Wednesday, May 24, 2006

American Idol

There is no Adult Bible Study tonight due to the parking lot reconstruction, therefore I have a hole in my schedule where I would usually be studying for the message. What could I do with those hours?

I could write an article on a really deep theological issue such as 'The Five Points of Calvinism" or "The Mystery of the Trinity. " Or I could dig really deep and write about... American Idol.

I am a little embarrassed to admit it, but I've watched the show this year. I didn't see the previous seasons, although I heard a great deal about them. Several times someone from Alabama has been in the finals and it was always a big deal when I lived there.

This year, we decided to watch as a family. As it turns out, for the most part, it is a fairly wholesome show. It probably helps that I can't understand what words they are singing half the time, and I can't understand what the words mean the other half the time. (What does 'He shall be levon' mean anyway?)

I don't really have a problem with the show. My problem lies with the show title and the poor job I've done talking to my kids about it.

Last night this was brought home when I heard one of my daughters say, "Who's Your Idol" (a phrase they use often on the show).

Who's Your Idol?

If you could rank sins from bad to worse, it is clear with just a cursory glance at the Bible, and especially the Old Testament, that nothing beats idolatry. In fact, Who's Your Idol was a game the Israelites played time and again, and each time God brought swift judgment and devastating calamity on those who played.

I am not suggesting that watching the "American Idol" television show is idolatry. It's just a show. But I am saying that we have become way too casual about idols, idol worship, and idolatry.

When four-year-olds are asking, 'Who's Your Idol,' we have a problem!

Biblically speaking, an Idol is...
  • Anything we use to represent God.
  • Anything we trust in more than God.
  • Anything we love more than God.
  • Anything we celebrate more than God.

With that definition, we can see that there are many, many American Idols!

So, what's my point?

Perhaps it would be wise for us to stop and compare the love, devotion, worship we direct toward God with the love, devotion, and worship we direct toward other things in our lives (whether they be pop singers, or jobs, or money, or ...)

Perhaps it would be wise to talk to our children about what an idol really is, and take the opportunity to ask them what the most important thing in their life is.

Perhaps it would be wise not to be so casual with the phrase, 'Who's Your Idol.' I know that sounds legalistic, but let me put it this way... If the word 'idol' refers to the 'god' in your life (as it does in the Bible), then we're really saying, "Who's Your God?" Would you, in a million years, ever say about a two bit pop singer, "He/She Is My God!" No? Then let us choose our words wisely.

What do you think?

Pastor Noel Dear