Just another thought: “Creative” has become a sort of in word for Christians and Churches in the UK and probably in other Western Cultures too, who give off an air of self belief that they are going somwhere, but personally, I believe from Scripture we are overdoing the “Creative” thing a bit, not only in terms of exaggerating its potential impact, but more fundamentally in this sense: in the bible only God is said to create.
The thing is when God creates He makes things very obvious – like his power and deity; you don’t need to be arty to work it all out. When we get creative what we end up doing is as likely to veil as to reveal and make things obvious. He seems quite childlike, happy to paint stars and trees and daisies, and to paint them again and again, and never get bored. We tend to create things that need a lot of explanation: “This painting is really about the conflicts that there are in the existential experience of the eschatological tension we all carry in our own being,” sort of thing.
God is simple. He is perfectly well and sane. God’s creativity comes from wholeness with no axe to grind or point to make. Ours often comes from brokenness and can be a mixed blessing: some poems and songs or paintings and drama come from very dark places indeed and for all their honesty can drive the listener or the watcher into very disturbed and dark places too. I have met someone who was demonised through watching a creative fantasy film – by the grace of God, she was set free. I write poems from time to time… not all of them would bless others. Some I would never read out loud to anyone….not because they are untrue but just because they wouldn’t really help… that is maybe the subject for another blog: just because something is honest or true does it mean it should be said and shared? Sometimes we need to be careful about what things we make that we choose to bring out and share… what may be healing for me might depress or confuse others. Many “creative” types have a ministry in confusion, God love them and bless them! I am very confused by about a quarter of modern worship songs, both by their grammar, and by the fact that song writers seem to believe we all simply love words that have to do double backflips and a few sideward rolls to fit the tune…We apparently all love to sing in another accent other than our own: “intimut” rather than “intimate” is what even those of us north of the border in the UK seem to have to want God to be with us for quite a few years now…and we are all “gonna” do things (which at least has the saving merit of sounding as though it is vaguely and distantly related to slang Glaswegian), instead of announcing what we are “going to” do or become for Christ and the Kingdom.. AND WHILE I AM AT IT….WHO IN SCOTLAND WOULD EVER CALL GOD “POPPA”? We wouldn’t even call our earthly fathers “Poppa” because it isn’t a word we use in Scotland. If we did, we would get told to put aside our fancy talk, though we would be told so to do in a less than fancy way. I wouldn’t expect American Christians to call God “Faither!”
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for “create” is reserved for God Himself, God alone. The rest of us according to the language of the bible simply make or do… we make with what He creates… humbling…. but then again we seem to be blurring the distinction between us and God in general. The popular teaching nowadays in renewal circles is that Jesus did the miracles as a man and not as God, so we can do them too… true and false at the same time. In the bible we are encouraged to do the works Christ did, but His miracles are also recorded as signs of His absolute Uniqueness as The Only begotten Son of God, a proof of his divinity….so that believing in Him, we might find life in His Name. Half-hearing is quite dangerous; you are more likely to get knocked down wherever you are trying to get to, albeit you are stepping out with good intention and nobility of motivation and purpose….
God bless you, especially all you who are the “making things” type: not as grand a word as “creative” but still pretty awesome… we need you… we really do….
This is brilliant, Kenny. So God glorifying and it made me laugh out loud to think of our God in the Heavens doing whatsoever He pleases. How lovely. Morag