Catacomb Resident Blog

In the Shrine to Art

23 January 2022

God's wrath upon America is just.

It could be worse. We aren't quite Sodom and Gomorrah, worthy of being buried in volcanic lava. We aren't quite as bad as Judah, in which the land itself vomited them out into Exile. Our punishment will fit our sins. We have been driven mad and we shall devour ourselves. The descendants of those who gave birth to America will be reduced to a tiny remnant, while the rest of mankind swamps our numbers. Anglo-America will be forgotten.

Let me pick out from the vast pile of our sins one thing that rubs God raw: our pagan idolatry of art. Granted, our sensibilities have declined greatly from the days of the Renaissance, but that period in art was itself a wallowing in idolatrous self-indulgence. Thus, what today passes for "great art" -- both the stuffy elitist garbage and the very popular consumer grade crap -- is simply the predictable result of a natural progression down into Hell.

It's the idolatrous obsession of the West with art itself that stinks to Heaven, because it's just a cover for worshiping fallen human nature. We have this foul obsession with what we find beautiful as somehow a gift from God, when it comes from Hell. The whole concept of artistry is a matter of fallen human perception, not the pursuit of holiness from God.

There's nothing wrong with sweet music, so long as it lifts up the name of the Lord. There's nothing wrong with visual representations of what is good and righteous. But defiled people cannot glorify God until the defilement is washed away. Nobody is talking about religious performance here; it's all about your attitude and your commitments. If your heart doesn't belong to Him, you cannot do right. If your heart belongs to Him, your inevitable imperfections are forgiven. A penitent sinner who can't carry a tune in a bucket makes sweet music in God's ears.

The issue is to what art is devoted. God said smash the pagan shrines, artistry be damned.

Do you pat your feet to music that celebrates sex outside of the marriage covenant? Do you watch TV shows that glorify sinful human ambitions? Are you moved by drawings that depict people who don't care what God thinks? How many times have you spent money on this idolatry? It's not that we need a better appreciation for art. We need to appreciate God's divine moral character.

Nor should we commend the religious themes plastered on top of crass consumer materialism. As my friend says, a Jesus Frisbee doesn't make your play time holy. (It doesn't make a cheap Frisbee work any better, either.) There's an awful lot of Contemporary Christian Music that is actually pagan and immoral. The problem is the system that makes it a profitable business; that's how a lot of good people are tempted into doing evil. But by no means does having a better artist make it okay with God. Prime example: We know that Pentatonix openly advocates immorality, but how often have you heard their music played in a church setting simply because they did a wonderful job with an ostensibly Christian song? Their sinful ways defiles the performance.

Again, I'm not suggesting that the same performance coming from a more righteous band is going to solve the problem. The problem is that we give so much support to whatever we imagine is high artistry without stopping to consider what God says about motives. I don't care if some music group is the best there is, I'm not going to dive into their performance of some old gospel favorite. They are all about the music, and if they don't repent, nothing in their performance will cover their sin. It's still just a fig leaf; it's not the covering God provides.

Stop acting like the strong internal response to great art is the move of the Holy Spirit. Learn to distinguish between sentiment and Spirit. There are a lot of demons who can make you feel all sweet inside while they plant the hidden seeds of moral failure in your soul.

The issue is your attitude and mine. It's not possible to find art produced by perfectly righteous people, because there are no such people. That's not the standard here. It's whether that artist presents penitence and humility for their sinful nature. There are performances and productions out there that are dominated by people who glorify God as best they know how. I doubt there is anything we can do about what goes on behind the scenes, between the making of the art and the materialism of the system that delivers it to us. But we can be a lot more careful about choosing artists that are open and humble about their fallen nature, and don't believe their gifts somehow make them better than others.

Maybe you can recognize that artists and promoters who advocate for arrogance and sass in performance are poking God in the eye. But it's not even humility alone; it's what their art encourages overall. Whom did they set out to glorify? And how do you use it? It's not the artist alone, nor the art itself, nor we how use it, but the living moral connection between us all. It's a matter of conviction that arises from spending time in contemplation, begging God to show us where we have failed Him.

Making art into a deity is a huge mistake, and it's part of the reason for God's wrath.

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