With more and more Christian artists continually pushing the artistic boundaries there is always the issue of profanity. Some Christian artists feel that it is acceptable to use profanity in their music. Fringe Christian artists like Derek Webb, David Bazan, Sufjan Stevens and others such as Mike Knott (Aunt Betty’s) come to mind on this subject.

Really there is no justification for using profanity in the same way that it’s never justified to take the Lord’s name in vain. Yet somehow these musicians feel free to proclaim their faith on one hand and use whatever language they like on the other.

How many of us would feel comfortable if our pastor started dropping verbal bombs left and right in the middle of a service? If we wouldn’t tolerate it from the pastor, why should we tolerate less from someone who claims to be a Christian artist?

If you take someone like Derek Webb for example. He is trying to use profanity to stir up his listeners to care about poverty and other problems facing people in other parts of the globe. So basically he’s using a positive end to justify his means. Now there are people out there like Keith Green who wanted to shake up the young Christians to care about the rest of the world, but he never used profanity in his music. There are plenty of other creative ways to convey that message.

It does bother me a bit that there are Christians who think profanity is an acceptable form of art. I understand there are complications that come from being known as Christian artist and being able to make art that pushes boundaries. But I see profanity in the art as a perversion that leads to the death of true art.

As Christians our worldview makes sense of the fallen nature of mankind and the brokenness that only Christ can cure. The biggest hope for a Christian artist is for the Lord to speak through their art. But how can the Lord be expected to bless art that is corrupted?

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