Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kill Your Idol banned by TfL


There is an exhibition at St Marylebone Church of the work of 20 artists' representations of the Stations of the Cross. Throughout Lent, some of these have been approved by TfL to appear on the London Underground.

But not this one.

Antony Micallef's 'Kill Your Idol' is a representation of the first station, where Jesus is condemned to death. It is the view of St Marylebone's Rector, the Rev'd CanonStephen Evans, that this work "raises important contemporary questions about the fickleness and shallowness of fame and celebrity, success and failure. About who has the power to say just who is going to be a 'hit' and who a 'miss'."

The omnipotent X-Factor celebs sit in judgment not only upon would-be global superstars, but upon us all, for they reflect the obsessions of our contemporary culture. X-Factor mania has swept the western world: it is the 1984 of the new interactive media age. It is defining and creating reality, permitting the masses to live vicariously the ecstasy of others; to fulfil their fantasies and to dream big dreams.


Antony Micallef's satire is not offensive; it is biblical. Quite why TfL deem it inappropriate for public display is something of a mystery, especially given the offence manifestly caused by previous posters. Why might this cause "widespread or serious offence to members of the public", but not those TfL-endorsed advertisements which deny the very existence of God and exhort believers to "get over it"?

Like Simon Cowell, Micallef has grasped the public mood of impotence: a pervasive lack of faith in politicians and religious leaders, universal exasperation with bureaucracy and ubiquitous frustration with the great institutions of state. There is an epistemic distance between those who wield power and those upon whom that power is wielded. The fragile social contract is in danger of being torn up, not simply because the good times are gone, but because there is a feeling that things will never get better.

Reconnecting with the marginalised; engaging the dispossessed; reversing the indifference; enthusing the cynical, jaded and despairing: these are the principal tasks which must occupy our political and religious leaders. And the remedy must produce happiness and peace: not ephemeral jollity or ignorant dormancy, but enduring happiness and the peace which passes understanding. Until the Christian faith revives the spirit and renews the heart, its perceived usefulness will be increasingly eroded by its institutional failures.

Unless our religious discourse is to be reduced to the mono-dimension of single-cause issues, there is a need for the Church to return to an understanding of its mission to preach the gospel, and to do so where the people are at and in a language they can understand. The public can tell the difference between real Cowell contention and staged angst, and their engagement is heightened when the stresses, intolerance and conflict are authentic.

The X-Factor-style jury sitting in judgment upon Christ ought not to be censored, but displayed on billboards throughout the land. It is how we judge Him today - as a desperate pop idol yearning for attention in the marketplace, instead of as the Light of the World and Saviour of mankind. 'Kill Your Idol' is a perfect metaphor for the age; indeed, it is the sort of art that the church ought to be commissioning and paying to display, for it is a comprehensible, powerful and thought-provoking language of evangelism.



As Holy Week approaches, it is worth reflecting on how we judge the Son of God today, and what precisely a modern TV audience makes of Him.

49 Comments:

Blogger Brian West said...

"As Holy Week approaches, it is worth reflecting on how we judge the Son of God today, and what precisely a modern TV audience makes of Him."

What really matters is that the Son of God will, 'on that great day', judge us, on the basis of whether we accepted or rejected Him. So how we judge Him has eternal consequences for us.

The irony of the judge being judged is captured well in Christopher Idle's hymn:

He stood before the court
on trial instead of us;
he met its power to hurt,
condemned to face the cross;
our King, accused
of treachery;
our God, abused
for blasphemy!

Brian West

30 March 2014 at 11:21  
Blogger Len said...

This image( 'Kill Your Idol) has a deeply significant and entirely relevant spiritual truth which is quite staggering.

The 'X factor' reminds me somewhat of the Circus Maximus where people are literally dragged in front of Caesar(Simon Cowell and co) and are either made into the next idol or thrown to the lions.

We as a Nation sit in Judgement of Jesus Christ and examine Him to see if we can make Him our Saviour or throw Him to the lions.

The question Jesus asked demands an answer "Who do you say I am ?" and we all sit in Judgement ..

30 March 2014 at 11:28  
Blogger Albert said...

"widespread or serious offence to members of the public"

Who is it supposed to be offending?

30 March 2014 at 11:33  
Blogger Woman on a Raft said...

Well said. Also top-notch art. It is encouraging to see a church recognizing technical excellence.

30 March 2014 at 11:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I quite like that piece of art, it has a Banksy feel about it. Presumably, it is Christians who are being protected from offence as I can't think who else might be.

30 March 2014 at 12:16  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Good point, who exactly will this offend?

Happy Jack suspects it will upset only those Christians who feed us a daily diet of moral relativism that stresses God's Mercy whilst forgetting His Judgement.

30 March 2014 at 13:14  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

There are two things that occur to me.

1. Are the celebrity judges obvious representations of real people? Could that be cause for legal concern?

2. The picture places the casual observer in the place of the audience. It's no secret that people watch these shows to see other people humiliated. Christ is implicitly representing a failed contestant. The judges are mocking Him for the sake of the crowd's amusement. If TfL is worried about giving offense, it could be the moral judgment on the average viewer that is contained in the image.

Its OK to offend so long as you offend the right people. You have to offend small groups with whom the broad mass does not identify. That way you implicitly flatter the ego of the wider target group you are trying to reach with add. But it's death to offend the broad mass.

carl

30 March 2014 at 13:17  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, Happy Jack says don't forget people volunteer to appear in X Factor. The equivalent 'contestant' is Barabbas with his earthly preoccupations.

Jack thinks the panel represent the 'right on' modernists who want Jesus to be a libertarian, liberal with JS Mills leanings. Do anything for lurve and its okay.

30 March 2014 at 13:19  
Blogger non mouse said...

Very interesting, Your Grace.

Of course, I'll now have to pore at the "House of Fame"'s gates (Chaucer) - to figure out where London Transport ("That monarch of the road"*) sits in relation to Lady Fame herself!

However, I recall that the goddess sits on a lower plane than the eternal Mind-Soul. Fame is merely a word/image-processor-in-the-sky, whom we might recognize today through Microsoft's clouds. Such pagan powers nevertheless serve the Word: in whose image we masses process all words!

Even iconoclasts, then, serve the purpose of the Iconoclast.

It is a wonderful picture: thank you for publishing it. Now all we need is illustration of how Fama's "panel" would behave when faced with the warlord of our invading hordes.






_______
*pace, Flanders and Swann.

30 March 2014 at 13:34  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Very impressive piece, and this from a man who generally loathes modern art. One hopes that given the spotlight by Cranmer, TfL might reconsider it’s objection...

30 March 2014 at 13:37  
Blogger Martin said...

I find it offensive to picture the three persons of the Trinity in any way. Pictures of Jesus & crucifixes break the second commandments, not least because we have no idea what He looked like.

Nor is the concept of the Stations of the Cross a Christian concept.

I doubt, however, that TfL have these views in mind.

I am starting to wonder in his grace has lost it from his recent posts. Perhaps he is contemplating crossing the Tiber.

30 March 2014 at 13:41  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Martin, the poor are all around you, yet you invest your worldly wealth in a PC ?

Shame on you sir !

Sell it at once and give the proceeds to the needy, as Christ says (somewhere or other, not quite sure whereabouts, but then, this man doesn’t have an issue with religious guilt and confusion and the sin of being alive. We are an abomination before the Lord, brother. Pray that we be wiped out at the earliest. Alleluia. Pass the plate around, give generously now)

30 March 2014 at 13:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Martin

The Passion is a real event that really happened in space and time to a man who really existed. There is no violation of the Commandment here. We are not binding the nature of God with human constructs and human imagination by representing something that really happened to a real man. If you wish to reject such art, that is your liberty. But it has nothing to do with me.

I will grant that certain stations of the cross are based on Roman Catholic mythology, but that does not invalidate the concept. It's a tradition, and properly used, there is no problem with it. Like other Traditions it iis covered under Christian liberty.

I will also grant that the Cross should be shown empty, but that is a theological point about the finished work of Christ and the errors of the Mass. There is nothing wrong with a crucifix per se.

carl

30 March 2014 at 14:00  
Blogger William Lewis said...

I think the picture offends anyone who presumes to judge someone else, by depicting judgement of the person we are all least qualified to judge. ie it offends all of us. Great picture.

30 March 2014 at 14:29  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

the principal tasks which must occupy our political and religious leaders

The principal task in which Church and State are currently engaged centres on population and faith replacement, and it’s coming along well: the English will become a minority in the only country they can call home and their religion is already in retreat before Islam.

The natural desire of the people to live among their own kind could have been an obstacle but one little word, ‘racist’, has enabled Church and State to silence dissent more easily than they ever dared hope, the State punishing racists with its laws and the Church branding them sinners. A naturally occurring instinct (this paper suggests that the brain chemical oxytocin plays a part in human ethnocentrism) is declared illegal by the State and evil by the Church.

Small wonder Your Grace detects ‘a pervasive lack of faith in politicians and religious leaders’; we would be mad indeed to have faith in a ruling class that has been scheming against us for decades. The modern TV audience judges the Son of God by the Church that operates in His name and is not impressed.

30 March 2014 at 14:51  
Blogger 45minutewarning said...

Interesting reaction from TFL. After all, one would think that with Britains Soviet-style anti-Christian culture they would welcome such mocking iconography. We've had "Jerry Springer the Opera" so why not Christ on the X-Factor?

I would say there are two possible explanations.

Firstly, they simply do not want to give any publicity at all to Christianity.

Secondly, they may fear that such mocking may backfire and result in protest.

The picture is indeed iconic in the way it reflects modern (human) judgement of both Christ and our fellow human beings. That judgement is based simply on the perceived worth of the person. That perception is usually heavily influenced by trend and fashion, and other trivia.

30 March 2014 at 15:43  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

The Stations of the Cross, in whatever genre they are re-created, depict the trial and execution of an innocent man. The trial of Christ was a mistrial and the Crucifixion was a wrongful execution. If there had been any legitimacy in the proceedings―if Jesus had been guilty as charged―the Stations of the Cross would never have been elevated to the place they occupy in the history of art, let alone in the history of religion.

In any television production of the X Factor type, the celebrities invited to sit on the panel of judges are invariably paid higher fees than the non-celebrities they are judging. Hence it is logically impossible that the non-celebrity being judged should be more important than the celebrities doing the judging. And, of course, the judges are a priori incapable of making a mistake. There is no appeal against their decisions, which are final.

It is now known, however, that, first, on that particular Friday in Jerusalem the defendant was more important than his judges and, second, that the judges made a terrible mistake. Regrettably, both these facts are incompatible with the rules governing the production of televised entertainment.

Conclusion.―Micallef’s picture was banned from the London Underground because it was found to blaspheme, twice over, against the values of the entertainment industry.

30 March 2014 at 15:57  
Blogger Albert said...

Martin,

I find it offensive to picture the three persons of the Trinity in any way. Pictures of Jesus & crucifixes break the second commandments

I think it is any picture that is banned by the second commandment (if that is the interpretation you put on it). Why are you only concerned about pictures of the Holy Trinity? Is it because you make pictures of other things all the time?

30 March 2014 at 16:35  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Albert, he’s gone. Sold his PC...

If he hasn’t then this man wants to know why he defies the Lord of Hosts...

30 March 2014 at 16:44  
Blogger IanCad said...

carl jacobs @ 13:17 asked:

"Are the celebrity judges obvious representations of real people--?"

Well, you may be on to something.
Surely the humongous guy on the left is the well known atheist Penn Gillette?
Saw him on youtube a while ago. It has to be him.
The lady on the left should be identifiable to TV addicts if she is, in fact, a caricature.
Don't know about the other two.

30 March 2014 at 17:08  
Blogger IanCad said...

Sorry, "Jillette"

30 March 2014 at 17:09  
Blogger Len said...

It is God who judges us by our response to Christ...
God gave us everything in His Son and our response to Him reveals what lies inside the very heart of each and every one of us....
That is why many turn away from Christ rather than confront what they do not want to face..
It is only when we confront ourselves in total honesty that we can realise that Christ is our only hope for redemption..

30 March 2014 at 17:14  
Blogger Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Well done, a very good piece.
a pervasive lack of faith in politicians and religious leaders, universal exasperation with bureaucracy and ubiquitous frustration with the great institutions of state.
That sums it all up. The TfL committee deciding what Christian imagery is appropriate or not. Just as Westminster decides what is good and right without having a clue.

Where are we in society? We do our bit at church, we shove a few bob in the bag and we might even fast for a day because it a has a secondary benefit. But where does our religious stuff get us with god? why do we not see his works manifest?
The truth is that religious acts are self serving, they rarely get above the ceiling.
The fast that God calls us to in Is58 is one of sacrifice to God, one which benefits the poor and the uncomely and the elderly Kin folk. If we do service to god in this way where there is a real cost to us with no material benefit to ourselves, then he says he will bless us.
We need to strip the church of self satisfying and self serving acts and fill it with a people dedicated to serving him.

30 March 2014 at 18:06  
Blogger Albert said...

Inspector,

Quite!

30 March 2014 at 18:17  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

I can see why it's been banned, to some drugged up nutters, and there are probably quite a few using TFL it could look like a man drawing a gun to kill Simon Cowell, or one of the other x factor panel judges on the instructions of “kill your idol”.

The art is awful, it doesn't immediately stand out as Jesus being judged, if that's one of the best no wonder Christianity is fading.
Also, I rather agree with Uncle Brian @ 15:57 about it upsetting the entertainment industry.

The artist could have had the panel of judges looking in wonder and astonishment at Jesus Christ standing in front of them next to an empty tomb arisen from the dead with the caption “Jesus lives”.
That would show his power over us mere mortals and the x factor judges' opinions pall into insignificance

30 March 2014 at 18:29  
Blogger John Perkins said...

'it could be the moral judgment on the average viewer that is contained in the image'
Isn't that part of the point though? Should art be limited to the bland that never takes us from our comfort zone?

30 March 2014 at 22:47  
Blogger Len said...

Jesus often spoke in parables and those who were spiritually attuned 'would get it' others wouldn`t.
The disciples before Pentecost before they had the indwelling Holy Spirit were often confused by what Jesus had said and frequently missed the point Jesus was making.
One needs to look beyond the image to see the reality which is being played out..as it is in the parables.
I am not at all sure of the concept of 'the elect' but it sometimes seems to me that Jesus is calling people out of the crowd (those that have eyes to see and ears to hear)

31 March 2014 at 00:06  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

John Perkins

I wasn't criticizing the artwork. I was simply explaining why an organization might not agree with that sentiment. It isn't interested in the art as art. It is interested in art as a means of building public good will.

carl

31 March 2014 at 00:12  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Martin,

"I find it offensive to picture the three persons of the Trinity in any way. Pictures of Jesus & crucifixes break the second commandments"

No they don't. Christ is God made Man; a picture or depiction of Jesus is a picture of God made flesh, made matter, made specifically into what can be depicted in art. The second commandment, depending on precisely which order you take, forbids other Gods or graven images, neither of which is violated by a depiction of Jesus.

"Nor is the concept of the Stations of the Cross a Christian concept."

Well whose is it then? I can't imagine Muslims or Hindus would go a bundle on it. The stations of the cross are simply an aid to meditation on the Passion of Christ; if you choose to see something idolatrous in it that is between you and your psychiatrist.

" not least because we have no idea what He looked like."

Well we have some idea, but the ideas we have come from the depictions of the earliest Christians IN ART AND PICTURES. Such heathen they were, obviously! Their tombs are covered in these hideous, blasphemous images! If only the earliest Christians could have been like you Martin!

The biggest discrepancy in these early images is whether or not Christ had a beard; some of the earliest images depict Christ as clean-shaven, but what does that matter? It's simply ancient Romans depicting Christ in the manner they were used to. To read such frantic relevance into images is idolatry in itself.

31 March 2014 at 00:35  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The imagery gives rise to the thought of a modern panel of diverse judges over Christ (as when He stood before Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod.), shall He live and go forward to man’s boot camp or is He confined to the ignominy of walking of center stage far right, to the sad faces of an audience that thought of what might have been if the audition had gone to their idea of what a successful performance entailed?

They presumed they had power to judge Him, whereas He was judging the intents of their hearts.

They may have stood over Him for a brief moment but the Judge of all will preside over a judgment so great that it has eternal consequences for all life participants.

People may presume from this snapshot scene of the judgment, that all got what they wanted from this moment but that would NOT be the case?

Did Annas, Caiaphas and the Jews got exactly what they wanted, did they? when Jesus died on that Roman cross, they were supposedly jubilant. There was a measure of rejoicing on the part of those who appeared to prevail over Jesus at the cross (see John 16:20), but if we must also take Luke’s words into account when he informs us that, seeing what had happened at the cross, the multitudes went away “beating their breasts” (Luke 23:48). Those who crucified Jesus did not get everything they wanted. They wanted to stone Jesus, but they had to settle for crucifixion. They wanted to kill Jesus themselves, and yet they had to involve Rome.

Annas wanted to compel Jesus to incriminate Himself, and instead, Jesus indicted the high priest for wrong-doing.

31 March 2014 at 01:47  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

What of Pilate?

Pilate was none too popular with the Jews at this point in time. I doubt very much that he cared either, because his actions toward the Jews seem to indicate that he held a great disdain for them also.

You can imagine, then, how Pilate must have responded to the knock on his palace door early that fateful morning. “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It will be counted a curse to him” (Proverbs 27:14).

The Jews are in a hurry, and they need to dispense with the legal formalities as quickly as possible if they are to have this whole horrible thing finished by sunset (so that they can “worship God” at this Passover).

They have been up all night with Jesus, preparing for this moment. Now, they demand to see Pilate, but they also refuse to “defile themselves” by entering into the dwelling of this Gentile pagan (18:28).

And then, when Pilate asks them to indicate what formal charges they wish to press against Jesus, they are unable to articulate any charges which would make Him worthy of the death penalty.

Instead, they come up with a pious sounding version of “trust me”: “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you” (verse 30).

So they desired Pontius Pilate, to be the Simon Cowell of the panel, with the casting vote?

Pilate wanted to find a way to make the “Jesus crisis” decision go away, but he did not succeed.

Pilate said he had the power to set Him free! (Onwards to man’s boot camp and success) “So Pilate said to him, "Won't you speak to me? Don't you realise that I have the power to set you free, and I have the power to have you crucified?"

"You have no power at all against me," replied Jesus, "except what was given to you from above. And for that reason the one who handed me over to you is even more guilty than you are."

After Jesus confirms his question Pilate adds “So then, you really are a King!” Jesus replies in a way that clearly indicates this is true: “You say that I am a King …” the modern vernacular would e “You said it!” The Lord’s meaning is therefore something like this: “You are absolutely right that I am a King!”

His “kingdom” is centered around revelation, not revolution; around truth, not treason. Jesus was a teacher, not a traitor. This was the purpose for His incarnation; this was His mission in life—to testify to the truth.

And everyone who embraces Him as the promised Messiah (who “belongs to the truth”) listens to His voice.

31 March 2014 at 01:48  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Here is the challenge to Pilate, the casting vote judge—to accept Jesus’ teaching as the truth.

Pilate’s response is tragic as is all modern mans when faced with reality.

It is phrased as a question, but it is really an admission of complete cynicism.

He does not ask, “What is the truth?” Such a question would indicate that Pilate believes in truth but does not know what the truth is. The question, “What is truth?”, is a completely different matter.

It is as though Pilate had said, “Truth? You don’t mean to tell me that you believe there is such a thing as truth, do you? Truth is whatever you want it to be.” As some J S Mills adherents might say on this blog!!

I am sure Pilate had heard many who claimed to know the truth, and who were willing to reveal it to him (for a price of some kind). But here, it is as though Pilate has finally come to the point of giving up so far as ever knowing anything to be absolutely true as modern man has.

There is a very important principle to be learned from our judging panel, one that is just as relevant for today as it was for Pilate 2,000 years ago: “WHENEVER ONE LOSES FAITH IN THE FACT THAT THERE IS ABSOLUTE TRUTH, THERE IS ONLY ONE STANDARD BY WHICH THAT PERSON’S ACTIONS CAN BE MEASURED: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.”

Jesus claims to be the source of truth. Pilate has come to doubt that there is even such a thing as absolute truth. And so Pilate’s actions are guided by the principle of political correctness.

He does not do what is right. He has already come to the realisation that Jesus is innocent.

And if even this is not enough, Pilate’s wife will send him the message that Jesus is much more than innocent, He is righteous: “While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, ‘Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him’” (Matthew 27:19, )

And so it is that Pilate opts to do what is “politically correct,” with his 'all deciding' vote, even though it is morally wrong. Pilate decides to act out of expedience, handing Jesus over to those who are crying for His blood.

Today, we are watching the very same thing happen before our very eyes.

No longer are our leaders acting out of principle, definitely not biblical principle; all too many are acting out of pure pragmatism, giving the world what it supposedly wants despite the eternal beauty and love of the person before them.

Strange as it may seem to those that know the story of his crucifixion, burial and resurrection… at the cross of Calvary, it was only our Lord who got His way, not the worldly panel of judges and we who believe are beneficiaries of His great victory. AMEN.

Blofeld

31 March 2014 at 01:51  
Blogger Ivan said...


Uncle Brian, IMHO Jesus was guilty of the main charge. He did claim to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Whichever way it is spun, the proceedings were correct in their judgment.

31 March 2014 at 02:26  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Ivan

The Lord Jesus was charged with blasphemy. Truth is an absolute defense against this charge. Since He was the Son of Man He could not be charged with blasphemy for claiming to be the Son of Man. The Jewish leaders should have recognized who He was. He was therefore innocent of the charge made against Him.

carl

31 March 2014 at 02:52  
Blogger Ivan said...


Carl, IMHO the truth content of the charges are correct. This is independent of the inner belief of the protagonists, and the possible fact that his claims are in fact true. Those who accept his claims, can call themselves Christians, those who do not can with equal facility deny it.

31 March 2014 at 03:26  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Ivan

Jesus was not charged with being the Messiah. He was charged with blasphemously claiming to be the Messiah.

Again the High Priest asked him “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. Mark 14:61-64

The charge of blasphemy was false because He was who he claimed to be. He did not commit blasphemy. It would have been blasphemy for anyone else to say what Jesus said. It wasn't blasphemy for him to say it because it was the truth.

Jesus testified truthfully under oath as to who he was. The high priest claimed that this testimony was blasphemy. The high priest should have known who Jesus was. Therefore the high priest is without excuse for his judgment.

carl

31 March 2014 at 04:09  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Thanks for bringing this work of art to my attention.

He was taken away by injustice....He was bruised for our iniquities and on Him was the chastisement that made us whole.

All we like sheep have gone astray, every one to his own way , and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquities of all all.

Isaiah chapter 53

Where can I get a print?

31 March 2014 at 07:11  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Carl and others: PS it should of course be noted that Jesus prayed from the cross that the sin of his accusers be not held against them.

31 March 2014 at 07:16  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

The panel is saying

'We will not have this man to be king over us'

31 March 2014 at 07:59  
Blogger Flossie said...

I doubt that the great and the good at TfL are much troubled by theology. I cannot imagine what went through their heads when they made this decision.

Perhaps they felt they had upset Christians enough by the Stonewall bus ad and the withdrawal of the Core Issues riposte, and felt this might cause further annoyance. Or, what is more likely, they don't want the general public thinking that they are setting out to antagonise Christians.

Or perhaps they just don't want to offend Simon Cowell.

31 March 2014 at 09:24  
Blogger Len said...

Simon Cowell is' the idol'. He has everything that the World values his judgement is to be valued above all else.

What has Christ to offer in the opinion of 'the man in the street'?.

Which brings us back to the reality behind the image of the suffering servant.Jesus had nothing that 'the man in the street' would value.The Messiah came not dressed in fine robes with blast of trumpets but as the humble suffering servant.Many missed it then as are missing it now .Jesus cannot be known unless the Father reveals Him.'The wise'(in their own eyes) cannot see but the humble have their eyes opened.

31 March 2014 at 10:33  
Blogger Len said...

Isaiah 53:2-

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

31 March 2014 at 10:34  
Blogger Len said...

The fall of Man is reversed through the Cross of Jesus Christ...

1 Corinthians 1:1
For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

Man is so puffed up by his own 'wisdom' that he entirely misses Gods plan of salvation..

Tragic....

31 March 2014 at 10:42  
Blogger John Wrake said...

YG, Thank you for bringing this image to my attention. It is great art in every sense, for it reveals the truth at many levels.

My thanks also go to those who have commented on this post, for their comments have enhanced the recognition of the events we recall at this season.

Godly reflection expressed by faithful people. A great post.

John Wrake.

31 March 2014 at 11:52  
Blogger Ivan said...


Carl @409, I have to concede.

31 March 2014 at 12:13  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

To be fair to TFL, at least they are showing some of these images during Lent, indeed most of them as far as I can tell. This would suggest that a public ban on Christianity is far from in evidence.

We might even say that their display puts Christian sensibilities first for a change, as many an atheist or image-detesting Muslim may find such images offensive in and of themselves.

I can appreciate that this one, banned, image may be problematic as it clearly points the finger of blame at specific individuals today, which is not the message of Lent. Is it really Simon Cowell who condemns Christ in modern society?

For an equally astonishing set of contemporary Stations of the Cross could I recommend The Golgotha of Jasna Gora in the Beginning of the Third Millennium, Jerzy Duda Gracz.

31 March 2014 at 16:51  
Blogger jcrw said...

Interesting that the Riding Lights theatre travelling troupe (Roughshod) have been playing a sketch for the last two months which illustrates precisely the scene TfL banned. The lively critique of celebrity in general and X-Factor I particular has gone down particularly well with mainly youthful audiences.

31 March 2014 at 18:39  
Blogger Mike Stallard said...

The person who painted this picture ought to be very proud. They are an excellent, thoughtful, artist.

1 April 2014 at 07:20  
Blogger vermeer said...

Unaccustomed as I am to sounding like tweedy old Roger Scruton, banging on about how we live in an aesthetically bankrupt culture, or Brian Sewell on one of his tiresome ‘it’s all been downhill since Poussin’ rants, but has anyone else noticed that the painting in question – purely as a painting – just isn't very good? I really did appreciate the leading article and heartily endorse its sentiments, but in it, and the comments that followed, there’s barely one slender mention of the paintings formal qualities.
Such apposite theological exegesis such as the condemnation of the banalities of contemporary consumer culture, shallow materialism, the spectacle of judgement, the cavalier disregard for any kind of social contract and so on and so forth is all very well, but a bad painting is a bad painting no matter how much one might sympathise with the sentiment of its content.
I don’t wish to be unduly unkind to the young artist who made the image; God knows that the experience of a modern art school largely constitutes the blind leading the blind (how long will it be before they all entirely collapse, rendered ‘useless’ by the markets implacable instrumental logic?), so, I’ll preface my comments by saying that in the unhappy cultural continuum we currently inhabit, the foolish and immoderate courage displayed in the option to become an artist should be heartily applauded by everyone.
But the fact remains that the composition is predictable and perfunctory, while a paucity of drawing skills hides behind an unpleasant and facile salad of useless and functionless marks. The overall effect is of a hastily dashed off illustration whose only useful function might be to tart up the jaded ‘opinions’ of some colour supplement hack. Infact, if I'm really honest, all the subtlety and nuance of its noble sentiments are, in the end, traded for the crass moral outrage of a teenage ‘it’s not fair.’
Now, I know that TfL didn't decline to show the image because their finely tuned Ruskinian sensibilities were somehow mortally offended, but rather because they bridle at anyone that has the temerity to stick a fork in the arse of an easily ‘offended’ liberal consensus, but ultimately, the painting, – as a painting - isn't really very good. Art should be judged as art, not in terms of its usefulness as an instrument in ideological battles; to view it as such is to become part of the problem, not the cure.

15 April 2014 at 15:29  

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