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Monday
Mar092015

Redeeming the Arts

Nathaniel Carter (Click to enlarge)Talk to someone even remotely engaged in today’s culture, and you’ll likely find a person well-versed in the music, movies, and accompanying gossip of our time. In many instances, the arts have become a cesspool for immorality and hopelessness. But for one man, this fact sparked a life-purpose to see the church rise up and use her God-given talents to honor Him and bring hope to a lost world.

“I have always looked at the artistic excellence of the world and seen how people’s God-given gifts are twisted to proliferate Satan’s influence in our culture,” Charis Bible College student Nathaniel Carter shared in a recent interview. “Recently I started asking myself why the church hasn’t recognized this powerful tool that’s been left on the shelf.”

Nate grew up in a Christian home surrounded by godly examples of people using their talents to honor the Giver, but much of what he saw seemed tied to religious dos and don’ts. “I grew up knowing the Word of God but rarely experiencing it. I knew the expectations of the religion I grew up in, but I had never seen the love of God displayed to me in the way I now understand it. I didn’t really know the God of the Bible—and the Holy Spirit kept confirming to me that I would find what I needed at Charis.”

Even though he had a steady job, a fine arts degree from a respected university, and a portfolio that qualified him as a professional musician and actor, Nate took Philippians 3:13-14 to heart. He decided to “forget those things which are behind and press on toward the goal” of God’s high calling for his life.

Nate worked behind the scenes to produce the Christmas at Charis productions
(Click to enlarge)
“At Charis, I discovered that nothing can trump the satisfaction of true relationship with God. It is something I can’t logically process—but I have experienced it! In my secular arts education, the concept of experiencing what you have theoretically understood is the cornerstone of the learning process, and praise God, it has become my spiritual cornerstone here.”

Jesus and His disciples (Click to enlarge)After Nate started attending Charis, he began recognizing needs that his previous education and experience gave him the ability to fill: “I started volunteering with the praise and worship team and the Audiovisual Department. After eight months, I was offered a part-time job. I worked faithfully with the AV department and, last October was offered a full-time position.” One of Nate’s first assignments was the month-long Christmas at Charis extravaganza. He became an integral part of the set design, production, and technical direction for each showcase. “The event really created a community within the college that gave students an avenue to use their giftings in ways many of them had never considered.” That’s what Charis is about: stirring the hearts of people to discover and use their God-given gifting to change the world.

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Click to enlarge)“I’m so excited to be stepping into what God has planned for my life. I want to use my gifts to paint a picture of God from a perspective that most have never seen. We, the church, have a message worth sharing—we need to learn to do it with excellence and use every avenue God has given us to accomplish it. For me, that’s by redeeming the arts.”

Reader Comments (6)

Hi Nathaniel!
Yes, it's true we need to use every avenue to spread the good news. Having been a DJ at a community radio station before I was saved and discipled, and having a talent to mix
music for radio listening, I thought also to forget those things which are behind, until God gave me a proposal for a music program that featured Christian musicians and included a segment during which the Word was preached. The program time slot brought in more radiothon donations than it had in years. I gave up the spot when I was called to CBC, and just recently was given the opportunity to cover some programs again. Calls came in, thankful for the music mix, but more importantly for the remix of hymns and spiritual songs. Just waiting to hear what's next!

It's awesome that you had such an opportunity at CBC!
Be bold, be excellent - the world needs the peace that only comes from the Prince of Peace.
Let's not limit God anymore!

March 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTina Marulli

Such a great testimony. If only I had recognised the gifts I had when I was young! However at 65 I can still use these things even though as yet I don't know how. It's been an encouragement to read this and although I have no formal training, I have sold a few paintings, and absolutely LOVE creating gardens, (just another canvas!) and other creative gifts. I see so many excellent creative people and always felt I could never be at their standard. But I have the very Creator as my Lord! I must bring my thinking into line and intend to remain expectant that somehow there might be an opportunity for me too. Thanks for the great encouragement, so good to hear of people finding their place in the Lord!

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuzy McMurtrie

Pastor wommack:
I am from Guam. I am a housewife, and just want to thank you for your hard work. Your program helps me so much, now I always remind myself of focusing on the Lord at both good and bad times. I am more aware of the demonic activity and remind myself not to fall into its trap.

Thank you very much

Rolan

March 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRolan

Very Encouraging. Thanks for sharing this testimony and desire

April 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Very encouraging... I first heard of Chairs Bible College oh about 3 years ago. Since then I haven't been able to let go of my inner being craving for the journey. And now I stumble upon your testimony. It's as if he is speaking straight to me from you.

I've had a rough past, I'm an addict and suffer with bipolar disorder, and ADHD. Along with other health conditions. My only income is SSDI which is a very limited income. I wont have won't have a place to live here after the 25th. I can't imagine how I could do it there. I wouldn't even know where to begin. I do though have faith in God and I know I am exactly where I'm suppose to be. If it be his will than it will be his doing and in his time. I would like to ask your prayer for my current situation. I'm staying with a woman who has not been saved. There is so much strife only God gets me through. It is such a spiritual battle everyday sometimes every minute it seems. I thank God for my strength he has given me. I just stand guard eyes and ears open expecting Satan to come creeping. I Tell you he's had a very busy schedule. He's hard at work. I do my very best to keep my armor on and the word I'm my heart. I really need for the church to join me to stand firm.I have no spiritual advisors here. God be with you. Sincerely Tina Romero

April 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTina Romero

Hallelujah! Thank you for that Testimony, Nate. You are a definite encouragement as our 2nd son, Chris, will soon be joining his brother, Jeremy at CBC and is passionate about music and music production...His goal is the same - to see The Lord lifted up and for lost souls to be attracted to Him through music and the arts...All Glory to God, Bless you Nate!

June 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

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