Not Only is the Music Ungodly, so is the False Doctrine of Mark Hall and Casting Crowns
Many professing Christians and church’s embrace CCM music today, though a small percentage only use the lyrics and nauseous melody without the characteristic soft rock beat and rhythm of electric/bass guitars and drums. But equally bad. CCM musicians like Mark Hall and Casting Crowns present themselves as professing Christians but they represent a very different Jesus, gospel and spirit than that found in the Word of God (2 Cor 11:4). Scorners might not like their besties sharply reproved but Gods Word demands it (Eph 5:11; Ju 1:3; Rom 16:17). This rock music doesn’t honour God. He doesn’t lead people to do things against His Word.
Yet for other reasons besides the music issue, such as their corrupted doctrine, beliefs and practice — some of which is covered below — CCM musicians like Mark Hall fall under Paul’s indictment in 2 Cor 11:12-15:
“But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
1. Hall claims “God is going to save the world. He’s going to win.” That’s universalism, which is entirely contrary to Scripture. God wants all men to be saved indeed (2 Pet 3:9) but the vast majority will not (Matt 7:13-14). Practically no one will be saved (Lk 13:23-24) largely due to this sort of counterfeit “Christianity” presented by wolves like Hall, who attempt to enter the sheepfold by another way (Jn 10:1-5). Does that mean God doesn’t win but Satan? The world is under the sovereign control of God, but He doesn’t save people against their will. He will win because He has already won, but the end comes with massive slaughter of majority of people (2 Th 1:7-9; Rev 14:18-20; 19:11-21).
2. Hall claims that we must “stop talking about things we’re against, and a little more about those things we’re for, then we start seeing God move” but that is a seriously diabolical lie. God commands us to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Ju 1:3), to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them,” to “speak the truth in love” (Eph 5:11; 4:14) and “Love Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;” (1 Cor 13:6). “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim 3:16-17).
Their are dozens of scripture that command reproving and rebuking and correcting. The Bible is loaded with commands to speak out against error, sin, things that are contradictory to Scripture, false doctrine, perversion of scripture including false interpretation, to mark/expose such things especially when committed in the public realm (e.g. Matt 7:15; Rom 16:17-18; Gal 2:4-5; Phil 3:2, 17-19; Eph 5:11; Ju 1:3; 1 and 2 Tim; Ti 1:9-16; Rev 2-3; etc). Yes even the erroneous beliefs and Satanic lies of Mark Hall must be exposed in obedience to the Bible and for Gods glory. The Bible commands both the reproof and exposure of error and sin to stop their mouths (Ti 1:11). No professing believe should be listening to the false and fatal message of heretics like Hall. Scripture is loaded with commands to speaks out “things we’re against” and removing this decree destroys large portions of the Bible. Listening to Hall won’t “see God move” but Satan. And he is glorified in this wicked rebellion against God.
3. Hall claims that God has put us together (all professing believers) to reach the world, with our personalities, gifts and talents. He calls this “ministry,” and his part in this alleged plan is raucous worldly music. This also is a blatant Satanic lie. First of all, there is NOT one place in all of scripture that proclaims to reach the world with music. 1 Cor 1:21 declares that “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Preaching, not singing. The Bible is clear that truth is promoted through “teaching and preaching” alone (Matt 4:23; 9:25; Ac 15:35; 28:31).
Second, even if there was a command for music ministry, it certainly wouldn’t be with ungodly, worldly and fleshly CCM music. CCM comes with a seductive soft rock rhythm, sensual scooping and sliding breathy voice technique, a non-resolving cadence, shallow, non-convicting and mostly unBiblical message and repetition, all of which is carnal and strongly opposed by the truth of Scripture. People can meet and create an atmosphere to make others think the Holy Spirit is present but if it’s not according to truth, it’s just a facade.
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” (Eph 5:6-8)
4. Hall declares “when we enter church, we’re not all seeing the same thing. We have different glasses on. We look at what’s going on in the world through the lens of our spiritual gifts, our passions, and that makes us different.” Wow. This is foolish heresy. Blatant lies and plain heresy. How on earth could there ever be unity in such a heretical environment of rebellion and unbelief?! It’s impossible! Where is the Spirit of God, Who is the Spirit of truth, in all this? This ungodly and foolish philosophy sheds much light on why “evangelical” churches are loaded with such disunity, every man doing what is right in his own eyes.
There are a lot of reasons for this erroneous philosophy (such as self imposed carnal music, any Bible perversion will do, disregard and rejection of what Gods Word says, etc); but the primary reason is an unregenerate false professing people. That is the foundation to all the other heresy. They don’t understand scripture or obey it. The unity that the Bible speaks of, which is completely opposed to what Hall is saying, and only applicable to true churches with true believers embracing sound doctrine, declares: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Cor 1:10). This is the only unity God expects or requires, described also in the following verses, and its impossible outside of "all seeing the same thing," all having the same glasses on, all having the same doctrine: Rom 12:6; 15:6; Ac 2:42; 4:31-32; Eph 4:1-16; Phil 1:27; 2:1-4; 3:15-19; 4:1-2; Heb 6:12; 1 Pet 3:8-9. Though we are all different in our personalities, and praise the Lord for that, our doctrine, decrees, and practices are the same because we have the same Spirit of God dwelling in us and the same Bible by which we live.
This unity is about as opposite as Hall’s can get, who also speaks of “taking a test of spiritual gifts to see where we stand in the body of Christ.” Wow. Where does the Bible say that?! These are just plain lies, Hall making up his own doctrine as he goes along, according to his deceitful lusts and feelings. To know our part in “the body of Christ” (which Biblically is ONLY local), requires obedience to God’s Word and thus walking in the Spirit. True Biblical unity is oneness, the same type of unity that God the Father has with His Son and the Holy Spirit (Jn 17:11, 21). These three are one in nature or essence, but also one in purpose (Jn 10:30), always in perfect obedience to their Word. Thats what true unity looks like.
Casting Crowns is terribly ecumenical, the antithesis of true unity. Their ecumenism and rebellion against Gods Word is crystal clear with massive amounts of examples that could be given, such as participation in the heretical National Worship Leader Conference in 2011, joining hands with serious apostates such as Jack Hayford who says God spoke to him directly and told him not to judge the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), and the apostate Leonard Sweet who promotes a wide variety of New Age and mystical heresies. Casting Crowns performed with Sanctus Real in Dec 2011. Matt Hammitt of Sanctus Real participated in the 2003 tour of the !Hero rock opera, which depicts Jesus as a cool black man, the Last Supper as a barbecue party and ‘Jesus’ is crucified on a city street sign. Sanctus Real and Steven Curtis Chapman played a concert in 2003 at St. Mary Seminary sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. In “What This World Needs” Casting Crowns attacks every Bible-believing “fundamentalist” church. The list is extensive in his ecumenical endeavours, a very common trait among “evangelicals,” and further examples can be seen here: https://www.wayoflife.org/reports/casting_crowns.html
5. Hall is all about universal church, an invisible body of Christ made up of all believers in the world. There is not one such teaching found in Scripture. It’s pure fabrication made out of sheer cloth. But it perfectly ties into the unbiblical philosophy of men like Hall. Most people are so immersed in neo-evangelical teachings, they’ve never questioned whether this a biblical concept or not. The truth is, the word church, meaning “assembly,” can only mean a local congregation; not a universal existence of Christians scattered all over the face of the earth. The word “universal” means “catholic,” from whence this doctrine derives, and it’s complete oxymoron when yoked to the word “church.”
6. Hall corrupts Barnabas. He says “Barnabas was the nicest guy in the NT, he was the ‘I’m ok, you’re ok, everything’s going to be fine, let’s just sit down and talk about this’.” Yes Barnabas was called “the son of consolation” but that doesn’t mean what Hall says here. He befriended Paul as a brother when no one else would, but that doesn’t imply he didn’t have a backbone and preach boldly and contend for the faith. We know he did because they all did in the Bible, those truly converted at least, and we have example in Ac 13:46, where he “waxed bold” in his speech and sharply rebuked the unrepentant Jews. It is commanded and its also natural when you have the indwelling Spirit of God. Hall in fact hates the Barnabas's, and twisting his character to his own liking only further proves he is a false teacher.
Nowhere do we read that Barnabas was a compromiser or liberal and say “I’m ok, your ok and everything is going to be fine.” That’s perverting God’s Word and making it say something that it doesn’t. Hall continues, stating “today the Barnabas’s of the world claim that Peter was a little to hardcore, I don’t think he’s going to reach the world well.” Barnabas first of all wouldn’t have had any issue with Peter's messages in Acts 2 (what Hall was referring to). Peter’s preaching was just normal preaching, and we see in v. 14 the other eleven apostles were behind him.
Secondly, who exactly are the “Barnabas’s of the world” that claim Peter was to hardcore? Definitely vast majority of “evangelicals,” and in all probability Hall himself. Thirdly, I think the big issue here is true Bible preaching as noted in scripture and hated by Hall and majority of “evangelicals,” rejecting Gods Word for “Hall’s Great Words” due to his love for corrupted worship after the carnal flesh. The biggest issue with Hall is that his flesh, his old man, still isn’t crucified with Christ with its affections and lusts, something that occurs at salvation (Rom 6:6; Gal 2:20; 5:24).
7. Hall is a deceiver, a manipulator and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. That’s just the plain truth, where you like it or not. His wisdom is far from God but is humanistic, and man-centred logic. It is the same “wisdom” that we note in the lost religious Sadducees whom Christ reproved: “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Mt 22:23).
8. Hall's music is not of God. Praise and worship must be regulated by Scripture alone (De 12:32) and “strange fire” in worship is everything “which He commanded . . . not” (Lev 10:1)—thus forbids. The Lord warns not to be snared into looking at what the wicked do, then saying, “even so will I do likewise” (De 12:30) in worship, the motto of most “evangelicals.” On the contrary, Scriptural worship is to be distinctly set apart, and holy, and different from that of the heathen and unbelieving culture not confined to men’s carnal desires. God instructs His people to sing spiritual songs (Col 3:16). Spiritual means holy. It refers to that which is separated unto a holy God from the unholiness of this world.
The Bible tells us to “hate every false way” (Ps. 119:128) which means we must hate this CCM stuff and reject professing “Christianity” that compromises and apostatizes with it. We must hate what they do and the way they do it, and the philosophy of ministry that it represents and and the way it misrepresents the God of the Bible and the way it deceives the people with whom it is involved and what it does to churches and the way that it perverts a biblical or true understanding of spirituality and love and way that it endorses false worship. We must not tolerate it or have anything to do with it. It's disgusting, of the face-in-palm kind.
Nevertheless, as we have seen, not only is their music worldly and unBiblical but so is their “Christianity,” blatantly disregarding and denying God’s Word. On every angle, they undermine the Bible and corrupt it. Practically nothing they say is true to Scripture. Hall doesn’t know the truth and is unable to rightly divide the word of truth, unlike all saved people (1 Jn 2:20-21, 27; Pr 8:8-9). The blind leading the blind and professing Christians that believe this garbage are just as blind as Mark Hall.
If you give ear to these apostates, or any other CCM musicians, you are partakers of their evil deeds (2 Jn 1:9-11). We are commanded to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Eph 5:11). People that follow this worldly, false “Christianity” are almost guaranteed to be unregenerate.
“Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” (Pr 13:13).
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom 8:5-9).