WMB SPECIAL — I am taking WMB on a detour again with a special post in this series about the hoax and the song “Healer.” This is part of a series here
MYTH: Some songs are anointed by God.
In an Australian news agency, it was revealed that Michael Guglielmucci, a former pastor of a very large young church in Australia, promoted a hoax about having terminal cancer connected to the newly popular Hillsong produced song “Healer” dealing a blow to the modern worship community. Many on the blogosphere (like Los, Alex, Chris and Fred) have chimed in about their shock and sadness. Indeed, this is a sad day.
Is a song anointed or, are people anointed? That is the question. Too often we see talent and execution and determine character from that. We see a celebrity where things just shine from them–they can preach, or sing or write amazing songs. Indeed, they are gifted. God gives those gifts. It is no surprise that a gift from God given in great measure would bless the Church at large, whether it is evangelism or writing a song.
So, I say the song itself is as good as it is because God anointed the person at the time of writing it. That does not mean his character, or any of our character, matches the level of gifting bestowed. It just means God used that person by giving them the skills and abilities to execute such a great song. The best is to have both character and gifting! Indeed.
What happens is we begin to ascribe super-Christian strength to people who impress us or move us. Really. Here is a story to make that point.
I remember at re:create conference several years ago an author was part of a bunch of pastors and Christian media types at a screening of “The Prince of Egypt”. Scenes like the burning bush brought the pastors to tears and prompted the question to the filmmaker, “do you believe in God since this was portrayed so incredibly well.” The filmmaker said something to the effect that he was not even a practicing Jew and did not believe in God but was only a good “storyteller” telling a great story.
My point is that we miss the boat by ascribing celebrity, “anointing”, to any other attribute to a person because of a work they produced or because of their amazingly rare talent. Think my fellow Christians instead of being easily swayed by the popular, expedient or cool. We all are human and need honest community to keep us in check. If that was in place, this gifted writer would be working on another song perhaps.
Another reason why the song itself is not “anointed” is the fact that God does not anoint a certain melody or more specifically a certain set of words other than His Word. If that were the case, then there would be certain music that was “authoritative” and such. This is why worship is in “Spirit and Truth”–to keep our focus on Jesus, not on us. This is why God might use a certain label of Christianity for a while, then to see the blessing removed. We cannot even trust in our own Christian movements. Only in Christ.
Here is another point: all truth is God’s truth, no matter where it is found. People far from God can speak truth. Christians who are faulted certainly can, too. The message in the song is still true, even if the messenger messed up. One case in point is the song “Come Thou Font” where the author actually ends up abandoning his faith in the end. Still a great song, right? Because it is anointed? No. Because God used a person with talent to write a great song. So, again it is about God working through people not a serious of syllables and tones.
The saddest part of this is that a rarely gifted man has fallen. This is like a great athlete being unable to perform at the Olympics because of doping. The gift is there, but the potential is lost! I pray for restoration and for God to use this to teach us all to keep our eyes on him instead of looking for the silver bullet in a particular song, person or teacher.
What are your thoughts? Does God anoint songs or people?