A Writer Who is Christian or a Christian Writer?

 

I am a Christian who is a writer.

 

That doesn’t necessarily make me a Christian Writer.

When I tell people this, they say one of two things.

People who fall into Group A often adopt a taut smile or sigh in a heavy anguished sorrow, as if I were just now nailing Jesus to the cross, and say, “If you don’t write for the Lord, He won’t bless you.”

People who fall into Group B usually smile and say, “Great. We need more Christians who write mainstream. Move out of the choir loft and take to the streets.”

I just read a blog post about not being afraid to share your faith by taking a stand and writing truth, not entertainment.

I have to disagree. Sometimes, as readers, we’re looking for escapism. Sometimes straight truth isn’t very entertaining. Sometimes fiction portrays a fresher picture of truth in a way that grabs reader’s attention. Ted Dekker’s Circle Trilogy, Black, Red, and White, illustrated the amazing power of Christ’s blood using fantasy and the story of a man caught between two worlds.

I’ll tell you a secret that’s not very flattering. I don’t enjoy non-fiction. I like to learn life lessons through stories. When I read a great book, it can be life changing. Karen Kingsbury’s novels do have touched me in that way. If I see fictional characters work their way through obstacles and problems, it makes me want to do the same. I get involved in the lives of these imaginary people and relate to their struggles.

My passion revolves around the imaginary world of Young Adult Science Fiction. Writing inspirational articles captures my heart as well and I have a blog devoted to encouraging readers and writers.

Some days I feel like I exist in two different worlds.

My vision is to write for the general market and give a glimpse of “something better, something more.” We all like to get lost in another world on occasion. My desire is to give readers a world that will call them toward the Lord, rather than direct them away.

I have read many well-written books in the Young Adult market, but many of the bestsellers are not teen friendly. Language and sex fill the pages. The big trend in Young Adult Fiction today centers around the paranormal—vampires, werewolves, witches.

These stories are fun and entertaining. I read them and even enjoy them, but as a whole, these books lead the reader to question God’s authenticity and move beyond pointing to the possibility books promote the theme that there are really beings out there that hold more power than God. This worldview centers on people holding the ultimate authority over themselves and nature and removes them from God’s sanction.

I’m not looking to send out an overt Alter Call when I write. Instead, my goal involves moving teens in the right direction so they can ponder the real questions that will lead them to God instead of away from Him. The truth remains, whether we choose to believe it or not.

Awakening, my current work in progress, finds its science fiction basis in genetics. Awakening explores how far the human mind can be pushed and poses the question—Should humans even be manipulating things better left to God?

My other WIP, Kyle’s Storyprovides a fictionalized account my son’s four-year battle with leukemia. I wrote the first draft as an adult novel and then changed my mind. I am reworking this book through Kyle’s twelve-year-old eyes. More kids than you can imagine suffer from life altering diseases. My goal is to open up that world in a way that helps kids understand.

Faith plays a major part in Kyle’s Story, but I wouldn’t label it as Christian Fiction. I would label it as an expedition through pediatric cancer where the discovery of truth is wrapped inside a faith journey.

So, while I am a Christian and proud to let the Lord guide my steps, I don’t consider myself strictly a Christian Writer.

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comment box. I’m always up for controversy!

11 Comments

  1. Lori, I think age and life experiences play a great part in what we write. Before we went through the tragedy of losing our daughter, the lens I viewed life through was entirely different than it is now.

    Being a grandmother (that would be Mimi)I see through yet another lens. Being well over 50 has allowed me to see changes in the world in which we live that have also colored the lens of my vision.

    Time left, unfinished work, unfilled dreams tend to cause me to have a pinpoint focus and greater desire and intensity to finish my course than I had ten or fifteen years ago.

    The major issue is what has God called you/me to do right this moment? We never know how God will use the words we speak to affect the lives of those we may never know here on this earth. That’s why the prayer “let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you O Lord,” is so vital in the life of each believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    DiAne

  2. Interestingly enough, I also consider myself a Christian who writes instead of a “Christian writer” even though I write for the “Christian” market. It just so happens that the stories the Lord has given me to write have found a home in that market, but that doesn’t mean that Christian defines my writing–it defines me, which then infuses everything I do, whether that is overtly or implied. What the Lord wants to do with it after that is up to Him. He’ll put it in the hands of whatever readers He wants, no matter the publisher or “intended” audience.

    • Lori Freeland |

      Thanks for your comment! You know after I hit “publish” I kind of cringed hoping that people would not take this post the wrong way :)

  3. I consider myself a writer who is a Christian and not a Christian writer, and I share your heart. I love YA fiction, but have found God missing from the stories aimed at an age group that needs Him most. I hope to reintroduce Him to this age group by creating strong stories that reach out to those who have never seen Him as He is: forgiving and passionate with regards to his children. I entered the path of writing through the lens of Christian writing, but found that too many Christian writers were putting God in a box. In my experience, they ignored the fact that the bible is full of truth about human experience. God has never shied away from the sin of His children, in fact He has always used it as an example for redemption. So why shouldn’t we as writers who are Christian follow His example?

  4. Great post, Lori! None of my books would likely qualify in Christian fiction. But since my faith infuses my life generally, I can’t help but mention it here and there. And the principles of morality and justice from Christianity certainly direct my themes, writing, and conclusions.

  5. Firstly, sorry about your loss. My prayers are with you and your friend. I really enjoyed this post. I too am a Christian and I base my books – YA paranormal romance- on God-centred values. I also have been very troubled by the lack of a supreme being in YA books. As much as I enjoy reading them, they so often leave me without hope. There is no sense that there is order in the universe and a higher being in control. For me that being is a loving Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ, but I accept that for others it can be anything else. I just don’t see those values coming through YA literature. That is why I am writing books which I hope inspire a belief in the eternal nature of the soul, and a God who is over all who loves us very much. I am now following your blog. People with like minds need to stick together!
    Gwynneth
    http://todayinshenaya.blogspot.com

    • Lori Freeland |

      Gwynneth,

      I needed to read this today. I’m hopping over to your blog soon. I need to get through a funeral today and Easter on Sunday. Thank you for your encouragement. God knew exactly what I needed to hear today.

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