The Jesus follower vs. the arts.

15 thoughts on “The Jesus follower vs. the arts.”

  1. Wow, Josh. Thank you for addressing this. Very wise, sir.

    And so providential… My parents, sister, and I were JUST talking about this topic a few minutes ago: where is the line for Christians in secular (or even “Christian”) media.
    We covered Christian fantasy novels and past-times and such as well, but the same applies. It really comes down to where someone is comfortable to watch, listen to, read, or partake in something and whether or not it gets in the way of you and your relationship with God.
    “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble (I Corinthians 8:13).” If it causes you to stumble, GET RID OF IT!!

    There really shouldn’t be a black-and-white standard set up for every Christian, dictating what we can and cannot watch, listen to, read, partake in… but we should all learn our own boundaries and weak areas to ensure we don’t get let the arts lead us to sin or lose sight of God.

    Thanks again for this post, Josh. It’s a great reminder for all of us to check and know our own hearts.

    First, and foremost, TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

  2. Wow, Josh. Thank you for addressing this. Very wise, sir.

    And so providential… My parents, sister, and I were JUST talking about this topic a few minutes ago: where is the line for Christians in secular (or even “Christian”) media.
    We covered Christian fantasy novels and past-times and such as well, but the same applies. It really comes down to where someone is comfortable to watch, listen to, read, or partake in something and whether or not it gets in the way of you and your relationship with God.
    “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble (I Corinthians 8:13).” If it causes you to stumble, GET RID OF IT!!

    There really shouldn’t be a black-and-white standard set up for every Christian, dictating what we can and cannot watch, listen to, read, partake in… but we should all learn our own boundaries and weak areas to ensure we don’t get let the arts lead us to sin or lose sight of God.

    Thanks again for this post, Josh. It’s a great reminder for all of us to check and know our own hearts.

    First, and foremost, TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

  3. this was an incredibly well written and logical article. thank you for this. everything said here i have believed to be true for as long as i can remember. assuming you read this, i do have questions… let’s say i like Manson’s song “Speed Of Pain” and, because i find it catchy, certain lines of the song get stuck in my head on repeat that contain foul language? is this not an inevitable risk? whether it’s something you should find offensive or not is besides the point, these things shouldn’t leave your mouth. a better example would be a movie with sexual content. let’s say i have seen stuff before that didn’t do anything for me, so i go to see this new movie thinking it also won’t affect me, but this scene just appeals to me and i lust. wouldn’t it have just been better for me not to ake the risk and not see the movie? again i agree with your article completely. these are questions that arise from my inner debater lol. these are also things i have been asked. thanks again Josh. you have been such a large voice in my life.

    1. Jason, you have a great point! When we have words replay over and over in our heads, our thought process can change. Are those lyrics beneficial to us and our relationship with God when repeated? “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things” Colossians 3:2. It is important for me to listen to more Christian music than secular in order the keep my mind set on Christ.

  4. Awesome article. If I could add anything to the discussion it would be to mention that in Rennaissance times and even earlier, the church was a place where the arts were celebrated in sometimes visceral and offensive ways. We’ve all seen the paintings of angels stabbing serpents, the stained glass cathedral windows sporting semi-nude figures and even Jesus himself covered in blood. The Bible calls us to glorify God and the beauty he has made- everything from the striking contrast of crimson on fleece to the organic curves of the female form can be used in this way

  5. In my humble opinion the line one will draw is somewhere in the heart of each of us. In my experience as a christian, a non christian, and an artist, I feel the line should be drawn in chalk so that it is easy to move as you grow

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed this article. When I returned to Christ, about 8 years ago, I recognized secular music as being a downfall in my life and needed to purge it from my life. At that time, I discover Showbread and Haste the Day. I was able to positively express myself through this music without the temptation of returning to my sinful ways. 

    Eight years later, I am able to listen to almost any music without the temptation of regression, but there is still a line for me that I cannot cross. I make sure that I listen to more Christian music than secular. I do believe it is important for me to keep that ratio in check. 

    Now, concerning the belief of listening to our own convictions as to where to draw the line, do you think this is what Paul was talking about when he wrote to the Philippians? He said, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed– not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence– continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for is it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his purpose” (Phil. 2:12-13). 

    Also, to Corinth, Paul wrote, “‘Everything is permissible’– but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’– but not everything is constructive” (1Cor. 10:23). Another question is, should we participate in anything that is not beneficial? Is it only not beneficial when we disregard our convictions?

    I started leading a young woman’s Bible study and will bring some of your points into our discussion. Thank you for writing this!

  7. Funny enough, my mother actually told me tonight to pray for myself because i listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers – only because i said i was a bit depressed after seeing them live and she saw an ad of them on TV that looked ‘evil’ – so she assumed i was depressed because they’re an evil band. So i explained to her that after any type of amazing experience (be it a concert or a weekend away), you feel a bit down because of the emotional high of the event. If she thinks RHCP is evil, then she will have a heart attack if she hears Showbread, and even if i try to explain that it’s actually a Christian band and it’s art, she wouldn’t understand. At the end of the day, i can’t expect her to have the same viewpoint that i have, and it is, as you say, about personal conviction. I would feel the same ‘depression’ after a Showbread concert because it’s an ‘out of the ordinary’ experience. A while ago i had a small interest in Marilyn Manson – not the music but the person – because i found his beliefs quite interesting. People tend to judge too easily and that is where the misconception of movies, music, books, etc comes from.

  8. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this and express this wisdom in a logical, measured way. This helps keeps me accountable for the way I’m engaging with society as a Christian.

  9. Reblogged this on Oceanica and commented:
    A wise post by Josh Dies regarding the response of Christians to art and “secular” media. Essentially a modern-day Pauline letter to the Corinthians. Please take the time to read this.

  10. Reblogged this on Spewing Chunks and commented:
    This is an article that the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Showbread, wrote on his website. It brought up a lot of really good points and this subject is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

  11. Love this… “Neither approach is more noble or less sinful, they are based on the individual’s personal discernment via partnership with the Holy Spirit. As it was in 1st century Corinth, some believers find that their conscious yields convictions unique to them as individuals. And yet all believers are called to act on said convictions with discernment, humility, and love for their brothers and sisters”. Act and speak with discernment, humility, and love for our brothers and sisters via partnership with the Holy Spirit. Wise words my brother! Keeping this in mind as followers of Christ will no doubt allow us to discuss matters of “disagreement” with one another… Or not discuss them (whatever the Holy Spirit leads us to do).

  12. This article is amazing Josh. Thank you for posting it. I totally agree with everything you had to say and believe every believer needs to hear it. I especially agree with you on the secular music industry. I have tried my whole life to listen to all types of music and conveniently all the satanic/”evil” bands sound down-right awful to me haha. I partically love Marilyn Manson’s and Motionless in White’s music though. I have done extensive research on Manson and Chris and watched interviews to see who they really is. Certain songs by them are very evil and purely carnal and hold no value or inspiration to me but there are others that I agree with strongly and base my values around and find inspiration in. I have been raised in the church and I have a lot of discernment so I can easliy decide which lyrics affect me or not based upon biblical values accordingly. I do that with all the music I listen to. Metaphorically, I see it as taking a handful of mud, knowing that there is possibly gold in the mud and hoping to find it. Then, sifting the mud through a filter leaving only the gold. I’m just wondering if that’s healthy to do or not as a believer.

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