The application and process of human skills to produce a pleasing effect is the purist definition of the arts. In the Business-Ministry plan of Triology in 2012 this process of art and mind has been a study of what convergence in the theology for the community of God. This is a study in relationships and outreach to others through the art of worship. There is a brief history of the origins of art, the correction in art and the challenges we have as believers through the arts. This is more than art appreciation it is full participation in worship through arts and communications as designed by God. This is a call to a “renewing of your art,” and my fun new word is not so much the humanist definition of artistry, but instead when God is involved in renewing your mind and heart we can define what he does with your Heartistry!
The Biblical, Systematic and Evangelical Arts
In the Old Testament there is an emphasis on literature and music. The blending of the aural arts with God’s word can be found in several genres of Biblical text including the psalms where we can ascertain were to be sung to certain known melodies and notated as to be “accompanied by musical instruments.” Israel was developed through literature and song and architecture. From creation in Genesis to the stories of failures, false-art and idolatry there is a Biblical definition of art, there is a systematic process in our literature, our architecture and our music, and there is an evangelical mandate to communicate the gospel through our words, music and our space and places of worship. The Study of Art forms must be Biblical to be art, it must be systematically and theologically right in relationship through our creative process and it must not be selfish, self-absorbing but instead given with an open hand in relationship to God’s motive (Creation, recreation and pro-creation), through following the approach of Jesus (parables and temple analogies, communion) and in power with the Holy Spirit (performance, the art form, the communication of the Word.)
In Exodus 20:4 Israel began dismantling a part of spatial art. Sculpture, drawing and painting were too often associated with the artificial and phony gods and graven images were seen as worship of self and away from the true God. The early church commissioned wonderful works of worship that are preserved and looked upon as divine. Again like the Israelite s the events leading up to the Reformation had the church misusing the arts, through the sin of selling indulgences to pay for the next building project, or symphonic Mass and even a sculpture or painting project. In the process the American Idolatry has looked more for the self-absorbed, the agendas of arts and creativity purposely separated from the Creator and that is what our endowments have bought us. It is the thing that “we make it,” it is the art that “we are gifted in,” and it is a message that has dulled the creativity because it lacks the power and anointing that only the Trinity can inspire.
Called to art
The calling to convergence is the convergence of the mindset that God created us with through Biblical Thought and creativity, with following the approach of the Master, Jesus Christ and how he relates to God the Father and the Human Race, the Lamb of God who brings clarity to our art forms. The convergence of the power of the Holy Spirit in filling, emptying through the sharing and evangelism and refilling the well and communicating message, music and mission is an exciting thing!
Church of the Arts
It is time to reclaim the places and architecture God commands us to come to and be in relationship. To study his literature, a living literature that defines our comedies, our tragedies, our hero fantasies of a God who would save you and me! To continue the telling of the story through song (take some of the Christmas songs that bring out deep theology) Our churches should begin to look more like galleries of the spatial arts with worship being sung, played, acted out and shared in community. The stained glass that reflects God’s story, the sculpture and yes the architecture too.
At Friendship Fellowship we are aware that people with intellectual disabilities have been denied the richness of the art of the church. They have not been welcomed in our sanctuaries and they have been regulated to windowless rooms with glorified baby sitters. Place is key to spiritual renewal for all of us. The architecture matters, the worship matters, the prayer matters and the homily and message matters. Why? Because it is all in relationship with God and in the community that we share our common union with one another. When we re-new, when we re-vive, when we re-structure, reveal or resend, it is looking at a subject, topic, person, or idea with new eyes, a new perspective. Today I submit to you that we re-look at our pre-disposition to the arts. I’d love to hear what you think.
If you would like to get involved in Friendship Fellowship we would love to have you. E-Mail Pastor Richard at FriendshipFellowship@juno.com. Tomorrow is turning our industries into Min-dustries!