I love our local pastors’ fellowship! We have an issue in our town concerning a piece of artwork in our local museum. The lithograph depicts Jesus receiving oral sex. It’s weird and it’s disgusting and quite a few people want to get it out of the museum (which happily receives busloads of children from the schools).
A couple of the pastors were rather angry and wanted the rest of us to sign petitions, send letters, whatever it would take. We all agreed that a tax-supported museum, which would never support Christianity, should not be in the position of promoting an anti-Christian message. Museum curators and boards have and make choices about what they display and this showed antipathy toward the Lord we love.
Well, we had a variety of ideas on what to do or whether to do anything. But someone asked the best question. Why would an artist draw something like that? I had done some research and I contributed what I had read. The artist claimed that this was a statement on the church (one would assume the Catholic church because of the background of the artist and the particular characters and symbols used). He said that he wasn’t against Christ or the faith, just the church.
Of course, there is no way for us to determine his real motives, nor can we ignore the effect this could have on children who come to the museum. The actions we take as a group or as individuals will have to be determined outside the motives of the artist. But it is right for us to ask the question.
There is an anger building against the church. The long love affair we have had with our own performance has resulted in a reputation of being judgmental and hypocritical. We learn more and more of pastors who preach against homosexuality while participating in it. We see rejection and condemnation in the very place and among the very people where we should find love and welcome.
The “art” in our museum should be removed for a variety of reasons, but the artist did have a message for us. When we come in Jesus’ name and hurt or lie, it is difficult for most people to remember the difference between Jesus and us. If we are the light of the world, why should people come to that light? The fruit of our compromise is beginning to ripen and we are being judged by our culture.
I hear my pastor friends talk more about God’s grace and love than ever before. It has nothing to do with becoming “soft on sin” as some would accuse. It has everything to do with Jesus and the people He came to save.