During a recent interview I was asked: “Comment on what it means to be a ‘Christian writer’”
How would you answer this question?
Here’s my response:
A Christian writer is a person who communicates from a worldview centred on God as He is presented in the Bible. The key components of being a Christian writer, from my perspective, are excellence, integrity, and compassion.
- No matter what topic or genre I write about, my writing should be of the highest quality. I should do my best to ensure my writing is accurate, well-researched, and free of errors (grammar and spelling).
- As a Christian writer, my personal life should reflect what I communicate in print. I should consistently spend time reading the Bible, asking the Holy Spirit to highlight areas in my life that are not pleasing to God. Yes, I’m human and I will fail. However, I need to confess my sins, ask for forgiveness and continue to grow in my walk with God.
- Christian writers should also “speak the truth in love.” Jesus said that people would know we are His disciples by our love.
Here are the principles I currently use as I write:
- Christians are the body of Christ. We each have unique gifts, functions, and callings (I Corinthians 12). I need to know what God has called me to and be faithful to that calling.
- My goal should always be to write with excellence (using correct grammar, captivating descriptions, etc.) for God’s glory (Colossians 3:23). I am called to be God’s representative in how I live and write (2 Corinthians 5:19-21).
- I must give an answer to God for all that I do and say, including what I write (Matthew 12:35-37; Colossians 3:23). I need to be obedient to God. It is not my responsibility to judge others (Matthew 7:1).
Christian writers are called to write for varied audiences in diverse genres. We live in a broken world and are involved in a spiritual battle which is mostly unseen, but very real. Some stories may simply be for enjoyment, but we may also be asked to write about difficult, messy subjects like child abuse, demon possession, corrupt leaders, and the sex trade. No matter what we write, our aim should always be to bring honour and glory to God.
It has come to my attention that some writers who are Christians do not associate themselves with the term “Christian writer”. There are several reasons for this.
- Some writers (who are Christians) write stories or articles that are only printed in the mainstream. Some say that these written works would not be accepted in the mainstream if people knew the authors were Christians.
- The question has been raised: Do you call yourself a Christian mechanic or Christian plumber or Christian librarian? If we don’t tag the word Christian onto other vocational choices, why do we tag it onto our writing?
- Some writers (who are Christians) have faced severe criticism from other Christians because of the topics or genre they choose. These writers find it less divisive to just call themselves writers.
Did I miss anything? I look forward to your comments!