Can I be a musician and a Christian, and not relate the two directly? No, I cannot. As much as I believe in my heart that I was designed, that somehow God chose how I would be and who I would be, I have to believe that when I create things I am following my God.
Like a child mimicking mowing the lawn or holding a tea party, an act of creation on my part is simply me trying to follow my creative heavenly Father, and display some of the attributes I see in Him.
I can’t, however, subscribe to the view that everything I create must be entirely for the service of God’s church or wider people. I’m not a church worship musician because I’m a Christian, but because it’s something I have a knack for and enjoy. If I write music without words or even purpose, that’s still viable creation. I have no need to validate it all. I made it, and I can see that it is good/average/poor/bad/shocking/X-Factor.
I have friends who make lovely music but put it in the mainstream to see if anyone bites. They don’t need to be playing in church to demonstrate their faith and the positive effect God has on their lives. They play and live in the world, and show by their actions and attitudes who God is.
I don’t expect my children to be perfect, but I’m constantly impressed by their behaviour outside the home. In the same way that their behaviour makes us look good as parents (or bad – they’re not perfect, after all!), our lives can make God more apparent to the people we meet as much as we can turn people off from Him if we make poor choices. That criticism is a familiar one to all who have heard the opening phrase, “That wasn’t very Christian…” and cringed.
So, to be a Christian musician for me is to live and work in the knowledge that my God is quite capable of dealing with me wherever I am, proud of my successes and able to deal with my failures, and most of all, that the equation in the title above is pointless. We don’t so much add these things up as mix them together and work it out as a whole. Each one, like each of us, uniquely mixed and presented.
You may have other ideas. By all means comment or e-mail me.