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Popular Rising Star in Contemporary Christian Music is Putting Out Nothing but Garbage

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As we’ve been covering at The Dissenter, charismatic-style worship music has been gaining influence in mainstream Evangelical and Protestant churches. One up-and-coming artist we’ve been keeping tabs on is Charity Gayle. Despite her background in Oneness Pentecostalism, a theology that denies the Trinity, her music is widely accepted in various churches, from Southern Baptist to Presbyterian.

Similarly, Sean Carter, who has worked closely with Gayle, rose to fame as a worship pastor for a gay-affirming church. Additionally, we’ve delved into Kari Jobe’s lyrics, which often present Jesus as a romantic partner, and her teachings, which have been found to be false and potentially dangerous. And, as previously reported, we believe that the entire Bethel Music movement is steeped in heresy and idolatry.

Furthermore, the entire concept of celebrity worship music is a problem in and of itself, as it takes the focus away from God and places it on the performer or performance.

Unfortunately, despite all of this, it remains challenging to reach those who identify as conservative, Bible-believing Christians. Many of these so-called worship leaders today lack discernment, yet they even serve as ordained pastors in their churches, despite their limited qualifications for such a role. In the past, worship leaders were also theologians. Nowadays, however, many pastors are chosen based on their artistic abilities rather than their theological understanding.

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But another up-and-rising star is Brandon Lake, who appears to be putting out nothing but garbage music with meaningless lyrics that are designed to do nothing except put the listener into a trance-like state opening him up to suggestion. Lake is a member of both the Maverick City Music collective and the Bethel Music Collective and has been featured in albums from Elevation Church as well. He is currently a worship pastor at Seacoast Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Dissenter has examined many of Lake’s popular songs and one song, in particular, is nothing but a mishmash of the same few lines repeated over and over. Rather than list the entire lyrics, a quick count of the songs lyrics which make up roughly 98 percent of the song results in the following count:

  • O valley, be raised up: 12 times
  • O mountain, be made low: 12 times
  • Roar (or Roar!): 39 times
  • Hail, hail Lion of Judah: 39 times
  • Prepare the way: 6 times
  • Prepare the way of the Lord: 8 times

There is literally nothing else in this song other than these few lines being repeated numerous times. As we wrote before, in a 2014 study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, it was demonstrated that repetitive lyrics in music were a key indicator of how likely a song would reach the top spots on the Billboard list. In other words, the more repetitive the lyrics, the more people became psychologically attached to a song. The study noted that these repetitive portions of music, also known as the chorus, have historically been “used as a ‘hook’ to catch the ear of the listener and is repeated regularly throughout a song.” The effect of this, the study notes, is known as “repetitive priming” which results in a more pleasant experience for the listener.

Chanting and singing through verbal repetition have been proven to psychologically open individuals to suggestion. Specifically, the Charismatic movement exploits this technique to emotionally manipulate their audience before the preacher comes on stage, making it easier to influence them with their message. This is evident in churches like Bethel Church, led by pastor Bill Johnson, as seen in any of their YouTube videos. Notably, this manipulative tactic is being widely used by mainstream Evangelical churches and in most of them, it is intentional. It is rare to find an Evangelical church that does not incorporate Hillsong or Bethel music in their worship service. Now it is clear that we need to be cautious of and avoid Brandon Lake.


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