Ponderings About Art.


I was pondering today about how it really bothers me that the arts seem to be so under-rated in many Christian circles.

I don’t mean that Christians don’t appreciate the arts, I know plenty that do. What I mean is that a lot of us tend to overlook them as secondary and sometimes just leave them to the secular world. If Christianity is true, it applies to everything, including the arts. 

     Whether we realize it or not, art defines culture, and culture defines people. The things we choose to look at and to listen to shape the way we think. If we fail to be Christ’s hands and feet in regards to art, we will be missing a grand opportunity to reach people. So often we overlook the importance of art by thinking it is somehow less important than preaching, or missionary work, or whatever else.

     I hear many complaints about today’s media. Many of my friends both Christian and non-Christian tell me what a shame it is that all we seem to be seeing in the world of art and hearing in the world of music is violence, sex, profanity, and whatever else. I think this is where Christian artists come in. There is a great amount of talent among Christians, but I think one of the problems is that we limit it so it’s only found in Church buildings and Christian bookstores.

     I think we need more Christians to step up and share the Gospel in their work. That does not necessarily mean that they can only paint pictures of Jesus, or only make movies with a Christian central message, or only sing about God. In my opinion it looks like this: “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent, or praise-worthy, think about such things” (Philippians 4:6). As the body of Christ we are called to share the Gospel not only with our words, but also with our works. Our art should be true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praise-worthy. 

     The world of art is too valuable for us to ignore it. I know that God has called many of His people to be amazing artists. Beyond that, I know that God calls all of us to honour Him and to be excellent in everything we do. Followers of Jesus should be the best at what they do, whatever that may be. Let’s not confine ourselves to our ‘Christian bubble’ but rather let’s set the standard for what beauty should be.
That’s what’s on my heart today. What’s on yours?

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About Jonathon Thigpen

I am a student, writer, photographer, traveler, teacher, and Lego enthusiast, who is endeavouring to be a man after God's own heart.
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10 Responses to Ponderings About Art.

  1. Carson says:

    Good thoughts and so true! I grew up in an Adventist church – let’s just say that Adventism hugely confines art. Example? When a graduation for the distance ed students under the learning centre our church ran included (very soft) drum playing, people literally got up and walked out. That’s not necesarily how all Adventist churches are and indeed mine has become quite a bit more broad-minded since then, it’s also not that some other churches aren’t like that. But it’s fair to say that many Christians have been too busy worrying about being ‘in the world but not of it’ and it has seriously crimped art and expression, yes?

    I’m an artist, I honestly don’t know what I would do not being able to express myself in pictures, music, or words. I totally get where you’re coming from (though I’m not entirely sure where this comment is going) Something’s gotta change and someone needs to step out with their expression and art and make it happen.

    Good thoughts (=

  2. Amy says:

    I don’t know you, but I’m on of Olivia B.’s friends, and found my way to your blog from her’s! Just wanted to pop in and say I’m really enjoying your posts, very encouraging and insightful. 🙂
    God bless!
    Amy

  3. J.F. Arnold says:

    Good thoughts.

    This is something the Church has historically embraced. It is only recently (relatively, at least) that the arts have become primarily ‘secular.’

    • Thank you, sir! You do speak the truth! In fact, Christians really defined most of the arts. Especially music and painting. It seems it’s only been in the last century or so that we’ve been losing that.

    • Carson says:

      Too true. During the mid- to late-1800s when it was founded, Adventism (the denomination I was brought up to) was very much opposed to pianos in church. Why? Because pianos were being used in bars and saloons (Ironically enough look what we play in church today) I would expound to say also that the arts have done alot of changing recently, especially quite recently the devil does have his hand in every form and I see the results in my peers all the time; movies, books, music.. there are many many themes in today’s art that are definitely robbing our innocence and I can personally testify to that. Satan has definitely stepped up his game in the arts and I think that as well as realizing that we have been crimping the creativity we also need to realize that Christians need to step out and make a distinction; we need Godly artists to step out and begin wielding their giftings.

      • Very interesting indeed. It’s strange how sometimes we in the church tend to shun things that can be used for good just because the world uses them for ill purposes.
        And I whole-heartedly agree! Beyond just fostering creativity we need to actively step up and use what God’s given us and restore art to what it should be,

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