Monday, February 1, 2010

The Safeness of Christian Fiction

I'm disappointed in the "edgier" Christian fiction that I'm hearing about these days. It seems that some Christian authors are pushing for a more "secular" feel in their fiction, including all the bad stuff that's the reason I primarily read Christian novels.

When I'm reading a secular book, I brace myself for the cussing or other trash that I'm likely to come across, especially if its a young adult or adult book. I don't feel like I'm relaxing as I read the book because I'm constantly watching for something (and if I find that there's a lot of that trash, I ditch the book).

In Christian fiction, I like being able to relax. I like being able to lower my guard and enjoy the story without worrying about the junk.

Unfortunately, it seems like that's changing. While I haven't read any books that contain these things explicitly, I've heard of them. Usually, they're not popular books. But it saddens me that Christian authors are putting such trash in their books (I mean, OK, I can handle a reference or two to "un-kosher" topics. But don't dwell on it or make it graphic!). And what really disappoints me is when Christian bloggers feature book excerpts or something on their blog that contains foul language. Seriously, it doesn't make it better if you use a star or a dash to take out the middle or last letters. Everyone knows what that means, folks!

People try to justify it by saying that it's "the real world." I know there are ways to show that someone cussed without actually using the words. I've done it, and I don't have my believing characters do it.

Why is this even an issue? It's the same principle as I talked about in my Gripe About Paranormal Fiction post last year, how "everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial." So we're not going to be exiled forever if we write or read a book with language, intimacy, or over-the-top gore in it. But there are private things, and there are forbidden things, and we're not God-honoring if we dwell on those topics.

I'm not a writer to be a follower--especially of the world. I'm a writer because GOD called me to be one and gave me this talent. So, if God gave me this, why should I do something that is plainly dishonoring him?

8 responses:

Lostariel said...

At the very least (and I do mean the VERY least) evil must be portrayed as negative, not condoned by the author.

Galadriel said...

It's good to find fiction without swearing, but I probably have become too accustomed to it.

Kyleigh said...

I agree, Heather! The worst place I find is in "Christian" Romance. I honestly don't believe such a category should exist, but that's a whole other topic.

While it is the real world out there, we ARE told to be infants in evil - but in our thinking, mature. That's what I try to portray in my books - little evil (but very clearly evil then), and the thoughts of a mature, functional, Christian family.

The Traveler said...

definately. I'll admit--I read more "children's ficton" than I do anything else, for this very reason. Well, that and the fact that I've read just about all the christian fiction books that aren't Amish romances or westerns. LOL

Galadriel said...

Ah, yes. What is it with Christian writers and the Amish?

Heather said...

Galadriel: Amish is a huge trend right now! Personally I think it's overkill on a not-that-fascinating subject.

Trav: same here, plus I plan to write for preteen/YA audiences. What better way to know the market?

Ky: Most Christian straight romance is *gag*. I have to admit to enjoying some romantic suspense or some storylines with a thread of romance in them.

Lostariel: Yes, exactly. The biggest issue I have with that kind of books is in fact that the authors are condoning evil.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what is it with Amish fiction? I mean, in the CBD (Christian Book Distributers) catalogue we get, probably a fourth of all the Christian novels in there are about Amish this, Amish that. It's really annoying. And of course, theyr'e almost all basically romance novels. Can't people write about something else once in a while? I actually read very few new books. I enjoy old books, like the Elsie series (although there is romance in them, and it's over the top at times, most of the time it's really good, and the Christianity is a part of the books, not just thrown in once in a while). On a different note, I would recommend The Loveliness of Christ by Samuel Rutherford. It is one of the best little books that I've ever read (it isn't fiction, but excerpts from letters that he wrote; beautiful). Wow, sorry for the long review :)

Anonymous said...

That last comment was by me. I forgot to sign it :)
---Laura

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