By Scott Buss
Film, literature, art.
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Movies, poems, comic books.
For some weird and wildly unbiblical reason, these sorts of things are looked down on by many self-assessed “mature” or “deep” Christians.
Just to be clear, I’m not talking merely about the perverted versions of these things presently permeating the culture. I’m talking about the things themselves – the mediums and modes of creation known as film, literature, art, movies, poems, and comic books.
To have a passion for these things is viewed as an inherent sign of worldliness and therefore weakness by some of the “deep, mature” Christians in question. They see the use of any significant amount of time on such things as something between wasteful and a full-blown, wide-open gateway to complete uselessness. They therefore tend to see the cultivation of talent in relation to these things as similarly wasteful, especially when there are Bibles waiting to be read and Psalms waiting to be sung.
Why practice your film-making talent or hone your comic drawing skills when there are Bibles to be read and Psalms to be sung, right?
This warped view of reality no doubt has a lot to do with the Rapture-laden, “the culture is going to hell anyway, so why bother” vibe permeating most of what passes for Christianity in America these days, but there are also a whole lotta “Reformed” (please note the capital ‘R’ there), “serious minded” Christians who share the basics of this inherently (and ironically) culture-dooming worldview.
In practice, this approach encourages the crafting of one of the most stealthy idols known to man: The idol of biblical foundations.
Sounds crazy, right?
How can you make an idol out of biblical foundations?
So glad you asked!
By taking a healthy regard and proper primary consideration of foundations as, well, foundational to all the many good and important things that are to be built upon the good biblical foundation in question, the idolatry of biblical foundations make The Foundations the thing above all things and inspires its adherents to forget that foundations are for building upon rather than obsessing over (in the idolatrous sense).
In this fixation, some “deep, mature” Christians preach what, in practice, amounts to constructing life and culture in a way similar to a stack of foundations piled one upon another rather than in the biblical manner prescribed and advanced through the Gospel-fueled Great Commission, by which a solid foundation is used as the sustaining basis for all of the non-foundational beauty that is to be built upon it by God’s grace through God’s people.
I a proper biblical context, the pursuit or creation of ever more detailed, complex, and intricately beautiful art, literature, games, and yes, even comic books, are not inherent signs of infidelity to Christ, immaturity in Christ, or a bad approach to culture.
Quite the contrary.
The biblically grounded pursuit of these things is a sign, evidence, and perpetual fruit of true faithfulness to Christ.
Put another way: Mature Christians don’t stack foundations sky high and pretend its a building. They build vibrant, flourishing, diversely beautiful and God-glorifying civilization.
Time and treasure spent honing God-given talents so that we might make ever better art, literature, and the like for His Kingdom is hardly a waste. It’s the perfect investment.
We’re here to build on a foundation as opposed to building a never-ending stack of foundations.
We’re not to be the short-sighted, monochromatic, sterile little curmudgeons that some “deep, mature” types would have us be when it comes to art and culture. We’re to do anything that we can with everything that we’ve been given to build the varied, soaring, vibrant structures (both material and immaterial) that are enabled by and flow from the Foundation that is Christ, all by His grace, all for His glory, and all to our eternal benefit.
That’s our role right here and now in His inexorably advancing Gospel-fueled Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Remember that the next time you hear a “deep, mature” Christian talk down the importance of comics, movies, and games.
Republished with permission Fire Breathing Christian
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I’m a husband, father, speaker, author, blogger and member of Christ the King Church in Middle Tennessee. Through my writing here at Fire Breathing Christian, I hope to equip and encourage Christians to better understand, proclaim, and apply the lordship of Christ in every realm of His creation.