Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Monday, November 29, 2004  

Subversive Beauty

Now that so many school districts have banned Christmas music (not holiday winter festival music), and thus have joined in the anti-inculcation movement of the ACLU et al of the Judeo-Christian foundation of the country, we can try to look at this as a good thing.

Although many children may traverse an entire life without ever having read a Bible verse or sung a Christmas carol, imagine the novel effect on such ignorance should a person stumble into a church or see a movie where such things are featured. It might be deeply emotional and enlivening.

Even though many cultures have creeated great religious works of art, there really is no comparison to the continued fecundity of Christianity to astonish, inspire, and explore ways of communicating God and Grace.

Many will complain that Christian art is now in a desert in terms of music, theater, literature, and art, but although the Roman Catholic Church and others have replaced art with kitsch, doggerel, and slush music, Christian artists are creating outstanding work despite being rarely seen or supported. (Ahem. I consider myself part of that group of people doing fine but unnoticed work.)

The seriousness and beauty of fine Christian art, though, will have its effect on the spiritual tabula rasas whose eyes and ears have been filled with cultural mush. Consider the effect upon souls of reading the Sermon on the Mount for the first time, and encountering the Beatitudes. Imagine that the soul reading it is troubled, in despair, lost and heartbroken. Imagine a soul encountering Isaiah, or Corinthians 13 (Love is always patient and kind.).

The riches in this Chritian treasury are enormous and abundant. Imagine an earnest soul first hearing the Hallelujah Chorus or a richly choired Hark, the herald angels sing! or Angels we have heard on high.

There is something to be said about a Christianity that has been ghetto-ized, and thus becomes a subverting force of immense power due to both its actual power and grace, and its accidental works.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 10:06 AM |