Balladeers are an essential part of discipling the nations. In a fallen world where much of culture is self-focused and leads to hopelessness and despair, balladeers have two critical roles.
The first is to use art to expose the evil, be it moral, natural or institutional. All kinds of artists can do this. Authors and journalists can do this. Think of the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which awakened a nation so that it brought an end to slavery. Likewise, Malcolm Muggeridge courageously used his gift of journalism to defy the Soviet Union and the secular-establishment gatekeepers in the West. He exposed Stalin’s lies and his murder of millions of Ukrainians. Today’s contemporary example is the movie “The Sound of Freedom” starring Jim Caviezel that exposes the evil of global child sex trafficking and slavery. We tend to think that slavery has been eliminated from the world, but in fact, human trafficking today is greater than the slave trade in the past. As believers, we have a responsibility to expose evil and proclaim the truth, even while knowing that such a commitment to truth carries a potential price as we live in a world of lies. This powerful movie was the work of a balladeer. Because it speaks the truth and exposes evil, the Hollywood film industry has tried to keep it out of the theaters. When I wrote a Facebook post, that post was shadow banned by Facebook.
Second, balladeers must contribute to the creation of a counterculture. They are to serve as kingdomizers to represent Christ and His kingdom to the watching world through their gifts in the arts:
- Revealing the culture of the Kingdom of God (Truth, Beauty, and Goodness).
- Revealing the Primary Creator and the primary creation—things that are destined for eternity.
- Contrasting the culture of death that leads people to despair and things that harm them with the culture of life that leads to joy and what is good for them.
We need to stand for truth, and not just against lies. Balladeers must both acknowledge our depravity, while reminding us that we are created in the image of God. Both of these biblical principles are essential for understanding who we are and why we are here. Let’s raise up a new generation of balladeers who will speak prophetically to culture.
Whether you are an artist or not, A Call for Balladeers: Pursuing Art and Beauty for the Discipling of Nations will bless and encourage you and those in your life. Purchase your paperback or digital copies today!
P.S. I invite you to join me for a webinar, featuring a modern-day Balladeer on Tuesday, August 8. Join the growing community and get all the details about the webinar when you sign up at acallforballadeers.com