How Winning American Idol is Like Christianity

20 Sep

There are two kinds of people in churches. On the outside, it’s very hard, almost impossible, to tell the difference between the two. On the inside, however, the first person believes that going to church makes him a Christian. The second goes to church because he already is a Christian. Therefore, one lives life out of fear; the other, out of joy…

Rankin Wilbourne illustrates this in his excellent book, Union With Christ:

“American Idol was one of the most popular television shows of all time, and for the contestant, one of the most nerve jangling. A single missed note could cost you the competition, but winning could change the course of your life. At the end of each season, when the competition was over and the winner had been crowned, she took up the microphone and sang one more time. But she was no longer singing to win; she was singing because she had won. It was no longer a contest. She had nothing more to prove or earn. Instead, the chosen and honored performer could sing with all her heart, delighting in her gifts for the benefit of others. That’s the freedom from anxiety the gospel gives. You have already been chosen and crowned in Christ, so now you can do what you do with all your energy, delighting in whatever gifts God has given you for the benefit of serving others.”




Posted by on September 20, 2017 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “How Winning American Idol is Like Christianity

  1. Shari Kemink

    September 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    This is just what I needed to hear. I want “to sing with all my heart, and delight in the gifts God has given.” It is to easy to listen to the negative thoughts about ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roger Knowlton

      September 23, 2017 at 9:37 am

      Thanks Shari! Yep! We don’t sing to win; we sing because we’ve won! So…keep singing!


  2. peter meyer

    October 1, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Hmm. Not sure if I agree with your take on this. Yes there are many fearful people in church but instead of treating them as a seperate class of people, as you seem to, you could be obeying Jesus by loving and praying for them. Fearful people obviously have a special burden. Perhaps we could call it a lower level of spiritual maturity. I believe the bible refers to it as a stumbling block. Extra prayer from the more mature seekers is demanded and required by our Lord Jesus.


    • Roger Knowlton

      October 1, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Thanks for the thoughts Peter. I think I get what you’re saying. I’m not referring to people who are simply fearful over various aspects of life. I sure have a dose of that myself. Instead, I’m referring to people who are fearful (ultimately of Judgment) because they think their acceptance by God depends on their own performance. Martin Luther had such a fear until he discovered the gospel, that is a righteousness from God that was a gift and therefore did not depend on his own performance. (Romans 3:21-31) Religion, as Tim Keller says, is the formula, I obey and therefore I am accepted. But true Christianity is, I am accepted, and therefore I obey. Religion breeds people who are fearful…or proud. True Christianity breeds people who are humble and confident.



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