I am an artist and I am being asked to paint a picture about yoga, which includes hindu symbols and meanings. I am unsure about if I should accept this commission, but I am also under heavy pressure to accept it. Is drawing art relating to other religions wrong as a Christian?
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As a stained glass artist I have accepted many commissions that were a blessing to me. But locked in my memory is one commission in particular that has troubled my heart & mind for years. I accepted a commission from a fellow artist, a wood sculptor whom I had met at an art show. His speciality was sculpting wood nymphs, fairies & wizards. While I admired his talent, I did not admire his subjects. But after we had met at several different art shows over about a year, he asked if I would create for him & his wife, a window panel for their motorhome. He showed me several of his favorite pieces that he thought could be recreated in glass. I admit I was hesitant. My own husband was not enthusiastic but he said he felt that I had to decide. I admit that I did not seek the LORD's counsel. My mistake! I worked on the sketch for about a week. Never had a cartoon (full-sized rendering of the idea) come to me so easily. That fact of itself should have been a warning to me as I had always struggled to produce a drawing that suited me so easily! The drawing I produced pleased the customer & I began work on it. When it was finished, it was delivered. I do not believe that evil (demons) can attach themselves to things, regardless of how evil those things might be. But the message that the glass panel sent was certainly not godly. And as a Christian, I had deep regrets for doing the work, deep regrets that I have never forgotten. It was a very high priced work & the man who now owned it, displayed it at every art show he attended. I took my feelings to the LORD & repented of the greed & the pride that had been the basis for accepting the commission. So I would say, that as a Christian, if you intend to walk in your confession as a Christian, you must not be involved in anyway with anything that would defile your confession. The work itself is not the issue, but the message that the work sends. We are told to avoid all appearance of evil (1 Thes 5:21-22) And I think of verses like Ps 24:4, having clean hands; of lifting my hands to Him in Ps 28:2, Ps 63:4 & Ps 88:9. And in Ps 90:17 it says "let the beauty of the LORD our GOD be upon us & establish the work of our hands; Yes, establish the work of our hands." If I had sought counsel before accepting that commission, even to suggest that I read those verses in Psalms & Proverbs 1 & Proverbs 6, I would have turned it down & would not have been a part of it. No amount of money that came directly or indirectly from that work was worth it.
Dear Jas Zhang, being under 'heavy pressure' to accept the commission to draw the picture about yoga is exactly where you can make a stand for your Christian beliefs. It probably will not be an easy thing for you to do but drawing Hindu symbols as a Christian, will certainly not be honoring to The Lord. This is where we are tested, whether it be the income factor or just purely standing up for the principles of our faith. We are called to be the light and salt on the earth. Hope you have a chance to witness if you decide not to take the commission. May God bless you with your wonderful gift as an artist.
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