American Idolatry

Many people idolize musicians. Be it secular fans or those who love Christian music, it still happens. I’ll go more into that concept in another blog, because this one seems to be taking a different direction.

Take a look at the show American Idol, for example. The title of the show points directly at this idol issue.

Honestly, I avoided watching that show because of its title. I thought to myself, “If they are going to publicly proclaim idolatry, then I don’t really want anything to do with it.”

Years later, we’ve got Christian artists formerly on Amerian Idol making a name for themselves. Take Mandisa, Jordin Sparks and Daughtry for example.

Upon further thought, I think it’s good those people infiltrated the show. God used them to draw people to Himself.

I flip out about trivial things such as the title of American Idol and vow to avoid those trends completely. I’m very word oriented. If someone uses the wrong form of a word to describe something, there is much potential to upset me. But, I realize later that I can’t completely avoid or boycot trivial word things.

I can’t run away from the influence of the world. Instead, I need to influence the world around me.

My perceptions of Christian music and what it is and what it should be have really changed, especially since I moved to Nashville a little over a year ago.

I’ve gone through phases that saying any artist that doesn’t fully proclaim and market themselves as a Christian artist isn’t really a true Christian.

I’ve believed that just because some artist (mostly the secular artists) thank God in their acceptance speech that they must be a Christian, too.

I was wrong in both of those perceptions. Now I’m glad when I find out there’s a Christian in a band that’s being an example to the secular world. Rather than get upset that they are in the mainstream market, I become excited that they are impacting the secular world with their Christian life.

And as far as secular artists thanking God in their acceptance speech, I’ve learned to judge that by their fruit. If they thank God for a Grammy and then go sing a song about objectifying women and abusing drugs, it’s not too hard for me to see that they don’t authentically honor God in their lives.

Although the title American Idol still makes me cringe a bit, I’m glad that God has used that show to bring glory to the only person that should be worshipped. That’s Him, by the way.

And, I can’t end this blog without bringing up the song “Lose My Soul” by tobyMac, Kirk Franklin and Mandisa. In that song, Kirk starts rapping and says, “America has no more stars/now we call them idols/you sit idle/while we teach prosperity.

A few seconds later, former American Idol contestant Mandisa starts singing.

It’s just ironic, I think. I originally got upset about that song because I was still bent up about the use of the word idol in American Idol’s title.

However, as I saw Mandisa perform and learned more about her, I realized that she’s totally in it for God. Yeah, she mentions American Idol in every interview that she’s had. (And, I must say that it used to annoy me that she did that.) But now, my opinion of that has changed as well.

Just because she was on that show, more people are going to listen to her. They give her more of a platform because of the American Idol contestant label associated with her name.

And though I’m sad about the reason why more people listen to her, I’m still glad that more people do listen.

Regardless of what I think about a particular person or their music, the most important thing to me is that the Gospel is shared.

As you can guess, I also used to become upset and say I didn’t like a band because of the way they acted or some things that they said.

And, instead of me sitting here bashing on someone because I don’t agree with their approach or labels, I need to join in unified step with them to promote the Kingdom.

I concluded, “If God’s ok with them, then I’m ok with them.”

When people are united in the glorifying of God, then God draws people to Himself.

American Idol’s new season starts tonight. I sincerely hope there’s another Christian in the ranks bringing glory to God rather than participating in the sought-after idolization of themselves.


One thought on “American Idolatry”

  1. I found your letter in an internet search for “why do people idolize musicians?” and thank you so much for writing it. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately and I keep wondering how God can use musicians to bring people to know Him when there are so many people who only look at the musician/band. This reminded me that God can use music for His glory and open people’s eyes to look to Him and not necessarily the musician. Thanks a lot. I hope there’s someone on that tv show that’s the way you explained, too.

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