Thursday, July 22, 2010

Realistic.......... a soapbox

I read an interesting article by Eric Wilson, a Christian fiction author here. It is worth reading. I don't disagree with him, and enjoyed reading it. It has led to a discussion on facebook and some of what was said has caused me to get back on my soapbox and throw out some thoughts. The topic today: realistic. And yes, the soapbox of cursing in Christian books.

In the discussion mentioned above, someone said the following: "Still. I run into a mental block... See More when I have a character in a situation that would realistically provoke profanity. It trips a switch in my head that says, "This doesn't sound right. Heck, I'D swear if this happened to me..."

I read a "Christian" novel a while back where there were a handful of curse words. It was an FBI/suspense type. I emailed the author and he defended it by saying that type of book isn't realistic without some curse words. Really?!

I am running onto this argumement more and more from Christian authors/publishers who are slipping them in. But by whose standard are we saying what is and isn't realistic? God's? I don't think so. His Word says we should be differerent. Our speech should be different, our lives - everything about us. That we are to focus on whatever is pure, good, etc. And that we are not to offend our Christian brother.

Have we become so jaded, so used to evil in our world, that if we read a book or watch a movie, that we think a lack of cursing is not realistic? If so, that is sad. Let me share a few other things that are not realistic by the world's standards

The God of the universe sending His only Son to die for all mankind, the very ones who rejected Him

The world and everything in it being created by this same God

Denying ourselves sinful pleasures and living for a world we have never seen, a God we have never seen

Living pure in today's defiled world

Marrying forever - and waiting til marriage for sex



Loving the unlovable


And yes, not cursing/swearing. Though I liked what Eric Wilson said, I was bothered by one statement he made on facebook: Kevin, I don't believe I'll ever resolve it either. If I'm writing for the Christian market, then I would not use a swear word--for the reasons Mark pointed out.

But I would use it in a novel not in that market, and personally be okay with it, if the story called for that (such as the war novel example given earlier).

A Christian should never be OK with using a curse word. Ever. I make no apologies for saying that. Is there ever a good reason to have sex outside of marriage? Is it ever realistic? Is it ever excusable? No. And though cursing is not on the same level, we have too easily compartmentalized and put sin into degrees of bad and good. Cursing - low on the sin scale, not very bad. Killing - high, very bad.

People, we are to be different. In this world, not of it. Yes, cursing may seem a small thing, and it may seem I harp on it a lot, but one major reason I read Christian fiction is to avoid that - so it bothers me to no end when they appear in Christian books.

Just a few thoughts here, but in closing..... if you think a movie, TV show, or a book is not realistic without curse words, ask yourself by whose standard is it not realistic. And remember, the fact that your sins have been forgiven by a God who has always been and will always be, is also not realistic.


Steven said...

The reality is that some authors feel the need to use curse words because they simply aren't good enough writers to tell the story without them. The best writers don't need such words.