Find inspiration in the world: Secular media can be beneficial

The Bible warns Christians to be in the world, but not of it. Certainly, this is excellent wisdom. Yet there is a line between not being of the world and Christians acting like they’re above secular things.

We the Threefold Advocate would like to remind our readers that inspiration can be found outside Christian works. In fact, we recommend that inspiration be sought from such works.

This may come as a shock to Christians who feel that anything not specifically made by a Christian artist, author or singer is ultimately of the world and therefore unable to be tied to God.

In addition, a line must be drawn between what is Christian and what is secular. For the sake of this editorial, we shall define Christian works as “works regarding Christian material created by Christians.” This would include author C.S. Lewis and the band Skillet. On the other hand, anything not considered a Christian work will be considered “secular.” This includes author J.K. Rowling and the band Fall Out Boy.

We believe though secular works may be of this world, they may ultimately have purpose and value.

We believe there are two factors that Christians should consider when looking at secular work: 1) the purpose of the work and 2) the content of the work.

What can be wrong about finding the strength to stand up to bullies with Taylor Swift’s “Mean”? What’s wrong with being inspired by the courage and bravery of the titular protagonist in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series? Where is the harm in seeing the wondrous beauty of God’s creation in Van Gogh’s painting? We the Threefold Advocate find no issue with it.

Certainly, precaution should be taken when looking at secular material. We certainly don’t condone looking at all material regardless of content, especially that which is sexual or vulgar. This could easily become a stumbling block to our readers or those around them.

However, there is still a clear line between what is obscene and what is not. Inspiration can be found without viewing the obscene. Redemption, hope, beauty, love – we can feel and be inspired by such things in secular work.

Inspiration can be found in the secular world. We just have to be open and brave enough to leave the safety of fully Christian material.