Image-bearers or beasts?
Clark Beckham. If you don’t know the name already…you likely will. He should have won it, if you ask me, but came in second place on American Idol Wednesday night. This young man has heart and soul, and a beautiful voice to express them.
He also has a purity and innocence about him, which I find very attractive. But judging from a good deal of what was offered as entertainment at the finale, it’s not what the producers believe most people find attractive. Gyrating dancing girls…Jennifer Lopez in her customary barely there outfits singing sexually saturated songs in a super-sexually suggestive way…Ricky Martin. Poor Clark had to bounce around with him and his entourage singing “She Bangs.”
I don’t know that anyone really cares what I think about sex in the entertainment industry, but can I tell you something? As troubled as I get by the “in your face” sexuality that passes for music these days, I am equally moved to great joy when an artist unabashedly uses his gifts to glorify God. Just a glimpse of this young man Clark Beckham (he’s gonna’ be huge someday, I’m telling you) using his considerable talent in passionate but pure praise and worship was almost inexpressibly exhilarating for me. It’s a true “soul sensation” that I think only a believer can understand. A spiritual experience completely un-self-initiated that feels so right and good and powerful…and connected. When I witness anyone musically offering sincere and humble praise to God, my heart sings with him and I feel like we are one with each other and with our Lord. And when that one is worshiping in front of millions of people, my heart is lifted up with a joy unspeakable for the honor and glory that our almighty, all-worthy God is receiving in the sight and hearing of so many.
Music is a gift from God. There’s something beautifully mysterious and sacred about the way music can stir the soul to feel all kinds of things. Can we really explain its ethereal qualities from a purely naturalistic worldview? And if music is divinely designed, what an affront it must be to a holy God when we use it to sing about and stimulate unholy passions and lusts.
But what a powerful tool for our good and his glory when we employ it according to his will. Not that every composition has to be a hymn. But no recording or performance should celebrate, instigate, or demonstrate behaviors that oppose his goodness and denigrate his image. And we are his image. We are much more than beasts in heat, yet that is pretty much how many popular recording artists portray themselves. And us, if we’re buying what they’re selling.
J-Lo is beautiful and seems like a very nice person. But watching her perform makes me feel dirty. Clark Beckham, on the other hand, lifts me out of the muck and mire to a place of goodness and real love. To where I am beholding the face of my Savior, and feeling washed and clean.
I did not watch Idol, but so agree with your take on music.
I appreciate that you do, Peggy. 🙂
I so agree with your commentary ,. It’s as if you took the very words I’ve been wanting so much to say right out of my thoughts and explained that whole debacle we as Christians were forced to watch . Yet , some of my friends on Facebook ( who are Christian’s were praising that finale as one of American Idol’s best endings since the show began .. I was in complete confusion .. Asking myself , did we all just watch the same show?? I thought it was the worst ever .. I go back and reference something that Keith Urban kept trying to get Cark to do when playing the guitar . Holding down in a sexual way .. That had to be the worst and most ridiculous critique ever .. I knew Keith Urban when he was just climbing and scratching his way to the top.. At one time I was an event coodinator and I booked Keith several times , even encouraging others in my profession to do so as well.. Some of the things I said about him was how humble he was and so kind and considerate.. very genuine, extremely talented. And the list goes on and on .. As a buyer of entertainment I can assure you that I never ever for one moment thought of buying Keith’s talent because of where and how he held his guitar .. I thought that had to be ridiculous coming from the Keith Urban I once knew whose mother traveled with him selling his merchandise., T-shirts , hats , album Etc .. Needless to say I was most disappointed in Keith .. He’s had tremendous success and I would hope it had more to do with his singing and musical talents .. than where he held his guitar . Then to top it off I noticed a couple of times that when Nick played guitar he wasn’t holding his guitar as Keith kept instructing Clark to do.. I told my husband toward the end of the show after the set up they gave to Clark Beckham , if things didn’t change ., I just couldn’t see this show lasting much longer than another couple of years at the most ., I also put that in writing to a friend .. I still think Clark won .. I’m not even certain that the voting process is even done fairly .. Dare I say that they might not really count our votes .. I think it’s quiet possible.. Just way to many truly talented young kids are left by the wayside., I can’t say any of this as a fact , it’s just a hunch ., I think the show kept believing that we couldn’t see how the judges were playing this show and playing the viewers as well.. I could say so much more but I think you surely get the big picture from your overall view . Needless to say .. Using a phrase from Ryan Seacreast (who by the way produces such trash as Keeping Up With Kardashians ) Seacreast OUT!!! I won’t be watching next year nor will I ever care that I missed the final season .. Because I’m sure it will only end up trying to break another young persons dreams .. Who really, really does have God first in his life .. Who should be what our Anerican Idol should be .. What a great represitive of what a true American Idol should be .. I do believe God has much bigger and better things in store for Clark Beckham.. Please continue writing stories such as this .. We need to read more of Christian’s with like minds !!! Thank you ., such a great article !!! Spot on!!
Thank you for reading and commenting, Cheryl. I have the same suspicions about how the winners are selected. It is all about entertainment, after all, not so much promoting the best talent. And I like Keith Urban and have wondered if he might be a Christian. But I agree that not everything he says and does would support that.
I’ll watch the final season because most of the time it’s not sexually-charged. And I’m looking forward to seeing what God will do with Clark. It may be better for his career, and his testimony, that he didn’t win and have to be under contract to people who don’t support his faith.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to my very long comment.. I certainly agree with you as I mentioned in my comment .. I hope to read more of your columns .. We need more journalists and writers such as yourself!!
LikeLiked by 1 person
You have expressed what many of us felt. American Idol used to not be like this at all. This show is supposed to be a family oriented show because parents and their children watch it together. To be honest, Clark was the only reason I watched American Idol this year, and I know other people who said the very same thing. He is just an extremely multitalented young man, and anyone who can’t see how much heart and soul he has when he sings is just blind. It just comes natural to him, and not everyone has this gift. I just loved every performance!
Thanks for your comments, jp. I also was so impressed with Clark from the start. And when I saw that clip of him singing about the Lord, I praised God for him. Let’s pray that fame won’t ruin him and his testimony. He’s so young…
LikeLiked by 1 person
In The Beginning: On this world, there was only the music of the spheres. Lucifer then abrogated his Administrators oath and obligation to guide human mortals. To make a superman devoid of God, in a rebellion he fomented. Jesus, as his divine CEO would not arrive until 200,000 later, a celestial flash of time, to retrieve the devil. Upon his arrival here, what did the master hear? Man’s deafness to the Infinite Spirit, then disorder as the noise of chaos. Man brought his voice to praise himself and discovered how much he enjoyed show biz. Heaven, man said, can wait. Sex was never the problem. Greed to succeed without God’s will directing us is the problem.
Clark: His juice is personal and effective. I’ll affirm the Daughter of the Infinite Spirit, the Pentecostal-day gift to humanity, does indeed project her sound outward towards the Spheres, and back to man’s ears. Even the deaf can hear her.
Now, sex is not another subject; it’s connected to music at the brain stem and at the hip. Good sex is 85% mental, and the hipster’s of every generation bring smiles with tingles to every big boy and girl. So, let’s not toss out the Rhythm in Blues and the electric in Rock and Rolling!
If you desire tenderness occupy our youth at the age of 22, be advised; tenderness is never found as the age of innocence or ignorance.
What do 2000 screaming adolescent girls feel in common about beautiful young men? Rather rhetorical is it not? Don’t deny the need for sex, it is the greater pleasure of the too often painful human physical condition. It cannot be civilized nor do we wish that. One hopes the higher spirit can guide the human to indulge sexually without being trampled in or out of bed. (Besides, there is the joy of parenthood, same process at work if you remember.)
What did you think about at the age of 22, talk about and wish for? When you found your lovers, didn’t those encounters remain today some of our best memories?
Artistic integrity should not be confused with social integrity. As the artist holds fast to the roots of creative insight, he reaches down into the soil of soul first, where all things first begin to grow.