• C. J. Korryn

Should A Christian Fantasy Writer Have Gods In Their Secular Fantasy?

Years ago, I had someone ask me when they saw me reading a fantasy book "Doesn't that make you doubt your faith?" It was a fantasy book, and if you know anything about most fantasy books, they contain a plethora of gods or goddesses, magic, and the such. Now we will discuss magic another time, but today I want to talk about writing characters that worship gods. This is not an uncommon practice-as I mentioned above. In fact, it is probably a staple of most fantasy books or stories. So, the question arises, if someone is a believer who has committed their life to Christ-and not to worship any other god, is it okay to write characters that worship a "false god", in essence? My short answer-yes, it is okay.

Why do I think it is okay for a Christian to write characters that worship gods?

Well, first, it is assumed that the fantasy writer is writing a "universe" if you will that does not contain the one true God. It is a fantasy world in which the laws that we live by do not exist. For example, we know there are no such things as elves, orcs, two story tall giant spiders, talking animals, creatures of all sorts that are sentient. This is all made up in the fantasy realm. It is fake. God is not a fake God, so it makes sense that writers wouldn't put Him into a fantasy realm. Along this same thought, rarely does the fantasy writer implement religions that can be identified in this world unless this particular religion is pivotal or has something to do with the plot. By religions I mean big mainstream religions, Mormon, Christian, Buddhist, etc.

Second, gods are often not really the kind of "god" we think about. When thinking of God, we believers usually think of an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God. This is rarely the case in fantasy-at least that I have read. These so called gods are normally beings with supernatural power that can manifest in some way into the natural realms (both benevolent and malevolent). They are not usually all powerful, though some have more power than others. (For my "gods" in my fiction, this is exactly the case. They live in a different realm and as mortal beings worship them, then they get more power to defeat other "gods" or beings of their natural plain.) Sometimes "gods" can be killed, sometimes they are simply forced back into their own realm of existence. Often they are ageless, but not all powerful, all knowing, or present everywhere. They almost always have limits and are finite beings-at least in every fantasy novel or story I have ever read.

So, this is basically why I don't think it is wrong to have characters worship other beings-it a fake world with everything in it fake. If you, as a writer don't feel comfortable writing "other gods" into the realm, then don't-that will be fine, and gods aren't necessary for fantasy.

I acknowledge that I have not mentioned anything based on scripture-I will eventually re-touch on this subject with specific scriptures in mind and the such, but for now I have a lot to do today, so this is it.

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