Remember all your peers in school who refused to conform? They wouldn’t dress or act like everyone else did.
Maybe you were one.
I used to chuckle at that notion (and still do) because those folks then congregated with others who dressed, talked, and acted just like they did.
What so often passes as free-thinking or rebellion is really piggybacking something that’s already been done.
And it seems to be a problem that plagues art. Those who do things “differently” are the true artists while anyone who fits the mold of a popular trend is a sellout.
Really? Who can honestly claim they haven’t been influenced by others?
Certainly there are those who stand out in their creativity or uniqueness, whether it be by their sound, artistic style, or literary voice. But even in those cases, we’re all standing on the shoulders of those who’ve influenced us.
I bring this up because there’s a trend in art which claims the only true creativity comes from those who are “artists who are Christians” rather than “Christian artists”.
It states general market music, artwork, and writing is superior because the source of the art is the artist’s soul and not a corrupt industry that tries to fit everyone into its mold. One musician went so far as to say he can tell a “Christian” song nine out of ten times without knowing the artist because those songs lack a soul.
Aside from being a harsh assessment painted with a very broad brush, I would suggest such a statement might be a bit immature. I would daresay the reason I can pick a general market song out is because they have a different soul (not of the good kind many times), not because they have a soul and Christian market songs don’t.
Do the Christian art industries suffer from corruption, greed, and hypocrisy? Surely. Are they sometimes bogged down because of absurd rules and expectations? I imagine so.
But to suggest those who run general market art industries don’t struggle with these things seems a bit nieve. And to suggest everyone in either industry lacks a soul is a tad arrogant.
There’s as many people who “fit the mold” of what’s selling in both industries. Why? Because those industries are looking for people who will fit into that mold since their chief aim is make money. Not to give wings to my creativity.
“And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all.” – 1 Corinthians 12:6
God has gifted people with amazing talents. Those with similar talents aren’t necessarily called to use them the same way.
But doing it one way instead of another, as long as both fall within the parameter’s of scripture (i.e. I can’t be an axe-murderer for Jesus no matter how talented I might be at it), doesn’t make me more creative than another.
The true question concerns the operation of my gift (how I use it). Am I using it in such a way that people talk about how awesome God is, or how awesome I am? If the answer is the first one, then does it really matter whether I’m an “artist who is a Christian” or a “Christian artist”? Does one have to be superior to the other if people are glorifying God in both cases?
It’s been said every kind of story has already been written. True creativity is telling it in a fresh way that grabs others. Let’s check our pride at the door and stop thumping our chest as to why our method of doing so is more creative than someone else’s.