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I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a good friend of mine, Marcus Hollinger. He is the Social Media Director for Reach Records in Atlanta, Georgia.

We were talking about the various forms of art and the way that cultural creatives extend hope to the city.

Photo credit: Bahman Farzad / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: Bahman Farzad / Foter / CC BY

“Art and creativity is a very human thing” he said.

“It is something that all humans are capable of and it’s something that all humans participate in on a day to day basis. The best way to [extend hope] is to understand the basic makeup and the basic nature of humans, and that is that all humans are created in the image of God. [We need to] create in a way that highlights the fact that the thumbprint of God is on us.”

Dualism And Fear

So many times I am tempted to look at the world with a dualistic mindset and try to separate faith from the rest of life, but the reality is that God created the world whole and complete and Jesus died to close the gap, to redeem all of creation (Colossians 1:19-20).

Ever since Christ came, the unclean no longer ruins the clean as the Pharisees understood. The opposite is true. Now, the righteous redeems the unrighteous.

Somewhere along the way, the idea that we still need to react in fear to all of the unrighteousness in the world has stuck around and has greatly affected our ability to make lasting change in our communities. We try to make safe Christian corners of society where we can shelter ourselves from the crude, evil, unredeemed, and absurd. But this isn’t the life Christ had in mind for us.

#Jesus died to close the gap, to #redeem all of creation. Click To Tweet

In John 17, Jesus is praying for the believers. He says:

“I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”

Using The Gift

Photo credit: Zlatko Vickovic / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: Zlatko Vickovic / Foter / CC BY

Jesus sent us into the world with a purpose, not just to hunker down and wait for Him to come back. So, how do we use this incredible gift of redemption and adoption to creatively affect the world around us?

First, we need to understand that art and creative expression is not the enemy. Art is shaped by culture and gives culture new possibilities.

 Music, poetry, paintings and all other art forms are a catalyst that provide new opportunities – people respond and react in various ways and new art is inspired and created, good or bad.

Two people can share a common experience, such as the loss of a loved one, but depending on their mindsets, they will create two vastly different outcomes. They will have either a redemptive response born from a restorative perspective or a stagnant or destructive reaction that will breed a cycle of continued negative results.

#Art is shaped by #culture and gives culture new possibilities. Click To Tweet

Creativity And Hope

guitar duoIn speaking specifically about music bringing hope to the city, Marcus says,

“Talk about anything and everything. But the only true hope is that in our human mess, in our humanness – good and bad – there is something greater than we currently perceive. Create from that perspective, build buildings that last a really long time to make people reflect on the fact that there is something greater than we perceive, make sneakers out of good materials that last a long time, write songs that lift the human condition.”

People, created by a creative God, were intended to create. To some degree, we were all made with the ability to build, design, and make physical representations of our internal desires, personal experiences, or responses to our individual situations.

Beauty and truth come from and point to God and because of this, art was intended to inspire, emulate, and beautify. The God-given gifts of art and creativity have the power to alter mindsets, challenge the deepest parts of a person’s heart, and reach the otherwise unreachable.

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