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Christian Artsy Fartsiness


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One time my college-age group got dragged to this "emerging church." The leader of the college group was so excited because he wanted us to model ourselves after this place we were going to. He wanted in on the latest cutting edge thing because he thought it was really neat and he thought it would get us out of our ineffectual malaise of lameness.

 

So we get there. The space was in this rented night club with red leather booths and everything. They had all kinds of paintings and sculptures on display; typical art student stuff, nothing too compelling. The regular members were these "cool kids" with tattoo sleeves and $70 haircuts and everything, and they were total "cooler than thou" snobs who ignored us the whole time. Wow, just like a real Hollywood nightclub! The worship music was this generic jangly "indie" shit where this Sarah MacLachlan/Ani DiFranco copyist banged away on a piano while wailing like a melancholy banshee, and up on stage there was a celloist alongside the standard-issue bass, guitar, and drums. Yeah, add a celloist and it's instantly twice as deep.

 

And at any time in the service you could get up and draw or paint and shit in the corner. I was so perturbed by everything that I went up and used pastels to draw a picture of fucking Cthulhu, I shit you not! The leader of my college group went up later to see what I'd drawn and he was... uhhhhh... concerned. At that time I was experiencing a bit of disillusionment, you could say, though I was still a few years shy of deconversion.

 

Well, I could go on an elitist rant, throwing around my knowledge of aesthetic theory, art history, postmodernism, cultural studies, etc. etc., like an elitist club. (And although I wasn't as familiar with those then as I am now, I was familiar enough to where I couldn't help but be in full critique mode the whole time.) But I must refrain. And I don't think an ivory tower background is needed to sense the phoniness and contrived nature of that kinda shit, and how trying to use aesthetics to jazz up the whole Jesus thing hasn't quite been the same since the days before the Protestant Reformation, when the decadent humanist Renaissance was still in full swing. Am I alone in this? Or do some of you others know what I'm talking about?

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The only thing I can say is, if I still were a christian,(Praise Sakura I'm not!) I'd think they were trying to make things "hip" just to get young people to come to services.

The main grumble about church I had was you had to wear uncomfortable clothes Sunday morning, and the preacher just didn't seem to want to talk plainly to us, instead of being all high and mighty and he's got the final word from God.(Both the preachers we had when I was a kid were the pulpit pounding, ranting and raving, stage stalking hellfire and brimstone roaring type, which made me hate to go to church. Even when I was certain I was saved, the preacher's antics scared me.)

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