Monday, April 6, 2009

The responsibility of a Christian Author...

I know I'm probably in the minority, but I make it a practice to read, for the most part, only Christian fiction. I've only read a handful of general fiction titles, and this was on purpose.

Not only because I write Christian fiction and want to support them, but wow. I get a lot of influences all day every day from the 'secular' world. When I sit down with a book, I want to know that I can relax and not have my sensibilities tested.

That said, I don't mind 'edgy' fiction. In fact, the whole "too good to be true" characters aren't that appealing, although I do enjoy a Lori Wick book now and again:-)

BUT, call a spade a spade please. As a Christian author, I DO think we have the responsibility to show sin in it's true light.

In other words, you can have a character "get it on" with someone they're not married to, but a.) I don't want in their bedroom, thank you and b.) Don't make the deed out is 'okay'. Sex is for marriage, period.

Your character likes to tip the bottle a little too much? Okay, as long as it's not made over to be a just fine and dandy pastime.

Your heroine meets with a physic, fine. But we all know that fortune tellers are either a.) fake or b.) getting their info straight from the devil and yeah, let's just make sure, if we write them in, that we don't send our readers to the nearest Madam Isabella to get their palm read.

I fully understand that there is a fine line, and EVERYONE has different values and some of this is cultural.

For you authors out there, how do you define what lines not to cross? Do you write to your OWN values or do you also try to cater to other Christian values that may be more stringent than your own?

For readers, What do you prefer? How far is to far? Are you going to slap a book closed if you see the word "crap"?

6 comments:

Jaime said...

Sometimes I'll bear with an extreme just to study the writing style of a really good writer (not including content).
But I tend to stick primarily to Christian fiction as well. Lending itself toward my Spiritual wellbeing is a good investment of my time and glorifying to my Lord! :)

T. Anne said...

Although I don't read much christian fiction I do infuse my values in my novels. All my stories are about redemption. I'm careful not to have them stepped in sin but they are on their way to a level of enlightenment. Just in case your wondering I'm a born again Christian. :)

Krista Phillips said...

T.Anne, I should have clarified my post. I completely understand that some Christians write for the general market, and that's a WHOLE different ball of wax. Someday I'll post on that too. :-)

I was more directing the post to Christian authors who write Christian fiction, and it was spurred by a book I read over the weekend which was very good, but frustrating as it condoned some not so Christian stuff.

In the end, I think, the key, is that we are honorable and obedient to God. We'll get tons of opinions from a lot of people, but His is the only one that really counts:-)

Cindy said...

I write Christian fiction and try very hard to stick to writing what I believe. Sin is there, of course, but I try to use it in such a way that eventually glorifies God. This is accomplished by redemption and leaps of faith and sometimes miracles, but ultimately there is a purpose behind whatever sin is included in the book. I do, however, stay away from foul language and adhere to most Christian publishers rules about writing inspirational fiction (no bedroom scenes, no foul language, etc.)

Billy Coffey said...

I write non-fiction (which oddly seems like fiction sometimes), but since there really isn't a whole lot of Christian non-fiction out there in the same style as mine, I generally have to make do with secular authors.

That said, I do read a lot of Christian fiction, too. I'm amazed at how mainstream it's gotten, mostly because the characters and storylines are more realistic, i.e. flawed. Readers have to identify with the characters of a story, and that's hard to do when those characters are the embodiment of Christian virtue. Better that they're struggling through life just as much as we are.

But you're right. You have to be careful to paint things in light of the pain they bring to the soul rather than the pleasure they bring the senses.

Melinda said...

I agree with you 100%!!I rarely read secular books. I just don't want to be bombarded by the world 24/7. It's hard enough to keep your eyes on Jesus in the world we live in today without being saturated with it during our leisure time. That being said, I do realize that there is a place for the other types of books. Writers need to write what God lays on their hearts. He calls each of us to minister to different sectors.