Tuesday, July 14, 2015

No Compromise...Drawing Lines in Your Fiction

Change is always abuzz in the Christian book industry. Lately, we've heard of the closing of Abingdon's fiction line. For great insight on that issue, see Steve Laube's blog post "Christian Fiction is Not Dead." 

It seems like another in a long line of merges and closures that have been shaking the industry up in new ways these past few years.

News items such as the legalization of same-sex marriage and the continued allegations against those in the church for adultery and even financial scandal can leave the Christian bewildered and discouraged.

In the last few months Lifeway Christian stores have made some decisions that have led to mixed public opinion. Buyer Rachel McRae says in a recent blog post, they must guard their bookshelves. What is seen in the Christian bookstore should be separate from what is seen in a secular retailer. (Check out "What's Really Going on in Christian Fiction?").

I recognize not all readers may agree with me, but I personally applaud Lifeway for what they have done, they are drawing a line in the sand. Even Christian fiction is beginning to become an anything goes culture where black and white have become gray.

Whatever your line in the sand is, you need to have one. You need to prepare it before you are published, the moment you start writing. Because compromise builds. Its a slow fade as a popular Christian song implies.

As writers we need to be SET APART, because that is what we are called to be as believers.

What does that mean for you?

One well-known nonfiction author halted his contract with a major Christian publisher and has no regrets. What are you willing to give up to live your convictions? We must be able to give it ALL up!

But it could be smaller, often the largest temptations to compromise can be little ones that build.

What are you willing to change in your story? Where is your line in the sand? What stand will you take in your career?

Will you publish with a company that also creates (pornography, erotica, etc)? Maybe you ARE called to the secular market. All the same you will need to create an individual line that says I won't go any further. I won't add this word or scene that's not pleasing to God.

In a world where moral relativity and "anything goes" mentality run rampant, you must prayerfully consider where you will stand.

Peter knew who he served:  But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men." -Acts 5:29, ESV

Spirit-filled Peter knew who he believed and the power of who he believed in and was willing to go as far as to die a martyr's death to obey God in the face of vast opposition.

Many Israelite babies were saved because of the faithful midwives who obeyed God rather than the ruling powers: But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.-Exodus 1:17

Who will we follow in our writing careers, what's right in God's eyes or man's eyes?

Then they answered and spoke before the king, "Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day."-Daniel 6:13

I did an extensive study on Daniel this year and he's definitely a favorite of mine. I am inspired by his faithfulness. He continued to pray and worship God daily in spite of the pagan customs of the world around him and was even willing to risk death. He faces many fiery trials but keeps himself cleansed and spotless from the world with God's help.

With God's Spirit and His word we can remain faithful in a fallen world. We can help our brothers and sisters stand strong by supporting their writing decisions as they follow His spirit and by praying that we all remain unhindered in our witness for Christ.

Julia is a writer and reviewer for Library Journal magazine and a blogger for Wonderfully Woven. She is also a member and volunteer for ACFW. Central Virginia is home to Julia, her husband Chris, two children and three crazy cats.


S.D.King said...

This is one of the most important blog posts I have read for Christian writers.

Thanks for taking a stand and urging others to hold fast to their faith and the high calling of Christ on our lives.


kaybee said...

Julia, this is a brave post and Christianity is under siege. We are definitely in the last days. I think I drew my line, but will be reexamining it after this.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...
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Julia M. Reffner said...

SD, Thanks for stopping by! We need to constantly remind ourselves of why we are doing this, to pass on the message of Christ.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Kaybee, For me sometimes I need to redraw lines. As I grow in my faith sometimes I find new convictions and other times new issues arise and cause me to change. But the scriptures, our plumb line, never changes.

Cara Putman said...

A great post, Julia. Very thought provoking and something we all need to think and pray about. What are we willing to write? Who are we willing to partner with? What are we each called to do with our writing?