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 Post subject: Tradition vs Faith
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 3:59 pm 
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In the world I am creating there are different powers. Natural, which most would consider the elements, but it is the essence of power that is left over from GOD creating everything. The other power is divine, which comes directly from GOD, but trickles down through angels/demons as well b/c power was given to them.

What I am going to talk about right now is some of my divine principals. I take the inspiration from the old and new testament.

In my series the divine powers by faith have been all but forgotten and replaced by tradition. Most of the divine powers are for healing and improvement of self.

Tradition would be as it sounds, with a lot of ritual and symbolism. In the story one has to practice and be precise b/c they are following laws that they created themselves to connect with GOD's divine power. Think of Samson and his restrictions as an example of limited traditional power. There is much more to this concept that I will go into more details later.

Faith is very simple. Peter walked on water. They were healed by faith. If you have faith and tell the mountain to move, it will.

Sorry for not going into more details, but my time is limited. This is the basis for the "magic" in my world. I will go into more details when I have a little more time.


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 Post subject: Re: Tradition vs Faith
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 2:48 am 
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Tradition and Faith are two paths to the same power, which is granted by GOD/The Creator.

Tradition based divine power originated from faith based divine power.

People started out using only faith in GOD and HIS power to be able to heal and other non violent miracles. As each generation passed, they felt inadequate and wondered why GOD would give them such power without something in return. They started to believe that only the most "holy" individuals could work this power. Doubt took hold and soon what they believed became true due to their own restriction. Each generation making it worse. Soon only the most holy that completed a ritual could do the miracles. Next came symbols and holy words. Each generation cementing their own beliefs into reality to the point that the simplest miracle required a chase individual with years of training and study with the addition of holy parchment and holy symbols and holy words to complete.

Two of my characters struggle with this power. One hones the skill making it even more complicated, while the other unravels the old truths and begins to learn that GOD is enough and that faith in HIM can move mountains.

The divine powers revolve around non violent improvements to self or others as well as surroundings. Strength, speed, endurance, etc. Walking on water, levitating, moving objects, etc. There are too many to go into detail, but that should give an idea.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts. Thanks in advance for the input.


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 Post subject: Re: Tradition vs Faith
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 11:55 am 
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Niko12581 wrote:
One hones the skill making it even more complicated,


Could you explain this a little more? What do you mean - making the power even more complicated? In what way?

Also why does God give these powers? You say the powers are for healing and 'improvement to self'; in what way do they improve someone, and does God give the powers for people to bless others with, or are they mainly for the person who has the power?

Are there many people left who believe in God's faith and His powers, or have they been almost all forgotten? Is the one character in your book the only one who begins to unravel the old truths?

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 Post subject: Re: Tradition vs Faith
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 8:29 pm 
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I am going to start with why GOD gives these powers and to whom they are given. The Bible shows us many different people who were given a gift. There were prophets, warriors, fishermen, even tax collectors. They all have something in common…they are all holy people…no not quite. The answer is their faith. Why was the woman who touched Jesus’s robe healed, why was the military officer’s son healed when Jesus was nowhere near him? She was healed not because Jesus said that she was healed, but because she believed that all she had to do was touch his robe. The power was there all along; she just had to believe and reach out and grab it. Jesus knew the moment she took that power. He did not give verbal permission, but her faith gave her access. The officer’s son was healed because the officer was structured and believed in the power of command, so he “knew” that all it would take was for Jesus to give the command and his son would be healed. Who had more faith and what restrictions did each person put on themselves for those miracles to come true?

My ideas are not my own, but come from examples in the Bible. My ideas for my story parallel and expand the possibilities.

Why does GOD give power? Go to the Bible. Who had power and why did they have power? Ultimately it was to bring people to GOD. Those who used the powers gifted to them, due to their faith, used them to serve GOD’s purpose and not their own. The power could heal others, or give extreme strength, like Samson. There are many examples in the Bible and that is where I take my inspiration from.

Each person has a different amount of faith. Many have just a little and some have mountains of faith. Out of all the Israelites it took a shepherd boy utilizing his faith in GOD to kill the most feared giant of the age. So everyone has access to divine power in my story, but only those who show faith can wield it.

I like the example of Peter walking on water. He had faith and was able to walk on water, but then started to doubt and that is the key to the limitations that we set on ourselves. Doubt keeps those who use divine power from being all powerful.

In the age that my first series starts, people have stopped believing that faith in GOD is enough and started to have faith in the rituals that they use to reach that power. That limitation means that they believe that they have to perform those rituals exactly, with holy parchment imprinted with the holy symbols, while saying the holy words, and if they don’t do things just right then the miracle will fail. The only miracles that are done with the power at this time are healing miracles.

One of the two characters that I mentioned relearns that divine power can do more than just heal. That character becomes more like Samson, gaining strength and other attributes that eventually can be passed on to others and not just used on the caster. This individual is the one that believes that they have to be completely pure in thought and action while using even more complex rituals to be able to use the divine powers.

The other character, growing up learning these strict rituals, starts to question the process when they use the power sometimes without completing the rituals. Yes this person is the only one that learns this truth, but by no means are these two the only characters in my story. One shares the main role with another character that has not been mentioned yet.

The series follows a group, not just one or two individuals. The more characters, the more likely one of them will relate to the reader.

Those were very good question, thanks for bringing them up. If I did not explain any of them enough just let me know.

Keep the questions coming, this helps me put all of my jumbled thoughts into words.


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 Post subject: Re: Tradition vs Faith
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 12:43 pm 
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It is interesting to see a system of powers like the miracles that happen in real life.

I have a few questions!
How do the tradition based powers work? If the people do not have faith, then why does it work for them?
It seems in this sense to break away from a parallel of tradition versus faith, since tradition does not work.

Are the rituals based on the rites of the Temple, and if so, is there a parallel of the chosen people and their history in your otherworld?

Are there evil perversions of the power that is left over from the creation, or are they only based on seeking devils?

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 Post subject: Re: Tradition vs Faith
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 4:46 pm 
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Niko12581 wrote:
Who had more faith and what restrictions did each person put on themselves for those miracles to come true?
I see where you're coming from with this. It reminds me of the blind man that had to have the mud rubbed on his eyes and for Jesus to call out before he was healed. It wasn't necessary for Jesus to heal him using that ritual, because he had done it other times without even being near the person to be healed, but apparently it was necessary for the healed person to believe.

I think you'd have to be careful with how you portray this sort of concept, though, without making it seem like God is a machine-like 'magic source', rather than a God who grants the desires of his people when they have faith in him.

Niko12581 wrote:
Those who used the powers gifted to them, due to their faith, used them to serve GOD’s purpose and not their own.
I would possibly disagree with this. You say that their power was gifted to them because of their faith, however some men of faith that God said specifically were close to him and righteous and faithful did not have any of these powers (Job, Daniel, David, Abraham). And there are also very few cases where a person who was not a person designated for having power ever did anything extraordinary along these lines – Joshua is an example of one person who did (when he stopped the sun and moon), but there are not many.

So I'm dubious that you can base your powers absolutely off the Bible while saying that anyone who has the faith can use them. Yes, David defeated Goliath because he had faith in God, but he didn't do it supernaturally or with any sort of miraculous power like some of the prophets had. He did it with a sling (which he had a lot of practice with, incidentally), and with Goliath's sword, very prosaic things.

Am I making any sense? * tilts head *


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 Post subject: Re: Tradition vs Faith
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 6:44 pm 
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They do have faith, but their faith is limited by their doubt and the restriction that they place on themselves.

If you will recall, in the Bible there was a discussion about the disciples eating food that was used to sacrifice with. They were told, basically, that their faith was stronger than others who thought that it was wrong to eat that food. They should not cause others to sin, so if they were in someone else's house who believed different on the matter, that they should not eat of the sacrificed food. The disciples knew the "old" truth, but it did not mean that the others were not saved, just that they limited their faith and salvation to the point that if they ate of sacrificed food they believed they would be unclean.

I hope I am making since.

The people, on the continent in the first story, still have faith in GOD and his power, but have put laws and restrictions on how they are able to access that power. GOD did not put those laws on them, but they are self-imposed because of the doubt that each generation has had in their ability to wield the divine power unaided. Their faith is now channeled through those laws and restrictions that they BELIEVE they have to do to reach the power. If a lie is repeated enough then people begin to believe that it is true, making it true to them. That is why I use the term "Old Truths".

Let me give a generational building of tradition based divine power.

In the beginning we have a person that uses only faith and he heals a person. He has an assistant/apprentice. He tries to explain how to use faith in GOD’s power to heal. The apprentice has a mental block and thinks he is not holy enough to use the power, when it has nothing to do with how holy a person is. He fails attempt after attempt, until he becomes as holy as he believes he has to be to use the power. Years pass and he has an apprentice which he teaches. He tells him how to use the power the way he learned. His apprentice has trouble healing, because he believes he has to know what the actual illness or part of the body that needs fixing. He fails until he learns the causes of sickness or the needs for being healed. His apprentice has trouble healing and thinks he needs bandages that are blessed, holy parchments. This would actually have taken several generations to reach this point, but this is an example in my fantasy world how pure faith has been twisted into faith through tradition. So in the age that my series takes place, people still believe in GOD’s divine power, but their faith in how to access that power has changed. Instead of just grabbing the power and using it with thought, “pure faith based divine power”, they have created a complicated belief system built on the traditions of those who taught them how to access that power, “tradition based divine power”.

Not to give too much away, but humans would be the closest thing to the chosen beings in my fantasy world. I take inspiration from the Bible, but I don't want it to be too closely in line with what the Bible has in it. I truly fear leading people away from the Bible with my fantasy if it is too closely related. My goal is not to tell the history of the Bible in a fantasy world, but to incorporate Christian beliefs into my fantasy stories.

Demons have divine powers that were gifted to them by GOD before they fell from grace. This power can be leant to evil doers in several different ways. One method I will hint at is through demon shards, which is a rare crystal that heroes of the past used to in tomb demons. The crystal acts as a sponge soaking up their divine power preventing the demons from using that power to escape their tombs. As you can imagine, a small shard of this crystal, over generations, would have stored immense power.

I want to make a note. There are no evil powers, only the elemental essence left from creation and divine power that comes from GOD. GOD granted all angels a well of this power, that is tied to HIM, that will never runs dry. The limiter is that angels and fallen angels/demons have a limited amount that they can use or gift at any one time, where the power directly from GOD has no limits. This might still sound confusing, but I want to mention that angels/demons are immortal and therefore can’t be destroyed. Those who use “pure faith” are still limited by their doubts. Angels/demons have no doubt and are only limited by the wells. Angels/demons are, for the most part, more powerful, but humans/other races have more potential.

Doubt can be a worst enemy. Example would be a person that uses “pure faith” to protect themselves while walking through the middle of a battle. The arrows will not pierce their divine shield under normal circumstances, but when that person sees people dying all around them from the very same arrows. Doubt creeps in and just as Peter started to sink in the water, the holy shield may begin to weaken. The person’s faith has to be strong and unwavering, without doubt. The “old truth” is that the person could protect everyone on the battle field by the same divine shield, but it is hard to believe in something that one has never seen done before. Our minds produce doubt. Have enough faith, tell the mountain to move, and it will.


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 Post subject: Re: Tradition vs Faith
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 8:09 pm 
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Mistress Rwebhu Kidh,

I agree with you.

I am cherry picking parts of the Bible. I am not trying to explain how reality works, but how a "magic system" works in a fantasy world.

I want to caution that this is the first time that my thoughts are taking on words and I am prone to scramble them as they come out. I use examples out of the Bible to support how I came up with the ideas I am trying to explain. What I write is always subject to change.

GOD obviously has a hand in who is granted HIS power. All the humans on the first continent would be considered HIS people and only a handful are able to use HIS divine power. There is a religion aspect that I hope to flesh out some other time in a different thread.

Questions, ideas, thoughts, musings, are all welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Tradition vs Faith
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:10 pm 
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Niko12581 wrote:
I am cherry picking parts of the Bible. I am not trying to explain how reality works, but how a "magic system" works in a fantasy world.

I want to caution that this is the first time that my thoughts are taking on words and I am prone to scramble them as they come out. I use examples out of the Bible to support how I came up with the ideas I am trying to explain. What I write is always subject to change.

GOD obviously has a hand in who is granted HIS power. All the humans on the first continent would be considered HIS people and only a handful are able to use HIS divine power. There is a religion aspect that I hope to flesh out some other time in a different thread.
K, I'm understanding you better now.

I like the ideas, especially now I understand they aren't meant to be exact reflections of reality.

If they are not, however, I am wondering how this works out on a spiritual level? Are the people who are gifted with the ability to access these powers in any way different from the rest of the people? Or is the power a neutral power, gifted to maniacal murderers as well as saints? The part about faith in God seems to make it a bit unlikely a murderer would be able to use the power, even if he had the ability, but I don't think that would necessarily stand in the way – someone can be capable of having great faith in God's power without being in any way Godly.

Another question, mostly unrelated to the earlier one: Can the tradition-relying power-users use the power even if they have forgotten entirely where it comes from and where exactly their faith is directed? If not, how far can they go from knowledge of God before their 'faith' becomes useless?

I still don't completely understand the way this works, so forgive me if I have it all wrong? :D


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 Post subject: Re: Tradition vs Faith
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:29 pm 
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Mistress Rwebhu Kidh wrote:
The part about faith in God seems to make it a bit unlikely a murderer would be able to use the power, even if he had the ability, but I don't think that would necessarily stand in the way – someone can be capable of having great faith in God's power without being in any way Godly.


That is an interested thought, I have not thought of that possibility. For the most part I was thinking that only followers of GOD have access to this power and that only those who have faith in HIM and the understanding that they can use that power can actually use it.

In this world, the only ones who are granted access to divine power from GOD are angels and followers of GOD.

Angels also include the fallen ones which are better know as demons. To explain how angels have this power I will give the example of a swimming pool with a water hose. The water hose is the permanent link to GOD's divine power and the swimming pool is how much power the angels can hold. If an angle/demon uses all that power at once then it will take a while for their reserve to fill up again just like it would take the water hose to fill up a pool.

Now angels/demons have the ability to lend their divine power to other beings. Angels hardly do this because they are very rare in the world because for the most part they are with GOD in heaven. There is also something that ends up being call demon shard that is a type of hard crystal that absorbs divine power and stores it. The crystal acts as a well and extension of the original source.

The crystal plays an important role in the world, which I will have to explain in detail later.

Mistress Rwebhu Kidh wrote:
Another question, mostly unrelated to the earlier one: Can the tradition-relying power-users use the power even if they have forgotten entirely where it comes from and where exactly their faith is directed? If not, how far can they go from knowledge of God before their 'faith' becomes useless?

I still don't completely understand the way this works, so forgive me if I have it all wrong? :D


As a general rule the more tradition, the less divine power, or less strength of that power the user has.

You have actually hit on how tradition becomes more complicated. Eventually people become so far removed that they can no longer access that power, either because they no longer follow GOD or because their faith in GOD and the divine power that HE lends becomes too twisted. Think of a whisper that is told around a room, when there is absolutely no essence of the original whisper, then all is lost. This same principal works with tradition based divine power. When it becomes completely about tradition and has no aspect of GOD in it, then they, those who follow GOD, lose access. In the same, if the people no longer follow GOD, then they lose access as well, however these people know how to access the power and would be perfect examples of those who then follow demons and gain access through them.

Don't forget that this discussion is only about divine power and that there is still the access of elemental essence that is used in this world, but that will be in another thread when I get time to gather my thoughts and start it.


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 Post subject: Re: Tradition vs Faith
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:54 pm 
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Niko12581 wrote:
Angels also include the fallen ones which are better know as demons. To explain how angels have this power I will give the example of a swimming pool with a water hose. The water hose is the permanent link to GOD's divine power and the swimming pool is how much power the angels can hold. If an angle/demon uses all that power at once then it will take a while for their reserve to fill up again just like it would take the water hose to fill up a pool.
That makes sense. It seems like a fairly common concept in 'magic' systems to make the users less than invincible.

Niko12581 wrote:
You have actually hit on how tradition becomes more complicated. Eventually people become so far removed that they can no longer access that power, either because they no longer follow GOD or because their faith in GOD and the divine power that HE lends becomes too twisted. Think of a whisper that is told around a room, when there is absolutely no essence of the original whisper, then all is lost. This same principal works with tradition based divine power. When it becomes completely about tradition and has no aspect of GOD in it, then they, those who follow GOD, lose access.
This is fascinating. I like to imagine what might happen when someone is almost on the line... maybe being able to use the power one time, then the next, unable to, then back again – perhaps even because he is influenced by his lack of power and gain of power to focus more on the different ideas and things he has learned. Or something like that. Odd ideas. And I can imagine, that if someone grew away from what faith he had and then lost his control of the power, that would strike a blow to him being able to have faith.

Interesting stuff.

And not just if someone is on the edge, either. :D I like the idea that it is sort of like a 'lost art', but unlike most lost arts, and what people expect about things like this, the thing being lost is not actually anything to do with the 'proper way of doing things', but the exact opposite. It would be funny if someone lost power the more he 'learned', because it ended up drawing him away from a true idea of what it was and where it was from.


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