I’ve known for a long time that I didn’t want to be a Christian writer. This doesn’t mean that my faith is not important to me—quite the contrary. There is nothing that gives me quite so much purpose and joy in my life as my relationship with Christ. The guidance that He has given me has directed me through every decision I have been faced with.
But there is a stark difference in my mind between a Christian writer and a writer who is also a Christian.
I picked up a copy of Little Women when I was seven years old, and began moving swiftly through the classics. These literary works were often the efforts of writers who were Christians, but very seldom were marketed as Christian works. Whether the authors meant it as such, they carried the message of the gospel within their pages, as well as the values taught within Scripture, but these were veiled within the characters and the storyline. In this way, these great writers influenced society, teaching them the messages of the Bible without alienating those who would be put-off by the name of “Christian”.
As I grew older, after exhausting much of the classics library, I began to turn to Christian fiction. Much of it seemed stilted to my young mind; an exhausting tale of Christians in name, who followed rote in order to receive good from a benevolent God. This is not to say that everything under the Christian genre is purposeless or Pharisaic, but rather has to do with the manner in which I received it. I have since come to find that there are many Christian books that I enjoy–as a teenager, I simply did not know how to sift through the good and the bad of the genre as easily as others. But I realized that if I, as a believer, was put off by the Christian genre, then wouldn’t it effect a non-believer even more?
In Matthew 28:19 (ESV) we are told to make disciples of all people. While this is far from the only way to accomplish this goal, I feel that incorporating aspects of faith into the everyday lives of the public in the form of literature can serve as the stepping-stones that acquaint and lead readers to seek out Christianity for themselves.
It is due to my faith in Christ that I want to write content that will reach those who would never pick up a book that was labeled “Christian”. In this way, I can share the magnificent story that God has given us in the Bible.
If readers choose to act on what they learn in this way from my writing, then I will be happy. In the meantime, I hope that Christian and Secular markets will enjoy and learn from the stories I tell. In this, I am content.