Buckle your seatbelts, folks, I’m about to go all spiritual.
As a Christ-follower and an artist, I often find myself looking around at the Christian art scene and thinking, “What happened?” Christian art, with a few notable exceptions, seems to have turned into a vast swamp of mediocrity.
And that’s a shame, you know? Here we are, representing the Ultimate Creator, and all we can come up with are passive platitudes and saccharine sentiments. Or worse still, a patchwork of pilfered pieces from secular sources cobbled together with a Jesus sticker slapped on as an afterthought.
Okay, I promise I’ll stop with the obnoxious alliteration now.
Part of the problem, I think, is the fact that there is a “Christian genre” in every art field. It’s a whole lot easier to gain success there than in the wider world, so “Christian artists” don’t have to work as hard in order to make a place for themselves, making it easy to fall into a sense of smugness and self-satisfaction.
Which as we all know makes for great art.
Most of the Christian artists I respect, in any field, actually stay out of the Christian genre. Some of them, like Adam Young (Owl City), do it quite purposefully.
Two more horns of the dilemma, which are covered quite powerfully in this article from Intellectual Takeout, are the problems of certitude and honesty.
Now, I would like to suggest that the problem of certitude, which in the article is linked to a belief that we need to provide all the answers, as well as a readiness to judge, is at root an issue of honesty all by itself. Yes, we may be certain about the fact that there is a God, and the fact that we all need Him, but who in the world hasn’t felt uncertain about every other aspect of life and faith at some point? Not this girl, that’s for sure. If you’ve never felt uncertain about anything, well… more power to ya, I guess.
Thing is, God isn’t threatened by our uncertainty. He wants us to ask questions. The problems start when we feel like we’re not properly representing Him unless we look perfect all the time.
Nobody is perfect all the time. Heck, nobody is perfect anytime. If that’s the look you’re going for, you’re just trying to con people, and that’s not something that will endear you to God or humans. Maybe it will endear you to dogs, I don’t know. But since dogs tend to think we’re perfect anyway, why bother to con them?
Anyway, what I’m basically trying to say is this: Christian art should be powerful. If the goal is to glorify the Creator, our creations should reflect His values of honesty, integrity, authenticity, and quality craftsmanship. Take some care, people. This art stuff is important.