I have been finding it hard to blog lately. Not because I haven’t got anything to say. My amount of tweets on my twitter show I can chat all day (http://www.twitter.com/karlnova) I have also fallen for yet another social networking website tumblr (http://karlnova.tumblr.com) and I am all up in it posting pics and even little blogs here and there etc.
So what’s been on my mind? Yep you guessed it, music. I have also been reading an amazing book called “Saving Leonardo” which is by a lady called Nancy Pearcey. It is a beautiful book dealing with what exactly a worldview is and how the whole split between secular and secular originated. I highly recommend it because what she deals with is the root of so many arguments and debates I see on twitter, facebook almost everyday.
The books I’ve been reading this year have caused some kind of shaking up of my mind and views towards music, art and creativity. If I am being honest my mind had already been shaken up for probably the last 5 years but these books have put into writing the feelings and thoughts I haven’t been able to express properly.
I’ve always thought that when it comes to art, creativity and music in general the church hasn’t been able to know what to do with them. It seems the value of these gifts are in direct proportion to there function as an evangelical tool. Basically if they are not overtly employed in preaching the gospel then they are useless as far as most folks in the church are concerned. If you’re not a musical evangelist you are not rated or respected at all because evangelical music has been exalted as the supreme musical expression by many. It is used to gauge if you are spiritual and if you will be celebrated and accepted. If you are strong in evangelism you will be rated higher on the food chain in the Christian realm. It’s really sad considering the fact God is our Creator as well as our Saviour and him being our Saviour doesn’t cause him to cease being our Creator. I mean in the bible there are all kinds of musical expression from the worship of the Psalms to the romantic Song of Solomon all the way back to the Lamentations of Jeremiah and even King David just jamming on his harp with no words.
It’s ok to not feel like you have to be a musical evangelist. It’s not an either or situation. Variety of callings and vocations come from God. Even in the “five fold” ministries mentioned in Ephesians it wasn’t just the calling of an evangelist mentioned there. Don’t impose what you feel is your calling on someone else even though generally we are all called to be part of the ministry of reconciliation. We are all to be salt and light in this world. If you're true to faith in your heart it will come out in what you create anyway. It's actually beautiful when it is not forced because you are trying to impress your peers with how spiritual and righteous you think you are.
Like I’ve said before gospel music and the gospel of Christ are not synonyms. Equating one with the other is silly and will lead to all kinds of confusion and weird thinking. You will keep thinking if gospel music tops the charts (which is not a bad thing) that it automatically means the gospel is being “preached to all nations” to some folks gospel music is just black church music (which is one of the things that it is). Gospel music for many remains shorthand for black even in the way it is categorised as a genre in the music industry today. I personally think we need to continually guard against making an idol out of music especially gospel music. Elevating anything to a status above its true value is just making an idol out of it and that cannot be right, it also places unnecessary pressure on those who call themselves gospel artists and in extreme cases it can lead to fans of gospel music making the more gifted, popular and successful out of them “idols” just like their secular counterparts are idolised and when the weaknesses and failings of these people are exposed it causes those who might have idolised these artists to even doubt the very God and gospel they have placed their faith in which is sad. It just shows that they have probably placed their faith in the wrong place to begin with.
One of the marks of being created in God’s image is that we are blessed with creativity like the God we were created in the image of. This is why even someone who isn’t reconciled to God or saved or a Christian can be amazingly creative and gifted (duh! It seems redundant to have to say that but I have talked to people who believe that the devil gave some musicians/artists their amazing creative ability errr no God is the originator of music and creativity not the devil) Acknowledging someone’s talent and God given gift doesn’t automatically mean you’re endorsing their belief system or lifestyle or character flaws or sins. The fall of man introduced sin into the world but it didn’t take away the blessing of creativity from humans. This actually proves that humans still retain echoes of being created in the image of God even though sin has come in to mar God’s original creation. Just like gold nuggets are found in dirt, so also flashes of brilliance and amazing creativity are found in us whether we are “saved” or not. (it really seems redundant to have to point this out)
With all these kinds of thoughts swirling around my head about music it has led me to know even more in these days that this is all more than just music. It is about so much more, mainly what lies in our minds and hearts. The heart of every matter is a matter of the heart.
*short mini EPK/Documentary coming very soon*