In this series, I look at easy pitfalls to fall into when using social media as an artist to promote one’s work. Click here to read the first installment.
Tip #7: Beware Becoming Inoffensive
It’s normal to worry about whether your art’s making enough impact – how much money are you making, how many influencers are talking about your work, how many people know your name (and your brand).
Obviously, social media provides a way to measure that. The number of many followers you gain, how many views your work receives, and so forth can be seen as a way to see how successful you are.
It’s also obvious that you get better responses from social media when you post things that everyone agrees with. Post anything that can even be remotely construed as controversial and you risk losing followers, angry online attacks, and even boycotts.
In the social media world, it pays to be squeaky clean.
The problem is that for Christians, truth is not squeaky clean.
The Bible makes it clear that God is loving, but he has righteous anger too.
It also tells us that human beings are fearfully and wonderfully made, but also horribly broken.
Not only that, it claims that God solved reconciled humanity to him in a strange and unusual way. He came in human form, told people they had no idea how messed up they are and had no chance of reconciling themselves to God on their own, and then defeated death by… dying himself.
And he didn’t die in a quick and painless way either.
Jesus’ crucifixion is tough to swallow no matter how you look at it. Songwriters have called this event “the scandal of grace,” and the term is more appropriate than we think. There is something basically scandalous about God letting himself be tortured and killed on our behalf. It defies good taste.
Yet the fact Christ’s death is so scandalous, is key to why it accomplished what it did. Sin demands sacrifice, and Christ’s death was the ultimate in that department.
Thus Christian artists cannot be true to Christianity’s core without holding to some shocking ideas.
We shouldn’t court controversy for the sake of it. Depending on the themes we use in our art, we may not bring up those shocking ideas very often on social media.
But we need to be open to the idea we may sometimes speak truths that are shocking.