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JoeGrey
Member



Joined: 2007/2/1
Posts: 20
South Africa

 Creativity and Art: Do Evangelicals side step its relevance?

The first attribute that God reveals of His Being in Genesis 1 is the fact that He is a creative God: "in the beginning God created..."
Scripture also teaches us that He created us in His likeness, therefor we are also created with the capacity to be creative.

There are two obvious extremes among Christians with relation to this topic, as some see any art and creativity as acceptable and others as inherently wrong or evil (worldly) and part of the devil's domain.

But what is the role of creativity and art in the 21st century church? And what place and relevance should it have in the individual creative believer's life, as member of both society and as a part of the body of Christ?
Is it only to be used for the kingdom of God and to propagate the Gospel and perhaps decorating our homes?
Or does God command us to use it in a wider sense?
Why is it a topic that so little has been spoken about?
Where do we go for guidance regarding this issue and what do we use as yardstick in our interpretations?

These are some questions and thoughts that I would like to open for consideration and comment.

(Coming from a believer, artist, art teacher, university student, father, parent, missionary)


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Joseph

 2011/5/28 4:08Profile
mguldner
Member



Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re: Creativity and Art: Do Evangelicals side step its relevance?

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=38103&forum=35&7

Follow the link for a previous discussion on Art and Christianity fairly good dialogue that may touch your question.

God Bless,
Matthew


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Matthew Guldner

 2011/5/28 8:08Profile
itg3712
Member



Joined: 2008/10/4
Posts: 67


 Re: Creativity and Art: Do Evangelicals side step its relevance?

Thoughts / Replies:

1) Jesus Christ was there as a Creative in Genesis 1:1. Jesus was there with the Trinity at Creation. Jesus was the great "I AM" who existed before Abraham (John 8:58). Wisdom and understanding are the manner in which the Triune, Almight God created the earth and sky. "He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding." - Jeremiah 51:15.

2) When the Ark and Tabernacle were built after the Exodus in the wilderness crossing, the Spirit of God inspired creativity. All the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair (Exodus 35:26). These women were creative. Almighty God filled Bezaleel and Aholiab "with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver...[to devise]...cunning work (Exodus 35:35). These two men were a creative team. They devised and crafted work and invented ways to produce what needed to be made. Wisdom is the power to be creative and to perceive what others do not perceive and to invent what others have not yet invented.

3) Jesus was creative in His Words and Works. He said and did many things that others had never experienced before. Even the wind and waves obeyed him (Mark 4:41). The Words of Jesus in the Sermon On the Mount and at other times were creative and powerful and unlike words that others had spoken. Where Jesus worked, devils were cast out and at least one dumb person began to speak such that multitudes marveled saying that it had never before been like such in Israel. (Mark 9:33)

4) Creativity and art are expressions of culture. The Great Commission of Matthew 28:20 is a call to go out into all the world and to engage in relationship with ethnic peoples and languages and creative art and creative cultures to make disciples of Jesus Christ who was the Incarnation of Creative Power and Wisdom.


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g

 2011/5/28 8:13Profile
allaboard
Member



Joined: 2011/5/28
Posts: 100


 Re:

Quote:
Or does God command us to use it in a wider sense?



The World that God made is ART! Animals, insects, sea creatures, mountains, etc, etc.

Can you enlighten us on your quote above?

Why would God command? Doesn't He just instill in each person giftings and we should use our giftings to the glory of God and also be led by the Holy Spirit?

Have you had objectionable experiences with Evangelicals regarding your "art"?

 2011/5/28 9:25Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7472
Mississippi

 Re: Creativity and Art: Do Evangelicals side step its relevance?

I am not an artist, however, I appreciate beauty.

If the Holy Spirit dwells within, and he being a part of the Trinity, this person will have the capacity to be creative. Since this is the case, ones' creation will reflect beauty, the beauty that God placed within a person.

As I grow in my walk with the LORD I am seeing my own ability to create beauty increase...this is remarkable as I have no natural ability to create - I can copy something, but to deviate from it and make it beautiful, forget it! I still do not think my creativity is anything to brag about, but the fact that there is a growing ability is. It provides one with much pleasure and delight. And one is never too old to learn and create.

Got to run. But I hope you will get more responses. It will be interesting to see what others have to say...I have more but do not have the time, now.


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Sandra Miller

 2011/5/28 9:32Profile









 Re: Creativity and Art: Do Evangelicals side step its relevance?

Quote:
But what is the role of creativity and art in the 21st century church? And what place and relevance should it have in the individual creative believer's life, as member of both society and as a part of the body of Christ?



It's so ironic you brought up this topic, as i was laying in bed last night and tonight thinking about this very same issue! I have been wondering why is it that most Christians are void of creativity! Even moreso I have been wondering why God seems to have blessed homosexuals with such creative talents. It strikes me as strange.

When i listen to the media, it seems that a vast majority of artistic and creative types are homosexuals today. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?? (Or at least they are the ones getting all the press??)
Even former "Christian" singer/songwriter Ray Boltz turned out to be homosexual, leaving his wife and children to go into this. Why is it that so many homosexuals are so talented with artistic and creative abilities?? This includes many poets from centuries ago, not just creative types today.


Oh, P.S. I have been starving for an outlet for my own creativity (Don't worry, I am NOT homosexual); is anyone willing to pray that God would help me find a way to satisfy this enormous hunger for creative expression with which i am so frustrated? I have no (affordable) creative outlets.

 2011/5/28 9:38
JoeGrey
Member



Joined: 2007/2/1
Posts: 20
South Africa

 Re:

Thanks for all the replies so far. Please continue - I appreciate every response...

I feel the urge to make it clear that my thread was not meant for controversy and I haven't had any specific objectionable experience with anyone in the body of Christ regarding my own art. There are also no "hidden" messages in my thread. I am limited with the vocabulary to put across what I think I wanted to. Forgive me.

It is just an area where I have been seeking the Lord in a deeper way. Very little has been written (or spoken in sermons) on this topic by the Evangelic church, therefor it seems to be an neglected area. It is generally a topic that goes without any or very little opinion from Evangelicals. That is with the exception of people like Francis Schaeffer and others affiliated to the L'Abri fellowships, like the late art historian Hans Rookmaaker.

Please refer us to any worthwhile links to websites and papers, books, etc that shed heavenly light on this topic.

God bless you all!




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Joseph

 2011/5/28 10:08Profile









 Re: Creativity and Art: Do Evangelicals side step its relevance?

Dear Joe, this isnt a safe place to have such a discussion.

for disclosure purposes, most of the money i've made in my life has been from the creative arts.

CyAn, i dont know what to make of your post, except to say, you obviously havent been involved in the creative arts on professional level, because what you say about "homosexuals" comprising a majority of the "arts" is just not the truth.

i'm sitting up here on a ridge top ranch in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin, all bought with the Grace of God and earnings from the arts, and sister, i'm as straight as fine grained oak plank, so...............and the vast majority of the folks i know professionally are decidely heterosexual.

maybe you been watching too much Bravo channel, which leads me to say, get rid of that cable or dish tv.

said with love, neil

 2011/5/28 10:34
JoeGrey
Member



Joined: 2007/2/1
Posts: 20
South Africa

 Re:

Dear Nathan4Jesus

Thanks for your opinion and replying to my thread.

God bless you and keep you dependent on Him for everything.

Joseph


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Joseph

 2011/5/28 11:14Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: Creativity and Art: Do Evangelicals side step its relevance?

"Scripture also teaches us that He created us in His likeness, therefor we are also created with the capacity to be creative. "

JoeGrey, this is a great topic, and is closer to where people live then they may first suspect.

"But what is the role of creativity and art in the 21st century church?"

I think it's helpful for people who don't consider themselves to be artists, to see that creativity and art are really two different things. You are naturally creative even you are not involved in some type of artistic craft or pursuit. Also, it is important for people to understand that art is not concerned merely with surface appeal. Art should be connected to an idea that otherwise would not be seen.

In this light, Christians in particular should be among the most creative of all people as we are awakened to care about more then just the surface of life. We believe in and care about deeper truths, refusing to let ourselves be defined by social status, religous identities, educational pedigrees, family histories, political power, economic pressures, or even our own prior assumptions, and this will certainly lead to innovative thought. In other words, the Christian life is not passive, but is generative, and even regenerative.

"It doth not yet appear what we shall be." 1 John 3:2.

God has made us all to be creative. Witness our unmistakable ability to create in the simple act of spoken langauge. Language is not merely surface words, but original thought expressed. Consider that both a parrot and a 5 year old child can make word sounds, but only the child can make brand new sentences that no one taught him to say. So in this sense, creativity is the result of being conscious, of aware of deeper ideas...even previously unconnected ideas, and expressing them in word or action.

Now, I do believe looking for deeper things below the surface can often be very disruptive, and so requires an emotional and intellectual engagement to not just the arts, but all areas of life. Creativitiy is not just the ability to create but to destroy. It is consciously unlearning what we have unconsconsciously learned. It requires breaking things, or turning them upside down, or admitting when we have failed in order to begin again. In spiritual terms it requires repentence in even the smallest insignificant ways in order to move forward in the big picture.

With a tendency to challenge, investigate, and confront everything it encounters, we can see why people prefer creativity to be classified as a nonessential virtue we can live without. Thankfully, the Lord doesn't let us ignore creativity for very long...he knows how to use pressure and messy situations to help us to change, just like a potter enjoys getting his hands dirty with clay:)

I like this from Oswald Chambers..."The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty... Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness, it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation."

MC


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Mike Compton

 2011/5/28 11:50Profile





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