10/04/2006

Why Bother?

A post by C.E. Lavender

Some might say that I'm one of the most unlikely of writers in the Lost Genre Guild. I grew up in a conservative community of Free Will Baptists. Most of which still prefer good old fashion hymns instead of praise and worship music. (Not saying that either is bad as I like them both.) My dad was the head-deacon and taught the adult class on Sunday morning and Wednesday night. Needless to say we barely missed a service.

I'm now an ordained minister and very ministry oriented. Christianity never seemed as a new concept in my life. Writing fiction, however, is.


Most think that Christian fiction isn't ministry oriented. That those in the industry are doing it for one purpose, money. I've come to learn otherwise. As I've pursued writing Christian fiction, I've learned something very important. "I'm not that different than most writers out there." Many of the writers that I've come in contact with are writing fiction for the glory of God.
So if I write for His glory, then why not write non-fiction?

Sure, I've dabbled in non-fiction. And I'm not saying that I won't go back because I'm sure I will, I have plenty to say on the non-fiction side.

So why bother?

Why spend my time and energy on writing fiction?

And a lost genre of all types?

Oh, the answer is simple.

Because I have something to say.

A message to get across.

Sure the doubters might question what could I possibly have to say that is completely made up in a genre that is deemed lost by the industry big wigs. Well, it's true that a writer is going to write what he/she enjoys writing. That's just simple logic. I grew up reading fantasy novels from the likes of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and R.A. Salvatore. While I enjoy fantasy and stories from various authors of this guild, its not just about the type of writing.

Like I said, I have a message.

If I want to get across the message of Christ to unbelievers the conventional pulpit preaching, going to church thing isn't going to get it for a majority of non-believers. And some of them won't even pick up a Christian non-fiction title.

But how many more might pick up a Christian fiction novel? In my opinion, more non-believers would pick up a made up story for entertainment than they would go to church.

But that still doesn't answer why I chose to write in the Lost Genre. Out of all the different types and styles, why here?

I have something to say.

I've really focused my writing on Spiritual Thrillers. Everyone likes a thriller right? But how many of us just want to reject or avoid the idea of a spiritual warfare that is waging around us? Doesn't it say in the Bible that we don't battle against the flesh? I believe the spiritual battle is waging heavier today than it ever has. I have seen a few cases, and I'm sure you have to. Unfortunately, the casualties in this war equates to a spiritual death and not a physical death.

That's the final death, the death of a soul. One that will die forever. In my writing I want to bring this to light. Sure I want to entertain, and I want something exciting and fun to read. But most of all I want something with a purpose, something to glorify His Holy Name.

So why bother?

Sometimes we must think outside of the box to save souls in this war. What are souls worth? Can we put a price on a person's soul and say "I wouldn't write Christian fiction. What good would that do?" Well, let me tell you that Christian fiction will not only keep you reading things that are wholesome and Christian oriented, but it also might save the soul of someone you love.

The war is waging, what are you doing in this struggle of good verses evil?

11 comments:

Grace Bridges said...

Absolutely! We're with you, man.

Andrea Graham said...

Yeah, except I tend to write to encourage the brethern. Drawing people to Jesus is something only He can do, so I leave that to Him and lay my writing before Him as an offering to do with as He will. Or I try. With so many voices out there, it's incredibly easy to lose your focus.

Donna Sundblad said...

I look at it this way. God created each of us with a specific set of spiritual gifts and talents. I kind of like to think of it like a paint pallet. A little Evangelism, a daub of hospitality...

With that in mind, those of us created as writers serve different purposes. I write both Christian and non-Christian but all for the glory of God.

The Lost Genre is a favorite of mine. If we write it, He will use it. It doesn't matter if it's to the lost or saved, what matters is that we do it for Him. He'll take care of the rest.

Donna Sundblad
Inspired Author

Elliot said...

Hi folks!

Sorry if this comment is a little off-topic, but I just stumbled across your blog now.

I just wanted to point three things out which may be of interest to you -

There's another group of evangelical writers seeking to promote Christian SF & Fantasy in Christian markets. They include Karen Hancock, the award winning fantasy author, among their number- their blog is called 'Speculative Faith' and it's here: http://specfaith.ritersbloc.com/

Secondly, have you visited Christian Fandom? It's got lots of good resources for Christian fans of science fiction, fantasy, westerns, and horror:
http://www.christian-fandom.org/

Thirdly, you may be interested in my series of posts on the history of Christian writers in science fiction and fantasy, which begins here:
http://clawoftheconciliator.blogspot.com/2006/03/science-fiction-fantasy-and-faith-part.html

I hope those links are of some interest - I apologize if you're already aware of them, but it seems that all sorts of groups with parallel interests can spring up on the Internet without encountering each other.

Shannon said...

Thanks to Elliot for pointing out this Most Excellent Blog! I'm going to put a link to it from mine right away.

Can't wait to read more!

Becky said...

I recognize a few names on your contributors' list but am so excited by this dialogue. As Elliot pointed out, we have a similar team blog going with a shared purpose.

The same core group of writers has also started a C SF/fantasy blog tour (at least one of your members—waving to Chris—has joined) as a way to promote the genre. If you'd be interested in taking a look at what we're doing, click on over to CSFF Blog Tour.

Another resource is former NavPress editor Jeff Gerke's new site, WhereTheMapEnds.com.

I look forward to some kind of collaboration with you all. By God's grace, the lost genre will be found!

Becky

Stuart said...

Shnakvorum, rikoyoch!
(Greetings, friends).

As a fellow Christian who writes sci-fi this I'm thrilled to have found this blog and the discussion going on here.

I'm trying to do my part in the struggle of good vs evil. Though I tend to write because I have stories to share than because of any specific message I wish to impart.

I base my stories upon my beliefs and center my world creation upon Truth. Beyond that I try and let any meaning and message rise organically from the characters as they encounter the trials of life. And trust that God will use the writing to touch lives in ways beyond what I can imagine.

vbtenery said...

Chad:

Wish I'd said that. Great article.

Virginia

Andrea Graham said...

greetings, all. Honestly, and I don't mean this as a criticism, but I don't understand how any christian can write a secular novel. Even when I'm not trying to, my faith (or lack thereof as the case sometimes was) shines through. Isn't that how it should be? How do you write a secular book without hiding your light under a bushel?

Chad Lavender said...

Good point Andrea.

Andrea Graham said...

thanks, chad