Today, I went to several church websites to get e-mails and make contacts. Visiting each home page I spent some time exploring the site (since I am naturally easily distracted on the web).
No joke, on each and every site, there was a picture like the one below…
The idea is to convey freedom and celebration in the Christian life – specifically in terms of joining this local church to have such a thing.
No offense to the sites that have pictures like this up, but when everyone has this up on their site the picture loses its meaning. It doesn’t speak freedom, creativity and exuberance in the Christian life – it speaks conformity and the ever growing copy-paste-and-it-will-work-at-our-church mentality that pervades American church culture.
People post up these pictures like that alone is going to set people free.
Yeah, visuals work, but if its the same visual everywhere I look, is it really doing the job?
I mean, Christian visuals are significant. Symbols like the cross, the ChiRho and Trinity symbol are famous the world over, and communicate across time and culture. Stained glass and altar paraments speak volumes to a visual guy like me, but not iStock photos and Microsoft Word Clip Art.
So, I’m not saying that these pictures can’t work, or don’t mean anything to anyone, but it isn’t working for me and I don’t think it is for a majority of people my age.
Can we attempt solid Christian art again rather than computer database images that business professionals use in their Power Points? Is it really communicating something sacred if it easily found in so many secular contexts?
Can we try to create and use art that is Scripture based, Scripture inspired and Scripture soaked? Because, if we believe that Scripture is efficacious then we can believe that art inspired from it can actually accomplish what we hope to with the back-facing-raised-hand-picture.
I hope so.
Because then maybe I would be so inspired that I might raise my hands in some isolated place like that lady up there.