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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sacred Art

Some pieces displayed at my church a couple weeks back. Interesting stuff.

I've always had a general distaste for explicitly religious contemporary art, especially such genres as 'Christian Rock' (which is a weekly feature on the stage at Heartland).

You'd think my bridging the gap to belief would change that, but it didn't. A coworker made a comment once that there would be a Christian band at a particular event, but she didn't know which one.

I said, "Maybe you'll get lucky and it'll be U2."

She looked at me like I must be kidding, but I've heard for years that they are Christians. Even prayed with Johnny Cash once, and Johnny supposedly put a postscript on the Amen to the effect of, "I sure do miss the drugs, though."

But U2 is a great band. I'd want to listen to them either way. But if getting into Heaven means I have to embrace music first for its piety and then hope it's actually musical, reserve me a set in the brimstone section. Maybe we won't get to hear U2, but maybe AC/DC can get booked in down there.*

Once the Church quit being the government, non-folk art quit having to appeal to patrons' religious sensibilities. Except in the case of the NEA, where artists often had to appeal to their patrons' anti-religious proclivities. Generally, I'd say this was an improvement: I greatly prefer a DeKoenig canvas over a bunch of fat, winged babies floating in the sky around the Virgin Mary.

But on the whole, I liked the art Heartland put on display and I thought the theme was very valid. If you're creating art and you're a Christian, you should create the best art you can, because then you're bringing glory to God.

*I know, I know. God is smarter than that. If punishment were the order of the day, I'd end up with front row seats to Tom Jones, Garth Brooks and a bunch of Christian rock bands. That would be an awful sort of eternity.

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