art /ahrt/ n. the quality, production, expression, or
realm, according to aesthetic
principles, or what is beautiful,
appealing, or of more than ordinary
n. works produced by application of
human creative skill and imagination
entertainment /ˌentərˈtānmənt/ n. The action of providing, or being provided with
amusement, or enjoyment, of spectators.
n. An event, performance, or activity designed to
The idiomatic saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure", basically means what someone considers to be worthless, is considered to be valuable by someone else. This can truly be said of art and entertainment. I would like to point out that way back when, before actors were made into "stars," or people worthy of admiration through a lot of propaganda, this form of employment was considered by the rest of society as, well, shady. If a son or daughter wanted to leave the farm and become an actor, they might was well have told their parents that they wanted to be a prostitute, huckster, or bum. To be honest, these people are nuts and have the morals of an animal in heat, and therefore not people I would consider to be good role models. But hey, if making wads of cash while bringing about society's moral decline through acting is ample justification, then why not elevate the drug dealer to sainthood?
Do We Really Need Art & Entertainment?
ome how we are wired with the inherent need to create things and express ourselves in various ways. How did this happen? As a Christian, I get the answer to this question from Scripture. We were created by Almighty God, in his image and likeness. However, I would like to quickly point out that doesn't mean we are little "gods", as in the divine sense to be sure. But rather in the sense of having his qualities like creativity, and possessing verbal articulation, and as having thought and reasoning capabilities, as well as a sense of moral awareness. Animals don't have these godlike qualities. According to the Bible; even heathen nations drew a straight line in the shifting sands of morality when it came to certain behaviors. Why? Because, God has also endowed us with a conscience and godlike authoritarian powers such as, making and enforcing laws. Although I can't say for sure at this point in my studies, based on the above definition, if The Almighty actually needs, or desires to be entertained, but I can tell you with great certainty that he is a divine artist, and what a master artist he is!
Let's not forget that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and one man's trash is another man's treasure.
Inspiration and Influence In A & E
Colors. Smells. Sounds. Textures. All of these things are used in the arts and entertainment industries, because they affect us physically and emotionally, can anyone deny this? These purveyors of sensual information can affect us differently, or in a relatively similar manner. For instance, the intoxicating fragrance of dough frying in hot fat, is a very appetizing aroma for most of us humans, while the stench of an open sewer is highly offensive the world over. However, while the scent of a lily is highly offensive to some (like me), it is regarded as a heavenly scent to others. The same goes for colors. I may personally like a color over another, but colors in and of themselves can carry with them an intangible, or even an emotional sense of meaning. Meanings that have usually been cultivated by culture include: blue is for boys and pink is for girls, or white is for marriage, and black is for funerals. All of these factors can inspire and influence us emotionally, and physically. But what about spiritually? Well, keep reading, I'm getting to that.
"Art Imitates Life" or Does It?
Where Does Inspiration Come From?
"The Sincerest Form of Flattery..."
This means that copying someone, or some ideal, is complimentary, because you want to be like them, or you desire to achieve the model of perfection presented. This form of influence is not necessarily bad, as long as the person or thing you wish to imitate is wholesome and a benefit of the common good of society. That is to say from God's point of view. And so, we would be wise to first look at the character and intent of the ones who desire to influence us, meaning, the artists themselves. We should find out if the artist has a moral, or immoral mind set before we allow our self to flatter them with our imitation of their art.
Life Imitates Art
Since public nudity is currently considered to be unacceptable in Western Society; why is it acceptable to place a piece of chiseled pornographic marble on public display by excusing it as being "art"? As an exhibit to express form and movement? Is it because a chuck of marble isn't capable of experiencing embarrassment, or that it isn't able to file a law suite? For instance, David isn't around to protest the public indecent display of his nudity, and false representation of his religion (The David should be circumcised). Who stands to gain from this statuesque public peep show? The Bible reveals that public nudity is not acceptable to our maker. Public nudity is related to sin and shame within its first chapters in the aftermath at the tree of the knowledge of good an evil. When Adam and Eve were sinless, they were indeed naked, but something shielded their eyes and understanding from what being publicly naked meant. I have heard some teach that they were clothed with God's glory, like some sort of clothes made of light. What ever it was, it left them when Adam and Eve sinned, and they were shamefully aware of their pubic nakedness, and quickly went into action to cover themselves.
In idolatrous cultures, where public nudity is common and acceptable; there is also a deep seated worship of human sex organs and the very act itself, which is often used in the worship rites of false gods. There is nothing wrong with sexuality, and the act of sex itself, as long as it is performed correctly as God intended, in marriage and with the opposite sex. However, Satan, as God's adversary, seeks to twist and corrupt this vital and sacred human function, in an effort to destroy us with it. Just as God righteously used the earth as a means of destroying evil people with a world wide flood, Satan unrighteously seeks to use our natural functions against us, to destroy us.
I understand that the human body is a masterful work of function and form, but do we really need to see it publicly displayed in the buff in order to appreciate it? I can just as easily appreciate Michelangelo's tribute to David if it had been draped with proper period attire, even more so, than I could by seeing his family jewels. My point can be easily illustrated by a scene in the movie "My Best Friend's Wedding", where a vulgar and oversexed relative of the bride, publicly embarrassed herself by placing her tongue on the uncircumcised private parts of an ice sculpture of "The David." And of course, thanks to the physics of heat, her tongue stuck to it. Ewww! The intended comedy of this scene helps us laugh off and discount the perversion of it. Surely this wretched creature would not have done that disgusting act if David's privates were indeed kept private. Inspired thoughts lead to real actions, whether they come from God, or Satan.
Our bodies were divinely created, and they serve a physical purpose for us as residents on the Earth. However, we can be influenced and inspired by what is loosely called "art" to perform what is good, or evil even without thinking, as a kind of a "monkey see, monkey do" situation. Common sense decency tells us that sex itself is not meant to be for public viewing, or for group entertainment; rather it is meant to be a private matter between a husband and wife, and their bodies should be sacred unto each other, and God, not the general public. Even though gratuitous sex scenes in rated "R" movies usually have the characters in a private setting; the average movie goer is completely oblivious to the fact that producers, actors, directors, etc. were present while the sex scene was filmed, and in turn have made them (the movie goer) into voyeuristic peeping toms through their "art." They then scapegoat around that fact, by labeling the visual porn as rated "R" entertainment.
Private. Faithful. Marital sex is inspired of God and bears much good fruit, while promiscuous, debasing, or publicly viewed sex is inspired by Satan, and produces evil, or bad fruit. When men, and women see those sensual scenes, are they then inspired to go pick up a gallon of milk after the show, or iron some shirts when they get home? Yeah, I don't think so. So when an "artist" or "entertainer" feels inspired to put nudity, and the act of sex in full public display, it is safe to say, they are not being inspired by God to do so. No, they have been inspired by Satan to gratify their perverted and selfish desires, and to bring you down their darkly lit crooked trail leading to the red light district of your mind, or for some, the literal sordid streets of harlotry. This reminds me of the childhood song I learned, "Be careful little eyes what you see..." Please keep this in mind when choosing what movie to watch. I can't tell you how many good movies have been ruined by unnecessary sex scenes.