But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;
- John 16:13
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
- John 8:31-32
“A word for the creatives:
...The Lord says, 'Refine your gift, and refine with the Refiner’s Fire the ability to only use creativity when I sanction it. Stop allowing the enemy to use your creative abilities and gifts and juices against you because I want to give you greater, but this is a hindrance, and it’s stopping you from being all that I’ve called you to be. So this is a season where you will recognize where this is being done in your life and in your mind, and you’ll know that this is from Me and you’ll know that I’m exposing the enemy in this way,' says the Lord." - Ps Nathan Kassas, given on March 11, 2020
The Lord is looking for a circumcised army for arts in the world, those drawing from the well of MY SPIRIT, from the PURE WELL, will produce the work that bears HEAVENLY FRUIT - those who see the Arts have a purpose, and that it is NOT FOLLY. Rather, the Arts are MY MOUTHPIECE, MY EXPRESSION OF WHO I AM THROUGH MORE THAN MERE WORDS.
- Virginia Hart Pike, from TORCC-NY Season Casting, September 2019
I know the prophetic words mentioned above were given a few years back, but I believe there’s a purpose in them that the Lord is still wanting to bring out. Where I want to encourage artists in these last few weeks before the new Hebraic year is to return to God’s original plan for the Arts: to reflect His glory through our anointed creative gifts; not to use our work to indulge in our emotions.
I believe the season for arts and entertainment serving the purpose of merely affirming human pain and suffering is over. It’s been so overdone at this point, we have successfully confused the next generation into thinking everything they feel is “their truth”. Musical theatre is probably considered a genre that’s all about one’s emotional state, but there’s no reason it needs to stop there. The greatest shows in history didn’t, such as The Sound of Music, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, and Company, to name a few. Each of these musicals *do* connect their audience emotionally, but they have a way of leading us to a deeper truth through this emotional journey. Maria (of The Sound of Music) realizes she isn’t forsaking her devotion to God by getting married and parenting the Von Trapp children. In West Side Story, Tony and Maria defy an atmosphere of hatred by falling in love against all odds (even Tony’s death serves to bring people together who would’ve never come together otherwise). In Fiddler, a devoted father has to choose where to draw the line between his own convictions and his relationship with his beloved daughters. Company leads us in Bobby's journey through many emotions about being single in response to witnessing his married friends wrestle with being married, finally leading to the conclusion that he’s ready to take the risk to share his life in marriage. In each of these examples, the characters mentioned have defining moments that are transformative in a way that is true to life. They take us on a journey that goes beyond making us feel good into connecting us with a godly reality. Contrast them with musicals such as Spring Awakening, Kinky Boots, or any Disney musical. What are the takeaways? That magic will save you? That you should blame your parents for everything? That you should be affirmed in emotions that lead you to sin and destructive choices?
Where we have so much potential power as artists is to draw out an emotional connection to TRUTH, not merely a connection to, well, emotions. I want to stir us today that when art is at its best, it is so incredibly effective at doing this very thing that the Church has not been good at in the past. The relationship between emotions and truth is tricky, because sometimes they work together, and other times they are at odds. But merely being honest about one’s emotions is not necessarily truth. It is a necessary step in recognizing where our own belief system is at the moment, but getting in touch with our emotions can also be a litmus test for where our faith truly is. This is a powerful calling we as artists have - we can help people’s emotions line up with the truth of Christ! How exciting is that?
The Church needs artists to help believers connect emotionally with Christ, and the world needs Christian artists to help them point their emotions to a real relationship with Jesus. Neither of those things are happening nearly enough today.
If you need your emotions acknowledged, have a good, deep talk with Jesus. He invites it. He can speak truth into your heart that sets you and your emotions straight - the Psalms are a great example of this. But let’s not exploit our audience as a pseudo-lover who is there to stroke our emotional needs. Let’s allow Jesus to be the Lover of our souls, redeeming them day by day to resemble Him more, and then create art that represents Him and His perspective as much as our souls-on-the-way-to-redemption will allow. The more sanctified we are in our souls as our own emotions line up with His Spirit, the more our work will connect our audience to the living, loving Christ.
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.