Here’s Why HILLSONG Removed Their PEACE Music Video From YouTube
Writer + Creator of CRTVCHURCH
A few months ago, HILLSONG Young and Free released a music video for their song PEACE. The video was an artistic element that examined the darker tones of anxiety.
The video sparked several hottakes in the comments of social media with users scorning the artistic vision behind the video as ‘creepy,’ ‘scary,’ and even ‘demonic.’
An article from HILLSONG explained the vision behind the video:
“When it came to making this video, we deliberately chose to represent the struggle of anxiety, along with the refuge that is found in God’s peace, in a symbolic way, allowing each young person who watched it to respond to it personally.”
They also quoted, Cesar A. Cruz, saying: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable,”
However, the HILLSONG team has since removed the video, here’s why:
“We’ve continued to receive many comments on the P E A C E music video, and although we’ve had lots of really encouraging feedback, we‘ve also heard reports that the video didn’t sit well with some people.
The truth is that the video was well-intended and we still believe it was a good depiction of the song’s subject matter. However, we‘re concerned that the message of the song has become overshadowed by controversy due to the music video, and that doesn’t sit well with us at all.
So, we’ve decided to remove the video from YouTube.
For us, the most important thing of all is that our music invites people to experience the peace, grace, and goodness of Jesus – and all else is a distant second to that aim!”
This video was art, and the reason it made people uncomfortable was that we’re not used to seeing that type of element coming from a church.
The majority of “art” that is pushed out from the church in recent years has been hype and marketing, whereas, this is very artistic and interpretative.
As HILLSONG says in their article: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” This is not a witty sermon title like Savage Jesus — though there are artistic elements in that series — this is a video that is meant to invoke something from its audience — a juxtaposition of spiritual peace in the face of worldly anxiety. And, while it might have its critics, this is the type of art I think the church needs to become accustomed to seeing and producing.
However, one must applaud the HILLSONG creative team for pushing the envelope and willing to take a step back when they realize the message was being missed and overshadowed by controversy.
Yes, the PEACE music video blazed a trail, but unfortunately many weren’t ready to head down that new avenue. And, instead of forcing the issue HILLSONG took a step back, evaluated their position, and adjusted their approach.
This motion by HILLSONG echoes Christ’s approach in Mark 6:4-6, when Jesus saw unbelief, instead of moving on or becoming agitated with the haters, he began to go from village to village teaching to remedy their disbelief.
As creators, we must understand there is an ulterior aspect of pioneering great art within our churches, that is we must be willing to love people more than our creation and understanding that we live to love the haters. Which means at times, we will have to take a step back and reconfigure our art to ensure as many people as possible are welcomed into our communities.
Nik is a content creator living in Orlando, Florida. In 2015, he and his wife, Lydia, founded CRTVCHURCH to bring fellow church creators together. You can hear Nik every week on the CRTVCHURCH Podcast.
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