Christianity -- Christian Living/offensive painting?


Hi. I am an artist and my most recent painting has unintentionally raised my Christian stepmother's anger. Since I haven't yet figured out how to download a photo onto my computer I'll describe the painting to you. It's called "Punished Angel" and it's a naked angel kneeling in the corner with a red backside, like she's recently been spanked. There's a male angel witch crossed arms, looking angry, in the foreground. It's part of a series meant to explore themes of the sacred, the erotic and the punitive. I don't understand why it's offensive to Christian sensibilities.  Can you explain for me? My stepmom yells too much to talk with her.

Hello, Alyssa.

Well, I don't know, of course, why your stepmother is offended by the painting. However, the Bible does teach that we are not to make any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above.

Exodus 20:4: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

That word 'heaven' can refer to both the 'heavens' (the sky and deep space), but also Heaven, the place where God lives.

God is referring to the making of a graven image (an idol), and this forbids making any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven.

Now, even if the angels you've painted are not meant to be idols, the question of what angels look like is unknown to us. So, your painting could be meant to represent angels as they truly are, and that is impossible. It's best not to paint objects of which we have no clue as to how they appear: angels, God, Christ, Heaven, etc.

I assume that your stepmother is upset not because of the appearance of angels, but because of the theme of the painting itself. The Bible does teach that punishing a child can, at times, be necessary (Proverbs 13:24). And certain of the angels will be punished by God on Judgement Day. But I can't know unless you tell me for sure what she's thinking.

Hope this helps.

May God bless you,

Acts 8:27-28: And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

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John Zalewski


I can answer questions about Heaven and Hell, becoming a true believer (born again) and how to know if you are truly saved. As a Christian, it is my duty to help spread the Gospel. I can take a look at Bible verses if you like. It is in my best interest to eliminate any and all confusion about the Bible, so please do not hesitate to ask me whatever you like.


Born-again Christian; have studied the Bible for approximately five years.

The Holy Spirit is the teacher.

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