This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at www.jenniferhudsontaylor.net.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Truth of a World Christian View


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

This week God has shown me more than I really want to know, and yet, I can't keep hiding from the truth, and yes, it affects ALL of us--me--YOU--my child--YOUR children.

First, I started feeling a stirring in my spirit about a new focus in my life and some things that God is revealing. Then I saw a moving video on Facebook. After that, I attended a writing conference  where a morning devotion was given by Author & Columnist Dr. Dennis Hensley. His speech finally pulled it all into perspective. Dr. Hensley spoke on what is A Christian World View? Think about that. What does it REALLY mean? I'll do the best I can with the notes I took in paraphrasing his speech and adding my thoughts. (Photo on left is of my editor, Ramona Richards, and me at the Carolina Christian Writers Conference in Anderson, SC.)

For a while I've been feeling displaced, overwhelmed, and out of sorts with the BIG picture of what is happening in our world, our country, our society, our upcoming generations, and my roll in it. Afterall, what can we as individuals do? We have our jobs, our families, our personal relationship to keep alive with Christ--all that takes energy and focus--we can't get bogged down with the worries of the world and what we have no control over. Too much bad news is depressing and it keeps us down. We need to think positively--look at the bright side.

True--all of this is true--but with everything there is a level of balance--and risk. Nor can we continue to sink our heads in the sand, pretend that our world is all right as long as these things don't personally affect us and our family. We think, oh that's so sad. I'll pray for them and off we go back to our regularly scheduled life. It reminds me of Matthew West's song, My Own Little World.


Difference Between Where We've Come & Where We Are
We've entered into an Age of Enlightenment where humanism and relativism collide.

Pluralism - Truth is now a matter of cultural and indivdual expression.
  • Positive Impact - Acceptance of man's diversity. It's a rejection of the previous generations' belief that our society and culture are superior to others.
  • Negative Impact - No universal truth. Everyone's truth is based on what they believe.

Holism - Personal happiness and fulfillment is based upon integration with the world around us, particularly nature and Eucology.
  • Positive Impact - Awareness of taking better care of earth and creation such as animals, plants, the environment, and recycling.
  • Negative Impact - People go too far in worshiping the earth and creation. A perfect and seemingly innocent example is Disney's Pocahontas. How many people focus more on animal rights than those of unborn babies?

The Enlightenment Mind-Set Rejection - This is the first generation where people don't believe their children will have it better than their children. The American Dream is gone. 
  • Positive Impact - People are finally accepting responsibility for their actions - poor fiscal management, starting to live within their means. Greed has caused the housing market to collapse. Greed is causing the health care system to collapse for the poor and middle-class.
  • Negative Impact - People don't believe they can rise beyond their situation in their lifetime. Example: Students graduating college with a lifetime of debt before they can even get started on their lives, making it impossible for 20 and 30-somethings to buy homes as their parents did at their age.

Divergence - Variety and Multiplicity
  • Positive Impact - More acceptance of other cultures.
  • Negative Impact - People lack a standard to measure values and morals - anything goes. 

Power of Enlightenment
  • Positive Impact - Created new avenues of communication through so many different technologies (iphones, ipad, e-readers, social media, etc.)
  • Negative Impact - Because new generations don't accept divine law nor universal truth as previous generations, new generations accept a celluloid reflection as its true world and as its reality.

Imbalance comes into play when the negative begins to out-weigh the positives on every level. That is where we are. Secular authors and Hollywood are now producing stories mixed with bits of historical records, some that authors know to be incorrect, but write them as if they are real. Young generations are so impressionable that it becomes their ideal reality. This produces dangerous results:  
  1. Truth and fiction start to blur. People don't want to believe harsh realities, only what feels good 
  2. Pessimism is the reality of the future so decisions don't matter--live for the moment 
  3. Problems can't be solved, because people are looking for temporary solutions to their immediate symptoms and not getting to the root of what is causing the problems. 
"Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 24:11-13)

Writers are like heroes that need to stand up and say what is right and tell how it is supposed to be. Show them a better way of life--the truth. Great writing is: 
  1. Multi-generational (think of the timeless classics) 
  2. Great deeds extend a challenge 
  3. Heroes show there is real hope 
  4. Heroes establish a standard and sets it in motion
You may think, but if I don't write wild things I may not get published or make the sales I want. True.

Remember the risk part? Jesus was killed for giving his message, but they couldn't kill the message! The same could be said of his disciples, and other great leaders--who are real heroes. 

Heroes RISK it all, to GAIN it all.

Christian World View
  1. Re-ignites the candles of hope
  2. Prompts people to take risks for the right reasons
  3. Encourages others to break free of negative bondage
  4. Shows today's ways are not set in stone--there is a BETTER way
"For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." (Romans 11:29)

Have YOU been called to write for God? If so, take up your mantle and WRITE!

10 comments:

Quite an enlightning post, Jennifer. While I am a Christian, I am not a Christian writer in that I do not write to get the Message across. At least not on purpose. You never know what slips in when you're not looking. I sometimes find my stories reflecting actual belief systems in ways I'd never considered before - a case of my subconscious getting away from me, I guess.

I don't read much religious fiction (mostly because it tends towards romance these days and romance is nice but not my favourite genre), I'm more of a fantasy &sci-fi guy myself. It's nice to know, though, that some writers have chosen to "put on the mantle" as you put it and carry the torch out into the darkness that covers most of the literary field.

That being said, I think it is important to see the best in all people, no matter what they believe. I have met people of many faiths, and I think God works in ways we cannot fathom and no-one can say they have exclusive...well, access. Loving, and understanding, your neighbour - no matter what - is the most important message if you ask me.

Ahem.

Sorry about the ramble, nice to meet you and thank you for stopping by my blog!

Blake.

Good post Jennifer1
My favorite books are those that are based on a true story of someone who has come through a trial or tragedy victoriously. This is the kind of writing that gives hope in a world without hope. But I also think this same kind of message can come through in a work of fiction.
I'm looking forward to hearing where this new insight takes you on your writing journey.

Awesome & so true.

Blake, I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog and thanks for stopping by. I think you're right. Even if you don't write "Christian fiction", it's very possible some of your faith shines through your work just b/c that is who you are. By the way, there is a lot of new Sci-Fi coming out in CBA. I don't read enough of it to give recommendations, but I've seen more and more of it.

And yes, loving thy neighbor is part of the Ten Commandments. We don't have to be like them and worship their gods to living peaceably beside them or to have an appreciation for the good things in their culture.

I'm so impressed with how how Japan has handled this crisis in their lives. They are helping each other, standing in line, and not acting all crazy, selfish and greedy like some of the people in New Orleans that were breaking into stores. We can learn from their example in that.

I agree, Deborah, those are some of the best works. I like fiction based on some of the real events in life, but with made up characters.

Thanks, Christy, for stopping by!

Wow, I'm feeling a little numbed by that. I think I need to pray on this and pray hard for God to lead my writing as He would want it.

Powerful posting Jennifer. As a fellow Christian writer, I hear you, and believe we have such an obligation to our reader's minds.

Jennifer, the news didn't even tell half the story of what was really happening in New Orleans! I can tell you stories that would make your blood boil.

Excellent post. The one keynote at conference last year that I got to listen was the one where Tim talked about the difference in writing Christian fiction, and writing from a Christian worldview.

I write from a Christian worldview, because that's how I live. I don't ooze Christian language, and all that stuff. It's not me. My characters don't do that either. Their faith is lived out on a daily basis, in the choices they make, in the way they view the world, how they react to the bad things that happen to them.

A Christian worldview is what most Christian lack. Yeah we know what the Bible says, but most don't take it seriously. A Christian worldview does take it seriously.

Wow, Jennifer, great post and so apropos of what we were talking about the other day on the historical writers' loop.

I think you can add--media overload. I see this going on in my daughters (age 23 and 16). There is so much disaster, so much catastrophe, so many bad decisions being made by those in power -- my girls tune it all out. Nothing major matters. It's all hopeless anyway. So they turn the channel on the TV over to what I call Bimbovision and wallow in that for a while.

In some ways, I think we're all on overload. That's when it helps to turn our eyes back onto Jesus and the eternal reality that is above all these worldly bits of bad news.