Monday, September 24, 2018

The Holy Spirit and Art

"And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts" (Exodus 35:31).

The Holy Spirit is the wellspring of creativity because He is the glorifier of God. We see this in Exodus 35, where God filled Bezalel with His Spirit. This was done so that he might be able “to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship” (Exodus 35:30–33). Bezalel was also to make garments “of glory and beauty” for Aaron the high priest to wear before God (Exodus 28:2).

Bezalel is the first person ever mentioned in Scripture as being filled with the Holy Spirit, and he was filled for the purpose of art. Art is important to God, and it should be important to us. God is concerned with what is good, with what is true, and also with what is beautiful.

Sadly, we are living in a time when the Christian community is fragmented. Some groups concentrate on truth. Doctrine is their major concern. Their churches are not beautiful, and their music does not inflame the heart. Others major on what is beautiful. Doctrine is not so important to them, but behold the glory of their architecture and music. Still others major on doing good works and avoiding sin, while downplaying doctrine and the arts. The church as a whole should concentrate on all three areas.

God is the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty. God is beautiful and is the standard, foundation, and goal of all beauty. The relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the ultimate in harmony and symmetry.

Wherever there is beauty, there is the Spirit of God. That does not mean every artist, just because he is an artist, is a born-again Christian. Rather, because all men are created in the image of God and have life breathed into them by creation from the Spirit of God, all men can express beauty. Everything beautiful that comes from an unbeliever’s hand ultimately comes from the Holy Spirit.

In the Christian community, there is too much simplistic art and music which lacks the deep subtlety and beauty of great Christian works of previous ages. Explore the heritage of beauty that God has given us through literature, the performing arts, museums, and architecture.