Levels of influence

From the sketches in the first part of this essay we can conclude that there are five levels of influence. So the moment we unite and organise ourselves, the Gideon’s gang of Christian artists is on its way to move to the various levels of influence the years to come.

  • The first level of influence is the communication with the leaders of the various Christian churches, denominations, organisations and the like. This should create openness and understanding and should start interaction, as CA presents themselves as a new organised entity in the christian sector and civil society.
  • The second level of influence is the place where the mass-media presents their amplified message to society.
  • The third level is at the point at which art touches (or inspires) the mass-media.
  • At the fourth level the avant-garde touches the politics of subsidies and of art in general., so we can realise equal access for Christian artists to all the facilities and possibilities, including influence on politics.
  • At the fifth level we can find the handful of avant-garde people, the ‘culture-makers/shapers’; including cultural politics.

The first three levels are ‘easy’, the last two very difficult (those may take many years to reach), though not impossible. Step by step we shall be able to conquer each level as the arts made by Christians flourishes more and more. We should do our utmost to prevent these Christian artists ending up in a kind of ghetto again. They have to keep working in the ‘secular’ system and thus be purifying salt. So it is not a matter of whether or not they make ‘Christian propaganda’. As the Christian artists improve steadily ( in numbers and quality) a change of climate develops. A new avant-garde produces new (i.e. other) ways/inpirations for a new art. This, in turn, results in a new openness, a positive one. This defuses the resistance, so that the Christian message (we do not mean here ‘cheap/superfical propaganda like spitting bible verses in somebody’s face’) can be heard and communicated, creating room for a revival: the discovery of the (greatness, values, inspiration, creativity of the) Kingdom of God. It is like building a bridge over a ravine: it is built from the two sides towards the middle. On the one side of the ravine the Christians join forces and start to co-operate and build a stronger and stronger bridgehead. A revival among Christian artists as the new ‘culture-makers’ will build a new bridgehead on the opposite side of the ravine. Just as the Renaissance had its effects on various aspects of life, Churches and origanisations are now encouraged to urge the Christians to take positions in entertainment, media, economy, trade and industry, local networks, arts, politics, and trade-unions. It is also important to develop mutual understanding and co-operation. One of the results of what Continental Sound (one of our member-organisations) has done in the Netherlands is a musical revival in churches and denominations. A mere handful of choirs for young people and gospel groups in 1969 has grown to approximately 1200 groups now, which is a remarkable development. In this way we expect a considerable movement to come in the arts. CS/CA is now searching churches and organizations for Christian artists who are activly involved in other art-forms.The movement in the fine arts as well as the theatrical arts has already been set into motion. Mobilizing these Christian artists is a matter of years. This has to take place besides our established work in the field of music, which we even want to extend.