Why Spiritual Warfare & Why Comics? (Part One)
"There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan." - C.S. Lewis
I chose to write Memoirs of an Angel over 14 years ago. When the idea struck me, I had no clue what the story would become nor did I know just how vast it was. I had just walked out of seeing "Blade II" and I LOVED IT. It was so awesome to watch Wesley Snipes fight his own demons of being an actual vampire, while fighting alongside other vampires whom he didn't trust to face an even greater threat, a new breed of vampire monster: reapers.
As I walked out of the theater my imagination began to wander. I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if there was a super hero like Blade, but he fought demons and walked among the spiritual realm.?" Now, that's not really anything what Memoirs has become, mind you (as you will see eventually), but that was the spark that would lead to the series I am currently working on. At the time I hadn't heard of Constantine or Hellboy or Neil Gaiman's Sandman, who would all go on to become even greater influences on the series than Blade ever was. Nevertheless, Blade was the spark. Blade and spiritual warfare.
In our culture it is impossible to deny that we are infatuated by the supernatural. We can't get enough of it. This is why statistically speaking our Western Culture is loving Halloween more and more as time goes on (me included). We love spooky movies like Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring (one of my personal favorites). But why? I believe it is because we, as humans, love to explore things we can't explain. That's a part of our very nature. We were designed this way; to explore and figure things out. So when we come across something unexplained, we find it fascinating. For me, I've always been fascinated by angels and demons. As a Christian, I was introduced to these ideas at a very young age, but it wasn't until I was in my early twenties that I really began to study what The Bible actually says about them. It was then that I was introduced to Spiritual Warfare.
I won't go too deep into the subject in this entry, but if you wish to dig a little deeper, I suggest purchasing the book titled (appropriately enough) "Spiritual Warfare" by Karl Payne. His breakdown of what spiritual warfare is from a Christian worldview is excellent and helpful. It also shows us something very important: we aren't alone here. There are things that happen that can't be explained. There is another plane of existence which not only exists, but is very interactive with our own. I personally believe with every fiber in me that many of those answers and explanations are found in the Bible. Sure, many answers aren't found there as well, but many are. One of the most important facts that is found there about the spiritual realm is simply that it exists and there are things in that realm that war against us ("For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12).
So, why spiritual warfare? Because it is happening. It's real. And we need to acknowledge it. Now, sure, I am writing a fictional graphic novel series about it, so there are liberties that I will take, but it is based on the reality that the spiritual realm does exist and that it wars among itself and with us here in the physical realm. That is what I am trying to convey as I continue to create this series; to show the reader just how the spiritual and physical realms could and probably do in many ways interact with one another.
However, I must add that I don't believe every sickness and tornado has a demon behind it, nor do I see Jesus in my toast. Just because the spiritual world exists, wars with ours, and influences actions and events, doesn't mean a demon is behind all the bad things that happen. I think people and their terrible choices are a very large part of the evils that go on in this world but, that is for a different entry. So in no way am I trying to bring too much attention to the spiritual aspect of things.
C.S. Lewis is one of my scholarly heroes. He also happened to be a very strong believer in Christianity. In writing his book, "The Screwtape Letters" he warned the reader by saying,
"There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight."
So I am choosing to create a series which focuses on these things, but also brings to light that cosmic beings are not the only things warring against us and therefore we should not blame everything on "the devils". As I will speak on in other entries, I believe the primary thing that wars against us is our own personal human nature and in Memoirs I will explore the relationship between a fallen human nature and the spiritual villains of our time and all time.
Hopefully it will show the reader just that.
Part Two of this entry will be less heavy, I promise ;).