Monday, April 23

Why Christian spec fic writers shouldn't include Jesus

I have so many things bouncing around in my head tonight. Life and all its little stresses.

One thing I've been pondering on is this argument that goes on in Christian fiction writers circles: the question of How Much of the Gospel Do We Include?

Some people take Jesus's command to spread the gospel to its extreme, and say that every story has to have Jesus in it, or a Jesus figure who is a redeemer.

Other people go to the other extreme and recommend no religion at all, unless the story absolutely has to have it.

Seeing as this argument goes on between writers of fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal etc., it does raise interesting questions of how you have Jesus when you're writing about elves fighting aliens on another world. I've toyed with writing Christianity in fanfiction for years. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. (The only time it seems to work is when it's laid in with a feather touch. Anything heavier and it just goes into a sermon, or worse, Bible verses with the nouns changed to something more 'fantasy' sounding.)

I've been reading from the Amplified Bible every night. I'm enjoying it hugely. Anyway, I came across Luke 12:8:

And I tell you, Whoever declares openly [speaking out freely] and confesses that he is My worshiper and acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man also will declare and confess and acknowledge him before the angels of God.

Notice that Jesus doesn't say "whoever declares me in all of his stories, or at least has an Aslan." He says "Whoever declares openly ... that he is My worshiper". Like, in person. To real people. Face to face.

Think about the life of an author for a minute. Once they write books and people start reading them, they start getting fanmail. People want to meet the person who delighted them with a good story. That's the place for the author to make a statement of faith. I know that I'm always appreciative when a person of a different faith says so on their website, but keeps it out of their book. I feel like that writer respects me as a reader.

So why do Christians think we can save people by sneaking "Jesus saves!" into our books? We can't save anybody. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. But we can tell darn good stories. We don't even have to have Jesus (or any religion at all) in them. I think it's more respectful for the author to drop the "get people saved" agenda and just tell the darn story.


Farm Girl said...

It is nice you posted it here too.

Anne said...

I hadn't really thought about this, Kessie. But I think you are right. I think Christians should focus on Truth, but not artificially insert Jesus just to give a token acknowledgement to Him. "The ones who tell the stories control the culture" should be a wake-up call for us (I can't remember who said that). For too long, those not called by The Name have been telling the stories in our culture and the results have been nothing less than catastrophic. Very thought-provoking post. Thank you. :)


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