Over the years, there’s been some controversy over whether Christians should write or even read fantasy. Even when the works are marketed as Christian fantasy, some people will say fantasy promotes biblical no-nos.
In my opinion, this is a complete misunderstanding of biblical teachings. While not fantasy, even Jesus used stories to explain biblical truths to people. A good Christian fantasy can act in the same way Jesus’ parables acted for the people of his time.
Christians and Fantasy
People who speak against fantasy novels use 1 Timothy 4:7 as their basis for this argument.
1 Timothy4:7- But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.
Those opposed to fantasy stories group these stories with old wives’ tales and misguided tales that made their way into Jewish writings of the time. This wasn’t just about mythical stories, but stories people believed with no basis in truth.
There were Jews that believed Elijah was a sort of genie that would grant their wishes if they called on him. These tales were mixed in with rabbi teachings and scriptures so that people didn’t always know they were folktales.
This is not the same thing as a fantasy novel though. These stories are told in a clearly made-up realm, with no intention for people to read them as scripture. In fact, Christian fantasies can serve a very useful purpose in their role as fiction and entertainment.
Challenge Your Understandings
Even today, people can take biblical truths and strangle them of their real meanings. They can take scripture out of context to make their point. They can even add their own rules and present them as biblical truths.
Good Christian fantasy can act as a tool to challenge these notions. Presenting biblical truths within a fantasy is a good way to look at those truths separate from man-made rules. It’s also a good way to see how these truths can get tainted from man-made rules.
Fantasy can act as a way to compare scriptural truths against what you’ve been taught by man. This can help you put these things in perspective so you know what is true.
Deal with Truths
Sometimes it’s hard to see what role biblical truths play in our lives. By placing them in a different setting, Christian fantasy can help us deal with these truths in a new way.
Seeing things play out in a new setting is another way to give ourselves a different perspective on truths. It’s also a way to gain a new perspective on the world. Fantasy gives us a chance to see how things might play out if things were different.
Fantasy helps us really dig into these truths as they apply to different types of lives. It’s not just fantasy. Any fiction gives us a way to deal with things we might not see or experience in our own lives.
This can give us a new respect for truths. It can also give us new respect for the struggles others face. When we take the time to understand new ideas, we get a better perspective on the character of God in all situations.
Reach New People
As a writer of Christian fiction, you can open your ministry to people who might otherwise not hear the truth of the Bible. Fantasy allows us to reach out to people who understand there is a type of magic in the world but might not understand where that comes from.
Even if someone has been introduced to Christianity before, you might have a chance to reach them where others did not. Just as Jesus used parables to connect people’s lives to biblical truths, you can use fantasy to connect people’s likes and desires to biblical truths.
A well written story can reach people in a new way. As long as you understand your role as a Christian fantasy author, you can present a story filled with truth, that doesn’t feel forced and preachy.
Our Beliefs Affect Every Part of Our Lives
Even if you don’t represent yourself as a Christian author, if you’re a Christian, your beliefs will show in your writing. This is because what we believe is part of who we are.
You cannot disconnect your belief in God from your work. This is especially true as a writer. If you don’t let your beliefs out on the paper, you’re not really writing true to yourself. People will resonate with the truth that you present in your work.
We should use every avenue of our lives to connect people to our savior. That is part of the great commission that Jesus gave before ascending to heaven. This is the same in the stories we tell.
If you’re a story-teller, is it fair to say you have to separate that from you as a Christian? No. Story-telling is a time-honored tradition.
Throughout history people have used it to share truths and ideas. As a writer in the modern world, you’re just joining that tradition.
Your Christian Ministry
If you’re a writer, your stories are part of your Christian ministry. Your stories are how you connect with people. They’re how you can share biblical truths with the world around you.
As long as you remember who you are and who God is, you can use fiction to give people a different perspective on biblical truths. Your writing is your light in the world.
That’s what I hope to represent with my writing anyway. If you’d like to see what I mean, check out my debut novel, Children of the Forgotten.