4 Comments

The Work of Art

There’s been a few articles about Christian art passing around the internet lately. Some I wholeheartedly agreed with. Others not so much.

But what astounded me was the vitriol in the responses by many who named Christ as their beloved. Some of the articles and the responses labelled any Christian who didn’t do art their way as a fake or sellout. Depending upon which side you fell on compared to the speaker, you could have equally been saint or horrific traitor to the faith.

loving divorce

Can I be honest?

It gets very frustrating repeatedly being told by this generation that your art doesn’t have a soul because you choose to do it in a way that openly professes your faith in Christ. It’s incredibly arrogant to lambaste someone as a hypocrite or shallow because they’re creating art that mentions truths from scripture or the Savior who bought us.

Why does one way of doing things have to be superior or more spiritual than another if both are in line with scripture and glorify God?

Or rather dare I ask the true question?

Why does my way have to be superior to someone else’s simply because I feel strongly about how I’m supposed to do things?

“Who art you that judges another man’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Yea, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand.” – Romans 14:4

There is a disconcerting trend by those in the Christian “art” business to assume their art alone is deep, skillful, and glorifying to God. When in reality all this is doing is glorifying self and giving nothing to the Creator who bestowed those artistic gifts.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

There are numerous scriptures about our “work”. Art isn’t exempt from them. Our art must be honorable, conducted with integrity, and be done in such a way that other people glorify God. If the only thing other people do is praise us for how “real” we are or how “soul-filled” our work is, then we’ve failed.

“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” – Romans 11:36

This applies whether I’m selling hamburgers or a novel. When all is said and done, I want that to be the testimony of my life.

Disclaimer: If it seems like my frustration is one-sided please understand I have equal frustration for those who advocate requiring “Jesus” in every lyric or story. It just so happens my “art” falls on the side of being clear about Who I believe in.

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About Will Ramirez

Will Ramirez grew up with a love for God's Word and fantastical worlds. The first passion led him to pastor Calvary Chapel Lighthouse for the the last 17 years. The second led him to create the world of Adme, the setting for his coming debut novel, an epic fantasy titled Soul Yearning. He lives in Central Florida with his bride of seventeen years and their four children. Since 2010, he's been a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and serves on the leadership team of Word Weavers of Orlando. He is currently working on the second book of the Godslayer series as well as The Unspoken, book one of a dark fantasy trilogy. In the land of Adme, powerful beings rule as deities and compete with one another for followers. But when a young priest is revealed as the prophesied godslayer, the pantheon unites to destroy him.

4 comments on “The Work of Art

  1. Okay Will! You said this well and your statement was full of truth. May many read it and have their eyes and hearts opened.

  2. Thank you so much for quoting from Romans 14, the chapter nobody wants to submit to in this age of absolute conformity of opinion, belief and practice. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  3. Good thoughts, Will. I pray that the Spirit keep me from judging others and speaking out against them or their work. While I might be convicted of doing things a certain way, and they might feel differently, I am in no position to declare myself right and them wrong.

    And yet, it’s tough. As followers of Christ, we are in the “business” of truth. Our focus, our input, our output ought to be truth. So we tend to want to defend truth and delineate what we think is truth and try to label and throw out what we think is not. Is this behavior good? Is it bad?

    It takes a deep searching of the Word and a humbleness of spirit to navigate these waters. When it comes to criticizing another’s ministry, Romans 14:4 is an excellent place to start… and end.

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