I’ve written recently on some of Charity Gayle’s music and the self-idolatry of her music and the lyrics that it contains including the extremely man-centered repeated mantra in one of her songs that states over and over in a celebratory manner “I am who I am because the I am tells me who I am.” Lyrics like these, which are the repeated theme of most of her music, even if in a sense they are technically true, remove the focus of worship off of the attributes of God and places it on the state of the person singing them.
This is typical of Pentecostal style worship as the purpose of the music itself is to work one up into an emotional frenzy—both through the carefully crafted psychological effect of the music itself as well as the self-affirming lyrics.
Yet, at the time of the writing, I was unaware of Charity Gayle’s close ties with Oneness Pentecostalism. Note that Oneness Pentecostalism is not to be confused with more orthodox versions of Pentecostalism such as the Assemblies of God. While we have real disagreements with Pentecostalism in general, Oneness Pentecostalism is clearly outside of the bounds of Scripture and cannot, under any circumstances, be treated as a true expression of Christianity.
Oneness Pentecostalism is a branch of the Pentecostal movement that denies the Trinity. It is a heretical movement that teaches that God reveals, or manifests, himself in three ways at different times, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but rejects the belief in three separate and distinct concurrent persons of the Godhead. The oneness Pentecostal theology of the Trinity is strikingly similar to that of the historic heresy known as Sabellianism—or modalism.
Back to Charity Gayle. Charity Gayle, according to her biographies on multiple websites, is the founder of several choir programs at the New Life Center in Buffalo New York where her late grandfather was the pastor.
And in an interview with Creative Mornings, Gayle stated, “I also run a student theatre program here in Buffalo every spring and am on staff as music director at New Life Center in Tonawanda, NY.”
The New Life Center is exclusively and unashamedly Oneness Pentecostal.
As you can see from the screenshot below, Gayle is all-in in the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI), a heretical oneness Pentecostal movement, music production ministry:
She also travels and performs regularly with other Oneness congregations, including Jim Cymbala’s Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. In a social media post, Gayle writes that she is “Worshipping God with The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir always reminds me of the ocean.” She continues, “The sound of thousands of voices in unity sounds like its waves and is so powerful!
She then writes, “We love the Cymbalas!” And then asks, “Have you ever been there?”
Her post garnered several favorable responses, including some that were thankful for her bringing Oneness Pentecostal theology to the “bride of Christ.”
This is the effect of bringing music like this into your orthodox church’s congregation. Your church may preach the gospel, your pastor may be faithful to the text, but your worship program that brings in music by heretics like Charity Gayle and others is serving to do nothing except contradict your sound teaching and preaching and cause confusion among your sheep.