How is a Christian plumber different from other plumbers?
How is a Christian salesperson different from other salespeople?
Are you a Christian writer, a writer who writes for the Christian market, a Christian who writes for the Christian market, or a Christian who writes for the secular market?
Think about it. We don’t ask plumbers if they limit their services to Christians, do we? Or ask salespeople whether they sell only to other Christians?
So what differentiates a Christian anything from others in his field?
Is it because they talk about Jesus all the time? If so, then does that mean they must always talk about Jesus, regardless of what they’re doing?
Is it because they target their services only to Christians? Then does that mean Christians cannot serve secular markets?
The distinguishing mark of a Christian anything, including writers, boils down to this: Christians—true Christians—will have a living relationship with Christ. They will live and work through the filter of that relationship and a biblical worldview. In other words, what the Bible teaches, in both the Old and New Testaments, will shape both their personal and occupational lives.
Regardless of their business, their values, thoughts, speech, and deeds will reflect the One they claim to belong to. So a Christian writer can write for the secular market (and many do), but they won’t compromise their values by writing content inconsistent with biblical teaching.
Unfortunately, many secular publishers are not happy with those values and will not consider the work commercially viable for their markets. Christian publishing has grown to fill the void, and readers have come to trust these publishers to uphold the standards of a biblical worldview.
Sad to say, though, even when Christians work in accordance with their proclaimed values, the secular world is still not happy. Even sadder, the attacks may come from those who claim to be Christian. A few years ago, Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) in Portland, Oregon, came under attack for—are you ready for this?—teaching children they are sinners in need of a Savior. And the attacks came from people who call themselves Christians.
CEF has been successfully sharing the gospel with children for more than seventy-five years. Their presentations and written materials balance the need for a savior with God’s love expressed in meeting that need by sending His Son, Jesus Christ.
So what does this have to do with writing—especially writing for children? As Christian writers, whether we write for the Christian market or not, we need to be absolutely sure our work is filtered through a biblical worldview. The attacks will come, perhaps from the secular world, perhaps from those who claim to be Christian.
It’s up to us to do our homework. To understand what the Bible teaches. To write in such a way that won’t ever conflict with biblical principles. When the attacks come, and they will, we need to be certain the attacks are against the cause of Christ, not because we mishandled God’s Word or His principles. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (Matthew 5:11 NIV—emphasis added).
Whether we write for a secular or Christian market as Christian writers, let’s be diligent to accurately represent Christ and a biblical worldview and leave the results to Him.
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Ava Pennington is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Precepts founder Kay Arthur. She has also written numerous articles for magazines such as Clubhouse, Today’s Christian Woman, Power for Living, and Called. In addition to her writing, Ava teaches a weekly, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 300 women. She is a passionate speaker and teacher and delights in challenging audiences with the truth of God’s word in relevant, enjoyable presentations. Ava and Russ have been married for 40 years and live in southeast Florida. For more information, visit her at www.AvaWrites.com.