As mentioned in the previous post, we live in a church culture that doesn’t like to talk about or identify with brokenness. If the way into the Kingdom is through brokenness, and it is, then our reluctance to embrace brokenness has two results, as it pertains to creatives.
One, we have nothing to write about. Our art is not a representation of truth, but rather a representation of pieces of truth. It is a partial picture of the good news of the Kingdom.
Two, we have not demonstrated to a dying world how to enter the Kingdom of life.
Many of us have grown up in a culture where brokenness is pushed aside, and never examined. The result is that we live in a world that is Plasticine, it’s not real. It lacks truth.
Brokenness is a place we try to avoid. To our human understanding, brokenness is that dark pit that bubbles with heartache and pain. Brokenness is hell on earth.
So we avoid it. We don’t talk about it. We pretend we don’t have any of it. We hide our brokenness from others who are hiding their brokenness. And we create a cycle. Its not long before newcomers into the fold learn to hide their brokenness too. It might be our great universal art in the church–talking around, over, under, but never directly at our brokenness.
The biggest problem with all this, is that the door to our salvation sits wide open across the threshold of brokenness. We come to Jesus with our brokenness, there is no other way to come to Him. We recognize that we have made a mess of our lives by trying to run it ourselves. We see that His way is the better way, that His Kingdom is freedom from the broken places.
We discussed a bit about the quality or lack thereof of many Christian products. But another major reason is market economics. The main outlet for Christian products of any kind is the Christian bookstore. A nd these are commercial enterprises. They are consumer supported, fed by distributors who are distributing content for the publishers/labels/studios. Most Christian “art” will be supplied through this commercial enterprise.
I am sure that the owners of these knowledge boutiques feel that they are providing a great service to the body of Christ. Where else can you go to get the “oil of gladness” that anointed Jesus but HolyMart Booksellers (I kid you not, I dont need the Holy Spirit to give me gladness, I can buy it in a store). We live in a post information age. Information is everywhere and the downfall is that we know more about things than ever before but act on less knowledge than ever. I suppose this means we never really know what we know. When asked, Jesus said that the sum of all the law, all the books in the world is this “Love God, love your neighbor.” I imagine that if we just did this, we wouldnt need Christian books at all.
Dont get me wrong, I love books. Love them. Can’t get enough of them. But if they do not produce fruit, or just serve to puff me up (as knowledge can do) then they are worthless.
God is restoring creativity and the creative arts to His people. He wants those who are called by His name to lead the world in the pursuit and practice of art. As he is restoring the arts, we need to be aware of what is broken, what he is fixing so that we can move forward in His restoration. Marriages that are broken do not get better by sweeping the past under the rug, or drawing a line in the sand and moving on. Behaviors and patterns of behavior need to be recognized, addressed and repented of before true, lasting restoration can take place.
The first broken area has to do with the quality of art that is coming out of Christianity. I’m sure this is going to offend some people, but we have to recognize certain things so that we can have a clean break from them. I’m just coming out and saying it. If you are a fan of Christian bands, you might want to stop reading here.