I am also a lover of the arts.
For some, it is hard to find the proper way to balance the two. "Traditional Christianity" says that you can't cuss, you can't drink and you can't go out with girls who do (no wonder I'm single). But much of the arts - theatre, music, paintings, spoken word, life - try to depict the real world, not simply an ideal world. That world involves cussing, drinking, and real-life problems that can't be wrapped in a happy little bow at the final curtain.
I went to a conference on my birthday that was about how the Church should be inclusive of the artistic community not only because it's there but because it is who we are designed to be. The premise of the conference was that if God is an expressive, creative designer and He created us in His image, then humanity as His creation is therefore expressive and creative and given to those impulses as well. For so long the Church has been unwilling to understand the need for good artistic expression and has produced art that is not only not good, but also unreal and unreflective of the world we live in.
Tonight I'm going to go see RENT, the Broadway musical. The major themes of the play are love, suffering, joy, relationships, community, true identity. However, there are many Christians who have (and continue to) boycott this show (and others like it) because some of the characters are homosexual, some do drugs, and there is foul language.
The question today is how do you view art? If you're a believer, how do you balance Jesus and the arts? If you're not a believer, how do you feel about the Church's typical response toward the artistic community? How can we change it?
(This isn't part of the question, but I'm SOOOO excited because it's Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp in the show tonight! The end. =) )