Christianity Sounds Weird

I have come to realize that trying to explain Christianity to someone sounds like a really intense sci-fi style acid trip.

“We worship an all-powerful otherworldly non-gendered and non-physical being who is split into three persons and exists outside the laws of common physics. This entity has these other weird-looking creatures which are also non-gendered and non-physical, and they all come from this non-physical plane/dimension of existence that cannot be seen through natural human vision. Also, this all-powerful otherworldly non-gendered and non-physical being flies around on a giant glass-like seat in the middle of a glass-like platform supported by four gyroscope things. Oh, but this being is also technically everywhere at once while being on that seat.

“Also, there was a war in this other dimension and now there are two factions of these non-gendered, non-physical beings that came on Earth and now fight amongst each other without you being able to see them.

“And after my body shuts down, my consciousness will travel to another plane of existence, where I will be with this incredible all-powerful being forever and ever. Eventually, this same all-powerful entity will terraform the Earth into a new planet. After this point, we will live in a giant multicolored floating cube utopia about 1400 miles in length, width and height. And we will live in peace for the rest of eternity.”

It is incredibly strange. It’s not going to stop me from believing in God and Christianity, but hey, it’s certainly interesting.

 

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Getting Out Of A Writing Rut

I was actually in a writing rut for a while. Bad time to be in one, since I’m on the last draft of a book I’ve been working on for some time. But something brought me out of that rut. Well a few things, really.

The first was the desire just to get it finished: to hold in my hands a hardcover book with a nice ribbon bookmark and a gorgeous cover and realized that all that work meant something.

The second was the thought that maybe someday I would be signing books and that someone would come up to me, place my own book in front of me and tell me how much they loved it, that it was their favorite. I would love to see someone fanboy / fangirl over my book just as much as I do.

The third is really just an extension of the second. I made the things that I’ve struggled with in life a key facet of my writing: depression, rejection, bitterness and loneliness. But though the characters I wrote struggle with many of these same things, I also made a light at the end of the tunnel, a happy ending, if you will. I would love to see someone come up to me to tell me how encouraging that book was for their own personal trials and struggle. I would love to hear that the book gave them the courage to press on even when they didn’t want to.

And finally, I would love to see some people come to faith in Christ through it. Although this is a fictional book in a fictional world, faith and trust make themselves key aspects of the novel. Faith is the very frame, the cornerstone for the entire book. I am not ashamed of this in the least. Now, I suppose you can read the book and see it as just a very nice story about sacrifice and faith and trust. But I would also add that it’s probably not going to be as intricate and interesting a story if you are not seeing it through this light. So hearing someone tell me that it changed their life would be fantastic.

Perhaps I have my expectations too high, seeing as it’s my very first book published. Only about a third of writers get their first books published, maybe less. But I’m obnoxiously hopeful! So I guess we’ll just have to see how big this project of mine gets.

Faith Fridays: Regarding Modern Revelations

I’m back, and I’m here with an especially controversial topic. But I don’t think it should be causing quite as much controversy as it does.

We know that God revealed certain divine things to people back in Biblical times. If He didn’t, we wouldn’t have the Bible. It is also noted that prophecy is one of the spiritual gifts. But past this point, it gets a little muddy. The question is this: does God reveal extrabiblical truths to people today?

Continue reading “Faith Fridays: Regarding Modern Revelations”

Reaching The End

I finally rewrote the end of the novel for the second draft. In the end, it’s far closer to what I wanted than what I had originally. It actually feels like the end of a book this time. Is it emotional? Oh yes. Does it leave room for a second book? Definitely. Am I asking too many questions? Most certainly. Should I stop asking them? Ok, ok, fine.

Anyway, I’m much happier with the end product than I was before. I still have tons of stuff to edit. About 50-100 pages, to be precise. It’s actually far less than I’m making it out to be, but it’s a decent sum. 

In case y’all want a real emotional trip, here’s link to the song I listened to while writing the end. 

It’s a trip to Sad-Mart, where your greeters are Melancholy and Dismay.

It’s pretty sad.

In good news, I have recently arrived at school for my senior year at good old Liberty University! I have an excellent year in front of me, mainly because I never have to wake up before 9:30 for any reason whatsoever. I mean, I still do because they give me bacon if I come to breakfast, but I don’t have to. Technically.

This is the life of a Fine Arts student. 

In the meantime, I plan to raise awareness of the awesome Dark Veil Saga by creating the life size version of “Leviathan Killer” in some media besides metal. I don’t want to kill anyone by fake-stabbing them, which is the ultimate purpose of this endeavor.

I also now have an Instagram (sirgabrielpenn) so you should all follow me for cool book/writing/reading stuff! I’m super sorry about those awards and challenges I’ve missed recently, so now that I have so much time I’m going to try to get to some of them. “Try” is the key word. There’s a lot of them.

Expect a revamping of short stories and Faith Friday soon!!

Faith Fridays: Regarding the Unwitnessed.

I’m starting out Faith Fridays with a big, big topic, one of the biggest in Christianity. And it’s about to get real heated.

What is the eternal security of those who are never witnessed to?
In simple terms, do people go to Hell if they’ve never heard the gospel?

This seems like a simple issue, but not quite so much. There is a very clear commission in Acts:

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15

Mix that with John 14:6 and it seems like a pretty solid end of discussion: people who don’t hear the gospel don’t know that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. That would seem to make all people who haven’t heard the gospel headed down under. And this is where it starts to get tricky with wording.

There are a few different views people take on this.

  1. People who don’t get witnessed to don’t go to Heaven. End of story. This is based off the logic I showed above.
  2. People who don’t get witnessed to may come to know Christ through visions, dreams or some supernatural understanding of the gospel. This is based off verses such as Romans 1:20. It may seem a little out-there, but there have been stories of this happening.
  3. People who don’t get witnessed to can get saved anyway. They don’t even have to know about Christ. In fact, they’re already saved. They just don’t know it yet.
    This is a lesser taken stance.
  4. People who don’t get witnessed to may get a second chance in the afterlife. This is based off 1 Peter 3:18-20, which seems to claim Christ did in fact witness to those in Hades after His death. It is a comforting thought indeed.

I personally believe in the second option. I do not completely disregard any but the third, but would dispute them, as I will.

The problem with the first option is that of Romans 1:20 and the very nature of God. If God says that His works are made clear by creation, He means it. This would mean that humans speeches are not the only means of communication. If human speeches are not the only means of communication, it more than likely means that someone has used these other means.

My problem with the third option is that of Romans 10:9-10, which states how to become saved. If this was not the only way, scripture would make it clear to us. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just confess Him as Lord. We must accept Him, not just hope that the cross made everyone go to Heaven automatically. Besides, if those people who did not hear go automatically, what stops the rest of the world from going? Why tell people the gospel at all?

With the fourth option… I am actually not so sure of this being wrong. However, it is also based off of the idea that Christ went to Hell for the time that He was dead. However, the verses used to prove this, 1 Peter 3:8-9, could not, in my mind, mean that He actually went to Hades/Hell/Sheol. After all, He says to the criminal in Luke 23:42.43 that he would “be with Me today in paradise”. Is Jesus, then, a liar? May it never be! So although I haven’t figured it out completely myself, I cannot come to this conclusion.

What are your thoughts on the matter? As I will be in Canada at the time of this posting, I am unable to reply to comments until Sunday. But I would love to see some intellectual thought when I get back!