There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rm 8:1)
There is no condemnation in Christ, but there is a lot of it in the church, and frankly, at times, I’d rather talk to my unsaved friends than self-righteous saints. Instead of gentle guidance to obey Christian “rules” … jump this high, but only on Sundays … with them, the smallest infractions become the cost of one’s soul.
But look at who Jesus hung out with. A collection of rabble-rousers. Look at who he ministered to. The sick and dying. The outcasts. Those society had ignored and overlooked.
In writing, these ministers of sanctification come out with their red pencils to circle every transgression. How dare a hardened criminal, say a curse word? How could a mail-order bride have sex with her husband? Or a teen in a book fall short of grace and drink or pop pills?
Cabbage-patch Christians, I call them, ensconced in their overstuffed pews, uncomfortable with anything but the bubble they’ve wrapped themselves in.
I grew up in the church and was blind to it until I reached my twenties when I realized how hard I worked to earn grace by walking the straight-and-narrow line. THAT ISN’T HOW THIS WORKS, FOLKS!
We don’t EARN salvation. It’s a GIFT. And we follow Christ, as best we know how, allowing Him to change our likes and dislikes, so that we stop cursing, we dress better, we act kinder. THAT is the process I want my books to describe. Characters with flaws who change from the inside and love others because they have so much God in them.
And here’s the kicker. Not every story needs a Bible verse wrapped around it. Some stories are simply for entertainment, but you know what? That doesn’t make them NOT Christian. I am a Christian. My belief in God affects every word I write, every character I create. God help me from becoming one of those who forget, and instead of blessing the unfortunate, I’m spending all my time finding offense.
Pseudo-Christians, who step aside because someone different from them gets a little too close, afraid the “spots” of the world will jump off and infect them.
No, if you’re full of God, then you change others, not waste breath worrying others will taint you.
And that goes for characters. Personally, I don’t like cursing in books and I don’t drink and I don’t believe in sex outside of marriage. But to avoid all of those in my writing hampers my abilities. The garden of life is full of weeds. That’s the harsh truth.
In order to depict good, I must show the bad. And not sit around, with my eyes closed, blindly planting flowers.
Suzanne D. Williams