Allegheny Valley Church Of God
Praise The "Oh"
It's Nov. 27, 2013. Upon opening my Yahoo homepage I was greeted with the headline: "Viewers outraged over 'Voice' change." You can watch the video here.
I have never watched this TV show. I see the advertisements for it while watching the news or Jeopardy, but have never been interested in "talent" shows. American Idol, America's Got Talent, Dancing With The Stars, etc. etc. not my cup of tea. The last time I watched a talent show was quite some time ago. I can remember being a little kid and watching "Ted Mack's Amateur Hour" with my grandparents. Then it was black and white with little kids playing accordions, tap dancers, wannabe stars and the occasional future star like Pat Boone, Irene Cara, Gladys Knight and many others who went on to fame and fortune in show biz. No coaches, no sarcastic judges, just a phone number and address for the public to vote on their favorites. (For those too young to remember, there was no internet or texting, just one phone with a dial per house hard wired into the wall in a central place. You actually had to walk to answer it. How did we survive?)
In this installment of "Voice" it was decided that the final 8 contestants would sing something spiritual. The choice was the old hymn "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." The chorus goes like this:
Will the circle be unbroken,
By and by, Lord, by and by.
There's a better home a-waitin'
In the sky, Lord, in the sky.
It seems however that the producers of the show saw fit to make a slight change in the lyric. Not wanting to be offensive or betray any prejudice, they decided to take out the word "Lord" and replace it with the ever-so politically correct word, "Oh." This, of course, is keeping in line with the current administration's practice of removing any mention of deity in public address, so, being probably good liberals, they didn't want to defy der Kommisar and rock the boat by suggesting there might be a higher power to whom we will have to answer someday.
There was quite a negative reaction. Many tweeted that they would never watch the show again. I always find it remarkable that some folks think that really means anything. I can remember several years ago when Martin Scorcese made a movie called "The Last Temptation Of Christ." It was based on some novel written by a new-ager that claimed that Jesus was just an ordinary guy who somehow acquired the Christ spirit, blah blah blah. Just a lot of gnostic drivel. That caused quite an uproar. There was a fellow I worked with who was all upset. I said to him, "You use his name as a swear word then are upset when someone else does the same." He stopped talking.
If a person were of the sort who would be offended at the omission of the name of God, why would they watch this program in the first place? It is the ultimate expression of the exaltation of flesh. Just look at the judges:
CeeLo Green is a rapper and soul singer who is best known for his smash hit, "Forget You." Well, that's not how it was originally. They had to change the first word in the title for radio play because the original was another word that begins with "f" that will not be mentioned here. What a godly man!
Adam Levine is a pop singer and frontman for a group called Maroon 5. Mr. Levine was voted "The sexiest man" by some magazine. He's got that going for him. He is also a vocal advocate of gay marriage.
Blake Shelton is a country and western singer. Seems to be the most down-to-earth one of the bunch, but just another "cry in your beer" type of c&w artist. If you watch the video and try to readhis lips it almost looks like he said the word "Lord." Hope he doesn't lose his job over that.
Christina Aguilera is just another music video porn star.
The bottom line is why would anyone who really loves Jesus want to watch this garbage? Is that offensive to you Christian? Think that's just my opinion? Maybe I'm being judgmental, eh? Well, if you would read your Bible you would find out that friendship with the world in enmity with God. (James 4:4)
Are you mad at me for speaking the truth? Am I become your enemy for telling you the truth? My friend, I am trying to encourage you to make a stand for your faith, if you have any. There is a battle that rages within the heart of the believer. We have the Holy Spirit that dwells within us and we have our flesh which tries to distract us from following Christ. It's up to us to yield to the Spirit that we might not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Galatians 5) There is not one spiritually good thing in pop culture, even if it wears a veneer of goodness. Jesus said we need to pick up our cross and follow him. The cross wasn't pleasant or pleasing to the flesh. If you're a believer in Jesus and have put your faith in him and what he did on Calvary to save your soul then please take heed, not to my words, but to the words of Christ:
Matthew 16:24-26 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
I know the allure of the world is powerful. These shows are full of lights and music and people who do have a lot of talent and ability. The entertainment industry has learned how to attract and captivate the human psyche. The first professional musician was not a descendant of the holy line but a descendant of Cain. (Gen. 4:21). Satan himself was the original worship leader in heaven, but fell when sin was found in him.
Should we shun all forms of entertainment? If I told you I never watched TV I'd be a liar. But I believe we should ask the Spirit to tell us what's right to watch and what isn't. I've asked Him about what music I should listen to and play. God will be glad to give us His opinion of the stuff we put in our eyes and ears.
I was saved when I was about 30, so I have almost 30 years of programming in me that only the Holy Spirit can un-do. Every time I hear one of my old favorite songs in a restaurant or store I find myself drifting back to what I used to be. (You know you're getting old when you hear music your parent's used to hate in the Eat 'N Park). I start praying and asking God for strength, start shaking it off. I could get back into playing the music I used to play, it's very tempting, but I would be betraying the trust God put in me when He called me to serve him.
What is your choice? Follow him or not, it's your decision. If you're reading this and you do not profess faith in Jesus I encourage you to consider the claims of Christianity. Jesus Christ, completely God and completely man, died for your sin, was buried and was raised on the third day and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father praying for those who are his. He was the sinless lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. All this other stuff will pass away but His Word will never pass away.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.