The journey of a nerd who loves the Lord

“Christian” Art Pt 1

This is the first of a series of articles I plan to write about this topic.

Salutations!

I listen to a local TV program that generally speaks about the differences between fundamental Christianity and Mormonism.  I already know most of what the speaker teaches, but I listen because I occasionally I hear something outside the box that makes me think.  A few days ago, he raised a question that caught my ear.  What makes something, such as music, “Christian?”  Is it simply music that Christians make?  Or, perhaps, it is music that has a Christian message!  Alternatively, the term could simply represent music that most Christians find acceptable and/or enjoyable.

noteAnd if music can be divided into “Christian,” and by logical extension, “Non-Christian,” then what about other things we make?  Could we start dividing cars into the classification?  House floor plans?  Food?

The more I thought about it, the more I started to realize that I needed to learn something out of this.

Music makes the best example here, because most of us either listen to or know about “Christian Music.”  I have friends who will only listen to “Christian Music,” and even a couple who only listen to hymnals.

Yet, why is that?  Do we presume that all “Christian” entertainment leads all people closer to God, and never away?  Are we so prideful as to think that God can only speak to us through “Christian” entertainment, and not though the works of others?  And if you make “Christian Entertainment” (maybe for a living), is that a higher calling than a carpenter who works as onto the LORD?  (Col 3:23-24). How is it that a Christian artists calls his work a ministry and yet a Christian that works as theme park attendant “just has a job,” even as he does so onto God.

And whether or not we like it, this approach creates prideful elitism.  I have had Christian siblings judge me and my heart because of some of the  music I listen to, and even the “Christian” comics I draw.  Some congratulate me in my ‘ministry’, while others say I fall short of the mark they have set.  I could not find this line of thinking or division anywhere in the New Testament.

Could these scene lead someone closer to God?  It was painted by the atheist, Vincent Van Gogh.

Could these scene lead someone closer to God? It was painted by the atheist, Vincent Van Gogh.

This does not mean, by extension, that we should just treat all forms of entertainment equal in our personal lives.  The Bible says, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. {Phil 4.8).  You will notice that this does not say anything about only consuming “Christian” works or to stay away from “Secular” hobbies.  It does give us a  goal of thinking upon those things that are pure, lovely and noble.  Conversely, that means partaking of forms of entertainment (or any activity) that leads us to sin would also be a bad idea.  Again, we should do everything as onto the LORD (Col 3:23).

Ultimately, however, I now believe categorizing our entertainment as “Christian” or “secular” is a fruitless endeavor that encourages elitism.  Only God’s Word is truly perfect and inspired.

Part 2 – We dig deeper, discussing “Christian” activities and/or how this relates to “ministry”.

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Comments on: "“Christian” Art Pt 1" (3)

  1. […] Comic creator Phillip Willis recently did a two-part series on the topic of “Christian” art and entertainment. Read an except below, and the whole thing here. […]

  2. […] In my earlier article, I argued that I felt the popular label “Christian Entertainment” was something of misnomer.  Many may feel that I argue simple semantics and, in effect, waste our time.  However, I believe that when one truly ponders the implications that one’s entertainment is not a ‘holy calling’ or somehow on a religious pedestal, it actually answers a few questions that many Christians involved in entertainment struggle with. […]

  3. […] wrote an article (another popular one) about what is Christian entertainment.  It summarizes the direction I would like people to think about regarding Christian entertainment […]

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