Faith First

Faith First

Time to relaunch my blog.

So, re-starting from the beginning, my name is Matt Barron. I’m a committed Christian, mid-forties married father of two. I’m the at home parent and love my family. I cook (well) and clean (less well), as well as having a hobby or two, but my main hope in this life is to be a writer. I’ve been working at it to a greater or lesser degree for my entire adult life.

For a long time in my life I’ve found my dreams of being a pro writer just frustrating and embittering. I worked at it and prayed a lot, but achieved nothing. I believed God’s Word when it said that He wanted to bless men and women, but for me it never seemed to come to fruit. However, in the last year or so, I’ve come to see something important. It may not be the ‘game changer’ I’m hoping for, but I still think it’s something I need to learn. See what you think.

I love fantasy and science fiction. As well as I can remember, I always have. I know I was already a fan of sci-fi when Star Wars was first released, when I was eight years old. One of the key features of fantasy and sci-fi is its troubled and dismissive relationship with religion, especially Christianity. While there are rare exceptions of course, like Frank Herbert’s masterpiece Dune, but mostly religion has been non-existent in sci-fi in my lifetime.

The situation is different, but just as bad, in fantasy, where paganism dominates. I know this because before I came to the Lord, that was what I and all my friends wanted in our fantasy. The notion of Christian fantasy made pre-Christian me want to groan in agony. As a young man I read fantasy to escape from my mundane life and my mundane life was dominated by the spiritually dead, secularised religion of my culture and school. Why would I want any of that in my escapism?

When I was born again I threw out so much of my pagan dominated sf and fantasy, especially my role playing games, because of the negative reputation they had with other Christians. I was young in the Lord and persuaded that I should cast it all away to focus only on Him. I thought God hated my favourite genre and so I did what I thought I was supposed to, in order to love Him.

That was OK until I got a job at a local boarding school where I found I made contact with the roleplaying geeks and they opened up to me because I talked their language. At least one of those guys came to the Lord and told me that much of what we had talked about in the boarding house contributed to his decision.

Slowly my longing for my favourite genre grew inside me, as well as for roleplaying, and I started wanting to write again. I knew that most fans were like me, or as I had been, and weren’t interested in Christianity in their fantasy. The boys in the boarding house had certainly been hostile to it. So what I thought I would do was just avoid the issue. I couldn’t write against my faith, but I could write around it, or so I thought!

And so we come to my hoped for game-changer. I have come to see that I was wrong. Jesus said that whoever was ashamed of His words, He would be ashamed of them before His Father in heaven, as well as when He returned to the earth. (Matt 10:33; Mark 8:38) When we pray in the name of Jesus, He intercedes for us with the Father and Creator of the universe and He said outright that He will be ashamed of anyone who is ashamed of Him. And what else was I doing but being ashamed when I thought to “write around” Him. I was saying, ‘Please bless me, but I’m not going to let anyone see that you did.’

Thank God He never let me succeed in such a profitless endeavour. I’ve tried to develop a career as a professional writer for almost twenty years now and despite some positive feedback and encouragement from pros, the overall outcome has been bubkiss, nada, zip, zero, zilch.

So now, I have repented, and turned from my old ways. I am a Christian fantasy author and Christ is at the core of my writing and will be forevermore. I am diving in, faith first this time! I hope and trust to succeed, but even if I don’t, at least I will know I was true to myself, my saviour and to God, first and last.

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