April 17, 2012

For the fourth week on my series I’m talking about the discipline of art.

ART: Exhibiting God’s Creativity 

On page 79 of his Novel Transapparent  Roy Stucky records the following conversation between a pastor and his wife. 

Wendy, told her husband “I believe you should open up about art.”
“We have the arts in our church”
“Only bible dramatizations and praise music”
“That’s what belongs in church.” 

 The point of this exchange, and the rest of the conversation, is to show that art is probably the least encouraged discipline within the church. Unless of course you are a drama teacher, graphic designer or play some kind of musical instrument. Just as pastor Zane said to his wife “that’s what belongs in the church,” it’s sad to think but Roy Stucky’s got the church pegged, he also understand the importance of other forms of art finding their way into the church. But things like painting, crafts, dancing and drawing are not encouraged, in fact some denominations even frown on them. 
My dear friends Alex and Angel love to do art, and they are wonderful at it. When you walk into their room you can’t help but notice the colorful paintings and drawings hung up on the wall, some they have done together, some they have done separately. Not only do they bring glory to God through their art, they also show us a quality of God we rarely think about. 
God’s Creativity: 
Christian George writes; 

God is artistically oriented and He seeks to share His inclination with His re-made creatures. But art is rarely considered a spiritual discipline, it’s not like fasting, praying, meditating or even Labyrinth Walking. It’s not even proscribed in scripture, But by surrendering to God the creativity we deepen our spiritual awareness. By sketching a sunset or pointing at plants we adore the God who paints the skies and hangs the heavens. (Godology, Christian George, 42)

It’s strange to think of God being artistically oriented, especially because we generally talk about nature in the sense of God’s glory. But there had to be a beginning to the glory that is revealed through nature (Romans 1:20) there had to be a beginning, just one of the innumerable thoughts of God (Psalms 139:18) had to be creative, if not all of them. Look at the intricacies of nature, tell me it didn’t take a well formed thought to create the human brain with all its functions.

Then consider the transformation in your own life, just as George points out “God creates and re-creates us.” In Psalms 139:13-16 David writes of God knowing his frame and forming his inmost parts while he was still in his mothers womb. Then at the time when we become Christians, we move from sinner to new men and women who are now made new in Christ (Galatians 2:10).

Exhibiting God’s Creativity and Glory

When I think of my friends Alex and Angel and their artwork I can’t help but praise God. It is truly and exhibition of God’s creativity and glory, they are rejoicing in God and He is undoubtedly rejoicing in them. In my own life art takes the form of songwriting, but not in the traditional worship song sense but the kind that has been called not “corporate.” Not church music, but songs written from seeing the pain and beauty from my own life and the lives of others. .

Capturing God’s glory through his creativity allows others to worship and praise God as well. We may not think about it when we look at a painting, but seeing a painting like my friends can draw us into God, help us fall deeper in love with Him. The psalms give us a great example all throughout of poetry and songs written to praise and help the reader to fall deeper in love with a God who loves us!

Art doesn’t just exhibit God’s creativity, it also exhibits His glory, allows us to praise God in a different form and help others to acknowledge the being greater than any other conceivable being.

Becoming an Artist 

One thing I’ve found to be true in my own life is that the closer I get to God, the more I surrender to Him the more my creative abilities come out. Consider that before my experience this summer I had written a total of 4 songs to completion, since returning God has inspired me to write 7 or 8 more, and I’ve even considered taking up drawing perspective again. My song writing has also taken on a different form, more encouragement, a little more worship and definatly a lot more originality.

As we draw near to God, He draws near to us and our personalities that He gave us, and with that our creative abilities start to come forward. I find the more I am pursing God the more I want to create by writing, singing a new lyric, writing a new guitar rift and as I said even draw.

Art is something God uses to draw others to Him, so why not let the church hold painting classes as Roy Stucky suggests. Why not get a group of Christians together who love to dance and form a church dance team? Why not practice art so that others can see the glory of God and rejoice in His creativity!

I hope my dear friends Alex and Angel never give up their art! Let’s join them in praising the God who creates and re-creates us, bringing glory and honor to Him who makes all things and makes them good!

God Bless You
Jonathan Faulkner
10:31 Life Ministries

Art is God’s Creativity Expressed through us
Let us write Poetry, sing songs and paint for Him

Also Available in the Good Discipline Series from Jonathan Faulkner
Good Discipline
Good Discipline – Prayer
Good Discipline – Obedience

Also Available from Jonathan Faulkner
The Truth (10:31 Life Ministries Blog)

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A Chosen Generation: Called Beyond Societies Standards  by Angel Edwards
The College Commitment: Those Puzzled Athenians-and Us by David Faulkner
Con of a College Freshmen; On Buying Groceries and Other Things By Amy Faulkner

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