October 26, 2009 Ration

I Kings 18:21

“And Elijah came near to all the people and said, ‘How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.’ And the people did not answer him a word.”

Artists, if the Lord is God, then follow Him! Follow Him wholeheartedly. But if art is god, then follow him. Limping back and forth only evidences the weakness, the ignorance, and the sterility of our affections.

For some reason, people want to separate God from the pleasures in artistic expression, or in anything, as if they are two independent entities; two separate pleasures. Artistic expression and God are certainly not the same, but the ability to express artistically is not independent of God either. All that God has made pleasurable is an emanation of the pleasure of God Himself. Artistic expression (the ability of man to express himself artistically) is not God; it is from God for our enjoyment of God. But we elevate artistic expression as a type of god when our affections for it (the created) are greater than our affections for God, art's Creator.

When we follow (serve, surrender ourselves to, esteem as a god of sorts) art, we take a great pleasure from the hand of God for our enjoyment in Him, and enjoy it as if it is our god. Art is not God, nor is it a god. God alone is God!

When God has created something that proves to be pleasurable to the human frame, our enjoyment of what God has made pleasurable is intended to help us delight in God Himself. Artists, do you want to enjoy the greatest pleasures in artistic expression? If so, follow God, not art. Follow God with your whole heart and you will begin to realize the fullest pleasures that God has for you through your enjoyment of artistic expression.

We must stop limping between affections for God and affections for art as if there is a choice to be made. They are not rivals. They do not even compare to each other. They are categorically different from each other. Artistic expression is the creation of God. God created man creative, expressive, and artistic. The problem arises when our affections for God are placed on art, whether willfully or in ignorance, rather than on Him in our enjoyment of art. Let's let Elijah's interrogation prod us where it needs too.

Where our affections in art do not originate, culminate, and terminate in greater affections for God, then we have not enjoyed artistic expression fully as God has given it.

Follow God, artists, with your whole heart! Then you will find the greatest pleasures in art as God has created all things to evidence how glorious He is. God created you to be able to enjoy what He created pleasurable. Do not be suckered by the devil to exchange the glory of what God has made for the glory of God Himself. What God has made is not independent of God. Rather, it demonstrates and points to a particular pleasure of and in God.

Limp around the arts no more. Vigorously enjoy your Maker in them.

Jason Harms


© 2009 The Gaius Project