Thursday, April 10, 2008

So...THAT was Kind-of Weird

After a grueling 2.5 hours of telethon goodness, American Idol successfully shocked the living crap out of me:

The contestants sang "Shout to the Lord," by Darlene CHEEEZZZCK as the closer. Um...thoughts? I'm sure some people will be mad because they changed the word "Jesus" to "shepherd," and some will be mad that they even did it at all. I've been reading a lot about how people are angry that the song was done because it's glorifying the born-again Christians who are intolerant to gay people and people with AIDS. It makes me really sad, to be honest. I don't know. I just hate how people say Christians are intolerant, and then say things that are intolerant toward Christians. I also hate how all Christians are judged based on the actions of a dozen high-profile idiots.

I'm not a Darlene fan, and I don't like that song, so I don't even care. Besides, they already had my money after this geniousness happened:

Well played, Snoop. Well played.


Anonymous said...

I feel you on that one.I couldn't sit through the whole telethon, but that is really something they sang that song at the end!
Hey, i'm putting you on the baby shower list if you don't mind. can u email me your address again?

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

It doesn't matter what they would have sang........there is always going to be someone who b*tches. Our society b*tches about everything and the media glorifies it. Everyone thinks everyone has a motive for everything (I almost said modem for motive...wonky brain). sheeesh....everyone in this world needs to get a life and focus on what is important and that definately is not on the list of importance!

still patiently waiting for 40 cloves of chicken.

j*amy said...

my parents told me about that yesterday, cause i didnt watch it. i am going to look it up on YouTube later...if i remember.

i liked that song, though it was over played back in the 90' i mean, early 2000's?? who knows. anyway, cool.

the Jennings secede from the South said...

Snoop brings the folks together.

Anonymous said...

i have so many conflicting opinions about them doing that song i dont know where to start.

Brian said...

I felt very awkward watching that song. My first thought was..."Why?"

I mean, what's the purpose behind that--and if you're not a believer in God (let alone Jesus) why are you singing that song? I just didn't get how it connected to the show.

Secondly--that song is ten years old and way past relevant. It just felt like it was the marketing department pandering to "the religious red states".

(actually, as I'm writing this they're singing it again on the elimination show and saying Jesus--weird)

It's just like--should I be happy that a song that glorifies God is on the most popular show on televison, or should I be disturbed that it's being dumbed down to the most commercial, showboaty, any-and-every-way-you-please-is-the-way-to-God, Oprah-reliousness level possible?

Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. That song is only pleasing to God if the hearts of those who sing it are honestly striving to honor and serve Him.

I've got no issue if Idol contestents choose to sing a song about Jesus beacause of their personal convicitons, but please, don't force non-christian contestants to sing a song they don't mean.

Clare McC said...

i kind of agree with Brian's post in asking why someone would sing it without the personal beliefs, but then being judgemental and saying that they don't believe in it.

Someone else likened it to someone on the show two years back singing Mary Mary's Shackles, and Simon asked her why on earth she was singing it.

I liken it to Dolly Parton's new song Jesus and Gravity which she performed on the show last week or something (I'm unsure exactly when cos I'm not in the states). It makes me ask a whole load of questions about whether that makes a difference (I do feel that Dolly's song is heartfelt, especially the way she sang or spoke it ON AI). To be honest, most of the time I swong towards thinking that it's a good thing, and hey, people still have freedom of speech right?

Thoughts? If you have any I'd love to hear them but I'm not at blogger anymore, I'm at ... Thanks!

Danielle said...

@ obsessive: you're right...people definitely like to complain.

@ brian: i totally agree with you. i felt like most of them looked really uncomfortable singing it. if any were believers, they were probably feeling awkward, too, thinking, "UGH...this is so 1990." i feel like it was a slimy move. i can hear the producers: "we MUST appeal ti the upper middle class evangelical christians. what ever can we do?" shout to the lord, motha. and bam.

@clare: i think the difference between this and mandissa's "shackles," is that mandissa has the personal conviction that ties her to it. and that was a show where they were supposed to pick songs that showcased what kind of artist they would be. and, today, that is the kind of artist she is.

@ everyone not on blogger: you can sign in using your wordpress ID, so comments will link back to your blog.

Anonymous said...

brian/danielle, I'm surprised to hear you say that something written in the 90s is already considered irrelevant? That sucks for hymns that we do written a hundred years ago.... and any other song that might be old. I really don't agree with that at all - some people, many strong and worshiping Christians are still affected by that song and will be for many years to come I'm sure.

This was probably the first time millions of people heard the song, so for them, definitely not irrelevant - although maybe irrelevant if they have no concept of God or what he has to do with giving back to the community.

Ultimately, i was talking to a friend about it, and i guess, words about God were sung to millions of people... so shouldn't we be praising God about it regardless?

Brian said...

You're right Danielle--There is a big difference between what a single artist chooses to do based on their personal convictions and being told to sing a song by the producers of the show.

I'm sure some of the contestants are believers in Christ, but for those who aren't, I remember what an awkward thing that was for me to be asked to sing songs I didn't believe one lick of.

I'm convinced that Christianity is increasingly the minority faith in America, and it is being replaced slowy and steadily with a watered down unitarian universalism that attempts to find the lowest common denominator between all faiths and claim that as truth.

It's a perspective that feels good for the individual, but shows little respect for what Mohammed, Moses, or Jesus actually taught.

Re: Rachel--music, like fasion is cyclical. Go back far enough, and music becomes classic. But there is a window of music (somewhere around 10-30 years ago) that is too close to today to be considered classic yet, and so sounds cheesy.

Maybe in fifty years songs like As the Deer and Shout to the Lord will be relevant again, but right now, they just show that one is about 10-15 years behind the CCM scene.

I'm not saying it's a bad song. It's not. But it's probably a bad time in history to use that song as representative of Christian music.


Brian said...

I just had an idea--maybe instead of "Shout to the Lord" they could have done M. W. Smith's "Secret Ambition". That was culturally relevant back then and very popular!

I can see the hand motions now...; )

Anonymous said...

well, all i know is that Idol's version of Shout to the Lord is the #6 download on Itunes right now - how can you debate that isn't affecting THIS current culture right now? :)

Dave said...

Ten years old and way past relevant? I guess great hymns of the faith like Great is Thy Faithfulness and In Christ Alone are in trouble then. Shout to the Lord is an incredible worship song that is sung in churches all over the world and will be for generations to come. Just because the church that you belong to deems songs "irrelevant" in the name of being progressive doesn't mean that the rest of Christiandom has as well.

And come on, do you really believe for one second that anybody at AI is concerned about the "religious red states" or "upper middle class evangelical Christians"? Since when has Hollywood EVER given a crap about this sort of thing? Uh, since never. That's since when.

Whether or not it was right to have the top 8 contestants sing such a blatant worship song about Jesus is another story. First of all, it's not for us to judge their hearts. I think it will be interesting to hear the story of how this song came to be chosen. Was it a decision made by the producers? A decision made by the contestants? And if it was a decision by the producers, what happened if one of the contestants objected to singing it based on his/her beliefs? Would his/her objection to it hurt them in their chances of becoming this year's American Idol? There a lot of questions surrounding that particular aspect of this debate, and I'm sure that as the days go by, we will hear more about how that song came to be chosen.

Whether or not it was right is one thing. But the thing that I, as a Christian, am happy about is that millions upon millions of people probably heard that song for the first time on Wednesday night (and no, the snippets from the Time Life commercials don't count). And even though they replaced "Jesus" with shepherd on Wednesday night (only to be replaced with Jesus during the reprise on Thursday night - Darlene must have called), I am thrilled that so many people heard about the love of Christ. And because of this, the song is being downloaded by millions of people (as of the time of this writing, it is #6 on iTunes most downloaded songs).

The bottom line is that God received (and continues to receive)glory out of this. I don't know if what they did was right, but what has happened has happened...and that's what we have to deal with at this point.

Philippians 1:18 says, "But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

In the meantime, I'll give American Idol a call and and tell them to make sure that they don't sing other irrelevant songs like, say, Amazing Grace.

Kristin said...

That was a heart of a true worshipper. Taking the focus off the "music" and placing it on the power of the Spirit of God. Dave, thanks for exposing the bigger picture.

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

sheeesh, all this and I didn't even see it. I don't even watch it. Perhaps you should be watching Flavor of Love on VH1 Danielle if this is going to upset you so heheheheheh.

40 cloves......................of fricking nothing

Danielle said...

I don't think any of this needs to be taken so personally.

As a Christian, I would not scoff at that song if it were part of a worship set at church. However, I agree with Brian that it probably wasn't the most relevant choice. And, I think his point is well taken in that all it did was serve to "kind of" be "christian." The new religion is whatever works for you. Don't like the Jesus part? Just switch it to shepherd. Don't like that there is a hell? There isn't. It's as easy as that.

@ Dave: actually, according to a lost of market demographics, hollywood and advertising is VERY interested in christians and how they spend their money. Also, to echo Brian, there is a reason we don't wear stirrup pants, but wide leg pants are in...TIME.

The deal is, they sang that song so Christians would give money, not to worship God. Of course God can use it for whatever He wants, but I don't think their intention was to renew a deep, passionate worship movement. I mean, let's not kid ourselves.

There is a lot to say!

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I missed Idol Gives Back.

A few late thoughts.

I think the observation that marketers were involved is poigniant. Including "Shout to the Lord" in the show is an admission that the marketers recognize the connection between spirituality and generousity. That's kind of fun to see affirmed in pop culture, even if a participate incaration of that truth doesn't resonate with me.

I think the reason that an older p/w song was chosen was for broader evangelical regonition. How long does it take for a cutting edge song to make the shift from the Passion Tour to a blended worship, four-part harmony choir tune. Years, I'd imagine. Brian is on the cutting edge of praise and worship and Grace is better for it. I just wonder if the music we do is widely known in all corners of the church yet.

And Barna Group had some data on the percentage of evangelical American Idol viewers. I don't recall the figures, but it was staggering.

And Brian, thank you for not ripping on Keith Green. MWS is fine. Let Keith alone.