My daughter shared a YouTube video with me the other day of the eight American Idol finalists singing “Shout To The Lord”. She knows that’s one of my favorite praise songs. It probably wouldn’t matter if Daffy Duck was singing it, I’d still get goosebumps listening to the beautiful, heartfelt lyrics.
Listening to this talented group of performers sing this song, though, brought to mind two things:
- Not everyone who speaks God’s name is to be emulated;
- God can use anything or anyone to glorify Himself.
My oldest sons developed a taste for secular music that I didn’t always agree with. Before I get into trouble, I do like listening to certain kinds of secular music. I also recognize that some of what I like probably won’t make it into the Top 100 Songs That Jesus Would Really Dig. They’re easy to sing to, have a good beat and were part of my culture growing up. They’re no longer my preference for music, but if I hear “Wild Thing” by The Troggs you’ll probably catch me embarrassingly getting into it.Some of the performers my two older sons were following, however, wouldn’t even make the Bottom 100. I didn’t like the lyrics, I didn’t like the style of dress or general appearance of the performers and, in some cases, what was being passed for singing sounded like something coming from the gates of Hell.
There were numerous discussions around the dinner table about being careful about what we expose ourselves to. One of the excuses frequently brought up as our sons tried rationalizing their choice of music was that these performers probably had Christian leanings. They would then produce the jacket cover and point to the acknowledgments.
“See, right there. He says, “I thank God for giving me this talent.”” My husband or I would flip to the front cover, point to the worldly gestures and mocking sneers of the band, and ask, “Do you really think these guys follow Jesus?”
The answer, of course, was obvious to them. Their father and I spent enough time repeating Jesus’ words of “by their fruit you will know them” that they both knew the truth.
What we’ve taught all our children was to find appreciation in someone’s talent, but if that person did not follow a lifestyle that mirrored Jesus’ they needed to refrain from imitating that person’s way of life. Appreciation does not need to equal imitation.
That being said, I can find no fault in taking satisfaction that the Lord’s name was glorified on national TV. He deserves our praise from every venue and forum. I enjoyed worshipping along with the performance, even if some who were participating weren’t doing it with the purest of motives.