View Poll Results: As an Artist, Do You have any history with the Christian Church?

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  • I was a part of the Christian church, but am no longer.

    37 36.63%
  • I have never been a part of the Christian church.

    45 44.55%
  • I am currently a part of the Christian church.

    19 18.81%
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  1. #1
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    Arrow Survey for a project on Artists & Christianity (no "converting")

    Hey gang-

    I need your help with a project I'm writing about. It is inspired by the artistic and ministry life of Vincent Van Gogh (no intent to "convert"):

    I've come across quite a few artists who, like Van Gogh, at some point in their past were a part of the Christian church, but for one reason or another are no longer a part.

    Please use the poll above to share where you fit.


    Feel free to elaborate if you wish

    NOTE: This feedback is for an article I'm writing.
    It is inspired by the artistic and ministry life of Vincent Van Gogh.
    This is not to "convert" or rant.

    Thanks for your help.
    Last edited by tsnipes; April 28th, 2007 at 02:46 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Care to elaborate? I don't understand the conclusion your trying to draw from this.

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    I believe his aim is to find some correlation between artists and the Christian church.

    Not really come to any conclusion on it, just find out many and in what way, to what extent, etc.

  5. #4
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    I personally have never been a part of any religion. It was not something my parents made a big deal about as I was growing up, they figured that if I wanted to believe in a religion that I would find out which faith to pursue on my own. (I really appreciate my parents raising me this way, personally.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadlyFreeze View Post
    Care to elaborate? I don't understand the conclusion your trying to draw from this.
    Sure:

    Van Gogh was a preacher's kid and his desire was to attend seminary and follow his father's foosteps in ministry.

    Academic struggles in school prevented his entry into seminary (some say due to dyslexia).

    Undeterred by the lack of formal training, Van Gogh became a lay minister and was assigned to the poverty-stricken Belgian coal mining region. With great enthusiasm and passion, he plunged into ministry and was successful.

    Church officials deemed Van Gogh "undignified" due to his living as one with those he ministered to (poverty, living conditions, etc), and sent him home in spite of his ministry success.

    This brought to mind artists I've come across who were a part of the church at some point and for one reason or another, have put the church behind them. I'm courious how often it has taken place.
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  7. #6
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    Its an interesting question is some regard, but the way your putting it doesn't really give it any merit.

    Theres no real correlation to the question why being an 'artist' has anything to do with 'leaving the church'. I mean if the question was more of 'As an artists has your art pushed you away from religion?' would be more appropriate

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    Ah, but in his example it wasn't art that pushed Gogh away by art.

    He's just asking if there was any connection and if so how did it affect things.

    Basically, if you have a story to tell, tell it. I'm sure tsnipes could find something useful in it.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadlyFreeze View Post
    Its an interesting question is some regard, but the way your putting it doesn't really give it any merit.

    Theres no real correlation to the question why being an 'artist' has anything to do with 'leaving the church'. I mean if the question was more of 'As an artists has your art pushed you away from religion?' would be more appropriate
    Not trying to confuse ya' with the "being an artist" part.

    Most of my projects are related to artists.
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  10. #9
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    I've been a Christian for quite a while, but I am very unsatisfied with my church. I agree with their doctrine (Presbyterianism,) but I find the music they play there to be irritating (they feel like they have to 'jazz up' every single hymn) and the people to be backstabbing hypocrites. There are some good people at my church, but these days I find myself avoiding it it more often and reading the Bible on my own time. I plan on searching for another church when I go off to college.
    Last edited by Katfayheirti; April 28th, 2007 at 08:14 PM.

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  11. #10
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    I've had similar issues as Katfay up there above me.

    In my experience (like I can sum it up in a couple sentances, heh) being brought up in the church, raised in a Christian home, actually pursuing ministry only to start growing up and realizing that I was quite "brain washed" in a sense... it's tough for me to go to churches today. I don't agree with alot of the tactics and ways the churches in our culture today operate. It's like a business or something. People become numbers and Jesus because a product to make look "cool" and sell to the public. I still believe in Christianity but I'm still "working my salvation out with fear and trembling." I definately stand on the principles that Christ stood for but I find the religious tendencies I've grown up with sometimes get in the way of my finding true rest and freedom in Christ. But yea, I was a pastoral major at one point and later after swapping schools I graduate with a BFA. Heh. I've had quite a ride to say the least.

    And yes, I try to go to church regularly (haven't been so great about it lately being as I've moved a good distance from the area where the bulk of my life happens)... even tho I don't always agree with the people I'm going with. But I believe God has created me uniquely and maybe the people I come into contact with there might actually need to hear things that are resounding in my heart regarding the problems I see. So I haven't given up hope. And hey, God even uses them every once in a while to show me a thing or two. Heh. I mean, the church is a huge machine, right? We're not all fashioned the same way. Isn't it great that we don't all look a like? We couldn't get anything done if we were all hands, eh? Which leads me to another problem with churches trying to make us all look the same but... that's another thread and another forum. Heh.

    And to everyone who's reading this going, "Damn, Zebz! I didn't know you were some Christian looney!" Welp, I'll admit that it's the faith I come from and believe in (tho the people that have been in charge have really drug it through the mud at times) but I'm not all self righteous or anything. I use the "F" word (Oooo! Ha!) more often then my fiancee likes too. lol I ain't perfect and I'm just as good as anyone else. I just happen to know of a guy named Jesus and I happen to know he loves me. Apart from that... no different. So please don't hate on a brotha'.

    Wow this was a ramble post. It wasn't my intent to argue with anyone either... just sharing my experience for Mr. Snipes.

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    To Zebs (the rest of the forum can ignore this if they want to): It seems like you have many of the same issues with the church that I do. The super-evangelistic movement with the megachurches and the Christian Rock is what really gets to me sometimes. I don't want my savior reduced to a shiny-foil fish sticker or an overly-dramatic skit with a fog machine and set to an electric guitar remix of 'Kumbaya.'

    I know everyone worships in different ways, but at my church it seems to be a contest of who is 'the most worshipful.' If people don't sing loudly and wave their arms in the air they're viewed as 'not worshipful enough.' I usually spend most of the service doodling in my Bible (and people give me evil glares.) Most of the time I wish we could all just sit down and quietly sing a classic little hymn WITHOUT changing the lyrics or adding electric guitar solos or flashing lights.

    Anyway, [/end rant] (I'm sorry that had nothing to do with art. Maybe it should have been a PM)

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  13. #12
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    I was raised without religion, and never could find that any religion had enough evidence to convince me.

    I’ve toyed with making art that celebrates atheism, but have found it to be a subject more difficult to communicate than my skills are currently up to.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedling View Post
    I was raised without religion, and never could find that any religion had enough evidence to convince me.

    I’ve toyed with making art that celebrates atheism, but have found it to be a subject more difficult to communicate than my skills are currently up to.
    Ditto.


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  15. #14
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    I was brought up in a church as a kid. I don't think I was ever really into it, but we had to go so go I went. When I was 12 I had just moved up to the Junior High section of the group so while I recognized some of the kids all of the leaders were basically strangers to me, not the people I liked from the kids youth leaders. And then my Mom passed away. At that point the group leaders tried to get me to talk about it, which made me angry and I basically gave up on the whole thing in general. There was nothing that my dad or later my step-mom could do to get me to step into their church where they were acting like Kat said, with who could sing the better christian rock song and be the best hyporcite for god.

    I've realized for myself that I don't need other people or a god to tell me how to live my life, and I live by my own morals and ethics. I don't need a higher power to be happy with my life. I'm not an athiest because then I'd still have to believe in something, so I'll just be indifferent to the whole matter.

    I didn't really consider myself an artist until a few years after i gave up on christianity, so being an artist never really had anything to do with my choice to no longer be involved with religion.

  16. #15
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    My father was in seminary to become a priest. He was dating the dean's daughter, and the Dean didnt like him. He also had a friend that was a Fransican monk who came to pick him up once from school in full robes and all. Apparently back then you were not to associate with those of the cloth outside of your own fabric variation. Between those two things and him being regularly accused of writing balsphamous things in the school paper, he quit seminary. Since he was no longer enrolled in college, he was drafted for the Vietnam war. There he saw many things that I'm sure would make you question faith. Both of my parents believe in the Christian God, but we never went to church. They left it up to us to find faith and seek it as we saw fit. My brother is athiest, my sister is agnostic, and I prefer not to label myself. When I was younger I was very outspoken against religion. I find religion as a whole fascinating, but it is also the leading cause of suffering in the world. There seems to be a lot of anti-religion on these forums. Tsnipes, I know you are a religious fellow, and i'm sure you are wrought with confusion for this as an artist. i hope you find what you are looking for. Follow your heart. i hope this is not an effort to prove something. When people get preachy I get angry. Be true to your faith, but know that it is yours and no one else's.

  17. #16
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    I no longer attend church, but I am still Christian.

  18. #17
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    Catholic. Raised that way, don't have any issues with how I've turned out, so I still am
    For some reason people I meet think my denomination are all ranting old-school no-fun preachers but I've never encountered anybody like that, we just seem to be into having a good time lol. And having mostly sombre/not-all-sing-and-dance Mass. I guess it seems to be the other denominations that are more active/out-and-about in the preachy respect (Baptist, Pres, Uniting, all those billion other ones I forget the names of...Methodist?) from my experience.
    Wouldn't say I'm anywhere near hardline, but then again I don't know any who are, not even the oldies. Not creationist/etc. Charles Darwin, baby. My philosophy is that I ain't gunna talk to you about my beliefs unless you want to hear it, since I myself get effing annoyed when preached at loudly. It's like having someone walk into your own home and not wiping their shoes whilst raiding your fridge, y'know?

    My religion's more an individual thing for me. I go to Church most times, yeah. I wouldn't say that I rely on it as a crutch or weave it into everything I do; rather it's just one part of who I am.

    Weirdest thing was at uni, the Christian students group that ambush you before morning classes looking for new recruits totally ran away from me when I told em I was Catholic. I didn't think we were that reputed as drunken louts, but hey...hehehe.




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    I was raised catholic, went to catholic school k-12, never confirmed though. Religion just seemed to raise more questions than answers for me and I just got more and more frustrated. Sooooo many different versions of the "truth" and what "God wanted". Finaly realized religion just isn't for me. But hey, if you're content with your faith and it works for you, good on ya. Live and let live.

    Didn't much appreciate some of the anti catholic crap from other "christians" though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
    I was raised catholic, went to catholic school k-12, never confirmed though. Religion just seemed to raise more questions than answers for me and I just got more and more frustrated. Sooooo many different versions of the "truth" and what "God wanted". Finaly realized religion just isn't for me. But hey, if you're content with your faith and it works for you, good on ya. Live and let live.

    Didn't much appreciate some of the anti catholic crap from other "christians" though.
    Ditto. I did get confirmed though. I may still occasionally go to mass when i'm with family during christmas or easter. What's one or two hours?
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  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by iolarnula View Post
    My philosophy is that I ain't gunna talk to you about my beliefs unless you want to hear it, since I myself get effing annoyed when preached at loudly. It's like having someone walk into your own home and not wiping their shoes whilst raiding your fridge, y'know?
    Amen to that! :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cercie View Post
    I'm not an atheist because then I'd still have to believe in something. . .
    Actually, you can be an atheist and still not believe in something. There are two sorts of atheism: there is the belief that there is no god, and there is that lack of belief in a god. Those are two very different things.
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  22. #21
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    Here we go again with the definition of atheism.. the eight hundred pages wasnt enough the last time?


    Anyways, to answer the initial posters question:

    I was raised by christian parents, and as far as you can call kids "christians" i was one until i, to quote george carlin, "reached the age of reason".

    //edit: Just for the record, "age of reason" for me was 13 years old.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash View Post
    Anyways, to answer the initial posters question:

    I was raised by christian parents, and as far as you can call kids "christians" i was one until i, to quote george carlin, "reached the age of reason".

    //edit: Just for the record, "age of reason" for me was 13 years old.
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    I'm Christian and I attend a non-denominational church. It took me a while to find a church I was happy with but it was worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by Katfayheirti View Post
    To Zebs (the rest of the forum can ignore this if they want to): It seems like you have many of the same issues with the church that I do. The super-evangelistic movement with the megachurches and the Christian Rock is what really gets to me sometimes. I don't want my savior reduced to a shiny-foil fish sticker or an overly-dramatic skit with a fog machine and set to an electric guitar remix of 'Kumbaya.'

    I know everyone worships in different ways, but at my church it seems to be a contest of who is 'the most worshipful.' If people don't sing loudly and wave their arms in the air they're viewed as 'not worshipful enough.' I usually spend most of the service doodling in my Bible (and people give me evil glares.) Most of the time I wish we could all just sit down and quietly sing a classic little hymn WITHOUT changing the lyrics or adding electric guitar solos or flashing lights.

    Anyway, [/end rant] (I'm sorry that had nothing to do with art. Maybe it should have been a PM)
    I've been to churches like this, along with ones with various other problems, and if you aren't happy there I really suggest searching for a new one. Being irritated or unhappy in church really goes against your reason for going IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterKiller_ View Post
    I no longer attend church, but I am still Christian.
    Quote Originally Posted by iolarnula View Post

    My religion's more an individual thing for me.
    Yeah. I have a hard time with organized religion, but the basic spiritual ideas behind most of the major religions are pretty satisfying to me. Not one humdred percent sure where I stand now, but I spent some time in the Christian church so I identify the most with them. (I know someone will get mad at me for this but oh well) I've had some really bad experiences with Muslims trying to kill me so there's some prejudice against them, but I think that sort of fanaticism is just a product of organized religion. I think Zebs mentioned something about being "dragged through the mud"

    Oh yeah, multiquote FTW.

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    All my life I attended a United Baptist church, and I became a Christian around age 16. I've lost my liking for the church I've gone to, and so I haven't been at church for a while. I'd like to go to another Baptist Church, but I'll see when that'll happen. I don't mind if I have a small group to chill and Bible study with. That would suit me better.

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    Religion isnt a part of my art or my life. I suppose the closest my art gets with religion is with tribal gnomes.
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    I was born a Catholic back when it was acceptable for "good christians" to lynch us if they felt like it. I was taught to respect and use east-Euro Earth Mother practices/prayers when i was small by my grandmother and aunts (something like modern-day Wiccans), which occured about the time I began to realize I WAS an artist. Since then, these two items have been linked in my subconscious to the point that a good bit of my art has some "religious" element, but not in the way that "christians" would recognize it.
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    By church I took it to mean, not the building, but a member of the faith.

    I haven't read the bible, and I don't like most church services I go to. I have alot of my own opinions on God and Jesus and things. My parents are the fundamentalist type, they don't believe in evolution, they always talk about "It's God's will." I've always believe that God gives us a life to live, and while I believe in him having some influence, I like to believe that he leaves it up to us to make things happen. Some of my views on 'current issues' though are based on my own ideas, not about religion. I'm pro-life, but I'm not going to talk about my position on homosexuality.

    Anyways, I voted the last option. I am currently part of the Christian Church, but it is my own belief.

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    My family was supposedly catholic but not practicing. I ended around 11-13 being an atheist, because the whole idea was incongruous with logic.
    From that point on I've grown more and more anti-church (as an establishment).

    Religion does not play any role in my work. Well maybe the indignation it causes me, does.
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    I'm not sure what to vote for. I'm baptised, attended christian ceremonies as a kid (mandatory stuff apart of the school system). I still pay +1% church tax as I'm actually a member of the christian church (apparently I signed something when I got baptised, even though only months old).

    But was I ever a believer? Actually, yes. I once prayed that the school teacher shouldn't pick me to demonstrate something on the black board. She picked someone else. I granted God the status of existence, and it lasted for minutes before I realized the... rather flagrant flaws of my method.

    So yes, I, attended church -unwillingly, am still a member -apathetically, was a believer -briefly.
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