Jesus has left the building

April 14, 2008 at 10:42 am | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
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I don’t watch American Idol (gasp!!). I may be one of the eight or so people that don’t. I don’t have any desire to watch it. But I do hear about what happens on the show from time to time. What they did last week was blasphemous but typical of much of the programming that’s on TV today.

Last week was the “Idol gives back” week. They had all of their events and special guests to help them raise money for those in need (some of the money goes to support abortion too…). The theme for the week was “inspiration” and the remaining idols were to pick a song that inspires them. Much of the music selected was the “I’m ok, you’re ok, we’re all ok and we feel good” stuff. One idol sang about how we’re all “innocent” (that’s not true according to scripture!). The entire show was spent talking about how we could help those in need and we can lift man out of poverty, with absolutely nothing about God. Then for the big finale, they decided to sing, “Shout to the Lord“. You may be saying, “Well, what’s wrong with that? Aren’t you a Christian? Shouldn’t that be encouraging to you?” Yes. It should be encouraging, but it wasn’t. There was something different about the song than I remember it. They changed some of the lyrics and even removed a few lines. What did they change? Here is the first few lines of “Shout to the Lord” from American Idol:

My shepherd, my savior

Lord there is none like you

All of my days, I want to praise

The wonders of your mighty love

As you read that, if you know the lyrics, you’ll see something is missing. Well, not something, Someone. Here are the original lyrics:

My Jesus, my Savior

Lord there is none like you

All of my days, I want to praise

The wonders of your mighty love

They took Jesus out of the song! Why? Why is it His Name that offends people so much? Now, they did sing it again with the correct lyrics, but this entire scenario got me to thinking. People talk about God all the time, although they rarely mean the God of the Bible. Even among Christians, when God is talked about, it is often not the God of the Bible. It is an image of God that they have created for themselves.

In a way, I’m not surprised that this happened on American Idol. The show has absolutely nothing of Christianity in it. That’s made clear by how the “judges” treat those who sing a song that actually has Christian value. What does surprise me is that in churches across America today, Jesus has left the building. A number of churches (many of them either “seeker sensitive” or “emergent”) are removing the cross from their churches. The reason it’s being removed is that they are concerned that it might offend someone!! That’s what scripture says it’s supposed to do!! The cross is offensive to those that don’t believe! It shows them that they are sinners and that they are responsible for the death of the one truly innocent man. By removing the cross and other things that might be offensive to the non-Christians, you are starting down a slippery slope. Not having a physical cross is debatable, but the physical cross isn’t the only thing that has been removed. I’ve spoken on this before and it continues to grow in popularity in churches across the nation. Pastors and leadership in our churches continue to remove Jesus from every aspect of “church”. They no longer talk about the cross. They’ve stopped talking about sin, judgment, and hell. They have removed the power of God for salvation. They have not just removed the “offensive” cross; they’ve begun to remove everything that MIGHT be offensive to someone. In the end, they have made “church” more of a club or social gathering instead of what it’s supposed to be.

Because they’ve removed the cross, because they’ve stopped talking about sin, judgment, and hell, because they no longer say anything that might offend someone they’ve had to replace it with something else. Without the cross and the truth of eternal damnation, they have had to build a completely different religion based on a “God” that doesn’t exist and preaching a message that lulls people into a false sense of security with nothing but twisted scriptures and platitudes holding their belief system together. This is how the modern gospel started. We rarely hear about the real gospel anymore. Instead, we hear about how God loves us. We hear about how He wants to dote on us and would never harm one of His kids. We hear about how He wants us to “prosper” and bless our socks off. Really? He does? All of this “new” gospel is not new at all. It’s the same thing that Satan’s been using from the beginning to tempt people and lead them away from God. How many poor Christians do you know? How many believers are struggling with finances? Are they all in that position because they don’t have enough faith or because they are “out of God’s will”? Or is there something more to it?

Not only have preachers begun preaching something other than the cross, they’ve mixed the tenets of other religions in with the Christian faith to make a religion suitable for themselves. Some have added things like yoga and Eastern mysticism to their beliefs. They are adding Eastern meditation to their daily routine. This method of meditation causes you to “empty your mind”. That’s not scriptural, but many are doing it. Others have added “New Age” beliefs to Christianity. They are talking about “God-consciousness” or “Christ-consciousness”. They are talking about how we all have “God” in us. How we can achieve “synchronicity” with “God” and be on the same level with “Him”. We have removed the fear of God from our preaching and our way of life. We have moved away from the truth of the Word of God and into a big melting pot of lies, trying to mold a golden calf that we feel comfortable worshipping without any conviction about doing wrong or having our sins weigh on us to the point that we cry out to the true God for forgiveness and repent.

The body of Christ exists ultimately to tell others the truth of what’s to come. We are supposed to be telling others about how Jesus is coming back to judge the world in righteousness and how if they are caught in their sins they will find themselves in hell. We are to tell them how they are storing up the wrath of God for the Day of Judgment and that they will have to stand before Him and give an account for every idle word they’ve spoken (Matt. 12:36). They will have no excuse for their disbelief and will not be able to just “talk to God about it”. By the time they stand before God, it will be too late. We are supposed to be telling them that they are not promised tomorrow and that the only way that they can know they will go to heaven is to recognize that they are a sinner, repent of those sins, and put their complete faith in Jesus Christ.


Sadly, we’re not telling people this. We’re not redeeming our time like we should be. We are spending days and weeks with people, laughing and joking, but we don’t tell them the truth that they need. They could die tomorrow and we would be guilty of comforting someone straight into hell. Their blood will be on our hands. What will you say to God for all the souls that you didn’t tell the truth of the gospel and are now in hell because they died without Christ?

If we are truly Christians, then we will stop trying to build bigger churches, run programs, and spend our time and money entertaining people. If we’re truly Christians, we’ll take that time and money and invest it into the lives of men, women, and children that need the truth of the gospel. We’ll put it into ministries that are helping others instead of doing our own thing. We’ll start to make the impact on their lives that Christ has made on ours. We’ll start being Christians…

Your thoughts?


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  1. I hadn’t realized it. So many Christians are praising their effort. Personally, I don’t watch or follow american idol but it seems we have indeed made it an “Idol”.

  2. It’s not called American “Idol” for nothing! Americans are looking for someone and something to believe in, root for, look up to, etc. This show (and many like it) glorify the talents and efforts of motivated individuals. I noticed that “cbgrace” (comment above) made a similar observation.

    I’m agreeing with your last paragraph when I say, “Being a Christian has nothing to do with going to a church. You don’t become a hamburger when you go to Burger King. Being a Christian is all about following/imitating Jesus, the Christ in Christianity. Take Christ out of Christianity and all you have is another ‘anity,’ a manmade and man-centered organization meant to serve the good of consumers (like a country club provides for the wants/desires of its members.”

    I appreciated your article.

    Blessings and Aloha!


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