Friday, 17 June 2011

Necessary Christian Art

As a reader/writer, what topics do you feel should be left alone in fiction?

A girlfriend gave me a copy of Seaside Letters for Christmas two years ago, and I have to admit that when I first read it (and loved it), I felt a little scandalised. It was a frank Christian novel and it astonished me to see it published by a Christian house, yet at the same time the truth behind the content made me both wince and nod with agreement because it is real world stuff between those covers (and my assessment of what houses are going for broadened immensely).

The ‘real people with real problems’ bell was ringing, and in fact, Seaside Letters is tame, and of course this is just one example of lots of good, necessary books. Facts are facts no matter how delicate their nature or how pressing their need. We can’t pull the ‘Holy’ card every time because something offends our spirit. Instead we need to discern why our spirit is offended and remember the people Jesus hung out with and helped (and was criticised for).

I read a good article following this link on Twitter http://bit.ly/jPvY1G
It does raise a perfectly legitimate point, much the same as discussions to do with YA subject matter and what people should and shouldn’t be writing or reading.

For me, the facts are that we do live in a fallen world where life sucks sometimes. Let’s be honest. We don’t all get to float around on the glory cloud all day, happy moments can be snatches in time for some of us more than others, and some even spend most of their days under the cloud for any number of reasons.

Yet I don’t think we need to be so entrenched in ‘reality’ as to be filling our minds with it non-stop. Call most non-secular novels 'pansy frou-frou', but people began reading fiction because it took them away from their reality. They want the happy ending because they like to know there’s hope and that good things still happen to those who’d love to escape their rut.

The last secular novel I read left me feeling absolutely yuck, and I was sooo thankful I have Christ in my life and heart! If that's the way the world lives, thank God I don't have to live with that much defeat! Isn't it our job to show a real, better way?

We’re in a reality-hungry world, but God’s goodness IS reality. Just because we don’t get what we want, the way we want it, when we want it, does that mean God got off the throne and our lives are on hold, permanently in the valley? His Word says we might need to adjust our POV if we’re that fixed on ‘reality’.

When Philippians says to ‘think about these things’, one would assume the verb is instructive. Think. Do it on purpose. Don’t be conformed to the point of making no impact.

Also, let’s not forget the Proverb that gossip is a tasty morsel, going down to man’s inmost parts. Novels are largely exactly that. So what are you eating? If our position is to edify, where has God put you?

Decide: What was the last novel you read, full of so-called pansy frou-frou that brightened your day and also your walk with God? Did it make you want to keep on in hope? At the conclusion of the “Love Chapter”, what three remain?

“Everything is permissible for me— but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me— but I will not be mastered by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6v12 NIV

“All things are legitimate [permissible--and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].” 1 Corinthians 10v23 Amp

Tout m'est permis. Certes, mais tout n'est pas bon pour moi. Tout m'est permis, c'est vrai, mais je ne veux pas me placer sous un esclavage quelconque. Du Semeur

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