Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thoughts on Christian Fiction from this Preaching Author


 

            While currently I am more known for writing nonfiction, I am a story teller at heart and write a lot of fiction.  I’ll be starting on my 20th book soon, and out of those 20 books, 16 of them are fiction.  Thank you Jesus that God will open a door for a home (publishing house) for all these books so that their not setting with a cardboard sign by the literary highway that reads, ‘Will write for food” in purple marker.  (GRIN)

As the story teller and preacher that I am, I love it when I am able to put a spin a Biblical story or use the Biblically based themes in a project.  I am excited that more and more movies and books are being done in this vein.  So confession time, my family is pretty stoked about the move Noah that is coming out at the end of the month.  I was shocked to hear that there was some kind of controversy going on about it.  I guess there is a Christian community of people annoyed because Hollywood had to add to the story in order to make it into an epic film.  Ummm duh.  If the film only used what was in the Bible, what are they supposed to do with the other 1hr and 45 minutes?  I can understand one would be concerned that they would take it in a place that wouldn’t be Biblical.  I mean to Hollywoodize a Bible story sometimes it would cause alarm.  With films done in the past that have gone down a very inaccurate path like Corpus Christi, I can understand the concern.  The Bible is very sacred to me, and I don’t want people to do what they did in that film. (In Corpus Christi it makes horrible claims against Jesus’ sexuality) However from what I’ve heard that isn’t what has happened here; the twists and turns the film takes appear to be very fictional, but Biblically possible

            I think the issue is how it respects and treats the original Bible story.  From what mindset and motivation is the writer approaching the story?  Is it contradicting the word?  Often Christian fiction pieces cause such controversy.  For example, the Left Behind  Series by Jenkins and LeHaye.   I will say I’ve read that series and I love it.  I think the writers did a great job basing a story around what could happen in the end times, and I think that readers have to remember that its fiction.  It’s not meant to be considered a time line and exact times and moments of everything that will occur in the end times.  There is often a huge controversy on books like The Shack by William P. Young.  I’ve heard some people try to discount this book as being New Agey.  I never got that from it.  For me it’s a powerful book, and helped me mourn and process some loss in my life.  However, it’s FICTION!  It’s not meant to be looked at as Biblical fact.  People need to understand that there is a difference between: fiction, non-fiction, and when something is BASED on a true story.  Even when it’s based the writer will take twists and turns.

            The concern becomes, that individuals may think that the writer is trying to add to the Bible in this regard like it mentions in Revelations.

Revelation 22:18-19 (MSG)

18-19 I give fair warning to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this book: If you add to the words of this prophecy, God will add to your life the disasters written in this book; if you subtract from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will subtract your part from the Tree of Life and the Holy City that are written in this book.

            It would be adding to the Bible if someone tried to present their story as FACT.  But when it’s published as FICTION, people who read it and view it need to understand that the writer isn’t trying to present their story as scripture.  They are using the Bible, and telling a story.  The problem arises though that many who read or view the film don’t actually know what the Bible says and then base their own theology on the project.  When really they need to open the Bible and find out what it really says.  Study to show yourself approved (2 Timothy 2:15).

            It seems to me that in cases like this the Church/Christians/People in general, have developed an overly critical spirit.  You should dissect what you watch or read.  I do believe you need to be on your guard concerning this.  I believe you need to guard what entertains you, and that is a whole different teaching.  What amazes me is that so often people will criticize a faith based effort but yet will be the first in line at some ungodly film regarding witchcraft, sexual perversions, or vampires, and then show up to church on Sunday Morning.  Really?    

What I’m saying is:


[ A Simple Guide for Behavior ] “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

I believe that films like Noah can inspire ones to learn more about what really happened and maybe a few people will pick up a Bible as a result.  I believe that maybe The Left Behind series wasn’t 100% accurate but can inspire others to get their lives right with God before the end times.  I believe that while Mel Gibson went out of his way with The Passion of The Christ there are still a few small things he had to add, and that film has been used mightily for the kingdom of God.  Media is a powerful tool.  Hollywood is seemingly waking up to the fact that these films are making a profit.  Perhaps instead of the church criticizing the efforts, maybe we should get behind it and support it. 

Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

 

 

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