Don’t be a Genre Snob Christian
The Bible is to some Christian’s literal and historically accurate. I agree with that belief in that when the Bible was originally written it was direct from God. Over time humans have corrupted the sacred text. What we have now is a scattered version that requires faith. More faith than what was required of the disciples who saw events and people who lived the stories that are written in the book. We have to trust that God’s initial intent still rings through the corruption of man.
Also, the Bible we have is not all there is, there is more out there hidden in the world. There are texts that have been found that have been dismissed as not from God or not cannon, which are indeed sacred. There are texts that have been discarded that are lost to us forever and there are texts that have yet to be found.
It is my belief that the Bible and many other sacred texts originated from All Mighty God and will one day be reunited all together. To think that an all powerful God only dictated or wrote a mere sixty six books and allowed only a few choice humans to accept it as his unfaltering word in all of the history of humanity is ignorant and unfathomable to me. The God I know is more powerful than that.
For a minute let’s put the spiritual factor aside and look at the Bible as a work of literature. It is a magnificent book that could be said to fall in to the historical or fantasy genre. However, there is also mystery, murder, intrigue, romance and yes even syfi in the pages. It is the quintessential multi genre work. When Christian’s say that it is wrong to read fantasy, erotica or other worldly genres on the grounds that it is not Biblical or that it is sinful, my first question is, have you actually read the Bible?
When Christians read literature we should not shield ourselves from any genre.
I believe we are free to read what speaks to us. Have you ever wondered why there are demons, adultery, murder, hate, sex, magic and other dark matter in the Bible. We have to consider that God wants humanity to know the truth of him and of this world, the entire gut wrenching, beautifully chaotic and amazing truth. We are not to live with blinders on and proceed through this world with only half sight. (Oh, you can’t read that book, it’s not Christian.)
When God wants to speak to a human he will do so with whatever that human needs at the time. If it is the Bible, a classic work such as J.R.R.Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, a dime store romance or a Syfi paperback, God will reveal to that human what they need to hear. If the human is paying attention, it will push them to hunger for more of God’s truth. Maybe, just maybe, that human will pick up a Bible and read it too.
Don’t be a genre snob Christian on the grounds that a book is not spiritual or has some evil sin in the plot. Leave the judgment to God. If your child wants to read Harry Potter, what’s the worse thing that could happen? He might find out that friendship is a valuable thing to have. If your teenage daughter wants to read Twilight, she might discover that family loyalty is a priority. God’s voice will be heard in his time and in his way.
We, writers of fiction appreciate open minded readers including open minded Christian readers. Take God out of the confined box you have placed him in and let him speak to you through the genre you enjoy whatever it is. Then take that message to the Bible and the other sacred texts. Use your faith and knowledge to hear the truth through the influence of imperfect human hands.
Believe in the power of God through the written word.
Lori is a novelist and self proclaimed expert on how to be a non traditional, people loving, happy life living Christian. Read more about her here.