Apr 19, 2008

American Idol...

I know some of you are unabashed Idol fans.   I can almost bet that some of you are closet Idol fans.   And perhaps some of you have no idea what I'm talking about.   Let me illuminate...

American Idol is a television show... no, television cult... that is very popular.   Each season, auditions are held throughout the United States to find contestants for the show.   The early auditions are fun because many, many, many people cannot sing and the early auditions are done a cappella (singing without accompaniment).   But through a process of elimination, the candidates are narrowed down.   The ultimate selection is by telephone voting by the American public.   At the end of the show, the winner of American Idol is given a recording contract and truly becomes an American Idol.

I am not a huge Idol fan.   I watch it very sporadically.   However, there are occupants in my home that watch it religiously.   Last week something amazing happened.   I heard this scream “ "Dad, Dad come watch this.   They're singing a Christian song!..   Sure enough, there on stage the Idol contestants were singing perhaps the most popular Christian praise song known to man, Darlene Zschech's wonderful "Shout to the Lord...   We've sung it in church several times.

What was interesting was that the words to the song were changed.   The original words are "My Jesus, My Savior, Lord there is none like You...   The Idol contestants sang, "My Shepherd, My Savior, Lord there is none like You...     No mention of Jesus.

My initial reaction was one of shock.   I know that many of the Idol contestants come from a Christian background.   Many of the contestants find their start in church because it is a safe place to sing in front of an audience.   One doesn't have to look too hard in the music industry to find entertainers that are vocal about their Christian identity.   In fact, a couple of weeks ago the Disney star Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) said in a You-Tube interview that "Jesus is Cool.. and "I do everything for Jesus...   So I guess it's possible that the final Idol contestants all got together and decided that they were all of the same Christian faith and decided to proclaim it to the world.   But then, why change the words?

My guess is it was pure politics.   After all, the final Idol contestants are voted on by an American public that still remains about four-fifths Christian.  

In any event, I enjoyed the moment.   Politics aside, "Shout to the Lord.. is a beautiful song.   Hearing it on stage with the massive backup choir was stunning.     And last week, millions of people across America were able to hear it.   I don't know about the faith of the eight finalists but surely they were moved by the experience. I was.


Pastor David Hook

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