The Arts, on Earth as in Heaven – A Call to Creatives

Electric Storm, oil on cradled wood panel by Kat English, 2016.

 

Imagine the arts in heaven.

Unlimited resources, unfathomable potential, infinite imagination – we'll offer it all in love and affection for our Creator. What will we accomplish in five, ten, even a thousand years? Our skill will never stop increasing. Our awe and wonder will multiply at every display of the Creator’s beauty in our art.

At the beginning of the world, our Creator imagined, and then made us, in his image. In his creative likeness, we received the gift of imagination. He gave it to no other creature; he gave it to us! Hence, as creation displays its Maker, we reveal his infinite beauty in the creative power we carry.

As members of his divine nature, we pray, “Your kingdom come… on earth as it is in heaven.” Our divine mission as sons and daughters is to imagine heaven on earth – in business, justice, government and culture. As artists, we carry the anointing to grow the Kingdom by installing the sights and sounds of heaven through the arts.

 

Whitney Hancock, dancer and director of the Redding Civic Dance Company.

Sierra Pruitt, fashion photographer

Sierra Pruitt, fashion photographer

 

IN ART, AS IN HEAVEN

As a church, we were once famous for our contributions to the arts. The works of Bach, Michelangelo, da Vinci and Handel, to name a few, were trademarks of the Renaissance and Baroque Era. Centuries later, they continue to influence society and art through their timeless quality and value. While a comparison to the 16th century church has obvious limits, it should shine a light on our creative potential. Since then, we've often been known for equating  excellence with arrogance, reverence with impassiveness, and extravagance with distraction. But our God is beautiful and extravagant, full of passion and emotion, and he desires us to worship him the way we were made to.

As ambassadors speak for a nation, we herald the beauty of heaven. As embassies host a national presence, our churches host the presence of heaven.  We carry the power of heaven with us – if beauty isn't included, perhaps we're missing who heaven is all about.

With heavenly mindsets, excellence trumps mediocrity and diligence defies laziness. Instead of kitsch art, our work becomes like nothing seen before. Instead of sensory-deprived worship, our services become like the art galleries of heaven. Instead of playing pop culture catch-up, our churches find their worth in the Source of all creativity. Our art will demand what creation demands: a worshipful response to our Creator.

 
Chapman Hamborg, applying bronze paint to his sculpture, commissioned for Bethel Music's album Have It All (2016).

Chapman Hamborg, applying bronze paint to his sculpture, commissioned for Bethel Music's album Have It All (2016).

 

"ART OF FAITH" IS BY ARTISTS, FOR ARTISTS

By artists, we mean painters, ceramicists, dancers, musicians, performers, writers, architects, photographers, fashion designers – the list goes on.  In pursuing the heart of God, we recognize that the Creator loves his creation, and that includes art. In fact, he loves it more than we do.

Christian artists face unique challenges. Some are cultural and others are genre-specific. Many, however, stem from a church that's suppressed or fled from the arts, often in ignorance. But we love our churches, and we have a burning desire to see them value creativity and art like our Father.

Art of Faith is a community of faith-driven creatives who are bringing the arts of heaven to earth. We'll interview notable artists, host diverse perspectives, and sponsor events with the purpose of inspiring and fostering creativity inside and outside the church.

History shows us that art transforms culture. In the same way, spirit-filled art creates Kingdom culture. We believe this cultural transformation has already begun, and its our passion to unite with the revival of this generation.

As we lead in love, purity, and other aspects of our faith, let's lead in the arts through our dedication, quality and innovation. Let's collaborate on such a level that the world sees our love and unity. Let's fashion our houses of worship so beautifully that they look and sound like heaven. 

Let's bring heaven to earth in as many dimensions, and senses, as we can imagine.