Don’t get me wrong – I’m a strong advocate for Christian speculative fiction. Not only do I read it, but I write it. And most of it, I like a lot.
Write about vampires, elves, alternate reality, virtual reality, dystopian futures, new worlds, aliens, werewolves, zombies, shapeshifters, magic umbrellas, time wrinkles, or invisibility cloaks and I’ll read it.
But write about angels, demons, or the devil, and I am extremely hesitant to pick up your book. Why? Because unlike vampires, werewolves, zombies and the rest– angels, demons, and Satan are real.
Let’s get one caveat out of the way right now: the Bible mentions witches and witchcraft too, and condemns them, but I don’t have a problem with most witch stories. Fanciful Harry Potter-like good vs. evil stories are not the kinds of witches the Bible talks about. What Scripture prohibits are people that mess in the occult- communing with the dead or diving the future. In other words, fiddling with the very real supernatural realm.
I have to wonder about Christian authors who write stories about angels, demons, and the devil. I’ve read books where they are portrayed very well – for instance, Tosca Lee’s Demon:A Memoir, or Shauti Feldhahn’s Veritas Conflict. In these books, we have stories showing how biblical supernatural beings might interact with our world as suggested by the Bible.
But in other Christian books, we have themes that are very troublesome to me because of their lack of biblical basis:
- Stories about people becoming angels after they die.
- Paranormal romance between humans and angels.
- Stories with characters that are half-human/half-demon, or (even worse) half-human/half-angel.
- Stories where the devil is portrayed as a joke.
- Stories where a character dies and goes to purgatory, and then has to work to get to heaven. And (even worse), decides once they earn heaven that they don’t want to go there.
- Stories where angels or demons die. (Where do they go if they’re killed?)
Maybe you remember these two films: Michael starring John Travolata as an irreverent Archangel Michael from the Bible. He’s dirty and nasty, but smells like cookies so women follow him everywhere; and City of Angels with Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan. Here, Nicolas Cage is a guardian angel that falls in love with a human. (The movie was ok, not great.)I actually liked the movie Michael, it was funny and heart warming at the end. Did I think it correctly portrayed Michael from the BIble? No. But then, I didn’t expect it to because the people weren’t marketing it as a Christian film.
But if a book or movie is marketed as Christian in basis, I expect it to adhere to biblical themes and teachings. How does a reader reconcile Christian fiction where the story contradicts what the Bible teaches about angels, demons, and the devil?
Is it just me, or are others bothered by this?
If the theme of the book is biblical (sacrifice, redemption, forgiveness), does that make it okay to portray real supernatural beings contrary to biblical teaching? Should some leeway be given for literary license?
Please comment because I’d love to hear what you think.