In case you missed it last night on Idol, the contestants sang "Shout To The Lord" again; this time the name of Jesus was left in! Great to see our Lord proclaimed through that song in that venue - regardless of the motives of some (Phil. 1:15-18). Amen?
If you haven't seen this yet, watch it and tell me what you think? (BTW, heads up - at the end of the song, Ben Stiller comes on and in an attempt to be comical says some expletives that are bleeped out though you can pretty much tell what he said. For Mars Hill Church members, this will seem like Sunday morning worship; for everyone else, it will seem like Saturday night at the bowling alley.)
American Idol did their 2nd Annual Give Back program last night to help primarily children impacted by the plight of world hunger, Katrina, AIDS, etc. It was a powerful humanitarian event hoping to top the 76 million they raised last year that could provide clean water, food, medical attention and education to thousands of families around the globe. Good on them...
However this year they ended with a bit of a surprise; they closed the show by singing "Shout to the Lord." BUT, with one small yet significant change in the lyric. It was only one word; an important word; a critical word for that song to have real meaning. Any guesses on what word they changed? You got it: they eliminated the name of Jesus. The original lyric says, "My Jesus, my Savior, Lord there is none like You." Idol changed it to, "My Shepherd, my Savior, Lord there is none like You." Now some might say, "Jesus is our Shepherd isn't He Steve, (John 10; Psalm 23) so what is the big problem?"
Here is the problem:
Take away the name of Jesus from the centrality of this song and "Lord" could mean anyone or anything... (remember George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord"?) Now I don't fault Idol (they are for the most part nonbelievers), but I do hold them responsible. In all fairness, did the artists have much of a say in this decision? Probably none at all. I am fairly confident this was either a network thing or an Idol producer thing. But still, when taking a great, classic song like this--the lyric stand and be sung "as is." It goes to free speech, it goes to writer integrity and original intent, and it goes to consistency with other Idol considerations they have made in the past to allow some other gospel songs mentioning the name of Jesus to stand.
We can rejoice that this song continues to make an impact on this generation. But the impact was minimized when the lyric was changed. No small deletion. How wonderful it would have been to let the A. Idol world know that it is Jesus who the song calls the only true Savior and Lord... Amen?
Here is a biblical count below of why this is so important for Christians today to not cower in the mentioning of our Lord Jesus Christ in the marketplace and to keep His name prominent.
Peter and John Before the Council
Acts 4:1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
5 On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (emphasis mine)
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old." (emphasis mine)