Six Reasons Christians Should Go to the Fringe
Adelaide comes alive in February and March. It gets hectic with Adelaide Festival of the Arts, WOMAD, Writer’s Week, Adelaide 500 and the Fringe Festival. The Fringe Festival in particular has grown in popularity. This year there are events spread across the city at all hours of the day.
There are many reasons why people might avoid the Fringe and it does have a reputation for being particularly against Christian values. But here are six reasons why Christians shouldn’t be afraid to engage with the Fringe.
1 | God made us to be creative
“See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs.” (Exodus 31 vv 2-4)
In Exodus, God outlines his plans for the tabernacle. Not only did God want the tabernacle to look beautiful, he also provided the ability to make it beautiful. Art and artistic talent are a gift from God, so we should celebrate creativity!
2 | The arts reveal God’s nature
Psalm 19 is a beautiful song about how nature reflects the glory of God and reveals who he is.
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19v1)
But the song also praises God for revealing himself through his word. “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.” (v7) Just as science reveals aspects of God’s nature and the world he created, the written, God-inspired word of the Bible reveals more aspects of who he is. Celebrating the arts is just as important as celebrating science and maths because together we understand God so much more.
3 | God made us to celebrate
“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?” (Ecclesiastes 2vv24-25)
Chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes spends a lot of time talking about how difficult and stressful life can be. But the end of the chapter, the writer encourages his readers to find enjoyment in the midst of hard work, because joy comes from God. The Fringe gives us a good opportunity to have a little bit of fun to give us energy to continue doing the work God has given us.
4 | To support other Christians
The Fringe is a place where up-and-coming artists have an opportunity to showcase their work that wouldn’t be recognised by more prestigious festivals like the Adelaide Festival of the Arts.
1 Thessalonians 5v11 says, “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Because of the common community we have as believers, we are commanded to encourage one another. Find out what Christian acts are on at the Fringe, or who is performing from your circle of friends, and make a point of letting them know you appreciate the gifts God has given them.
5 | To be a Community
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.” (Acts 2v46)
The early church made a habit of not only meeting together in their homes, but also in public, going to the temple together. Church is more than a club, it is a family and families do things together. Consider getting together a group of friends and go see something together.
6 | To be a Witness
The Garden of Unearthly Delights is named after a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, depicting humanity giving into its basest desire. You can see why the Fringe has a negative reputation. The Bible tells us that once we were like the characters in the painting, living to fulfil our desires and passions (Ephesians 2 vv1-3).
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2vv4-5).
Because God has saved us, we no longer need to live according to our own desires. We have the freedom to follow God’s desires. The Fringe gives us the perfect opportunity to publicly demonstrate that you can have a satisfying and joyful life without drunkenness and crude humour when you have been made alive in Christ.