If you read my blog, then you know my thoughts on shying away from difficult subjects in fiction. But I realized the other day, while skimming over some notes I’d made on various and sundry things, exactly how to word it. You see, I can’t stand the wishy-washy, soft, baby-food Christian fiction that churns from the presses these days. Every once in a while there’s a deep, thought-provoking novel that I can sink my teeth into, but more often than not, Christian books are so watered-down that they don’t do anything for me.
I realized exactly what is.
Christian books these days are too sanitary. There are subjects and themes that should not be sanitized like they are. Is the Bible ‘sanitary?’ Does it soften and water down difficult issues? No. It confronts murder, incest, homosexuality, rape, adultery, and many other pressing issues, and it confronts them head-on. Nowhere in the Bible does God say “I want you to tell people how wrong this thing is…but I want you to do it nicely. In fact, I want you to be so nice about it that they have no idea what you’re really talking about. Don’t step on any toes. After al, I want everyone to be comfortable!”
Let me say this – I have never, ever heard of a soft, baby-food book changing someone’s life, shaking them from the core, opening their eyes to truth. The books that change people’s lives are always the difficult ones, the ones that venture into rarely-trekked territory, the ones that make you think.
There are issues today that need to be addressed, but Christians are too afraid to address them. Just take a look at our publicc and private schools, and beyond. Horrific bullying, rape heterosexual and otherwise, unwed mothers, prostitution, parental and drug abuse – and the only books that talk about these things are books by secular authors.
Who are we, to hand over today’s most pressing issues to the world? Where are people going to turn, when they see Christians aren’t talking about the subjects they need help with? My novel Acceso is my current most popular work in progress, and yet it deals with depression, suicide, and underworld slave contracts. Do you know why it’s the most popular? Because it helps people. I’ve gotten emails and messages from people who are reading it, thanking me for writing about such difficult subjects because they never hear it put in a right way from anyone else.
There are things that were never meant to be sanitized. Get it right, get it Godly, and don’t be afraid to make people uncomfortable; because nobody is going to be changed by comfort and normalcy.