Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

If there were such a thing as Christian art, what would it look like?

Maybe like this:

Indomitable. Defiance.

Indomitable. Defiant. Unbreakable.

(Click for larger image)

There is actually a pretty strong theme of defiance, courage and non-conformity that runs through the Bible, in the Old and New Testaments.

Here are a few verses that come to mind.

“In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you…”
(1 Pet 4:4)

“But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled…”
(1 Pet 3:14)

And a longer one:

1 This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.

2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.

4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.

5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

(1 Cor 4:1-5)

Or this one:

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

(1 Cor 4:12-14)

Or this one:

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.

17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.

18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

(Dan 3:16-18)

Do you have any verses that draw out this tradition of defiance?

But If Not

But If Not

(Click for larger image)

One of my friends who is a pro-life activist recently was going through some difficult trials and posted the short message “But If Not” on his Facebook page. Every Christian needs to understand the meaning of the phrase “But If Not” from Daniel 3.

Defiance is a very, very Christian thing to feel. So often we have this feminized, sanitized view of Christianity as happiness, politeness and cleanliness. We don’t want to offend anyone, or to be disliked by anyone, or to make anyone feel bad about what they are doing about the God who is there and is not silent.

Here is a trustworthy saying:

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.”

- from “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis

I think we have to get used to this idea that being a Christian is no guarantee of happiness or popularity.

In my life, I have had to say things like this: “I’m really sorry that you don’t like me. I’m really sorry that my decision to honor God makes you uncomfortable. But I’m not going to change for you. I’m OK with being the underdog. I don’t have to be happy right now. I don’t need you to approve of what I am doing.”

It makes me laugh that people think I care what they think of me just because I don’t act against my conscience to approve of their sinning. I’ve thought through my views, and seen the evidence from peer-reviewed publications, and debated with people who disagree and won. I couldn’t care less about their desire for me to approve their reckless, selfish behavior. I interpret their desire for approval as weakness and I scorn their weakness.

Every Christian comes to a point where the things we hoped that God would do for us do not happen, when our former allies fall away from us, when the people entrusted with caring for us failed in their obligations… at that point we have to decide what we are going to do with God. I think Psalm 27 is an excellent thing for people to read who are in that situation.

By the way, Christians should have an eye out for other Christians who are in distress while striving mightily for the Lord. Act self-sacrificially in a way that you strengthen their relationship with God in Christ. Make plans to support that person, and carry them out. Most of what you are doing elsewhere in your life probably isn’t as important as the deliberate, strategic, intelligent support that you give to other Christians. Love isn’t agreeing with someone’s bad decisions or evasions – it’s being there and telling them the truth, and neutralizing threats to their faith. That could involve the use of money, spending time, expending effort, resolving intellectual challenges, defeating a challenger in a discussion for them, writing them with advice… anything.

You may enjoy listening to this lecture entitled “Giants in the Land“, by Dr. Walter Bradley.

Filed under: Mentoring, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 Responses

  1. Shawn White says:

    And that is now my new desktop…very cool looking graphic.

  2. Shawn White says:

    I have a romanticized idea that living in heaven is something like living in Camelot – knights and all. :)

  3. Mary says:

    Love this post! 5 stars. :)

    • Thank you Mary. These are hard things for me to say, and maybe I went too far, but I appreciate you not beating me up for it. It heals a wound. If women want men to be bold, and maybe even a little too bold, then they have to approve of men being men.

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    I like this picture! It captures the spirit…just right.

  5. Mike Singer says:

    Christian art would be really unique.
    It would be combining 2 dimensions – the physical and the spiritual.

    Consider when Stephen was being stoned:
    – his face shone like a angel
    – the spiritual realm opening up and he sees Christ standing (instead of seated) next to the Father and the entire host cheering him on.

    I would love to see a resurrected Jesus as In Rev 1:
    -Hair white like snow
    -Eyes ablaze with fire
    -Face shining like the sun
    -White robe & golden sash
    -Feet like bronze
    -7 Stars in His right Hand !!!
    -Sword out of His mouth

    Another one would be a multi- dimensional picture of the apostle Paul before Ceasar and his earthly throng surrounded by the spiritual throng cheering Paul on to victory showing that it was Ceasar who was actually on trial !!!!!!!

    Whoa !!!!!! This moves me !!!!!

  6. Brandon says:

    Here’s another great Christian artist who captures this same epic feel:

    http://scarletthreadz.com/

  7. Mariangela says:

    This is so amazing, I think this piece is gold. The amount of blessing that is in this post is astounding. This is exactly why the church should be where we go to look for art and everything else. The beauty that the Church contains is shown through the writings of this Christian. Wintery Knight is not only an exceptional Christian writer, but his concern for his fellow man shines throughout the whole piece and is admirable and a great example for Christians to follow. Everything from the art, bible verses, links, and even the guidance is genuine and fills a much needed void in our society. I was watching an interview between the preacher James Robison and a christian music artist, and the music artist made the comment that there was a time when all the arts and sciences and occupations emanated from the Church, Today the church and Christianity has been regulated to Sunday. WK demonstrates beautifully here how much fuller a life is lived when it is God centered. Thank you so much for blessing us with this today.

    • Wow, I really appreciate this comment and the encouragement. Words of encouragement were not forthcoming from Christian women when I was in my teens and 20s, so it’s really nice to hear this. I feel encouraged.

  8. Jared says:

    Great art and post WK. The character in the artwork reminds me of Link from the Legend of Zelda.

    I’m working on growing out of my timidity and this post has helped.

  9. jackhudson says:

    We already have some idea of what Christian art would look like thanks to Durer, Rembrandt, and Michaeangelo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Click to see recent visitors

  Visitors Online Now

Page views since 1/30/09

  • 4,533,909 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,175 other followers

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,175 other followers

%d bloggers like this: