People are mean. It’s a good reminder I suppose. I think I might be fed up enough with Goodreads to avoid it, however. It feels like its overrun with keyboard warriors with a bone to pick against Christian works. Had another 2-star, discouraging review of Why Your Pastor Left. The reviewer obviously didn’t read it very close, didn’t understand the topic, or is part of the problem that plagues ministers (he disputed that pastors should be well-paid and actually claimed they work only 6-8 hours a week at most! This is literally the exact opposite of what I demonstrate in the book… was a real facepalm moment… I know I’m ranting atm, but it feels good and it’s my blog. I do what I want–it’s how I process my emotions. Reviewer was quite upset that the book was not a linear narrative of why my pastor left and thus called my work editorially disorganized and a mess even though it goes ch1-the problem, ch2-why there’s a problem, ch3+ ten specific, topical areas to address, an alternative point of view chapter, and a final chapter on summation/remediation… but whatever. I’m thinking a Pinneapple Apple Pen mock video is in order. I can imagine it now “I have an opinion… I have an internet… keyboard warrior!”) rant over
just kidding, not really. I went about my business and saw that “Christians” are trying to flex their social muscle against The Shack movie, calling it blasphemy. Give me a break you guys. Quit beating a dead horse and telling everyone what not to do–as a movement contemporary Christianity has delved too dangerously into social and cultural politics and left behind what they ought to be doing: genuinely pursuing God and seeking individual revival. If the world went dark then your light would shine all that much brighter–it is not your job to make the rest of the world bright. We do not make fellow Christians, the only job of a Believer is to present their faith, not try and effect outward conformity to our beliefs! It is the job of the Holy Spirit to move on the hearts of the nonbeliever and bring about repentance and growth. We merely have a part in that through proclaiming the Gospel (the true Gospel, not our version of it,) and guiding eventual growth through discipleship. So you don’t like exactly how the allegory that is The Shack plays out because it is not solid theology. SO WHAT! It is not a theological movie! It is a story that is a stepping-off point towards sharing our faith. Why would we want to destroy those opportunities that present themselves and invite open dialogue of the real Gospel (I admit that The Shack isn’t an evangelistic piece–and that’s OKAY! For crying out loud, we can use almost anything–even secular things–to present the message of the Cross. Because Christians are write now writing refutations [we only read/listen to respond these days, not to understand,] I will give an example an example from scripture. Acts 17, Paul uses even A PAGAN GOD to present Jesus. I know, I know…that was just an analogy. Fine, move to verse 28 where Paul literally quotes a popular secular poet (the anachronistic equivalent of twitter celeb/movie-star) in order to bridge that gap, using a quote from an ungodly pagan’s text to make his point and illustrate a point. It was a launching point to present the Gospel.)
Christians are just as nasty as the secularists and atheists who troll Goodreads to tear down Christian books (yes, it’s a thing). I had one of them mid-week; he tried to trash me on the comments section of my book advert because I write faith-based SF/F as if God can not use a whole genre (which was invented by a Christian, FYI–see John Bunyan). He went as far as publicly calling me a false shepherd.
Maybe the whole light and darkness comparison is what we are afraid of! If lukewarm, semi-light Christians were surrounded by actual darkness they would be FORCED to shine bright and truly live out what they claim… by contrast, if the rest of the world were genuinely converted to real light their relative dimness would become painfully evident and so forcing that lukewarmness/mild incandescence onto the surrounding culture shows them in a good light. Come on people. Let’s get real and start being okay with being a light in the darkness.
(That last sentence does not mean we desire darkness and the fact that I feel it necessary to throw in that caveat/correction disturbs me. Christians, stop tearing down other people working on behalf of the Kingdom.) Paul was willing to go to Mars Hill because he knew what it was like to be unsaved (though he had been religious all his life) and so he was willing to do what it took to present a case for Jesus to the gentiles of Athens. When we really understand the consequences of living in darkness we will do whatever it takes to shine that light–even if it means knowing and using secular culture, writing, movies, etc. It might even include science fiction, fantasy, or comic books. Get over it. God can use anything for his glory. Even you.
Now onto my typical State of Writing post I do on Mondays.
So I had many late nights. Last week I promised I’d do at least three chapters in Fear in a Land Without Shadows. If I would’ve made that goal, I’d have edited half of Part 1 (of 3). I blew past it and edited more than half of the book over several late evenings. I also wrote a few articles for the local newspaper and wrote an encouragement article for a church planters on a large website/hub at their request. I plan to do about a half dozen for them. I also hope to have Fear in a Land Without Shadows edited into a relatively polished draft by New Years. I’ll be seeking beta readers and an editor around that time and hope to pitch agents in Feb.