1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Secular vs. Sacred. It’s a dilemma that plagues many Christian Creatives. If you ever wished your body desired vegetables more than dessert, you already have a pretty good idea what this feels like. You want to write a space-opera or paint a unicorn but feel obligated to sculpt angels and write devotionals. It’s a real shame too, isn’t it? To feel like the same faith that frees you from sin chains your imagination to the pew? Well, what if I told you that God never said it had to be that way? What if I told you your faith really does free you to paint those unicorns?
As believers in Christ, we entered a new life with new habits. The problem is, we tend to bring our old habits with us. That’s how falsehoods sneak in, and this idea that the Bible labels certain things as secular and other things as sacred is just another form of legalism, spawned from the idea of earning ‘greater’ holiness. We assumed making things like cars and fantasy fiction is worldly while writing prayerbooks is Godly. However, the Bible never said that. We did.
Consider this. God’s Word says every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord. That would include all the talents and good ideas He’s given you too. If a person composes a non-religious symphony, does that mean God did not grant him the vision to arrange something so beautiful? Or is He more pleased with the one He inspires to preach a sermon over the one He inspires to draw a dragon? According to Him, what’s made are just things. A golden incense burner isn’t any holier to Him than a plug-in air freshener just because one is for church and the other for the stench in your house. No. What He desires from us in our arts runs much deeper than the art itself.
Time and time again, God told the wayward Israelites that it wasn’t their animal sacrifices or verbal prayers that He yearned for. He yearned for their hearts. Unfortunately, they loved their sin and clung to an outward ‘righteousness’. Sin is what’s truly ‘of the world’. For sin is everything that God is not. A worldly mindset is what perverts what is good. That’s why God offers us His Holy Spirit for the renewal of our hearts and minds. Only then are we able to glorify Him in anything and everything we say, create, and do.
Christian Creatives, we truly do serve a God of freedom - not just from death but from a worldly mind. So not directly mentioning God or quoting a verse in your epic novel doesn’t make it worldly or sinful. Even the book of Esther doesn’t mention God by name. Not once. But if God gifted you the vision and you rely on His frame of mind instead of a worldly one to give it shape and form, the pattern of His character will shine through as bright as a star. He’ll be glorified. It shows others what He can do through you, because He empowered you to do it out of love for Him.
Galatians 5:1, 6b, 13, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be encumbered once more by a yoke of slavery. . . . All that matters is faith, expressed through love. . . . For you, brothers, were called to freedom; but do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh. Rather, serve one another in love.”