Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why The Arts?

This week a wrote an article for a student magazine at ACU. Here's it is...

What does it mean to be salt and light? Jesus admonished his followers to be seasoning in the bring Light to dark places. I remember during one of my first professional jobs as a singer working for Norwegian Cruise Line having conversations with people about faith and God. One of the first things that occurred to me was the petty things we argue about in churches really mean nothing to people outside those walls. What a brilliant strategy of the enemy to get us so distracted by inward arguments that we miss the forest for the trees. As I've gotten a little older and been involved in more aspects of the music and entertainment industry my conviction about these things has only deepened.

 People are quick to dismiss the arts for various reasons. Often times it has to do with the morals (or lack thereof) that seem to surround the entertainment industry. And so, we put our salt back in the box and tuck our light into a safe place just in case it might get snuffed out. (I seem to recall a certain parable of the talents that has something to say about this.)

 Here's my thought on it...God has given you certain gifts and abilities out of His vast creative wealth. He is the ultimate artist, producer, songwriter and creative genius. The world wants to engage in the arts and it's one of the main intersections in our culture. Why in the world would we withhold our part in that conversation? And, that doesn't mean just getting into the arts to make "Christian" movies or music or anything like that. (The word "Christian" should be a noun more than a verb anyway.) Be an artist who believes in Jesus and make good art. Be a singer who believes in Jesus and make good music. Be a filmmaker who believes in Jesus and make movies that reflect culture and speak into it. Our best work is being seasoning.

 Don't give up on your dreams. The truth is, someone out there is going to stand up and decide to try their hand at the entertainment industry. Why not you? What will stop you? Hone your craft, put yourself in places where you will be challenged, be fearless. Someone will. It could be YOU! Above all, keep the conversations open about faith and life. You'll be amazed the impact you'll have just by being a solid friend.

 May God bless you as you exercise all the creative gifts you've been given!

1 comment:

Ginger said...

I was listening to Pandora Radio and came across a band called Flyleaf that I enjoyed listening to. The songs were blatantly Christian - meaning they weren't direct worship songs - but they were good songs that had a wonderful message. I did a bit of research and ended on their wikipedia page (I know, I know not always the most reliable source). Towards the bottom of their page, their faith is addressed. Apparently in a May, 2010 interview, their lead singer, Lacey Sturm responded to a question about a "Christian band" playing in Las Vegas. Her response is quoted as "Well, you know what? I don't know what you mean by a 'Christian rock band.' It's hard to say that because people all have a different definition of what that means. If it means that we're Christians, then yeah, we're Christians, but if a plumber's a Christian, does that make him a 'Christian plumber'? I mean we're not playing for Christians. We're just playing honestly and that's going to come out." As I was reading this post they immediately came to mind. I love this post because it is a reminder that the gifts given to us by God are not just meant for us to edify each other but are meant to reach people who don't know Christ and to glorify the Father. Very nicely, lovingly and wonderful stated, Brandon.