All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.



Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!

5/20/2014

Counsel

I'd like to hear the counsel of the Christians who visit. 

I am considering doing something that I have never done before.  I have no idea if it will be any good or work out in any way.  I have no idea if I have any talent or skill for my project.  My motivation is money. 

I have prayed (a limited amount) about this and not received any leading.  I am starting a fast to seek guidance.  I am willing to either walk away or embrace the project with enthusiasm, depending on the result of the fast.

If I don't pursue this project, I have ideas for two others that might be profitable uses of my time.  This isn't a all or nothing situation.  I have no idea what the time frame would be for me to complete any of my ideas, or which one if any, would make me more money.  If any of the ideas works out, it would be a blessing, and I would be grateful.

The project I am considering is writing a book or perhaps a trilogy.  I have had an idea for a story in my head for about 4 or 5 months now.  The more I consider the story, the more I think that there might be a market for it. 

My reason for being unsure of doing the book is that my story idea is based in themes of the occult and demonology.  My intent would be to conceal the occult themes inside a sci-fi/fantasy fiction plot.  In the end the good guys would be good and the bad guys bad and evil will be known as evil.  It is not my intent to produce something for the "Christian" market.  If published I intend to use a nom de plume.

What effect if any, do you see this type of book having for good or ill?
What effect if any, do you see this having on my Christian witness?

I have no idea if I can produce something worth while.  I may get bored with it before I get into it.  I may stink at this and 86 the project 2 hours after I start banging the story out.  I don't know.  I guess that I've come to the point in my life that if I can't ask the Lord to bless something, and reasonably expect that outcome, I don't want to bother with it.  Your thoughts on the matter are appreciated.

14 comments:

newrebeluniv said...

The point of writing it that you have something inside that needs to get out. It doesn't matter if it is a commercial success or if it will change lives.

Just do it. Get the book out and never look back regretting that book you almost wrote. Your other projects will still be there when you are done.

ajw308 said...

Vox recommends that no one write for money. It's not there. The only reason to write is if you have a desire to write.

As Christians, we're called to keep clear of the occult. I've thrown out fun computer games with pentagrams in them. I've been tempted to read the Jim Butcher books, but just resist. I have watched some of The Dresdin Files on tv and knew I should have been doing something else.

I don't think the ends justify the path you're looking to delve into. I'd recommend you pass on it, especially now while you have your doubts over doing it. Let it go, then when something comes along that you know is from Him, then, jump on that and do your best.

Res Ipsa said...

PH, AJW,

Thanks guys. Everyone else your 2 cents is still desired.

Susan said...

1. Reread the story of King Saul, the part where he contacted the witch for guidance. He paid a very heavy price, as did his sons.

I know you are asking God for guidance her Res, but it is not a good idea to invite the occult into your home under any circumstances. God would not advise you to use the occult to witness on His behalf. He has punished people who sought help in that way.

I used to watch movies with not so healthy themes. I was sitting in church one Sunday and all of a sudden the pastor suddenly took on a different voice, more forceful. He said some things about how we should clean out the spiritual stink out of our homes and our lives. Well, the following day, I started dumping videos and DVD's into the 40gal size black garbage bags.

I am doing this for a while and all of a sudden I start having a serious panic attack. I kid you not. That panic attack was so bad I grabbed a disk of worship music that I had grabbed from the church bookstore the previous day.

I let it play and my panic attack went away. In fact the karma in the house was so bad my pets refused to enter the room for almost two days. It's like they could also sense what was going on.

Res, with the thought of a book in mind, have you sought advice from God as to the best manner in which He could use you? Let it be His choice. He knows what you are capable of Res, and also how best to put your talents to work on His behalf. All He needs is that willing heart.

One other thing, don't forget that sometimes no answer IS an answer, if you are listening carefully.

Susan said...

I also just wanted to say that my encounter with kicking that certain doorway opened my eyes to the fact that we as a society are far to willing and complacent about allowing ourselves and our families to indulge in witches, magic, occult and all that realm.

Harry Potter is a good example. Stuff like that looks nice, and shiny and fun to read and play with. When in reality, fans of Harry Potter are being brainwashed into believing that all that occult is harmless, when in reality it is not. Up I-5 in Washington State, there is a really nice resort there called Big Wolf Resort (might be big bear) that has a special room for kids that allows a combo of gambling and magic. It is like society now wants to brainwash our kids into not only developing a lifelong gambling habit at an early age, but they give the kids special magic wands to play the gambling games with. It is sneaky, underhanded, sly and pernicious, all designed to convince your kids that the occult isn't really all that bad. Satan pulled the same thing in the Garden, remember?

I have a friend whose husband works at Oregon State Hospital. His first duty assignment was working in the Max. Security section. He would get literally fall to his knees sick to his stomach just walking past some of the cells of some of the more disturbed inmates there.

I realize that you would not glorify the occult to sell books, but I am thinking more of your spiritual health and the protection of your family and their health too. Inviting evil in, for whatever reason, is just never a good thing.

Res Ipsa said...

Thanks Susan.

I got a chuckle out of your use of "Krama" to describe a spiritual situation. Just how steeped in paganism are you? :-)

My experience with books like Harry Potter has changed over time. As a pre-teen and teen I enjoyed reading them a great deal. How can you not like Narnia and Middle Earth? I'm in the process of reading C.S. Lewis to my kids right now.

Understand I'm not claiming to be a Lewis. I'm also not saying that I'm called to write out this idea that is floating around in my head.

I've never read Harry Potter. I have seen the movies. The appeal of these kinds of entertainment is the make believe aspect of them. Why is Lewis and Tolkien's make believe uplifting and even "good" entertainment? By using the word "good" I mean morally good. The Potter movies, in my judgment were in and of themselves morally neutral. Other forms of entertainment I've experienced were clearly morally bad. I guess that is where my question about doing this comes from. I don't want to produce a morally neutral or bad work.

This goes back to one of Hale's points. When I think about this story it literally starts to write it's self in my head. I mean storyline, dialog, etc everything. As I picture the story unfolding, everyone in the story sees events from a sci-fi POV, except one protagonist. That one character embraces an occult connection. As an integral part of the story, I'm going to embed a bimetallic pentagram in the middle of his forehead. Additionally his character will be the "voice" in the story for exploring the occult connection. I'm probably going to call him a wizard or sorcerer or something similar. Without this character the story falls apart. I don't see him as being the bad guy though.

I'm not even 24 hrs into the fast yet so I have no idea what will end up happening. The whole thing may just fall apart on its own, or it may come to be and not amount to anything.

Susan said...

Narnia has Christian undertones and symbolism. Isn't Aslan the Lion supposed to represent Jesus in the stories, and how he died for characters? Potter books don't represent God. They represent occult ideals and ideas. God inspired the Apostles an others to write the Bible. Who's to say that the great and evil mimic doesn't have his inspired writers too?

All through history, Satan has known of his end and how it will go for him. So he is going to try everything in his power to mimic God and try and derail God's plan and time of judgement. A more recent example was Hitler. Many theologians have thought that he was protected by Satan. Hitler was deep into occult, and tried to use it to win his war against the world.

I can't speak of Lord of the Rings and that author's intent. I know the movie had a great deal of spiritual themes to it.

CS Lewis was an acknowledged Christian. Narnia represents a lot of the spirituality of God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus. I have a book of the collected works of Lewis, I may have to give it a go after finishing Josephus. That is a great read.

I wish you had an edit key. I noticed the other booboos but missed KARMA. Glad to give you the same chuckles that Nate's clerical errors always give to me. We all need that sometimes.

newrebeluniv said...

I'm not even 24 hrs into the fast yet so I have no idea what will end up happening.

I am going to put my money on being very hungry and losing a few pounds.

ajw308 said...

I'm thinking the same thing as Susan, that there's some serious spiritual warfare going on.

Res Ipsa said...

I am going to put my money on being very hungry and losing a few pounds.

I've got it to lose. The hunger isn't so bad after you get past the first bit. Being hungry just reminds you to pray and clears your mind.

black said...

As Susan said, the Bible is fairly clear to stay away from magic.

As AJ pointed out, the occult is evil. Focus on God.

I agree with Hale that if you have a story to write, you should do it. But most people have a hard time creating the separation and boundaries between work/writing and personal life, hence I would recommend not spending time thinking/writing about the occult.

LOTR and Narnia are being pushed down every Christian's throat. I won't open the magic door with my kids until they are old enough to understand at a deep level it's simply entertainment and not equal to the Bible. Even my pastor can be overly enthusiastic about LOTR.

Res Ipsa said...

LOTR and Narnia are being pushed down every Christian's throat.

They are good books. The movies turned out decent too. It's to bad Disney gave up on Narnia, I wish they would have finished doing the series.

In a way it comes down what you pointed out, dabbling in forbidden things is sin. That is clear to me. I don't do those things. I don't want to glorify something that we are told to avoid.

The question comes down to "is acknowledging something in a story, the same as promoting it?". Narnia makes it clear that "magic" is something permitted by Aslan to accomplish his purposes. LOTR keeps magic regulated inside specific parameters. Both authors stay true to that principle in all of their works that I have read.

Perhaps that is the answer to the issue I am pondering. To acknowledge something without glorifying it, and without stepping over any God given spiritual principle would be permissible.

Giraffe said...

I've been out of commision,so I didn't see this.

Write if you want to. If you do it, do it like you are supposed to do everything, to the best of your abilities to glorify God.

As for the other. I forbid my daughter to watch "Sabrina the teenage witch" the other day. I figure it is probably harmless, except that it is trying to portray witchcraft and magic as harmless, which it is not. Desensitization.

So if you are going to have that in your book, tell the truth about it. It isn't harmless. I'm not sure if it is permissable (or safe?) as a Christian to even research it. Probably ask Vox.

Res Ipsa said...

Giraffe,

For me its not a matter of research, at least not much. I'm fairly well versed in the topic, as well as some of the ancient cultures that facilitated the practice. For instance occult practices date to Nimrod's rule of Babylon. Pantheism dates to the same time period and place. The interesting thing is that the truly diabolical practices that we associate with black magic, no matter where in the world you find them have root in antediluvian Babylon. Intellectually I am aware of this historical fact. Yet every December I put up a Christmas tree. Do you know where the whole yule tide practice came from? If you guessed Germany, you'd only be partially right. That's who brought it to the US. The Germanic tribes were engaged in the same "sun death" ceremonies as the Babylonians.

I think your suggestion has merit. Write the book and see if 1. I can actually write a book, 2. See how it comes out. Maybe I should have a few Christians read it critically to see if it crosses any spiritual boundaries.