I have this problem. It all started by being a follower of God. Don’t get me wrong, God is not the issue here, being a Christian and an Artist however apparently is. You see if I was JUST a Christian or JUST an Artist there’d be less of an issue but because I am both, I’m an outcast. An outcast from the world’s standards because I’m considered a “niche” artist, “that’s great art and all but I can’t hang that in my office because of the religious connotations” and an outcast in the church because despite the statement that we are all created in the image of God they seem to take issue with us that lean more toward the creative scope of God’s personality that aren’t on the praise team. Since I worship, witness and praise my God using a paint brush they don’t know what to do with me. I don’t fit into their nicely labelled how can we use you box because they have thrown out the one we did fit into.
I grew up in a little Baptist church on the east coast, every Sunday morning sunlight shone through beautiful stain glass windows that members had commissioned to beautify the church, to illustrate stories and characters from the Bible. It had gorgeous carved wooden doors, beautiful pews, vibrant choir robes, there was color and texture and beauty all around and it was all made by people blessed with the gift of craftsmanship. I understand that times change and we’re living in a “modern” world that doesn’t cling to the traditional things anymore but how have we lost the value and beauty of Art?
Art and the Church have always been a dynamic duo. We worship a creative God for crying out loud, we should be witnessing to his awesomeness using ALL the gifts that come from him. Art and the Church date way back before the Renaissance, God commissions art and artwork in Exodus for his temple and the purpose it served was not practical like today’s gray or taupe walled Big box Factory churches it was for Beauty, to fill people’s senses. We worship a Creative God so why aren’t we using our creations to worship him? It doesn’t make sense!
Instead believers and non believers are coming to churches that have no color and no beauty just practicality with neon lights, a projector and a catchy praise song. Do we truly believe that God is coming back or are we just holding a really long memorial service? If we say we are ALIVE in Christ then why don’t we look it? The church should be bright and colorful and a feast for the senses because God made us and the world like that. It should be full of joy and celebration and it should show how the holy spirit is working in us and for those of us with the gift of craftsmanship that is our Art. If you want a modern church then have modern Christian Art that speaks about a Creative God who is alive and well and working in us. Words are not Enough!