Monday, October 15, 2012

Christian Fiction – Oxymoron?

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We were on our way to a restaurant by a lake in Warsaw, Indiana. Our husbands visited in the front, and we ladies sat together on the bucket seats of our friend’s new Honda mini-van. And that’s another story. . .

But on this day, my friend turned to me and said, “I promised I wouldn’t read anything that wasn’t true for the rest of the year.”

She shook her head and looked down at the boot on her foot. “And then my ankle gave out.” She grinned then. “I could just see God looking down with a chuckle wondering what I was going to do now. But I’ve used this time to really get into the Word.”

And then I shared with her how I’d learned to get more out the Scriptures in my own daily devotions. I was sure the things I had learned were nothing new to her. And I was ashamed that I had to be this old before I learned.

“It’s good to take a break from reading other writing,” I said. “But you’ve made a big commitment to go for half a year.” I half-way admired her for it.

“Oh, I hope by the end of the year I can make it permanent. My mother always told me fiction is just a bunch of lies.” My friend looked at me expectantly. We belong to the same denomination and she knew I was a writer. “Reading got me through the hard times when my children were growing up,” she continued. “But I’ve leaned on fiction too much.”

“I know you need to keep your promise, but what about the stories Jesus taught?”

“And you think those weren’t real stories?”

“I know the parables were based on true principals,” I told her. “That’s what novel writers are taught. Any properly written novel will be based on a true principal.”

We changed the subject after that. But I can’t quit thinking about it.

Is Christian Fiction an Oxymoron?

By definition, Christian Fiction is a story that illustrates a Christian world view in its plot, its characters, or both, or which deals with Christian themes in a positive way.

The novels of Francine Rivers have touched hearts and changed lives. Christian Fiction is not written to replace the Bible, but to turn hurting, seeking people to the Word, to Jesus, and to God.

The combined efforts of many Christian writers have enriched our world. For some of us, it is our mission field. Our way of blooming where we are planted.

The Apostle Paul used the whole chapter of I Corinthians 14 to show me that worship should not just be for my own benefit. That I should desire gifts that benefit the whole church. #1 In ways that they can understand. And #2 in ways that build up the church. Then, the apostle tells us, God will bring the sinners and they will also be convinced.

God may use me to touch just one soul. He may use you to touch another. And he is reaching out to my friend in a different manner.

What are your thoughts?


2 comments:

Lori said...

Great post. I concur. God takes us through different seasons for His glory, and I pray He draws your friend ever closer to His heart.

One of my favourite things about the Bible is that it illustrates the power of story. I believe God inspires us as writers, so He can tell His story to and through us.

Every blessing on the rest of your journey.

Carol Ann said...

Great post, Sharon! God does reach each of us in different ways. Those who read Christian fiction do so to not only be entertained, but also as a reaffirmation of their faith and values.