Can a Christian writer create gods and myths in a story?
I was considering this earlier today as I planned out my story for NaNoWriMo 2016. It was going to involve vampires and Mayans. However, as I talked to a friend of mine, we both came to realize that this wouldn’t flow.
My friend suggested that I make the character who was supposed to be a vampire a Mayan god. Now, I didn’t say anything, but I was a bit wary of this suggestion. Would it be dishonoring God to include this in my writing?
That was the big question in my head.
I went along with it as my friend and I talked over the story. The more we talked, the more I realized it made sense to have my character become a god.
I did some research on the Mayan gods but wasn’t “feeling” it. There was no way to go about doing this. It simply wouldn’t work.
Then an answer came to me. (I guess.)
I wrote out a (very terrible) short introduction-like thing for this character. I don’t even think I completely realized what I wrote until it was done and I read it over.
I tried to make it different. I had planned on an allegory, but I think it turned into something different.(Maybe still a type of allegory? I don’t know.)
It isn’t one of those “oh yes this god came to earth and he died for these people and hey, look, he isn’t dead!” stories. (Not that I have anything against them.)
It’s more of a “hey look this god didn’t like being a god so he basically came down to earth and became a human forever and ever” story. It still fits with my whole plan, though. And in this plan, the rest of the Mayan gods die because they had held on to their status as gods. When the Mayan people died, they died as well.
Except for the one character who had became human.
I feel good about this twist. He was still a god once. He didn’t like it. He lived with the Mayans and became one of them. They end up dying, he lives on, is extremely depressed. He doesn’t want to be immortal. All he wants is to be truly human and to have died with them.
It still goes with my story, but the character isn’t a deity anymore.
I have a tentative plan for him to think about his previous life. If they really had been gods, then why had they died? Gods weren’t supposed to die.
He’s going to have doubts about a religion he had once been an active part of.
Just like we all have doubts. All the time.
(Wow, I’m getting really deep here guys.)
Now, I don’t really know why I decided to write this post. Probably just to get all of these thoughts out of my head.
I feel comfortable with the decision I made for my character. Of course, I will still keep it in my mind and heart as I go about writing it. If I ever don’t feel comfortable with my character, I’ll try and fix the issue.
There’s the solution to my problem.
However, the problem in its entirety isn’t quite solved. I don’t think there will ever be a solution.
I know some Christians completely abstain from writing about gods and myths in their stories. Don’t get me wrong: this is a perfectly fine stance to take. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It’s simply a different stance than I choose to take.
I believe differently about this, though. What I think is that any good fantasy world needs myths and legends. Look at Tolkien’s world. That man (from what I know) was a Catholic. He wrote about a complete mythological system for Middle Earth, including “gods.” He didn’t call them gods, but that’s basically, in essence, what they are.
There’s Eru Iluvatar, the creator of the Valar. The Valar sing different songs, and the elements of their songs come together to create Middle Earth. (Very long story made extremely short.)
I haven’t seen an allegory in this story, but if there is, please, point it out. I know there are some hidden throughout the trilogy, and I have found them, but I haven’t found the possible allegories in the Silmarillion and its counterparts.
I don’t believe in any way that Tolkien’s story dishonored God. He created a world. A world complete with a creator. Just like our world.
Every culture has their own unique way of expressing this belief in a Creator. How us writers express our characters’ belief in this is up to us.
As long as we keep ourselves immersed in God’s word and take a step back if we feel uncomfortable, I think we can write mythology. We just need to make sure to remember who really is God.
Wow. This post was all over the place and I hope it makes a shred of sense to you guys. I’d appreciate some comments!
What do you think about this subject? Is it okay to write about different gods and mythologies even if you are a Christian?
Thanks for reading!