worship services. We would not want these types of teachings being marketed to church congregations and especially new believers. We are not the final authority, but this is our analysis.
Please take your approach with prayer, and pray for the artists and attenders of Planetshakers' church. We all need prayer!
You can find songs and artists we recommend on our Playlist page.
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