Christian Art

I just go on Facebook to get news updates and to get links to interesting articles.

Today, I saw an article posted by my friend about “Christian music”. Ohh Christian music. Always creating some news. Always doing something you probably don’t need to be doing. Are you even a real thing?!?!

Well, if we are going to say that Christian music is a thing, this article tackles some of the problems with it. This isn’t the first such article I’ve seen listing the problems with Christian music and art in general so I think the topic is one worth discussing.

Christians hate art. I finally said what everyone was thinking. Christians hate art and all good/fun things. How do I know this? 1) I’ve seen Christians react to art before and 2) I’ve watched/listened to a Christian movie, song, or poem.

You might be wondering why Christians hate art. Christians hate art because art isn’t God. Or is it because God isn’t art? It’s one of those two things. Christians don’t like that something could possibly entertain them or impress them or overwhelm them and not be God.That scares them. It makes them feel a little sacreligious. It makes them only want to accept a certain kind of “art” – a kind that adheres to their rules and is filled with angelic figures and babies (because babies make things better and also more religious).

The thing that Christians don’t know is that God is an artist. But not just one of those sappy Christian artists. God takes really boring and random stuff and he makes it great. He doesn’t always fill it with babies and the sounds of angels singing but he still makes it awesome. I wonder how Christians feel when they look up at the pitch black night sky, only illuminated by really old stars? Or when they read a really great book that isn’t about the crucifixion? Or when they see the movie Memento or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Do they blow up because the sky isn’t filled with angelic babies at night or because Hamlet doesn’t have enough Biblical imagery or because they don’t know if Christopher Nolan or Michel Gondry are Christian? Do they?!?!

I’m Christian and I appreciate art. I’m not an artist. I don’t like pictures. But I love hearing a good song or watching a good movie or reading a great book or even looking at a really nicely designed building. And I know a lot of other Christians who feel the same way. But there’s the undercurrent of Christianity that’s finally being seen for what it is that says that Christians shouldn’t like art that isn’t ostensibly about Jesus. It says that the kind of art that glorifies God must look and sound and feel a certain kind of way. I don’t believe that. I think that’s kind of silly.

The article I linked to says it much better than I could. (It talks about Christian music a.k.a CCM, but I think Gospel music suffers from a similar problem in that it’s lost some of its meaning and potency because it’s trying to do the opposite of what CCM is doing.) But it also stops at music. Like I said, the Christian art world in general has become pretty white-washed. But it seems like times are a-changing.

DP

I would love to see a Christian movie that doesn’t try to preach to its viewers. Don’t get me wrong, I loved October Baby but I think there’s someone out there who can make a great Christian movie without having such a blatant Evangelical message. I guess I’m having trouble articulating exactly what I mean in this space. I’ll save it for another rant.

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