Sunday, January 22, 2012

Art vs. Idols

Today was the conclusion of a two-part message on the creation of art by God's image bearers - humans. Our friend Matt Moreau taught on the subject and I'll have to admit that at first I positioned myself on the outside of the discussion. I am NO artist. I cannot draw or paint and struggle to match paint colors! However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I am actively creating, just like my heavenly Father, but on a very reduced level of skill!

Matt's biggest take-away from the lesson was to ask ourselves where our gaze ends in relation to every form of creation/art. Are we simply awed by a beautiful recipe, enamored by the way fabrics come together, or impressed by a website's design? Or are we drawn to reflect on our Creator when we view such things? The creation of tasty meals, marvelous floor plans, and the more traditional fine arts of illustrations, painting, and writing can all reflect on the character of God and minister grace. The litmus test for artwork is then based on Philippians 4:8-9. Art that draws our gaze to Christ rather than simply the creation follows these principles.
-True: Regardless of the positive or negative message that is conveyed in the piece, the work must be true.
-Honorable/Dignified: The work must honor God's creation. Matt gave the example of modern art that disfigures humans into emmaciated creatures. This is NOT how God intended humans to look. We bear His image!
-Just/Pure: The work is moral. Matt gave the example of the statue of David versus the hideousness of pornography. Both pieces showcase nudes; however, the David conjures pure thoughts of beauty that God created, while the latter produces lust.
-Lovely: The work is aesthetically beautiful, like the sunset over Greenville.
-Good Report: The work allows us to directly reflect on the character of God. Handel's Messiah is an example of art that causes the hearer to think on Christ and His perfect salvation.
-Excellent/Praiseworthy: The art demonstrates mastership of the medium.
Following Matt's message, I was encouraged to think about my attempts at learning to cook and sew. I may not has mastership of the medium, but each time I attempt to create I can now focus more on God's creative work around me. It is His earth that brings together delicious meals, and His nature that inspires the fabrics I use!

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