The Christian and His Art: The Conundrum of "Christian" Media
If you type “Christian Art” into the Google and search the image tab, you’ll find a variety of different pictures.
Several like this.
A few like this.
And there’s this one, of some guy doing drugs with Jesus.
With a skull on the side table.
In other words, you find almost exactly what you would expect to find (minus the one with the drugs). A collection of artwork, some good and some bad, that are all centered on things that Christians like.
And, apparently, drugs.
If you search for Christian music, you’ll find titles that share similar attributes.
There’s even a Christian song that is, more or less, about drugs.
The trend extends into Christian movies and any other “Christian” media or social endeavor (like dating sites and the like). They all define themselves by the inclusion, or exclusion, of certain things, ideas, or attributes.
“Christian” has become a label that is slapped on something so as to define it.
But define it as what? What is “Christian” art? Or music? Or…anything? Is that even a correct usage of the term because, as Andrew McPeak pointed out over at Medici Project, the word “Christian” isn’t really an adjective.
How ought we, as Christians, bring our beliefs into our art? What should the expectations be in regards to art? Should the music library of a Christian be noticeably different than that of an atheist, Buddhist, or Muslim? What about book library, or movie collection?
Is “Christian” a catalog description for art or a way of interacting with it?
There is something fundamentally wrong with the way church culture approaches and perceives “Christian” media, be it books, music, movies, or any other art form and it needs to be addressed if the church wants be able to use and appreciate art effectively. But this is a topic too big for one post, so I’ll be breaking it up into several articles stretched out over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.
Stay tuned, and sound off in the comments. Do you think “Christian” should be a label applied to art? If so, using what parameters of classification? How would you define “Christian” music, movies, books, etc?