April 14th, 2006
|03:29 pm - Good thing God doesn't wait for institutions to catch up to Him|
"God is not waiting for the church as an institution to reclaim its historic heritage to affirm the artistic gift. He is raising up highly artistic people of vision all over the world who are both artists and Christians, to honor the God who speaks in pictures, who invented all music, who wrote the great story full of pictures of the past and images for the future, who smiled as David danced and who is designing a new world to come. The value of the arts is evident not only in cases of cross-cultural mission but also in urban mission."
Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization
Current Mood: adventurous
I like that you ended this with 'I feel adventurous'.
Woohoo! But I still wish that (a) the Church would get back to honoring the arts, and that (b) even in cases such as the above, Christians would stop emphasizing art as witness so much, as if that's its only value. As an artist, I find that incredibly offensive.
I still wish that (a) the Church would get back to honoring the arts, and that (b) even in cases such as the above, Christians would stop emphasizing art as witness so much, as if that's its only value. As an artist, I find that incredibly offensive.
Amen, sista! I totally agree. And I hate having to justify a work of art, one that is totally grounded in a great, real human story...because it happens to have swearing. Art is expression andd truth isn't clean. I'll stop there before a rant begins. :)
Oh, I agree. And I almost left off the last sentence of the quote, because it was the first bit that I found so inspiring.
Although, honestly, any well-crafted story is in some sense a witness, at least if we're true enough artists to "tell lies with the truth in mind" to quote Neil Gaiman. I agree that art is not valuable on it's strength as a "witness," but neither is some value in that regard any pollution to a work of art.
Propaganda is another matter.
I did like the quote. I just want more than that, I guess, because I believe that as you say, any well-crafted story is a type of witness. Our little sub-creations reflect both who we are and what our relationship is with God and his creation; it's as the Bible says, the good treasure out of the heart of the good man. I believe very strongly that the act of creating art is in itself an act of worship, and if I create art that is honest and beautiful, it's self-justifying. It doesn't need to be propaganda.
I guess this is one of my hot buttons, because I grew up around (and still have to deal with on occasion) a great many people who thought that if it wasn't propaganda, it wasn't suitable for Christians to create or enjoy. No love songs, no fairy tales, no good characters doing bad things, and no bad characters doing realistically bad things, either. Sometimes this makes it hard for me to do honest, truthful characterization, because I have the specter of a thousand angry evangelicals looking over my shoulder every time I type some 'strong language', or a bad character who's genuinely bad. (And you would not believe what's considered strong language where I come from.) ;-)
On the other hand, I think I should say that I wasn't meaning to be ranty in your journal, just conversational. It's hard to get to know people over the Internet unless you actually converse. :)
I am smiling at your icon.
No worries! :-) I like conversing (as you might be able to tell from the whole discussion of midrash in the post before this one), and it's nice to see you online more and hear what you have to say.
Our little sub-creations reflect both who we are and what our relationship is with God and his creation; it's as the Bible says, the good treasure out of the heart of the good man. I believe very strongly that the act of creating art is in itself an act of worship, and if I create art that is honest and beautiful, it's self-justifying. It doesn't need to be propaganda.
I agree; that's very well put.
As for the whole scary-evangelical haunting of the artist, I know exactly what you mean. I had quite a few friends whose parents were anti-fairy tale, anti-fantasy, anti-scifi, and I used to get myself in trouble arguing on behalf of such stories. As for swearing, oh yeah, in my family's house (though my parents were fine with fantasy, etc) "shut up" was a bad word, as were things like "dang" and "heck". I'm actually quite surprised at how easily my writing has incorporated a mild amount of swearing--maybe it's because I know my parents don't read my fic. LOL.
I also remember spending a lot of high school figuring out what God thought about what I liked to read and write, and deciding that as long as He didn't say "no," I shouldn't be caring whether other people thought it was weird. Now, if only I were a bit better at that sort of not caring.... :-D