Whose World Is It, Part 4 – Writing In Enemy Territory

Clearly, someone writing from the position that this world is Christian will have an entirely different emphasis than someone who thinks this world is in the hands of the enemy.

Let me reiterate, I understand this world is God’s by virtue of the fact that He made it and He holds it all together. Also, “He is the beginning, the first born from the dead so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything” (Col. 1:18b) — meaning that Satan will not successfully pull off his attempt at dethroning Jesus.

Meanwhile, however, we are living in enemy territory. Our citizenship is in heaven, unlike those who set their minds on earthly things. How you perceive enemy territory is very different than how you perceive your home.

If you’re in the hands of the enemy, for instance, you stay alert to deception, you steal yourself against depravity and suffering. You take nothing for granted. The things that appear harmless, you examine closely to see how they might be insidious traps. The outward appearance of a thing, therefore, is utterly untrustworthy. In fact, a disgusting bit of pulp might be medicinal, but a thick cut of meat might bring on death. Everything must be tried and measured and examined to see if it furthers the cause of the king or plays into the hands of the enemy.

So with stories. Some may be bold, assertive, overt declarations for the true king or about his enemy and his coming judgment. Some may be illustrative rather than declarative, but no less concerned with the truth.

Obviously these are broad strokes. Stories might be about individual skirmishes rather than about the entire scope of the war. Some might not show the end, but the successes during the battle.

I can’t help but think of Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsy thrown into a German concentration camp towards the end of World War II. The world in which they lived was in the grip of the enemy — physically and spiritually. But in them resided the Spirit of the living God, and they had a clear choice whether to live by the evil principles of their environment or the life-giving principles of the Spirit.

Betsy never came out of the concentration camp. And yet she triumphed every day through her generosity and by her refusal to hate. She did not look at the concentration camp as Christian. She saw it for what it was — Satan’s playground. But greater was He who was in her than he who was in the world of that camp.

Christians writing stories have the privilege of showing the way things are, both spiritually and physically. The small aren’t necessarily weak, and the strong aren’t necessarily victorious.

Someone may be a slave but able to bring healing to her master because of her willingness to testify about the Living God. The man who dies young might have more impact on the world than the one who lives into his nineties.

And the Christian writer gets to show this upside down way of seeing the world. We get to make sense of the senseless, to agree with Scripture in the telling of our tales, to serve as the memorial stones that remind readers of the King and His victory — won and to be won.

Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 Comments

  1. Rebecca, I have liked many of your posts and I especially like this one. I tend to be illustrative in my storytelling and declarative elsewhere, but that is a privilege I enjoy. Sometimes, as with the ten Boom family, illustrative won’t do. Declarative is the only option.
    So I wonder these days what it must be like to be a Christian in the midst of the “Arab Spring.” Just thinking out loud.
    -Michael
    The Fiction Side: The Storyteller http://mgkizzia.wordpress.com/
    The Non-Fiction Side: Word & Spirit http://michaelkizzia.wordpress.com/

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  2. Michael, thanks for your input. Interesting to apply these ideas to what’s happening in the world today!

    Becky

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  3. […] writes in Part Four of her series, “Clearly, someone writing from the position that this world is Christian will […]

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  4. […] I did a four part series entitled “Who’s World Is It?” (See part 1, 2, 3, and 4). Why then would I want to re-visit the […]

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