Sunday, July 29, 2007

What is secular?

I heard the term "secular" today. Used in the context that the "secular" world would not change by policies but only by heart change. My question is what is "secular?" Is it that which is "born again?" That which is wholly good?

If we are talking music: When I see Christian music (in the CCM sense), I see cliched lines and generic arrangements that offer glossed over glimpses of life.
If we are talking politics: I see a religious right pushing a select few "moral" issues while ignoring the poor, not taking care of the earth, and yelling rather loudly on Fox News.
If we are talking film: I see low-budget movies with B-level actors giving Sunday School lessons.
If we are talking literature: I see a lot of self-help (nonfiction) and Christians characters solving Full House type problems with a hug at the end (fiction).

When we come to the "secular" community, all these things still remain... but there are a lot more glimpses of hope (in my viewpoint at least). There are innovative musicians pushing the envelope both lyrically and musically, there are politicians with a broad perspective who really want to change for good, there are movies being released that show beauty or real-life in ways that don't hold back, there are authors who aren't afraid to challenge.

Thus far, I would voluteer to be a part of the "secular" community. Being known for sub-par content used to replace the dirty R rated content out there is not something I would like to be known for. Count me out of the "Christian" community.

I know I can't generalize for all of Christian subculture content and I also realize that I am not covering all of culture ... but I think there is some truth to the generalizations made.

David Dark writes in his book The Gospel According to America:

Madeleine L'Engle once helpfully observed that artistic expression is only worthy of the description "Christian" if it's good. And if it is good and therefore truthful, it is, to the believing mind, Christian, unless we believe there's some fragment of truth or beauty that doesn't belong to the Lord. We get to be people who are less concerned with whether or not they're offended, and more concerned with reorienting their sight to behold the good news of truthful storytelling. (pg 124)

What a mind-altering thought.
I suppose in conclusion, I want to be known for the truth. I want to be known for stuff that is good. There is nothing more Christian than that. Regardless of the label on it. Let's go that direction.

1 comment:

Brent D. Maher said...

Hi, Josiah. Romanowski's book "Eyes Wide Open" addresses the idea of sacred vs. secular is detail. You should check it out. Also, thanks for naming me as a valuable person with a valuable blog. That's quite an upgrade from being a heretic.