An idol is anything that takes the place of God in our life. They are the things we look to, trust in, and give our allegiance to instead of God. They offer to satisfy the desires of our heart and make us happy, but they never are true to their word. The end of every fling with our idols leads to brokenness, pain, and regret. Every day, we face the choice of giving in to the seductive allure of those idols, or steering clear of them and following after the One who can give joy and who does follow through on His promise to satisfy us and grant us life and joy. To see the power and pain of idols, and to consider where we might find hope, I want to compare and contrast the songs “Vice” by Miranda Lambert and “Ulysses” by Josh Garrels. You can see the full lyrics for each, side-by-side, at the bottom of this post.
Lecrae’s newest album is his most controversial. Some suggest a transition beyond “Christian music” (a label Lecrae himself rejects). Mainstream musicians such as Ty Dolla Sign and Tori Kelly collaborate on several songs. He vocalizes frustrations with evangelicals—among others—wanting him to be a “religious puppet.” He raises issues of social justice. Lecrae questions his faith, admits his depression and doubt, and confesses his sins. Does this album reflect the same values, theology, skill, and expression of biblical faith that drew so many Christians (including white evangelicals)?
In honor of the Country Music Awards being on TV tonight (hey, it’s a good thing to watch between World Series commercials!), I thought I’d post some thought on a specific country music song. Some music is mere entertainment or to be enjoyed, but some songs actually convey the hidden thoughts and desires of the human heart in powerful, or at least insightful, ways. Miranda Lambert’s song “Vice” has intrigued me since the first time I heard it.