"Matt Redman to headline Catholic youth event"

Andrew McDonald posted the following at his UK blog The Protestant Standard. He gave permission to re-blog it here. My own comments are below his re-post.

Matt Redman to headline Catholic youth event
On 7th March the largest event in the United Kingdom for young Roman Catholics will be held at Wembley Arena in London. 'Flame 2' is organised by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation and is anticipated to attract up to 10, 000 young Roman Catholics. Throughout the day Roman Catholics speakers will bring messages to the young people gathered there, and at the conclusion of the day Cardinal Vincent Nichols will lead everyone in a time of Adoration i.e. the Mass. None of this is unusual, or worthy of special comment for it what we would expect at a Roman Catholic event. This issue which attracts our attention on this occasion is the presence of a leading Contemporary Christian Music artist, Matt Redman.
Redman is currently one of the most popular and influential artists among Christian young people therefore his attendance at this event is concerning. The Catholic Youth Ministry Federation have described it as a 'wonderful blessing for Flame II that Matt is able to lead the music' and that they 'are certain that this encounter will enrich school and parish Masses and liturgies in the months after Flame II.' Such a recommendation is hardly one which we would desire! As well as being the lead musical act, Redman is also listed as one of the speakers for this event, and has personally promoted it on his own Twitter account (see here).

Sadly this is not a first for Redman as in 2014 he held a joint concert in Belfast with Matt Maher; someone who would be described as a Contemporary Christian musician, yet who in truth is a devout Roman Catholic. A quick glance at Matt Redman's previous and upcoming events a similar lack of discernment in relation to biblical separation, with Hillsong, Passion Conference and Joyce Meyer's conference being three of the most glaring examples.

So what does this mean? It means that young (and older) Christians should take great care in which artists they listen to, and how devoted they become to these people. Many Christian artists today have a following among young Christians which is on a par with secular pop artists, and there is nothing more certain to cause a row than to criticise someones favourite Christian singer. Yet there are occasions where concerns arise which need to be highlighted, and we believe that this is one such occasion. The important question to ask might well be whether we are more annoyed at the actions of our favourite Christian singers, or more annoyed that their actions have been highlighted?
Just so, and well said Mr McDonald.

Reported on the Flame2 page is the following:
The SSE Wembley Arena will be filled with 10,000 young people from across the country, receiving faith-filled inspiration from world class speakers. Confirmed speakers include Cardinal Luis Tagle from Manila, Philippines; Baroness Sheila Hollins; Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP; and David Wells. Music will be provided by double grammy award winning Matt Redman and his band. The day ends with a time of Adoration led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
I have another question that the article raised in my mind. We know that Catholic doctrines are anti-biblical, while the true faith is biblical. We know that Catholics have the spirit of antichrist and Christians have the Spirit of Christ. It's a darkness v. light situation, evil v. good, crooked v. narrow.

We also know that Catholics have music particular to their false faith. Ave Maria is Latin for Hail Mary, a traditional Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox prayer calling for the intercession of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Gregorian chants are particularly Catholic. "Saint" Ambrose and "Saint" Hildegarde created bodies of work in music specifically for the Catholic Church and it is particular in sound and doctrine. Before I was saved I used to LOVE listening to Ambrose's Gregorian Chants, and my husband constantly played Jean Redpath's versions of Hildegarde's music.

However post-salvation, I stopped. It is a wonderful blessing for Flame II that Matt is able to lead the music, and for our young people to hear him first hand. We are certain that this encounter will enrich school and parish Masses and liturgies in the months after Flame II.

Protestant music is also particular to Protestants. During the Reformation, reclaiming the high Latin chants and songs the priests sang from the choir stalls and giving congregational singing back to the congregation, "Luther wanted the service to be centred on Christ, and thus had new hymns composed that preached the incarnation, the cross and the resurrection. They were named Lutheran Chorales." (source)

Why on earth would Catholics enjoy Protestant songs? IF the songs that Redman composes are about the true faith, then Catholics would not want to listen. UNLESS, Redman's songs are so watered down that the lyrics could mean anything to anyone.


Further Reading

Why Should Churches draw doctrinal boundaries?

5 Wrong Questions to Ask when Drawing Doctrinal Boundaries


  1. Several years ago I started examining the word content of a number of worship songs and found that some of them could serve plurality of purpose, meaning that depending on the person it would be easy for the "church goer" to direct worship to an entity other than the three person Godhead.
    This is how these elements have gotten in. Lack of discernment.

  2. The band that seems most consistent in having at least one line mention a doctrine of grace per hit song is Casting Crowns.

    from 'All You Ever Wanted'
    "all my deeds and my good name are just dirty rags that tear and strain to cover all my guilty shame that you already washed away / so I'll stop living off of how I feel and start standing on your truth revealed..."

    from 'East to West'
    "can't live by what I feel, but by the truth your Word reveals / I'm not holding on to you, but You're holding on to me"

    from 'Voice of Truth'
    "the voice of truth says 'this is for my glory' "

    from 'Who Am I'
    "not because of who I am, but because of what You've done / not because of what I've done, but because of who You are"

    from 'Glorious Day'
    "living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away, rising He justified, freed me forever.........bearing our sins, my redeemer is He"


    They might not have a complete Gospel message in every song, but they're a lot less wishy washy than other songs, so I can tolerate listening when they come on the radio.

    1. "guilty stains" but it wasn't a terrible misremembrance. :D Then there's Jeremy Camp, whose association with the Creation Museum (Ken Ham's blog has announced that he's visited and otherwise interacted with their staff) is encouraging.

      I hardly have time to research every artist, but what I do is selectively approve for my own private listening, only the songs that are not error-ridden to the point of having no other interpretation, and preferentially listen to the ones with better theological emphases.

      Peter Furler's song "Matter of Faith" sings about the doctrine of the blessed hope. The presence of the line "heaven and earth have kissed each other" is tolerable, rationalized as rhymer's block, though it evokes the theologically lame David Crowder song "How He Loves Us." That's because the content of the bulk of the song MoF is worth meditating on, in my opinion. Examples:

      "new clothes, new name, every tear drop is wiped away," - reference to 3 eschatological/soteriological doctrines/promises in a single line.

      "from the east to the west, the sky splits wide; in the blink of an eye, our two worlds collide" -- again, even with the use of poetic synonyms, (for "as lightning flashes from the east to the west," "in the twinkling of an eye we shall be changed,") the doctrines are on point, and not twisted.

      "eternity is deep inside our hearts"
      "we watch and wait until that day, when in a flash this world will pass away"

      etc. These lines actually help demonstrate something I've noticed frequently: the more Biblical references a song makes, e.g. taking lines from Psalms or Revelation or the Prophets, the better its theology tends to be and, quite simply, the better the writing is for the song.

      I'm quite happy with the fact that I like theologically sound music better; I wish it were the case for more of the mainstream CCM listeners, also. There's way too much Toby Mac and not enough Andrew Peterson for my taste. Casting Crowns is the weird exception, that is played very frequently on my local stations and yet isn't "hip hop + shout outs to "God" " like, say, Mandisa and the other cookie-cutter female artists that I can never tell apart because it's always feelings feelings feelings.

  3. I made a comment that if Matt is willing to hear admonishes him. Pray that he and others would turn from these kinds of things where they think they might be serving Christ but end up just becoming more noise.

  4. Interesting article, but I feel deeply that you've got to be more realistic and compassionate about people's motives here. Catholics want to come together to share the Word and the Eucharist and fellowship in the Holy Spirit, to learn from each other and to love each other and, frankly, to have a happy weekend! In order to do this with integrity as holistic human beings, they need to incorporate all aspects of cultural expression into their experience; in other words: there is a burning desire to decorate our lives, our worship, our communion as Christ's body with beauty, including the beauty of music. Catholics rightly, and humbly, acknowledge that God's beauty can be reflected through human culture other than that enshrined in their own Church. i.e. Yes, Gregorian chant and the music of Hildegard and Tallis and Byrd, etc, are beautiful cultural expressions of faith, but so is much of non-Catholic culture, like the music of Bach and the pop songs of Matt Redman. It is through humility and friendship that Catholics have invited Redman to help them express truth through beauty, and, I am sure, it is through humility, friendship and generosity that Redman has in turn agreed to share his music with people of another faith. This is something to celebrate, friends, not criticise. Peace!

    1. That was eloquently stated. And that is exactly why it is a dangerous and erroneous sentiment. To begin with, there was no scripture in it.

      The bible never says that "God's beauty can be reflected through human culture." Human culture is a wasteland of sin and death. (1 John 2:15-17)

      The bible never says we "need to incorporate all aspects of cultural expression into their experience". The culture has nothing to tell us. (John 15:19)

      I am compassionate about the Catholics' motives. They do not know the Jesus of the bible and the bible says not to judge those on the outside. (1 Cor 5:12). Catholics do not know better.

      I was speaking about being troubled by Redman's actions. It is not through "humility, friendship and generosity that Redman has in turn agreed to share his music with people of another faith" because the bible says never to partner with darkness but it does say that false prophets will want to profit from darkness (Jer 8:10-12).

      And in case people think it is a mistake Redman is partnering with Darkness and he is only appearing in Wembley this weekend solely to give the Gospel to those who need it, he partnered with Joyce Meyer in her conference this March...and this April...and this September, and this November...and has done since at least the last 4 years! https://web.archive.org/web/20110714051915/http://www.mattredman.com/tour

      No, Redman is not afraid to regularly partner with heretics, and receive gain.

      And as I said, if Catholics, who anathemize Protestants, can acceptably and happily listen to Protestant music, then something is wrong with the music and with the heart that wrote it. I'd mentioned Gregorian Chants, I CANNOT sing nor listen to the chant which hails the Host and not the Son, extols new sacred rites, or asks Mary to pray for us! Not even the Ave Verum Corpus which calls Jesus Son of Mary! He is Son of God.

      Redman's act does not reflect a right heart and his act will not bear fruit, not for himself nor for the Catholics he sings to. (2 Cor 6:14)

    2. It's really quite a simple concept. You wouldn't hesitate to ask a friend to pray for you. If you believe in the resurrection, then you agree that the soul is still alive. Jesus is fully God, fully man. At the Wedding of Cana, his mother said "Do whatever he tells you", and this was the first miracle Jesus ever performed...due to the intercession of Mary. So by not asking Mary to pray for you, and asking your friend to pray for you, you place your friend as more important than the mother of Jesus. Yet you forget the scriptures in Luke 1 as proclaimed by an archangel, no less, "Hail, full of grace", and the words of Mary with Christ in her womb "All generations shall call me blessed". Why don't you call her blessed? The scripture actually demands it.

    3. Hello Cathaholic,

      Yes it's a simple concept ... *deceptively* simple.

      Yes Mary was blessed. God in heaven recognized her faith, that is a blessing. (Luke 1:28). He sent an angel to tell her He'd chosen her as the womb-carrier for Jesus. (Luke 1:31). That is also a blessing.

      In like manner, Elizabeth and Zechariah were equally blessed. An angel also appeared to them and told them God had planned for them to be the forerunner, a great man, and to bring many of Israel back to God. John's birth was also a miracle, being that Elizabeth was far beyond child bearing years, as Mary's was a miracle, having been a virgin. We don't worship Elizabeth as is proper.

      Now what you are really saying about the miracle at Cana is that it would NOT have happened BUT for Mary saying "Do what He tells you." Does Mary really have that much power? That the first miracle by Messiah would not have happened unless the mother managed the stewards at a wedding? God purposes all to come to pass. He did not need her intercession. God is ALL Powerful. Mary is a sinful human needing a Savior (Luke 1:47) dead and at the altar worshiping the King like everyone else who is dead but justified from sins.

      As for what scripture demands, it is the opposite of what you say.

      True Blessedness
      27While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed." 28But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." (Luke 11:27-28).

      Mary blessed? ON THE CONTRARY.

  5. I admire your vigilance to warn people about false teachings and false prophecies and even compromising events that may lead us away from the true faith. However, my only concern is that you may be bordering towards extremism or exclusivism. To say that Matt Redman is heretic or sinning for singing in a Catholic event is just unreasonable. Do you expect Christian singers to just sing within the "Christian bubble" crowds? As believers, we need to shine our light where there is darkness. We need to be a salt, a preserver in a rotten world. Why would you resist such divine opportunity to proclaim the Name of Jesus in a Catholic crowd? If you are invited to speak in front of Catholics, would you resist the offer? Paul preached before a heretic Greek crowd, in the midst of that idolatrous city. He preached by saying that the people worship an "unknown god" and used that as a jumping board to share the gospel message. He preached the truth in the midst of a secular crowd. We must take opportunities like these and I believe Matt Redman just took that opportunity.

    1. Hi Callbooks,

      To say that Matt Redman is heretic or sinning for singing in a Catholic event WOULD be unreasonable. If I had said it. But I didn't.

      Proclaiming Jesus to pagans is different from partnering with them in spiritual endeavors. In the former, we are commanded. In the latter, we are prohibited. (Mark 16:15, 2 Cor 6:14).

      In discernment, if someone partners with heretics once, we give the benefit of the doubt. Twice, we scratch our heads and give the benefit of the doubt. However when it becomes obvious that someone lacks discernment because they regularly partner with those who are proclaiming heresy, then we have a problem. In addition to performing (supporting) this Catholic event, Redman has displayed lack of discernment by partnering/supporting Hillsong Conference, OneThing/IHOP conference, Passion Conference and Joyce Meyer's conference being some of the most glaring examples. Redman is there. It's a pattern. And it's a problem.


Post a Comment