Are we called to be club bouncers at the front door of the kingdom?

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/24053101″>Art, Conscience, and Theological McCarthyism</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/gospelcoalition”>The Gospel Coalition</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>
 
 

I don’t want to be to hard on these guys because some of this conversation was good and I appreciated it… However, much of it will only be understood or appreciated if you live in the same vacuum these people do or as C.S. Lewis so artistically put it in Mere Christianity visited their room for awhile. Again this is what salvation culture looks like vs Gospel culture. They use the word kingdom but they come across as if they are the cops of this kingdom. Here are some thoughts I have after watching this…
1. You cannot redeem the relative and subjective nature of art by critiquing it through an objective and biases lens.
2. There are many aspects of art that are opened for the interpretation of the observer. I gather from this conversation that they have the true observation of all art and they need to be patient with others who don’t… even those who have created it.
4. They have a hard time because in their view subjective and relative truth does not play well with absolute, objective or “true truth”. They would call objective truth their view or opinion of God. I would call objective truth… God. In simple terms Jesus is God’s self portrait.
5. What if God in his kingdom and infinite wisdom is using the irony of art (which uses lies to tell truth) to tell the truth on those who use the truth to tell lies?
6. They speak as if “The Arts” are still saturated and influenced by Christianity in a predominantly Christian culture like the Leave it to Beaver 50’s and 60’s.
7. Look at the reaction that the following picture of Christ received from many “kingdom” minded Christians. Many Christians were outraged, protested about the image and wanted it removed as offensive to them. Would they remove the insults, beatings and crucifixion accounts from their own bibles? Are those not just as offensive? In Christs kingdom he is Lord. Even Lord of those who hate him spit on him or even urinate on him. We should allow the art work of God on a cross to be clearly seen to the whole world. As kingdom minded Christians we should see that many who see the king of this kingdom hate him still just as they did 2000 years ago. This is the picture God wanted to paint. In an attempt to redeem the arts I think many Christians would actually like to change the message of the cross. There is more truth to the picture on the left than there is in many Christian paintings of Christ (for more on that click the picture to see the intent of the artist).

Because of some of the above mentioned observations, If I were a non Christian artist, I think this conversation from the Gospel Coalition would sound pretentious.

Let me put it this way…
What if the Gospel is Gods creative work of art and we are trying to claim the right interpretation. What if those who should be proclaiming it are actually getting in the way of it or protecting it from those who don’t understand enough or who are not like us. What if we are not seeing all kinds of races, cultures, addicts, families and even beliefs coming to see and savor the created work of God on the cross dying for his broken images and rising again to give them new hope because we are more like kingdom club bouncers than heralds. I speak as one who is still working these things out not as one who has it all figured out… for sure.

2 comments on “Are we called to be club bouncers at the front door of the kingdom?

  1. Ramona says:

    You bring up very deep and really excellent points IF I am understanding what you are saying. I feel…believe…view…. ALL of this World in ALL of its filth as well as its beauty…ALL God’s ‘Art’. There is a reason, His reasoning in the manner in which He created this original masterpiece “the world” is NOT up for interpretation, (how can any mere mortal interpret His reasoning?) His message is clear, His reasoning belongs to Him.

  2. disableme says:

    Thanks for your comment It really is all His! :) … His most beautiful work (in my opinion) is the found in the story of restoration of his image bearers. This story of a king and his kingdom should be on free and open display, proclaimed, observed, talked about, lived in, lived out, sang about, written about NOT reshaped, controlled, fenced, or institutionalized. I have been to many churches and around many church people that pride themselves in “Biblical” Christian love, acceptance, forgiveness and the proclamation of the Gospel. But they have created a church culture were love, acceptance and forgiveness are conditional to you “getting saved” and becoming “apart of the kingdom”. This can really cheapen the work that God has already been doing in them. They have taken the picture of God and put it in a different context (museum) than the one it was originally hung in. The Gospel is not being proclaimed, heralded, celebrated, lived out, lived in many of these places but concealed, dolled out bits at a time by meddling leaders, withheld from sinners, and only for the outwardly repentant. Not every church of course but many of the ones I have encountered and I can only write from my experience.

    Don’t get me wrong I believe in God’s Tri Unity, human depravity, virgin birth, Christ’s sinlessness, Christ’s deity, Christ’s humanity, Gods Grace as a necessity and faith from man as a response, The resurrection, Christs Ascension, Christ’s intercession, Christ second coming, The inspiration of Scripture etc… In my opinion these must be true but not but not necessarily believed in order for a person to be saved.
    What must be believed…
    To become a child of the king one must by heart faith disciple, follow or believe under two truths 1.Jesus Christ died for sin and rose again (Romans 10:9; 1 Cor 15:1-6) 2.Believe in the Lordship of Jesus the Christ (Acts 2:21, 36, 3:14-16, 5:30-35, 10:39, 16:31, 1 Corinthians 12:3) Those who follow and live under the Lordship of their sin bearer will not only personally flourish but make Gods kingdom a better and more Christlike place for the rest of those living in the kingdom AKA everyone.(Micah 6:8).

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