Saturday, February 26, 2011

Writing qualms: Christian worldview versus Christian moral view

I had a bit of stress writing Constant Tower because I had to separate Christian worldview from Christian moral view. I had to do it in Wind Follower as well when I gave one man two wives...but Christians and the world are used to that kind of thing. But the other way woman with two husbands. Well, some folks didn't like it...and some folks (when this book is published) will have problems with it. I also had to create a very savage world.

The problem with a lot of fantasy --especially Christian fantasy-- is that they really like the "romance" of the prototype, the Arthurian legends, courtly love and all that. But  although I totally have read those ancient tomes and the Arthurian cycle  from the French, German and English medieval writers, I'm not so attached to them that I can't change them around. Let's face it, I'm black, I like tribal folklore pagan writings. And I am very suspicious of all that European courtly love.

The typical Christian novel tends to have a Christian moral viewpoint. Even Christian fantasies about elves and other worlds have that moral viewpoint. The aim of many Christian novels, fantasy or otherwise, is to bring the person to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Not to the tre of life, mind you.) They say they want to show Christ...but the legalism is so heavy and the goal of rewarding the good and bringing the bad to see the light..that there is heavy slogging through moral rightness.

In the world of the Constant Tower, the planet of Odunao has a different moral standard. The Clan the reader spends most of his/her time with is pretty atheistic or at least pragmatic rationalists. The laws given to that planet by its creator are similar to those our Creator gave to us but not wholly similar. Their Creator, for instance, doesn't say anything about how many wives a person has. For me the distancing of  the Odunao moral viewpoint from the Earth viewpoint is important because I really think we Christians must be aware that the Mosaic law was given to the Jews but the rest of the world was given the law of Noah and the commandments given to Adam and Eve. In addition, there is the tao of the ten commandments. EVERY culture knows not to have someone else's wife/husband, not to steal, lie, etc. (And remarkably, lying is rarely done in Odunao. The characters would not really think to do it...because there is little chance the lie would succeed or that they would be punished for telling the truth, no matter how devastating the truth is.) When Christians go out to save the world, they often forget that we are to bring the tree of life, not the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

But they also forget the supernatural. And the Christian worldview is very supernatural. True, many denominations especially the Baptists have been so affected by the Greek rationalistic philosophies infused into the church and want to create a rationalistic world and want to put the supernatural aside. But the Bible is full of the supernatural. Mediums, demons, angels, abound. There is a ladder joining heaven and earth, the eyes of man are opened so they can dream dreams and see visions.

So it was very hard for me to write a marriage between a girl and two boys. Fear of christians. And it was very hard for me to include the religious/supernatural in the story. Fear of rationalists and fear of Christians. But I managed. Will see. 
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