Living With The Ear In An American Idol World

By April Lorier

It is both a blessing and a curse for the musician who has "the ear". It's a rarity, and any musician who has "the ear" brags about it ad nauseam. It's like having a pitch pipe built into his ear which enables him to hum, at random, any note perfectly on pitch. All of the great composers of our history had it, and it made their tasks much simpler. Barbara Streisand and Celine Dion both have "perfect pitch", which makes them intolerant of those who do not have it (and difficult to work with).

The worst thing you could do to a musician with perfect pitch is to make them sit through the qualifying weeks of "American Idol". I cannot stand hearing the wanna-be-singers ruining songs I have known and loved for decades! My gift of perfect pitch turns into a curse as I violently react to these contestants! It can be a curse to have "the ear".

As I listen to the rhetoric during this campaign season, there are candidates who say all the right things, but they are not "on pitch". Something is off and I can hear it. And when my children, old as they are, try to pull the wool over Mama's eyes with parsed words including just enough truth to technically not be a lie, or they deliberately eliminate all of the story, "the ear" hears the disparity. (They still haven't figured out how I usually know they're not being totally truthful!)
It's the same for a Christian who, through years of spiritual growth combined with the walking-out of Christian Faith, hears professing Christians quote passages from the Bible in order to make their own points. Something in my well-trained spiritual ear doesn't ring true. It's "off pitch". Sometimes it takes a while to figure out exactly what's wrong, and other times it just hits me like a pie in the face.

I think of "that time" spoken of in 2 Peter 2:1-3 (NKJV) "there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up."

Or in 2 Timothy 2:2-4 (NIV) Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. (3) For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. (4) They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Without naming any names, may I say it seems to me that we are living in that time? I have never before heard so many teachers teaching myths that will scratch the itching ears of large audiences attending "spiritual seminars" in this country. Oh, I would expect it of other countries, but the United States of America? The country founded on Judeo-Christian Principles? The country who, by far, sends out more missionaries to other countries to feed, clothe, dig water wells for those in need, and share The Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who have never heard?

One has only to listen to PBS for a week to hear the most famous of these false prophets (and also the richest). Likewise, one has only to tune in to the "name it and claim it" preachers decked out in their enormously expensive clothes, standing in their mega churches where they arrived in their extravagant cars to wonder what's happened to the Truth of One who never owned a single possession in His thirty-three years on this earth.

Don't get me wrong! I'm not advocating poverty as a badge of one's commitment to the Lord! I grew up in a parsonage where no maintenance was ever performed, and I wore hand-me-downs from church members' children because we were too poor to have proper health care, much less new clothes! I don't believe God was pleased by the church's philosophy of "We'll keep him poor so You can keep him humble, Lord", either!

But listening to these so-called "Spiritual Teachers" of today affects me in the same way as does listening to American Idol contestants singing severely off pitch! Righteous indignation rises up within me and if I allow it, it will upset me for days. One of my sons asked, "Mom, you know what the Bible says it will be like in the end times, so why should it upset you so much when you see it happening? Isn't it just a given?"

My answer is always the same: God is a jealous God, and I am His daughter. I share His trait of jealousy when it comes to idols, false doctrines, heresies, and false teachers. I am jealous for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

All the way back in the Old Testament God's jealousy is talked about.(Psalms) They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols. (Or) For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images. (Or) How long, O LORD ? Will you be angry forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
There are hundreds of references to God being jealous (or zealous) for His name, His people, His ways.

In Romans 10, Paul said: For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. (3 )Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. (4) Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul said to the Christians at Corinth: I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I feel the same way! It grieves me to no end to think of the "itching ears" that are being led astray by opportunistics who care nothing for the souls in their audiences. When that day comes that we all stand before The Judge, Jesus Christ, will these mislead souls be able to say, "But we were taught..." Will that be acceptable to the One who said He was THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Light?

Like I said, having "the ear", both musically and spiritually, is a blessing that feels like a curse sometimes. "Ignorance is bliss" sometimes seems true in this sojourner's life. But then I have to ask myself if having "the ear" carries a responsibility with it? I think the answer must be a resounding yes! And so I ask God today for the courage to stay "on pitch" in this world of American Idols. Amen.

© 2007 April Lorier

April Lorier is an award-winning poet, writer, Author, Christian Speaker, Columnist, and former music teacher.

As a pastor's daughter and a survivor of severe child abuse, April Lorier has an intimate knowledge of child abuse in and out of the church. She founded COPE, Inc, for the retraining of abusive parents. Her testimony before the CA State Legislature helped with the passage of The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), signed by Ronald Reagan.

Her autobiography, "GOD'S BATTERED CHILD: Journey from Abuse to Leader" (2007) is available at Amazon, B & Nobles, Target and at

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