“What I Was Scared to Say is What’s Resonated” – Hillsong Songwriter Benjamin Hastings

Aug 18, 2023 | Entertainment and Arts

By: Laura Bennett

Over the last two years Hillsong has had a rolling list of scandals and accusations made against them that have – beyond affecting leadership and the church as an organisation – left thousands of church members caught in the crosshairs of ugly revelations.

How do they process that?

Where do you take the questions that arise when a place you’ve called “home” doesn’t feel safe anymore? Is everything people are saying true? What do these failures mean for my faith? Are they connected?

Benjamin Hastings has been a long-time member of Hillsong’s globally recognised and 11 x Dove Award-winning band UNITED, touring with them extensively over the years and writing some of their biggest hits including Highlands and So Will I.

In 2022, Benjamin released his self-titled solo project, Benjamin William Hastings (And Then Some) with 25 songs (39 on the newly released extended edition) that gradually unpack the emotions he felt around the church’s failings and the conversations he had with God as a result.

One of the most pointed songs is Cathedrals of the Nelder Groves which begins:

They stripped the paint from our cathedral
Found concrete cancer in the walls
Look, I don’t care about the failings
‘Cause I’ve got plenty of my own
But the inclination to conceal it
Well, that doesn’t sound like church at all
I’ve heard Hell is out to get us
Some unrighteous grand assault
I could argue it’s the devil
But I could make a case for God