WWJD? I've been wrestling with this one. My WIP is not Christian fiction. There is no story line about how the protagonist got saved and it turned her world around. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even mention God, church, Jesus... At one point, the antagonist screams out hatefulness. It was a hard dialog for me to write. I still haven't decided on one sentence in particular. He says a bad word. Yep. My mom would have washed our mouths out with soap!
OK, it's not the @ word, but it's still a curse word. A Christian friend of mine, when told of my dilemma, suggested I use @#%*#! Not that the thought hadn't crossed my mind; but dialog is words, not symbols. The character spewing the word is far from reflecting Jesus. He is evil, cruel, abusive... just plain mean. He doesn't say things like, "Darn it, you mean girl!" I left the word in there.
I consider writing a form of art. I am an artist. I use words to paint. You cannot paint a sunny day without the color blue. You cannot paint a sunset using only yellow. My WIP is already written in my head. My story has a beginning and an end. The characters are strong. I cannot weaken them... it would do a disservice to my work.
I have a notebook on my laptop with oodles of ideas for other books. Most of them have a dark character. They're not childrens' books. Don't get me wrong... I would let my teenage granddaughter read my book. It's about real life, and sometimes real life is ugly. I would not be ashamed for my Christian friends to see what I've written. I really don't care what they think, anyway. I do care what God thinks.
Sometimes I wonder if God would want me to only write Christian fiction. I credit Him for this talent that I think I have. (Although, being a writer, I will face another judgment day!) Does God want us to use the talents He blessed us with for His glory alone. If my writing does not bring people into His Kingdom or glorify Him in some way, am I not using my gift as He would have me use it?
I just finished reading that last book of a three-part series that is a prelude to the Left Behind series. This paragraph, in The Rapture by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, really hit home...
"Another honoree was a prodigious pianist who had taken the gift God had given him and devoted himself to ministry rather than exalt himself by pursuing what was guaranteed to be a lucrative career in the great concert halls. He taught piano in remote arenas of the world and used his giftedness to spread the Word of God, eschewing personal glory and wealth."
So am I exalting myself for my own glory if I write something other than Christian fiction? Even though I still pray on this question, I think God says no. After all, if I were a great classical pianist no one would expect me to play only hymns, would they?
I might someday try to write a Christian fiction novel, but I truly don't think I have talent in that area. If it is God's will, I'm quite sure He'll let me know...
I have many Christian writers that follow my blog. I also know a lot of you are Christians without writing Christian stories. What do you think about this issue? Does God want us to use our gifts solely for His purpose?