“Matters of The HeART” (Christianity & Creativity)
Is there a correlation between faith & art? Where do christians draw the line? Lets take a look at why art is indeed a matter of the heart.
Like Father Like Son (& Daughter) / Creating is a pART of Life
Genesis 1:26,27,28 Then God said "Let us make man in our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth. So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth."
God created you and I in His own image and likeness, and commanded us to procreate and fill the earth with the image of God. How awesome is that? We were commissioned to fill the earth with beauty, life, and art! Commissioned by the very painter of every sunset, the author of the stars and planets, the player of nature's instruments, the poet who with words actually wrought worlds! It's no wonder we feel the need to create & enjoy what others create, we are creative beings; children of the great creator. This kind of gift couldn't possibly come without great responsibility. Not long after we were made aware of the great gift within us came the deceiver; and our selfish desires were exposed. This deception resulted in "The fall", a flaw that would now haunt our once flawless creative process. In the beginning we could only create that which our father taught us to create, that being all things good. After falling for the tricks of a once great musician and angel of light, but now a bitter, jaded and jealous creator of evil, we became subject to creating the same evils ourselves. We essentially allowed the deceiver to now have say in our creative process. The son's of Adam & Eve, Cane & Able are evidence of our capability to create both that which bringeth life, and that which bringeth death.
Think Responsibly (What Story Will Your ARTifacts Tell?)
Romans 1:20 From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made.
There has often been debate over the effects and influence art may or may not have on people, as well as an artist's freedom of expression and level of responsibility and accountability toward their audience. In this letter Paul wrote to the Roman church he expresses the attributes of God are evident in that which he has created. In light of this scripture would you agree that the art one creates can potentially have major effects, and influence on their audience? What about the responsibility and accountability of an artist? If our art exposes our heart, and our heart belongs to God, ultimately our art should in some way point to God; are we producing an accurate picture of our creator? This question isn't limited to creators of music, or film, literature, etc. but to all of humanity, because all of humanity are perpetually creating, and producing. Jesus tells us in Mathew 7:16 You'll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?
Purify My HeART (And The Art Within it)
1 Corinthians 10:23 "Everything is permissible," but not everything is helpful. "Everything is permissible," but not everything builds up. No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person.
The Christian's desensitization to sin, and or anything that is in opposition to God discredits his or her testimony as well as weakens the spirit man while empowering the flesh. The art we choose to enjoy is not a matter of salvation, but a matter of the heART. All things are permissible for the believer, yet not all things are beneficial. So how do we determine what is beneficial and what isn't? Simple, we can determine this by being sensitive to the holy spirit within us and remembering that what we watch The Lord watches, what we listen to the Lord listens to, what we partake and participate in, the Lord partakes and participates in. So do we abstain from all the world, everything and everyone non-Christian? Of course not. Instead we ought to fill our hearts with the beauty of God's great art, so that when we do dine and commune with the world considering all kinds of art we will be impenetrable, overflowing with the Love, mercy, grace, understanding, truth, and wisdom of Jesus Christ. The art we allow into our lives, into our homes is a matter of the heART. Consider this scripture. Luke 6:45 A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. Let's beware of what we stock the shelves of our hearts with.
Where ART thou? (Are we running from, or to God's call?)
Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.
Just as Jesus was tempted, so you and I will be tempted. If temptation is inevitable the least we can do is quit making provisions for our flesh. Between the years of 1930 and 1968 hollywood film makers were held to a moral code and standard known as the Hays code that prohibited film makers from including unnecessary scenes of sex, violence, drug use, mockery of appointed officials etc. in their films. It seems they knew the power of art, and were attempting to make no provision for the flesh by prohibiting what was generally perceived to be immoral and perverse. They were in essence trying to protect themselves, their families, children, and the nation as a whole. The code is flawed, as is everything else in this fractured world, but the intention is incredibly telling, praise worthy and worth looking into. Did it limit the film makers options, and stunt their expression? Maybe, but what if instead of limiting an artist these restrictions only challenged an artist to be more creative in expressing their story? What if it stretched the artist to grow and learn, and adopt new methods of story telling that would be artistically credible without bombarding the audience with potentially harmful content?
Treasure In EARThen Vessels (The Treasure is within you)
The Christian life isn't a life of rigid rules and regulations, it is a life lived in true liberty. Freedom to live to our full potential in Christ, to achieve Shalom wellness and peace. Empowering the spirit and denying the flesh produces an unspeakable joy and fulfillment that is everlasting. Remember we are called to be artists, just like our father. We are called to create that which will reflect the image of God.