Friday, October 15, 2010

What are We: The Christian and the Arts

A Christian professional, with much experience in the art world, observed:

“Christian art is widely regarded as superficial and insipid. This isn’t because Christians are any less talented, but rather because their art fails to reflect their inner core. In contrast to this, worldly artists might be angry, jealous, and avaricious in their pursuit of their dreams. However, their art reflects this and is therefore genuine and gutsy, and we resonate to this.

The Christian, however, is inclined to pursue the world’s standards, to fit in and to speak their language. Although understandable and sometimes even laudable, in doing this, they are not doing art out of who they truly are, and this is at the expense of authenticity.”

How true! We’ve succumbed to following the prevailing culture. We’ve bought our house in the burbs with a two car garage. We’ve sent our children to the best colleges and then were surprised when they returned, smelling like the surrounding world.

Ironically, the Emergent Church (EC), which has dedicated itself to re-formulating the church, minimizing doctrine, has also followed the tastes of the consumer. The consumer has tired of denominationalism, and the EC has promised to tear down these barriers; the consumer has tired of traditional church services, and the EC pastors appear dressed in jeans and a tie-shirt. The consumer fails to understand the culture wars and has lost its taste for such divisions, and so the EC has opined that these are irrelevant to Christ.

This is not to pass judgment on these accommodations, but seeing them should make us suspicious about marching to the rhythms of our culture. Instead, we have a higher calling, one to which we must continually return for guidance.

We have been ennobled with the highest honor imaginable—to serve the Source of all truth, mercy and love. This glorious calling requires that we continually return to this one central question: “Lord Jesus, how can I serve You today?” This is what service and glory requires.

It also requires that we stay in prayer with our Head: “Lord Jesus, You have bought me and own me (Gal. 2:20; 1 Cor. 6:19-20). It is my greatest privilege to serve You (Psalm 1; John 4:34). Teach me, direct me, correct me (Psalm 139:23-24), if need be—whatever it requires for You to use me for Your glory-sake!”

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