Jesus, the idiot box, and an age-old quagmire

I’m not exactly a Puritan myself. My life has always been centered around the arts. Since I was a young child, I’ve been writing, first stories and now novels. I enjoyed acting in plays in high school, and secretly hope to be a voice actor some day. I have a special place in my heart for Disney movies, but the last one I saw in theaters was “We’re the Millers” which had its share of ill timed cussing and thematic weirdness. I watch more TV than is good for me, but don’t follow new shows very much. Usually I watch reruns or whatever else is on at random times, and try to critique and over analyze it. I especially appreciate it when shows make fun of comedic conventions or their own techniques. When I was around 11, I even wrote my very own pilot for a sitcom called MELicious Intent. It was to be about a rebellious runaway girl with a bit of a quirk- believing that she was a fugitive. The teen would make many attempts to commit crimes and even kill people, but to keep it light, all but the most petty infractions would fail to be carried out. Sadly, while looking at my old script, I realized that the writing wasn’t that much worse than some of the things that actually go on the air.

What was my point to all of this? To open up a heated discussion about the relationship between Christianity and the arts. A few days ago, I read an interesting post here on WordPress about just that. Christians who condemn secular art for its inappropriate content and Christians who try to find positive, Jesus-compatible values in everything.

I think there are good aspects to both approaches, like many other modern Christians, I’m sure. I hate it when I try to be controversial, but end up agreeing with a majority.

Puritans- good for you for being offended by the trashy stuff that’s out there. Why do we want to embrace things that God hates anyway? On the other hand, why be so aloof and judgy? We’re not entirely above the things coming from the tube or the screen. I’m sure all you churchgoers out there secretly relate to the things you see. Why not learn from it? Why not interpret it the way you want to and make something worthwhile out of it? Take the wheat, forget the chaff.

Sometimes I wonder how to illustrate God through art. I always wonder why secular art seems more appealing and of better quality. I wonder why Christians can’t use the same techniques for their agenda. I wonder why Christians must always use the same rhetoric. You know the rhetoric I’m talking about. “Forgiveness, grace, healing, blood of Chirst.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, all of those things are true, it’s just that I wonder why it can still seem boring when people are trying their best to shake up the scene and put things in different perspectives. I don’t know if I can do any better. I want to use the talents God gave me, but I’m not sure how. Is it possible to reinvent art, making it believable and extraordinary without using the same techniques as everyone else out there? As you can see, I’m a little confused, but I’m going to keep trying. I don’t want to make God cheap and palatable, but I also want to draw people towards Him in a new and exciting way. I have a feeling this is going to be harder than I ever would have imagined.



2 comments on “Jesus, the idiot box, and an age-old quagmire

  1. Elise says:

    Have you seen the new movie “God’s Not Dead”? I had the same thoughts when I saw that a few weeks ago– great movie, because it had a good message and the weight of truth, but, also, there were a few details that weren’t quite right, and I wondered, couldn’t they have written that in a more believable way? I cringe when some of the Christian movies are corny in parts (Fireproof), because I don’t want it to seem like Christians have to over-reach to get their point across.

    • Elise,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my posts! You don’t know how comforting it is to know that another person shares my thoughts. And I agree, it drives me crazy when Christian movies are corny! But I don’t know if I could do better, that’s the problem. And one of these days I think I ought to question a professor. We are going to read Mark and 1 Corinthians in my humanities class (which is annoying because I particularly like 1 Corinthians and I don’t want them to ruin it) Anyway, can’t wait to read your posts!

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