By Christine Sunderland
My latest novel, Angel Mountain (Wipf and Stock, 2020), calls each of the four main characters to seek meaning in their lives. It says despair not, for your Creator loves you. Despair not, for the law of love will free you. Despair not, for angels of righteousness are on the mountain and in the caverns, lighting the dark. Hope in all things, for angels watch over you, prompt you. Hope in grace, for the Holy Spirit is within you.
My characters glimpse the dawn in a world of darkness. They are pulled toward the light out of the dark, toward Heaven on Earth. Righteousness takes shape in their lives, freed from the bonds of wokeness and fear.
Christian fiction writers free righteousness from the chains of political correctness.
They do this by honoring laws decreed by freely and fairly elected representatives of the American people, laws in turn based upon a higher authority, the laws of nature and nature’s God. These natural laws govern Christian fiction as well, in plot, character, and setting, pointing to meaning, hope, redemption, and righteousness.
We recently celebrated the Fourth of July, American Independence Day. We recalled the words of our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, July 4, 1776, a declaration of “Thirteen United States of America”:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
But how can we exercise these divine rights, owned by every man and woman and child? How can we ensure these rights are protected for each citizen of our vast land, from sea to shining sea?
We exercise and ensure these rights by informing our culture. Christian artists – writers of fiction – tell stories that honor life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our stories declare that life is meaningful, that liberty is worth dying for, and that happiness is found within the boundaries of law.
We are not ashamed to speak or write of this vision of our world. We are not afraid of being cancelled or coerced. We create characters who fight for ideals, for family, for love. We point to something greater than ourselves, to a God who created us to be free by living within the borders of righteousness.
For to be free is to live within God’s law, the “perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25). Only within the boundaries of law, can we know truth, beauty, and goodness, can we pursue happiness.
America, through the suborning of our artists and our culture, has forgotten what and who she is. True art – representing truth – has been kidnapped and bound by a code of self and a litany of feeling, so that pornography has replaced marriage, and the state has replaced family. Children are unwelcome and aborted, for mothers and fathers are told not to mother and father. The divine plan for redemption is neither honored nor admitted, but scorned and ridiculed. This secularization of meaning, this hiding of hope, has caused anarchy in our cities and despair in our souls. It can only lead to suicide of both the individual and the nation.
But the Christian writer, especially of fiction, can still remind America what and who she is. Just as Jesus told parables, we are called to tell the truth of God’s great love living within the Creator’s great natural laws.
In this way we free the righteousness we are called to live and embrace. We witness to freedom, to the perfect law of liberty that works within the borders of love.
We live within these boundaries ordained by God, boundaries that nurture who we are and who we are meant to be: righteous heroes and heroines in the great saga of mankind’s redemption.
Over the last year, we watched cities burn, our faces and means of expression masked. We saw words lose meaning, as slogans slayed speech. We saw righteousness ridiculed and lies replace truth. We saw a culture deny Christ, a culture misinformed, its memory no longer remembering.
It is our calling, as Christian storytellers, to free righteousness in America, that last land of hope and freedom, liberty and law.American Christian fiction writers free righteousness with the perfect law of liberty. @Chrisunderland #ACFWBlogs #writetip #critiques #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Christine Sunderland has authored seven award-winning novels: Pilgrimage, set in Italy, Offerings, set in France, Inheritance, set in England, Hana-lani, set in Hawaii, The Magdalene Mystery, set in Rome and Provence (all Oaktara), The Fire Trail (eLectio), set at UC Berkeley, and Angel Mountain (Wipf and Stock), set on Mount Diablo, east of Berkeley. She serves as Managing Editor for the American Church Union and is a member of the Anglican Province of Christ the King. Visit Christine at www.ChristineSunderland.com.