“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. … If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
- Luke 11:9-10, 13
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
- Ephesians 3:20-21
“Christian arts is not to be a photocopy of the world. For the world's blueprint is what I am trying to destroy," says the Lord. "I am calling my Christian artist to come together in agreement and seek me for the new; behold, I do a new thing. Will you perceive it? To perceive it, you must let go of what you think the arts are and all your preconceived notions. For when you do, I can release the flow of eternal creativity from Heaven, where the well never runs dry. Now is the time to connect My artists and write out your visions and what you expect of me on paper. When you write it out, you will draw authentic expectations for the vision again, and hope will arise to carry you through to fulfillment. Then you will taste and see My goodness in the land of the living! Your industry will be your land," saith the Lord.
- Pastor Nathan Kassas, TORCC-NY Season Casting 2023
I have given much grace in the past to revealing Myself through secondary means of worldly art and culture. But I am lifting some of My grace in this area. The fruit will become more clear in the arts and entertainment that My people consume, and then they will have to choose what feeds their senses. There will be a hunger and a thirst for the arts and entertainment that satisfies the soul via MY SPIRIT. It is this hunger and thirst that I shall satisfy through My people, My artists of the Spirit. Recover the true value of MY SPIRIT in the arts and entertainment industries and stop feasting on what does not satisfy! And to My artists, value what you have - My Spirit in you! And don’t measure the value by the numbers of people who affirm what you have. Consumers of arts and entertainment will need to starve a little bit before they can taste and see Me in the arts and entertainment I am raising up.
- Virginia Pike, TORCC-NY Season Casting 2023
It is time for a new breed of artists to rise up! One comprised of believers who are willing to wait for the Spirit of God to be poured out on their gifts. One that is more about God showing up in what they do, than in the earthly rewards they gain for themselves. One who is more interested in being who God created them to be rather than what the world wants them to be, even if it means turning down jobs and losing favor with industry giants. And one who is willing to be equipped with the highest level of gifts and skills, natural and spiritual, but whose character level matches the level of their gifting. Can we believe that if we honor the Lord in our lives and trust Him with our destiny, then HE will get us to where He wants us to be, and someday those industry giants will be coming to us for advice?
The year 2024 (and Hebraic year 5784) is the year of the door, according to prophets and Hebraic scholars all around the world. But to walk through the door of destiny, we have to be willing to leave behind everything that hinders us from being truly consecrated as the Bride of Christ (the TORCC-NY 2024 Season Casting booklet will be available next week!).
It is time for a new breed of artists to rise up!
I have been praying and praying and pressing in for years for the Lord to reveal His vision for the Arts. I know it is like nothing we have seen before. But in order for us to receive HIS vision, I firmly believe we, the Lord’s artists, need to leave behind our vision of how we see the arts and where we fit into it, because it has been shaped so deeply by what the world has told us it should be. We have been taught to accept the world’s definitions of what makes art great, and it seems to resonate enough with us, so for most of us who have been called to this as professionals, we’ve agreed. And there are some areas where we can agree with the world.
But per my last blog, Christians need to recognize that just because a playwright, film director or choreographer creates something that moves you, and makes you feel understood, locating emotions you didn’t know were there in a well-crafted and even beautiful way, that alone should not cause us to agree with it as a great work.
This is a message I am repeating because it needs to infiltrate the Christian dialogue and the Christian culture.
We love our great plays and movies, even if they leave us feeling hopeless. We love our “Death of a Salesman” and “Nutcracker Suite” and “Breaking Bad” and Billie Eilish songs and whatever else (Disney, IMHO) - pick your poison - because they are “brilliantly” written and speak to us about our own struggles, or they just make us feel good, darnit. But the problem is, God is not represented in these works.
His way of doing things, His answer to our problems - it’s almost always not there. The exposure of the issues is there, but God’s intervention is not. The fruit of so much of what we consider “great” is that it leaves us feeling hopeless, or perhaps like a magical prince or fairy godmother will intervene, OR, perhaps even more dangerous because of the grains of truth in it, like we can work our way out of the problem and into the solution - without any help from above.
But in order for us to receive HIS vision, we need to leave behind our vision of how we see the arts and where we fit into it, because it has been shaped so deeply by what the world has told us it should be.
And here comes an even bigger controversial statement: the amalgam of all of these “great works” and the worldview they’ve presented has resulted in a type of programming in those of us called to be artists. We have been programmed to think it is “great” to portray the nuances of the human condition (because the Church has ignored them so at least SOMEONE is acknowledging them - ahem) without any real Divine intervention to point to the hope that IN ALL TRUTH, the Lord actually provides. We have settled for bundles of lies couched in great works of art. And we’ve patted ourselves on the back for doing it. And it’s probably given us a much bleaker outlook on life than the Lord would give us - if we would only receive His perspective above that which the world has fed us.
I’m challenging a new breed of Christian artists to take up this calling - leave behind the world’s vision of greatness and WAIT for the Lord to reveal HIS OWN! In no way am I saying to settle for mediocre works that have a “happy” Christian message at the end. If the art and craft and EMPATHY of a work is not at a level of excellence, then go back and work on it and get training, feedback - whatever you need to get - until it is. But by all means, seek the Holy Spirit to get His creative solution on how exactly this work will point to the TRUTH. One example of a theme I very rarely see in "great" works is REPENTANCE. How often do we see stories in which someone actually repents? Now that makes for an extremely poignant moment. The few examples I can think of have been utterly refreshing and powerful (e.g., see my blog on Groundhog Day).
We have settled for bundles of lies couched in great works of art. And we’ve patted ourselves on the back for doing it.
Christian artists, I’m calling on this new breed to be an army of God, to rise up to believe for better. I truly believe our next step needs to be to recognize the shortcomings in what the arts have given us so far over the past century or so, and long for, yearn for the Spirit of God to bring a new outpouring onto His artists that will result in POWER, in our creative gifts being used by Him to lead skeptics to the feet of Jesus, or at least point them in His direction.
BELIEVE, WAIT, EXPECT, DESIRE for the Holy Spirit to come in this new way. The Lord can respond to our desire for more. But if we don’t desire it, if we’re not believing for it, then quite simply, He probably won’t give it. Our prayers and our faith are required because He is a relational God, and He looks for those who will share His burden and cry out for what His heart wants. And then He is most willing to give it!
Friends, this is the key to put Christians as the head and not the tail of the Arts industry. We have been the tail for way too long - centuries. When have Christians been the head in the theater, dance, or film industries? Who were the Christian writers, directors, and choreographers who helped shape the arts as we currently know them? None that I know of in the 20th Century, and so far, not in the 21st either.
Wake up, sleeping giant of the artists of God’s Church!
We have a mighty calling awaiting us!
The Underground Microphone is a weekly blog and email update for Christian working in or who have a burden for the Arts. These blogs are password protected because they are intended for believers only. The password to access all of the blogposts is BroadwayRebirth. 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.