American Idol goes…Christian?

Now I know the only person on this blog that watches America Idol in Adam H (actually the guy has watched it religiously for like 5 years). So I wanted to point your attention to the fact that Idol closed it’s Idol Gives Back show with a rendition of Shout to the Lord, the famous Christian worship song.

So here’s what happened. Apparently only three of the performers sung the opening line “My Jesus, My Savior”. Now even more strange is that on the “Live” show they amended the lyrics to say, “My Shepard, My Savior”, but when showing highlights on Thursday they sang, “My Jesus, My Savior”.

Now I know many Christians who are excited to see the name of Jesus proclaimed (well, at least on Thursday), but as many of you faithful readers have come to know, I am a skeptic. Simon Cowell and the producers of American Idol are very shrewd business men. And if I had to make a comment, I would assume they were simply pandering to a large American demographic: Christians. Actually there is probably very little doubt this is what they were doing.

So is this a good or bad thing? Were the three contestants the only one’s willing to sing to Jesus (even though the girl was singing to the Jesus who used to be a man, but obtained God status and filled the earth with his spirit babies)? Why did they change the lyrics back and forth (legal no doubt)? Should Christian rejoice in the air time or disparage the fact we are being pandered to?

What say you?



11 Responses

  1. i (sara) love american idol. i look forward to the months of january thru may for that very reason. πŸ™‚
    i couldn’t agree more with you about the purpose being reaching a large demographic. i am not offended although thought it was weird that last year they had bono write a song and chose to go with shout to the lord this year. i guess bono is busy or something. regardless, it afforded america the opportunity to hear david cook and carly bust out and i would listen to any song if it meant listening to that. πŸ™‚

  2. Paula Abdul is just syrupy and crazy and non-critical enough to be your average Evangelical. I blame her for the pandering.

    And Matt…Rick Warren and this? What did I do to you? Yeesh.

  3. …interesting! I missed that – – –


  4. My thought is yes it stinks they changed the lyrics a little but that single song was seen by how many thousands or millions of people? I mean the ratings on that show are crazy. I say sweet deal and maybe that opened up the eyes of a few of the many people that saw it. It was done with quality thats for shizzle!

  5. How do I get my pic to show in the post? πŸ™‚

  6. First, Adam watches American Idol!? Wow, did not see that one coming.

    Second I hate the fawning that we Christians do when a worship song is sung for capitalistic purposes. Sure God can use it, and maybe he did and will. Maybe there is someone American Idol devotee who watched it and was somehow touched, who knows?

    But I think it has just insane how the secular world knows how to perfectly bait and capture the evangelical community. We hear one “worship” song and think that Hollywood is becoming less hostile toward Christianity. In reality though this is just classic Jr. High cafeteria psychology, the dorky kid has something the cool kids want (in this case lots of viewers) so they let him sit at the table for a few days. The dorky kid now feels like the cool kids like him, but the truth is they just want something from him. Eventually the dorky kid is banished back to his table in the corner and the cool kids go on ignoring him, until they need something again.

  7. When I was the dorky kid getting beat up in the gym class showers in junior high, I certainly had many viewers.

    But you are right about being on a string, Ryan…whether in Hollywood or Washington DC, the powers have learned how to male us wag our tails, have they not? I couldn’t watch Simon Cowell get baptised on stage by a recently-ordained Ryan Seacrest without being majorly cynical about their motives.

    That said, though, I guess a good song is a good song, whatever the genre, and obviously tastes differ widely across an audience, so it makes sense that they would roll out a Christian song at some point. It is more to our shame that we demand our own side-industry rather than transforming the main genres with quality and personality.

    And yes, I *have watched* American Idol, although perhaps Matt’s assesment of the regularity and frequency goes a wee bit far. The fact is I am too undisciplined to do anything religiously, even being religious. But watching half-baked talent take itself very seriously and humiliate itself willingly? Where do I line up!?

  8. “The fact is I am too undisciplined to do anything religiously”

    Um, how then did you:

    – Run 3 marathons?

    – Completely turn your cement basement into a living space?

    – Kick ass on your LSAT (or whatever grad school test you have)?

    Sometimes it’s easier to say you are undisciplined than admit that you are in fact really good at being a responsible adult. Admit it Adam, you love American Idol like Ryan likes the Cubs. It’s okay we will still accept you. This is what makes the church the church.

  9. OK, compromise: I *like* American Idol like Ryan likes Obama…that is, I’ll admit it grudgingly, take the good with the bad, and wither your scorn with forbearance.

  10. That’s “weather” your scorn, by the way.

  11. HEY…..i absolutely LOVE american idol…..


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