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  • Writer's pictureWalker Buckalew


What's your favorite book?
Violence - It is not permitted

Near the end of my second adult-level novel – the second in the Rebecca Series – we read this passage:

The gunman, kicking wildly at her face and chest, tried to wrest the barrel from her hands so that he could open fire again toward the dais. Just as he seemed about to succeed… all eight combatants were swarmed under by an avalanche comprising military policemen, Secret Service agents, and, by the dozens, members of the graduating class of the United States Naval Academy.

And near the end of my second young-adult novel – the second in the Visioners Series – fourteen-year-old Joanna Clark tell us this:

Meanwhile, the arena has gone crazy. The gunfire into the info-board not only terrified the thousands of people present in the Garden, but glass shards from the screen have come crashing to the floor, appearing to miss one of the sections where people were sitting on folding chairs, but frightening all those nearby into a stampede toward the nearest exists.

So, why do we find such violence in my action/mystery novels, in view of the fact that they are Christian-themed, and in view of the the fact that the main characters – Rebecca, Joanna, their families and their friends – are all fully and deeply committed to their faith in God?

My answer is simply this. All of my stories depict Good against Evil. The evil people in my novels are intent on sowing confusion, unhappiness, and destruction wherever they can. And they are clever about it. They often pose, in fact, as very good people, trying to do very good things. They are often living a lie.

But, sooner or later, they – the evil people in my novels – come to realize that the good people opposing them are not only quite clever themselves, they have “special resources” that place the evil people at disadvantage. You’ll remember this Bible verse, from I Samuel 3:1.

The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

We might say that about our own days, too. But in my stories, certain good people have been selected as vessels for “special messages,” sometimes in the form of visions. And all of them pray for God’s guidance, every day, all the time. We are all familiar with feeling the “Divine nudge” to act, or decline to act, in certain directions. This is, in fact, why a regular prayer life is so critically important for Christians: God can act on us most easily, it would seem, when we are purposely engaging Him, asking for His guidance.

In any case, the good people in my stories are regularly led by God to intervene in the evil people’s efforts to undermine Christianity in any way they can. And sometimes that means opposing violence with force.

And when violence is opposed by force in my novels, that usually means that Rebecca’s twin brother – and Joanna’s uncle – Luke Manguson, is at the forefront. When Luke is called upon to stand up to violence, he is bound by his Christian beliefs and principles to conduct himself in certain ways.

Repeatedly we are told – by Rebecca, by Joanna, by Luke himself – that he is not free to use the enemy’s methods in opposing the enemy’s violence. Luke uses just enough force to defeat the enemies. No more or less.

So, near the end of Visioners2, fourteen-year-old Joanna tells us this:

I can actually hear the men breathing – my dad, my uncle, the two detectives – their adrenalin pumping, their eagerness to pummel my questioner into a formless jelly fighting against their Christian impulse not to fight violence with violence. It is my mother’s voice that cuts through the tension in the room.

We are not in danger, Luke,” says my mother, her voice strong and even. “We have defeated our enemy, at least for now. We are not permitted to do violence against an enemy who has been defeated and captured….

It is not permitted.”

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