Friday, April 11, 2008

Jesus On American Idol

Tuesday night, about three till (?) I was flipping the channels when a familiar tune caused me to stop my channel surfing. I could hardly believe it. The very popular but very Christian and very worship song “Shout to the Lord” was sung on freak’n American Idol! I watched in disbelief. How could this be? I didn’t hear the name Jesus in the song, so I was both suspect and proud at the same time. (They sang “Jesus” on Thursday performance.)

Two thoughts crossed my mind as I watched the performance:

First, in the spirit of Dan Kimball, culture is very interested in Jesus. Culture, as a whole, is very welcoming to the historic person of Jesus. They are not offended by his teachings. I think this performance on American Idol, the nation’s #1 show, is a small example of how pop-culture is open to Jesus. Very good news!

Secondly, however, making Jesus popular is not really the point. I was reminded of the Roman Emperor Constantine who made Jesus very popular in the 4th century. He made Christianity a world force…a good thing. But he also made Christianity look more like the pagan culture than the example we find in the New Testament…a bad thing. So while I was pumped that a very talented group of American Idol constants sang a worship song I am also cautious not to make too much out of this event.

What do you think?

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