“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke
When I began writing my “Armageddon Story” end-times novel series, I had already decided to cast Jesus as an admiral, because I wanted to convey a sense of power surrounding him. This power needed to be evident to both believers and non-believers.
At first I worried about how I would treat miracles. The characters, however, became very clear about this, and miracles became commonplace among them, depending upon their role in the story. This was a surprise to me, as I grew up in a faith tradition that believed, “God doesn’t do miracles anymore.”
An author lives inside his creation long before anyone else does (because someone has to write the book), providing the pathway through the story, so to speak. I remember meeting a 95-year-old pastor, who asked me what I was doing in my writing for the books. I told him I was researching faith healings and had found some video clips.
“What do you think?” he asked.
“I think they were real,” I told him.
He put his hand on my shoulder, patted it, smiled and said, “Of course they were real. I was there. I saw it.” We remained friends until his passing.
That was probably as close to an “ah-ha moment” as I had outside the writing itself. If we are going to write honest fiction, we have to know not only what our characters believe, but what we ourselves believe. We live in a world so filled with lies today that I can’t bring myself to lie to my readers. We may be the only person who can take a reader on a particular journey. That person trusts you to tell him the truth.
You owe them the truth. The world is too filled with lies. Don’t add to them under the cover of, “Oh, it’s only a story.” The world desperately needs truth, and they are shortly going to receive it on multiple fronts, because God has moved into Old Testament mode to confront both our and His old enemies. We will be the only people ever to exist that will have seen him operate at this scale. It is a privilege beyond imagining.
If you are one of the people who believes that God doesn’t do miracles anymore today, you are welcome to your belief. I’m not threatened by your belief, and I’m sure that God isn’t threatened by your unbelief. Just come by your beliefs honestly, and we can still all be friends.
I hope the church can work this out, too, because God needs a united church for what He is about to do in our world today. He can of course mandate whatever He pleases – but He seems to place a high price on free will and allowing us to go about life making our own decisions. Perhaps someday we will understand that as He does.
In a very real sense, I think that miracles are one of the elephants in today’s churches. In the secular world it’s probably even a bigger elephant, because refined technology is an easy substitute for miraculous results, and one can argue the finer points without ever bumping up against the elephant.
Sometimes, what we believe about God reveals more about us than it does about Him.
Craige McMillan’s Armageddon Story novel series
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