This morning I got into a minor debate over Christians, creativity, and CCM (Contemporary Christian Music). I am not sure what I did, but the other person in the discussion ended up pretty offended by what I’d said, or so it seemed. I’ve been thinking about the topic since then, though, and I can’t help but come here and make some comments on the issue.
Am I the only person who realizes the major issues with the Christian music industry these days? It doesn’t just show up in the CCM. It is clear in the alternative and hard music genres as well. And if you look in the Southern Gospel and the “praise and worship” (because praise and worship is a style rather than a way of life) sections you see the same problem: the desire for money and to be accepted.
Since when are Christians called to conform to a man-defined mold? Remember what Paul said in Galatians?
Christ has liberated us into freedom. Therefore stand firm and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 HCSB)
We have not been saved to adhere to more laws, but we have been saved to be free. Now, before I go any further, I am not advocating antinomianism. But no longer are we under the laws of man and sin, but we as Christians are now free to follow the law of God.
You see, before Christ shattered His way into our lives…before Christ, against our will, came in and called us to Himself, we were only free to sin. We, in fact, had no desire to do the things of God and didn’t understand them at all…and we couldn’t understand them.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)
But once salvation has found us, and has freed us from the bondage to sin, we are free to obey God’s law.
But I don’t think that is the only thing we are free to do. I think that, when Christ liberates us, that He frees us to truly be who He made us, as His chosen people, to be. God has made us all for His purpose. As Solomon writes,
The LORD has prepared everything for His purpose–even the wicked for the day of disaster. (Proverbs 16:4 HCSB)
Not only were things made for God’s purpose, but they were prepared for His purpose. That has the connotation that He used events and His own design to make them into what He had chosen for them to be. This verse also affirms double predestination (although I am not going to get into that topic today. Maybe somewhere down the road I will though).
The point is, God has made us a certain way for a certain reason. Who are we to try and suppress that? Who are we to keep back who we are from the body of Christ?
We all have minds that are creative in some way, shape, or form. God made us that way. Why don’t we utilize that God-given creativity? Why do we settle for mediocre music and sub-standard lyrics and less than acceptable lifestyles? Why do we shove thinkers and creative minds into the closet and don’t let them break free?
The church is so stupid when it comes to the issue of creativity. There is never a middle road. It’s one extreme or the other. I wanna change that. I want to see Christians using their creative minds and creative skills in a logical, well thought out manner. “Creative worship Wednesdays” (as one church in this area does on occaision) is not the way to go, in my opinion. Then again, never letting people use their talents of creativity to read a poem or sing a song that they wrote and to present a painting to the congregation that they painted in the Spirit and instead stifling them and telling them the places where the church says they can serve and not letting them use their skills isn’t the way to go either. We need a middle ground.
I want to challenge you to use the creative abilities God has given you for His glory. That is why He gave them to you, afterall. Christ has liberated you to freedom, so you’re no longer tied down to man-made rules and traditions. You’re only bound to follow Christ and His teachings. In following Christ is true freedom found.