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The Beauty of Truth

a repost

I love the arts: music, drama, dance, sculpture, painting and other visual forms, and of course, literature and poetry. Every one of these showcases the creative instinct within humankind, which in turn is a mere reflection of our Great Creator God.

Historically, the marriage of ART and the church is a long one. Unfortunately, Satan has tried to sever this sacred bond, twisting various artistic forms for his own purposes. But he is a mimick whose best attempts fall flat of the true artistry that is fueled by God’s Holy Spirit. That is why it is so important for artists – including writers – to seek God in all their endeavours, both ‘religious’ and secular.

Yes, I believe God can and is using His people in ways that do not fit into the typical ‘ministry’ box. This is especially true in a post-Christian world whose Millenial and Z generations are feeling more and more disenchanted and disengaged with ‘church’. It is why all writers – and artists – must be in prayer and stay close to God’s word, even if they are not producing work that is innately Christian or whose purpose is a secular market. Good art can still have the imprint of God upon it. It can – and should – be infused with His life and breath.

Does this mean all art must be ‘pretty’? I don’t think so. The Bible itself is our best example. Not every passage is sunshine and roses. In fact, some books are quite harsh and even disturbing, but the truth of God’s character still comes through. The truth – and therefore the beauty – of the message remains the same whether the scene is pleasant or not. Not all art is beautiful, but art that gets the message across is very powerful. It’s why we must be discerning about what we see and hear and experience. Sometimes ‘beauty’ is deceptive, while less pleasant imagery, if done for the right purposes, brings a sense of clarity and even revelation about the world and our place in it.

Perhaps beauty, then, is a misnomer. I think it can be best equated with truth – even when using metaphors. Fantasy stories like C.S. Lewis’s Narnia Series are not true, but they do hold truth, and that is what sets such work apart. Is truth elevated, despite danger, human flaws, and even violence? That for me is the marker. I suppose it’s why I enjoy many dystopian movies and books – often a rather dark genre. In the end, if truth triumphs, beauty comes from the ashes. The same goes for music. I genuinely enjoy bands like ‘Demon Hunter’ and ‘Thousand Foot Krutch‘, which are not your typical granny bands. Some of the most powerful art I’ve seen is not pretty, but still, it has affected me long after I’ve left the gallery.

Not everyone will agree and that’s okay. I don’t expect everyone to have the same taste in music, art, or movies. God created each one of us with unique talents and insights. His infinite variety extends to each one of us. The fact remains, that He is the author of creativity, and as such, we would do well to focus on His attributes when making and viewing art. For therein lies the beauty – and the truth.

This post was previously published on INSCRIBE WRITERS ONLINE, July 15, 2019.

 

1 Comment

  1. William Kendall says:

    Well said!

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