Around Town: Bethel Music, Pro-Life Apologetics, no jail for TWU guard

Abbie Gamboa is the special guest with Bethel Music.

Bethel Music has become a dominant force worldwide in the arena of worship music. And their touring team will be at the Pacific Coliseum next week (June 9).

There is little doubt that the majority of churches in Vancouver sing some of their songs, so you can expect some familiar worship music if you attend.

Reporting for Religion News Service last spring, Bob Smietana wrote:

A new study found that Bethel and a handful of other megachurches have cornered the market on worship music in recent years, churning out hit after hit and dominating the worship charts.

The study looked at 38 songs that made the Top 25 lists for CCLI and PraiseCharts – which track what songs are played in churches – and found that almost all had originated from one of four megachurches.

All the songs in the study – which ranged from ‘Our God’ and ‘God is Able’ to ‘The Blessing’ – debuted on those charts between 2010 and 2020. 

Of the songs in the study, 36 had ties to a group of four churches: Bethel; Hillsong, a megachurch headquartered in Australia; Passion City Church in Atlanta, which runs a popular youth conference that fills stadiums; and Elevation, a North Carolina congregation with ties to the Southern Baptist Convention.

“If you have ever felt like most worship music sounds the same,” the study’s authors wrote, “it may be because the worship music you are most likely to hear in many churches is written by just a handful of songwriters from a handful of churches.”

Among the critics of the trend is Regent College professor Mark Glanville, author of Improvising Church: Scripture as the Source of Harmony, Rhythm and Soul (InterVarsity Press, 2024).

He writes about “the troubling dominance of globalized worship music,” noting that American and Australian megachurch musicians “cannot possibly possibly write songs that will adequately nurture the lives of diverse witnessing communities in their distinctive neighbourhoods.”

Nonetheless, their worship music remains a popular staple in a wide range of churches, both here and around the world. 

A 2022 article in Christianity Today described how Bethel became so focused on music:

Bethel Music began as an extension of the music ministry at the Redding, California charismatic megachurch. Within the first couple years, the budding label had released worship hits like ‘Love Came Down’ and ‘One Thing Remains.’

From 2014 to today, its singles have consistently landed on the Christian charts, with six songs reaching certified gold, two certified platinum (‘It Is Well’ and ‘No Longer Slaves’), and one certified double platinum (‘Reckless Love’).

Bethel’s trajectory, in some ways, illustrates the shifts in the Christian music industry over the past decade: Worship music has become a mainstay of Christian radio, worship artists are in high demand for live arena tours and major worship groups are up for Grammys.

The musicians leading the evening will be David Funk, John Wilds, Paul & Hannah McClure and special guest Abbie Gamboa (Upperroom).

Several more worship evenings are on the horizon:

Pro-Life Apologetics

Riverside Calvary Chapel in Langley will host a Pro-Life Apologetics Conference this Saturday (June 1).

Here is their description of the event:

We are inviting everyone to come out and learn to speak to people regarding the facts about abortion, effectively and simply.

In this afternoon seminar you will hear from some wonderful guest speakers about what the Bible has to say about abortion, what science has to say about abortion and some logical and ethical arguments for a pro-life position.

We urge everyone to come out and join us to understand more about this incredibly important issue of standing in the gap for the pre-born, made in the image of God!

For more information or questions, please contact Pastor Jeff at [email protected] or call the church office at 604.539.9673.

The guest speakers are:

    • Jared Burns, Love Life Washington State Catalyst
    • Beth Burns, Director of Abundant Life, Washington
    • Lisa Barnett, Executive Producer at Mighty Motion Pictures

No jail time

Jack Hutchison was found guilty of manslaughter in April, but the judge who convicted the former security guard at Trinity Western University ruled May 17 that he would not be required to spend any time in jail.

B.C. Supreme Court judge Catherine Murray said 55 year old Hutchison “is clearly a broken man . . . because he caused Glen’s death.”

Murray said of the incident in her oral reasons for sentence:

Put briefly, on September 20, 2018, Glen Hill was wandering through student residences on the Trinity Western University (TWU) campus. He rifled through some rooms. Many of the residents asked Mr. Hill to leave. It appeared to students that he was experiencing a mental illness or was perhaps under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Students were troubled by Mr. Hill’s presence in their residence. Some students were fearful for their safety or the safety of their belongings.

Students reported the above to Mr. Hutchison, who was the lone security guard on duty at TWU that day. Mr. Hutchison went looking for Mr. Hill a number of times with no success. He continued to receive reports from students. Mr. Hutchison finally saw Mr. Hill walking away from a residence. Mr. Hutchison identified himself as security and asked Mr. Hill to stop to talk to him. Mr. Hill turned and looked at Mr. Hutchison then he bolted. Mr. Hutchison chased after him.

The two men ran between bushes, then Mr. Hill turned suddenly and made a bee-line across the field toward student, Abigail Thompson, who was standing alone in the parking lot near the field. Mr. Hutchison tackled Mr. Hill and took him to the ground.

Hill fought back, swearing and spitting at Hutchison. (His actions that evening seem to have been out of character. Murray earlier stated: “I know from the victim impact statements that [Hill] was kind and gentle.”)

A CBC News article stated:

In her sentencing judgment, Murray expressed how difficult it was to rule in the case, having to balance the loss of a life, details of Hill’s mental illness outlined in court proceedings and Hutchison’s testimony that he was fearful, just trying to do his job and did not intend to contribute to Hill’s death.

“It is truly a tragedy all around. Two families have suffered immeasurably,” she wrote.

Hutchison, who is First Nations and does not have a criminal record, will serve his 18-month sentence in the community, which includes remaining at his residence between midnight and 6 am.

Murray also stated:

I accept that when he placed Mr. Hill in a headlock, Mr. Hutchison was fearful for his safety and the safety of the others on the campus. Further, I accept that Mr. Hutchison’s fear was reasonable at the beginning. It became unreasonable as time went on and Mr. Hill stopped moving.

She added:

Mr. Hutchison does not have to be deterred from committing further criminal activity. He is of good character. Nor does he need to be rehabilitated. Given the unique circumstances of this case I find that the paramount consideration on this sentencing is general deterrence. This sentence must send a message to others that neck restraints must be used sparingly and with caution.

Go here for the CBC News article and here for the Murray’s oral reasons for sentence.

May 2024

Wildcat (Movie: Flannery O'Connor) – May 30, 2024 at All Day
Book Launch: 'Holiness Here' by Karen Stiller – May 30, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Business As Mission Lunch with Rise Above Finance – May 30, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
TWU School of the Arts, Media + Culture presents Equipping Lectures – May 30, 2024 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Prayer & Fasting Gathering: Loving Muslims Together Network – May 31, 2024 at All Day

Jun 2024

Pro-Life Apologetics Conference – June 1, 2024 at 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Bach Mass in B Minor by United Voices Choir – June 1, 2024 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
2024 Vancouver Gospel Music Talent Festival – June 2, 2024 at 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Bach Mass in B Minor by United Voices Choir – June 2, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Pacific Canada Preachers' Refresher 2024 – June 3, 2024 - June 5, 2024 at All Day
Book Launch: Dr. John Martens, editor of Liturgy & Life Bible Study – June 3, 2024 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Karen Swallow Prior: Pursuit of the Good, True & Beautiful – the Calling of Every Christian – June 3, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Kontakt Canada Benefit Concert – June 4, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Biblical Studies Roundtable: Brent Strawn, Michael Gorman & Douglas Moo – June 5, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Beyond MAiD for Mental Illness: Confronting Canada’s Mental Health Challenges – June 5, 2024 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Douglas Moo: Full & Final Forgiveness – the Unique Perspective of Hebrews – June 5, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Chris Berner & Friends – June 5, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
A Case for the Existence of God – June 6, 2024 - June 9, 2024 at All Day
Loaves and Fishes: Vancouver's Hidden Helpers – June 6, 2024 - June 7, 2024 at All Day
The Wise Leader: Leading & Mentoring Require Wisdom (Book Launch & Author Interview) – June 6, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
MHM Books & Borscht: Jake Wiens – June 6, 2024 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Human & Machine in the Age of AI: A Virtual Unconference – June 7, 2024 at 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
No Mama, No Cry – June 7, 2024 - June 8, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Himalayan Life: The Extra Mile – June 8, 2024 at 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
June Embodied Spirituality Retreat – June 8, 2024 at 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Himalayan Life: The Extra Mile – June 8, 2024 - June 10, 2024 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Bethel Music Worship Nights – June 9, 2024 at 12:00 am
Vancouver Oratorio Society: Joseph Martin – Sanctuary – June 9, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Minho Song: Missional Communities: Q&A – June 10, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
A Disciple-Making Challenge – June 11, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Bryn Kinders & Footnotes – June 12, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
In Veritate et Caritate: Verity Leung’s Charity Concert for Kinbrace – June 13, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Music Night with Jordan Klassen & Friends: A Fundraiser for Jacob’s Well – June 14, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Jazz Vespers, with Dawn Pemberton – June 14, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Hymn Festival: He Leadeth Me – June 15, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
From Struggle to Sanctuary: The Power of Faith Communities in a Refugee’s Life Story with Njamba Koffi – June 16, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Alpha Canada: Reigniting Hope: Sharing the Good News in Canada in 2024 – June 18, 2024 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Financial Statements Part 1: Preparing Financial Statements – June 19, 2024 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Financial Statements Part 2: Evaluating Financial Statements – June 19, 2024 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Dawn Pemberton & Michael Creber Play for Juneteenth – June 19, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Welcome Home: Dessert Night Fundraiser for New Hope – June 20, 2024 - June 21, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
FaithTech Vancouver | June online Meet Up: Andrew Denysov – June 20, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
OM Ships Partner Dinner & Dessert Evenings (Richmond, Victoria, Abbotsford) – June 21, 2024 - June 23, 2024 at 12:00 am
Engaging Sikhs with the Gospel – June 22, 2024 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Love Without Borders: Welcoming Refugee Claimants Orientation – June 22, 2024 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
17th Annual Teddy Bear Picnic – June 22, 2024 at 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Juneteenth – June 22, 2024 at 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
To the Ends of the Earth – June 22, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Very Very Improv – June 22, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Half-Marathon and 5K event in support of CoSA BC – June 23, 2024 at All Day
Catholic Pacific College Fundraiser Dinner – June 24, 2024 at 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Pacific Life Bible College Town Hall Meeting – June 24, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Cyndi Parker: The Story the Land Wants to Tell – June 24, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
One With Them: A Day for Christian Captives – June 25, 2024 at All Day
The Artists Project: Look! This is My Faith – June 25, 2024 - June 27, 2024 at All Day
Discerning & Wise Leadership: Walter Kim & David C. Wang – June 26, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Walter Kim: The Gospel in Tumultuous Times – June 26, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Patricia Faith & Miles Black – June 26, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Aiden Kirkegaard: Tracing Memory – June 27, 2024 - August 9, 2024 at All Day
MHM Books & Borscht: Janet E. Boldt – June 27, 2024 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Prayer & Fasting Gathering: Loving Muslims Together Network – June 28, 2024 at All Day
Day of the Christian Martyr – June 29, 2024 at 12:00 am
Worship Invasion Loves Langley – June 29, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Jazz Vespers featuring Wild Blue Herons – June 30, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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1 comment for “Around Town: Bethel Music, Pro-Life Apologetics, no jail for TWU guard

  1. With reference to Bethel, Hillsongs, etc. As a Regent alum I have noticed with some sadness the trend towards ‘discounting’ popular contemporary worship music (e.g., Marva Dawn and now Mark Glanville).

    Perhaps the ‘worship academics’ of the day were ruing the impact of all that Charles Wesley hymnody (1700s) and Welsh Revival chorus stuff (early 1900s), let alone Scripture in Song and Vineyard movements (60s, 70s, 80s).

    Renewal spawns new music. Too accessible to the masses? Just a thought.

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