01 May, 2010

The Gospel According to Marcel Duchamp

In 1917 the French artist Marcel Duchamp attempted to display a piece of art that he created under the psedonymn, R. Mutt. The title of the piece was "Fountain" and it was nothing more than a discarded urinal placed on it's side. What does this piece of ceramic trash have to do with the Gospel?

Well, in declaring this art- society found wisdom. People began to think about what it meant and how this piece was to be interpreted. Critics talked about how displaying it upside down actually made it take on new character.

That which was something for urine had turned into something that appeared in a way- like the Buddha, or the Madonna, or a shrine of some sort. People talked about how a urinal that was designed for men took on a sensual aesthetic in the way in which it was displayed. By displaying it this way it became phallic. A man's urinal now seen vaginally and sensually. They raved about it and a whole new wave of conceptual art was born thanks to Marcel Duchamp.

This piece also has been awarded an international award for the most important piece of artwork in the 20th century. Friends, we see clearly that the emperor has no clothes; but the world does not see it. We see that all of the perceived wisdom that goes into interpreting this piece (as well as much of modern and postmodern art) is nothing more than babbling and foolishness.

The wisdom of this world. It is foolishness.

Paul said to the Corinthian believers (I Cor. 3:9) that the wisdom of this world was folly to God- foolishness! The Apostle Paul also talks about another type of wisdom and another type of foolishness. In that same book he says that the world sees preaching as foolishness (Paul was even called a babbler), yet God sees it as the wisdom that he uses to save sinners, to draw sinners unto himself.

Friends, we have a choice. We have many counselors telling us what to believe. But as we consider all of the choices that we have as to which counselors we would listen to- remember this:

We can listen to the wisdom of this world, and exegete urinals, or we can listen to foolishness according to the world, and be saved. God has chosen that which is foolish to build his Church. Preaching is the wisdom of God unto salvation- and remember: It's a urinal. Period.

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