Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Holiness of the Gift

So what does is mean to be a Christian author?

I have had this conversation on numerous occasions with many authors. The responses are varied.

Articles I have read of late have been disturbing. They insist that what Christian’s want is more spice in their fiction. As more 'Christian' books are including profanity and explicit sexual scenarios, they sadly, are rising in popularity and are often referred to when Christian books are the topic.

As Christian authors we have a responsibility to present our stories in a form that will glorify God. We do not have the right to defame His holiness by weaving a few scriptures into a backdrop of decadence. There is no honor in gaining name recognition and increasing our bank accounts at the expense of our brother/sister.

I’d love to hear your opinion on this subject. Please keep in mind that this blog is not meant to bash other authors by naming names. It is a forum to discuss our opinions regarding the Christian arts.

Be blessed -- Linda!

Remember -- There is no such thing as an acceptable loss in God's Kingdom!


Emanuel Carpenter said...

I love that line "weaving a few scriptures into a backdrop of decadence." Christian literature is hot right now, second only to street lit. Many Christian authors try to justify using profanity and obsenities in their work by saying it's just real life. I don't agree with it but the marketplace caters this buying audience that now serves two masters. But like I used to hear growing up, God don't bless no mess. If I want cussin' and violence, I'll buy street lit. If I want sex, I'll buy erotica. But when I open the pages of a Christian novel, I expect to read words that will not offend.

Welcome to the blogsphere!

Rose said...

This is a great question. I think that we should leave the cursing and vivid sex scenes out. Writing a Christian novel can be just as exciting and interesting as other genre if you use the right wordings and continue to keep the action and drama intense. I just finished my first full length Christian novel and it is better than anything I have written thus for. But there is a message there that I didn't want to get lost with other stuff.

Carole said...

The thing is one person might consider something spicy, another might consider it reality, and yet another might consider it offensive. Something might not be spicy at all and might offend a judgemental person. Some people for instance don't like characters dancing, and some don't like mentioning even a kiss. I don't like swearing or extremely erotic stuff in any book. But who knows? Someone who is extremely decadent might assume my own work is decadent in some ways. Who knows?

Sylvia Hubbard said...

we just had this conversation at our last writers meeting in detroit and you said a lot of the things the presenter did.

Thanks Linda and congrats on the new blog!!!

Emanuel Carpenter said...

I just finished "A Sin and A Shame" by Victoria Christopher Murray. In her book, she handles the sex-related passages with class and no profanity. She is an incredibly gifted writer. The book is definitely an interesting pageturner. No wonder she's been on the Essence bestseller list for so long.

T. Knight said...

I'm not a writer but a reader as well as a Christian. When I read Christian books I am not looking for things of the world, it's not that I'm looking to get preached to but what I love is the way some are able to weave a story showing how to apply God's word to our daily lives. It gives me great joy when I finish reading a book that has not only given me a great story but has taught me more about God and His word. In our day to day lives there are more than enough other venues that cater to the erotic or, street arts. I just think Christian writers have a responsibility to God first

Maurice said...

Romans 12:2 tells us "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind- -."

To me, there is no reason why any talented Christian writer can't handle "real" life scenarios without having to use profanity or graphic sex. I believe that my role as a Christian author is to edify and to uplift my readers as well as entertain them with a good story. I feel absolutely no need to "spice it up" if spicing means cursing like a sailor and writing scenes better suited to be the script for an X-rated movie.

And as a reader, I don't want to pick up a Christian novel and see the same "filth-flarn-filth" I'd see in a secular novel. I read Christian fiction to relax, not to have to be on guard against cussin' and fussin'.

Just my ten cents (two adjusted for inflation :-)

rhondajjoseph said...

Hi, Linda! I finally recovered my password.

Regarding your subject, I realize that sometimes our spiritual journey may bring us from the depths of decadence to where we finally decide that we serve a Higher Being. However, this journey doesn't have to be told with every explicit detail of our previous lives. I agree that if the purpose is to detail this journey, and label it as a Christian journey, then the tale can be told without catering to the market.

Wanza Leftwich said...

I think we should write what God calls us to write. I don't use curse words or have vivid sex scenes but some have still been offended by my writing.

The problem I had with Christian fiction that is was too light. It didn't represent me and the people I knew. Hence, they have "urban christian". The bible speaks of people cursing and having sex. Is it graphic - depends on how you read it. Song of Solomon is sweet, but vivid all at the same time.