First off, thank you for sharing your opinion on yesterday’s entry.
Most ended up in two categories:
- When writing for the Christian market, we take the risk of bouncing up against differing theologies. Some will vehemently disagree. Therefore, we should consider removing the controversial parts, or write for the general market.
- Telepathic abilities are not directly mentioned in the Bible, so the demonic aspect can be argued against. Not every Christian publisher or reader will see telepathy as abhorrent to God.
Everyone agreed that I must follow where God leads.
Andrea’s point of view on telepathy is not because it is mentioned in the Bible, but that witchcraft is. The only people who claim telepathic abilities (in most societies past and present), are those who dabble in the dark arts.
In my other blog, Dan said:
“I disagree with the premise that telepathic power is demonic.
“There are instances in the Bible where great men of God had visions of future things, supernatural dreams, and abilities to divine dreams. What makes anything demonic is the presence of a demonic spirit in a life. If a Christian is filled with God’s Spirit, there is no place for the demonic.
“In addition, if the gift glorifies God, it cannot be demonic. Sometimes folks spend too much time trying to identify the signs of demons and by so doing they attribute anything that appears to look like that as being demonic. The true test of the demonic is if the person is filled with God’s Spirit or of the Serpent. A true child of God cannot be demonic nor can the gifts they possess.
“I would encourage you to go ahead and continue with your story. However, make it clear the character is a Child of God and that the gift they have glorifies God’s Kingdom. And if you want those Biblical references, just contact me. BTW, this comes straight from an ordained reverend, with a degree in religion and years of seminary completed.”
The references he gave me are as follows:
Gen. 41:11-16 Joseph interprets dreams of Egyptians and Pharaoh
Exodus 7:10-14 Moses, casts his rod to the floor and it becomes a serpent as does Pharaoh’s sorcerers. Notice the result glorifies God.
Daniel 1:17-20 Daniel understands all kinds of visions and dreams & Nebuchadnezzar finds him 10-times better than any of his magicians and conjurers.
Daniel 2:29-36 Daniel does more than interpret a dream. He tells the king what the dream is and THEN interprets it.
Acts 16:10 Paul sees a vision that sends him into Macedonia
Acts 9:10-17 Ananais has a vision of Paul and is sent to anoint him.
My novel began with a single word: Redemption.
I expanded on the thought: No one person is so evil, God cannot forgive them.
Within minutes, Kallie Grath, telepathic assassin, was born.
My secondary thought is how many Christian books end at a character’s conversion. I think giving our soul to Jesus is the beginning of the adventure, so the book opens with Kallie’s introduction to God.
The story progresses from her conversion to the larger issue of eugenics – something I didn’t intend, and didn’t notice until I finished the first draft. I think it’s important to us today, because scientists are experimenting on designing children from the moment of conception among other genetic advancements. Dangerous stuff. I’m not against genetic manipulation as such, but we must always consider the consequences before we go too far.
But that’s another subject.
In the end, do I think telepathy is a demonic power? No. It’s like saying painting with watercolors is evil. The watercolor is merely the tool. How the artist wields the brush is what matters. We have to ask, does the artist glorify God, or not? Does the telepath glorify God with his/her ability, or not?
You’ll have to read the book once it’s published to find out.
ADDENDUM: I reread Andrea’s notes on telepathy, and she said passive telepathy is scientifically possible, such as reading people’s thoughts and emotions. It’s the active telepathy that’s not so easy to prove and thereby must have a demonic component. My telepaths have the capability to manipulate other minds including causing death, hence her concern.
I still don’t agree, but I wanted to clarify.
Tomorrow’s entry: Review of House of Dark Shadows and Watcher in the Woods by Robert Liparulo.
6 thoughts on “Writing God’s Story”
I’m reading earlier entries first.. Dan said it so much better than I did. 😉
You’re on the right path, Andra. With your faith as strong as it is, you’re unable to write anything anyone should be worried about. Neither should you.
Dan’s eloquence never ceases to astonish me. I wish I could express myself as he can as well.
Then again, I’m jealous of you sometimes, too.
Oh! I’m flattered! Thank you 🙂
Andra, does your protagonist have the ability to cause another’s death mentally? Hmmm, you are making me think. I say pray about it lots, because this definitely seems a gray area to me and should probably be handled gingerly.
Me again. 🙂
Have you read Showdown by Ted Dekker? I was very impressed with the way he handled evil in that book. I think he does a great job, overall, in contrasting good and evil.
Which got me thinking, in regards to your novel, perhaps consider (if you haven’t already) placing a “cost” on the telepathy. i.e., it wears the person out, leads to increasing bouts of confusion, causes seizures. Maybe this only happens when the ability is used for evil, or perhaps both? This would be a tangible way of showing that engaging in the sinful behavior leads to death (physical death and spiritual death).
Way ahead of you. We’re thinking alike again. Every time a telepath uses powers beyond simply sensing the thoughts of others, it causes a migraine, and a few times even puts the telepath in a coma by overreaching.
I haven’t read Showdown, but I’ll check it out. Thanks!