Deep POV: Confessions of a Christian Writer

The ramblings of an emergent-realistic-edgy-working-for-God-and-the-pay-isn’t-that-great-sometimes-confused-christian-fiction writer (uh, that would be me).

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Supporting All Kinds of Art

Art for Christ's Sake
While I may not agree with a couple isolated examples of grant dollars ill-spent, I refuse to let them define or abandon the vast, prolific body of creativity that every culture needs from her artists: We, as human beings, need to see people being like God.
I'll probably get into trouble for this since I'm sure many of you have heated opinions about men like Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano. Let me say, then, that I don't enjoy their work and the referenced article by Louie Weber makes clear that he doesn't either. Yet, I agree with his basic premise, that creativity is a God-given ability and to be creative is to emulate God. Sometimes, the artists doing the emulation go way out of bounds and produce art that goes beyond controversial to shocking and downright disgusting. But does that mean we shouldn't support the arts through an organization like the NEA? Or in general in our lives and our churches? In some (please note: some) evangelical churches, no fiction of any kind is allowed in the church bookstore much less anything else outside the rather kitschy Christian consumer items normally found (think Testamints). It seems a shame that we concede the world of artistic beauty and truth to people who likely know nothing about Jesus when we should be out there among them writing our books, painting our pictures, composing our music.