The Conundrum of Christian Craftsmanship

IMG_0952 When did Christian art become synonymous with poor craftsmanship? 

A well-crafted art piece—music, literature, film, a painting—doesn’t easily relinquish its grip. It never truly leaves you; when you tear yourself away, traces of its presence haunt you. Where is that vast vigor in Christian artistry?

There may be more to be in awe of in the majestic, sprawling guitar riffs of Metallica’s “Fade to Black” than in 10 repetitive worship songs droning on with neither artistry nor passion. Much of culturally revered music is not made for the glory of the God who enabled magnificent music to exist in the first place. It is still a phenomenal testimony to the beauty and grandeur of the great Artist Himself. 

It seems like beauty and grandeur are all but gone in Christian craftsmanship. In a world where relevance means far more than truth, mimics and cheap gimmicks are more the norm than the exception. 

When you sacrifice truth on the altar of relevance, don’t be surprised when the results are mediocre at best. That applies to any avenues into which we can apply our God-given gifts.

Christians are often too afraid to be original and creative in their respective crafts. They care far too much about what the world thinks of the radical message of the gospel than they care about infusing every piece of art they create with the splendor of that message. 

When fear of God triumphs over a fear of others, ultimate creative license is given. There are no limits to what someone with a reverence for God and subsequent strength through grace can do. 

Being a Christian isn’t a good luck charm to dust off every now and again. Being a Christian means you carry out even the most mundane tasks for the glory of God—the God of mountains and music and ceaseless creativity. How much more the passion of one’s heart? We of all people have endless reasons to create excellent art.

He is risen. We are free. What greater reason is there to compose crescendos and colorful canvases and captivating calligraphy?