Poll: Christian Artist or Artist that is a Christian? What’s the Difference?

angelrev2Several years ago I wrestled with the thought that to declare myself a Christian, every bit of my creative work had to be about Christianity, the bible, the gospel message or even have a hidden Christian symbol within it…because I was now a Christian artist.

I often felt that some work I wanted to do was of lesser value because it was not a “Christian” theme.

Although I was past what I call the first “identity crisis” and had now wholeheartedly accepted and identified with Christ…this new identity crisis was upon me…

Am I a Christian artist…or an artist that is a Christian…and was there a difference?

For example:

I have many friends who consider themselves “Christian comics creators”.

Often their work looks similar to mainstream comics, but the character clearly has a symbol, a name or both that brands them as a representation of Christ and/or the gospel message. Does that limit their reach? Or would the omission of such obvious symbols water down the gospel message?

A different example:

My eyes were opened on a new level when I was introduced to the work of writers C.S. Lewis (“The Chronicles of Narnia”) and J.R.R. Tolkien (“The Hobbit”), discovering that these fellow Christian creatives produced work filled with fantasy and adventure, work that could point to the gospel…but no cross nor mention of the name “Jesus” is seen.

Christian Writers or Writers that are Christians?

How do you view yourself? Take the poll below (share a comment, too!):

5 thoughts

  1. This was the dilemma I was faced with for years. I came to the conclusion that if I restricted my work to only “Christian” themes, I’d starve. I do illustration of all sorts; medical, historical, military, etc. A LOT of my problem came from pastors I had in the independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches who didn’t believe in art, period. I was goaded into going to Bible college, and was told “you’ll have to give up all that art stuff. It has no place in ministry”…. I wanted a secondary degree in graphic art, but then the IFB college I enrolled in totally scrapped their art program entirely. I finally just gave up, and quit that school. I finally went for my Associates in Graphic Design which I completed in 2014. And I no longer attended independent Baptist churches either.

    1. Will, I too am a Christian and an Artist….and worked through a lot of stuff to long to write here. But your story is a familiar one sadly. I didn’t give up on Art but I know that attending the kind of churches you mentioned is extremely difficult for someone called to the Arts….its difficult to find anyone within churches like this who have a positive view and support those who have such a calling ….and yet the Bible is full of art inspired by God.

  2. This was the dilemma I was faced with for years. I came to the conclusion that if I restricted my work to only “Christian” themes, I’d starve. I do illustration of all sorts; medical, historical, military, etc. A LOT of my problem came from pastors I had in the independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches who didn’t believe in art, period. I was goaded into going to Bible college, and was told “you’ll have to give up all that art stuff. It has no place in ministry”…. I wanted a secondary degree in graphic art, but then the IFB college I enrolled in totally scrapped their art program entirely. I finally just gave up, and quit that school. I finally went for my Associates in Graphic Design which I completed in 2014. And I no longer attended independent Baptist churches either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.