Mass conversion at American Idol?

I’m sorry….. was that “Shout to the Lord” I just heard all the American Idol contestants belt-out?  I, uh… I don’t really know what to think.  What WAS that?!  I know last night was the “Idol Gives Back” show, so the producers are probably trying to continue the whole feel-good mood into tonight….but “Shout to the Lord????”  Why???!!!! 

I have two immediate thoughts:

1.  I think it’s great that God’s name is being lifted-up, even if it’s potentially by the voices of unbelievers.  It reminds me of the verse that talks about how one day every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.  Whether they believe it or not, it’s just the truth, and it’s always a good thing when that’s proclaimed.  Like when Paul said in Philippians that “whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.”  (although I don’t think the word “Jesus” is actually in “Shout to the Lord.”)

2.  I’m slight offended by the arrogance and presumption of the American Idol production machine.  To have eight people, who probably have a range of religious beliefs, sing a blatantly Christian song on national tv with supposed conviction, riding a tidal wave of a celebrity charity….it just feels dishonest to me.  Like someone said, “Hey, I know!  Let’s stick a super-Christian song about God in there!  All the small-town people will know it, we’ll stir-up some mushy feelings and we come-off looking sensitive and religious.”  It just feels like a big marketing ploy.  But whatever, it’s not like I had any religious expectations for American Idol anyway, it IS all about marketing for them.

What did you think when you saw this?  Did you think it was weird or really cool or really stupid?  I’m not exactly sure what I’m thinking here…


14 responses to “Mass conversion at American Idol?

  1. I can’t figure out what the producers are/were thinking. Or were they thinking? Just as you said,”8 people (undoubtedly from the same beliefs/religion)singing an obviously Christian song” and to an audience of millions of people of, again, every different kind of religious beliefs imaginable. I go to church every sunday(for the most part), daughter attends catholic school where hear plenty of church hymns.I prefer not to hear it on AI.


  2. A little bit Christian, a lot Christian what’s the diff? A lot of Christians sing secular songs but that doesn’t mean they’re suddenly atheists. If the song brings joy then more power to them. I don’t think Jesus is offended. He was the most easy-going guy on earth when it came to dealing with sinners. You can over think the whole situation until you’ve vilified everybody in the business, but that’s not your job, and that’s not my job as a Christian. Your job is to spread love and peace, not suspicion and hate.


  3. The Idol folks definately stirred things up. Blogs all over are commenting about ‘Shout to the Lord’ on American Idol. I haven’t given a tremendous amount of consideration but I did find it very odd, even distracting, to hear. After so many (not all, but most) of the prior segments, performances, and presentations, being inspirational and motivating, I found this song . . . quirky at best.

    And purposeless. I would submit that Christians familar with the song would have already been motivated, therefor the song had little additional value. And if you aren’t Christian then the song was meaningless.

    Maybe it was me, but it seemed only 2, maybe 3 of the performers seemed confortable during the song.

    To group together selected phrases which we are familar with from the judges – “it was ok, it didn’t connect with me, poor song choice.”

    At least for me, it failed to connect.


  4. I think I’ll tend to agree with you. I think it’s cool that they did a Christian song and yet I wonder “why and why that song?”. Anyway, “Jesus” is mentioned by name in the song though by their arrangement less often than in the one I know from church. It starts out “My Jesus, my Savior, Lord there is none like you…” and they did sing it that way.


  5. Julie, you’re right, I forgot about the “My Jesus, my Savior” part! After thinking about it more, I’m really fine with the fact that they did it. Since I AM a Christian, I know that any time God’s name is lifted-up, it’s HIS original idea and that’s always a good thing. I’m still weirded-out by the producer’s intentions, but whatever, it really doesn’t matter.


  6. My first thought too was ‘What is the world coming to, when Dolly gets to sing about Jesus (she said it about 20 times) and then this week again, about Jesus. ‘ I really don’t care how it happened, I am thankful that the world heard it!! I do wonder though, if some of those producers are christians, what kind of hoops had to be jumped through to get ‘Shout To the Lord’ on the list. I know that no one is telling Dolly what she can and can’t sing!


  7. It would have been an amazing inspiration and spiritual gift, regardless of the faith of the audience or contestants. The problem was that it was an uninspired, poorly executed performance!


  8. Being a Muslim, if I were one of the idols, I would refuse to sing “Shout to the Lord.” It would be dishonest for me to say that I worship Jesus, peace be upon him.


  9. emily- this is why I called you on Tuesday night (which I’m still waiting for my phone call back…) because I was so incredibly ticked off, I knew you would share in it with me. BUT it turns out I’m the only one who was annoyed/angered here at MC. And then reading other people’s comments has been good for me to know it IS so good to hear the Lord’s name lifted up. One problem though, the name of Jesus is NOT mentioned. They sing “my shepherd” and “my comfort” and no Jesus. Shout to the Lord has become politically correct so that Muslims, Buddhists, anybody who has a Lord can shout, and once again shows us how Christians are so different because we believe in JESUS as the Savior. I don’t have the bad attitude I did at first because we can’t judge…and God is in control.


  10. I think being offended by it…if you’re a Christian…would be odd. The various singers voluntarily participated in its performance. I doubt any contract signed wouldn’t go straight to a judge if one of those contestants thought their religious rights were being violated by being forced to sing. And there’s an extremely good chance that all 8 contestants were Christian; and while they may be different denominations of Christianity, Shout to the Lord is not a Baptist song or an Episcopal song or a Lutheran song. It’s a Christian song which makes it a song of belief and rejoice for any Christian performer on stage, at home, or at church.

    Was it marketing? Sure. It was on TV and no one should ever be fooled, it is not hyperbole to say that everything on TV is a commercial in some form.

    For all their talk of anti-Christian conspiracies, Christians make up a sizable portion of the American population (about 80% in the 2000 census, arguably more now thanks to the rapid influx of Latin American Catholics). So in response to “What were the shows marketers thinking?” I think they were thinking…”Golly at least 8 out of 10 of our viewers is Christian.” I also think they understood that the some of the biggest charitable organizations in the country are church-affiliated so the percentage of Christians watching the “Give Back” show would be even higher than average…and that Christian sympathies would be naturally excited. So I think they then thought, “How about a Christian song?”

    As for why that particular song? I think the question is irrelevant. They couldn’t sing every gospel that’s out there so they had to make a choice. It was probably the executive producer’s grandmother’s favorite or something.


  11. to sing songs of God and about being Christian is not weird nor stupid. it feels good hearing those songs!


  12. Haven’t seen the episode yet (but will!). I like religiously inspired songs… but it seems that more and more of Idol is showing the Christian-side. Not bad, b/c there isn’t anything wrong with being Christian… but it always leaves me with a wierd feeling.


  13. I didn’t see it on TV (don’t have that would be why), but I watched it on youtube and I guess I do find it pretty strange. Almost like when I’ve seen a Christian movie (or a Christian character in a movie) with a non-Christian playing a role. It feels put on. Not to say that none of those people were Christians, but I do think it’s kind of weird that they chose that song. In a country that talks so much about tolerance and is so careful to be politically correct, I suppose it’s very surprising that they would choose something so overtly Christian. An old hymn or a southern gospel song I can see as being more appealing to the masses. Still, like you said, whether in pretense or truth, at least His name was proclaimed.
    One comment, though, to katie the sister – they do use Jesus’ name at the beginning of the song. Actually, they sing the song just as it was written – it may just sound slightly different than what you’ve heard in church or someone’s recording of it.


  14. Okay, I watched the original version of it – apparently, when they recorded wearing white, they changed the lyrics to say “my shepherd” I guess. That’s a cop out…it’s a Christian song and most Christians know that…I find it pretty strange that they would still use it and change one word to make sure it didn’t say Jesus. There you go – politically correct after all.


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