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Monday, November 16, 2009

Christian Writer or Writer Christian?

We all make choices. We are all accountable for our choices. Not Bob's choices, not Suzie's but our own. In reading the glut of Christian fiction on the market, I come to realize that not all Christian novels are, in fact, Christian. Many could easily pass in the secular market.

Two things are at issue.

First, and most irritating, are Christian writers passing off blatantly secular writing as Christian. Take the newest foray into secularism, Christian vampire novels. No such animal as a Christian vampire novel. Ignoring the oxymoron, this is a secular novel and should be marketed as such. Yet, many writers (and I've had lengthy conversations with one in particular), claim "God told them to write it as a metaphor for the struggles in life"....bla, bla, bla. Nonsense. God didn't tell them any such thing. What irks me is the feeble attempt to couch the real motivation: I want to publish, I want to sell lots of books, I want to make a name for myself.

There's nothing inherently wrong with that.

Second, I take issue with the deception: an author peddling such work as some dispensation from God when it's clearly a marketing tool. Be honest--remember, you're a Christian. If the truth is you want to sell a zillion copies, be honest enough to admit it. To claim, in the name of God, that what you're peddling is in any way Christian is a slap in His face. Worse yet is to claim God told you to write it. Spare me! He has not, and never will, contradict Himself. Why would He put the seal of approval on a subject He sent His Son to free us from? It contradicts His nature.

He sent His Son so that we don't have to participate in the grimy, degrading, vile side of life. So that we no longer have to worship Mammon, or fame, or the world's value system.

Write vampire novels. Sell zillions of them. Just don't peddle them in God's name. Remember, it is you who will give account for your choices. This takes me to the title. Am I a Christian who writes or a writer who is a Christian? This is a relevant question every single Christian writer should grapple with. There's a marked difference between the two.

Which will finally reign supreme in your life?

If I am a Christian who writes, my writing will point people to Christ. It will represent His nature, character, and teaching faithfully and accurately. It will encompass the whole counsel of God. It will not be flavored with my personal brand of doctrine, or prostitute the truth for a buck. If I am a writer who also happens to be a Christian, I will write what sells and be honest enough to admit that. Again, nothing inherently wrong in that. The trouble is when I deceive both myself and my readers into believing I am doing God a service by schlepping my work as one thing when it is the other. If I am a writer first, write, sell, be honest about my motives. If I am a Christian first, write, sell, be honest about my motives.

Pretty simple, really.

1 comment:

Meg Stenman said...

I so enjoy reading your blogs...always interesting, uplifting, and thought-provoking. And this one was especially "spot on." Thanks and have a spectacular day! :)

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