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4everhis85
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Joined: 2005/7/30
Posts: 13


 Re:

Quote:
There is no "sub-group" in the body of Christ. If those predisposed toward the arts in thier expression of faith, in praise and worship as well as the delivery of God's Word, seperate themselves from the body , that's sin. The Body of Christ isn't suposed to have seperate little groupings but we'er to be one Body of believers working to glorify Christ and obey His teachings.



I am in total agreement with you. But this wouldn't be a "sub-group" as you put it. Many churches have youth groups, college and carreers groups, singles, elders, etc. all these are designed to bring the body together in a manner that makes people relate easily with one another. And an "art-group" would just be another ministry group, that doesn't have age seperations, which is the most common sup-group!

Thank you so much dohzman for pointing out the necessity of wisdom! That deffinatly can not be overly stressed, espesially in the setting of artist!

Quote:
The wisdom is needed because artists have to come to the same knowledge that all christians have to come to, and that is , Everything we are started with Christ and will end with Christ, ALL GRACE , nothing of myself I bring.


Speaking for myself i know that every peice of my work is a direct stem from the Lord, and it is because of His Grace can i do anything! I know there is not one piece of work that was not from HIm for a given purpose or heart ache, or just worship of who He is!

In what you said it sounded as if you wre attacking artist and saying they are full of arrogance in their work, this simply is not so! In fact i know the opposite to be the truth(as a person who is actually in this world). We create c/ that is our form of communication, it reflects us in every single asspect from extreme highs to the lows.

I do appreciate your warning of wisdom, but don't direct to just artists, this goes to any type of ministry, pride comes in so easily along with other snares! The preacher needs to be careful he isn't out to please the ears of his audience and to impress them with words. The musicain has to do the same! The warning needs to be to everyone! but at the same time lets remember that God did make us different with talents and skills, which all should go to His Glory and praise along with the edification of the church!

yes an actual art ministry in a church is abstract, but music was at one point too! Before we continue to look at this lets take our stereotypes and pressupositions and look criticaly at them! Because some of you who look at this post are not in the art world and would only have ideas of what it looks like from the worlds stand point because that is all you are fed! But historically art wasn't how it is now, and the christian look is so different then many of you know! Please, just really think about this and its possibilities before making applying negative connotations with this! Let us assume that if this ministry were to ever take place in an area that the leaders would be grounded well in His Word and right doctrine and theology and not go along with the idea that it would just be the sterotype artist club.

 2005/10/11 15:24Profile
4everhis85
Member



Joined: 2005/7/30
Posts: 13


 Re:

i just want to bring attention to Compton's post! Thank you!

 2005/10/11 15:25Profile
dohzman
Member



Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

Quote:
artists arn't like a lot of people, we communicate differently, worship differently, read and think in an abnormal fashion, and usually we have to suppress ourselves and don't feel like we can be ourselves in the church community, c/ no one really does get us, just other artist.


Here's what I was keying in on when I made the statement about seperation but since you made the above comment:
Quote:
Many churches have youth groups, college and carreers groups, singles, elders, etc. all these are designed to bring the body together in a manner that makes people relate easily with one another.


Makes sense :-) and you're right.



Quote:
I do appreciate your warning of wisdom, but don't direct to just artists, this goes to any type of ministry, pride comes in so easily along with other snares! The preacher needs to be careful he isn't out to please the ears of his audience and to impress them with words. The musicain has to do the same! The warning needs to be to everyone! but at the same time lets remember that God did make us different with talents and skills, which all should go to His Glory and praise along with the edification of the church!


I agree with that, especially preachers.


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D.Miller

 2005/10/11 15:54Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Learning to appreciate good art and other creative abilities

Quote:
everything added to the church that gives glory to the man is taking away from the purpose we meet for.


So true! This could be said of the building as a whole, or the entire institution we call church. But then, anything can be an idol to anyone. Even a preacher can become an idol. It all depends on the place it has in the heart. Should we ban everything that could potentially become idolatrous?

I am a musician and I find that a large percentage of comments about music that are made by non-musicians, or those who THINK they are musicians. I believe that the same goes for art. Those who are not artists will always be limited in their understanding of art – and its value in our society, including our religious institutions.

We need to learn how to appreciate art – and see the implications of the imagry, the use of color, texture, etc etc. I spent several hours at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam a few years ago, and as a result my understanding of art rose tremendously. I didn’t know what I didn’t know about art.

Throughout the centuries the church has been brutal towards art, music, and other forms of creative expression. There has been an obsessive fear that these might become idolatrous, worldly, or evil. For example: Certain musical intervals were thought to be evil. Instruments such as violins in church were thought to be of the devil. I’m glad Bach, Handel, and others did not submit to the church’s unreasonable controls in these areas. But they suffered as a result, but all of us have benefited, even if we don’t know anything about music.

As far as taste, the illustrations shown in an earlier post reveal that there is such a thing as good art and tasteless commercial art - just like there is good and bad music. There is art that stands the tests of time, and then there is art that is attractive only to our own culture and generation. It merely sells something, or it fits into the color scheme of our home décor. In the same way there is timeless music that has been appreciated across generations and cultures - and then there is commercial music that is here today, gone tomorrow.

There is also the consideration of quality. I’ve seen great music and great drama performed sloppily – behind the flimsy excuse, “We’re just doing it for God.” I wonder, do they think that God has the intelligence of a toddler. What an insult to God.

It is not an issue of art in the church or no art in the church. It is an issue of moving from mediocrity to excellence. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could learn how to value and display great art - painting, sculpture, photography etc in our churches. Wouldn’t it be great if we could recognize good artists within our churches and make appropriate use of their work. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could present some of the finest music that has been written in past centuries without limiting it to the latest – here today, gone tomorrow commercial trends performed by unskilled people.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could learn how to value excellent literary work, and appreciate the fine crafting of good sentences – even in a sermon.

Wouldn’t it be great if more would take the tremendous sacrifice of self-discipline, time, and training that goes behind these creative abilities.

TO THE GLORY OF GOD!


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Diane

 2005/10/11 18:25Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: Learning to appreciate good art and other creative abilities

I will make this comment about certain types of art, like paintings (for example).There are people who will go to see an expose' on certain art forms that will never go to a church , so the expression of Christ accurately in those art forms is a very nessary tool in which the Lord has used and still does use for His glory.That can never be discounted!


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D.Miller

 2005/10/11 19:44Profile
4everhis85
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Joined: 2005/7/30
Posts: 13


 Re: Learning to appreciate good art and other creative abilities

AMEN! man AMEN!
so awesome roadsighn! i really appreciate your wisdom and insight!
just made me smile to read your post!

Quality effects so much and the church needs to realize that, yes God is our audience, so we should do our ABSOLUTE BEST!!!, this in film, music art ANYTHING! ah, thanks again!

 2005/10/11 23:41Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
There are people who will go to see an expose' on certain art forms that will never go to a church

This is true of all kinds of creative expression. You find God in great music, literature, art, etc - all which never seems to find its way into the church. If anyone is truly searching for God, God can speak through man's creativity outside of the church just as much as inside.

This post seems to deal with the concern about bringing art INTO the church. I have never been able to understand why it may be okay to enjoy art in an art gallery, but not in a church.

It seems like we separate God out from the world and leave him only in the church. We separate our Sunday church lives from our every day lives.

Regarding music I have said, "If it shouldn't be in the church, it shouldn't be in our lives at all." Well, that may be an overstatement, but the idea is there.
If art becomes an idol to us, it will do that just as much outside the church as inside the church.


_________________
Diane

 2005/10/13 22:29Profile
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re: Art and the church

Dear 4everhis85,

I haven't read through the other posts, so I may repeat what other's have said.

Let me start off with telling a little of my background. I painted my first painting at age 3. My mother wanted me to become an artist. She loved art. I started taking art classes at the art museum at age 5. My entire life has been involved with or wrapped in art of some form or another, from painting to drawing to photography to digital art.

When I was saved at age 26, I gave up chasing fine art as a career. After graduating with a BFA, I was disgusted with the "Art World" and it's selfish philosophical pursuits. This is not to say that I don't do artistic things on occasion, however, I do not seek to express myself.

One of the greatest lessons I am learning as a Christian is how to comminucate with others and share with them. My entire life has been centered on art. Thus, art was my way of communicating. However, I have found it largely problematic for many reasons. The most obvious is love. How can you love a person when you are disconnected from them?

To explain this, let me first give an art history lesson. Art spawned from idol worship. The first traces of art that we have are of carved images of idols. I am sure this is quite obvious when looking at early art history. One of the most artistic early cultures were the Egyptians, and look at the abundant idoltry.

One of the things that art does is that it carries information through time. We know about the Egyptians and thier culture from the art they created. They have been immortalized by thier art. Other early civilizations have long been forgotten and left unknown because a lack of art.

Fast forward to early Christianity. From what I was taught in my art history courses, early Christians believed that it was wrong to make art of any kind. Thus, there is very little art from the early Church. If they did make carvings, they did so in a cartoonish way as not to mimic nature to realistically.

This mentality carried on through the Church for nearly a 1000 years during a time we call the "Dark Ages." This period is referred to as the "Dark Ages" not because it was dark, but because the only art that was produced was the bible. We have little to know record of history from this time period. Thus, it is like a dark gap in the history timeline.

All the art of this time was typically handwritten copies of the bible. Scribes devoted thier lifes to this one purpose. Drawings were added to the pages, however, the drawings were kept cartoonish and never life-life.

This changed during the renaissance period when artist started making things look more realistic. They were copying the style of the early greeks and romans, influenced by the sculptures of the Greek and Roman period.

As many know, this time created many famous artists that are now immortalized such as Leonardo Divinci and Michael Angelo.

Fast forward again. We come to early American and the Puritans. Early America was greatly influenced by the Puritans and thier beliefs. The puritans believed as the early Church, and did not believe in making any graven image of any kind. They did not create "Christian Art." Whenever anything was crafted, such as a table or a chair, it was always done very simplistic, not bringing any attention to the object. They verred away from decoration.

Thus, early America did not have an identity in the "Art World" and it would not until Jackson Pollock in the 1950's. Because of early Puritan influence, the American style is based more upon functionality rather than beauty. For instance, we like big bulky comfortable sofas, while the Europeans have more elegant and refined furniture.

I have fallen a little of track. Art from the "Dark Ages" was about communication. Most people during that time could not read. So, when they wrote out the bible they included little cartoons to show visually what the bible was talking about. This carried through of course through the renaissance. Many European Churches, sculptures and paintings, have been created to communicate the gospel to people who could not read.

However, art became more and more about beauty as artists mimic Greek and Roman sculpture. They also started promoting thier own personal ideas in thier art by creating highly stylized art. This style and beauty effect later lead to the Impressionist and Expressionist artists such as Van Gogh.

In this modern era that we live, art has many different functions and purposes. The most common is entertainment, although many artists will deny entertainment is art. Movies and video games are just as much art as a painting or drawing. It is just a different medium.

Some other modern purposes: communication, aesthetic appreciation, decoration, education, expression, therapy....there are probably many more.

The big one that has invaded American culture is personal expression. This is the one that bothers me most. Every artist has an opinion about life and the world, and they think or feel thier message is some sort of personal gospel which needs to be spread to the world. Art has become deeply personal. By this, people seek to glorify themselves. "Look at my art!! Look at how good it is!! Look at how good I am!! Worship me!!"

This is very dangerous. Many artist are very self-righteous people. I can't stand them really.

And yet, I am an artist. Praise be to the Lord who saved me from self-righteousness and has humbled me under His feet.

Next question: Can art glorify God? Musicians do it all the time, so I think art can do it too.

Going back to the question of love. Art is a medium of communication. It is the in between. Let's say I have something to tell you. I make a painting and mail it to you. Then you look at it and try to determine my message.

The problem is this, art is impersonal. Rather than come visit you in person and give you the message with the love of my presence, I have given you an impersonal piece of art. While it may comminucate the message, it does not give you me.

When I love someone, I give myself to them. Instead of giving you me, I have given you a work of art. This object has become between us.

After spending an entire lifetime trying to give my love to others through art, I am trying to learn now for the first time how to love people in person. I am not hiding behind a camera anymore. (Laugh at the irony as I post this on a message board.) I am not looking at a person as an object, a thing that I am trying to draw.

Rather, I am involved in a Church confronted with real people who have more needs that to hear a silly message. Often times, they need not be told anything. All they need is a big hug. Art cannot give hugs.

Should Art be used in ministry?

Art fails at communicating often times because it leaves for too much interpretation. Art is subjective. When you are trying to deliver a clear message such as a sermon, it fails. However, art does give people an experience. This is something a sermon cannot deliver.

This is what I think.....

Art should always be used to glorify God. We should never seek after our own good, our own glory, or our own benefit. It brings God glory when we love others. We should create art as a gift for others, not expressing ourself, but expressing God. This means we are not seeking our own glory, but the glory of God by giving to others His love.

Art is a tool. This means that it aids us. However, every tool needs a good worker. Art should never be used as the primary thing by which to deliever a message or the primary thing to lead someone to Christ.

How can a tool work without a hand holding it? If someone creates a website, or a movie, or a painting or anything else, and expects that people are going to know Christ because of it, they are foolish. These things are tools to help you in ministry. This means, we need to love people in addition to these tools. Don't just give a movie to someone and tell them to watch it. Watch the movie with them and talk about it.

I guess I fear art used in ministry because many people are replacing love with art. And this is not good. Art can be used to enhance ministry efforts, but it should never replace love that comes from giving people our time, our presence, our being.

Lastly, art is the product of death. Throughout history, people have created art to immortalize themselves. Art carries a message to exist when the artist is gone. When the time comes that we live forever, we will no longer create art. Why would we? We will be too busy trying to live and play with God and each other. We will all be united as one.

I do believe that God instilled in all of us a desire to create. We are children of God. God is a creator. And I do believe in Heaven we will also create things. However, it won't be art. It will be something else that we can not yet imagine.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts on the subject. As scattered as they may be.

I hope this helps.

In love,
Blake


_________________
Blake Kidney

 2005/10/14 9:29Profile





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