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The World Doesn't Need More Christian Artists: Part 1

By Joey O'Connor

Words matter.

Your art matters.

Labels do not. Adjectives do not.

I'm going to draft off C.S. Lewis here. I implore you . . . do not call yourself a "Christian Artist." Do not label yourself a Christian Artist.

When you add an adjective like "Christian" to your noble role and vocation as an artist, it almost sounds like an apologetic (i.e. apology) for your creative existence.

The world does not need more Christian artists. There is already a pervasive, not-very persuasive Christian subculture for that.

Be an Artist. Who is Christian. 

Christ-like.

Lewis wrote, "The world does not need more Christian literature. What it needs is more Christians writing good literature.”

When my appendix exploded last year and filled my abdominal cavity with toxic gangrene, I cared little if my doctor was Muslim, Mormon, Methodist or Mennonite...all I cared about was having a really good surgeon. For my 12-day hospital stay, I didn't need a "Christian" nurse. I needed a nurse who excelled at drawing blood on the very first poke each day. What I needed was a bloody good nurse.

Much of the "Christian art" in the Christian subculture evokes saccharine notions of piety, perfectionism, warm cozies, and Precious Moments figurines which are strikingly similar to the Teletubbies my kids grew up with. Neither are great art nor probably ever claim to be.

Bach. Michelangelo. Rembrandt. 

Now there's great art. They didn't call themselves Christian artists, yet their art continues to leave a deep impression on this world.

To be continued...

Do you agree or disagree? Agree on some points, but not on others?

Leave us a comment. We'd love your thoughts on this peculiar subject.

You can stay connected with Joey on Instagram and his new website. You can also email Joey here.

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