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[Gaius], you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; and they bear witness to your love before the church; and you will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers with the truth."

III John 5-8

The Mission of The Gaius Project is:
To exhort and shepherd Christians in the arts and missions to go out for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ, and to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.
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The Gaius Project is after the pursuit and realization of the most valuable joy to be experientially known in the arts by both artist and beholder, namely, God Himself.

God Himself is joy (Psalm 16:11). God Himself is the end of everything (Romans 11:36). God Himself is the author of every man (Psalm 100:3). God Himself is the giver of skill (Exodus 28:3). God Himself is the giver of enjoyment (Eccl. 2:24-25). We will only fully experience the joys to be known in anything in life, whether that is in art, gardening, or otherwise, when we have eyes to see that God is the source, means, and end of all things. "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen" (Romans 11:36).

However, we consistently fail to experience the fullness of enjoyment that God has for us in artistic expression because we do not understand how our pleasures relate to the pleasure to be had in God (Eccl. 2:24-25, I Tim. 6:17). Or, we want to ultimately ascribe the glory of a work to man the creature rather than God, man's creator (Romans 1:25). We forfeit so much joy to be had in art when we make man or art, and not God, the end of art.

When I find that God is the end of art, and I start to grow in the knowledge of God, I find that He has portioned out, according to His grace, skill and talent and vision and all measure of artistic ability to mankind just as He desired. God also portioned these abilities out in such a way that no one could experience their full potential pleasures by being independent of one another. God has made us to be a part of a body that is greater than ourself and He calls us each to play our part in the body in faith. In faith that God is the end of art. In faith that God is faithful to His word when He says, "do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matt. 6:31-33). Or faith to see that, "whatever does not proceed from faith is sin" (Romans 14:23b). If I am not approaching art from faith, in that my approach is then in sin, I am surely not gleaning all the joy that is to be had through artistic expression. And if I do not know how to glean the full pleasures that God has for us in art, how can I accurately, artistically articulate what fullness of joy looks like in my artistic endeavors?

This is where I was exhorted by the testimony of Gaius and the Brothers in III John. John says,

"Beloved (Gaius), I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when brethren came and bore witness to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; and they bear witness to your love before the church; and you will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers with the truth" (III John 2-8).

Of the two peoples in the body, Gaius and the brothers, the brothers have been given grace from God to have a word of truth for the Gentiles. Gaius has been given grace from God to be a means of spreading that word of truth. For either side to experience fullness of joy, they must faithfully play their part in the body. The brothers are guarding that truth by entrusting themselves and their provision to God and not to man. If the brothers entrusted their provision to the Gentiles, they knew they would be tempted to trim the truth according to the desire of their audience. But the brothers did not go out for the sake of their name among the Gentiles, but rather for the sake of the name of Jesus among the Gentiles, so they entrusted themselves and their provision to God. What joys these brothers must have known! There are some joys that can only be known in trials of various kinds, where the soul is in full abandonment to God alone.

At the same time, Gaius is guarding the truth that all things belong to God when he faithfully accomplishes his part in the body by sending these brothers, using the means given to him, on their way in a manner that is worthy of God, even when they are strangers. And John can see Gaius' joy as he sees Gaius' prosperous soul. Both Gaius and the brothers saw that God is the end and means and glory of their life's labors, and that is the chassis from which they work and enjoy their labor.

So The Gaius Project is not about building a new chassis in the arts by which we labor, but about embracing a true and proven chassis from which we labor, one that has proven to produce satisfied souls. A solid chassis by which we can reach for fruits the markets never knew existed, nor could they buy. An honest chassis where fullness of joy can actually be experienced. A humble chassis where we find our satisfaction in the glory of all that God is and is for us. When seeking fullness of joy, endless pleasure and lasting satisfation in the arts, who can improve on a chassis wrought by God?

The aim of The Gaius Project is to pursue a trajectory of pushing on all things "art" until we end up at God so that we can better enjoy all that God has given us for our enjoyment; culminating in our joy in the genius, authority, beauty, strength, and holiness of God Himself.

"To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (II Thess. 1:11-12).

Jason Harms

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AN ARTIST'S CREED RESOLUTION V

TO PUT MY HOPE FOR SATISFACTION AND PROVISION IN GOD ALONE THROUGH THE WORK OF CHRIST, AND NEVER REST MY HOPE ON ART, AUDIENCE, OR SELF.

(DEUTERONOMY 8:3, 17-20, PHILIPPIANS 4:19, ROMANS 8:18, 31-39, PSALM 107:9, MATTHEW5:6, PSALM 40:4)

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