Another Driver of values and ideas in our Society is the Arts sector. The Church has had a patchy relationship with the Arts over the years but in Evangelical circles in recent years the sector is often not regarded very highly. This is in sharp contradiction to the Bible. There are numerous Biblical passages that relate to the Arts, many of them affirming various artistic expressions, from music to fine art to crafts and so on.
Take for example the passage at Exodus 31:1-11. God is giving directions for the design and making of the sacred tent and its furnishings as well as special clothing for the priesthood. In so doing there is warm affirmation of the calling and practice of the Arts. Consider the following:
- Artists are chosen by God to do His work
- The Artists are filled with the Spirit of God to get the job done
- God has further given the Artists wisdom and skill to fulfil their calling
- The creations brought about by this co-working of Artist and God are magnificent, pleasing to God and to all who encounter them.
What does this say to the Arts today? In a word, affirmation. It is good to be an Artist and it is good to be involved in the Arts. Looking at the world around us reminds us that God Himself is an artist. Passages like the one above from Exodus tell us clearly what God thinks of the Arts. Then there’s God’s foray into some wall-art (graffiti!?) in Daniel 5:5 and in John 8:6-8 we find that Jesus was involved in some pavement sketching!
So, to all you Artists out there, especially to those of you who have felt that you don’t belong, be encouraged. Be affirmed. And let’s hear from you about how you have found the Bible addressing what you do….
Food for thought
Dr David Wilson