Should Christian Theatre Be More Edgy? (a follow up)

Ninety-three million miles from here there is a giant burning ball that, when the earth rotates just so, looks like it’s coming up out of the horizon and blazing it’s way through the blinds and onto the bedroom floor. When that happens, we say the day begins. For the previous ten or twelve hours (depending on where you live), we live in darkness. Some sleep in peace, knowing that mommy and daddy and God are taking care of things; some toss and turn and wait. Some work in what seems like an alternate reality, so much so that it’s come to be known as the graveyard shift. All of us take for granted the speed of light.

“The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day” says Proverbs 4:18. Verse 19 follows with “The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.” Can Theatre Arts shine light in that darkness? Can we reveal “over what they stumble,” so that they don’t anymore? Can we do it with a G rating? It seems the fine line is between dishonoring God for a good cause, and entertaining fellow Christians without fruit.

Micah 6:8 tells us that what the Lord requires of us is to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Perhaps this is a good template, along with being “judged for every careless word,” for what we can and cannot do as Christians using Theatre Art for evangelism, discipleship, accountability, etc. We can go ahead and admit that being “edgy” for the sake of gaining notoriety with non-Christians is foolish. I have known Christian songwriters who started writing more vague lyrics, mentioning Jesus less, in order to get in the door with those who needed Christ. The result was merely vague lyrics without Jesus. We must get around to Jesus, however edgy or not the path we take.

So what do you think? Can we clearly name the things in the dark in order to combat them? It would seem that, since the earth is indeed turning, we will be in the dark some of the time. It is part of life. We don’t always like the light because it exposes us. Perhaps our storytelling gifts as Theatre Artists should be used to expose what is in darkness. Then, it can be made right or banished. Are we willing to go there?

Talk to me.

Ethan Norman
Artistic Associate, The WordPlayers