A question for the Church: What role does art serve?
I’ve been thinking about the “hows” of the above question. How do we use art to glorify and worship God? Do we only use certain things for a worship service? Does it matter what styles we use in a worship service? Can art be inherently good or bad? (Read my last post for some thoughts on that) How can a single church use different styles of art and should they?
I think I’ll be posting a few times on these subjects, but for now, I’ll touch on the first question.
God is The Creator. His Creation is full of variety, color, and beauty. I live in the mountains of North Carolina, and most days I can see a sunset over the mountains on my way home from work. It’s wonderful, it reminds me that God is Creator, and it tells me God is an artist.
Therefore, if God created us (humans) in His own image, then we have a creative drive in us. If God created us with a creative drive and He commands us to love Him with our whole heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37), then it follows that we should use our creativity to love and glorify God.
So, art from the Church (i.e. God’s people, not the building or service) should glorify God in some way. This is not to say that all of our art should be directly about God, but I think it should be in light of God. And it should not be all the same thing. No two sunsets are the same, why should two paintings be (or why should they both be paintings)?
Put it this way. Just because we are Christians does not mean we should be preaching in the streets 24/7. We need rest, we need enjoyment, we need fellowship, the list goes on. I can play the Wii with my wife or read a book just for fun. But these things must all be submitted to God. Same with art.
Art should be expressions of our experiences. What we feel, what we see, what we know, what we believe. The specific medium by which we show our art is less important. Since God created us all different, we will show our creativity in different ways. None is better than the other, and all can be used.
The principle idea here is that if the art is ultimately God-centered, then it glorifies God. That is the answer to the question. How do we glorify God with art? By honoring Him – His nature, His name, His Son, His Spirit – in our art.
So for all of us creative types: remember who gave us creativity in the first place, and honor Him in what we create, whether that be worship music, novels, paintings, movies, or anything else.
Posted via web from On Life, Stories, and Music