There's been a lot of discussion lately about what to write and how to write it. How should a character say something so as not to offend a particular audience, but yet somehow remain who he is and not say heck when he means hell.
Can a Christian in a book drink a glass of wine without making his brother stumble?
Can a Christian book contain the word damn or hell?
Am I somehow less of a Christian if a character I create says damn?
Am I not serving God if I write a story instead of a sermon?
Should all things written be happy-peachy-keen or should we tell stories of real redemption?
After several days of reading different sides of the discussion, I came to my conclusion.
This may seem very, very simplistic...but that's who I am.
God gave me a gift. He told me to use it to glorify Him.
Let's use an analogy. I took a spiritual gifts analysis and found (no surprises) my "top" gifts are teaching, leading, and evangelizing. I was VERY low on the mercy, compassion and giving type of gifts.
I teach in a style that's all my own. God gave me the natural ability to make people see things in a different light. I use it to lead women and to lead Bible studies and Sunday School. I also use it in my career. I lead and teach women there as well. And in both places the leading and teaching is wrapped in a neat little bundle of evangelism.
Try to stick me in a visiting the sick ministry and just talking about it puts a rock in my stomach and I start to freak out from the inside out. Put me in front of a room of women to talk to and I can breathe easy.
See the difference?
Now cut and paste that into the world of writing. God didn't ask me to write a book about (what I call) soft things. I'm not a fluffy-bunny kinda person. I'm not comfortable skating around issues. I want straight, to-the-point discussions. I'm bold, I want bold in return. I'm rough around the edges, I expect that I'll confront hard issue head-on. A lot of people don't "get" me. Gruff, bold people do.
Will anything I write be acceptable to the CBA. Honestly, highly doubtful. I don't know for sure though, I haven't yet completed a manuscript. Will I change my style of writing because I think the CBA won't pick me up. Absolutely not.
Here's the ultra-simplistic view I hold. I will write. I will trust that God will have the publisher all lined up for me when it is in His time. If He wants it out there, it will get out there come hell or high water. ;) Because ultimately He's in charge and if I don't obey His calling on my life, there simply won't be a publisher out there for my book. CBA or not.
I went blog reading and found Mick Silva had returned from a time at the Master's feet. (and may I say I'm glad he's back?) And further reading led me to Pat Loomis' remarks on Mick's entry.
All so interesting my head is swimming.
I think, tonight, my opinion is still the same. I will write. That's all I know for sure. I'm not going to dwell upon who says what or what kind of situation they can or can't be in. I'm going to write.
I'll let God sort out the rest.