Jerry Jenkins wrote about the rapture and its aftermath and some folks got upset. James Byron Huggins was one of the first writers to put a little edge in Christian fiction with his book The Reckoning and there were those among us who had a cow. God dictated a book about the ultimate salvation of the world and after thousands of years people are still calling Him names and crying foul. And even those who write the softer side of Christian fiction (Romance for those of you who came in late), can’t escape the wrath of those who think Christians shouldn’t write fiction.

So what’s a writer to do?

The best thing we can do is keep writing. Christian authors (and secular authors as well) understand that a novel, regardless of genre, is simply a vehicle used to convey a message. Or at the very least it’s a form of entertainment. As for being a vehicle for messages, in another time and place, such things were called parables. Jesus used those a lot because they are effective. And who better to learn from?

Christian fiction authors are most often confronted with the argument that Christians shouldn’t write fiction (regardless of genre), but that seems more than a little narrow-minded to me. If we are called to spread the gospel (and I believe I read in “The Manual“* that we are supposed to do just that), does that mean we are relegated to simply going door to door and not using our God-given talent?

I don’t think so.

If the fact that we are writing entertainments (as James Patterson says) is the problem, shouldn’t someone be writing entertainments that come from a Christian point of view and promote a Christian message? Or should we sit around looking pious and telling other people making an honest effort to spread the gospel that they are doing it wrong (I know … I just quit preaching and went to meddling)?

It’s a story and story is a powerful communication tool. One which has been used for thousands of years. Before there was written language there was story. And story has, since its inception, been used as a vehicle to convey the teller’s message. And what greater message can we offer than that of the power of God at work in the world.

To paraphrase the old country song, if telling the truth is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

 

(* the Bible for those still scratching their heads)

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