Home Forums Fiction Writing General Writing Discussions Zombies and Vampires ~ Yeh or Bleh?

This topic contains 106 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Kate Flournoy 2 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #4827

    Daniel Thompson
    @daniel-leinad-thompson-2-2-2
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 37

    Hey guys, fun topic. In the podcast I posted today, I interviewed Kerry Nietz, author of the book “Amish Vampires in Space” (yeah, get a load of that title). Earlier today, I got this comment on the page.

    “I have an honest question. Please don’t be offended. Should Christians really be using dark, evil things like vampires and zombies as themes for their stories (Philippians 4:8-9)? And why then would unbelievers think that we’re really any different than them?”

    What do you all think? Yay or Nay on Zombies? Is this a moral dillema, or just an “OH MY GOSH ENOUGH WITH THE ZOMBIES” type of question?

    #4845

    Hope Ann
    @hope
    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1092

    Hmm…I wouldn’t use either myself. Zombies I’m not sure about; I don’t know if I’d call them evil though I think there are much better things to write about. I would not write about vampires though, because that gets too close to real life satanic stuff for my comfort (reading or writing).

    INTJ - Inhumane. No-feelings. Terrible. Judgment and doom on everyone.

    #4865

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3912

    I would not be comfortable either reading or writing about zombies, because I don’t like messing with the natural laws (life and death) God has set in place. To resurrect, however imperfectly, anything that was once living and once dead, is to take the place of God and say that you know better than God who should have died and who shouldn’t. Even if this was done in a very scientific setting, with nothing having to do about magic or demons or powers of darkness I would not like to read of it, and I am much more strict with myself about what I write than what I read. This is my personal conviction.
    Vampires… hm. I don’t know why I believe this, but even setting the gross factor aside I don’t think I would approve them either. Maybe some of our revulsion as Christians against the drinking of blood traces back to the prohibitions in the Old Testament against the drinking of blood. I don’t know, but I am certain I would disapprove either of them.


    Hannah C
    @hannah-c
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 314

    I totally agree here. I would not want to read or write about vampires, zombies, werewolves, witches etc. I think they are all morally wrong not to mention downright creepy feeling. There is just something that feels wrong about those topics and I don’t believe they are very Christian.

    HC

    #4874

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3912

    Let me throw in something here. While I would not write of zombies or vampires no matter what side they were on, simply because I find them utterly disgusting, I would probably write a witch if she were very obviously on the evil side. Writing a witch is simply like writing a mage gone wrong or a wizard turned sorcerer. (See general writing discussion topic ‘no such thing as magic’ for my definition of magic. It may help with perspective). In a fantasy, dark magic is simply the power of whatever creatures are the demons of that world, and white magic is simply the power of the deity of that world. As it is in our world.
    Actually, I think I might even write a ‘good’ werewolf if I were writing fantasy, because you can bend the laws of nature by inventing different creatures when you have your own fantasy world. To write a werewolf who was literally a demon in human/wolf form would definitely be over the top for what I would write as a ‘good’ creature, but to write a wolf who was created with the ability to take human form seems to me perfectly acceptable, as long as you have clearly differentiated between your fantasy world and the world in which we live, which is governed by laws Christ has set down and are not to be broken. Now why don’t I look at zombies and vampires this way? Because to subvert the very building blocks of life, to tamper with life and death, is one hundred percent taboo no matter what world you invent. There are some laws, moral laws, that should not be tampered with no matter what genre you are writing. We can change the natural laws if we have a different world and we have made it clear that it is a different world, but moral laws should not be twisted.
    Remember also that there is a difference between what we put in our stories and what we promote. Just because we have a witch in our story does not mean we are promoting witchcraft. The witch should be a villain. And we ought to make that very clear.


    Reagan Ramm
    @reaganramm
    • Rank: Wise Jester
    • Total Posts: 73

    I would not be comfortable either reading or writing about zombies, because I don’t like messing with the natural laws (life and death) God has set in place.

    If so, Kate, then would you say you are also not in favor of stories like Narnia and Lord of The Rings which take place in other worlds and have elements that are much different from our world?

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Reagan Ramm.
    #4881

    Hannah C
    @hannah-c
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 314

    I’d like to point out that as Christian writers n matter what world we write about they should still be governed by the laws Christ has set down. In my opinion.

    HC

    #4895

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3912

    Excellent question. Hannah got my answer before me, basically, but I want to answer a point you brought up specifically. First, I am a complete and utter, totally obsessed, diehard Tolkien fanatic. I think Tolkien did it the right way (created his own world) because he made very definite distinctions between Middle-earth and our world. I am aware that some think Middle-earth was supposed to be an alternate beginning for our world, but nowhere in Tolkien’s works have I found anything to verify that.
    Narnia… now that’s a discussion. Setting aside the fact that the series is very allegorical, I don’t think C.S. Lewis was right in creating different realms that attached to our world. Different lands with different heavens do not exist— there are no portals from London into such worlds or any such thing as fairies or magical rings in our world. I know I am very bold to challenge a man who was not only a wonderful writer but also considered a leading theologian, but I base my work on the Bible, and I know the Author who wrote that book is more infallible than C.S. Lewis.
    So my argument was that we should not take God’s world and add on to it or twist its laws. Our world is as God made it— it was a perfect work before we ruined it. It should stand untouchable by us.


    Dani M
    @dani-m
    • Rank: Bumbling Henchman
    • Total Posts: 12

    I think that vampires should only be used as representatives of satanic activity. Therefore, I would certainly disaprove of them being the main theme of a book written by a Christian.

    Honestly, I don’t know much about zombies, but I do know that the only people who were raised from the dead were raised by Christ, and I highly doubt that they would have been anything like what I have seen of zombies.

    As for the realm of fantasy (because as I understand it, vampires and zombies are set in this world), I don’t have too many problems with messing with the laws of nature- which aren’t laws anymore since they’re in another world. Popping through wardrobes into Narnia doesn’t bother me, probably because I tried to find doors into other worlds long before I knew about the genre of fantasy.

    I don’t want to ruin Tolkien for you, Kate, but after reading extensively through old Tolkien works and notes, it seems pretty apparent that he was tying this world into Middle Earth.

    #4908

    Sarah Hoven
    @sarah-h
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 669

    Vampires, zombies, and werewolves are extremely demonic, and should not be written about lightly. If you are writing about spiritual warfare, and you really know what you are talking about, then that’s different; but otherwise, I believe that Christians should keep such dark, evil material out of their writing. Even if these creatures were completely make believe, I would avoid writing about them for the reasons Kate gave: there are certain boundaries that should not be crossed. However, if we want to be effective warriors for Christ, we have to realize that the supernatural is real. Demons are real. Witches are real, and much of what is called magic and fantasy is actually witchcraft, and very real. Please believe me when I say this. There are certain people who have given themselves over to Satan so completely that, if a demon possesses them, they take on the shape of that demon. And that’s where the legends of vampires, zombies, and werewolves come from: throughout history, people have seen these strange creatures and have tried to explain them. Okay, you probably won’t believe me. But please, don’t write about these creatures as if they were make-believe.

    #4909

    Daniel Thompson
    @daniel-leinad-thompson-2-2-2
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 37

    Why are there moral boundaries to what Christians can write about and include in stories? Do we have Biblical backup as to what’s permissible, or are we just speculating?

    #4910

    Reagan Ramm
    @reaganramm
    • Rank: Wise Jester
    • Total Posts: 73

    I’d like to point out that as Christian writers n matter what world we write about they should still be governed by the laws Christ has set down. In my opinion.

    Do you have Biblical support to back this up?

    Also, what makes vampires inherently demonic? There is no reference to vampires in the Bible, and certainly none referenced in association with Satan.

    #4911

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3912

    All of you guys made very good points. I think I know what you mean, Dani, about Tolkien, and I agree now that I’ve thought it through, and it probably wasn’t a good idea to do it that way. Tolkien didn’t take it as far as Lewis and make it essential to the story, and therefore I would venture to say that he was a little wiser, a little more wary, but I don’t want to settle with ‘what I can get away with’ in my own writing. I absolutely love The Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia, and it doesn’t bother me to read about things like that, but I have a very high standard for what I write. It is pointless dithering to put other authors on trial and say ‘well they got away with it, so why isn’t it fine for us?’ We should have the very highest standards, because if we reach the levels of skill I at least hope to obtain in my own work, our stories will be completely believable, and for myself I don’t want to cause anyone to stumble.
    Reagan, I cannot think of a single example in the Bible where vampires were condemned, but there are several places in the Old Testament (I have forgotten the references— a bad habit of mine) where the eating and drinking of blood is forbidden. I’m not a huge scholar of vampires and therefore maybe I’m missing a key point of what it is to be a vampire, but as far as I know all they do is drink blood. Tell me if I’m missing something.


    Reagan Ramm
    @reaganramm
    • Rank: Wise Jester
    • Total Posts: 73

    Reagan, I cannot think of a single example in the Bible where vampires were condemned, but there are several places in the Old Testament (I have forgotten the references— a bad habit of mine) where the eating and drinking of blood is forbidden. I’m not a huge scholar of vampires and therefore maybe I’m missing a key point of what it is to be a vampire, but as far as I know all they do is drink blood. Tell me if I’m missing something.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to be arguing that it is sinful to write about vampires because the Bible condemns the drinking of blood, and vampires drink blood, yes?

    Do you see the problem with your argument? The Bible also condemns lying, cheating, stealing, and murder (just to name a few things). In order for you to condemn vampires in writing, you also have to be against any stories that include lying, cheating, stealing, and murder.

    What is more, the Bible depicts these things, so even if you don’t believe this, you are essentially making the case that we shouldn’t read the Bible.

    Also, you talk about holding your writing to a higher standard than Lewis or Tolkien. By what authority are you determining your standard? You admitted that Bible does not say vampires are demonic and should be avoided. Therefore, you are going outside of the Bible to say vampires are inherently sinful. How do you know that vampires, or elves, or dragons, or aliens can’t be part of this higher standard you speak of?

    Also, Christians are no longer under the dietary restrictions of the Old Testament, so the laws forbidding us to eat certain things in the OT are void.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Reagan Ramm.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Reagan Ramm.
    #4917

    Hannah C
    @hannah-c
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 314

    Do you have Biblical support to back this up?

    Probably not the kind you would like, I have no actual references. But there is the Bible itself. If you’ll recal there is no mention of vampires and zombies. There is, however, verses that talk about not drinking the blood of life (which vampires do.)

    Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul.

    Genesis 9:3-4 -Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
    But flesh with the life thereof, [which is] the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

    That says it pretty clearly.

    If you do not agree with me that is your prerogative. I am not here to change your opinion–that is not my job–I am merely here to state my own.

    HC

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