Sunday, May 17, 2009

outside the box

I always always start groaning whenever a Christian starts talking about doing art or music or sermons or church or witnessing out of the box. Quite frankly, it's very hard to do anything out of the box when you don't know how wide the box is or what the parameters or shape of the box is. It's like when I look at Christian rock stars with strange bristly hair. They like to think they "rock" but inevitably there is something -- hard to pin-point which makes everyone but everyone who looks at them -- Christian or not-- know immediately that they are Christians-trying-to-be-out of the box. And it's not that they "carry the spirit of Christ" with them into the world. Or vice versa. It's that they carry the spirit of the box around with them.

The box is made of so many parameters and perhaps because we Christians don't really understand the nature of the box and we don't know how to examine the box we are totally ridiculous when we try to get out of this box.

Culturally, the box is American. There are racial stuff, class stuff, political stuff that are all part of North American issues. Christian filmmakers, no matter how hard they try, will always make a film that seems like all other films done by Christian filmmakers.

Okay, every once in a while a Christian filmmaker makes a unique and wonderful Christian film. But that occurs when the Christian has worked in the secular world and has managed in some way to study the box from afar. Movies such as The Apostle, for instance, are unique simply because they're so box-aware.
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