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Are There Topics Christians Should Not Write About?

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Are There Topics Christians Should Not Write About?

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  • #118310
    Zee
    @zee

    I was planning to share my new series with one of Facebook’s many Christian book lovers’ groups, but after reading their Group Guidelines, I realized I couldn’t honestly do it, not because the books contain inappropriate sexual scenes (they don’t) or excessive violence (they also don’t) but because some of the Christian characters are portrayed drinking alcohol.

    Now, this is not a big deal–in fact, it made me smile, but it got me to wondering. Are there some topics that Christians can’t, or at least shouldn’t, cover in their writing? (I’m talking about fiction, not investigative reporting, research, etc.)

    What do you all think?

    #118312
    Brianna Storm Hilvety
    @briannastorm

    @zee We published an article series a couple years ago that might help you wrestle through this question. 🙂 You can read the first installment here: https://storyembers.org/dear-christian-novelists-cleanness-is-not-next-to-godliness/

    Wielder of a Red Pen | TheLiteraryCrusader.

    Arindown (Gracie)
    @arindown

    @zee

    I’ve wondered about this too sometimes, but I finally came to the conclusion that it’s not what you write, it’s how you write it. Evil is out there, and we have to face it. The important thing is facing it God’s way.

    As long as our books follow the standard of portraying good as good, and evil as evil, I think you can carefully tread almost any topic.

    Hope that helps!

    Not all those who wander are lost.

    #118325
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    I’ve wondered about this too sometimes, but I finally came to the conclusion that it’s not what you write, it’s how you write it. Evil is out there, and we have to face it. The important thing is facing it God’s way.

    As long as our books follow the standard of portraying good as good, and evil as evil, I think you can carefully tread almost any topic.

    This right here. And I might add that if we don’t write about certain things, there will be a complete absence of Christian perspective on those topics in literature, which I think would be a huge oversight. Real people have real questions about the Bible’s views on things–Christians and non-Christians alike–and I personally think that completely avoiding certain topics is akin to shutting down someone’s hard questions about the Bible. Not exactly the same, of course, but it has a similar effect of leaving people searching and not knowing.

    All that said, some of it also comes down to personal conviction. There are issues I won’t tackle in my fiction because I know they would cause me to dwell on things I don’t want to dwell on. There are other things I won’t tackle–at least not yet–because I don’t know enough about them. So I’m not at all saying that we should all try to write about everything (for one thing, that’s just not very feasible, lol), but I definitely don’t think that–assuming we’re led to write about a certain issue, we’re handling it biblically and considerately and tactfully, and it’s not something that’s going to tempt us or our readers to sin–there are many issues (if any) that we as a community should altogether avoid.

    Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

    #118333
    Josiah DeGraaf
    @josiah

    @zee For the most part, I think Christians should feel free to address most any topic in their stories, as long as they do it with wisdom and truth. Now, there are a few things where I’d be hard-pressed to see the wisdom of focusing a whole book on that topic. If a Christian author wanted to focus a fictional work on the kind of refuse that goes on in 50 Shades of Grey, for example, even if they painted it as wrong and didn’t show much of those scenes, I’d still question what the value is of focusing a book on main characters regularly indulging in that. There could be value, though, in a story that showed characters being delivered from that stuff. But I think in large part it comes down to how you’re portraying it and how much you’re focusing on it. Different topics need greater standards of caution with how we depict it and how much time we spend on it. And there are certainly some topics I’m just not personally interested in reading or writing about.

    As Bri said, though, we do definitely get into this in a lot more depth in the article series she posted above!

    Lit fanatic. Eclectic reader. Theology nerd. Writing fantasy at https://josiahdegraaf.com

    #118343
    Zee
    @zee

    Thanks, @briannastorm for sharing those articles. What a great overview of the topic!

    I realized I don’t have a super-strong opinion one way or the other, though, as some of you said, there are topics I personally would not write about. However, that would not make me assume that any Christian author who did choose to write about them was making a mistake. It really does come down to the “how” and the “why” far more than the “what,” like many things in life.

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