Billy Paulsen

It is important for us to be in the fore front of the mainstream arts and entertainment industry purely because as a Christians we can make a difference in society and bring about positive change. There is nothing wrong in being cultural and community activists in a civil society where politics are taking centre stage. In the Old Testament times things were very different. It was the kings who inquired and consulted with the prophets and the prophets in return consulted with God before any decisions were made which affected the nation. There is a great opportunity for evangelism in this area and evangelical Christianity has been notoriously apathetic for far too long.

Being culturally and artistically up to date does not mean being fashionable or an aristocrat who frequents the Opera House and attend gallery openings. I simply mean that you are taking arts and culture seriously and love it enough to approach it with a clear distinction, intention, an open mind and in a Christian manner.

It’s my belief that Christians, of all people, should be the best connoisseurs, appreciators, advocates and patrons of arts and culture. Why? Because for Christians, arts and culture is what human beings make of the world, it is far more than just an end unto itself. It’s far more than just something that brings glory to man. It’s a means by which we understand, reflect and glorify the Creator God. There should be a legitimate place for the appreciation of art and beauty in our lives. Arts, music and entertainment are not only for our pleasure, it is also to see God more clearly and humbly worship him more dearly through the goodness, truth and beauty all around us, in both the natural and cultural world.

The Arts have always played an important role in the life of the Church, and have a biblical, historical and theological precedence for doing so. From the earliest days artists have sought to inspire people in their faith and devotion, and the Bible is rich in stories of those who engaged in the arts. One very good example is David the Sheppard boy. We read incredible story In 1 Samuel 16v14-19.

[14] Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. [15] Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. [16] Let our Lord command His servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better.” [17] So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.” [18] One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him.” [19] Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.”

Here we find 6 great attributes of what most artistic individuals lack in the arts and entertainment industry. We find brilliant musicians and artists but lack character, sustainability and many have a very bad attitude. In many instances it is referred to as a typical artist mentality. I however do not agree. David was a brilliant artist, manufacturer of various instruments, composer a humble Sheppard and a great King, yet his foundation was servant hood. He knew how to be a Sheppard boy and he knew how to be a king.

The world needs to see and hear from Christians committed to the arts for the glory of God, while we may recognize that human creativity, like all other gifts bestowed upon us by God, may be misused, there is nothing wrong using the arts to influence the world in a positive way. As Christians we have the answer….

Billy Paulson