Saturday, May 28, 2011

Idols

I cringe every time I see that word - idol.

Though I am passionate about my Jesus and about sharing His Word, sometimes it is really hard to tell the truth only to be ignored or invited to a full-blown, heated debate about how wrong it is for me to say anything negative. But I am willing to be scoffed at for the sake of the LORD. I am aware that whenever hard issues come up, there will be accusations and the word "judging" will most likely be tossed in the mix as well. I have to admit, though, that the whole "judging" thing is overrated and has been overworked and overused.

I want to, first, appeal to you as you read this blog post to not fall into the defensive trap. Can we please all embrace Paul’s attitude of being the “chief sinner” (1 Timothy 1:15) by recognizing that we all should be huddling around the “chair” he vacated at his death? That will make a difference. I am the biggest sinner I know. Sadly, I now sit atop Paul’s Chief Seat! How about you? Do you really believe you sit with me? Your humility will affect how you respond to this post.

Season 10 of American Idol just ended. With all the hype, I'm sure the whole world knows who won. Scotty McCreery; a young country singer. I must say that it is sad to see so many young people full of talent waste it on singing songs about drinking, sexual escapades, and broken relationships. My goodness, why not sing about Jesus? There's nothing greater to sing about! You can sing about love...but there's no greater love than the love of God. You can sing about passion, but there's no greater passion than the passion Jesus Christ has for the souls of the world. I'm all for "God and Country" but country music isn't all about "God and Country" anymore. Most often than not, it's about touchy-touchy, who-left-who and what kind of alcohol you're going to drown yourself in. Not exactly a "David song"....

Psalm 34:1
"I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."


Psalm 35:28
"And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long."


Psalm 45:17
"I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever."

Psalm 57:9
"I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations."



Now, I was brought up around music. I LOVE music! And if Satan is going to tempt me with anything, it's going to be music. Alcohol and drugs were never the slightest temptation to me growing up. Sexual promiscuity wasn't a huge temptation as long as I kept my eyes focused. Violence was never an issue. Foul language, not an option. But music? Oh, that was (and still is) my biggest struggle. So please don't think I am sitting on top of a self-made throne. I am down at the bottom with everyone else. Surprisingly, though, watching "American Idol" hasn't been that big of a deal to me.

My husband and I have a pet peeve about the show. First of all, it is prohibited to sing Christian music on that show. That's a fact. It isn't welcomed. Hmm... I wonder why that is. Secondly, the girls act like pin-up dolls with seductive clothing and actions. Thirdly, the songs sang often have ungodly messages. And finally, our biggest pet peeve - the literal "idol worship." The crowd goes crazy; the boys giving cat calls and the girls reaching to touch the hand of some male singer. And the title itself sends the message loud and clear - "America! Here is your IDOL!" Have we become so lax that the suggestion of "idol-ship" is okay? Have we become so wrapped up in our culture that we have allowed the world to desensitize us? Far too many have said, "It's just a word! It's no big deal!" Is it? Is it really?

Have you watched a rock or country concert? Do you see the way the fans behave? Girls tearing off their clothes and tossing them on stage. Fans holding up signs with plenty of suggestive phrases. Fans hurting others to touch the performers on stage. Screaming....crying....reaching....fainting. I may be wrong, but it LOOKS like worship. And, of course, we know that anything put before the Lord is an idol.

All throughout the Old Testament, Israel (the chosen people of God) seemed to make the same mistake over and over again. They kept serving the gods of their enemies. They would make thunderous claims about worshipping ONLY the Lord God (read Joshua 14-15) and then become lazy. Eventually, you would find them tolerating the enemy instead of driving them out. Then they would be "hanging out" with them. THEN - horror of horrors - they would be worshipping the same gods as their enemies! They would build up idols and sacrifice to them. They would turn their backs of God and just "have innocent fun" with the pagan nations around them.

2 Kings 17:12
"For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing."


Psalm 106:36
"And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them."


...want to know something? We do the very same thing.

How? Many times in Scripture, what the Israelites do physically, WE do spiritually. In this case, the Israelites (God's people, mind you), forsook God and literally bowed down to other gods. They didn't drive out the Ammorites and Moabites (and the other "-ites") and, soon, began acting just like them. Loving what they loved. Serving what they served. Well, we (the Church, the Bride of Christ, HIS people) do the same thing. We forsake God when we care more about what the world thinks of us than what He thinks or when we care more about what "they" say than what He says. We forsake Him when we spend more time on Twitter or Facebook or watching "American Idol" than we do praying to Him or reading His Word. And idol worship? Yes, we do that too. No, we don't literally bow down to a god of stone, but we definitely bow down to the gods of money, people, fame, and.....get ready....self. That is idol worship. We refuse to drive out sin completely, hanging on to some of the "fun and harmless" stuff. In reality, we are no different than the Israelites. In fact, I personally think we are all worse. In the Old Testament, God's Spirit would come and go. Now, if we are in Christ, HE lives IN us! We are HIS temple, HIS dwelling place.

Do I think watching "American Idol" is sinful? Oh no. However, I think we ought always to be very careful about what we watch and what we promote and what we stamp our approval on. Many have told me that I should go and audition for "American Idol."  I do take that as a great compliment, but I will never do it. Why? I don't want bright lights and fame. I don't want the temptations and the snare that can (and most likely will) easily come from it. But most of all, I do not want to be looked at as an idol of any kind. Call it crazy. Call it overreacting. Call it what you will. But I won't have it. No form of "idol-ship" will I seek out, even if it appears harmless.

1 Corinthians 10:14
"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."

I don't blog to ruffle feathers (unless they are the devil's), but how I wish God's people would take a close and guarded look at what they love and defend. Many will smile and nod when you speak of God's abundant grace and unconditional love and redemption, but when you speak truthfully and firmly about a touchy subject or small sin they don't want to give up, they yank out their swords and are ready to defend their "idol." Let it not be so!

I, for one, want to be more passionate about Christ, who is the ONLY God and "idol" that we, as His followers, should have.

2 Corinthians 6:16
"And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."


1 John 5:21
"Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."




3 comments:

Kelli Stuart said...

I don't watch American Idol - just not my thing - so I can't really contribute to the conversation, but for some reason the title has always bothered me. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

Kristen Elizabeth Lee said...

Exactly! The title just....makes me cringe.

Chris said...

While I completely agree on some things, especially the title "idol", and disagree on others I think the blog was good. Good job Kristen.

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