Holy Sprit: Not Welcome Here

Holy Spirit is a popular and powerful worship song currenty played on Christian radio stations and sung in Sunday Services all across America. The song was first released in 2012 by the band Jesus Culture and has since made its way westward from Redding, California, the band’s home. It’s lyrics are as follows:

There’s nothing worth more
That could ever come close
No thing can compare
You’re our living hope
Your presence, Lord
I’ve tasted and seen
Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free
And my shame is undone
Your presence, Lord
Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord
Your presence, Lord
There’s nothing worth more
That could ever come close
No thing can compare
You’re our living hope
Your presence, Lord
I’ve tasted and seen
Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free
And my shame is undone
Your presence, Lord
Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord
Your presence, Lord
Let us become more aware of Your presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness
Let us become more aware of Your presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness
Let us become more aware of Your presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness
Let us become more aware of Your presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness
Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord

If this song is being sung in your local church, you should be very alarmed.

First and foremost, it presents a heretical view of God. The singers of this song “welcome” the Holy Spirit to “fill the atmosphere” of the room. God the Holy Sprit is not some element in gaseous form who can be expected to fill the room like oxygen, nitrogen, or helium. He is not to be breathed in to an intoxicating effect. The Holy Spirit is just that, spirit. He is immaterial. He is also the sovereign God of the cosmos. He requires no invitation.

Secondly, the source of this song is wicked to the core. The band Jesus Culture hails from Bethel Redding Church, a den of blasphemy and deception that is a prominent part of a greater heretical movement, the New Apostolic Reformation. At Bethel Redding, the “presence” of the the Holy Spirit is physically counterfeited, among many ways, in the form gold dust “glory clouds” and angel feathers falling from the ceiling.

Should a song which includes chants about the presence of a Holy God be provided by a group of blasphemors who make a living out of faking it, who make a living out of decieving others? Bethel Redding and Jesus Culture use their music to whip their followers into an emotional state fit to manipulate them. They do so in the name of “Jesus” and “The Holy Spirit.” Is the worship pastor of your church doing the same when he asks you to sing this song? The Holy Spirit is God. Respect him enough not the sing this song about him. Love your brother enough to challenge him in his error when he does. Do not welcome Holy Spirit at your church.

For information on Bethel Redding see this well-researched article.

For an example of how to challenge this song at your church, see this letter I sent to my former music minister:
Gary,

I’d like to generally commend you for your Sunday morning song selection. In all the time I’ve been attending RSBC, I can only remember hearing Hillsong once and the songs you pick are almost always sound.
One glaring exception is the song “Holy Spirit”. Not only is this song theologically unsound, it comes from the minds of “Jesus Culture”, the popular band hailing from Bill Johnson’s Bethel Redding Church. I’d like to offer you the following wisdom from Pastor Gabe Hughes about singing Jesus Culture songs in Christ’s church:

“Here’s three reasons why you shouldn’t play their music in church. First, their songs offer nothing substantive. Your church will not be missing anything if you don’t play Jesus Culture songs, but you will be missing something if you do. As I’ve written about before, there’s nothing biblically solid about their music. If you think you hear doctrinally sound lyrics, that’s because the song is ambiguous enough to allow you to impose your (probably better) theology upon it. But if their teaching isn’t biblical, neither will their music be.
Second, you would inadvertently be endorsing their church. If someone found out the song you sang on Sunday came from Jesus Culture, that could open the door for that person exposing them to Bethel’s teaching and heresy. I shared an occasion of this happening in a previous article (linked above).
And third, you would be paying them for their songs. If your church is singing something other than hymns or what’s in the public domain, then you probably have a CCLI license. That means you pay royalties on the songs that you sing. If some of those songs are from Jesus Culture, you are paying them to sing their music. (By the way, these reasons also apply to why we shouldn’t sing Hillsong tunes either.)”

Even if the song were not written by some of the most dangerous people in the Christian music industry, the Holy Spirit is not some kind of tangible gas that “fills the atmosphere” nor is he someone who needs our invitation or “welcome” to a specific place, especially a church. God tabernacles with believers. We needn’t ask for his presence.
I hope Gary, that you will never perform this song in our church (or anywhere else) ever again. It is not fit for God’s people.
Best,

Seth Dunn

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.


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