My wife and I were driving around town one day, listening to a Christian radio station. Some twenty something year old girl was singing this pop tune that had an incredibly neat and tidy 4th grader Sunday school message tied into it. Musically, every chord and note was boringly predictable and overproduced. Now, if you’re a mother with some kids in the back of the van and you don’t want them to hear cusswords, I suppose this is quality stuff. But for a music snob like me, I simply couldn’t handle it. “This song is just absolute crap.” I exclaimed with great relish and changed the channel to NPR or Rush Limbaugh or jazz or country or rap or something else less—well—crappy.
My wife reprimanded me for my blasphemous words. * Apparently, being it was a “Christian” song meant it was impervious to criticism. Or that to criticize this song (which a few people were making a buck and a name off of) somehow hurt Jesus’s feelings.
Firstly, I’m not even sure what precludes a song as “Christian”. Elvis Presley wrote gospel music and then OD’d on drugs on his commode, while Mozart wrote masterpiece after masterpiece for Church worship, most of which had no lyrics at all. So I was a bit confused as to what the problem was.
Secondly, is it not perplexing that the children of the Creator God can put forth such a profound lack of creativity in their music? Isn’t it worrisome that the disciples of the God, who crafted with such breathtaking excellence the human body, planet earth and indeed the entire physical workings of the cosmos itself, may have such a profound lack of excellence in the work they do? Yes, there are plenty of wonderful exceptions. But I am disheartened to perpetually see better creativity and more ambition in unbelievers than believers.
My point is this: the next time I “take the kids to the swimming pool”, I am going to put on a rubber glove, pull a terd out, and carve “Jesus Loves You” into its side with a Q-tip and set it on the bathroom counter. This is Christian Crap. And as such, any scoffing by guests, looks of disgust, or even—God forbid—flushing of the terd will be deemed blasphemous behavior.
Christian artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers are offering poop with text to God and the culture. As long as they do, I’ll call it what it is. Let us put asunder the Q-tips and truly set ourselves to the task of beautiful, creative, brilliant, God honoring arts that beckon the audience to repent to God in ways completely foreign to sermons and Sunday School devotionals.
Let poop be poop and art be art.
*Apologies to Ronella. Her reaction was instinctive and her agreement with me on this matter, immediate. For a lengthy list of times I’ve made an idiot of myself in front of her, please contact Ronella.