After watching the news over the past several days, I turned to my wife Diane last night and said, “The world is watching the church in action.” Thousands of believers who were themselves suffering personal loss are serving the poor in Haiti. Many have been there for years making a difference even before the earthquake struck. The efforts of these who are God’s feet on the ground can’t be hidden. You couldn’t miss the faces of hundreds of college students and high school groups from churches across America who were in Haiti before the disaster with a mission to help the beautiful people of this impoverished country. Hundreds if not thousands of them are among those who perished.
Does creative art have any power to reveal truth about God? God himself, the most creative artist of all, reveals the answer in Romans 1:20
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
His eternal power??? His divine nature???
The supreme artist proclaimed that an enormous body of essential truth could be known from observing his art. This doesn’t excuse us from the responsibility of proclaiming propositional truth in spoken word, but we have no choice but to conclude that creative art has both inspirational and rational power to reveal truth about God.
If God had not trusted the power of his artistic creation to reveal truth, he would have engraved John 3:16 on the petal of each rose.
If he had, I doubt we would take a picture of it. According to Romans 1:20 the message is already there……it’s in the art.
Every year we hold a limited attendance conference called The Summit. This very personalized conference is designed to give speakers, comedians, and other gifted artists information that will help them develop a career using their gifts or enable them to take an existing career to a new level. Two frequently asked questions are what should I charge and what am I worth? Those are two different questions. Let me answer them one at a time.
What should I charge? It often comes as a shock to discover that the value of a presentation or talent is not determined by the performer and it is not determined by a booking agency. It is not even determined by how talented the performer is or how good their show is.
The buying market determines the value. It is the market that dictates what you can charge. If the buying audience knows about you and wants to see the show, the value they place on that show will be reflected in a higher honorarium or ticket price. If the market doesn’t know you exist or has no desire to see what you have to offer, no matter how good the show is, they will place little or no value on the ticket. The Summit helps talented young people learn how to build a program that appeals to the market, and build a market that wants what they have to offer.
BUT HERE’S THE PROBLEM.
Many artists confuse the market value of their talent with their personal value. It is true that a sometimes brutal and picky market determines what a particular talent package is worth, but the artists personal worth is determined by a different source altogether. The creator of the universe determined your personal value a long time ago when he sent His son to die on a crudely assembled cross. So whether no one is interested in seeing your performance or the tickets to your show are being scalped on the streets the most important truth remains unchanged.
A 30 minute presentation by a talented young speaker with a growing market might be worth $700
A 2 hour show by a well known television comedian could bring $20,000 or more.
A successful show business career is often worth millions.
A sinner saved by God’s Amazing Grace is PRICELESS.
Occasionally even the comedian is stunned into soberness. I have been startled by a change slowly destroying our culture. I have wondered as I watch relativism envelope us like a malignant cancer, what happens when a generation of young people refuse to stand up for what they believe? Even worse, what happens when that same generation ceases to believe in what they say they believe? What happens when they refuse to accept or proclaim that what they believe is true in contrast to beliefs that contradict that truth?
In a recent post in Christianity Today, Chuck Colson and Anne Morse address this issue and suggest it may be the beginning of the end of a key pillar of our civilization. As a believer I am compelled to momentarily set aside the punchline and pray for some kind of supernatural intervention. READ MORE of this shocking story