Many churches are beginning to incorporate live painting into their worship services. For those who haven’t experienced this, a painter(s) will begin with a large, blank canvas at the beginning of a service and paint throughout the worship time, sometimes through the sermon and even through multiple services. The painter (or other visual artist) is considered a worship leader, and often stands alongside the other members of the worship team. The content of the painting is often related to the theme of the worship or message, and the painting is characterized by some sense of spontaneity, experimentation, discovery, and artistic virtuosity.
Oak Hills Church has been incorporating performance artists into our services for a number of years now, an extension of the Art & Soul Gallery which hangs in our church lobby. Beyond the superficial “cool factor,” there really is a theological and philosophical rationale undergirding this trend.
So I thought it would be helpful for those who have or are contemplating live painting to know the reasoning behind live painting. In other words: Why paint during a worship service?
• Live painting is an act of creativity. And the act of creativity reminds us that we worship and are made in the image of an Eternally Creative God. Watching a painting take shape evokes a Bob Ross sense of wonderment and curiosity, two necessary characteristics of the growing worshiper.
• Live painting is a non-verbal expression of the sermon. The Church has a long-established history of displaying paintings and sculpture and other visual means as aids to worship, but unfortunately some of our faith traditions walked away from much of this during the Reformation. Stained glass, as an example, was an art form that brilliantly and boldly preached the story of God to an illiterate laity. And although we generally have a literate population in this day and age, the visual arts still speaks boldly to the visual learner. At our church, a performance artist recently painted the Biblical figure, Abagail, in support of a message preached from 1 Samuel 25. It was quite effective.
• God meets us in the act of creation. The Holy Spirit is our Inspirer. He works not only through the artist to express each brush stroke, but also works through the audience to ascribe meaning to that colored canvas. If we truly believe that God speaks to us, then performance art gives us the opportunity to open the eyes of our hearts to Him. This is just as true with works of abstraction as well as of realism or metaphor.
• Art can be Prophetic. The artist of faith has the ability to tell the story of God, and share the heart of God, through means beyond mere words. Prophetic art has been defined as, “revealing by divine inspiration, to reveal the will or message of God, to illuminate or bring revelation to a situation.” When we let artists of faith express themselves in a service, we release a prophetic stream often untapped in many of our churches.
• Live painting is an expression of faith. Live painting gives the visual artists in our church a venue for publicly expressing their faith through non-musical worship. We strongly believe that the non-verbal testimony of those who paint is as important as the verbal testimonies we share in our services.
Now that I’ve shared with you five reasons to incorporate live painting into your services, let me give you three quick reasons why you shouldn’t:
• Because it sounds like it would be something cool. Please don’t do this because you saw something like it on “America’s Got Talent.” It is crucially important that expressions of the arts in your local church be premised by a foundational theology of the arts. In other words, what you do should spring from your beliefs, not from simple stylistic preferences.
• Because you’re trying to create a spectacle of some sort. Don’t use artists like so many side shows in a circus. Art is not the show before the sermon. The arts are, for artists of faith, an expression of life lived in Christ. Respect the arts and your artists—for who they are and not simply for what they do.
• Because Aunt Betty took a class in painting at the community college. As I’ve preached before, medium and message are inextricably entwined. And as such, we cannot settle for art that is simplistic, derivative, superficial, propaganda-driven, or mediocre, for it reflects on the message. And our message is that of God’s love through Jesus Christ. If the story of God is to shine from our work, and we must be diligent and committed to pursue excellence, originality, and honesty as we express it.
Do you have other thoughts? Is your church incorporating performance artists, and if so, do you have substantive reasons why? Let me know your thoughts.
[Photo Credits: [Top] Randy Blasquez interprets a view of the Lord’s Supper; [Middle] Anna Agundez sculpts two people in embrace (the flat screen to the right allows the audience to see her work in more detail); [Bottom] Melinda Word paints during the message given by Pastor Kent Carlson. Photos taken by Dave Kilborn.]
37 thoughts on “Why Paint During Worship?”
Thank you for putting this into writing, Manuel. As worship artists, it can often be hard to put our mission into words! Every pastor and worship leader I am connected with will have this post in their inbox!
Dave, honestly, I wish you were a part of my church!
Thank you, Manuel, that means a lot. Consider me a satellite member; same church, different circle. Sharing the gospel creatively from both US coasts!
Manuel, can you get permission to post a collection of low to medium resolution photos of the artwork? I (and probably many others) would love to see what these artists created.
Let me see what I can do Rick.
Is it okay to repost this to my blog? About the only thing I am wrestling with is the Aunt Betty line. It’s not that I don’t think we should strive for excellence, I just think excellence is really hard to define. So long as Jackson Pollock and Rembrandt can hang in the same museum, art is really subjective. There is this strange balance at play here. On one hand I get what you’re saying about doing great work, on the other hand, with so much emphasis on flash and polish, there is something to be said for the sincere expression of the growing artist. Also there are a lot of other things that come into play. I’ve been in services where I’ve had four minutes. Clearly this was not my best art but it was the best I could do in four minutes and a lifetime of practice. I have always felt there is this thin line between my basic philosophy of “everybody gets to play” and not putting someone out there til they’re ready. For the longest time this has not been an issue, because it’s been just me, i.e. I do the painting and then I do the preaching, but now in working with a group of artists that just started I am trying to figure out how this all works. Thanks for a great post.
I subscribe to the definition of excellence offered by Nancy Beach, who stated, “Excellence is doing the best you can with what you have.” (Please see the link that I had embedded in that paragraph.)
For me, the issue is not having the Aunty Betty’s of the world share their art. The issue is to have them share simply because she is Aunt Betty and they took one art class. If that’s your only motivation, I would be hesitant to put her up there. But if Aunt Betty is doing the best she can, and she represents a quality of excellence typical of your church, then let her paint! Also, if you’re given only four minutes, if you do the best you can in four minutes, I think you can still apply the value of excellence to that four minutes. This definition of excellence is, in my opinion, a more healthy one, that strives toward something greater but doesn’t feed ego or perfectionism.
I hope that helps. Good discussion though!
I feel it is a distraction and unnecessary. Jesus did not have an artist following Him. I feel our churches are becoming trendy and very worldly. We do not need to help explain the message by painting. What is next cooking, crafting, etc during the message
Bravo on your comments regarding a Spirit of excellence. As a past Worship Art leader in a church that had a global audience, it was very difficult to find a loving balance. What I learned in the 4 years of overseeing the arts regarding this delicate balance was this. Some faith artisans were young in their abilities to not only get up on a stage before thousands but heart motivation was key. What I did not want to do was to partner with the liar and squash the Creative Spirit within the individual. My heart longing was (and is) to equip and raise up. I found as I mentored the new artists with love and technique advancement, they were given the opportunity to paint live on the platform in our Friday night School of the Spirit meetings. Those who wanted to continue to master their skills, etc., then were given the opportunity to paint during conferences and Sunday morning services that are internationally web-streamed. I followed the lead of an amazing worship leader, an international musician that would only allow musicians who could ‘read’ music play on the stage. He knew the richness of sound that can come from discipleship and an earnest heart for excellence.
Hi, Manuel. I would humbly submit some additional reasons for NOT doing performance art during worship:
1) The art of the historical Christian church has never been spontaneous. Just like its theology, it is carefully extracted from (and submitted to) the Word of God, methodically executed, and commissioned and approved by the church’s spiritual overseers. Great art involves time and planning, because it is a theological expression, not an emotional expression. Modernism has ruined our perception of the arts, because we tend to think of it as primarily an expression of self. Sacred art should never be that.
2) The visual arts lack the clarity of the spoken word, and cannot be placed on the same level. A painting, even when carefully planned by an expert, could be misinterpreted by a viewer. It should not be seen as equal with a sermon, hymn, or liturgy, especially if the action of painting it is distracting from those more important, theological parts.
3) While God does work in mysterious ways, we have no promise from God that the Holy Spirit is working through our brush strokes. We might just as likely see the devil at work there (see #1). God only promises to be present in his Word and Sacraments, and that is where we should look for him.
4) “Expressions of faith,” while good and pleasing to God, are not necessarily good and pleasing to God in the context of corporate worship. I always use the example of David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant (2 Sam 6:14). God was apparently pleased with this act of worship. But note that David was not dancing in the Temple, where the same act might have incurred God’s wrath. There is a clear distinction in Scripture between spiritual acts of worship (Romans 12:1) and corporate acts of worship (1 Corinthians 14:6-12), which require order, dignity, and the edification of our fellow believers. St. Paul uses the example of speaking in tongues. As wonderful as that gift is, if no one is there to interpret your speech, then it does no one any good, and you should therefore be silent. The same would certainly apply to interpretive dance, or any other “performance art.”
Thanks for your contribution Jonathan. Obviously, there is much more behind what we do——philosophically, theologically, and practically.
While I agree with most of what you say, I would not adhere so strongly to your point 1, particularly regarding your definition of spontaneity. As a jazz musician, I can tell you that excellence in “spontaneity” requires a great deal of skill and practice and planning. While I have a tendency to shy away from spontaneity characterized by sloppiness, I do think that spontaneity born of the Holy Spirit and undergirded by virtuosity can be and is very much a part of the worship experience. Also, I do think that theological expressions can also be emotional expressions, and that the two are not dichotomous. I believe that God loves to express His Truth through us, through our personalities and experiences and artistry and emotion.
I do resonate with your point 4, in that there is a difference between personal and corporate acts of worship. I think that several of the popular worship songs are appropriate in personal worship but not in corporate worship, as an example. And your point 3 is well stated. Thanks for your contribution to the dialogue.
Hello! I am an artist who paints during church services sometimes. I just finished a blog post on the art I have done then.
Every single time God has either put an image on my heart to do instead of something I planned, or the inspiration for the piece happened to be the same one the pastor used for his sermon, without any planning. I ask God for humility and an open heart to hear what he wants me to do, and together we make art.
This often inspires others to make art too, the childlike kind that expresses themselves. I’m not the best painter, but I have had years of training and experience, and, heck, I finish them all during the service, so I’ve only got so long to do them. I believe that art, and inspiring others to explore their faith through art, can open up parts of us that writing sometimes cannot, like the expression of pain and joy, or even warfare.
I’d have a ton more to say……..
Thank you for writing this article. So reassuring to see these reasons in print. As a prophetic artist, painting live is also an act of faith for me. Every time I do it, I trust that God will give me the image He wants. He is always faithful and blesses me and others beyond measure
Wow I just got done an oil painting at my church’s christmas program, everything went timely perfect. My first time I was nervous but when we prayed for gods message everything fell into place especially my painting now I’m not nervous to do it again it was god that guide my mind set it was a blessing I luv it now..
Hi I go to a Vineyard church and It is very open for painting during worship.I have been a student of masters of figurative painting.I understand painting is worship,the creation worship God. But I have never done a painting while Im in church.Now I understand that worship and skill in painting are not the same,and you worship with a clean heart.It is great that everyone who want to worship when painting with a clean heart come with there Art.But why are so many well educated singers,gitar players in worship a team and there are no(or not that I have seen)educated or very skilled Painters ,painting during worship?
But why are so many well educated singers,gitar players in worship and there are no(or not that I have seen)educated or very skilled Painters ,painting during worship?
This is a good question, with a long and involved answer. I (and others) have covered this in various forms over the years (read my book for example). But briefly, the Protestant church, and the evangelical subculture in general, is still recovering from a hangover from the reformation, when the arts (especially theatrical and visual arts) were rejected by the church. there are a lot of reasons for this which I won’t get into. We are in the process of reclaiming and redeeming the arts now, which makes it an exciting time to be an artist of faith! You and I, as well as thousands of other artists of faith, are now advocating for a greater use of the arts, in all its forms, in the church and out into the world. The thing is, as we relearn how to incorporate the arts, sometimes, we can lack in the areas of technique and training. But not having masters-trained artists shouldn’t stop us; I think we should continue to move forward as we can. In general, I am excited for how God will use us in this next chapter of the Kingdom.
Just wanted to offer a correction to what I feel is an inaccurate portrayal of church history. The Reformation itself did not reject the arts. Although it’s true there was a burst of iconoclasm during the most violent years of the Reformation, some church bodies were more tempered in their response than others. The Lutheran church, which was at the heart of the Reformation, endorsed the arts, and there is evidence that they flourished for a while in the new Lutheran church. The 30 Years’ War destroyed a lot of European history after that, so we can’t say with any certainty what the art scene in the Protestant churches looked like before then (except to admit that the Calvinists and others of the Reformed variety were strictly against art).
Modernism, I am quite sure, had a much greater impact on the arts in the church than did the Reformation, and it occurred only very recently. Modernism was iconoclastic by nature—it rejected the tradition of art at large and substituted a paradigm of “Art for art’s sake.” It created distrust between the church and artists, and that distrust can still be felt today.
Thanks for your informed comments, and I agree with what you’re saying. I don’t mean to imply that the reformation was the issue, but it was a period when the arts were called into question (Calvin vs. Luther). I also can assent with you that modernism has probably had a greater effect on the arts than the reformation, though I haven’t done any study of this. My personal experience is that I have a Catholic background, but rejected religion until I was a young adult and came to faith in a Baptist church. So I felt the tension at many levels.
Please continue to be a part of the dialogue. It is appreciated!
I think there is a certain degree of unfairness to your assertion here. Here’s why. Visual artists, musicians, etc. spend a lifetime developing their skills and talents. That being said there is a crucial difference between visual art and music in a worship context. It all comes down to one word, “TIME!” Three minutes is enough time to play a complete song with all the beauty and complexity that one’s skills can muster. However when it comes to painting, some artists take months, even years to complete a “masterpiece.” To complete a work of art in a one hour worship service is difficult, there simply isn’t time. For example many artists work in layers. The first layer will take more than an hour to dry. Those of us who do paint “live” certainly bring our best to the service, but it is our best within certain parameters and limitations. In my realm for example, I have been asked to do paintings in as little as four minutes. I gladly accept the challenge and often will say it is not the best painting I can do but it is the best painting I can do in x minutes. Some grace is needed here in my opinion.
I dont know how to look at painting during worship,if its the end result that will give the glory or what is happening during worship.But i guess there must be a end result. Well one can paint alla prima but then you need great skill if you paint realism but you also need some skill to play an instrument. Painting is much harder then to play gitar or piano.But painting is not hard if you are to show something simple.
I would love to see Marc Chagall paint during worship.I am a great fan of Ilja Repin and try to copy him,I coud never paint like that during worship,it would look more like Chagall ,but Chagall`s talent very few people have ,you can paint somthing that looks like a Chagall but it is not.
I think the way worship is today no skilled artist that love painting will be painting during worship.1 The people dont understand art 2 Artist have a big ego
First I would never say painting is harder than playing an instrument. My assertion is about time. A song is designed to be complete in a certain period of time. If you have a four minute song it can be done and played well in four minutes. Paintings are not that way. I love to paint live in worship. I think I am skilled. you may disagree/ I have also seen many humble,e and really gifted people paint in worship. The comment people always make to me is that everyone is engaged when I paint and speak. It helps them to engage with the message. As far as I am concerned, if God uses what I do to draw people deeper into His Word, that’s all I need.
I was originally encouraged to paint during worship on a Sunday, by my pastor, as part of my Fine Arts degree course. I was required to do something as a public event.
This was encouraged and enjoyed by a few of the congregation, which was nice and rewarding, but the main thing for me was that I could worship in truth and spirit.
I would appear to be quite an unusual person that finds singing repetitive choruses ad infinitum tedious and annoying, similar to writing lines as a school punishment, but with the freedom of expression that I can use through my painting I am able to celebrate with others the images that God gives me, and share with them exciting pictures from a wider dimension of praise.
I receive beautiful images in my head of Heaven, hope, joy etc, which allow others to share and potentially meditate on if desired.
It’s a great alternative for those that can’t sing very well.
Thank you for the interesting read
I was introduced to Worship and the Arts through a seminary class which used various art forms as an expression of worship. I am considering using “painting” during a prayer class and that is how I ran across this blog. Wanted to get your thoughts on using painting as a means to express adoration and worship. (I
I’m not entirely sure I understand your question, given that this entire blog is about painting as an act of worship. However, if you mean the act of painting to express our love directly to God (i.e., painting for God), certainly I believe that art making has the capacity for worship. For example, the feature photo of this blog post is my friend, Randy Blasquez, who painted light streaming through cathedral windows onto a communion table. Publicly, it was an act of worship in that Randy was worship leading others, pointing people to God’s grace of the Table. Personally, she was worshiping in that she intended every brush stroke to non-verbally express her love to God. I hope that was helpful.
Thank you for the great article and discussion points. They are a big help as I research the web to find what is working for others or not in our plans to grow our prophetic art group!
I wanted to share as well in case anyone finds what we are doing a help too.
I paint live at church and will be co-leading our worship and prophetic art group soon.. I do not always and am not required to finish an entire painting during worship. Thank God for the grace. On that note, I often return to the unfinished painting in another worship service. Many people have been blessed by the beginning, and many people love to see the progression of the piece over time. Every time I paint it has related to the songs we sang, the sermon, and or to several people in different ways. A heart submitted to God will always be used. God meets every individual right where they are and uses whatever He desires to reach individuals and groups.
I like the idea of having those interested in painting live start in a smaller setting to grow them into their goal and to know them by their fruit before painting live in a regular service. I also agree about “Aunt Betty”and the point about art being subjective because we do not want to hinder God’s will with a lack of freedom especially in visual expression or style. There has to be faith (as I eluded to above) in God’s Divine nature – omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence which make Him more than capable to employ our willingness. .
We have members with astounding artistic skill and members just learning. Not everyone gets to paint – it’s prayerfully considered by not only a matter skill. Art as prophetic or worship is not about what the talented can do, its about loving God through true worship not the pride of man or man’s ability but God in him and through him. Its about allowing God to use us in powerful and profound ways to preach (and or create/paint) the life giving message of Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior according to 1 Corinthians Chapter 2:
“And I, when I came to you, brothers,a did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Wisdom from the Spirit
Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
My question is, when does it stop? We could have a discussion about waving flags, dancing, drama’s, painting in a service during a song or a sermon. If you had all of those things going on, would that not be distracting? If you say yes, it probably would be with all of that happening. Then how do you determine which ministry is taken away in order for it not to be distracting. How far do we go?
The bible teaches. It teaches in word and in song. It doesn’t teach in paintings, dancing or flags. We have been given Psalms, we haven’t been given paintings.
I am not saying that you can’t paint in the Spirit. But during a service? It seems that you are trying for a minority who would understand a painting in worship. But they would still understand worship in song in any case. So why distract the majority away from their direct praise to God? In worship, we are praising God. Not looking at a painting trying to work out the connection to the song or sermon.
Sorry if this sounds harsh, I really don’t mean it to be. But it seems like a distraction to the majority and something that I don’t consider corporate. This is just my opinion.
On another note. Artists – do you sing at the same time as painting? Would you stop painting if you felt uncomfortable? Or would you feel like you had failed if you did? Is it a feeling to do it or is it submission to God in worship?
Again, I do not mean to say all of this to hurt or judge anyone. It is just my opinion, but for me worship is to honour with extravagant love and extreme submission. It must be both to be true worship. Not extravagant love by itself. Worshipping God is not about us. It is about God.
Hi Clayton. You are right to say that too much of anything can be a distraction. And that particularly goes for the arts, as well as almost anything in excess. I blogged about the issue of “Spectacle and Transcendence” and I offer that to you as a response to your comment. Essentially, I very much agree that we are too quick to create spectacle instead of seeking transcendence.
However, I do think that you are missing the point in some ways. Painting during worship may be a distraction to those who don’t quite get it (such as yourself). For others, painting during worship IS worship. Painting for God doesn’t just point people to God, it directly glorifies God. For God is not only the originator of beauty, He is a great fan of it. Here is a more formed argument of this statement.
I realize that the arts, being a generally non-word oriented language, are enigmatic to some. It can be harder for people, many of whom have a modern worldview, to understand that Beauty is a form of Truth.
At my church and at other churches I’ve spoken at, we take the time to carefully teach that Truth can be revealed through the arts, and people very much appreciate and understand that. In this day and age, you shouldn’t just paint a painting and expect people to get it. The use of the arts in church must be culturally informed and culturally sensitive. But consider the Bible stories that are rendered by the stained glass in the ancient cathedrals. Without a word, these stained glass art pieces preached volumes to the illiterate laity, told the stories that they themselves could not read from a Bible. This art, as well as other visual art forms, were essential for their culture. In my opinion, in our current increasingly Bible-illiterate society, the use of the arts can reach people, move people, touch people.
I appreciate that you were worried that you were coming off too harsh. I hope as well, that this dialogue has not offended, but been helpful to you. And I’m okay with agreeing to disagree. Blessings.
I appreciate the wisdom in this article. I just recently did my first “worship art” for a church event and it was an interesting experience (the power went out in the middle of the piece, go figure) and I would like to keep doing it–the kids especially were excited about it.. So I am looking for more information about what other artists do, from the very technical things like what kind of easel to use and how to minimize the messiness, to the themes and images that come up.
All that said, my question in response to this blog is, can you give an example where worship art was prophetic? I believe it can be so, but I’ve never seen it myself and I’d love to hear a testimony about it.
Thanks for your question. While this is an involved and complex question, I’m hoping I can give a sufficient but short answer. One, I encourage you to check out my blog post called “The Artist as Prophet,” which can be found here:
The second is that there is a lot of exciting things happening in prophetic art, and I point you to my colleague, Scott McElroy’s excellent book, “Finding Divine Inspiration” here:
Also, there are a few Facebook Groups where artists of faith post their prophetic art:
Here’s The Worship Studio: https://www.facebook.com/groups/95224191804/
Here’s The Creative Church: https://www.facebook.com/groups/267042836823003/
Here’s Bethel Prophetic Arts: https://www.facebook.com/Bethelstageart/?fref=ts
Hope that helps!
Hi Andrea …in response to your post ..I have a testimony..actually several…but I’ll give one. Myself and my pastors wife were responsible for many years for the décor of our church and at some point, both of us being artists decided why don’t we use our art on the platform to encourage…so we built two large frames to house our paintings they measured 7 x3.5 and sometimes were pushed together to make one super large one. Sometimes I would pray for a week before hearing what God would want us too paint as was the case on this occasion when I felt we were to paint two large horses rearing up ..very strong looking and in armor… on the day we got together to paint them we were running out of time so I said lets not do the armor and after my painting buddy left I added to the painting a Scripture “Be Strong In The Lord” Eph. 6:10. Saturday we hung them in the church and Sunday after the service a woman from our church told us this……Her son and daughter-in-law had come from out of town for the weekend and the daughter-in-law Saturday night had been under some spiritual attack with extreme anxiety and so the family were interceding and praying over her when she started having a vision of two strong horses coming towards her the vision scared her .. then she heard a voice saying ‘Be Strong In The Lord”….The episode was resolved with the prayer . When they came to church Sunday morning she was shocked and cried when she saw the painting and said it was the horses she saw in her vision!! The only difference being in her vision the horses were wearing “Armor”!!
This is truly the most bizarre thing I have ever witnessed. There is no historical evidence for this to be taking place during a worship service. The great art of the church was not created in this way. The central act of Christian worship is the celebration and reception of The Eucharist. This seems kind of pagan to me.
Hi Chris. I totally agree with you that the central act of Christian worship is the celebration and reception of the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, and we practice this high view of the table. But I don’t see how worship painting takes away from that at all, any more than video screens for example. I am a great proponent of upholding the historicity of the practices of the church. But history is contextual. Thanks for your opinion.
While I understand the analogy you are making with the use of bible stories on stained glass in ancient cathedrals, there is a significant difference between those examples and live painting. It’s important to note that the stained glass windows, sculptures, and paintings you mention were not created in real-time during a worship service. Additionally, none of these forms of art are typically considered part of corporate worship in a live setting.
I have a great deal of admiration for artists in fields such as painting, acting, and dance. However, when it comes to corporate worship, I personally consider music to be on a higher level than these other creative arts. The examples of artistic expression cited in the Bible often involve music or dance, rather than painting or other visual arts.
Psalm 33:3 – “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.”
Colossians 3:16 – “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
Ephesians 5:19 – “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.”
Psalm 150:3-4 – “Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe.”
Great conversation, thanks for the blog post and sharing your perspective.