Updated: Mar 31
Hello, Visionaries! Today I've got a guest post from Madisyn Carlin. She posted this on her blog back in February and gave me permission to repost it over here! If you don't follow Madi's Musings, you need to head on over!
Alright, so this post was super great... in my opinion. A wake-up call of sorts, which, if you know me, you know I love to give a good wake-up call to fellow writers! So here we go!
“What is my purpose in life?”
We see that question, or variations of it, a lot, don’t we? What is our purpose? Is there more to life? Why are we here?
For the Christian, those are easily answered. The Bible holds the answers.
I want to address is a chip off something that has been burdening me for a long time. The Christian writing community is becoming noticeably darker as it strays from the narrow path and eagerly jumps onto the bandwagons of incorrect theology, no theology, and just “clean” books. We also are seeing an infestation of sexual incorporation–scenes that are not okay for a Christian book to contain. We are watching profanity sail right on in and being accepted with open arms (after all, criminals don’t use dang it, come back here, you irritating gnat, and similar “clean” expressions, you know. How plebeian to incorporate those.). And, last I heard, a class is being offered at an upcoming well-known Christian writer conference. A class on how to write for the secular market and still be accepted into a Christian publishing house.
Fellow Christian writers, we have a calling. We are to have standards–Biblical standards. We are the be the light. We are to exude our faith. We are to look different. Our actions, words, and stories should make nonbelievers pause and wonder what’s different about us.
We’re supposed to be different. We’re supposed to be “odd”. We’re supposed to go against the worldly grain.
Are we being different? Odd? Going against the flow?
As a whole, no.
Do not misunderstand me. There are plenty of solid Christian writers and they’re pumping out books that contain strong faith, Biblical romance, and plots that point the reader to God.
It is easy to lend ear to the world’s lies. It is easy to buy the falsehoods offered. In fact, you would make more money and gain more popularity if you wrote for the secular market. It’s a given.
But that’s not the path we’re to take.
That’s not the direction we’re to go.
Christian writers, we have a calling. Our purpose is to use our characters, plots, stories, and words to convey the Gospel. Not to tickle itching ears. Not to cater to the secular market. We are to stand strong. We are to be bold and courageous in spreading the Good News.
We have other duties as Christian writers as well. Those are to convey true theology, Biblical entertainment, and to be the lights amidst a dark, dark world. I saw a section where an author was speaking about their new book. In this section, the author admitted to including profanity, but backtracked by stating the profanity wasn’t meant to be profane.
Let me tell you something: the justification of wrongdoing can never change the wrongdoing’s purpose and/or intent. It does not make profanity “clean”, it does not make sex scenes “okay to read because I don’t mean it in a bad way”. Wrong is wrong and right is right, and no amount of earthly attempts to cover the sin can actually blot out what it really is.
We cannot be lights if we include agnosticism, theological evolution, and repulsively-incorrect theological claims (we do NOT have the power to raise the dead; we do NOT see into Heaven no matter what; we do NOT see God (how arrogant such a belief is!)). Allow me to convey a truth that is not very popular these days. You don’t get special revelations. You don’t “receive prophecies”. You’re not the “next prophet”. THOSE DAYS ARE LONG OVER, and they ended with Paul. Those claims are unBiblical. Don’t believe me? Look. In. The. Bible. It is the ultimate source of truth. It is the only source of truth.
We are to write stories that honor God. That list of incorrect theology above? Yeah. No. That is not God-honoring. Including romantic scenes that go beyond polite descriptions of kissing? Nope. That’s not God-honoring either. Including profanity? Absolutely not. Doesn’t matter how you “mean it” or if it’s “in the appropriate context” (this is another post altogether). Including bedroom scenes? Ha. No. Fade-to-blacks? Nope.
My point is we cannot be the light when we blend in with the dark. Christian writers, please, please abstain from these worldly inclusions! We will receive ridicule because we’re different. Because the truth offends those who are perishing. We will receive backlash. We won’t sell as many books. We won’t be the biggest names in the writing market.
But that’s okay.
Because our purpose is not to write for worldly and secular accolades.
Our purpose is to write for God. To point others to Him.
We cannot do that when we are courting the world.
Recall Philippians 4:8: “[W]hatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”.
The world’s passions and desires and profanity do not fit within this command. Remember 2 Timothy 2:15? “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
We are not rightly handling the word of truth when we advocate wretchedly false theology.
We are not doing our due diligence as Christ followers when we include profanity of any type (this includes the “minors”, and certainly extends to the major scratch-out words.) We are misleading others when we paint sexual scenes.
Christian writer, your duty is not to please the world. It is to honor God, and you can’t do that when you’re catering to the world.
Our actions are mirrors of what is within us. Are your actions wholesome and God-honoring? Or do they resemble the world?
Our duty is to spread the Word, to proclaim the Gospel, and to shine so brightly there is no question in anyone’s mind Whose children we are.
Please don’t be afraid to stand for your faith. Please don’t be ashamed to incorporate it in your books. Don’t be afraid to stand alone with the truth when everyone else is pursuing secular paths. And don’t be ashamed or afraid to leave the world and its version of entertainment behind.
Let’s come back from “Christian” fiction to Christian fiction.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1
About the Author
Madisyn Carlin is a Christian, homeschool graduate, blogger, voracious bookdragon, and author. When not spending time with her family or trekking through the mountains, she weaves tales of redemption, faith, and action.
Editorial, graphic design, cover design, and website design services offered at Mountain Peak Edits & Design.
Want to connect? https://linktr.ee/madisyncarlin
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