The Gospel on National Television? Not Quite.

Last Friday night (Good Friday) I was winding down, reading a book, and turned the TV on. Flipping through the channels I happened upon a tribute concert to women in Country music. I saw Vince Gil sing Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” and couldn’t help but think of “Cletus, Take the Reel.”

“Hokey,” I thought, but interesting. People were raising their hands like at a worship service. “Are they really worshipping Jesus?! Maybe…”

Then Carrie Underwood came out and began to sing the hymn, “How Great Thou Art.” I put my book down. “Was this happening? Was Jesus going to be worshipped in front of all these entertainment icons and millions of viewers?!!”

More people were lifting their hands. It was emotional. I have to confess, it was a moving rendition.

She sang the first verse about God’s greatness in creation – “I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed.”

Then there was an extended guitar solo by Vince Gil.

Then Underwood brought the house down with the last verse about the greatness of Christ’s return to “take me home.”

Many people will no doubt think this was a great thing. Maybe it is. I’m not so sure. No doubt God in Christ was worshipped by some and God can use this to stir others, but I couldn’t help but think of the necessity of the verse that was left out for people to be reconciled to the great Creator God and have joy fill their souls when Jesus comes again.

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing, sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin.

I’m not sure what went into that decision. Was it Underwood’s choice (I Googled and saw that she’s sung it elsewhere with the missing verse included)? Was it the advertisers? The network? Who knows? But the result is that the gospel was completely missing.”

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