EMAIL THIS PAGE       PRINT       RSS      

Post-Christian Pop-Culture?

I have more questions than answers. My mission for the past few years has been to bring Christians across a bridge between church and culture, to recognize the holy in unexpected places. Lately, however, I feel all our efforts to rescue people over the bridge weren’t fast enough.

I recently called a publicist for a popular band coming out with a new album in September. Two of the band’s members used to be in a group under a Christian label. However, their current band is signed to a mainstream company with a mainstream following though many of their songs weave deep biblical themes throughout them. When asking for an interview on behalf of a Christian publication the publicist answered, “Look, I like you guys, but the boys in the band have decided not to take any press from Christian media outlets. Once Christians are under the impression that you’re a Christian band, they sink themselves into it, they start having these certain expectations for you, and it’s literally impossible to get out.”

I’m not sure what frustrated me more: the publicist’s answer or the fact that his experiences probably reflected his views on Christianity. I wish I could say this is the first time I’ve heard this. I’m friends with many artists dedicated to a Christ-like life who embed elements of that life in their music but feel trapped, burned, and segregated after choosing to tell their story to Christian publications. What amazed me about the conversation with the publicist is he knew I work for the forward thinking ones, the ones that are “conversant” and “relevant.” The truth is, as a writer, it’s getting harder and harder to get any artist to tell their story to a publication with a faith-based association.

For once I have no opinion on this. I don’t know what to think either way. It’s no big news that the “Christian music” industry is shrinking (something I’m actually thankful for) and that more and more artists of faith are choosing more organic, all-encompassing methods to make their stories heard.  Do we still need platforms to bring awareness to people interweaving their faith with culture? Is it truly debilitating for an artist of faith to be categorized as a Christian artist? Is the American evangelical still that polarizing and archaic that we set unreasonable expectations on culture makers?

Finally, what does this mean for Christian media outlets, even the “forward thinking” ones?  Do Christians still need to be educated on culture by other Christians or is it more realistic to go the route of “you either get it or you never will?”

Thoughts?

Comments

Hmmm something to definitely think about. And I'm not saying this is the answer, just my initial thoughts after reading that. But my initial reaction to that personally is disgust. I get it, I understand it. I've recently decided to pursue an acting career with the specific purpose of doing TV/Movies so it's something I've started to think about in my own life and have begun to process how to balance my faith with a culture that doesn't think nicely of someone who chooses or gets labeled a "Christian". But if you truly seek to honor God with your art and you're given a platform to share your story and how you ARE sharing your faith without specifically attaching a "Christian" label to it, to turn that down to me is counter productive. Those who are bravely and successfully accomplishing this should be sharing their stories and encouraging others to do the same.

If they choose not to for fear of being put into a box then to me that say's they are treating the Christian culture the same exact way that the Christian culture treats outsiders and either way you slice or dice it, to me that's wrong.

I don't want to be a Christian that has to run around and say "I'm a Christian" for anyone to notice I'm different. At the same time when someone Christian or otherwise comes along and say's "Hey there's something different about you, can we talk" how can I turn that down when my heart really is to reflect the light of Christ in my life?

It's about balance, and it's sad to see that (it seems) in the pursuit of being "relevant" or meaningful some have decided to deliberately stay away from all things labeled "Christian" because they are afraid of the perception or don't want to be labeled/followed by a certain crowd.... :/

HI CJ: A few things captured my attention in your post...

1) The publicist said, "Once Christians are under the impression that you’re a Christian band, they sink themselves into it, they start having these certain expectations for you, and it’s literally impossible to get out.”

That is an interesting statement that begs for a follow-up question or some research. What are these "expectations" and what does it mean for people to "sink themselves into it". Have many Christians come to so idolize "Christian artists" that they are choosing - intentionally or by instinct - to step down from the pedestal?

2) You wrote, "I’m friends with many artists dedicated to a Christ-like life who embed elements of that life in their music but feel trapped, burned, and segregated after choosing to tell their story to Christian publications."

Two questions come to mind here: First, these folks are trapped, burned and segregated by whom? Second, I wonder if they tell their stories differently (language, focus, etc.) with Christian publications than they do with secular media?

3) You ask, "Do we still need platforms to bring awareness to people interweaving their faith with culture?"

I suppose that depends upon what the goal is? What do you hope to accomplish?

GREAT stuff so far. Thanks for your convictions/questions. Who's next?

As someone who has recently thrown some art into the marketplace (art that does not settle into comfortable marketing platforms), I recognize these frustrations and questions. Here are some more questions:
1) What makes art successful? Is it the revenue you generate? The number of people who read/listen/absorb it? The quality of the project? The motive of the artist? These are hard questions. If you're twenty-five and passionate about making your living as a musician, then you have another goal entirely. It must be monetized somehow. Is it crass or less spiritual to expect a financial payoff?
2) Is this work of art God-honoring? I'll be honest here. Lots of people who want to blur the line between secular and Christian art are happy to insert a few Christian themes or lyrics or ideas, but they're kind of embarrassed by Christian marketing's cheesy past, so they intentionally (or subconsciously) embrace a fuzzy theology. Not cool.
3) Are we comfortable with the notion that not every great work of art is designed for a wide audience? What if I write the very best book I can (or you write a song)--and it challenges/moves/inspires a dozen people? Is that okay? And even harder--what if I give it all I got, and no one is moved by it except for me? Is that okay and was it still God-honoring to do it?
4) Are we content to tell our children that being an artist is something that God loves and affirms even if they don't make money for it? (Are ministers only God's servants if they land a nice church salary at a big church?)
5) If you sell a million songs and are admired by a huge audience, does that mean the God was blessing your project? Does it mean he wasn't blessing it?

I will attempt to answer all of your questions with one overarching answer and hopefully this will sufficiently address them.

Personally, I think the aversion of this representative to have the band speak to a Christian publication is for one reason and one reason only. Money. I am sure that many bands and artists feel that if they get labeled "Christian", especially the more alternative and rock artists, that they will not make as much money or be as popular. Their motivation, in my mind, is strictly monetarily related. There is no other reason not to grant the interview.

Let me give a bit more information about myself that will explain why I feel this way. I just came to Christ in April of this year. Prior to this event in my life, I would not have been caught dead in a Christian book store, music aisle or anything else associated with Christianity. Without going into my specific situation, I would imagine that a majority of non believers are the same. Most probably feel that type of music and art is not for them and only for Christians. Hence, Christian groups could lose quite a bit of money if nonbelievers see them as Christian music.

For what it is worth, that is my 2 cents. Great article!

P.S. Third Day rocks and I have to credit them as being one of the big influences for me accepting God and Christ into my life. Just thought I would add that.

The issue you've brought up is extremely complex. I don't think it can fully be discussed in a message board format. Better to be attempted over a cup of Chai at The Refinery. :)

There's a call and a need for artists outside and inside the Christian subculture. God has sent in artist evangelists and testimonial artists who are not evangelists. By the very definition of a subculture, or the def of a market for that matter, there are things in that subculture/market that are out of the mainstream. Because a subculture/market is smaller than the mainstream, it generally moves more quickly than the mainstream. That's why an artist can be pigeon-holed in the smaller market.

It's not that "the American evangelical is polarizing and archaic," it's that the very definition of this market is based on spiritual cause and effect relationship, so that's what the market audience wants to hear about. Unfortunately, that's often the opposite of your counterparts in the mainstream market. There's a reason that ConversantLife.com can exist, and why you aren't on staff at say Rolling Stone, and probably never will be regardless of talent, experience, education or connections.

There are many artists who don't fit the Christian radio mold, or who have come into the market a bit and not found a home, or who have no desire to be aligned with the freakiest part of the subculture, and even some who just have too much ego to think their art should be considered Christian...

I think it all boils down to what God is telling an artist. He doesn't need anyone to accomplish His will. We can help that artist by praying for them, or if given the opportunity, by praying with them. We have to hope and trust that the artist is hearing from God, and seek the artists God is telling to speak out about their faith. It is amazing to me that artists exist at all. I am astounded by any artist like Chris Tomlin or Steven Curtis Chapman who can take what is a form a SELF-expression and so thoroughly give it over to God that He can express Himself through them. Talk about art...

Online sale Barbour international jacket, Barbour quilt jacket, Barbour wax jackets and so on for men and women. For its perfect quality, fine workmenship, good waterproof function and durable, lasting characteristic, Barbour jackets has gained assitance and attention from all over the world. Their design is easy but elegant. Trusted you would be like it. Now Barbour jackets on sale with free shipping and no sale tax. Come to enjoy top Women Barbour and Men Barbour from Barbour jacket outlet as soon as possible.

=========)( شات اصحابي )(==========

شات مصرى

شات مصر

شات مصرية

شات بنات مصر

شات كتابي

دردشه مصريه

دردشة مصريين

شات مصريين

شات بنات

شات

========)( شات صحوبية )(=========

شات مصر

شات مصرى

شات بنات

دردشة بنات مصر

محجبات

دردشة بنات

دردشة مصرية

شات مصريين

دردشة كتابية

شات

========)( احلا مصر )(========

شات مصري

شات بنات مصر

شات مصر

دردشة بنات

شات بنات

دردشة مصرية

شات مصراوى

شات مصرية

دردشة مصر

شات

========)( محجبات مصر )(=========

ازياء و موضة المحجبات 2013

عبايات منزلية للمحجبات 2013

عبايات بيتي للمحجبات 2013

ازياء محجبات جذابة 2013

ازياء مميزة للمحجبات 2013

صور ازياء محجبات روعة 2013

حجبات موديل 2013

ازياء محجبات جديدة 2013

ملابس محجبات ناعمة 2013

صور موضة المحجبات 2013

ازياء محجبات شتوية 2013

عبايات محجبات موديل 2013

بنطلونات واسعة للمحجبات 2013

ازياء محجبات انيقة 2013

ملابس تركية للمحجبات 2013

صور ملابس شتوية للمحجبات 2013

ملابس شيك للمحجبات 2013

بلوزات شتوي للمحجبات 2013

عبايات محجبات ملونة 2013

صور فساتين سوارية 2013

فساتين صيني قصيرة 2013

فساتين سوارية ستان 2013

فساتين للمصمم طوني يعقوب 2013

اشيك فساتين خطوبة 2013

اجمل الوان فساتين خطوبة 2013

اناقة فستان الخطوبة 2013

احلى فساتين للسهرات الانيقة 2013

احدث موديلات زفاف 2013

اشيك فساتين سوارية 2013

فساتين سهرة قصيرة 2013

فساتين سوارية سوداء موديل 2013

فساتين سوارية بنفسجي 2013

فساتين قصيرة روعة 2013

فساتين سوارية سوداء

صور فساتين سوارية للبنات 2013

فساتين سوارية طويلة 2013

فساتين سهرة فخمة 2013

اشيك ملابس للحوامل 2013

بيجامات حوامل ناعمة 2013

بنطلونات حوامل روعة 2013

ازياء حوامل مميزة 2013

صور ازياء حوامل انيقة 2013

موديلات ملابس للحوامل 2013

بديهات حوامل

فساتين حوامل روعة 2013

فساتين حوامل انيقة 2013

فساتين طويلة للحوامل 2013

توبات جميلة للحوامل 2013

ملابس نوم للحوامل 2013

تيشرتات حوامل شتوي 2013

صور فساتين حوامل موضة 2013

فساتين قصيرة للحوامل 2013

عبايات حوامل موديل 2013

ازياء حوامل كورية 2013

ازياء حوامل جميلة 2013

صور بيجامات حوامل 2013

ازياء شيك للحوامل 2013

صور ملابس حوامل فخمة 2013

ازياء بنات مميزة 2013

ازياء كول للبنات 2013

فساتين بنات قصيرة 2013

ازياء بنوتات موديل 2013

ازياء بنات صيف 2013

تيشرتات ناعمة للبنات 2013

ازياء ناعمة للبنات 2013

ازياء بنات روشة 2013

فساتين بنات موضة 2013

ازياء بنات ملونة 2013

صور بنطلونات جينز للمراهقات 2013

ملابس مراهقات مميزة 2013

ازياء كاجوال للمراهقات 2013

بنطلونات جينز للبنات 2013

فساتين بنات للخروج 2013

قمصان بيتي طويلة 2013

قمصان قطنية قصيرة 2013

بنطلونات جينز للبيت 2013

بيجامات منزلية روعة 2013

بيجامات نوم كورية 2013

بيجامات بنات حمراء 2013

بيجامات نعومي للبنات 2013

صور ارواب نسائية 2013

بيجامات شورت للبيت 2013

بيجامات برمودا موديل 2013

بيجامات صيفي روعة 2013

بيجامات شتوية روعة 2013

ازياء رياضية روعة 2013

بيجامات بيتي قطيفة 2013

عبايات منزلية قصيرة 2013

ارواب روعة للعرائس 2013

شنط انيقة ماركة برادا 2013

شنط حريمي ماركة ديور 2013

شنط حريمي ماركة لويس فويتون 2013

اجمل شنط بنات 2013

شنط حريمي ماركة شانيل 2013

شنط حريمي انيقة 2013

اشيك شنط حريمي باللون البني 2013

شنط لاب توب بناتي 2013

احذية حريمي زحف 2013

صنادل حريمي موديل 2013

احذية حريمي سوارية 2013

احذية حريمي للسهرات 2013

بوتات شتوية موديل 2013

احذية للسهرات موديل 2013

احذية حريمي ماركات عالمية 2013

احذية حريمي افراح 2013

خواتم ذهبية روعة 2013

نظارات شمسية موضة 2013

اقراط نسائية موديل 2013

اكسسوارات حريمي روعة 2013

اكسسوارات ماسية 2013

سلاسل ذهبية موضة 2013

مجوهرات نسائية موضة 2013

اكسسوارات بنات روشة 2013

مجوهرات ماسية 2013

ساعات روشة للبنات 2013

صور علب مكياجات شيك 2013

رموش صناعية روعة 2013

ميك اب شتوي 2013

مكياج عيون روعة 2013

مكياج جميل للسهرات 2013

ارقى مكياج سوارية 2013

مكيب هادئ 2013

روج شفايف مثير 2013

ميك اب صيف 2013

ميك اب عيون للعرائس 2013

ميك اب كاجوال 2013

بانتيهات موديل 2013

لانجري تنكري روعة 2013

لانجري تنكري مثير 2013

اجمل قمصان النوم موديل 2013

لانجري اسود مثير 2013

لانجري دانتيل للعرائس 2013

لانجري جذاب 2013

لانجري انيق 2013

ملابس داخلية انيقة 2013

ملابس داخلية جذابة 2013

ملابس داخلية نسائية 2013

لانجري روعة للبنات 2013

لانجري دانتيل موديل 2013

بيبي دول تنكري 2013

كولكشن ملابس الاطفال 2013

ملابس اطفال مميزة 2013

بيجامات اطفال سبونج بوب 2013

ازياء عالمية للاطفال 2013

بنطلونات جينز للاطفال 2013

ملابس شتوية للاطفال موضة 2013

تيشرتات بنات للاطفال 2013

ملابس بيتي للاطفال

ازياء كيوت للاطفال 2013

ملابس صيفي للبنات الاطفال 2013

ملابس مواليد روعة 2013

ملابس كاجوال اطفالي 2013

صور فساتين افراح للاطفال 2013

كوتشيات رجالي 2013

تيشرتات شبابي 2013

قمصان كاجوال شبابي 2013

ازياء شبابي شيك 2013

ملابس شبابي روعة 2013

ازياء شبابي ماركة زارا 2013

كبك رجالي 2013

ساعات شبابي كاجوال 2013

صور ملابس شباب موديل 2013

ايس كاب شبابي 2013

نظارات شمسية للشباب 2013

جوارب رجالي موديل 2013

جوارب رجالي

جواكت شباب موديل 2013

ملابس نوم للرجال 2013

ملابس شباب مميزة 2013

صور بنطلونات جينز للشباب 2013

ملابس شتوية للشباب 2013

صور اجمل بنات محجبات 2013

صور بنات محجبات ستايل 2013

صور بنات محجبة فيس بوك 2013

صور بنات محجبة 2013

صور بنات كول للفيس بوك 2013

صور اجمل بنات الخليج 2013

صور بنات الفيس بوك 2013

صور بنات ستايل 2013

صور بنات روشة للفيس بوك 2013

صور بنات كيوت فيس بوك 2013

صور بنات بالحجبات 2013

صور بنات حلوات 2013

صور بنات فيس بوك تونس 2013

صور بنات مغربيات فيس بوك 2013

صور بنات الامارات فيس بوك 2013

صور بنات منقبات

صور بنات محجبات

اغلفة فيس بوك نظارات شمسية 2013

كفرات فيس بوك بنات مودرن 2013

كفرات فيس بوك كلام رومانسي 2013

كفرات رومانسية للفيس بوك 2013

اغلفة فيس بوك رومانسية 2013

كفرات فيس بوك رومانسية جدا 2013

صور كفرات رومانسية للفيس بوك 2013

كفرات فيس بوك قلوب 2013

كفرات فيس بوك حزينة 2013

اغلفة فيس بوك كوميدية 2013

كفرات فيس بوك حزينة 2013

اجمل اغلفة فيس بوك 2013

كفرات دينية للفيس بوك 2013

صور فيس بوك مضحكة 2013

صور حب

صور حزينة 2013

صور رومانسية 2013

صور عشاق 2013

اجمل صور رومانسية 2013

صور صور حزينة و فراق 2013

اجمل صور الحب و الرومانسية 2013

صور قلوب متحركة 2013

صور شوق 2013

صور فراق

صور حزينة رومانسية 2013

خلفيات بلاك بيري اسماء 2013

خلفيات بلاك بيري اسماء بنات 2013

خلفيات بلاك بيري اسماء شباب 2013

خلفيات بلاك بيري اسلامية 2013

خلفيات بلاك بيري شوق 2013

خلفيات بلاك بيري كيوت 2013

خلفيات بلاك بيري حب 2013

خلفيات ورعان بلاك بيري 2013

بيرسونال للمسن البلاك بيري 2013

خلفيات بلاك بيري رهيبة 2013

الرشاقة و الجمال 2013

المطبخ و و صفات الطبخ

منتديات الصور 2013

»  Become a Fan or Friend of this Blogger
About
CJ is a writer, artist, and cultural communicator with a passion for raising a new generation of innovative leaders and forward thinkers. He is ConversantLife.com's Social Evangelist and manages their Undiscovered Artist Platform.


Resources