Sunday, April 27, 2008

Christianity, the Arts and the Martial Arts

Man was created in the image of God. God is the original Creator of all things. God also loves beauty (as evidenced in His Creation). Man, too, was given the ability to create. Man was created to glorify God and serve Him. However, some churches seem to think that Art and Drama are not legitimate for a Christian to partake in, unless they have an obvious 'religious' connotation to them. For example, drawing pictures is OK only if it is used to create something like a gospel tract; or, Drama is OK only if it is used to accurately depict something from the Bible. And I would agree that both Art and Drama have been used, at times, to depict things that are ungodly, or even perverted; or even have gone so far as to explicitly mock Jesus. Yet, I think most of the time, Art has been used simply to depict people, or things in nature; and Drama has been used largely to depict interaction between people, whether it be something historical, or something fictional.

Therefore, for a Christian (or a church) to say that Art or Drama for their own sake are not legitimate or appropriate for a Christian, unless they are 'spiritualized' by having direct 'religious' connotations, is to deny the fact that different people are given different talents by God, and that people create things because they were made in the image of a God Who created the heavens and the earth. And for a church to imply that a person's gifts or talents are not legitimate or appropriate unless those gifts or talents are used within a church service, or to promote the church, or to help with the building and upkeep of the church, is to have a far-too-narrow view of people's God-given gifts and talents.

For example, some Christians might not think too highly of my using Photoshop to create something such as this:

Original photo of me in 7th Grade:

The same photo after doing some things to it in Adobe Photoshop CS2:

In addition, some Christians think that the martial arts are evil and inappropriate for a Christian---either because they promote violence, or because they are rooted in Eastern Religions. When I first asked Jesus to come into my 'heart' and take over my life at 19 years of age, I immediately gave up weight-training and karate. Why? Because they were the 'gods' in my life. In other words, they held the priorities in my life. Years later, the Lord allowed me to get back into weight-training and martial arts---just without having them as priorities in my life. He doesn't want to take away our fun and enjoyment; He simply wants us to put Him first.

I find it interesting and ironic that some of those Christians that are so opposed to martial arts are strong advocates of owning a gun; while I, on the other hand, would not want to own a gun, because I hate guns, and I hate the thought of shooting a human being with a gun.


satire and theology said...

For example, some Christians might not think too highly of my using Photoshop to create something such as this:

Yes, you may not gain too many radical fundamentalist blog links...keep it up my friend.

Jeff said...

Yeah, unfortunately, there are still legalistic Pharisees in this world.

Thanks, Russ.