According to one study, 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women look at porn at least once a month. Those numbers aren’t all that different from the statistics of non-Christians. Is it at all strange to you that pornography is so popular? It’s singularly one of the most tacky things on the planet. It’s garish, badly acted, badly shot, badly directed, badly “written,” completely unbelievable, contrived, mindless, and absurd.
How do we normally condemn pornography? By calling it immoral, abusive, socially destructive, and shameful (all of which are certainly true). But shouldn’t it be enough that pornography is mind-numbingly tasteless? Somehow that isn’t enough. Which makes me think sin is very much connected to horribly bad taste. Let me explain.
Have you ever wondered why most Christian movies fall so flat? The vast majority of the Christian films produced in the last few decades rank among the worst movies ever made. In fact, at least one of them, Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas, had the dubious honor of being IMDb’s worst-rated movie of all time. (It’s currently tied for last.) It nearly swept the Razzies in 2014 too. One of its wins was for Worst Screen Combo: Kirk Cameron & His Ego. Ouch.
Some of the mockery and scorn leveled at Christian movies certainly stems from ideological differences. Most of the people who call Christian movies “lame” and “preachy” don’t belong to the choir. But as I’ve written before, much of the criticism leveled against Christian movies is completely legitimate, and we should take it seriously.
We had such a great time at our Dinner and Artist Showcase! It was so wonderful to have so many of our patrons come out to support us and get an up-close look at what we do.
Something has been weighing on me quite a bit lately. I was very gently rebuked recently for how negative I usually am. This wasn’t an attack from some wounded outsider. This was from my closest business partner and friend, Justus. Second only to my wife, I rely on him to keep me in check. He said, in so many words, “I don’t want the Nehemiah Foundation to be characterized by naysaying. And you are often very negative. It leaves a sour taste in people’s mouths.” Especially after my article on Left Behind, I wanted to take this opportunity to begin a public dialogue on (some of) my shortcomings, and to ask for help in developing a constructive and gracious program for the destruction of mediocrity and corruption in the church’s arts.
Demolition in God’s Kingdom Plans
First, demolition and critique clearly have a place in God’s redemptive plan. If you look at God’s commission to Jeremiah (Jer. 1:10), two-thirds of it is destructive:
You may have noticed that many talented Christian artists split with the church—either completely, like Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan—or partially on various issues, like Michael Gungor or Dan Haseltine. It seems that many “fringe” Christian artists feel disconnected from the church, or at least uncomfortable inside of it. This is actually a common experience, far more common than most people know.
Derek Webb, former member of Caedmon’s Call, had this to say in an interview with Richard Clark: