Podium | A forbidden fruit

Christians and pop culture

Why is it that elements of pop culture created by Christians and with a Christian message so often generate such a negative reaction? Popular culture is known because of its appeal.  Maybe, we just aren’t appealing.

Why would that be the case?

Faith has its own language, and many times we focus so hard on making sure the facts of the message come through, that the art is lost in translation.  So, if we are creating unappealing art forms, and using a club members only lingo,  then it is no wonder people think Christians can’t “do pop culture”. We have to decide whether we are making art, or making Christian art.

Pop culture in some, but not all, cases does a fairly good job of representing life, a reality in which there is good and evil.  And it is perhaps the presence of evil and sin in popular film, story and music that allows moments of redemption and questioning that resonates somewhere deep in the soul. As Christians, we fear letting the world know that even with faith, life will still have plenty of hard times so our art then, portrays a skewed version of reality.  We have decided to write stories that end with happily-ever-after, time after time.  Yet we know this is not what life looks like for anyone.

And so we hesitantly look in from the outside, too scared to look for God in the art forms of our current culture.  We need to trust that elements of our faith will shine through our creations because we are expressing ourselves through art and not using art to make sure our message is the first, the loudest and only thing noticed.

Writer: Bethany Berard is a Rhetoric and Communications student at the University of Winnipeg, with specific interest in culture and the role it plays in communication.  She is a part time saxophone teacher, with an emphasis on jazz and improvisation.  A love of travel and photography have led to some exciting adventures, which she hopes will continue.

Podium is an occasional article series written by people connected to saint benedict’s table. Working from a specific assignment, writers make their point in a few hundred words. Engage with their ideas by leaving a comment.

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