I have many expectations of Christian fiction, whether it’s my own or some other author’s work. And I think that’s fair. It’s a relatively small genre in a big literary world. And there’s lots of competition. So, to me, if a book, short story, or novella is labeled as “Christian fiction,” it should live up to the name.
There’s a big difference between “clean fiction” and “Christian fiction.” Now, Christian fiction should also be clean fiction (no swearing, no overt sexual scenes). But clean fiction is not always Christian fiction.
Simply put, Christian fiction needs (Jesus) Christ in it.
I believe Christian fiction should show a non-believer the difference that accepting Jesus Christ makes in the life of Christian. For example, one way is by showing how the Lord took a spiritually broken person and saved/redeemed them. The reader should see the hope and joy that Christ brings. They should see that Christians are human, we certainly make mistakes sometimes, but Christ gives us the Holy Spirit to help us resist sin and live for Jesus. For that reason, I believe Christian fiction should be for non-believers first; it should have something believers can enjoy and learn from, too.
I hope to see more Christian authors take a stand for Christ in their written works. That comes with some risks but also rewards.
In Matthew 6: 6 (KJV) Jesus said, And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
In my opinion, this is not a time to be fearful of what others think; the truth of the Gospel stands. It isn’t time to restrict our faith in these works of fiction. Shouldn’t the glory of Christ be the highlights of our stories? Otherwise, what makes these tales stand out as Christian? I’d like to encourage my fellow Christian fiction authors to lean even more on the Lord for inspiration and courage. He can provide more than we could ever ask for.
Matthew 28: 20 (KJV) reads, Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
In conclusion, I believe that labels should mean something. And in my view, that’s especially true for Christian fiction. We can all improve. I believe that, as Christian fiction authors, we should be striving to do the Lord’s will and share His goodness and love through our writing. Conflict is a part of every story, but Jesus will always be the answer to life’s problems, no matter what they are.
About the author
Allen Steadham is a nondenominational Christian. Happily interracially married since 1995 and the proud father of two sons and a daughter. He and his wife have been in the same Christian band since 1997. He plays electric bass, she plays strings, they both sing. It's all good.
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