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Should a Christian Read Mystery Novels?


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This comes from Hopeful Homemaker, a 17-year-old SAHD and friend of Country Handmaiden.

hopefulforhomemaking.blogspot.com/2013/01/should-christian-read-mystery-novels.html

After reading the entire Sherlock Holmes series, which I enjoyed immensely, I began a search for another mystery series with a similar style - deductive and logical, not gruesome or mystery-turned-horror-story. I discovered the work of Agatha Christie, the world's bestselling author and mystery writer. She wrote many of her novels in the 1930-50 era. I decided to read one of her most famous works, "The A.B.C Murders," with the famous detective Hercule Poirot and his sidekick Captain Hastings. It was an easy read, very engrossing, and pretty clean; I finished it in two days time. The content was not gruesome, and the characters had fairly good morals, excepting the bad guys. No details were crude or inappropriate, and there were only a few "mild" profanities - the book was, by today's standards, very clean indeed. And yet, when I had finished reading, something stirred within - the Lord convicted me of several things. The question arose, "Is it God-honoring for a Christian to read mysteries, especially those centering on murder?" Not, again, that the book was inherently bad or wicked, if viewed from a purely "checklist" sense. Nevertheless, the Lord showed me several points that related to this sort of reading (and honestly, any reading we chose to do).

As I recall, there's a murder pretty early on in the Bible--one that kills 25% of the world's population. I am eagerly awaiting her list of suggested "good books."

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What about what's his name Ted Dekker? I think he writes mystery/thrillers that are just chock full of jesus-y goodness. Honestly, I'm more surprised she wants logic and deduction in her readings.

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It took me about four tries to read her blog banner as anything but "you have sex all the borders of the earth". That font is horrendous, as is the one used for her posts.

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I find it interesting how God will tell this young woman not to read murder mysteries yet he apparently told G W Bush to invade Iraq, kill and maim.

Things that make me go "Hmmmmmm..."

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I'm more horrified by the fact it took her two days to finish an Agatha Christie book. I like some Agatha Christie (some of her later stuff should never have been published, she was suffering from dementia) and the most one of her books has ever taken me was an hour.

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Guest Anonymous

Funny how God told her not to read murder mysteries only after she read a shit-ton of them. I guess it's better than pre-judging, but it's also kind of like being convicted to stop eating cake only after you've scoffed an entire Victoria sponge.

JFC, a don't think I could read a whole book in an hour (beyond super-skimming). I like to read the good bits really slowly to draw them out. It could easily take me two days to read an Agatha Christie novel.

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Fundies love magic thinking.

If she had argued that novels in general took up too much of her time, or that she didn't learn enough from them, that would make some sense, but this "not godly" is only fake and Pharisee-ish. It invests the book with some magical power to make you less godly, or she assumes reading such things will automatically draw the reader to take the views presented in it as fact. Like children want to be sorcerers (REAL of course) if they're allowed to read Harry Potter.

I remember, when I was still a believing Catholic, some random evangelical fundie told me I couldn't read the satanic bible (which I had to, for university-purposes), because it would infect me with demons. Sure thing.

"I'm sooo godly, I do not even read mystery novels!" "Yes, dear, go get your bonus points from Jesus and back into the kitchen."

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I'm more horrified by the fact it took her two days to finish an Agatha Christie book. I like some Agatha Christie (some of her later stuff should never have been published, she was suffering from dementia) and the most one of her books has ever taken me was an hour.

:lol: I was thinking that, too.

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She really needs to read her Old Testament more.

Let's try the book of Exodus where, just off the top of my head, there's Moses killing an overseer, there's God's angel killing all the firstborn males (after the he made their lives miserable with the first nine plagues), there's a mass drowning in the Red Sea, there's God killing a bunch of Israelites because they complained about the food, there's God killing a bunch of Israelites because they complain they have no water, there's God sending the whole lot back into the desert for 40 years so that the majority of them can die.

If she thinks God is allowed to play by different rules because he's God (which, I suppose makes sense on some level), then let's look at the book of Judges: We have Ehud (who stabbed the obese king so hard that he couldn't find his sword to remove it), we have Jael (who hammered a tent peg through Sisera's temple), we have Jephthah (who may or may not have sacrificed his eldest daughter to God), and then we have Samson (As a fundie, I always thought Samson was proof that God can work through even the stupidist ppl-he wasn't exactly the brainiest bloke) who tore a lion in half, killed a few hundred Philistines because he was pissed off that his wife told them the answer to his riddle, had a temper tantrum and burnt a couple of Philistine cities by setting some foxes' tails alight, killed a few more with the jaw bone of an donkey, and then, to top it off, commited suicide by pushing out the supporting door frame of a temple, taking a whole lot of ppl with him. Charming stuff. This is just two out of the 66 books, and I haven't even cracked open a Bible to see what I missed.

I don't think she needs any murder mysteries, the Bible has enough to rival a Tarantino movie.

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I'll admit that I'm fairly slow with Agatha Christies because I just struggle to get into them, and I'm normally a very speedy reader/

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Ah the musings of a 17 year old SAHD - exactly the fodder for snark I needed this weekend.

In one of her posts of morality she offers this (from the Nov 16, 2012 post): "Most cultures would agree that Muslim men treat their women abominably and wrong, despite the fact that they were taught to do it from birth and it is consequently their culture."

Really? Fundamentalists Muslims seem a whole lot like fundamental Christians to me. Both: don't want their daughters educated, both want their women covered (if I look just a little - I'll bet find that the author of this blog has something to say about modesty), both want women to submit, both believe men should run everything. All fundamentalists seem pretty much the same to me.

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I love me some Agatha Christie, but I have not read the one she mentioned. I must go find it and read it and since I'm not a Christian it will be okay. The last AC book I read was a Miss Marple one that mentioned sex and people being gay and it wasn't bashing either of those things. My personal favorites are "And Then There Were None" and "Murder on the Orient Express".

And yes, if she doesn't want to read about murder, perhaps she should skip the Bible.

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She went to the Vision Forum Father Daughter retreat, but wrote mostly about the trip there and very little about the actual retreat. I'm saying that means the retreat is boring beyond all words.

hopefulforhomemaking.blogspot.com/2012/04/father-daughter-retreat-and-witty.html

Also, I don't think she is allowed to read quotes of founding fathers that show them in a non-Christian light. From Thomas Jefferson:

"The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs." -- Letter to James Smith, December 8, 1822"

Don't think that one is going to make it onto her blog.

And, of course she lives in my state. :roll:

hopefulforhomemaking.blogspot.com/search/label/Gaston%20County

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Surely God wants her to enjoy herself and experience all the world has to offer.

It would be funny if when they get to heaven, God tells them that they stopped having fun for no reason, and that all he cares about is being a good person.

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I love me some Agatha Christie, but I have not read the one she mentioned. I must go find it and read it and since I'm not a Christian it will be okay. The last AC book I read was a Miss Marple one that mentioned sex and people being gay and it wasn't bashing either of those things. My personal favorites are "And Then There Were None" and "Murder on the Orient Express".

And yes, if she doesn't want to read about murder, perhaps she should skip the Bible.

OT but I think "And Then There Were None" is one of my favorite books of all time.

I see this as just one more way extreme Christians try to make themselves miserable to prove that they are so holy. A lot of people watch tv so all tv must be bad. A lot of people enjoy music so all music must be bad. A lot of people enjoy books so books must be bad. Of course the bible doesn't count because only the "real true Christians" have read it through and understand it. Oh wait a moment... :think:

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Read a little further...she lists her family's favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies, which she says "can be healthier than most of the chocolate chip cookies consumed nowadays, if you use all natural and raw ingredients. "

Then she bakes them.

:lol:

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Read a little further...she lists her family's favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies, which she says "can be healthier than most of the chocolate chip cookies consumed nowadays, if you use all natural and raw ingredients. "

Then she bakes them.

:lol:

So I'm not supposed to start with a hard boiled egg in my cookie recipes? Doh! Well praise Jeebus that this SAHD was here to set me straight.

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Her essay on morality is a hoot.

Apparently her worldview class didn't teach too much critical thinking.

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So I'm not supposed to start with a hard boiled egg in my cookie recipes? Doh! Well praise Jeebus that this SAHD was here to set me straight.

I've actually seen recipes for cookies that start with mashed hard boiled eggs. :shock: I don't know, sounds yucky to me.

I clicked around a bit--in the Homestead Blessings blog she links, it was kind of interesting to see all their holiday decorations. Rather charming, really. Until I saw the picture of Robert E. Lee, Nathaniel Bedford Forrest and Stonewall Jackson. Charming, indeed! Just love a hint of slavery and the KKK along with your pine branches and natural grasses.

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Surely God wants her to enjoy herself and experience all the world has to offer.

It would be funny if when they get to heaven, God tells them that they stopped having fun for no reason, and that all he cares about is being a good person.

There's a Jewish idea about the afterlife that when you die G-d will ask you, "Did you enjoy my creation?" I think about this whenever I hear about the Maxwells.

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I've actually seen recipes for cookies that start with mashed hard boiled eggs. :shock: I don't know, sounds yucky to me.

I clicked around a bit--in the Homestead Blessings blog she links, it was kind of interesting to see all their holiday decorations. Rather charming, really. Until I saw the picture of Robert E. Lee, Nathaniel Bedford Forrest and Stonewall Jackson. Charming, indeed! Just love a hint of slavery and the KKK along with your pine branches and natural grasses.

Is it this picture?

DSCN8635.JPG

Here's the blog.

thewestladies.blogspot.com

Oh dear G-d, these people sell homesteading DVDs that are available at my local library. Time to employ my library's barely-used review feature to let patrons know who these people are . . .

homestead-blessings.com/products.html/

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What an insipid life this poor child lives. Even SAHDs usually talk about their family and siblings on their blogs. This child mentions a brother once in June, then I have to go all the way back to Easter to find any genuine mention of siblings. Her sister has older elementary/pre-teen children. She started being homeschooled 10 years ago, so I would guess that her family grew more fundie over time. Not only does her niece wear pants and have short hair, but she has hot pink stripes in her hair.

Poor sheltered child, has NO idea that her brain is something to be USED and that there's a big wide world out there outside of what her parents are spoon-feeding her.

I wonder what her sister thinks of her and the life her parents are giving her. If the other sister was public schooled and had a normal life, she either has to feel bad for her kid sister, or simply shake her head at how her family is going more strange over time.

Geesh, these poor girls are SO banished from being full humans that their narcisstic, sachrine, boring blogs about nothing new but advertise themselves as being "worthy" is SUCH a waste of their lives, their minds and their own right to choose their futures.

This is exactly what the Fundies are going for now. If they allow their daughters to be fully human, they have a much harder time keeping them enslaved to try to create the future THEY want.

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See, when I was growing up, the argument was that mystery novels are exciting, and therefore you develop a taste for mystery novels and then you won't want to read the bible, because the bible is less exciting. Also, novels excite the mind, and then you desire things you can't have and develop an unrealistic worldview...

If I don't sound like I'm making sense, it's because I think that the people who tried to instill this idea in me didn't make much sense either.

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I'm surprised this SAHD isn't reading Brandilyn Collins books. Brandilyn writes mystery and suspense books with a Christian slant. I have a friend whose very devout ELCA sister is now at the point where she reads only Christian novels.

Another point that is of definite import, which the Lord impressed upon me, is language. Is there really such a thing as "mild" swearing? Or can we say, "Oh, but there were only a few profanities," as though the Lord's standard makes exceptions? What are the Lord's standards regarding this? Many of the verses regarding darkness, listed above, apply to this issue. Another one is Hosea 4:2, "By swearing and lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery, they break all restraint, with blood shed upon bloodshed." (emphasis mine) Swearing, in this verse, is on the same caliber as murder. Using the Lord's name in vain, often viewed as less of a problem than profanity, is even more highly condemned in Scripture: "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, who takes His name in vain."

Oh noes a few swear words. I'm pretty sure Agatha Christie wasn't writing her books with the Lord in the mind.

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