T.J. Green, a pastor and revivalist, and fellow Albertan, guest blogs today, giving us a timely and beautiful writing on a spiritual renaissance we are stepping into through creativity. So many people overlook their creative identity and how much the world needs us to express what the Lord has given us. We were all created to create and can influence culture. Thank you T.J. for a powerful writing that stirred in my heart to dream bigger.
The world needs another renaissance. Not just a physical awakening to creativity but a spiritual one. When I say “NEEDS," I don’t believe we can over emphasis how much the earth is groaning in eager expectation for the manifestations of the sons and daughters of the living God. Did you know the first thing that God did was create? The Creator created you in His image to create. I don’t care who you are, you are creative because its in your God given DNA. You may have even said the statement over yourself that you are not a creative person. I refuse to believe that anyone having the fullness of God living on the inside of Him is not also destined to create. My hope and prayer in writing this article is that it will stir up the artists, designers, film makers, anthem writers, photographers, poets, and inventors within the Christian community and encourage you to dream and to take risk. As well, I’d like to charge Christian leaders to create and nurture a free culture where imagination is celebrated. Religion despises creativity because it loves control and thats exactly what happened in the dark ages. The age that we are heading into will either be a dark age or an enlightened one and the church’s vote counts. What I’m praying for is a spiritual age of enlightenment that coincides with a cultural age of enlightenment.
David was a friend of God. Because of his intimacy with the Lord, he was given secrets way ahead of his time. For instance, lets take Psalms 22 into consideration. Listen as David writes a song describing in detail how Jesus died on the cross ages before the Romans had invented crucifixion. Psalms 22:16 says, 'They pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.'
It seems to me that artists and song writers like David have the God given ability to be ahead of their time. Just like pioneers are the first to break ground in a new country, so it is ready to build a new society. King David had to sing the anthems of Jesus to prepare the world for His Kingdom to come. What if the earth is again needing to be prepared for the second coming of Christ? Who will sing the songs and write the anthems to prepare the earth for a whole new world?
Blaze Pascal a French economist said, “Its not those who write the laws that have the greatest impact on society, but those who write the songs.” I believe the most influential people in the world are not the politicians, but the song writers. Its the artist who will influence culture and society.
I remember being so bored with a lot of Christian music and especially worship music growing up. It seemed incredibly generic, cookie cutter and, dare I say it, stale. In my later teenage years I worked in the Christian music industry and it was so easy to see whatever trends were big in the world, if we waited for a year or so, we could have the Christian version of that cd on our shelves. I longed for something original that wasn’t a carbon copy of something already produced. I don’t think that I was looking for a product. I was looking for an emotional and spiritual connection. A musical expression that was passionate and genuine is hard to come by these days because there is nothing new under the sun. There is a real danger of art becoming a mass produced generic swamp.
When I was introduced to some of IHOP and Bethel’s music it opened up a whole new world of worship to me that I had never before experienced. In the purity of that movement something amazing was taking place. Because of their emphasis on a real connection with God the sounds and the song that were coming out of them were incredibly fresh, spiritually inspired, and anointed. To our great disappointment creative and inspired art doesn’t always inspire creativity but duplicity. Creativity will be in danger of being reduced to the lowest common denominator if we allow inspiration to be mass produced. Instead of singing our own God given song sometimes its easier to sing someone else’s revelation. The world doesn’t need another copy of a Rembrandt.
Never forget the power of your song. Can you imagine writing songs so epic that God himself decides to immortalize them into His best seller of all time. The biggest book in the Bible is a song book and we are still singing the anthems in our churches that David wrote thousands of years before Christ. That should tell us something right there. Some have speculated that David heard heavenly sounds that he couldn’t reproduce on his instruments so he actually invented new instruments.
Amos 6:5 'That chant to the sound of the viol, [and] invent to themselves instruments of music like David.'
Even though there is nothing new under the sun I believe there are new pictures, and sounds that have not been released on the earth. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:9 'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived -- the things God has prepared for those who love him.'
I once had a dream that one of my musical acquaintances who lived in the United States was inventing a guitar pedal that had a mixture of sounds being combined to create an entirely new sound. In the dream it was like I could see the sound waves bending and vibrating into a beautiful discovery. The next day I called my friend excited to share my dream with him. To my delight he informed me that he was in fact working on a new pedal and the patent for his new design was being drawn up that day. So many inventions that have changed our world have come through people who dare to take risks and dream with God.
The world needs the Creator to create in you and through you the expressions of heaven. The time is now for a revival of creativity, and for a spiritual renaissance to awaken the world to true love. There are inventions, art, songs, books, and films that are waiting to be written. I hope this inspires the psalmist in you to be a friend of God and a pioneer who will understand the power of your song.
- T.J. Green
"Art of Love" by Mindi Oaten