The topic of creative pursuits vs the Bible came up in D-Group last Tuesday night and I could say that I wasn’t a very happy camper that night. The topic was about things that are “unholy” and “unacceptable” or “evil.” So, our leader for the night mentions Harry Potter and Twilight as examples of things that are not in accordance to the high Christian Standards. Their opinion is that basically Harry Potter is evil and JK Rowling is an antichrist. Basically to people like them, Twilight and all other books sprouting topics about Fantasy and True Science Fiction is against God’s goodness and should be burned.
Call me tainted, or whatever, but I wasn’t happy about that. I seriously thought that people should be able to discern for themselves what is good and evil and what is FACT from FICTION. Some people just judge immediately things that are not angels or the norm as evil and that is simply wrong. People never seem to see it from the POV of the artist who draws or the writer who was simply writing a story.
A true genius of a writer lies when the reader gets so into the story that they start to believe that they are actually in the world that the writer has imagined in his or her head. The real artist would create pictures so real that it would ebb the line of reality and fiction. The mark of a good story is when the writer gets the reader to use his or her imagination well enough that he or she gets drawn into that fictional universe where ever that is. The mark of a good art piece is when the drawing makes you believe that these things exist. These creative people makes you think that Harry Potter had lived, or that Edward is real, the Avengers are a true force – or that Crisostomo Ibarra was a true living person in this world.
All acclaimed novelists or writers extend the world of the reader and turn them into adventurers when they read stories. That is the reason why reading is fun. That is the reason why we find fiction intriguing. It is UP TO YOU though, how you take the story – good or bad – the writer who transported you to Hogwarts or to 1875 was only doing his/her job as a writer when he wrote the story.
The topic, beyond Rowling or Tolkien – the underlying implication that the discussion had made me frustrated and angry.
So really, who are you to critique them for evil or not? I think some Christians really become too crazy over being “good” that they tend to stereotype and box writers and artists. Things that are out of the norm or out of their realm of understanding is usually branded EVIL and shut off from their worlds. Well, it’s their choice, not mine – but I who grew up with art and literature literally flooding my veins tend to think differently.
One of my deepest HURTS in my life was when someone dear to me told me that my work was the “Work of the Devil” – when all it was was a drawing of a girl in shorts. Albeit, it was done in the style of J. Scott Campbell –a comic artist that I adored and Japanese manga. That pain that that person gave me, injured and crippled my desire and motivation to learn more about the arts. I learned to hide my talent –thinking that I would never be good enough because all I draw or write that is not Biblical or related to angels is bad or will never be good enough.
That caused me to stop drawing for a while – and while my friends were learning skills and talents that I could have gotten, I looked at them enviously while starving myself from it because I didn’t want any of my work to be burned or thrown away again. I never got over it. In fact, I think I never will.
As I grew older, I regretted the fact that I stopped back then, because now that they finally recognized my talent and passion, I feel like I seriously lacked the training and the skills I should have acquired back then. This is the result of boxing the artist and not understanding where they come from or what they are trying to achieve because of close mindedness and discrimination.
My genre of writing and drawing is Chick Literature, Fan Fiction and High Fantasies – all of them far from what closed minded Christians expect of me. I excel in drawing anime and fictional anthromorphic characters as well as writing unusual fiction that may seem to people eccentric and a little weird. I cosplay and I create things with my hands. To some people I am insane or not a decent person, but that is so far from the truth.
Being judged wrongly all the time made me feel insecure. I wasn’t doing anything wrong except expressing myself. So, my hobbies and likes are not normal but does that make me a bad person? Do I kill, steal or covet? NO. Do I still continue to pray everyday? YES. Does writing and creating make me a better person? I believe so.
So, what’s the big problem?
The problem is that I was scared that these people were going to judge me and tell me that I will not be a good Christian because of it and truthfully, I could see it in some of their eyes.
Being over critical of someone who you don’t try to understand might cripple them and make their lives miserable. So I was deeply hurt when the people I was praying with seemed to be in that state of mind. Yet, though I understand where they are seriously coming from, the close mindedness of it all offends me and irks me. It seems like everything secular isn’t allowed and it turns me off – it makes me think that people like me will never belong in a place like that.
This is my true feelings about this. My two cents. Maybe I’ll get over it, but I pray that they open their eyes to look beyond the obvious and look to the artist because creating a masterpiece is never childs play. It’s a gift, a blessing that could only come from GOD who I believed gave me my creative heart and hands.