Category: American Idol

Christian Praise: Worship Pastors on American Idol

Worship Leader Jim Ranger
Christian Praise: Worship Pastors on American Idol

Well, I don’t know how many of you watch “American Idol”, but I do. Last night there was both a Worship Pastor named Jim Ranger, as well as another church pastor auditioning. I don’t remember anyone of the judges ever saying before that they think that a person’s position in a job qualifies them as talented or not. It’s NOT in the rules for auditioning. Since when did a person’s vocation (or religion) qualify as an excuse to not judge impartially? What happened to Jim Ranger?

The story begins:
Avril Lavigne was a guest on the panel of judges for the evening. Incidentally? She showed up wearing a hoodie with devils horns on the top of the hood.

It was time for a Worship Pastor to take his turn to audition in front of the panel of judges.

As soon as Jim Ranger, the Worship Pastor at a church, was finished singing (And he did do a fantastic job) Simon Cowell, who is always brutally honest, said that he liked the audition and that Jim had an authentic voice.

Next to take her turn to judge was Avril and she piped right up and said rather derogatorily, “You’re married and you have three children and you’re a Pastor? You know, to become a pop star, you know you have to travel and you have to leave everything. It’s difficult out there on the road…But, I do think you have a good voice.”

We can see right away that she is judging him, not on his voice, because she said she thought he had a good voice, but rather she judged him on the fact that he was a Christian Worship Leader.

It bothers me that Avril Lavigne would judge according to his vocation rather than his skill as a singer. The whole point of American Idol is to judge them on their singing skills, not whether they feel they can make it out on the road away from their family. I suppose we will chalk the comment up to her young age and forgive her.

When it finally came time to vote, Simon was first and answered with an enthusiastic “Yes”. Next in line to vote was Avril. She doesn’t even look at Jim but rather looks over at Carla (Judge #3) and says, “I’m sorry, but I have to say no.”

Sadly, Carla picks up on Avril’s negativity and agrees with her comment by saying very doubtingly, “I don’t know how you…um…really can do everything at once if you were to go through with this, how you really can be dedicated to your church.”

What I find strange is why, all of a sudden, are these judges basing the audition upon the person’s vocation rather than their talent?

Jim did finally get the 3 votes he needed to qualify for a golden ticket to go to Hollywood but, a very strange thing happened immediately after that on the show. Simon turns to Avril and says, “I love the fact that we’ve officially got a devil on our show.”

In my opinion, truer words were never said. How apt that it would be this particular night that a devil would condemn a Christian. It kind of gives us something to think about.

Have you noticed that there have been quite a few Christians who have been auditioning for American Idol in the last couple of years. The ones that stand out to me are David Gokey, Kris Allen and this year Tasha Layton and Jim Ranger.

I know there is a lot of talk going around about how Christians should not be going after fame and fortune but, on the other hand I see how churches expect their Christian Worship Leaders to perform their duties getting no recompense for doing it. There are people who say that they should do it for nothing because their reward is in heaven, but even the Levites were set aside to perform the work for God and were paid to do it.

I Chronicles 9:33 says Those who were musicians, heads of Levite families, stayed in the rooms of the temple and were exempt from other duties because they were responsible for the work day and night.

Numbers 18:21 (kjv)

21. And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

1 Corinthians 9:7-14 (NIV)

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? 8. Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 9. For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10. Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12. If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?

But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. 13. Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14. In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

In order to lead in Christian Praise and Worship we as worship leaders should be exempt also from secular jobs in order to spend time in God’s presence. How can we lead others into Christian Praise and Worship if we are not spending time with God in worship daily? I know some people think that to lead in Praise and Worship we just need to gather a couple of songs and sing,but this is not true worship. We are not to be the entertainment section for the church rather we are to be gatekeepers to the Holy of Holies…..okay so I’m going off on a tangent 🙂

I don’t understand how anyone can stand back and say that these people are wrong to try out on American Idol and hope to try to provide for their families. What they know is music, and they are good at it. If we don’t want them going to “the world” to make a living then maybe we better start considering how we are supporting them as a church.

Is it any worse for a Music Pastor to get a job singing non-Christian, secular songs than a Pastor who tries to provide for his family by working in the material world such as banking or politics etc?

I really think that we as Christians should stop judging what other people are doing to make their living and keep an eye on our own lives.

What do you think?

Sharron

You can view the audition here.

(originally posted on 28th January 2010)

Christian Praise: Is God the New Judge on American Idol?

Is God the New Judge?

Is God the New Judge On American Idol?

(2010)

I am not quite sure how any of you feel about this but since this is a Christian Praise Blog I suppose it is a better place than any to discuss the subject of the Christians on American Idol.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, American Idol is a reality Television show which selects a top 24 amongst a large pool of potential participants. These people perform before an audience and then they are voted on via phone or text messages each week and the people with the most votes stay while those with the least votes go home. This continues on until we are down to only 1 which is then declared America’s Idol.

After each performance, the judges give their criticisms, usually very constructively, sometimes not. The Judges this year are Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Ryan Jackson and this year Ellen DeGeneres. We have been told that Simon Cowell will be leaving American Idol at the end of this season and they are looking for a replacement for him. Some people heard a rumour that it would be Howard Stern but Howard Stern told the media that it was just a joke and he had no interest in being a judge for American Idol. This means the spot will be empty and open for next season.

So,Is God going to be the New Judge for American Idol?
Keep reading and let me know what you think.

The contestants are between the ages of 16 and 28. These people come from many walks of life and most of them are not professing Christians, but we are seeing more and more Christians stepping up to the podium and trying to make it as the New American Idol.

I personally don’t have any problem with Christians singing secular songs and if they feel called to go into the secular field of music that is between them and God. I am no mans’ judge.

I must admit that I am not so comfortable with the term “Idol” because being a Christian we have a totally different attitude about idols. I realize that the secular world is using the term loosely for someone who can hopefully lead the top of the charts in singing. The better they sing, the more fans they get and therefore the more Cd’s and mp3 downloads will happen and bingo, they make money!

Is this vanity? Is this really what God wants us to be doing with the talent He has given us? These are just questions we need to ask ourselves, I am not saying they are wrong in doing it I am just questioning whether I would feel comfortable trying out for a job such as this.

You are probably asking yourselves, why is God going to be the Next Judge for American Idol?
I’m glad you asked 🙂

Last night, week 2 of Season 9, we had a few of the “Christians” up and one in particular stuck out big time. It was Jermaine Sellers turn and he didn’t get the most rave review from the Judges Panel. I can’t find his exact words but basically he said that he wasn’t worried because he knows that God is going to make him the Idol. Simon told him he would be surprised if he made it to the next week and Jermaine replied quite emphatically, “I know God” to which Simon replied, “I guess we don’t need to bother with the phone line then. (I wish I could find his exact words, sorry if I am misinterpreting this in some way).

My question then becomes, since when is God the New Judge on American Idol? There are other Christian singers on American Idol and I am sure that they too are hoping and praying for God to make them the next American Idol.

I personally think that this young man has his faith a little confused. There is no where in the Bible that states that God is going to give us everything we want. He is setting himself up for a big fall if he truly believes that God is going to pick him instead of any of the other Christians on the show.

True faith is believing that God is true to His word and that He is in control of our lives, but that does not mean that God is always going to work things out for our favor because we prayed and believed.

Yes, the Bible says that if you pray and believe that you have received it then it is yours, but it may not come around the same way that you expected it to. It’s back to the old story of one man prays for sunshine while the farmer prays for rain. Is God to be blamed for the weather? The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust. Bad things happen to good people! Just because we are Christians we can not expect God to give us everything we think we want.

Maybe God wants to use this man in another ministry, maybe, for reasons unknown to us God doesn’t want him in any ministry. This can only be known in time.

If God were the New Judge on American Idol then wouldn’t it be fair that all of the Christians on American Idol won? People need to get their heads on straight here. If God has given you the talent for singing, Praise God! Use it for His Glory! Don’t get messed up with the things of this world.

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

Believe me, God has better things to do than to sit as the New Judge on American Idol!
photo credit: cousine4everkis via photopin cc]

(Originally Posted on 3rd March 2010 )