Some of you may remember that a few months ago I wrote a post about why I think artists are important, but now I’m going to try to attack an even bigger question: why Christian artists are important.
This is a difficult post, mostly because art itself is subjective and there aren’t really right or wrong ways to make art. It’s not as if one artist could be “better” than another. I don’t think Christian artist are important because they make art that could be somehow superior to another artists work. Rather, it’s that Christian artists carry a different perspective, not necessarily a superiority, that influences their work.
At first I thought that culture was dictated by those that create, but I was wrong. Culture is what the people love and hate, so the art that we create is based off of what we love and hate. That means art does not really shape culture. We shape culture and culture shapes art.
It’s not really the fact that the artist is a Christian, but that the Christian is an artist.
A Christian’s world view is different from the modern world view. In my post on why artists are important I put a lot of emphasis on how the world was created by God and that He is the true artist, but if one didn’t believe the world was created, than art wouldn’t have any purpose. Art would have all came into being by accident.
In fact if art was an accident than it wouldn’t be art. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes art as “The conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects”. That means art would only be human. It would still satisfy a need for beauty or make a point, but it wouldn’t give us a reason to create, just a formula for an emotional response. Even when Jackson Pollock (a painter from the 1940’s and 50’s) tried to paint by chance by hanging swinging paint cans over his canvas, he had to hang his paint cans. It’s a bit hard to hang dripping paint cans accidentally.
Creation isn’t the only difference in a Biblical world view however. Christians find their identity in God. God is the center of a Christian’s life, not what they achieve. (Even though sometimes we have to re-focus, because its easy to get distracted.) As long as they keep that focus, the competition and anxiety that life can add does not matter, because God is bigger than all of that, and He can be your source of approval.
The reason that a Christian artist is important is because of how God uses us through that. You don’t even have to be an artist. You just have to be willing to be a representative of God and to take the opportunities He’s given you to serve Him. Do everything you do like you’re doing it for Him and He will use it. So whether you do photography, writing, farming, sports, babysitting, or school work, God can use you for His glory. He will shape you into your designed purpose if you let Him.