So, all of those last (horribly long) posts were simply to set this up. More than anything, I wanted to dispel some seriously misguided notions of why I’m doing what I’m doing (or not doing as the case may be.)
So it comes to this: Why should the church or church people support what I do?
First, I whole-heartedly, unabashedly, vehemently believe that the church should support art that is not overtly “christian art”. In history, if you were to investigate the great works of art in music, painting, literature, sculpture, you’ll find that 9 times out of 10, it was the church that provided the resources for those works to come about. Do you think J.S. Bach was concerned with terms of “sacred” or “secular”? He wrote great Masses for church and little ditties about beer. How did he make a living and survive? The church.
Seriously, the distinctions of “Christian Art” and “Secular” art have only been around for like maybe 50 years. By Christians making that distinction and separating themselves from the arts and producing their own “sanctified” art, they’ve lost nearly all influence and sway in the art of our culture. By losing that influence in art, Christians have lost major influence in the psyche of our culture. It is imperative that the Church start supporting true, great, art before it loses all of its voice in contemporary culture.
There are books and books written on this topic and I’ve written too much of a book already. If you’re interested, here are a number of books that I’ve read dealing with this topic directly and indirectly. All of them have directly influenced my personal philosophy of faith and the creative individual.
“Art & the Bible” by Francis Schaeffer (short (two essays) yet huge book in terms of my personal philosophy)
“Addicted to Mediocrity” & “Sham Pearls Before Real Swine” by Franky Schaeffer (Francis’ Son) (These two books by Franky deal with the above topic most directly)
“Crossroads” by Charlie Peacock
“Walking on Water” by Madeleine L’Engle
“Roaring Lambs” by Bob Briner
Do I consider myself a producer of great art? Well, the artist himself can’t really say that with any authority, now can he? However, I do know that I’m very proud of some things that I’ve written. I have seen my art connect with and touch people both inside and outside of the church walls. I’ve seen a couple of my songs (gypsy heart, oh geppetto) really move people wonder toward…something; and I think it’s to something beyond what our mortal senses can give us. That, to me, seems like something that the church should be willing to support.
As to SW’s challenge(s). I think that I have been very up front and authentic with my supporters. I don’t know how to express to you that if you have had these questions of if I am worthy of church support, I have wrestled with the questions so much more than you have. I take it very seriously. And the fact that support is still there, compels me to believe that I am doing something that I’m supposed to be.
That being said, to be honest, what goes on between my financial supporters and me is none of your business. It’s between them, me and God. Do you think I tricked them into giving their money to me? That is, unless you are one of those supporters. In which case, I strongly believe it was/is your responsibility to call/write me personally to discuss your concerns.
Ultimately, I don’t believe that I can be held completely responsible for how I am always perceived. One’s perception has a lot to do with his/her own personal hang-ups, desires, convictions, prejudices and maturity. I have tried (in excess) to explain who I am and what I’m trying to do as best I can in this medium.
To put it simply: No, SW, you’re wrong in your perception of me. Your PETA illustration and was not only poor in its analogy, but it was just plain wrong in it’s assumption.
Furthermore, I’m sorry, but I don’t think you were able to look at the content of the web-site or blog objectively in the least. In fact, I think that your confusion and disillusion occurred when your pre-conceived (if misguided) ideas of me conflicted with what you found on the web-site.
Please understand that I’m trying to tell you this with no malice. Frankly, we may not agree. I’m ok with that because I’ve considered these issues and questions way more than you have and I’m very confident in my convictions of who I am and what I’m doing. I may not always get it right, but that’s what grace is for.
Finally: I welcome any and all comments and contributions to this topic. However, I don’t think my blog is an effective medium for discussion. For this reason, I would request that any comments/responses made concerning this topic would be posted at the provided msg board. (I’ll try my best to keep the pornbots at bay. Please email me if I miss any. And let’s be careful out there, people!)
I’m really tired of typing out my life philosophy and want to get my blog back to waxing eloquently of important things…like blowing gigantic soap bubbles…