I was weary of delving into such a genre. Christian Fiction? I thought, c'mon... that can't be nothing but a bunch of nonsensical junk.
Although I may not know much about this particular genre, its authors or its reputation, what I do know is that-- from reading 34 pages thus far of this 269-page work, there's a lot of truth to it. The book is "Strongholds" by Vanessa Davis Griggs. The book is comprised of the stories of several persons who have strongholds, generational curses or internal weaknesses of their own that hold them back from growing closer to God. These strongholds can keep people out of God's will for some time.
So far I have one particular character-favorite. Her name is Arletha. It's the words written on the page of this Christian Fiction novel that move me, not necessarily the character herself. Why? Because the words are truth, anyone can say or think the words, not just Arletha... the book says fiction because the characters are not actual people-- but they are real people!
These characters represent total, utter and complete truth! The only reason it's labeled as Christian Fiction is because it's not some biography of someone's actual life. But either way, it's not the whole story, so it's labeled as fiction. That's it. That's the only reason.
Anywho, back to my favorite part of the book thus far. Here's some real truth that I found almost too profound to be in a Christian Fiction novel, or any "fictitious" work for that matter:
- "I don't believe you can be saved just by confessing your sins and believing on Jesus. Now don't go get all confused about what I just said. I do believe on Jesus, Lord knows I believe in Jesus. But the notion that all you have to do to get to heaven is to just confess you're a sinner, then accept Jesus as your savior and that's it-- you're now guaranteed a place in heaven without proving you're worthy-- is a bunch of hogwash! ...But, frankly, I'm tired of people telling and buying into that lie." --Arletha
- "...following the popular, worldly ways of late--trying to get more people to come to church and fill up some of those empty pews. Just selling out. I figure if folks don't want to come... too bad. We shouldn't change the type of songs we sing just because the attendance has fallen off and folks are flocking to all these other churches. ...Hip-Hop gospel, gospel rap: whoever heard of such nonsense! When will folks get it? ...People want to start changing everything, liven things up. Cutting out testimony service. ...just because they want to get out of church earlier. Wake up, people! These are the last days." --Arletha
- "Folks reading all kinds of filthy magazines and books, sleeping with any and everybody, smoking, doping, lying, cheating--sinning like there's no tomorrow. You can't hardly walk into a store these days without half-naked men and women jumping out at you off the covers of stuff. And the TV, Lord, you talk about an idle mind being the devil's workshop. I have to protect my eye and ear gates." --Arletha
Man, if I wasn't Whitney, I'd think Arletha was Whitney! ...or atleast speaking for Whitney. LOL. She was talking some real talk, or better yet, the author Vanessa Davis Griggs was talking some real talk. Those were her words, atleast most of them. Not Arletha's.
- "Joining a church is not equivalent to being saved. And that's what some of you unknowingly did at the time--you joined a group, but not the body of Christ." --Pastor Landris from the book
- "If you died today, do you know--with certainty--where you'll spend eternity? Because you are going to die, if you're not caught up during the rapture; and you will spend an eternity somewhere. If you died today, do you know--with assurance-- where you'll spend your eternity?" --Pastor Landris from the book