Theta functions are automorphic forms on the double cover of symplectic groups and are important for constructing automorphic liftings. For higher-degree covers of symplectic groups, there are generalized theta representations and it is natural to ask if these ``higher'' theta functions play a similar role in the theory of metaplectic forms. In this talk, I will discuss new lifting of automorphic representations on the 4-fold cover of symplectic groups using such theta functions. A key feature is that this lift produces counterexamples of the generalized Ramanujan conjecture, which motivates a connection to the emerging ``Langlands program for covering groups'' by way of Arthur parameters. The crucial fact allowing this lift to work is that theta functions for the 4-fold cover still have few non-vanishing Fourier coefficients, which fails for higher-degree covers.