Too Much Jesus?
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Kelli Standish just told me about an interesting blog over at BJ Hoff's Grace Notes. If you were interested in what I wrote last week about the publisher who wanted me to substitute "the more generic God" for every reference to "Jesus" in my first novel, you should go over and see what BJ has to say.
Now that secular publishers are no longer pushing quite as hard for us to make our work "less overtly Christian," how ironic it would be if we began to censor ourselves.
It seems to me there are two extremes to this question for a Christian writer, and they can symbolize mistakes on either side of a balance every Christian ought to strike in life. On the one hand, writers could fill pages with one sermon after another, so that every book is really propaganda. On the other hand, we could take care not to mention Jesus lest we cause offence. As with most things in life, the Jesus Way lies in the middle.
You will not find a single example of Jesus forcing himself on anyone with thinly disguised trickery. From all appearances, he was not a man with ulterior motives. When he went to a wedding party, he really went to party. When he sat down to dinner, he was really there to eat. When he went to temple, he intended to worship. But neither will you find a single example of him watering down his message to avoid offense. Whether he was at a party, at the dining table, or at a temple, if Jesus thought of something important to say about the Lord, he came right out and said it on the spot. So it ought to be with us.
Let there be no trickery and let there be no fear. Let us be honestly and overtly whose we are.
Jesus is not some horribly deformed or insane family member we must keep chained down in the basement, someone we need to reveal carefully, and only to those who have previously proven they have stomachs strong enough. Jesus is perfectly presentable. It is those not healed by Jesus who are deformed and too insane within their lostness to know it. (I know, because I was once insanely lost myself.) So whether a Christian is an author, housewife, plumber, doctor, lawyer or Indian chief, whether a Christian is writing a novel, cheering at a ballgame, or having friends over for dinner, she ought to live life in the moment, sincerely, with no ulterior motive whatsoever, including evangelism. But when the subject of Jesus comes to mind, a Christian also ought to speak or write of him without concern, freely and naturally, just as she would speak or write of anyone she loves.
Posted byAthol Dickson at 3:12 PM
Labels: The Jesus Way