Friday, April 11, 2008

American Idolatry?

Did you catch the end of American Idol on Wednesday night? They sang "Shout to the Lord." It was surreal; I couldn't listen to the song. Instead of singing, "My Jesus, my Savior, Lord there is none like You," they changed "My Jesus" to "My shepherd." I just sat there with my stomach churning. I had to change the channel.

I thought about this some, thinking, "well, they have decided to sing this popular worship song without worshiping Jesus, the one for whom the song was written." Then, last night, they sang the song again, without changing the lyrics! And I don't know which song was more disturbing. What is Christian music? Is it just music? Is it not meaningful speech accompanied by instruments? I am not an avid American Idol fan, so I have no idea about the faith of the people singing in the competition, but what if one of them were Buddhist? Or any other faith? Were they required to sing this song? What if American Idol decided to honor a different faith next week?

I think this event exposes the "christian" culture of the U.S. that fails to be characteristic of true Christianity. Singing "Lord there is none like you" is not an honor to Jesus Christ if you don't mean it! "All of my days I want to praise the wonders of your mighty love"?

Am I wrong here? Does the hair stand up on the back of my neck for no good reason? It seems that American Idol has united the cultural "christianity" of the Bible belt with Hollywood, and it makes me sick to my stomach.

What do you think?

~ Todd ~

Update: Here are some related links:


david santos said...

Great work, Todd!
I loved this post and this blog.
Have a nice day.

S. Todd Young said...

David! Thank you for your encouragement!

Anonymous said...

In the Bible it says that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Even if they mean it or not. I was so shocked to read that a christian was not thankful for the name of the Lord being sung about on national t.v. I was praising my savior when I saw it.

Thad Noyes said...

Todd, wonderful post. I couldn't agree with you more.


S. Todd Young said...


The reason I was so shocked is because Jesus doesn't share the stage with anyone. We worship him as the King of kings and Lord of lords, and American Idol tagged him onto the end of its show; a show that included many, many performers who clearly do not worship God. Jesus doesn't want to be invited to be a part of American Idol, he demands that people repent and believe the gospel and worship him as the God Almighty.

Thanks for reading by blog!


Thanks for the encouragement brother!

~ Todd ~

Anonymous said...

By all rights you have your option. However, you stated qoute "What is Christian music? Is it just music? Is it not meaningful speech accompanied by instruments?" You seem to question the faith of those who were singing. If you judge them then should we not judge every Sunday morning choir member who sings as to there true faith. Be it not ours to judge but to rejoice in the mear fact our Lord and Savior was mentioned. Mentioned several times by the contestants and Dolly Parton. Do you question her faith for the singing of her song "Jesus and Gravity" on the show. Your statement "American Idol tagged him onto the end of its show; a show that included many, many performers who clearly do not worship God". How can you be so judgemental. You clearly didn't watch all the show to see the contestant weeping in joy, stating her joy in the fact Christ Jesus was mentioned. This is a free country and you have your right to your option, so do I. It is my believe as a christian we should rejoice at any postitive mention of our Lord and be less demeaning toward others we have no right in judging. You know not their hearts only God above can judge.

Anonymous said...

"many performers who clearly do not worship God". How can you make such a statement? Are you some almighty Heart Reader. Then to state "Jesus doesn't want to be invited to be a part of American Idol" If your lord is dame as my lord, God wants everyone to know him not just the ones that you feel are deserving. Maybe just maybe this might be the only exposure some of this people have to Christ. Let's be glad that our Lord was sung about and less judgemental. God Loves Everyone! Even Hollywood.

S. Todd Young said...


Thanks for your comments! I did not see the show featuring Dolly Parton. I think this does help, however, to clarify my stand on the performance of "Shout to the Lord." Remember when Mandisa sang "Mary, Mary"? Other contestants have also performed Christian songs, and I really appreciate and enjoy these performances! I think the contestants are taking a stand for Christ.

I see a real difference, however, between an individual performing a Christian song vs. the whole American Idol show singing a worship song. I'm not saying they can't, or even shouldn't, I just think that the song choice was far from appropriate given the character of the show.

Please don't get me wrong; I enjoy watching American Idol when I have free time. I just feel that the performance and the end of "Idol Gives Back" was less than genuine worship. For me, the "why" they sang it is as important as the singing it...

Hope that makes sense! Thanks again for your comments!


S. Todd Young said...


Thanks for reading my blog! I want you to know that I make every effort not to judge someone's heart; God alone knows the hearts of men (1 Corinthians 4:5). But it is my duty as a leader in my church to be discerning. In the same passage (Matthew 7) where Jesus commands us not to judge, he also commands us to beware of false prophets. And how can we do this unless we discern who is a false prophet? Jesus tells us how to do this; "You will recognize them by their fruits."

I recently spoke with my son about disobedience, and, because he recently professed faith in Christ, I encouraged him to "bear fruit in keeping with repentance" (Matt 3:8). I said, "If I told you the tree in the back yard was an orange tree, but it grew lemons instead, what would you determine about the tree?" He said, "It is a lemon tree."

I just want you to understand that I thought singing "Shout to the Lord" was like American Idol saying the show was a Christian show, when far too often the fruit suggests otherwise.

I hope this makes sense!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!


Craver Vii said...

How can there be criticism for judging American Idol? Isn't that the very premise of the entire program?

I'm with you on this, Todd. I think you stated it well. It is unfortunate that Christians sometimes strive with each other over these things, but we are held accountable for our choices, especially those of us who teach. Therefore, I must disagree with one commenter that said that only God can judge (unless the commenter's statement means that only God can judge the heart). We are definitely mandated through scripture to be ever vigilant, always discerning. That means we are supposed to judge. It is when we are unfair, or mercilessly judgemental that we fall into error. Consequently, "by the same measure" it shall be done to us.

Since your post did not call us to boycott anything or take any kind of punitive action, I do not find your expression to be divisive.

One more thing. You are very gracious to accept anonymous posts. Generally, I delete any critical comments that do not have a name attached.

S. Todd Young said...


Thanks for the encouragement and affirmation! I enjoyed getting to hang out with you and your family last weekend. I trust you all had safe travels home.

~ Todd

Craver Vii said...

Hey Man, I wonder if I spoke too soon.

Chuck Swindoll pointed something out on his radio program that made me think about this again. The apostle Paul curses anyone who preaches a different (false) gospel (Gal. 1:9). But in Phil. 1:18, where it is the messenger that is compromised, and not the message itself, he says in effect, "So what; who cares... I'm happy so long as the gospel goes out."

Anyway, now I wonder if I should have been less indignant... even "happy." Would you take a look at that passage when you get a chance and tell me what you think?