Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Art Saves Lives . . . or just the morning

This was one of those mornings that seemed to last for-ev-er. At ten I was already looking at the clock wondering what I was going to do with them. And after a busy but wonderful weekend, we are all feeling a bit of the letdown of being back in the routine. My house bore the scars of the past few days' activity. There was SO MUCH to do and no one was cooperating.

Sami feels the need to blare this cd of Cheerul! Christian! Children! shrieking Cheerful! Christian! Children! songs every waking moment. I suppose it is my own fault for not ever slipping the cd into the shredder where it belongs . . . (The chorus of one song actually chants, "Everybody talkin' 'bout heaven ain't goin there . . . " Which may be true but why are these white kids so happy to sing about it?). It amazes me that many of the parents who choose this kind of music are parents who believe in censoring everything that their children lay eyes upon, not even thinking about the wack-o spiritual messages that stuff like this sends. We used to own the DVD but those kids were just TOO scary, we won't let our girls watch it.

So all of these Sunday School children are shrieking about everyone who ain't going to heaven, Sami is shrieking at the baby for playing with her toys and the baby shrieking at me to be fed . . .

Suddenly, the cheerful children are silenced. Sami found this. We all stopped what we were doing. The baby smiled. Sami smiled. I uncurled myself from the fetal position under the table. Calm came over the kitchen. We relaxed, and played, and made it through the morning.

It reminds me of a message that Pastor Jeff preached at a Bible conference a few years ago. I'm sure I'll entirely destroy the message if I try to repeat it, but I remember the gist being that the question isn't if something is "Christian" or not, but whether it is "true." The fruit of Mozart is transcendent beauty. True. Cheerful Christian Children? That's a lie. Christians were never meant to be so fruity. Or so clean. Or so proud of themselves. This form of Christianity is dangerous. I want to protect my children from these kinds of Christians, and this kind of "art".


charrette said...

Oh, I SO agree with you! We have a line that we live by..."If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." Mozart? Absolutely. The cheesy stuff? Doesn't seem to fit that criteria. Seek all the best music, the best books, the best art. Seek for truth. And carefully guard them from the rest.

Heather of the EO said...

YES! To both of you (Charrette too).

I grew up in a family where things were way too "Christian." It didn't matter if they were true or beautiful, as long as they were labeled Christian.

It kinda goes along with that old thing about someone hiring a painter to paint his house and he says, "yes, I hired him because he's a Christian." And his friend says, "okay, that's nice. But can he paint?"