American Idols

by Rev. Kim Dorr :: Early in my faith life a friend told me, “If there is anything that God is committed to, it’s kicking over idols.” Of course, God’s commitment is to making sure his children don’t walk in darkness, so kicking over idols is part of that Fatherly care.

Idols don’t tend to fair to well in the presence of God. When the ark of the covenant was captured by the Philistines and placed in the Temple of Dagon (read 1 Samuel 5), the Spirit of the Lord kept knocking the idol over, finally resulting in the head and hands of the figure of Dagon being broken off. The Philistines didn’t recognize that their “god” was nothing, a sham, in the presence of Yahweh, they just sent the ark back to the Israelites and, I guess, put the headless, handless figure of Dagon back in its place and returned to their darkness.

Today, people continue to lather themselves into a tizzy over American Idol. Will Kara DioGuardi stand up to Simon? Will Paula say or do something outlandish? Will adoring fans impact the outcome with their passion? And, of course, who’s the new superstar? Getting onto the show has become an all-consuming quest for some. Recovering from the scars of being on the show has been a healing process for others.

Idols are nothing new to Hollywood. There’s always another young face waiting in the wings, waiting for the limelight. Many just want to do the work, to be a great actor or singer or sports hero. They don’t set out to become “idols”. Idolatry is something that happens in the chemistry between “larger than life” and “regular” folks. Like alchemy, idolatry seems to change the elements. Well-intentioned entertainment can become an addiction. Hope-filled performers can become stars. People get lost and lives can get broken.

Maybe the best thing we can do as this new season of American Idol gets rolling is to pray for its participants, pray that they won’t become idols, something that while larger than life are somehow less than human. Pray that they enjoy their talent and recognize their ability therein to give glory to their Creator and not hold onto praise for themselves. Pray for their protection and well-being. Pray that they know their God of grace and know that we can all thank God for His commitment to kicking over idols.