The Power of your Story
We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.
This quote profoundly affected me although I don’t even agree with the full concept. I don’t like the word “lie.” Since this is just the quote of a mere man and not divine text, let me “re-imagine” this quote for the Christian consciousness
We all know that a work of Art does not reflect the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Art is a lens that allows us to realize the truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his medium. Art becomes profane when it persuades us into sincerely believing lies rather than the truth.
Antonio “Picasso” Ares
Is that better? It is for me. Regardless, the original quote still was revelatory in two different ways. (Both of them are guaranteed to have an impact on my art.)
1). J. Warner Wallace is a former cop and investigator. He is now a defender of the Gospel of Jesus. One of his defenses is the messiness of the Gospels. Real stories aren’t neat. The truth is not neat. When he finds a crime scene that is too neat, his antenna goes up. An artistically savvy story is neat; the truth isn’t.
The fact that women discovered the empty tomb first is not artful, but it is truthful. Jesus saying, ‘why has thou forsaken me,’ (paraphrase) can be theologically explained but if you are telling a story for artistic purposes…you leave that out. The goofiness of the disciples is not good art especially since the early church would be spread thru them more than the physical person of Jesus. The Gospels are not an artistic lie but a sloppy living truth.
2). Donald Miller, TD Jakes and Phil Cooke are all amazing leaders within our church. All three men in their own way have the same message: We Christians need to tell better stories. In a world that is more and more media driven, these men are marketing geniuses. I have often thought, “we need an Army of these kind of Christians to turn things around.”
I believe the Holy Spirit used that Picasso quote to make me slow down with that thinking. As we become savvier in this new world, we should never sacrifice the truth for a good story. The book of Romans says let love be without dissimulation. In short, Christians should be ‘real’ and I believe even our art should be as truthful as art can be. (As an example, whether you realize it or not, your testimony of personal salvation thru Jesus is art.) So your testimony can be clear, concise and focused but it should never shade the truth for the “Wow” factor!
I have always beaten myself up for not being a smooth preacher. This quote and the Scripture below reminds me that smooth should never replace real. The story should never compromise the truth. Art is beautiful, but it should lead us to a greater truth. Spirit led art should never be Photoshopped.
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;