White and nerdy – that pretty much describes me. I’m the type of person who spends my free time watching Netflix, reading fan-theories, and celebrating badwolf day (with sidewalk chalk).
Here’s the catch – I’m also a Christian. Like many geeky Christians out there, I’ve struggled with the question of how my interest in fiction relates to the realities of my faith. Growing up I heard many times that fandoms are a waste of time and energy. But are they really?
People assume that fandoms are a strict progression from reality to fiction. But actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly fandomy stuff.
My point is that fiction and reality don’t have to be polar opposites, and fandoms and faith can actually complement each other. For one thing, fiction helps us empathize. While the characters may be fictitious, the emotions, moral conflicts, and human responses are all very real, and exposure to them can help you interact more compassionately with people different from you.
Also, fiction can be used to teach about or illustrate a spiritual message. Jesus illustrated his sermons using parables, which are – you guessed it – fiction. Here’s another thing – God created us in His image. Since God is creative, this means He created us to be creative. So when we create and enjoy what we’ve created, we’re actually imitating God, which is a form of worship! After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
So fiction isn’t inherently bad, and it’s not a waste of time either. It doesn’t even have to be completely separated from your faith. Like anything else, it’s a tool, and it all comes down to how you use it.