Breaking the Mold

BOOKS - darker with symbolSome of the happiest hours of my life have been spent reading great inspirational fiction. But during the past couple of decades, I’ve noticed a trend in that genre that troubles me deeply – not to mention that it takes the fun out of reading inspirational romance and mystery novels. What I’ve been seeing is that nearly every major publishing house now has a mold into which they force every Christian novel – with characters that are carbon copies of scores of characters before them, and with a plot that requires characters to meet within a certain number of pages and to carry out specific types of actions within a certain number of chapters – and worst of all – with themes that carry the reader into the erroneous doctrines of man’s traditions rather than the pure Word of God.

I’ve failed to find one inspirational novel in the past several years that does not promote the erroneous belief that God is behind every single thing that happens in our lives and, therefore, is behind all of the trouble, afflictions, sickness, hurt, and heartache that we undergo. The doctrine that says God deliberately allows (sanctions) those things in our lives in order to teach us something or bring us into a more Christlike character is rampant throughout the Christian bookstore shelves. Now, let’s not beat around the bush: If God deliberately allows those evils when He has the power and the know-how to restrain them it is exactly the same thing as His putting those things in our lives Himself. That teaching goes against everything Jesus Christ taught and lived.

I don’t intend this biographical vignette to be a major Bible lesson, but I will say here that the Word of God is extremely clear for the New Covenant believer that God says He is not in control of all things, and in fact He does not get His own way about a lot of things. He wants all men to be saved, but they will not be. Jesus taught us by His own personal example that God wants all the sick to be healed as well, because He never refused one sick person who came to Him for healing. Moreover, He sent out His disciples to visit the surrounding towns and to heal every sick person in those towns – announcing to them as they did so that they were experiencing the Kingdom of God in that deliverance and healing. He wanted the people in His own hometown to be healed as well, but His Word tell us clearly that He “could not” do any mighty miracles because of their unbelief.

God does not want us to suffer from sickness, deadly storms, earthquakes, accidents, or any number of other horrible destructive forces. But we experience them simply because we live in a cursed world where sin has opened the door to those things, and most of us do not yet have enough of a handle on God’s Word to be living every aspect of our lives according to it. But none of that is God’s plan for us. If it were, He wasted His breath when He breathed out Psalm 91 to the Psalmist and had it included in the canon of the Holy Bible.

So the Christian novels that promote the teaching that it is actually part of God’s will and plan for us to suffer the kinds of things Jesus delivered people from is simply another attempt by man to cop out of our personal responsibility to study and learn God’s Word for ourselves and then to believe it for ourselves. If we can blame God for all the problems we’re facing, we don’t have to take any responsibility for their cause or their cure either one. It’s convenient for the lazy believer, but it is a pack of lies about our God.

His Word also tells us clearly that He has given us His Word, His promises, and His Holy Spirit that will impart to us “all things pertaining to life and godliness” and will create into us the Divine nature of God. The teaching that problems, hardships, and heartaches create the Divine nature of Jesus Christ in us is a direct contradiction of God’s personal Word on the subject. Yet hundreds of inspirational novels that have lined the bookstore shelves for years now keep preaching that demonically inspired theme again and again.

So when the Lord called me to write inspirational novels, He called me to write stories that were true to His Word and that presented Him in the light of what Jesus showed us daily in His time with us on the earth. Jesus said He spoke only what the Father wanted Him to speak and He did only the works that the Father wanted Him to do. So I make every effort in my inspirational novels to show God doing exactly what Jesus did and said. And because He’s still the same “yesterday, today, and forever,” I show Him doing and saying the same things in the everyday lives of ordinary believers in the 21st century.

It’s past time for us to have some inspirational novels that don’t fit the molds. It’s time for stories that show us what it’s really like to live in the 21st century with a God who is just like Jesus Christ.

~~~

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4 thoughts on “Breaking the Mold

  1. I give a hearty AMEN! I wholeheartedly agree with you. And – let me add this ‘thank you’ to your post. I’m receiving it as a conformation of continuing on a subject on which I feel compelled to write – RESPONSIBILITY.
    When a relative was in prison, I wrote to him about responsibility. But just this very morning – BEFORE reading your post – the idea of a short story illustrating a basic understanding of responsibility came to me. Now I know that I should continue! Thanks!

    1. Very, very true. And, of course, it’s not just in the field of Christian literature. It’s all over the place. Particularly if anyone writes in a specific genre. Publishers have decided they want the books to be exactly to many pages, and scenes have to follow a programmed schedule.

      One author who writes romances for Harlequin said that they require so many love scenes within so many pages – and, of course, depending on how “hot” the romance is, they have to be specifically graphic to meet the recipe they have developed.

      It’s all about publishers taking the easy way out. They don’t want to pay top-notch editors anymore, who will judge each book by its own merits and discern its strengths and find the right niche for it. They want to lump everything into a mold so they don’t have to work as hard or pay out as much while they make even more money. That’s why so many authors who have been published by some of the big publishers in the past are now turning to independent publishing.

      I’m to the place that I won’t even submit anything to the major publishers anymore because I’m not going to change my book to meet their low standards. In the U.S. we have only 5 major publishing companies now because they have all merged or sold out. And, honestly, I can’t even begin to describe how bad some of the grammar is in some of the books coming out now. And I don’t mean in a character’s dialogue. I mean in the basic text of the story. It’s ludicrous. I’ve never submitted anything anywhere — publishing houses, magazines, or newspapers — that was that poorly written. It’s as if those books never even get seen by a legitimate editor.

      Well, I guess I’ve managed to vent pretty thoroughly, so I’ll be quiet now.

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