Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Encouragement from Franky Schaeffer

For my fellow christian artists and those who are working and waiting for God to use their art. I would like to share some encouragement that I recently read from Franky Schaeffer. From his book called Addicted to Mediocrity. Be blessed...

And now a word to my fellow artists and those employed or hoping to be employed in some professional capacity in the arts, fields of expression and communications, and also to those who, while living in different professions, have artistic and creative urges and interests personally (therefore, I trust, everyone).

"The world had many kings," said his contemporary Aretino, "But only one Michaelangelo."

Do not be discouraged. History is on your side. God has given you a talent. You are important to him and live in the court of God, not the court of men. You cannot wait for the Sanhedrin's approval.

Be expressing yourself as an artist and by exercising those talents God has given you, you are praising him. Whether what you express is "religious" or "secular." as a Christian you are praising him. Everything is his.

The church's attitude toward the arts, the narrow-mindedness of it, the demand for slogans and justification, the utilitarianism, the programs, the guilt-ridden view of all life is unchristian, unbiblical, ungodly and wrong. Do not let this suppress you, as a member of this generation of creative people, the way it has suppressed so many in the recent past. You must press on.

Remember that as a creative person, the important thing is to create. Who sees what you make, where it goes and what it does is a secondary consideration, the first is to exercise the talent God has given you.

You cannot expect too much too soon. It is the lifelong body of work that counts. It is that body of work whose expression means something and changes cultures in which we live in terms of bearing fruit. One individual work cannot say everything.

Your work will vary, one day to express something rather important to you personally and perhaps less important to the world around you, perhaps another time to wrestle with a weighty issue. There is no right or wrong method. There is no Christian or unchristian subject matter (except in the area of art work or expression that would deliberately have as its primary purpose to lead people away from truth).

You are tremendously free, you are the most free, for you have form on which to build your freedom, you know who you are, you know where your talent comes from, you know that you and your talent will live forever. You know that God has placed worth on you; you know creativity, unlike so many things in this fallen world, did not come from the Fall, but was something there with God before he created, with him when he created, and that he has given to man as his creature. It will be there in the new heavens and the new earth. Your creative talent, exercised and worked on in this life, is something you will take with you. Unlike money, or spiritual slogans, it is eternal.

Produce, produce, produce. Create, create, create. Work, work, work. This is what we must do as Christians in the arts, with or without the support of the church, we are to exercise our God-given talent, praise him through it, enjoy it, bear fruit in the age in which we live.

It is a worthwhile fight, and more than a fight it is an enjoyment of a good and gracious gift from our heavenly Father, freely given, to be enjoyed, practiced, and treasured.

When you get discouraged as a Christian in the arts, consider the heritage in which you stand. Bathe in the knowledge that for centuries Christians have practiced and nurtured the arts with faithfulness, and that you now carry this torch forward. Take courage from this. Take courage from the creativity and beauty of God's world around us. Take courage from the creativity of other people.

Be encouraged and keep looking up!

~ Margret

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