Welcome to 2022! Happy New Year!
There is a possibility that in the near future I will be publishing a ‘guide’ or ‘manual’—call it what you will—for Christian authors, called (maybe) Talent for a Mission, based somewhat on the Parable of the Talents in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25, verses 14 through 30. Remember the one who received a talent but hid it? Well, guess what? The giver of the talent took the talent away from the one who wouldn’t use it!
In other words—Christian author or not—if you don’t use the talent God gave you, God will ‘take away’ that talent, which, in this case, is the talent of writing and being an author.
And before I go on let me say that if you do indeed believe in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, I’d say that an author with these beliefs ought to be using the talent God gave you for His purpose, as I explain in the following paragraphs, which is why I wrote The Prodigal Band Trilogy and am working on this ‘guide’ as well as another fiction novel which is somewhat based on the trilogy, and might consider also an ‘aftermath’ to the trilogy itself.
Guide or not, why consider such a project for Christian authors?
One, because God’s evangelical or missionary mission for believers on Christ is, as Christ Himself said in the Gospel of Matthew, (28:19, as well as Luke 24:47) to make disciples of all nations. How can Christian authors ‘make disciples of all nations’ when so many Christian fiction novels are about Christians and/or written for Christians? Many of these novels contain gossipy ‘he said-she said’ stuff between two or more Christians about what pastor so-and-so told some deacon regarding sleeping with the neighbor’s wife or rumors that some elder is actually homosexual or some youth minister allegedly raped a six-year-old…. You know the drill, and I’ve read some Christian fiction in the past. Nearly all of these I’ve read include the plots or themes I just mentioned. One novel I can’t even remember the name of was about a preacher having to repent of having sex with the wife of some church member and not telling his own wife, having to finally admit it when the wife catches him in the act.
Look. I know all Christians, as with all people, are and were sinners and these kinds of scenarios are real. But what if some non-Christian trying to find out what Christian authors write about what Christian acts or whatever, reads the book, finds it complete and utter Christian hypocrisy, then believes ‘no way in Hell am I going to convert’ to belief on Christ?
And I am guilty of that as well to some extent. My first self-published novel, Battle of the Band, 1996, about a rock band—I did not know if God gave me that inspiration for the purpose of said band converting to belief on Christ at that time—did in fact have debauched scenes within, cussing, and even occultist-type rituals. After all, haven’t all rock stars ‘sold their souls to the devil’? But here is the thing: while some Christian readers were somewhat offended, my first…and second (The Prophesied Band, 1998) and third (The Prodigal Band, 2018) were NOT written for Christian audiences. The Prodigal Band is where the band accepts Christ because they want to and feel they must repent of their debaucheries of which there were many, including an unwitting worship of a fictional Satan-figure.
In fact, the trilogy became a trilogy meant for non-Christians to try to at least have them consider accepting Christ as Lord and Savior. Acceptance of Christ as Redeemer MUST be a choice the person makes and should NEVER be forced on anyone!
Now, if the Christian author wants to write about Christians sinning and then repenting, fine. If the Christian author strictly wants to write for Christians, fine.
But God gave you “a talent” (see the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 25, verses 14 through 30) and as Christ said, a “mission” to ‘make disciples of all nations.’ Or at least have them consider the possibility without forcing it on them. It would be as if instead of going up to someone and talking about Christ and redemption, you are writing about Christ and His redemption to a reader instead.
And remember also Christ’s words to the disciples that the disciples would do greater works than even Christ did (a passage my own pastor is constantly using in his sermons!)? Writing a work of fiction about acceptance of Christ by a person or group that one would normally not expect to convert to belief on Christ could be pretty ‘great’ especially in this day and age of world wide web, e-books, PDF books, videos, podcasts….and when a book in English can be translated to almost any language using software. In fact, a couple of weeks ago when I was checking my site stats on visitors and downloads of the free PDF The Prodigal Band, I did find out that a few of the downloads were translated into other languages!
So yes, Christian author, write novels aimed at Christians, because some Christians may need a renewal of faith so to speak. Or write personal testimonies or non-fiction pieces about fellow Christians or non-fiction testifying for non-Christians as would a missionary. But remember your mission using the talent God gave you, even if you only write fiction—to make disciples of all nations, and you can use writing fiction to do it. And a good start if you are a fiction writer is to use the various parables to fashion your novel…The Prodigal Son…The Laborers in the Vineyard…The Wheat and the Tares…or even, The Talents! After all, non-Christians also read fiction novels, doncha know…. So get busy! And do you need a ‘New Year’s Resolution’? Consider it if you haven’t already.