Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Pedro on the arts, pt II
The conclusion to yesterday's transciption of David Bazan's (Pedro the Lion) monologue on Christianity and the arts, from Cornerstone 2001:


I’m sorry it’s too much, that’s why I’m trying to write an essay, but the bottom line is, in my opinion, I think the way it has been going--and I’m quoting or paraphrasing a guy named Michael Horton--but the way that it has been going, when we attempt to subvert the creative process and impulse by adhering to a slogan that we’ve already decided “This is what I want this song to be about,” or “This is what I want my music to say or whatever,” it undermines several things: Creativity in general, which is God’s personality in us, which I believe is a sin.

Also it undermines the power and the belief that the Holy Spirit lives in you and has control over your life to a certain extent in that he is a voice of reason and compassion in you. And also attempting to sloganize the Gospel, I think, degrades it to the point of the most unprofound thing that there is. When you turn on Christina radio you hear… it’s literally the same thing over and over again. And a lot of it are tidbits of truth I grant, but I think, just like when… I don’t know if you have girlfriend or you’re married, or you have a boyfriend… I tell my wife I love her all the time. And it’s not necessarily a good thing, because I say it too much without actually putting it into action and she gets pissed at me. She’ll tell me, “Don’t say that again until…” Just because you wear stuff out through taking it for granted, and just like, “Oh well, I need a new song so there’s this one concept theologically that’s been regurgitated over and over again and so I’m going to go ahead and do it.”

Ultimately the challenge is to each one of you as consumers and to those of you who attempt to create art, really push the boundaries and take risks that the Gospel allows us to do. It’s really important that, uh… it’s really ridiculous… And you know, I’m up here and I see the holes in my songs and all the safe little things that I do, and I really think it’s ridiculous that there’s not a lot of good music to listen to that’s not just regurgitated musically and lyrically the same stuff over and over again. We should be creating things that are risky and new because we have the Creator that lives in us and it’s all for his glory if it’s done in faith, so I just encourage you guys to throw off the shackles of Christian culture and of Christian industry and attempt to do something that’s not dumb or whatever.

And I’m in it too, that’s why the record is taking so long because it’s kinda sucking right now or whatever.

[following performance of the hymns "Be Thou My Vision" and "Fairest Lord Jesus"]

I also wanted to make a comment regarding those songs and songs like it. Part of what I hope to include in the essay is how I believe that we have a really warped understanding of what worship is, that worship is something that happens when we can all sing together in words that we know or whatever, but if everything that I’m doing up here isn’t worship to God than it’s super pointless. I just want to make sure… I think that it’s just really important that we really think before we use words, and especially Christian words so misused over and over again. I appreciate comments of thanks about playing hymns. I think that they’re really beautiful, but you know, they’re not any more worship than anything else or they shouldn’t be. And if they are there’s a real big problem. Sorry to be weird or whatever.

posted by Peter at 1:43 AM
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