For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
- Rom 8:5
But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
- 1 Cor 6:17
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
- Psalm 34:8
‘Because My church allowed you to fall through the cracks, you have become like a sheep without a shepherd. Now those that should have shepherded you have become the sheep, and you have become the shepherd. Through this relinquishing of responsibility placed on My Church, you have strayed from your purpose and have allowed the princes and rulers to use you for their expression. You have taken what I called pure gold and made it impure and contaminated. Therefore, I will empty you of your resources and your prestige," says the Lord. "I will cause you to become dried up. For before I can fulfill you again, I must dry up the stream that flows from rulers and princes to you. This is not my stream, and this is NOT my flow.'
- Pastor Nathan Kassas, from TORCC-NY Season Casting 2023
What is our relationship to the Arts? Are we feeding off of it? Are we looking to the arts to satisfy our souls? Or are we looking to the God who created the Arts to satisfy us?
The arts operate on the soul-level. To put it succinctly, the soul is the mind, will and emotions. It is the part of us being renewed day-by-day. For the Christian, the Spirit of God lives in us, and is meant to rule over our souls and our bodies. We are meant to constantly be fed by this flow of the Spirit from within us. This is as intimate a relationship as is possible. The love of our Father through this communion of the Spirit within us is what should be feeding our hearts all day long.
Arts and entertainment are registered through our physical senses. They affect our souls. If we regard them as something to feed off of, they have the potential power to affect our belief-systems. For instance, if our heart responds positively to a storyline or character with a particular point-of-view, then we may be tempted to adjust our belief system around theirs. But that is a role only God should have in our lives.
So how do we engage in arts and entertainment without our souls being so easily influenced by them?
The Lord has His own thoughts about everything - even the movies and plays you watch. So one place to start is, ask Him what He thinks. He’s not far away, He’s living inside of you. In fact, I ask the Lord before I even choose to watch a play or a movie or a TV show. I might be in the mood for it, but what if He’s not? He knows what’s good for me better than I do. Watching a worldly TV series, for instance, opens my eye gate to worldly images and worldly thoughts. As strong a Christian as I may think I am, even if I am confident this worldly show is not affecting my belief system, its images and sounds and language now take up some real estate in my soul. That is a thing of no small importance. Is this program helping me to mature in Christ, or become a little more worldly? What is the resulting fruit? Love, joy, peace, and hope? Or complacency, selfishness, the right to complain, sympathizing with worldly attitudes, etc? Does it make you think of Jesus more, or maybe think of yourself more? Does it make you feel like you belong to a certain people group, and you feel close only to those who can relate? Is that a Christlike trait? I may be touching a nerve here. I’m OK with that.
I am concerned there is a generally accepted worldliness by many Christians in the Arts. There can be a satisfaction in our souls through the Arts that is not necessarily of the Spirit. The solution is for Christians to know how to discern the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit, and furthermore, to be filled with Him (Acts 2:4) - to taste and see God's goodness, not just learn about it. Otherwise, how will we know the difference between being satisfied by the Spirit or just being satisfied in our soul? If our relationship with Jesus doesn’t satisfy us MORE than our favorite media does, then something is seriously wrong.
I’m not saying this to make anyone feel bad. The encouraging side is that when we do get fed by Jesus and then seek for His Spirit to flow through us and through the art we create, then not only will we refrain from feeding off of the pig’s trough of worldly entertainment, we will have so much more to offer the world as artists! They’re eating Burger King, we’re eating beef bourguignon. When the Holy Spirit opens their eyes, they’re going to want what’s on our plates! But not if we’re making it look like we’d rather eat Burger King than the gourmet feast being offered us. We want to welcome them to our table - the marriage supper of the Lamb - not to be begging bread from the world's table.
It is the most worthy time investment to get to know the Spirit of Christ within us. It is worth a sacrifice of time, money, sleep, food, movies, plays - whatever it takes. This is the gold refined by the fire. We artists are so passionate (which I love about artists), our hearts can run after an object of our desire so easily. God knows - He made us passionate. But isn’t it awesome that we can direct our passions towards an infinitely fascinating, beautiful, loving, constantly mind-blowing, heart-exploding God? What is man-made media in comparison? Super lame. I’m so excited to think of Christian artists all over the world attaining this level of maturity and intimacy in Christ, and thus their work output reflecting the universe-filling, micro-nuanced, astonishing love and power of our Lord. There is no other!
Many prophets are saying that the Lord is getting ready to move and open doors like never before. But will His people be ready?
The Underground Microphone is a weekly blog and email update for Christian working in or who have a burden for the Arts. There is also a weekly prayer meeting to pray into what the Lord is saying every Tuesday at 10:00AM EST. If you'd like to join the prayer meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be emailed a zoom link.
REGA Arts is a Christian Theatre Company with the mission of training and raising up Christians to have a career in the theatre industry, and creating new works of theater. It is affiliated with Times of Refreshing Christian Center, NY (TORCC-NY) as its spiritual oversight, under the leadership of Dr. Robyn Kassas, Dr. Tony Kassas, and Pastor Nathan Kassas. The next Season Casting event where the leadership gives prophetic words over the world and various industries, including the Arts, is on September 23. Register here.