The Element of Wisdom–2

My sister suggested I do a follow-up post about Wisdom in stories, and after looking it over, I do think there is more to say:

I used Pyrrha Nikos as an example of a wise character, and one who caused wiser writing decisions.  ( see post here –https://drybonestruth.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/the-element-of-wisdom)

But the question I didn’t really answer was What does Wise storytelling actually look like?

We know what it doesn’t look like.

Often, I think writers sometimes make wise decisions that are misunderstood by fans. Mostly by the nitpicking ones.

I’ve seen analysts actually complain that a story had too much of a message, and that it should blur the lines between right and wrong.

In fact, some fans are defending the new Star Wars movies on just such grounds, that they made it more grey.

It might be best to make a distinction then between worldly wisdom and godly wisdom.

Worldly Wisdom: It is wisdom that consists of knowing how to work the system, how to get what you want, how to climb and succeed in this society. How to not be duped by scammers. Worldly Wisdom can look like caution and common sense, but the one thing it can almost never look is Unselfish. Even when it says it is helping you, you are really helping it.

“Here we go again, give it one more try, don’t believe the system’s on your side”–Switchfoot, Rise Above It.

Worldly Wisdom can be good in small amounts (running a successful business is no sin,) but it must be tempered with other virtues, or it makes you into a selfish, arrogant, cynic.

Godly Wisdom: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 8:10) this wisdom is based on knowing right from wrong. It focuses on the meaning of things.

“Do you ponder the manner of things? In the dark?”–Glitter and Gold.

Proverbs is the book of the Bible that talks the most about Wisdom, and it always connects it to being able to do what is right, and to happiness.

Interesting then, that Solomon, the wisest man in the old testament, also wrote Ecclesiastes. The most pessimistic book in the Bible. In it, he admits that he turned his heart from God, and found that every other thing was, in the end, empty.

He would have been better off living a simple, hardworking life, he thinks. Like the Happy Peasant, but even this, he says, is vanity.

Eccl 12:1, 8-11, 13-14 “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come… Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All is vanity.”

And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.

 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.  For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.”

Solomon wrote proverbs and they were good, he says, but they are like goads to drive us forward and like nails that hold things in place.

Wisdom, one might conclude, is about limitation. Knowing how to control yourself, how to stay away form evil, having a compass.

There is something about doing right that I find very few people outside of Christianity seem to understand. There are traces of it in the idea that it is better to give than to receive, which people still embrace, but not much place else.

People in the bible speak of doing good like it is their greatest pleasure, David says he delights himself in God’s commandments.

People tend to assume this means being a prude, a stickler for rules, maybe even OCD about them.

But this is not about panicking if rules are broken. Rule lovers can be more stressed out than rule breakers, we all know that.

This is about literal joy in doing what is good. In knowing what is good.

I pity people who do not know what that joy feels like. It is no coincidence that this pluralistic society is also a depressed one.

Depression has always followed moral depravity, because people miss that Goodness itself is the greatest joy, and that is why good people are so reluctant to step out of it.

Think of your favorite show, and if it has a character that the fandom world calls “pure”, that character is almost always a happier, cheerful one.

Proverbs 8:35 says “For whoever finds me [wisdom] finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord.”

Proverbs also repeatedly says that wise children will make their parents rejoice.

Happy in the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.” (Prov 3:13 emphasis mine.)

A hallmark of a wise character, or writer, is that they will bring gladness to the story they are in.
Pyrrha certainly did this, watching her made me feel uplifted about my own life.
A wise writer delights their readers with the rightness of their decisions. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Prov 25:11)
Happy events come because of wise characters, or they speak comfort or inspiration to other characters that gives them strength to go on.
Wisdom is life: Wise characters are usually the ones who make the choices that lead to saving people.
It can even be saving their heart, as MHA says, it can be talking them off the ledge, talking them our of doing something evil.
Showing mercy where mercy was needed.
Wisdom also brings about justice: You know the characters who can lay a verbal smack down on someone who is acting up, can decide how to stop a problem, and can dole out a fair punishment, if they have to.
Wisdom is knowing how to handle people, but godly wisdom is knowing how to do this in a way that will promote their well being.
In writing, an author has to be unselfish. It can be easy to use our characters to make your readers happy, with zero regard for how much it actually helps the characters or the story.
Analysts complain about a lack of continuity in shows and movie series mostly because it services the author more than the characters to be inconsistent. I can think of a few times where ignoring the past and doing something different helped a story  *cough XMen *cough. But usually it doesn’t.

 

There is also pandering, which is a huge problem with popular shows. Especially in anime.

Fans can push for wise decisions, but a lot of the time they are only thinking about what they want, and not what is best for the story.

It may seem silly to say fictional characters deserve some consideration, but I’ve never noticed any discrepancy with how writers treat fictional and real people.

Charles Dickens was known to not treat real people very well, and his characters he treated even worse.

People who work at loving other people tend to write stories than incorporate that theme. Hannah Hurnard is one example. So is C. S. Lewis.

And my values of helping people be the best person they can be are certainly reflected in all forms of my writing, including this blog.

So when I say writers need to be unselfish with their characters and story, I mean it quite seriously.

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All this is wisdom.

Until next time–Natasha

About my book series:

Well, my book series has been out for about a month, at least the first part of it, and I thought I should actually tell you all what it’s about.

So, the funny thing about this series, called When It STARTED (which is a joke that the series eventually explains), is that it came from a game me and my sister played with out Barbie’s.

One day we just decided to combine all our favorite things, superheros, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, and smart alec but good hearted protagonists (see all of the above) into one story.

Throw in a little more spoiler related stuff, and you’ve got one unique story.

The story follows to founding of a team of superheroes, not coming together to protect the earth long term, but because one of them needs help cracking a particular case. She gathers them all and splits them into teams for a test run, and they gather information.

Pretty soon they start to realize this is a lot bigger of story than they thought, and what they were investigating is really a cover for an even bigger mystery.

I can’t get more into it because, spoilers.

I’m planning on combining it all into one volume once I finish it, but for now I’m releasing it one episodes at a time, like a Manga, but without pictures, because sadly, I’m no artist.

The whole thing is on Amazon Kindle, under Natasha Queen. A paperback is not yet available, (give me time.)

I have to say, they are not paying me to promote them, but Amazon Kindle is really cool. Sure, it’s not the best for marketing unless you pay for it, but it’s a free service (if you have an account already) and it let’s you do everything yourself.

For a series that I didn’t think traditionally publishing would work for, it was perfect.

If you’d like to check it out, it’s only a dollar per episode, and feel free to write a review if you do. Good or bad. I need feedback.

I’ll leave a link below.

You know I’m very honest with my followers, so I’ll admit, this story is a bit unusually written. I tried something new. I’m curious to see how people will like it.

It’s also clean because, of course, I’m not going to but PG-13 rated stuff into a story. I want kids to be able to read it too.

It is a lot of fun, and coming up with superpowers that are a little less popular was interesting for me an my sister, as was putting in mermaids, aliens, and regular people and just going for it.

The story kind of breaks the rules of separating science fiction material from fantasy, but that sub genre’s more popular now than it used to be, so hey, I think it works.

Anyway, here’s the link to the first three parts if you’d like to check it out, and thank you all for your support. It’s taken awhile to grow this blog, but it’s actually turned into something pretty cool for me to be part of.–Natasha

 

 

Fluttershy is a difficult character.

Let me preface this by saying I love Fluttershy, she’s my favorite character.

It’s because of that I say she’s difficult.

I don’t mean difficult is a bad thing, I actually think it’s a good thing. It’s like when people say women are difficult to understand, but it’s good to not be easy to figure out all the time, we shouldn’t always get answers handed to us.

I have to say that Fluttershy from MLP (My Little Pony) is character that is a good example of a show trying to do the hard thing.

You can have a character with a really good flaw and growth arc, and people will love it, and you may never get criticized for it (though I doubt it) but ultimately, we know it’s unrealistic. Who gets over it that quickly?

I think of MHA (My Hero Academia) and the character of Todoroki, he gets a major arc in season 2, but in season 3 we find out he has not completely gotten over what his issues were. He relapses briefly into resentment and hate before snapping out of it, he realizes he has a ways to go still.

No one hates him for this because we recognize it makes sense.

I think of a different character on that show whose arc is similar to Fluttershy’s, Momo Yaoyerozo’s, she has a confidence issue that she confronts in season 2, she doesn’t seem to have that problem again later.

You could say she just completely got over it and moved on, and that the arc was contrived to begin with, and some people do say that.

But Momo’s confidence came initially from never failing, never really doing badly, even when she didn’t do the best, she was always close. Then she fails big time and begins to wonder if she only succeed before because she never was out of her comfort zone. When she regains her confidence, she realizes she can still try and do well even if she makes mistakes. Her confidence over the next season has a more refined feel to it.

It’s not the same as Fluttershy’s story because the reasons for a lack of confidence were different.

And I want to talk about Fluttershy because, though I am far more like Momo now, and sometimes like Todoroki, I used to be Fluttershy.

Watching MLP, I took a quick liking to Fluttershy, I have an affinity for sweet but sassy characters, who doesn’t?

But as I watched more episodes I began to understand why people found her annoying. She repeats her mistakes a lot. She is often irrationally afraid of things. Scared of her own shadow. It seems ridiculous.

What I think is funny is that I’m sure 50% of the people who criticize her for this are bigger cowards than her. I overall don’t think people are especially brave. They rarely do things that make them really uncomfortable, and not often with the grace Fluttershy can at least attempt to have.

It’s been said that courage is not a lack of fear, and just because you are not afraid of that many things doesn’t make you braver than someone who is afraid of everything. Fear is crippling condition to have, and Fear of One thing is just as likely to ruin your life as fear of many things, you just aren’t as likely to notice it.

I am now, at 20, the type of chick who likes hardcore music, fight scenes, and starting controversial conversations. I’m loud, not afraid of being on a stage, and able to stand up for myself.

But I remember that I was once pretty much Fluttershy.

My mom used to get frustrated with how anxious I was all the time, much like Rainbow Dash does. She’s try to talk me out of being afraid to go to social events. I was homeschooled, being around people was something I wasn’t forced to do a lot, but that had nothing to do with being shy, I know plenty of homeschoolers who are not shy. It’s just a personality trait.

I am not shy now. Few people guess I ever was.

I used to be one of those people who think their food or drink got poisoned mysteriously after being left alone for two minutes. I was afraid of mirrors sometimes. I was a hypochondriac. Ironically, I was not a socially anxious person about actually conversations if I had them, that came after years of being told I offended people by accident. But I was shy of starting any conversations.

I’ve always been opinionated, and that never changed. But it didn’t help much. I don’t think shyness makes you less opinionated, since you are less likely to be challenged on opinions no one knows you have.

Like all anxious people, I’d imagine a bunch of ways things could go wrong.

Saying it, it feels so surreal. This is so far from how I spend the majority of my time now, that I’ve almost forgotten I did it.

I think, actually, that that is why Fluttershy gets so much hate. She reminds people like me, who got out of that mindset, what it was like to be in it.

And people do not like to be reminded of it. Remembering being a coward is not fun.

Actually, I do not think Fluttershy is a coward, but it can feel like that to the person. Fear involves torment, even remembering a fear can make you start thinking like that again. Like triggering traumatic events.

I can say, looking back, I was fearful but I’m not sure I was a coward. I gave in to fear a lot, but sometimes I didn’t. A coward is someone who never ever pushes past it, and it is about more than being afraid, a coward lacks loyalty to something more important than fear.

Fluttershy has that.

A coward is selfish. Fluttershy is not selfish, just timid, but timid can be helped because timid can still find something more important than fear.

The cowardice is being afraid to care. Fluttershy has never been afraid to care, and that is her best quality to my mind, she is braver than most of the other characters. It takes major guts to care about Discord. She doesn’t bat an eyelash at that.

There is one more thing though, and that is how easy it is to judge Fluttershy. Even I sometimes want to. But there are so many people like her, should I judge them?

Sometimes I want to. I work with kids, and that kind of shyness is something I see a lot. I wish they didn’t have it because I remember how much I missed enjoying being I wallowed in fears.

But here’s the thing: I’m reminded that God does not despise people who have fears.

God does not like cowardice. But if you are genuinely afraid and wishing you weren’t, God does not despise that. In fact, through out the Bible, Fear is the vice God is shown to be the most compassionate and least harsh toward. Sometimes He gets fed up when people repeatedly disobey Him out of fear, but He’ll be more patient with that than with other flaws.

God knows it is hard to not be afraid, the truth is, not all fears are valid, but fear itself is certainly understandable. The world is dangerous. Without God, we all would be right to be terrified.

But with God, we don’t need to be.

As 1 John says, God is love, and perfect love casts out fear.

God is the only reason I do not live in fear anymore.

But I, who have been set free, still need to be compassionate to those who haven’t been. If I come down on them, I am only doing what I hated people doing to me when I was faird. Fear involves torment because it also involves guilt. Believe me, if you know an anxious person, they feel guilty constantly for their hesitancy.

Actually, those of us who were afraid once can be the hardest on people who still are. Because we got over it.

It’s pure stupidity, to be honest. We think “Oh, I kicked it. I snapped out of it. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps.”

Yeah, it’s idiotic. I’m pretty sure anyone who claims they got out of their fear alone is a liar.

No, we were helped. We shown compassion. Someone helped us stand when we couldn’t get up ourselves.

The reason to be bold is obvious once you have become bold, but never beforehand.

i still get scared, mind you. And I have to remind myself not to be like this. I have the power to now. But it took years and years of small steps.

Fluttershy eventually realizes it’s baby steps to boldness. And she has loving support.

Sometimes when I panicked as a younger Christian, it just helped to have someone tell me it was okay to be scared. That is was legitimate. But that it was false.

Looking back, I want to tell myself that there are always things to be afraid of, but fear doesn’t make them go away, and there is too much to enjoy to waste time worrying.

But I can only say that now because God made that a part of who I am. I didn’t start from that place.

So, Fluttershy is a difficult character because she is an honest one. Fear comes back over and over, but those who overcome it again and again with become Bold.

 

Until next time–Natasha.

Virtue vs. Holiness–Sister post.

By my sister, from a class we were taking.  3/1/2017:

Lack of morality is running rampant in our nation, today. One only need turn on the TV to see the promotion of drugs, sex, abortion, lack of responsibility, and lack of virtue in general. Still, do we need virtue? Is taking back our virtue, our standard of acceptable morality, the way to fix things? Will it help us, as individuals as well as a nation, to recover from this moral dryness?

One Webster’s dictionary definition of virtue is,

“Moral goodness; the practice of moral duties and the abstaining from vice, or a conformity of life and conversation to moral laws . . .”

Virtue is like a moral code of conduct or the action of living up to that code. People’s “codes” may vary, but a few suggestions come to mind. Generosity, kindness, decorum, temperance, purity, marital loyalty, honesty, etc. Our country could use a little of that, right?

This brings me to my next question: Was Jesus virtuous? 

Whoa, whoa! Stop. Of course Jesus was virtuous! He didn’t commit one sin–not one! I can’t even go one day without sinning. How much more virtuous can you get? 

“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 KJV)

You’ll notice the key word here is holy. Is there a difference between virtue and holiness? What is holiness?

John Eldredge talks about this in his book The Utter Relief of Holiness:

“For years I thought of holiness as something austere, spiritually elite, and frankly rather severe. Giving up worldly pleasures, innocent things such as sugar or music or fishing; living an entirely “spiritual” life; praying a lot; being a very good person. Something that only very old saints attain . . . Yet in order to make human beings what they are meant to be, the love of God seeks to make us whole and holy. In fact, the assumption of the New Testament is that you cannot become whole without becoming holy; nor can you become holy without becoming whole.”

He later goes on to cite Hebrews 12:7-13.

“‘Endure hardships as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.’”

Mr. Eldredge then says something very singular.

“ . . . Severity is not the point; discipline is not the point. The point is the restoration of your creation. Whatever holiness truly is, the effect of it is healing. That’s what it does to a person.”

When Jesus took our sins to the cross, He also gave us something in return: His holiness. Now God sees us not as we are, with our sin, but as we can and will be as He continues His work in us. Our accepting His gift of eternal life and salvation allows Him to gradually change our sin and chains to righteousness and freedom. It’s not that we don’t experience freedom and righteousness when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. He helps us to live it out through His holiness in us. Adhering to a moral code doesn’t do that for us. It doesn’t change us; it doesn’t make us good on the inside. 

A nation’s society is made up of people. You can hold a standard up for them to follow, but that doesn’t help them to follow it. I may have a list of characteristics I want to live out; that doesn’t enable me to do so. 

Matthew 5:20 “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Our righteousness has to be greater than the Pharisees’. They weren’t holy. They were concerned only with appearances, with outward shows of goodness. They adhered strictly to a moral code. They had virtue without holiness. Holiness is the true goodness that comes from God. God’s Spirit is called the Holy Spirit. The fruits of His Spirit are, “love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) What does this tell us? Holiness is the wellspring from which true virtue comes. It cannot be the other way around. We cannot acquire holiness through virtue. Anything less than God’s holiness is flawed–Pharisaic–and it’s putting a load on people’s backs that they can’t carry.  

Here’s another reason why holiness is superior to earthly virtue. It’s a relief. Eldredge, in his book, says,

“Look at it this way: Ask the anorexic young girl how she would feel if she simply no longer struggled with food, diet, exercise–if she simply never even gave it another thought. . . . Ask the raging person what it would be like to be free of rage . . . Take the things you struggle with and ask yourself, ‘What would life be like if I never struggled with this again?’

“It would be an utter relief. An absolute, utter relief.” 

Jesus didn’t struggle with sin. It couldn’t touch Him. His virtue came from an inner holiness that drew people to Him. Giving people a list of dos and don’ts will not help them become free from sin. Jesus helps them. He gives them His holiness. I consider holiness–Jesus–the answer to society’s problems today. He is the only way to be free–free from wanting to sin–free from even being able to sin. That is what I want for my life. Jesus’ freedom. 

Thanks sis for letting me post this–Natasha.

 

 

Sanders Sides Fandom–What the heck?

Hello, so this is a pretty specific post, kind of a rant post, my sister and I are collaborating on it, so some of these thoughts are from her.

This happens in every fandom, not just the Thomas Sanders one, it just so happens that his exploded after the Intrusive Thoughts vid I mentioned a couple posts ago, into a prime example of this phenomenon, if it is a phenomenon.

So, Remus, the embodiment of Intrusive Thoughts, basically the embodiment of the word smut, has become….popular.

He’s been shipped with people.

People are adopting him as their smutty son.

He’s made a splash…

My feelings: AHHHHHHHHH!     😤😠😯😢😡😧😬😥

Sister: This is not surprising, unfortunately. We’ve seen it happening before with similar characters but it’s more obvious here, because this character is just so focused on beignt he embodiment of all terrible thoughts…like just the worst.

Me: Yeah… so why are people adopting him. As their son!

Sister: For one thing, they feel like they’re like him.

ME: HOW?

Sister: They feel like they are like him because–which is actually really sad–because the whole point was Thomas convincing himself that he wasn’t like Remus, that Remus was intrusive not a reflection of himself. But these people don’t get that. They don’t have that freedom, Sanders has a limited freedom, but compared to theirs, it’s still more.

Me: I don’t think Thomas was trying to give people a complex about loving intrusive thoughts, since Remus is basically a bully, to Thomas. A jerk, not good at all. The Dark Sides are the sides that do nothing good for Thomas, especially Remus, because even deceit can at least help him realize the truth by arguing with him, but Remus doesn’t help him at all. He just stresses him out.

S: So this brings us back to the question, why are people–ugh– attracted to Remus?

Me: You have an answer?

S: Your thought first.

Me: What I think, is that people strain out a gnat and swallow a camel. Like we nitpick the smallest, stupidest things, but then we accept the most outrageous stuff because it is outrageous on purpose. I think that people don’t think of Remus as a character showing a problem, they only see his flamboyant personality. And many people would say there is nothing wrong with liking his personality, as long as you are admitting that is what you like.

But the problem with that is, again, straining out a gnat, this one thing you like, and swallowing a camel by accepting all the things that come with it. Liking Remus means not noticing how bad he really is. Because his personality is to cover up how twisted he is, it’s embracing the twistedness of what he represents, shamelessly, and liking that, means you are not really seeing the reason he exists.

S: My thoughts are similar, I think People like Remus because he is so reveling in who he is, and what he is, in this day and age that’s a virtue values above almost everything else.

Me: But the problem is, vile people can love being evil. Thomas even brought up in the video a guy who went form hating his intrusive thoughts to enjoying them, and that led him to murder people. It’s like the virtue of pride in who you are, outweighs who you actually are. As long as you’re confident, people don’t care if you’re a jerk.

S: That reflects on the state of people’s souls today. All over you see people whether humorlessly or not humorlessly being self deprecating,

Me: Like sheep

S: But my point is it means we’re so hungry for any sort of self-love or being okay with oneself that we are willing to swallow gallons of poison just to get it.

Me: You think we’re exaggerating this?

S: Not in the slightest.

Me: Well there are a lot of characters like this in media, anime, reality shows, and a lot of jerk characters get to be popular because they are confident. Rainbow Dash from MLP, Bakugo form MHA, Gordon Ramsey, (I am not saying Gordon Ramsey is really a jerk, but the persona for his show was like that, and it was popular)

S: Loki, villains form all sorts of franchises, even Thanos.

Me: Can you elaborate more on what the appeal is? Or why people can’t resist it?

S: They can’t resist it because they don’t have any better examples. Almost all the characters who display this kind of self confidence are villains or at least natural in the war of good and evil.

Me: And good characters are often nervous, socially awkward, and lack confidence.

S: And that’s okay because those are obstacles they are meant to overcome not stay in, we love it when that happens. But no one gives a powerful example of a good person who is so confident in who they are. That’s why people over Bakugo.

M: I don’t think that’s why a lot of people love him. It’s why we love him. Also if we do have such a character, they usually die. Or get de-powerd.

S: That’s because the author doesn’t know how to write them properly.

M: *cough Pyrrha Nikos *cough.

S: But I think it’s what our culture desperately needs, what everyone is looking for, but we’ve been forced to look for in the wrong places.

M: You maybe be cutting people too much slack when you say we’ve been forced to look in the wrong places. More like, we lost interesting the wholesome stuff, and even when we are presented with innocence, many people go out of their way to corrupt it with their imaginations. Remus is more like a version of what some people willingly do, they’ve embraced it, maybe it started out as intrusive thoughts, but now they think them on purpose. And then they like it. And they spread it around to the rest of us, and that’s why characters like Remus end up popular. Because it’s popular to embrace the gross, smutty, pervy side of things. Even when they don’t really exist.

S: There’s a reason for that attitude though. It’s lack of power. See, people have abandoned innocence and 1950’s values, because they don’t think they work. They are faced with their won inner demons and the outer problems of the world running rampant, and if those things are supposed to be so great, why aren’t they working? Why don’t more people use them? Why is everything to terrible?

Me: Okay

S: People don’t think they can afford to stick with something that won’t be powerful enough to save them. So why bother? Just abandon all those useless values and platitudes. Embrace the smuttiness because that’s all you’ve got.

M: Remember I said intrusive thoughts are based in the fear of yourself? And that people embrace them because that is less painful than fighting them and not seeming to ever win? It’s the coward’s way out, but when you have no solution, it can seem like the best way out. Because it’s painless. Except when your conscience does bother you, but that’s less often over time. Like 1 Tim 4: 2 “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;’

S: Yeah, but it’s almost hard to blame the people who stop fighting it and start embracing it.

Me: (Maybe for you o_O ).

S: Because look at what they think their only other option is: People who keep fighting are in a constant state of inner turmoil and self hatred, just look at Thomas’es reaction through out the whole video, Thomas doesn’t know how to stop these thoughts, and neither do the people who embrace them. So it seems to reflect on who they are. If I’m damned either way at least I can be damned and comfortable. But the hard truth is it’s not comfortable it just pretends to be.

Me: Like I said when we talked about it before, in Romans 7 Paul asks “who will deliver me for this body of death?” and the inner turmoil he describes is just like Thomas’s, and all of ours, it’s the human condition.

But what is our solution then?

S: Well we both know, we can’t stop ourselves from having those thoughts, all we can do is deal with them when they come. The truth is we can’t save ourselves from it. That’s kind of the conclusion Thomas came to.

But Thomas, all he’s doing, is putting down faulty weapons, he doesn’t know how to pick up effective weapons.

Me: I think that would tick some fans off to hear, but he admitted it himself.

S: So the only way to be completely and totally free is to not think those thoughts anymore, but that’s impossible isn’t it?

Me: I could argue that you can be completely free while still having the thoughts, because you can be free of bondage to them. You don’t have to feel bad, and you don’t have to like them, they can just cease to have any power over you at all. And then they don’t come very often. I don’t have them nearly as much as I used to.

S: But why?

Me: Because I started asking God to fight the thought for me, instead of doing it myself. I would tel them to leave, but also ask Him to take authority over them, I remind the thoughts that God is higher than them, and that I have the mind of Christ. And then, it’s just doesn’t bother me anymore. And they go away. And I forget about it in a hour or so.

S: What really has been working for me, is remembering who God says I am. If He says that I am not some demented disgusting thing.

Me: Like Remus

S: But instead I am a pure, powerful, beautiful, warrior, who don’t have to take no crap, and royalty which helps, then these thoughts can’t be part of me. They are obviously from somewhere else.

Me: And that there is what I think people don’t have. Any sense of a better identity. So they have no other recourse than to say these are me, and I suck. Poor Thomas.

S: Well, he even decided they weren’t a reflection of his character.

Me: Yeah, but he didn’t go far enough. He still thinks it’s art of his imagination. I’d say it’s not, it’s just using his imagination. And what we feed our imagination is important. Part of the problem is that many people out all sorest of horror imagines, smutty images, inane humor, dirty jokes, into their mind, and then they are surprised when it regurgitates in a form they are less comfortable with. What you laugh at and enjoy effects what kind of intrusive thoughts you’ll get.

S: (Nods)…so to come back to the original question, as to why people like Remus and are reacting this way to him, it’s because we don’t think we can have anything better. And to an extend we don’t want anything better.

Me: If you’re satisfied with mud, you won’t get a trip to the beach, right? But also, he who is loves silver won’t be satisfied with silver, these people are never satisfied.

S: Yeah, cause they are taking their questions to the wrong place.

Me: We need to wrap it up.

Well, thank sis, for helping me discuss this, and figure this out. I feel kind of somber now. I feel bad for all these people. But I hope that some people found this post helpful as an explanation, or as a guide to maybe how you can deal with this problem better. I  like Thomas, and I didn’t want to criticize him, I just think he’s not got the whole picture.

So, until next time, don’t like Remus–Natasha and co.

 

Fandoms–what the heck?

One follower away from 100! Whoo! No pressure.😉

Okay, so I want to talk about Fandoms a little bit, because fandoms are the perfect illustration of this verse I was just reading.

(Read the lesser known books of the Bible sometime, it’ll blow your mind what’s in there. My mom likes to say there are hidden gems.)

I was reading Titus, literally, the whole thing (it’s three short chapters).

Chapter 1, verse 15 says: “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.”

I quote the first of it a lot, but I didn’t know the rest.

My siblings and I are, or have been, part of quite a few fandoms, and I can date my first real experience of realizing that people are fans of things for a wide variety of reasons when I started watching Justice League Unlimited again online.

And whoa, mama, I found some messed up stuff in the comment section.

I’ve mentioned this before. You know, a lot of people say not to read the comment section, even under your own videos. I don’t have this problem yet, but I follow plenty of YouTubers who do.

It’s kind of sad really. I almost can’t blame those who disable the comments on their videos.

I’m just going to be blunt here. The number one thing I find in a lot of comments, but especially superhero ones is: SEX, SEX, SEX, Gay, homo, lesbian, incest…yeah, that last one is especially disturbing.

I’m scared because my 8 year old cousin already knows this stuff, though she’s too young to enjoy it, she know there are sick people like that our there. Goodness knows her parents aren’t going to explain to her.

Anyway, since then I’ve found this problem in every fandom. But what puzzled me is that these people show up in the most innocent, kid friendly of places. Shows you’d think they wouldn’t bother watching, or movies, or even books. Usually you expect perverts to look for stuff marketed to them.

What I had to realize was that there is actually a thrill they get out of spoiling innocent things. They know as well as the rest of us what was intended…they just don’t care.

Likewise, we’ve all been around that rare gem of a person who is exposed to something messed up and is completely unaware of what they are seeing. I’ve been that person. I envy them now, though usually, it’s still me.

And that perfectly illustrates the verse above. To the pure all things are pure. To the defiled, everything that goes into their mind becomes defiled, and they do not even have a conscience about it anymore.

I wish I could say it was unbelievers alone who were like this, I’d expect even a person of a different religion than me to have standards based on that religion, but religious people of any faith are just as likely to do this.

In fact, some of them are more likely. The reason is that, as kids, we were given a high standard. (A good standard usually. I have no problem with plenty of the values of even Islam. They are at least trying to do a good thing.)

When we get older we find out just how few people agree with us, we get into “worldly” stuff…and often its not the material that does it, even in this corrupt age (all ages are corrupt in their own way) I’d say over 50% of popular media is still trying to teach some kind of moral. And even shows that teach morals I don’t usually agree with are at least encouraging moral thinking, not sexual thinking. I can’t stand environmental shows, but I prefer that to nothing but sex and crude humor. What a no brainer right?

No, what does it is finding out that most (or it can feel like most) of the people watching it are just doing it to get their thrills.

So religiously raised kids get cynical, we cease to believe people look for value at all, and our commentary on these things becomes full of bitterness and what we expect people to point out.

I could begin naming names here, but I don’t think it would be fair. I’m sure you’ve seen it yourself and don’t need me to give an example of one of my people I know.

Basically, if you watch any kind of commentary, or participate in discussion with friends, you’ve met this person.

And it’s in humor too.

And these people are also who Paul is talking about in Titus, he’s writing about religious people when he says that verse. Because by overthinking ever little thing, and assuming corruption in other people, they have corrupted themselves.

I’d like to say this very clearly: If you constantly assume the worse motives of other people, you will begin to have those motives yourself.

It’s in another book where we are admonished to rebuke people carefully of sin, lest we also be tempted.

With this, you won’t be tempted by the obvious sin, if it’s there at all, you’ll be tempted by assuming it…and in assuming it, you’ll think of it more than the person you’re assuming about will.

I have to confess I do this too. But I am glad I don’t do it all the time, I can still enjoy some things purely. But the more I listen to people like that , the harder it gets.

It’s easy to write off entire fandoms (and fandoms are just one example of a people group, so it applies to any group of people you know) as corrupt because the ones who are are the loudest.

But the bible warns us of this also, in Proverbs it often tells us that fools will be loud and overt about their folly because they do not have the sense to be ashamed of it, while the wise are quieter about it, often. And wait to be asked. Or the wise offer only part of their opinion until pressed for more.

And in fandoms, I can attest to the fact that the more reserved commentators and analysts tend to have the best stuff. The loud ones can either be empty headed, or… gross.

Of course, if you have a loud personality, it does not make you a fool. It’s more of a rule when the person may be weirdly quiet about the good stuff.

(To me a red flag is if the person says nothing during the lesson or emotional moments, and gets way too excited about stupid or inconsequential gags. Or even worse, sees an emotional moment and immediate goes for the gay joke.)

At that point, their analysis is basically worthless I think. It’s a cheap gag.

I’m lucky to have siblings who enjoy thins for most of the same reasons I do and will encourage me to look at the best, otherwise I think all I would see sometimes is that bad stuff.

I think, if you’re like me, you may be wondering how to avoid getting burned by all this stuff.

I do not have a perfect answer yet. But I know that focusing on what you love, on the good stuff, is the best way to forget about the bad.

And watching your influences. Maybe you can’t get away from all of them, but as far as YouTube goes, I’ve found it helped a lot to search for positive reviewers, and clean ones. Or ones who actually think, for goodness sake.

And outside of fandoms, there are other people who corrupt everything they talk about. It may be better to just not hang around them.

But there are some who do it only because they were never taught anything else. Or, like many kids I’ve known, were not given a standard at all. Often they will change if they simply see something better demonstrated.

And to the pure, even a relationship in real life becomes pure. It all depends on your motives. As long as you also use common sense and set boundaries.

I think this song put it well, I had it playing while writing this:

“This is my brand new day starting now, I let go of the things that weigh me down, and rob me of the beauty that’s to be found, in life all around.

And this is my prayer without ceasing, the negative releasing, and as I rise above, my burden is easing.

I bring the pure flow water around, the rocks of life won’t hold me down.

I bring the pure flow, drink so deep, the river of life, my soul at ease.”–Superchick, Pure.

Until next time–Natasha.