Some are calling this an opportunity, others are blasting it... I see this as just one more blurred line between the secular and sacred. In a Christian culture that has seemingly lost the ability to distinguish between "worship" and "entertainment," this seems perfectly appropriate I guess. Aside from the promo intro, this looks like what most evangelical churches are striving for these days.
Apparently, there is some ruckus about this in the blogsphere. I'll confess to being happily ignorant about the whole thing until this morning, when I stumbled across a post over at the ThinkChristian.net blog. I was especially intrigued by this comment from "MCG":
"Philippians 1:15-18: It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 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. If it's good enough for the Apostle Paul, it's good enough for me :)Really? Is singing Shout to the Lord "preaching Christ"? Do the lyrics of the song proclaim the message that Paul is celebrating in Philippians 1? What is "the Gospel" that we're talking about?
[two comments later...]
"I do think that in terms of what matters---the Gospel spread---it is a net benefit that the song was sung on American Idol... Many people who have never heard that song, or at least who have never considered it seriously, were exposed to a powerful declaration of Jesus Christ... The Gospel was, indeed, spread."
You may think I'm being picky - and maybe that's the case here. But it does raise the question I've been wrestling with for some time now. I've been threatening to take it up, and will do so later today or tomorrow.
For now though, I can say one thing about the American Idol thing: We know they aren't worshiping because no one has raised their hands. :-)