Posted by Craig Borlase on 31 May 2013

Remember Mike Guglielmucci? If you don’t, the bare facts are simple enough: he wrote a worship song called ‘Healer’ and told people that he had terminal cancer. Only, he didn’t have cancer. Two years after writing the song, he confessed, apologised and disappeared from view. 

Does anyone still sing the song today? On the face of it, it makes sense that the song - like the songwriter - has vanished. The song was a lie. We got duped. It sticks in our throats. But should it? Is the message wrong? Do the lyrics lie? Read them for yourself:

 

You hold my every moment,You calm my raging seas

You walk with me through fire, And heal all my disease

I trust in You (x2) 

I believe You're my Healer, I believe You are all I need

I believe You're my Portion, I believe You're more than enough for me

Jesus You're all I need

Nothing is impossible for You (x3)

You hold my world in Your hands

 

Mike Guglielmucci needed those lyrics to be true. He needed to be healed of the lies, the addiction to porn and the need to be someone he wasn’t in order to gain affirmation. As he wrote and as he sang, it’s hard to imagine that there wasn’t at least some small part of him that realised that. 

He’s not the first songwriter to mess up. A decade before ‘Healer’, news broke that Kevin Prosch had committed adultery. Before that, there were others too - songwriters whose lifestyles failed to match their lyrics. Go back far enough, and you get to the Bible’s greatest songwriter - King David, the murderous adulterer.  

How much sin can we tolerate in our songwriters? Do deceit and lust score more highly than arrogance or greed? When they mess up, is there a period where their songs must be quarantined? Or are the songs separate from the writers? Where does grace fit into all this?

It’s a pickle, huh?

More like this

the Friday Pickle - could we find a better name than Worship Leader?

The debate had a little more volume a while ago, but search hard enough and you can still find people discussing what they see as the possible flaws within - and alternatives to - the term ‘worship leader’.

Holy Week Maundy Thursday: Jesus Leads Worship

Was there ever a better worship leader than Jesus? Today's blog takes us back to Gethsemane and wonders why Jesus chose to pray there.

the Friday pickle - should worship leaders be teaching their congregation how to sing songs from other cultures?

I’ve sung ‘Blessed Be Your Name’ in a Ugandan village without any electricity, heard all kinds of Delirious songs filling the air of Mumbai slums and listened as ancient-looking Aboriginals blasted out ‘When I Survey’. But every time we worship at my church we sing in English and we sound like Mumford and Sons on a Coldplay appreciation day. What’s all that about?