One of the marks of the Asbury Revival was the music.
The Bible says in Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
The bible says that you can be taught and admonished through the singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
There is no doubt that there was genuine heartfelt singing that occurred at the Asbury Revival. I think it would be fair to say that there was some good music being sung, either inside or outside the Hughes Auditorium on the campus of Asbury University during the revival.
It's also equally fair to say that genuine people, can be genuinely wrong. This is WHY the Bible says in 1 John 4:1 ...
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
It's a GOOD thing, when Christians take the time to "try the spirits whether they are of God", especially when it comes to music.
So, please consider answering, for yourself, the following 3 questions:
- Did a hymn sing break out at the Asbury Revival, where all the people were singing old hymns of the faith that were rich in doctrinal truth like: "Arise, My Soul, Arise" or "And Can It Be, That I Should Gain"?
- Did you hear about anyone reading or singing aloud from the book of Psalms at the Asbury Revival?
- Were most of the songs being sung at the Asbury Revival from Bethel, Hillsong, Elevation and Jesus Culture?
If you answered YES to question #3, I would submit to you, that is what 2 Timothy 3:5 calls: "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
This is WHY we must obey the Bible and "believe not every spirit". The music that is put out by Bethel, Hillsong, Elevation and Jesus Culture is very dangerous.
Not only has their philosophy of music turned a reverent church service into a rock concert, but the leaders of these movements are steeped in false doctrine and NOT of God.
Bethel, Hillsong, Elevation and Jesus Culture teaches a Charismatic philosophy that says that you enter into the presence of God through their "Praise and Worship" music.
But the Bible tells me, I already have the presence of God through the indwelt Holy Spirit. I'm also told that the word of Christ dwells in me. If you're a believer, you have the Holy Spirit that will never leave or forsake you.
If the Hillsong music folks tell you that God will manifest Himself once the praise and worship team starts playing, they are lying to you. Their philosophy of music is all about getting you into an emotional state, through emotional stages of "praise", that work you up to an emotional climax of "worship". This is manufactured emotionalism, and a form of hypnotic control. It's concerning to me that MOST of, but not all of, the music at the Asbury Revival fell under this category.
The Bible does NOT teach that you have an encounter with the Holy Spirit through an event or a place with multiple people involved.
The moment you trusted Christ, you were born-again. During that 1-time event, you received 100% of the Holy Spirit. This is why, you don't need a Bethel song, where you repeat the same words over and over again until the Spirit falls upon you, or the place where you're at.
If you're in a place where a repetitive mantra is sung over and over again, like: "Oh, how he loves me", you're not experiencing revival, you're experiencing what the Bible calls: "vain repetition"
I'm for revival. I'm for teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. I'm for singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
I'm NOT for rock concerts that promote Hillsong, Bethel, Jesus Culture or Elevation and try to pass it off as revival.
2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord!