The Holy Spirit has been speaking to me recently about religious art, and it’s terrible affects on how we perceive God. I am convinced that the saying is true concerning a picture saying a thousand words. You can tell a lot about somebody just by looking at their picture, the expression on their face, etc. Many pieces of religious art, particularly of Jesus, are giving many people today a terrible picture of the nature of God.
When I look upon many pieces of religious art, particularly in the Catholic church, it gives me a very unsettling feeling. To my spirit, it speaks of a cold, religious Jesus, who is all about religion, rules and would be angry with me if I ever messed up. What does this do to a person? It causes them to draw away from an intimate relationship with Jesus, instead of run to Him. Who wants an intimate relationship with a cold, religious, and angry God? Not me!
Then I see some other pieces of “relationship” art, that speaks of a loving Jesus who is personal, merciful, and kind. This is the type of art that truly paints an accurate picture of the loving nature of Jesus! What kind of Jesus would you rather have a relationship with? A cold religious one, as portrayed in most religious art? Or a loving, personal, and merciful Jesus?
How we perceive the nature of God in our minds, is perhaps the biggest element that will either cause our faith and love for God to soar, or drain the energy right out of us, and instill fear and distance in our minds from Christ.