The King’s Peace

There are some books that we all just love.  Even though we’ve read ’em hundreds of times before, we continue to pick them off the shelf and read them again.  I have a couple, but my favorite has got to be Jo Walton’s The King’s Peace.  Loosely based off of 6th century England, this book is a mix of faith and religion, politics, and warfare, told from a young woman’s point of view as she rides in the king’s cavalry based army and learns what it means to make peace when all she has ever known is war. 

It’s an amazing read.  Though it is not our history, nor is it our world, it ties in quite a bit. 

One of the parts of this novel that I enjoy is the faith aspect.  Throughout the book, the characters struggle over keeping the peace through the land and respecting the gods that they have chosen to revere and worship.  Sulien, the main character, worships the gods of her ancestors, the pagan gods of wisdom, healing, and warfare.  Other characters, like Raul, a monk and advisor to the king, follow the White God, the god that is based on of the Judo-Christian God.  Then there is Urdo, the King of the island of Tir Tanagiri, who is trying to not only make the peace between the people, but between the gods as well. 

It is extremely fascinating to read and see how the different characters faith affect the way they interact with others as well as how they worship. 

In a part of the book, after the peace has been made, some of the characters are arguing about how some of the followers of the White God have forced the conversion of the people, and in turn threw the land into turmoil once again.  Ohtar, one of the smaller kings of the island, responds to some heated questions with this statement, which all Christians should heed.

“They promise to wash them clean and save them and have them live forever in shining light.  It makes everything holy very simple.  It is deceptive and attractive.  People are afraid, and they hear the priests saying for sure what will be. … Also they tell the people that unless they praise the White God, they will be cast into darkness for all time.  What is the difference between holding a sword at someone’s throat and telling them you will kill them unless they convert and telling them they must convert or face eternal darkness?”

Sulien follows up with:

“It is one thing to offer someone a chance of praising in the light and another to threaten them with being cast out into darkness.”

Though this conversation is in a novel, I have seen this same situation in Christian missions fields and in converts all over the world.  We use the fear of hell instead of the love of Christ to bring people into the family of God. 

When preaching and in the missions field, we must remember that we are sharing hope.  Jesus Christ died so that we may live.  He rose again so that fear would be taken out of the picture.  We are washed by his blood, not because of anything that we have done, will do, our could do, but because his love for us. 

Our faith comes from the hope of salvation.  If we teach people to cling to Jesus because we fear hell and what may happen after death, are we teaching them faith?  Or are we forcing them to choose?  Faith is believing what cannot be seen, it is not fearing what is to come.

Fire and brimstone sermons were never ment to bring people to Christ, but to spur on believers to live out their faith.  They are fascinating, but not ment to be used to bring people to a loving father. 

Just some thoughts…

God Bless and PEACE


1 Comment »

  1. derp Said:

    i like

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