Jesus, American Idol, and a Major Response

There was tremendous response to my critique of American Idol's lyrical change to Shout to the Lord. My response: Jesus matters!

In my previous article I wrote about American Idol’s use of a popular Christian song, “Shout to the Lord.” When I posted the article I anticipated that a handful of viewers would read it since my site, compared to larger, more popular Christian sites, possesses a small viewership. However, the response has been overwhelming, surprising, and even exciting:

  1. World Net Daily (WND) picked up on my article, placing the American Idol story as their top story on Thursday, April 10, 2008
  2. Numerous blogs, news organizations, and other websites quoted from the WND article or my site
  3. More comments have been submitted to my article about American Idol than to any other article
  4. The number of viewers to my site dramatically increased by 1,385% according to Google Analytics
  5. People at my work, my site’s hosting company, an SEO forum I frequent, and others commented to me about the WND publicity
  6. American Idol performed the song again on Thursday, using the unedited lyrics, a change that one commenter said I helped bring about

The response has been overwhelming and, as a webmaster and blogger, I’m excited that more people are reading my articles. However, some things need to be highlighted and clarified.

Jesus is the Focus

One thing that seminary teaches you about preaching is that illustrations are often critical. Many sermons use a single major illustration along with numerous smaller ones. Illustrations can be quotes, stories, facts, visual aids, or almost anything else. When I wrote the article, I had one objective in mind: show the importance, centrality, and glory of Jesus according to Scripture. Society today likes to talk about Jesus, but only Jesus the man or Jesus the good teacher. However, many are repelled by Jesus the King, Jesus the Son of God, Jesus the God incarnate, Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the only way of salvation, Jesus the sacrifice to pay for sin, etc. Many people tolerate Christianity so long as Christians don’t try to tell others why Jesus is the only way to heaven. Society today promotes an open theology where religion is acceptable so long as no one religion is declared greater than any other religion.

Within this context, I saw the lyrical change by American Idol producers, where they removed Jesus and replaced it with the general term “shepherd” as a great illustration of modern society. Therefore, I wrote the article using the show as the major illustration. My emphasis was that whenever someone tries to have the things that come only through Christ but do so without Christ, then one tries to obtain the impossible. Put more simply, one cannot be saved, have hope, or revel in the majesty of God and deny Jesus. Jesus said those who deny him also deny the Father (Luke 10:16).

Many understood the point of the article was that Jesus is central to God’s plan and purpose. Others focused on the illustration, American Idol. As a result, I now take this time to elaborate and clarify my point.

Evangelism is the Motivation

My site serves two primary purposes: (1) a place where people can hear/read the gospel and (2) a place where I can provide theological teaching, insights, and thoughts. The Internet provides a wonderful medium for proclaiming the name of Jesus. It is not generally bound by political or geographical borders, it is easy to access, and it is widely used by billions of people around the world. Therefore, since I’ve been involved with the Internet for over a decade, I thought I’d use this valuable resource to share the gospel with whomever would visit the site. Also, I wanted to provide theological, devotional, meaningful teaching to help people grow closer to God through Christ.

Although many read the article about American Idol, it is even better if one accepted Christ’s gift of salvation. It is not enough to be religious, do good deeds, or hope for the best. Instead, faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation. If even one person who visited my site as a result of the American Idol issue and, as a result, read the gospel and accepted Christ, then it is worth it.

I want to thank everyone who left a comment and encourage all believers to develop a passion for God and a passion for God’s mission (evangelism). Share Jesus with someone else today. Share the whole gospel with them.

If there is something you want to know about or if you have an idea of something you think I should write about, let me know.

If you believe my ministry is glorifying God and want to help financially, there’s a variety of ways to help. You can click the “Make a Donation” button at the top right, you can shop through Christian Book Distributors, or you can sign up for web hosting with Church Quest.

If you’re interested in helping this ministry in other ways, please let me know how you want to help.

May God bless everyone who puts their faith in Jesus. May God fill our hearts with a tremendous desire to serve and glorify him.

About John L. Rothra
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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Deldobuss

    Amen. I read your last post and this one, and I think you make an excellent point. American Idol aside, there is no hope, faith, love, or freedom without the Lord Jesus Christ. To deny his name is to have the form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. From such turn away. (2 Tim 3:5)

    I look forward to further posts!
    Sister in Christ, Aadel

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