Shout to the Whales!

We interrupt the regular stream of posts about my recovery from surgery for a brief social commentary.

Literary genre:  RANT

I tuned in tonight to watch the last half hour of American Idol’s charity program, “Idol Gives Back,” and got to watch the stars sing and dance and strum their guitars for poor people around the globe.  I’m fine with all that.  I have no problem with that.  Okay, maybe it was a bit sappy, but it’s sap for a good cause.

My problem was the last song. Ryan Seacrest announced that the contestants would end the show singing one of my favorite modern worship songs “Shout to the Lord.”  Honestly, I couldn’t believe that I was hearing him right, because it’s a praise song to Jesus.  And, this is mainstream America we’re talking about.  I’d more expect a song called “Shout to the Poor” or “Shout to the Whales.”

But, they cleared up the problem with the first few notes.  They only changed one key word in the song to make it more palatable:  Jesus.   Instead of “My Jesus, my savior” we got “My shepherd, my savior.” 

You might be thinking, “Amy, get your undies out of a bunch. It’s the same thing.” 

No, it’s not! 

It’s the only freaking word they changed in the entire song, and I listened carefully to see if there were others.  The only change was the most important word in there!

Here’s the lyrics to the song, as Darlene Zschech wrote it.

My Jesus, My Savior
Lord there is none like You
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love
My Comfort, My Shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord, all the earth
Let us sing. Power and majesty, praise to the King.
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name
I sing for joy at the work of Your hands
Forever I’ll love you, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in YOU!

(repeat, ad nauseum, with increasing fervor, and if you’re charismatic, sing the last refrain slower, without backup music).

Now, just get rid of the reference to Jesus, and you have their version. 

Let me just clear something up for the people who are still thinking this isn’t a big deal.  Jesus IS the deal.  Without that name in there, it doesn’t make one bit of sense. There’s NO other name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  Nobody comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6). 

Without that name, people merely insert their own functional savior. And I promise you, if it isn’t Jesus, it isn’t going to have mountains bowing down.  The seas won’t roar for your favorite savior because they don’t recognize anybody but Jesus as their maker, redeemer, and king.

Note to the American Idol producers:  Don’t mess with my favorite praise songs.  But more importantly, don’t mess with Jesus.  He’s got mountains and oceans at his command.  You should know. You heard the song.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. :o)

    This Rant is completely acceptable!
    You are exactly right.
    Like when ppl talk about God, but forget to mention Jesus. The good news (gospel) is that we are reconciled with God because of Jesus.

  2. Amen. It is amazing how the wonderful powerful name of Jesus strikes fear in the heart of unbelievers and
    hope and love in the heart of believers.

  3. Thanks guys for the comments. I admit that I got a bit riled up when I heard that, and this seemed like a good place to vent about it.

    Dan claims that the Idol producers must read my blog because tonight, when they aired their results show, they re-preformed the song with one important change: they put Jesus back in his rightful place. I’m a little skeptical that it was my blog that got the reaction (there’s been a general buzz about this in the blogosphere), but for whatever reason it happened, I’m glad that Jesus is back in there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NQu4PhhmEI

    Of note is Pastor Josh Harris’ post, where he thinks through some of the reasons why the producers might have made this decision: http://www.joshharris.com/2008/04/american_idol_and_shout_to_the_1.php

  4. May your tribe increase Amy: Speak up, write up, and stand up for THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES!

  5. Thanks Jill. Another attempt to be bold and take risks for Christ, my continuing resolution for this year.

    Here’s another update on the omitted Jesus lyric, which is still making headlines. Hillsong didn’t approve the Jesus name deletion, which is nice to hear. http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/356024.aspx

  6. Amy,
    I just read this and I am so glad that you ranted! AMEN! I believe the world would be a better place if more of us ranted in this regard!!
    Keep it up Amy!!! I agree with Dan, they must read your blog! =)

    AL: Thanks Kate!


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