Everything we write will tell people something about us- and if we're Christians, it will tell them something about the God we serve. It will tell them something about the faith we live out. It will tell them something about the salvation we believe in.
Are you giving the world a good impression of your faith, or a bad one?
Many of us don't really think about this when we write- I didn't up until recently. But then I got to thinking, and I thought "What is my writing saying about my faith?"
I think a lot of us might try to be neutral. We think that our fiction isn't Christian, but there's nothing bad in it either. Sure, we don't deal with God in our stories, but neither do we include swearing.
I know Christian fiction often gets a bad rap. I'm aware of that. But the thing is: Why should that stop us from writing our own quality Christian fiction? Just because somebody else who's gone before us might have failed, doesn't mean we have to.
When I write, my novels address God. They address faith. They address the state of the world, and they address brokenness and salvation and hope and meaning and purpose.
They're not just stories without meaning.
Sometimes, we'll get warned about not being preachy. And I get that. If you're writing a novel, then you're writing fiction, not a sermon.
But that being said, I would ask you this: Can you write distinctively Christian fiction without being preachy?
Yes. Yes you can. And I believe every Christian should do it.
I'm not writing this post to try and put you on a guilt trip if your novel doesn't include a bunch of profound Christian doctrines. (spoiler alert: mine doesn't really) But what are you saying with your writing?
Are you shining God's light to a lost and dying world, or are you spreading hopelessness?
Are you sharing the Gospel, or sticking to vague statements like "Life is beautiful" and focusing on those instead?
These are hard questions. And this is a tough issue. I realize that there are sincere, devoted Christians out there who might not write Christian fiction.
But what message does this send to the secular world? What does this tell them when they can pick up a book, and not even know that the author is Christian until they read the author bio on the last page?
Christians are supposed to be different. Does your writing demonstrate this difference?
That's all I have to say for now. I definitely have a post coming up about writing your faith into your fiction though, so stay tuned for that. This is a big, wide topic, so anyone who has any thoughts or anything to add to this, feel free to share! :D
Everything we write will tell people something about us- and if we're Christians, it will tell them something about the God we serve. I...