Sunday, 9 March 2014

Christian creativity and middle class mediocrity

In some churches and associations there is a widely held view that Christians should not compete with the secular world in trying to produce videos, media presentations, films and other creative works.  So some churches and associations may have limited budgets and need to be good stewards of their resources, but it is my contention that as Christians we should be committed to excellence, beauty, creative enterprise and works that show eternal quality.   Now that may not mean glossy and flashy products and productions, but I'd like you to consider church history and what Christians have achieved when they have been inspired by God and motivated by prayer and worship.

In the past Christians have written, sung and shared wonderful music in choirs, churches, cathedrals, chapels, colleges and Christian communities. Consider the Gregorian chants, the religious music of Bach,  the poetry of John Milton, the preaching of the Puritans, Wesleyan hymns, spirituals among slave communities in the Deep South, cathedral choirs and Christmas carols.  Think of the wonderful architecture in ancient and some modern Cathedrals, abbeys, monasteries, seminaries, and colleges.  All of this was inspired and came out of Christian culture and enterprise.

Much of this Christian creative enterprise was produced as acts of worship, prayerful labour, and in service to a higher calling and purpose. Christian folk had a sense of working to the glory of God and in the service of His Kingdom.  They were inspired to do great things, great works for their Great God and Saviour.  It came out of gratitude and gracious giving.  Some of those Cathedrals cost a great deal in time, money, hard work and patient endeavour. And we can still enjoy the fruits of these labours of love today.

I really think we have lost in today's world this sense of worship as we work.  In some past communities work and prayer were linked together. They prayed as they worked and worked as they prayed.  Medieval master builders really did believe that their work was to the glory of God.  They did not tolerate the shoddy, superficial and shallow workmanship.  They wanted the best materials and the best craftsmen.

We now put up with middle class mediocrity and poor quality. We work without worshipping God and our efforts  lack Christian commitment, concern and careful consideration.  We rush and run around without a sense of sanctified service.  We are too busy to stand and stare, too busy to ask for God's help in prayer.
And perhaps too busy to glorify God and enjoy Him now and for ever.

1 comment:

Johli Baptist said...

And I have mentioned the wonderful works of art that were inspired by Christian culture and communities.
Think of the paintings, frescoes, sculptures and icons.


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