Jesus on American Idol

I’ve just gotta shout out an “Amen!”

For two weeks in a row now, the name of Jesus has been mentioned on American Idol. 

Last week, Jason Castro sang Traveling Through with these lyrics:

We’ve all been crucified and they nailed Jesus to the tree
and when I’m born again you’re going to see a change in me.
Oh sweet Jesus if you’re out there, won’t you keep me close to you?

Shortly after, Dolly Parton performed her song, Jesus and Gravity.

I’ve got something lifting me up, something holding me down
something to give me wings and to keep my feet on the ground
‘cuz I’ve got all I need…I’ve got Jesus and gravity.

Wednesday night, if you watched the Idol Gives Back program, Mariah Carey sang:

He said He’d never forsake you or leave you alone.
Trust Him. Right here by my side.
Carry me home. Jesus!

And then they closed the show with the popular worship song, Shout to the Lord.  Even though they replaced the name of Jesus with the word, “shepherd” in the first verse, they were still singing this song, written as a praise to our Creator: 

Shout to the Lord all the earth let us sing
Power and majesty praise to the King!
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
at the sound of your name!

I’m not sure if there’s necessarily a spiritual “movement” taking place on America’s #1 rated television show, or if the program is just trying to appeal to a Christian audience to get them to donate to the causes they support. But the fact that millions are hearing the name of Jesus and hearing songs meant to worship Him, is amazing.  Becky, one of my co-workers (and another regular contributor to this blog), reminded me of this verse in Philippians:

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.
-Philippians 1:18 (NIV)


10 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Tim Glenn June 1, 2008

    Hey Mango!

    Yeah, I was glad to see they put that version on there. It WAS amazing to hear the name of Jesus sung on the program.

    Thanks for reading…and thanks for commenting.


  2. Mango June 1, 2008

    This is so awesome. I stumbled through Tom Lynberg’s blog and found out about this fascinating take from American Idol. Looking through Youtube, there are two versions of the Shout to the Lord. The version with the final 8 before their final performances for the Give Back closing, the 8 sang the original unedited version. It’s called “Shout to the Lord: American Idol 10 April 2008 [HD]” on YouTube.

  3. Tim April 12, 2008

    Hey Brian…

    Yeah, it’s pretty cool. Will be interesting to see if they make changes after all the controversy.

    Thanks for reading…and for commenting.

  4. Tim Glenn April 12, 2008

    Absolutely Jan!
    And if American Idol (or any other popular media forum for that matter) is the vehicle God chooses to spread the name of Jesus, then so be it!

    Thanks for reading…and for leaving a comment!


  5. jan ;-0) April 12, 2008

    I was very excited that the day I tuned in to American Idol they had the 3 boy group singing and the song had Jesus’ name in it over and over, then Dolly, then Shout…. I wish they would have kept the name of Jesus in the song….but even though Dolly made comments to Simon….one would feel where he stands….it was all good what Dolly said….. I was very excited and happpy…
    Praise God….and Lord draw all to You and only hearts and minds to the one true God…. our Lord Jesus Christ…the only way…. Amen…
    May we all be guided daily to point others to Jesus…. jan < ———–

  6. Brian Alexander April 11, 2008

    That is cool I missed most of those shows.

  7. Tim Glenn April 11, 2008

    Hey Dave,

    You’re right. God can use anyone…or anything…to get His message across. If He can use a burning bush and a donkey, He can use American Idol.

    I think it’s wonderful that the name of Jesus is being spoken/sung on the show. And ya know, I just thought of this, kudos to the producers, etc…for not bowing down and refusing to allow the name of Jesus on the show. I’m sure it took some guts to allow Dolly to sing her song…and to choose Shout to the Lord for the final 8.
    Kudos to them.
    Yay to God!

    As always, thanks for reading and commenting!


  8. Compassion dave April 11, 2008

    I am kinda pleased that the media ‘might’ be catering to their Christian viewers. I hope and pray the body of Christ picks up on it and reacts accordingly. The Bible is chock-full of examples of the Lord using the ungodly to bless the unblessed–the good Samaritan (for example) was not a Christian.

  9. Tim Glenn April 11, 2008

    Hi Kelly!

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I must admit, as a Christian music artist, I’m an avid watcher of American idol. I’m with you. I think it’s fantastic that worship music was shared with the millions of viewers. Who knew American Idol would be an evanglical tool!!

    God bless!


  10. Kelly April 11, 2008

    I follow American Idol simply because there is not much else on tv at night! I was pleastly surprised at the songs that have been performed over the last few weeks. When Dolly performed her new song, I was shocked that Idol allowed her to perform that, but then I assumed that she’s Dolly Parton and can do whatever she wants to! When the performers sang the additional songs in the follow up shows I was really happy to see the producers using the christian faith in asking people to open their hearts and their wallets to help the cause. While their motives may not have been 100% pure, I think its fantastic that this type of music was performed for such a HUGE audience!

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