Honesty is the Best Policy – Our Mothers and J.R.R. Tolkien are Agreed

honesty




My first job taught me how to lie. I needed to be “Good” and “Great” when someone asked after me. Honesty was irrelevant to them. Therefore, I learned to say “Good. How about you?” Even on my worst days, I replied positively.

Frodo Baggins, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers, must have learned the same lesson. For when Faramir, son of Denethor II, learned about these two hobbits holding the One Ring, he thought of only what his father told him to do. And, though Frodo tried to stop him, the hobbits held their tongues (at first!) about the One Ring’s power. This was a mistake.

Some Background on Why the Hobbits Abstained from Honesty




Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee had already undergone many trials because of the One Ring. And the trials came in many forms. Frodo suffered psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Sam, who chose to stay with Frodo whether Gandalf ordered him to or not, suffered in a different way. He suffered because he saw his friend suffering.

Despite the pain, Frodo and Sam knew they needed to destroy the One Ring. To destroy it at any cost. Gandalf had also warned them against peoples, especially among Orcs, Nazgul, and Men, who would try to take the ring. The steward of Gondor was one such man. He sent out his eldest son, Boromir, to obtain the One Ring.

Everyone in the original Fellowship knew how the One Ring drove Boromir mad, driving him to his death.  Though, no one knew better than Frodo and Sam. For this reason, knowing what the ring did to Men, Frodo and Sam tried to hide the One Ring from Faramir. And when that failed, to at least hide the dishonor that befell Boromir. But, because they hid the truth, Faramir almost suffered the same fate as his brother.

How Honesty Saved Good Men and Hobbits from Harm




Truth has the ability to strike hard and brutal blows to men’s egos, emotions, and intellect. As a result, many people choose to live, and to allow others to live, in ignorance. However, individuals who choose to overcome pain, learn to recognize evil, and fight to obtain righteousness will receive blessings from God.

For example, because Frodo and Sam knew how the One Ring brought men into madness, they withheld information from Faramir. For these two good hobbits failed to recognize the fellow desire for righteousness and peace in Faramir, a good and strong captain. And because Faramir dealt mostly with scathing and manipulative orcs, he didn’t know whether to trust these hobbits from the Shire. All three had fallen into spiritual darkness.



But this did not last. First, Samwise brought the truth to light. Shouting at Faramir, Samwise made known Boromir’s fall into madness when he tried to take the One Ring. He pointed to Frodo’s own  struggles with evil and madness while carrying the ring to its destruction. Soon thereafter, Faramir witnessed Frodo’s struggles when Frodo tried to give the One Ring to the Nazgul.

Faramir had great intelligence, greater than either his father or his brother. Merely hearing about the One Ring’s evil, and seeing Frodo’s struggle, alerted Faramir to the importance in destroying Sauron’s ring. He chose to face his father’s wrath, to risk death in seemingly impossible fighting conditions, and to allow Frodo, Sam, and even Smeagol to carry on into Mordor. He chose the hard road, the painful road, for the sake of righteousness. And it was all because Sam spoke honestly.

Honesty Brings Benefits to Hobbits and Humans Alike




Americans today, and I imagine UK citizens as well, live in a society where hard work and honesty are frequently punished. For greed and avarice drive many wills and many governments into evil practices that give to the lazy and the selfish and take from the honest and the hard workers. Christians have reason to shrug this horrible truth from their shoulders.

God’s Word speaks about rewarding believers who work diligently. And those who pray and ask God for help will receive, as long as their will aligns with God’s will. Therefore, if Christians give their time, love, and money to God, then they don’t need to worry about being able to pay all their bills. For God will provide to those who are faithful.

The same is true for other good things. If Christians desire and ask for peace, God will calm their hearts amidst life’s storms. Because, like Faramir, we must battle for righteousness in a fallen world. Scripture says wars will always exist, without ever ceasing. So, we must wait for Christ Jesus’s return for everlasting peace. But! That does not mean that we cannot fight the good fight, speaking honestly and upholding righteousness, in pursuit of God’s glory filling all the earth!



Wrong to Despair – The Necessity in Hope and Courage

wrong to despair

Orlando Bloom may have thrilled many women with his baby face and elvish grace, but his line in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers is what forged its way into my heart: “‘We have trusted you this far. You have not led us astray. Forgive me. I was wrong to despair,'” (The Two Towers, 2002).

This line, derived from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, leads to many thoughts regarding self-discipline, hope, emotional stability, and courage. People throughout all nations, weak and discouraged, scared and troubled, often fall into the pit of despair. Legolas, prince among elves, was just the same.



Wrong to Despair – Why We So Easily Fall Prey to Our Emotions

From what I heard and saw when I worked in the retail business, what I am about to say doesn’t apply to older generations. People aged 80-years and more, as of this month and year, January 2018, often practice a self-discipline unseen in younger and up-and-coming generations. And yes, I do call myself an undisciplined brute. For I know about self-discipline, but fail to practice it.

Therefore, since most people lack in discipline – don’t deny it, for I know I’m not the only one – our every whim and fancy makes itself known. Makes itself obnoxious and obtrusive. And one such unmanageable fancy is the fear of the unknown, and our tendency to despair over it.




Now, don’t scoff at me! People are control freaks in their heart of hearts. They need to know that everything is running, and will continue to run, smoothly and efficiently. And, running according to how they personally think how things ought to run.

If things seem off track, then “The world is coming to an end! Why was I born to such a life?” People get dramatic when they despair. Or, to state it differently, they scare themselves and many people around them because they lack in self-discipline. Hence, it is wrong to despair.



Wrong to Despair – What We Need to Fight Our Cowardly Instincts

Some people run scared. They operate at high-anxiety levels in every task they perform, and sometimes they literally go running and screaming in fear. I am one such individual, and I know others like me. Our fear, anxiety, and omnipresent despair are the natural, human way. But as natural as it may feel, we should fight against the despair which always threatens to overcome us.

Oh, now I’m a know-it-all for knowing how to overcome despair? Well, alright, I’ll give you that. Because I, along with many friends of mine, have undergone many lectures about how God has ultimate control. About how people may hurt us, even kill us, but only God controls our destiny.

Does this help to control my level of despair in critical situations? Yes, it normally does. How? How could mere knowledge about God’s supremacy help to lesson the despair, the hopelessness, and the fear? Because God expects us to take charge in our lives. And if we dedicate our lives to him, living as he would have us live, then God will guide our steps.



Wrong to Despair – What We Can Do Ourselves to Fight the Despair, To Fight the Good Fight

A blog, called Lies Young Women Believe, which I stumbled across in my search for a quote, contained an article on the movie Cinderella (2015). The blogger had perfectually captured the essence in what we need to remember to keep on fighting the good fight. First, we must remember our status as God’s children. We won’t get far without Christ’s help and guidance. But the key ingredient is Courage.

Numerous times throughout the Bible do the prophets encourage God’s people to have Courage. The book of Joshua is a popular example, where a prophet encouraged Joshua to have Courage within the first chapter, and several times thereafter. Why the constant need to remind people to have courage? Because we all so easily fall into the pit of despair!




To push through the tough times, whether a believer or an unbeliever, people need emotional stability. I don’t know how to find this, for personally, I’m a ticking time bomb. But, from what I do know, people have found several solutions to gain this particular strength.

For example, people sometimes need medication to rearrange the chemicals in their brain. Sometimes people need therapy, to share all their problems to a listening ear. And other times, people just need to take the hits, practice a little self-discipline. It all goes around in a vicarious cycle, doesn’t it?



Wrong to Despair – Concluding Thoughts

I feel like a fraud in writing this article. For I have as much self-discipline, courage, and emotional stability as a kid in primary (a.k.a. elementary) school. But, during those rare moments when I somehow manage to practice these disciplines, I realize that they work. I truly can stave off the horror and the despair.

But these rare moments of success belong to God, the Father. Without his supremacy and strength guiding my family and friends, there would be no reason to fight the good fight. So, in this household, we aim to give God control, uphold our emotional IQs, and remember why we walk the Earth.




Legolas had despaired when Aragorn, the man whom he chose to follow, seemed to be fighting a hopeless fight. But, just because death may come, it doesn’t mean we fight without purpose. As Aragorn knew, and as Legolas soon learned, a greater cause beyond ourselves makes our lives worthwhile. And if it’s at stake, then we should devote ourselves to fighting for it.

With faith in the Holy Trinity, we fight this good fight with love. Choosing to show concern and compassion for every person, in every country, at every given moment. Aragorn, Legolas, and all Christians live to worship God, and to love each other as we love ourselves.



“No Parent Should Have to Bury Their Child.” (The Two Towers, 2002)

bury their child

King Theoden, situated at his son’s graveside, weeping tears of grief, spoke truth for all parents who have had to bury their child: The truth being that no one should have to.

What inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to add this morbid scene to his novel, The Two Towers? King Theoden lost his son to war, but what other events occur to make parents bury their child? Detailed below are all the reasons that may have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to include this tearful scene.



To All the Parents Who Have Had to Bury Their Child

Parents have lost their children numerous ways. I personally have known more parents who’ve spoken of deceased children than I care to remember. For, I cannot understand their pain, considering my own childless situation. But the pain is all too real. Their grief and despair being way too strong for mere imagination.

King Theoden, albeit a fictional character, lost his son in battle. Nobility of character ran strongly in his family’s blood, so they saw the need to fight against the evil forces. But knowing this did nothing to ease the pain in the loss. Just as nothing eases the pain for parents in modern day. The following list details some ways children die, whether by carelessness, thoughtlessness, or evil intention, and why their parents grieve:



  • Miscarriage hurts parents who hoped for children.
  • Abortion hurts parents who realized their mistake in having the procedure.
  • Car accidents hurt parents who blame themselves for helpless situations.
  • Murder hurts parents who failed to warn their children about the world.
  • Suicide hurts parents who feel personally responsible.

I refuse to say that parents are always guiltless. For abortion runs rampant in today’s generation, and the women who undergo the procedure are responsible for the loss of human life. But, other than this and domestic violence, parents who bury their child should be pitied more than anyone else. For human life is the most glorious of all God’s gifts.



Why J.R.R. Tolkien Wrote About Parents Who Had to Bury Their Child

It requires little imagination, and only a little information, on why J.R.R. Tolkien would write about King Theoden losing his son to war. For Tolkien lived through, and fought in, both World Wars. Considering how many English and American men lost their lives in battle, Tolkien most assuredly knew many parents who had to bury their child. And sometimes more than one child.

Moreover, J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife had four children. Imagining the loss of one’s own child becomes easier when the individual actually has children. And if friends lost one or more children, then the horror that would come at the thought of losing one’s child would be only natural.

Did J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife bury any of their children? Did they experience miscarriages, or lose their children to war? I will find out the answer to these questions as I continue to learn about C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the other Inklings. Knowing that these men survived through two World Wars, I would be surprised if all their children did make it through alive.



How to Assist Parents Who’ve Had to Bury Their Child

God is the answer. Always has been, always will be. Every parent whom I’ve known to bury their child has turned to God for comfort and peace. Even women who’ve gone through abortions regret their decision, ask God for forgiveness, and join the church community. I need not say how parents respond to their grief without peace and comfort, for everyone has seen grieving people who speak and act with anger in their hearts.

To everyone who has to bury their child, I recommend watching Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers. Actor Bernard Hill performs magnificently as King Theoden of Rohan, capturing the loss and the pain in his life situation as a king. Because to see an example of someone who continued to fight the good fight, whether a fictional character or an actual person, gives the heart joy. Bernard Hill, acting as the grieving Rohan king, will bring joy.



Spiritual Warfare Found in Ephesians- Scriptural Evidence to Back C.S. Lewis’s Premise in The Screwtape Letters

spiritual warfare

Many church bodies, across the Christian denominational board, speak about the devil’s power in spiritual warfare. The pastors leading these church bodies will yell from the pulpit on how Satan roams the land, stealing people from God’s grasp. And then there are those who disagree. These sceptical Christians speak more about the sinful nature found within the mortal flesh. I am here to show how Scripture and C.S. Lewis support both arguments.



Spiritual Warfare as Mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Ephesians

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of Peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the Helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
~ Ephesians 6:10-17 (NASB)

Upon first reading the above paragraph, I receive the instinctual impression of a demon in my room, whispering in my ear. “Your hands are dry and cracking. You should stop and get some lotion.” Or, “You really need to clean the reading room. It will make you feel better.” And while all of this is true, these realities fail to bother me when I’m reading for fun or writing a movie critique. Therefore, could it possibly be a demon trying to distract me from learning and growing in the Christian faith?



What the ESV Study Bible Wrote on Spiritual Warfare

Rely on me by no means. Let’s turn toward biblical commentaries and study Bibles for some more, solid information. For example, the English Standard Version (ESV) Study Bible (2008) calls the devil and his demons superhuman spiritual forces. As mentioned in Scripture, the evil day represents the many times the devil has attacked and will attack God’s people. From time’s beginning until the Lord returns.

Satan’s allies abound throughout all the Earth. Such allies include national governments, leading authorities, false teachers, and cosmic powers. However, in whichever way demons work through these enemies, they will fail to pull believers away from their faith. But for Christians to properly fight against the devil’s spiritual attacks, they must arm themselves.

This “full-bodied armor” signifies God’s word and prayer. Meaning Christians have a defense when they are being led down the wrong spiritual path. All they need to do is to read and understand Scripture and to pray for strength and God’s grace.



Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Facing the Enemy in Spiritual Warfare

Matthew Henry’s Commentary (1961) says much the same as the ESV Study Bible. Yet, in addition to describing the devil’s allies and their power, the commentary mentioned practicing all the Christian graces. Such as love, forgiveness, peace, and all the love traits listed throughout the New Testament. Seeing as it’s Christmas, one can look at “The 12 Days of Christmas” song for some help to remember the love and grace characteristics.

The age-old Bible scholar also made an interesting observation: The full armor of God, as mentioned in Ephesians, lacks any back armor. Therefore, if Christians deny the devil’s existence and turn their back on him, they will suffer grievously. For the devil’s fiery darts are our temptations to flaunt lawlessness, hate our brothers, and deny God. And if we turn our backs on the onslaught, we will fall and fail.



C.S. Lewis’s Understanding Regarding Common Belief in Demons and Spiritual Warfare

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.
~ C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

C.S. Lewis created a morbidly fascinating premise in his novel, called The Screwtape Letters. According to Hollywood, people living in the 1600’s and earlier very much believed in wicked spirits and demon possessions. After all, such spirits are recorded in Scripture. Yet, despite this fact, many modern day Christians disbelieve in the devil and the other fallen angels. In writing his novel about Wormwood and Screwtape, C.S. Lewis intended to remedy this problem.

Demons don’t normally go around scratching and throwing things at people. They do try to ensnare God’s children and ensure they turn their backs on God. Guaranteeing the lost and forgotten people fall into the Pit. How do demons do this? They simply whisper thoughts, traitorous and treacherous, into our ears.

For example, an atheist who begins to doubt his atheism may think, “Can God exist? No, I must be hungry to think so foolishly. I’ll go get some lunch.” The thought about hunger is true and certain. As of yet, the atheist fails to see the true and certain proof for God’s existence. Thus all people begin to believe the “real and rational” thoughts in their head. And not the ones that God inspired them to think.



What Christians Ought to Think Regarding Spiritual Warfare

As C.S. Lewis said, please avoid digging into any unhealthy interest in the superhuman spiritual forces! However, be aware of their existence. Provided with the faith shield, the truth belt, the righteousness breastplate, the salvation helmet, and the Scripture sword, Christians can and will stay strong.

But every nonbeliever remains in danger. To save them, we must be bold and courageous in spreading the gospel about Jesus Christ. Otherwise, the devil will easily claim them, dragging them down into his own damnation.

So, the next time you think about your dirty bathroom while you’re doing your daily devotions, stay strong. A demon may just be whispering in your ear.

Catholicism Remembered in “The 12 Days of Christmas” Song

"The 12 Days of Christmas" song

My careless attitude about “The 12 Days of Christmas” song now shames me. For I have researched the history and the meaning behind this old, traditional carol, and the generally believed truth is frightening. Even if the Catholic popes and priests took a modern Christmas carol and attributed their own meaning to the song’s gifts, the debateable meaning holds significance for all Christians.



What Catholics Claim the Gifts in “The 12 Days of Christmas” Song Represent

God, the Holy Father, represented the “true love” who sent the gifts to us, the beloved. And each gift equated to the 12 teachings in Catholicism. What each gift represented is listed below:

  1. A partridge in a pear tree = Jesus, the Son of God, who died on the cross
  2. Two turtle doves = Both the Old and New Testaments
  3. Three French hens = The Three Theological Virtues (a.k.a. Faith, Hope, and Charity)
  4. Four calling birds = The Four Gospels found in the New Testament
  5. Five golden rings =  The Pentateuch (a.k.a. the first five books in the Old Testament)
  6. Six geese a-laying = How God created the world in six days
  7. Seven swans a-swimming = The Seven Sacraments (a.k.a. the Holy Spirit’s seven gifts)
  8. Eight maids a-milking = The Eight Beatitudes (a.k.a. how the blessed will be rewarded)
  9. Nine ladies dancing = The Nine Spiritual Fruits (i.e. love, joy, peace, and so on)
  10. Ten lords a-leaping = The Ten Commandments
  11. Eleven pipers piping = The 12 Disciples, minus Judas the Betrayer
  12. Twelve drummers drumming = The Apostle’s Creed’s 12 doctrinal points (i.e. belief in God, belief in the Son, and so on)

While all Christian denominations can recognize at least some teachings from above, all 12 are included within Catholicism. Making this song a great catechism for all Catholics.



The Reason Behind “The 12 Days of Christmas” Song

Many people scoff at the list above. They provide arguments about the greater complexity within Catholicism and say Christians within all denominations share these teachings. As a Christian, I would argue differently.

Yes, I know about the Old and New Testaments, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the Spiritual Fruits, and so forth. However, to have learned the exact numbers for all these biblical books and spiritual gifts and fruits, I would have needed to obtain a pastoral license. Simply thinking about the spiritual fruits and practices makes me think more exist than what the song lists above.

Back on point: People have argued about the song dating back to the 16th Century when Queen Elizabeth I reigned. For, according to some accounts, Catholics needed to learn “The 12 Days of Christmas” catechism in secret for fear of being found out, brutally tortured, imprisoned and killed.



What to Remember About “The 12 Days of Christmas” Song

Please don’t argue about the meaning behind this Christmas carol. For that is exactly what it is, a Christmas song! Catholics, and all Christians in general, can learn about their faith in other ways. Memorizing Scripture is possible, especially with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Therefore, be joyful! Remember to sing those Christmas carols loudly. Smile when others badmouth the season. And meditate on the true significance to Christmas, Jesus Christ’s birth!

“So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide.” (The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001)

live to see such times

Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring expounds Gandalf’s most significant message in the entire trilogy. Earlier in the film, Frodo had expressed his desire for all the evil to have never happened. So when Frodo stopped to consider his long and lonely journey ahead, Gandalf’s words came back to him: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”



We Who Live to See Such Times in the Modern World

Throughout this whole past year, left-leaning voters have whined heavily about USA’s current President Donald Trump for being USA’s current president. They live to see such times demolished and destroyed, never to happen again. They refuse to play fair with the right-leaning thinkers who also live in the country.

But politics are of little concern here in Mary Loves the UK. What concerns us more are the nuclear weapons. Why do people in other countries hate and fight fellow people in neighboring countries? Why do people have an intolerance for anything different?

J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits would never understand why men fight for power as they do. They live happy lives, growing what they will, taking on only simple troubles. And as elderly men live to see such times, they too begin to wonder why. Or else, they fall completely prey to the fight for power.



Deciding Our Course When We Live to See Such Times

People with strong faith in something greater than themselves normally have better perspective on what to do with their lives. Raised within the church and having read through the Bible, I know several proverbs that speak of men deciding where they shall go, praying and giving thanks for success, and the Lord leading them through it.

Too many people get caught up in the decision on what to do with their lives. Bad economies, terrorist incidents, natural disasters, oncoming wars, and much more can easily lead anyone to wish for better times. They also lead people to make excuses for not using their own, personal time wisely.

To use our best abilities for the best causes, we must first discover our abilities and learn about the most important causes. Faith in God should lead us to the Bible, which speaks greatly on the many ways to worship the Creator and to help each other. Local communities join together to help the poor, the widows, and the orphans. A good paying job could serve a greater purpose. The choice belongs to us.



To Live to See Such Times in Tolkien’s View

J.R.R. Tolkien’s childhood was spent in England, specifically when Germany bombed London to smithereens. Hopefully some biographies on Tolkien will shed some light on whether or not J.R.R. Tolkien took the northern trains during his childhood. For regardless of his situation, it was for certain that the Tolkien family desired to see better times.

Maybe The Lord of the Rings came from this young boy’s faith in something greater. Maybe it came from his traumatic and misplaced childhood during World War I. Whatever the inspiration, J.R.R. Tolkien assuredly inspired many to see what they can do when given difficult times in which to live.



C.S. Lewis on the Church Body – How Demons Influence Us to See Each Other

Church body

Make his mind flit to and fro between an expression like “the body of Christ” and the actual faces in the next pew. It matters very little, of course, what kind of people the next pew contains. You may know one of them to be a great warrior on the Enemy’s side. No matter. Your patient, thanks to Our Father Below, is a fool. Provided that any of the neighbours sing out of tune, or have shoes that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous.
~ C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters



Common Phrases Heard Within the Church Body

Everyone within the church body, when they are being honest with others and themselves, can admit to having judgmental thoughts about their brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes these thoughts, when not shared in secret with bosom buddies, are shared in public. Sometimes even to the judged individual’s face. Examples of these nasty comments are listed below:

  • “Ouch, my ears! Is that guy trying to sing? We really need to go to a church where we can get some good tunes.”
  • “She looks like she’s from the 80’s. And he has sideburns down to his chin. Why can’t this church catch up to the times and show a little style? It’s so old fashioned and outdated.”
  • “OMG. Is she still eating? She shouldn’t be eating that. I mean, seriously, what a glutton. Does she even care if the homeless are fed?”
  • “The preacher thinks he knows everything. He probably hates us because we don’t believe everything he preaches. Imagine if he knew what we did the other night, ha!”
  • “Am I the only person who does anything good around here? Why can’t people help the poor minorities, abused women, and starving animals like I do?”

Do I return such judgmental thoughts, especially when someone makes them about my loved ones or me? Yes, I do! I’m just as hypocritical as the next church body member! Does that mean Christianity proves itself to be a false religion, creating only strife and discord? No, not in the slightest. But don’t believe me. Believe the God-inspired layman named Clive Staples Lewis.



Screwtape’s Instructions to the Demon-in-Training Regarding the Church Body

Quoted above is the big shot demon, named Screwtape, in C.S. Lewis’s novel, The Screwtape LettersAlbeit this paragraph portion showed up in only the second chapter, C.S. Lewis managed to pin a major struggle within the church body. A struggle that has separated church body members since the beginning of time: How church members compare their faith to other people’s faith.

Let’s use an example to clarify what C.S. Lewis wrote in the portion above:

Fred lives in a small town and works at the local bakery. Because he enjoys baked goods so much, his weight far, far exceeds what the BMI scale states as healthy. Unbeknownst to most people who enter his bakery, Fred reads Scripture every morning and night, prays everyday, gives food to the metropolitan homeless shelter, and serves in several positions at the local First Baptist Church. Paula doesn’t know any of this about Fred.

Paula recently accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She had been hungry for many years, and she always struggled to keep a roof over her head. Wishing to learn more about her faith and serve with fellow Christians, she stopped by at the town’s First Baptist Church to hear a sermon. During the sermon, she spotted Fred.



Fred was hard to miss. Due to his size, he breathed heavily and loudly. He also had a tendency to fidget, which made his chair squeak. When the pastor made a joke, Fred laughed loudly. But, despite Fred’s joviality and kindness in greeting those around him, Paula was disgusted.

For when Paula looked at Fred, she saw an obese man who did nothing but draw attention to himself. To her, his size indicated he had a poor work ethic ,and he had struggled very little in his life. It was a very long and pampered life, from the looks of it. She hated Fred. He seemed to represent everything she ever wanted, but was always being denied, because of people like him.

All who knew Fred, loved Fred. But people, who have only recently come to the faith, can see nothing beyond their own personal struggles. C.S. Lewis knew this. He also believed demons help influence the new believers to think in these ways. Let’s not mistake what makes a believer a new believer: Someone who enters the faith, proclaiming to know and love God, but never growing closer to God and maturing in Christ, will always be a new believer. C.S. Lewis recognized a new believer’s vulnerability to the devil’s lies, regarding all areas of life and belief.



Remaining Strong in the Church Body

Please don’t think that I have a final solution to this problem! Other than with the countless prayers and daily readings I try to maintain for my own faith, I’m incapable of maintaining pure thoughts toward anyone, let alone my fellow believers in Christ. Even when I pray, I find my thoughts turning scornful and judgmental. But, I have hope. Just as everyone who struggles as I do has hope.

The one, true God knows how His followers struggle. For Christians only have righteousness through Christ. So, when believers neglect God and fall and fail, they can always turn back toward God and find forgiveness. To take action against humanity’s propensity to judge each other, probably the best course of action, other than prayer, is to remember our need to love each other.



Love is an action. Our feelings sometimes contradict how we should behave toward someone, hence why we must choose love and respect. Even toward people we disagree with. So, whether you love or hate your church body, Christians need to recognize all people fall short of the glory of God. And this applies to all people.

Therefore, the next time you see someone in a negative light, reconsider how God sees this person. Christians and nonbelievers alike are God’s children. So, if someone in your own church’s body seems to exemplify the very things that you’ve grown to hate, reconsider whether you see the person correctly. Or if God can justify your hate.



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings – Why This Presents an Ethical Dilemma

global television rights to The Lord of the Rings

Cue the funeral dirge. For a company, which entertains complete disregard for the Christian faith, has acquired certain rights to Tolkien’s work. That’s right: Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings.

Why Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings

We Christians cannot fully blame Jeff Bezos for acquiring the global television rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. For the Tolkien Estate and the Tolkien Trust had presented these rights to him, as well as to other companies with wholly different views than J.R.R. Tolkien. Jeff Bezos merely presented the most attractive monetary agreement.

Why Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings requires little speculation: Jeff Bezos wanted more money. Whatever he paid for the right to televise The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) must have appeared as small change compared to the calculations for how much a LOTR miniseries would gain in profit. Jeff Bezos simply saw a great opportunity handed to him.



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings and What It Said About the Tolkien Estate and Trust

Declaring Jeff Bezos as the only greedy investor in this deal denies the greed working behind the Tolkien Society. Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was wildly successful, and the Tolkien Society decided they wished for more such financial successes. A simple conclusion based on the common transactions and deals performed among organizations around the world.

Since Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, Christians need to pray for God’s help. Because if the Christian messages in the LOTR trilogy are to remain intact, God must perform a miracle. For it seems the Tolkien Society chairmen care little about the faith elements which J.R.R. Tolkien incorporated into his work.



Ethical Dilemmas Behind the Deals When Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings

Why do I conclude the Tolkien Society cares little about J.R.R. Tolkien’s faith? I came to this conclusion because, based on international news found on the Internet and in the Wall Street Journal, Jeff Bezos supports causes that oppose Christian beliefs. To me, selling global television rights to The Lord of the Rings to a man who disregards God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit seems like folly.

To maintain the integrity behind The Lord of the Rings, and remain faithful to the remarkable Christian author, we must hope Jeff Bezos instructs his crew to stay true to the books. Making Tolkien’s beloved characters perform in ways defiant to what is right and true would skew the beauty in J.R.R. Tolkien’s messages. As would also be true if the evil characters performed kind acts.



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings and We’re Going to Watch It

As a general rule, my family never buys from Amazon, unless someone presents us with a gift card. However, even spending someone else’s money given to Amazon feels wrong and dirty. Why? Amazon supports causes, such as gay marriage, that the Holy Bible informs Christians to recognize as an abomination. Therefore, we, as Christians, generally refuse to support liberal organizations when they adamantly hate us for our beliefs.

In this particular case, I will make an exception. Since this blog focuses predominantly on British food and British flicks, I will find someone who has an Amazon Prime TV and watch the LOTR miniseries with them. Then, hopefully, I will be able to report to my readers how Amazon remained true to the stories. Though, I highly doubt such will happen.

Who is excited for Amazon acquiring the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings? Do you think Amazon will do well and skew the story only slightly? Or do you think Amazon will use this opportunity to demean J.R.R. Tolkien’s work?