Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

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Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by ThomasEversole on Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:10 pm

So I'd heard that They Wither got some flack for having nudity in their artwork. I seem to remember a special pressing of Strongarm's "Advent of a Miracle" having similar artwork - featuring a naked woman. Do you guys find it distasteful? Do you care? Is there a boundary for acceptable/tasteful artwork and has it been reached yet?

My vote is, as long as its not sexually explicit, its fine... They Wither and Strongarm used artwork/paintings, but I even think photography wouldn't even be taboo... but I might be calloused toward such a thing, what with being an Art Major in college and all.

Thoughts?
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by Hardcore Christian on Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:15 pm

Well from looking up the art

They Wither's doesnt bother me, it has the head of a crow on a woman so it tip toes the boundaries a bit for me

Strongarm's confuses me a bit I looked it up and this is the closest image to explicit I could find



Either Im blind or nothing is being shown, so this has no problem with me at all

As far as my own boundaries go, I usually don't tolerate explicit stuff on the cover, if its truly explicit my guess is their lyrics arent any better
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by New Creation on Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:35 pm

Hardcore Christian wrote:Either Im blind or nothing is being shown, so this has no problem with me at all

Check the back cover.
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by eatbugs on Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:39 pm

I personally find it distasteful.  Yes, I haven't bothered to check out They Wither's music based on the cover art.  I can't say it's "offensive," just unnecessary and against my (possibly) prudish tastes.  I never heard about controversy with Strongarm, I have the cover Hardcore Christian posted.  The cassette insert (back cover equivalent?) is so artistically out of focus that it functionally shows nothing. 

It also does nothing artistically.  Larry Norman caught flak for the So Long Ago In the Garden cover but that at least had artistic merit based on Adam pre-fall.


Like Thomas I think the examples mentioned are "fine," at worst "'permissible' but not 'beneficial'".


As Christians we are supposed to have higher standards for sexual morality.  Things like this can SEEM hypocritical.


All of this is personal opinion based on personal taste.  I could easily change my mind either direction based on something said even in this thread.

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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by ThomasEversole on Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:46 pm

That Strongarm album has 3 different covers that I know of.  One shows just the hands.  One is zoomed out even more and shows the face and hands (like the picture you posted HardcoreChristian).  The one I'm talking about is zoomed out all the way, and the woman with her eyes closed and hands up is nude.  You can see bare breasts and the "landing strip" (between her legs).  (I didn't think of the back where she's curled up naked.  You can't see anything though, unlike the cover I'm talking about.  There's also the on disc printing which shows a breast.)

I guess my thinking is, if nude = explicit, that's a personal problem.  A painting of someone nude (ala Renaissance art) isn't intended to spur lust...  its art.  We're all nude under our clothes and there's something to be said of seeing the body as God designed it, especially if its "just a drawing".

There is a fine line between nude and provocative nude though...
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by New Creation on Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:26 pm

I have a problem with all nudity. The Lord covered us in clothing (Genesis 3:21) and so we should not photograph or portray people without clothing.
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by Hardcore Christian on Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:19 pm

eatbugs wrote:I personally find it distasteful.  Yes, I haven't bothered to check out They Wither's music based on the cover art.  I can't say it's "offensive," just unnecessary and against my (possibly) prudish tastes.  I never heard about controversy with Strongarm, I have the cover Hardcore Christian posted.  The cassette insert (back cover equivalent?) is so artistically out of focus that it functionally shows nothing.

As Christians we are supposed to have higher standards for sexual morality.  Things like this can SEEM hypocritical.
They Wither's art is just off-putting a bit, based on the art alone I wouldnt be too inclined to check out their music

I agree its not offensive but it kills some of your audience

I also had no idea about the Strongarm covers, I have the one with just the hands on the cover

And to non believers as well, it can make Christians seem hypocritical, that is also right on
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by ThomasEversole on Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:24 pm

So, the statue of David needs a pair of underwear?
Is someone studying anatomy sinning against God?
What about a medical examiner or mortician photographic and cataloging the dead?
Is it the genitals in nudity that are evil? ...or is partial nudity still dabbling in sin?

I'm being rhetorical. I can think of nudity portrayed in a less sexual way in art than someone in a swimsuit photograph.

The Bible presents nakedness as shameful and degrading (Genesis 9:21; Exodus 20:26; 32:25; 2 Chronicles 28:19; Isaiah 47:3; Ezekiel 16:35-36; Luke 8:27; Revelation 3:17; 16:15; 17:16) but its all in the context of "public nudity".

This is why you can't be naked yourself in an art gallery full of nude paintings and sculptures.

As far as art itself, I disagree that portrayal of a naked body in art is 100% sinful for the artist and the viewer. There are some fine lines though and this is one of those things that personal conviction does plays a part. If looking at The Birth of Venus makes someone want to rub one out, I'd say the problem is them (and their lust), not the painting. If the artist makes a piece with the sole intention of generating lust, that's another problem.

I could provide my opinion example by example if asked, but again - taking this to 100% is, in my opinion, throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by ThomasEversole on Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:27 pm

Hardcore Christian wrote:
And to non believers as well, it can make Christians seem hypocritical, that is also right on

All the medieval art featuring nudes was not made by hypocrites though.

The stereotypes of culture and its stigma is what is generating that hypocrisy.
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by Hardcore Christian on Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:22 pm

ThomasEversole wrote:As far as art itself, I disagree that portrayal of a naked body in art is 100% sinful for the artist and the viewer.  There are some fine lines though and this is one of those things that personal conviction does plays a part.  If looking at The Birth of Venus makes someone want to rub one out, I'd say the problem is them (and their lust), not the painting.  If the artist makes a piece with the sole intention of generating lust, that's another problem.
Exactly, my opinion exactly
ThomasEversole wrote:
Hardcore Christian wrote:And to non believers as well, it can make Christians seem hypocritical, that is also right on

All the medieval art featuring nudes was not made by hypocrites though.

The stereotypes of culture and its stigma is what is generating that hypocrisy.
I can agree with you on this too, in this culture we live in people view Christians just that way
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by eatbugs on Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:39 am

ThomasEversole wrote:
Hardcore Christian wrote:
And to non believers as well, it can make Christians seem hypocritical, that is also right on

All the medieval art featuring nudes was not made by hypocrites though.

The stereotypes of culture and its stigma is what is generating that hypocrisy.

Exactly why I used the word "seem."  It's not a fair litmus test for someone's heart but it can be used as a litmus test by both Christians and non-Christians.

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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by Blake on Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:34 am

I found this to be an interesting topic so I am going to copy and paste my response from Thomas' forum:


Another album that did this was Apostisy - Famine of a Thousand Frozen Years. I love this album but I'm not a big fan of the topless lady riding the horse on the cover. I get the whole idea of nudity in art and I do agree to an extent, however I think it is an unwise decision to use this for Christian albums because as was already mentioned we live in a world of temptation and if we are delivering a message of deliverance then do we really want to be instrumental to someone's temptation? Some are more sensitive than others with temptation so while I feel nothing when looking at that album art it doesn't mean someone else's lust wont be triggered.

I believe Sympathy - Abyssal Throne also used some artwork depicting nudity.

I feel that we need to be mindful of these things. Also theres the whole thing about trying to be "beyond reproach".

1 Timothy 3 details the "Qualifications of Overseers and Deacons" but I think it is relevant as any type of "minister" whether it be pulpit or band:

1 Timothy 3 NKJV

This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop,[a] he desires a good work.  2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;  3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;  4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence  5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);  6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.  7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Qualifications of Deacons

8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,  9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.  10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.  11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.  12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.  13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The Great Mystery

14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly;  15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.  16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

God[c] was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.

I used to be told all the time by my late father in law to stay "beyond reproach" in the things I do, meaning don't put myself in scenarios or situations that could cast me in a bad light. Even if my intentions are not sinful, if release an album with a naked lady on the cover, no matter how pure my intent, there are going to be people thinking I am promoting pornography and before you know it the world will call me a heretic or something. Of course I know theres always someone who doesn't like what your doing, but we can still try our best.
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:13 pm

First of all, the They Wither album is outstanding. The lyrics are fantastic. Second, I like the style of the artwork but don't care for the nudity/perversity. If you don't have the album there are no less than 6 pages of naked drawings of a woman within the booklet and case. It's not just the cover. That's the only "nonhuman" picture.

Did it offend me? No. Would it limit me from sharing it with others? 100%

Not a good idea.

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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by messiaen77 on Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:25 pm

First, let me say I think we need to be careful in this thread about trying to impose our standards on everyone else.  I personally think issues of clothing (or lack thereof) tend to fall in that gray area where there are no specific black and white guidelines.  Sure God clothed Adam and Eve, but only because they felt shame in their nakedness.  Remember in pre-Fall Eden, they weren't clothed, so I don't think we can say that nudity is inherently sinful.  At the same time, I don't think we should chastise people who are bothered by nudity.

I guess my question is kinda like it is for using profanity:  what's the purpose?  I think there are artistic/narrative reasons for going outside the norms and expectations, but there are also reasons that are just for shock value.  I do think as Christians, the use of nudity and profanity needs to be carefully weighed against what affect it will have on the audience.  Whether we like it or not, we have been called to be set apart from the world's standards, so we need to be careful to live up to that calling.  I know it is impossible to do anything without someone being offended by it, but I think we need to take real care about doing things that we know are going to cause problems for people.

Of course there's also the cross-cultural perspective.  Many folks in the U.S. are bothered more by profanity and nudity than folks in other parts of the world.
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by messiaen77 on Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:36 pm

To be honest, I hadn't noticed the They Wither art was a naked woman.  Looking at their Youtube teaser, it seems to me that the woman is supposed to represent the Whore of Babylon,  At least that's what I got from it and I don't have a problem with it.  I haven't seen the really explicit Strongarm cover, but the on-disc printing just seems gratuitous to me, so yeah, pass.
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:57 pm

messiaen77 wrote:To be honest, I hadn't noticed the They Wither art was a naked woman.  Looking at their Youtube teaser, it seems to me that the woman is supposed to represent the Whore of Babylon,  At least that's what I got from it and I don't have a problem with it.

Just noting again, it's not just the cover, though that is the most explicit pic. The inside is filled multiple pictures of a nude woman. None of the poses are what you would call seductive. I don't think they are meant to be so. It is artistic and expressive not seductive. Could it easily cause someone to slip? Yes. 

For me, I know the tried saying that goes with these debatable issues and the calls for heightened sensitivity, "anything can cause someone to slip" but, knowing how easy it was for me to fall into pornographic addiction as a pre-teen and the +20yr battle that ensued, my sons won't be seeing that album booklet. It didn't take much more than that, seeing what I'd never seen, to mess my life up.

Like I said, I was not offended by it but when it comes to me and my family. Romans 13:14 is it, "Make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof." I wouldn't wish my battle on my sons. Maybe people who haven't struggled like that wouldn't care.

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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by ThomasEversole on Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:29 pm

messiaen77 wrote:First, let me say I think we need to be careful in this thread about trying to impose our standards on everyone else.  I personally think issues of clothing (or lack thereof) tend to fall in that gray area where there are no specific black and white guidelines.  Sure God clothed Adam and Eve, but only because they felt shame in their nakedness.  Remember in pre-Fall Eden, they weren't clothed, so I don't think we can say that nudity is inherently sinful.  At the same time, I don't think we should chastise people who are bothered by nudity.

Agreed!

messiaen77 wrote:I guess my question is kinda like it is for using profanity:  what's the purpose?  I think there are artistic/narrative reasons for going outside the norms and expectations, but there are also reasons that are just for shock value.  I do think as Christians, the use of nudity and profanity needs to be carefully weighed against what affect it will have on the audience.  Whether we like it or not, we have been called to be set apart from the world's standards, so we need to be careful to live up to that calling.  I know it is impossible to do anything without someone being offended by it, but I think we need to take real care about doing things that we know are going to cause problems for people.

Norma Jean's song "1,000,000 Watts" drops the F bomb.  Seems like pretty standard Solid State type lyrics until the bridge when he says "I'm not f*cking around".  Mark Saloman (of Stavesacre) in the Argyle Park song "Fanny Pack" uses the word "jack@ss" quite a bit in the track.

I see this similar to the point I agreed with you regarding nude depictions in artwork being a gray area.  While the Bible directs us not to offend, it doesn't exactly have a list of words deemed offensive.  Profanity at its core with a word being used isn't offensive to me at all...  its offensive when its directed toward someone or used in excess.  (in excess, it still isn't offensive to me, more like annoying grammatically)

Ever watch a DVD that has French audio? You'll hear plenty of F bombs, but that's a completely different meaning than what it has in the English language. Same with a thumbs up, in the US, that more or less means “cool” or “good job”, in the middle east, its equivalent to flipping someone off. The S word in the US just means “dirt” in Norway, but its considered profane here.

Last time I ran the vacuum, I cussed up a storm because I clogged the thing in guinea pig bedding. Did I offend my wife or my pets? Nah. My wife laughed.

MK58 wrote:
For me, I know the tried saying that goes with these debatable issues and the calls for heightened sensitivity, "anything can cause someone to slip" but, knowing how easy it was for me to fall into pornographic addiction as a pre-teen and the +20yr battle that ensued, my sons won't be seeing that album booklet. It didn't take much more than that, seeing what I'd never seen, to mess my life up.

Like I said, I was not offended by it but when it comes to me and my family. Romans 13:14 is it, "Make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof." I wouldn't wish my battle on my sons. Maybe people who haven't struggled like that wouldn't care.



There was a time where seeing a woman's ankles provoked lust.  That doesn't mean the sight of a woman's ankles cause thoughts of fornication though...  Jeffery Dahmer was turned on by looking at dismembered animal parts, for heaven's sake.  Just the same, that's him, not everyone else.  Honestly, regarding exposure, that ball is in your court and my court...  the court in the eye of the beholder.  Black to some, white to others, the rest see gray.

Just like you stated with "anything can cause someone to slip" - anything can cause someone to be offended.  I mean, someone could take one look at my wacky beard and be offended.  That doesn't mean I'm looking to make people fall...  Same with those artistically depicting the human body or producing music that contains profanity.

Here's a parallel example for you.

I'm definitely an alcoholic.  I've tried to drink alcohol like normal men and I can't.  ...and by the grace of God, I haven't had a drink since 2007.  Does that mean people are making alcohol just to cause me to stumble?  No.  Does that mean other people can't drink because I have a problem with it?  No again.  Does that mean I hate alcohol because years ago, it ruined my life?  No yet again.  

Much like nudity in artwork, profanity in lyrics or me having a beer - its not something I should take personally.  If I don't like it or it causes me to fall, then I need to stay away from it.  Again, that's because the ball is in my court.  Condemning others or trying to make a crusade out of a blanket statement is ill guided.

Its as simple as that.
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by Hardcore Christian on Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:24 pm

ThomasEversole wrote:Norma Jean's song "1,000,000 Watts" drops the F bomb.  Seems like pretty standard Solid State type lyrics until the bridge when he says "I'm not f*cking around".
This one actually caught me off guard, I was pretty surprised.

I had listened to the song a lot, and its casually slipped in there.

The day I got the album I was sifting through lyrics and found it
It surprised me more that I missed it, than anything
I know that they say that they are not a ministry band and what not but despite that, that song is my favorite on the album and it still bugs me

I think with bands that do that, one explicit kinda thing, they are just trying to distance themselves from the Christian market or shock people.

Reminds me of P.O.D. and them dropping the F bomb, they didnt say the whole word, but you knew what it was

Another one is Destroy The Runner, I backed their new EP last year and before it even came out the first single had a single F bomb (Cut the f*ing cord)
No other language on the whole thing, and what surprises me is that on Itunes that track has a explicit warning, yet Norma Jean's song doesnt

Its more evident to me now that Destroy The Runner was just trying to distance themselves with that one because their are no Christian lyrics anywhere on that album
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by ThomasEversole on Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:25 pm

Hardcore Christian wrote:
I think with bands that do that, one explicit kinda thing, they are just trying to distance themselves from the Christian market or shock people.

That's one possibility. Its also possible that they're trying to reach people outside of the Christian "box" by blending in.

Here's a scenario. Lets say you're walking down the street and there's someone walking toward you that you know isn't saved. He's covered in piercings, tattoos and is wearing a Korn shirt. If you intend on talking to this guy and bringing him to Christ, do you think he'd be more inclined to listen to you if:
a) You were clean shaven, wearing a suit and carrying a Bible
b) You were also covered in tattoos, piercings and wearing a Korn t-shirt

I think the obvious answer is B. While its certainly possible they won't care what you look like, its human nature that we're more inclined to connect/listen to others if they're like us. It doesn't do any good to try and spread the gospel if they're already not listening to us...

Imagine this - someone (who cusses and isn't interested at all in Christianity) hears Norma Jean and likes the sound. They aren't connecting too much to the lyrics until an F bomb fires them up and hits their sweet spot, now they're checking the lyrics out. Maybe now studying the lyrics when they normally wouldn't gets them to contemplate God. Sure it may not get salvation points right off the bat, but its certainly capable of "planting a seed". Sure its a blatant sore to a practicing Christian, but maybe that song isn't for Christians?

John 15:19, John 17:14-16 and Romans 12:2 all press the point of being "in the world, not of it". I think these verses are HUGELY misinterpreted when they're applied to aesthetics. Some people might think tattoos and piercings are worldly, but wouldn't being clean shaven and wearing a suit also be worldly? Some people might think drawing a nude woman is worldly, but wouldn't drawing a tree also be worldly? I mean - that drawing isn't bringing people to Christ.

I think being "worldly" is all about how we respond and react. Not individual words, pictures, dress or what we listen to...
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by deathisgain on Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:39 pm

My answer is C: They are more inclined if it is the will of the Holy Spirit and the time is right. Lots of people have been brought to Christ by people they didn't think would be the one. I understand that we don't want to come off as Ned Flanders, but at the same time we don't have to be a hell's angel. We discredit God's power by saying that the outer part of the vessel has the most effect. Another way of looking at it is do we ask people to look like a homeless person to witness to them?
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by ThomasEversole on Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:34 pm

deathisgain wrote:My answer is C: They are more inclined if it is the will of the Holy Spirit and the time is right. Lots of people have been brought to Christ by people they didn't think would be the one. I understand that we don't want to come off as Ned Flanders, but at the same time we don't have to be a hell's angel. We discredit God's power by saying that the outer part of the vessel has the most effect.

The outer vessel doesn't have the most effect - but its certainly not to be thrown in the trash bin either.  God can move mountains, but we need to bring a shovel.  (James 2:14-26)  No doubt, if we discussed it enough, we'd have different opinions on what "works" will be adequate with our faith.  I believe its more than just showing up and talking about Jesus and letting God do the rest - our works matter or our faith is worthless to others!  The danger with option C is that we can use God's will to minimize or excuse our works because we can just pass the buck.  ie: I'm out witnessing to people, but I didn't shower, but that's ok because if God wills it, they'll still come to Jesus through me, even if I smell like sewage.

deathisgain wrote:Another way of looking at it is do we ask people to look like a homeless person to witness to them?

If that's the work that one homeless person needs, then YES!!  I think we can all agree God changing their heart will bring about the actual salvation, but as the messenger, our method of delivery (or our works of salvation) can get in the way - either from doing something we shouldn't or not doing something we should.

I agree, we don't need to be hellish to reach the hellish...  but we can't just go about witnessing without regard to our actions just because "God's got this".  The unsaved don't have our standards and WITHIN REASON we need to have some degree of presentation in their favor, otherwise we're just opening the door just to show our convictions.
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by messiaen77 on Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:33 pm

https://thinkchristian.reframemedia.com/the-naked-and-the-nude?utm_campaign=TC_RSS_Campaign&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=34678347&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9306y1DzFUK2JuU1P5AECFdxBmcEGnfILn1o52WqvruCX8sygxhHWdsULCZgUHi8yrBBVACkA6dNgQR7yH3awQ3gXjMA&_hsmi=34678347

Just for thought and/or discussion.
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by ThomasEversole on Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:54 pm

I've seen those pictures. There's quite a few of them. Its not a sexual presentation at all - in fact, to me, it further emphasizes the anguish captured in those photographs.

Could someone find those pictures stimulating their lust? I'm sure of it. If people can be sexually aroused by looking at trees, it might as well be anything. ...but I think going around and chopping down giant plants is the completely wrong approach to helping someone with that affliction.

...just like removing all the paintings and photographs wouldn't be an adequate solution to stop a porn addiction either. People can have accountability, not inanimate objects (like paintings and photographs) so its up to the person to change...
___________________________

There's the cover artwork of a band I'd like to talk about. Its not a Christian band, but we can always pretend for the sake of opinion. Its the album cover of Anorexia Nervoa - New Obscurantis Order. (Some very amazing symphonic black metal from France - this album art is everywhere online, so you'll have zero problem finding it if you google for it)

While some secular black metal art is clearly sexually explicit, this is not. (at least it doesn't seem that way in its presentation)

I'll describe the artwork for those who may not want to look at it. Its either a photograph or a very realistic painting. It has a woman with red hair, somber face and completely covered in a long black dress. She's down on one knee and across her knee is draped a doll with red hair.

This woman is holding a red haired girl (I'm guessing around age 10?) in front of her and the girl is standing. All she's wearing is a shirt blouse that looks way too big on her. You can see the right nipple on the girl (breasts aren't developed yet) and her hands are covering her crotch. The expression on the girls face is what I would describe as "malevolent" - like the look someone would give to someone they wanted to kill.

Personal convictions aside, would you guys consider this to have any artistic value whatsoever to the general populous?
...or is this album cover just a subtle/not-so-subtle way for child predators to get their rocks off?
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by Hardcore Christian on Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:54 pm

ThomasEversole wrote:
Hardcore Christian wrote:I think with bands that do that, one explicit kinda thing, they are just trying to distance themselves from the Christian market or shock people.
That's one possibility.  Its also possible that they're trying to reach people outside of the Christian "box" by blending in.
Well, I think this is true in Norma Jean's case because Cory (lead singer) is still very outspoken on his faith in Christ
In Destroy The Runner's case I dont think so, the reason being is they have never had Christian lyrics and none of the members profess Christianity anymore as far as I know, the new EP's lyrical content is dark and has a lot to do with death, one line on the final song even says "We are all alone in a sick sick world, we serve two masters fear and pain" anyway still disappointed in those lyrics 
ThomasEversole wrote:Personal convictions aside, would you guys consider this to have any artistic value whatsoever to the general populous?
...or is this album cover just a subtle/not-so-subtle way for child predators to get their rocks off?
I looked it up, and I think art wise, its a very realistic piece but in my mind its seems it would be very easily the latter
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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by eatbugs on Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:41 am

Lots of good points on this thread.  I guess the one thing I'm going to comment on is the cultural aspect of it.  Very few people are going to lust by looking at trees, very few are going to lust after the bird-thing on the They Wither cover.  To me an important difference is that in the United States there is a social assumption associated with nudity.  Even if the intent isn't lustful there is still a perception that glorifying nudity isn't something Christians should do.  This is also the difference between studying anatomy and art - the enjoyment of it. 

It's the same thing with swearing.  If certain "bombs" were to become culturally accepted as just words it wouldn't be wrong for Christians to say them.  I've heard that in certain parts of the country words I consider profane already are that way.  As long as they are considered "unwholesome talk" even by unbelievers, are they really words we should be saying?

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Re: Controversial Artwork in Christian releases

Post by ThomasEversole on Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:54 pm

eatbugs wrote:Lots of good points on this thread.  I guess the one thing I'm going to comment on is the cultural aspect of it.  Very few people are going to lust by looking at trees, very few are going to lust after the bird-thing on the They Wither cover.  To me an important difference is that in the United States there is a social assumption associated with nudity.  Even if the intent isn't lustful there is still a perception that glorifying nudity isn't something Christians should do.  This is also the difference between studying anatomy and art - the enjoyment of it. 

It's the same thing with swearing.  If certain "bombs" were to become culturally accepted as just words it wouldn't be wrong for Christians to say them.  I've heard that in certain parts of the country words I consider profane already are that way.  As long as they are considered "unwholesome talk" even by unbelievers, are they really words we should be saying?

Good point in saying words culturally accepted aren't profane.

Even more powerful than the cultural aspect is context.  My opinion, this is THE trump card that ultimately defines what's profane and what's not.  If someone is running down the street naked, they'll get a charge for indecent exposure if caught.  If someone barely escaped a burning building with their life and they just happen to escape into that same street with no clothes on, no police officer would charge them - they would help them.

In the US, the F bomb is culturally profane, but if the context is just right, its not profane at all.  Let me explain.

Shouting F bombs across the street, in some states, people will get arrested for that.  Shouting F bombs in a church, that will get dealt with too.  My brother is the worship leader at his church and him and I cuss around each other ALL the time - of course, in private and of course in the context of humor.  It made my day last week when I texted him a Tourette's Guy quote and he was rolling with laughter.  It wasn't profane to us even with the F bombs, because it was just us and it was funny.  Now if I would have texted that to my mom - that's crossed the line.

The same goes with artwork.  If you have a picture of a nude woman in a gallery that nicely dressed people have to pay to attend, that's art - but that same picture in a dirty basement next to a chair and a bottle of lotion, that's pornography.  Its really up to context and what the individual does with the word or the art.

While the general public may not get off on trees or a drawing of boobs on a bird lady, for the people that do, it doesn't matter to them how many people don't.  No matter how many people see just a tree, it will always be more than that to those with Dendrophilia.
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