Friday, July 17, 2009

Simon Cowell, Prophet?

The word prophet always brings to my mind the image of Moses on the mountain covered by dark clouds, the light from idol fires burning below as he emerges from the mist with his tablets in hand. The scene is dramatic one, no question about it. The biblical prophets always came to show the Israelites God’s will and plan, their messages divinely inspired words to lead the Hebrews back to God and prepare the way for the coming of Christ.

But I have always loved Moses for his question to God before all that drama. Before they even get out of Egypt he asks: “And by the way, Who do I tell them You Are?” God’s answer in so many ways was an essential piece of knowledge that humanity needed before Moses’ big moment on Mt. Sinai. God’s answer tells us not His will or plan for humanity, but something about who He is. “I am Who am.” His answer to Moses is not just a name never heard before, it is the key to the authority for the Law that will follow in the Exodus.

That God is the source of all rights, all being, all every dog gone good thing out there seems to have been all but forgotten. Our Government is the source of Rights, Science the Source of Being, and Individual Pursuit of Happiness the source of every dog gone good thing there is out there. It seems we need a modern prophet, not to show us God’s will, but to remind us Who God is.

Could that modern prophet be Simon Cowell, the angry American Idol Judge? I will not go so far as to say ol’ Simon is divinely inspired, but I do think he has served humanity by helping us to relearn something about God.

The road to Idol has single handedly made an enormous joke out of the relative principal "I think therefore I am." Whether you find the scenes uproariously funny or have a sinking feeling out of pity for the delusional idiot, you do know he is an idiot. We have all learned on Idol that our Kindergarten Teacher was a liar: You can not be anything you want to be. Thinking or hoping you are a good singer does NOT make it so. And Thank God we don’t have to make an ass of ourselves in public to learn this lesson. We can sit back and watch others learn it for us.

And what are we learning:

In a world where there are few standards, American Idol has taught an entire generation of viewers that objective standards still exist. How incredibly ironic it is through music, and pop rock music at that. Simon in his no nonsense, honest criticism helps us to see that there are all sorts out there: The incredibly nice and gracious, but just plain awful singer; the nasty egomaniac, really awful singer who refuses to accept the fact that he stinks gracefully; the hard worker giving it 100% who is better than average but just doesn’t quite have the natural talent needed to compete; and the group that eventually makes it to the finals: Those with natural talent, passion and the desire to work hard.

We know that the winner will be a somewhat relative choice. When it has been narrowed down to the finalist, personal preference becomes the standard. But all the shows from the road teach us there is an objective standard for a “good singer.” Moral relativism has a reputation for being a slippery slope, but be careful. Objectives can be just as slippery. If we can accept that a hope and belief simply can not make something true, what else might we begin to ponder? And where exactly does that natural talent come from. It is clear that it is not a mere result of hard work. It is not a huge leap from Natural Talent to the term God Given.

Moral relativism seeks to destroy standards and God. I am not sure which is the primary goal, but it is the chicken/egg scenario: If God exists, then there must be objective standards AND if there are objective standards, they must come from somewhere, or Someone. In short: Objective Standards will eventually lead us back to God as the source. Relativists know this, but so do I.

So thank you Simon Cowell. Thank you for reminding us that there are objective standards. Thank you for teaching us that our beliefs do not make things true. Thank you for being the voice from the Desert or the Mountain leading us back to God.

And just think, every time we grab our ears and close our eyes at the feeble attempts of the poor idiots trying to achieve that objective standard, we are awfully close to the purpose and posture of prayer.

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