Living at the convergence of faith and art.

Discussing Our Role as Artist’s: Part 1- God’s Invitation

Lew Curtiss / Visual ArtistThis post is the first in a series discussing the role of God’s Faith-Driven Artists in the Church and the world. These are just rough ideas that, over time, are maturing and becoming clearer to me. While these ideas are rough and only loosely formulated, I thought I would share them and ask for your views. What do you see as the role, in the world and in the Church, of Faith-Driven Artists?

God’s Invitation

As Believers, we are God’s living invitations to the foot of the Cross (1Peter 3:15). We are not His Holy Warriors here to change the world. Ridding the world of evil and sin is God’s job through Christ Jesus. We Believers are God’s hand-written, gold embossed invitation to the world to come to the foot of His Son’s cross of redemption. The responsibility is upon all who believe (Matthew 28:19), to so strongly reflect the grace and love of Jesus that some may ask, “Why are your so steady through the tough times? Why are you always so up? Why doesn’t life seem to bug the hell out of you?”

Our art therefore needs to be a truthful expression of the grit and grace of the human enterprise. It also must be, in some way, a loving invitation from Christ to a hurting world. The phrase, “in some way” is used very broadly here.

I’m not in any way telling my fellow artists what to make or how to make meaning in the name of the Lord. I’ve read my share essays written by presumptuous theologians dictating what art should and should not be. I’ve personally encountered Christians who believe they need to tell me how to use my gifts to his glory.  I’m not adding my voice to that crowd.

It’s evident however that in our creative work, the world-view of who we are and what we value is indelibly infused into our work. The two, our world-view and our art, cannot be separated, nor can our faith. If we’re diligent in our walk with God, that vital and eternal relationship will, in some way, be evident in the work.

What I See

I see faith driven artists then as walking upon the same knife edge that Jesus walked while here among us. The great lamentation most of us in the faith-driven arts have encountered is that the secular/unbelieving world often complains that our art is “too religious.” And further, the Church often complains that our work is too worldly or secular. Both, of course, are mere excuses in an attempt to sideline God’s creatives as somehow irrelevant.

Christ constantly disconnected Himself from the political or merely religiously driven agendas of the powerful people around Him. He avoided the efforts of zealots wanting to hijack His mission and use Him as a king to liberate Israel of the Roman occupation forces. Christ also fiercely reprimanded the Leaders & Teachers of the Law from hijacking the faith of the people and to promote themselves as religious gatekeepers.

I see us, the faith-driven creatives as walking the same knife edge; that of preventing our work from being dumbed-down into secular impotence, and avoiding it being acquired and manipulated by the Church.

Your Thoughts

If future installments I’m going to explore what seems to me to be our role as we relate to the Church and to the secular/non-believing world. I hope you’ll weigh in with your thoughts, views, and experiences. Oh, and please remember, this is a discussion, not a debate. Let’s respectfully leave room for all views.

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