Question, what show still has kazillions of viewers after eight years – even though it is predictable as getting gas after eating Taco Bell?
Exactly! American Idol 8! Yep – it’s back and its baaaaader than ever – though some might use the word ‘bad’ in a very different way (as in this is, well, bad).
So what’s predictable? Well, where shall we begin?
Maybe the possibility that Randy will utter the surprising phrase, “Yo Dawg – check it out” and “That didn’t work for me dawg; it was kinda pitchy.”
Or could we guess that Paula might articulate some odd and semi-freaky comment like this:
“I want to squish you, squeeze your head off and dangle you from my rearview mirror.”
Ohhhh Kaaaay Paula, that’s an image of David Archuleta that I didn’t need.
Or would you ever guess that Simon might be grouchy and critical of something that he asked the artist to do the WEEK BEFORE?
Yet despite all these facts, I’m not going to lie to ya – I still watch American Idol religiously. Each week, I get excited about seeing the performers but most of all, I love the whole ‘Idol Gives Back’ deal. It is simply mind boggling to me (which doesn’t take that much) to see one TV show raise $65 million dollars in one shot to help children across the planet.
So imagine my excitement then when the closing song of ‘Idol Gives Back’ was actually a popular worship song by Darlene Czech called ‘Shout to the Lord.’
You know – as in the ‘Lord’ being ‘Jesus.’ But apparently no one told the singers about that small detail, because when the verse that proclaims ‘My Jesus, My Savior’ came up, what came out was ‘My Shepherd, My Savior.’
Huh? Actually, it’s not really that surprising, because what is also predictable is the fear on the part of American Idol to actually say the name ‘Jesus,’ because it might actually offend someone.
Oh no! You should never offend anyone! Jesus never did…did He?
Well, yes. As it turns out, that’s why He was crucified. And people are still offended today, because He claims to be the one and only singular narrow path to a relationship with God.
But we don’t like to offend, do we? No. Sometimes though it’s just unavoidable – especially if you call yourself a Christian. To be a Christian means you not only claim the name of Christ…you proclaim the name of Christ. And if you do, you will sometimes offend.
So how often are we like the American Idols? We’re on the stage of life, trying to praise God with our lives – but when it comes down to the moment of truth – which is telling people the truth about Jesus – we quickly change the words and lose our opportunity.
And to do this, we need to go beyond the t-shirts and bracelets and engage people in a conversation about Jesus. Not about how He’s your ‘homeboy’ or how He was cool because He was a hippie with long hair and sandals. What people need to hear is that He claimed to be the only hope of salvation and eternal life in the universe. They need to be aware of the fact that all roads actually do lead to God – most to His judgment. One leads to His forgiveness – the one that goes like this:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son (John 3:18).
The cool thing is that the next night, the Idols came back and sang the song right. They proclaimed the name of Jesus before the world whether or not it offended anyone.
How about you?
Head: As Christians, we need to be bold in proclaiming the name and claims of Christ even at the risk of offending people.
Heart: Read these words of Jesus carefully and let its message soak into your heart:
Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels (Mark 8:37-38).
Hands: Take some time this week and ask your friends what words they would use to describe their perception of Jesus. Pray that God will use that to open up a conversation about His claim of being the only way to heaven.
Lane Palmer serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.