I am a firm believer that if the gospel is not preached, then who will hear it? There are many Christians that write for a secular market who say they are glorifying God through writing for a secular audience with only a secular point of view. They even insist that their readership will be able to (somehow) see Christ reflected in their works.
I've never quite understood how a non-Christian is supposed to see Christianity in the works when there is no reference to Christ. By magic, perhaps? When I was a non-Christian, even Christian works didn't shine a bright enough light for me to see salvation. I listened to Jars of Clay without understanding the meaning of their lyrics and was exposed to church programmes where the cross of Christ was completely lost to my unbelieving mind.
You can't sit on two sides of the fence
"And surely, in our preaching to lost man, we must emphasize the fact that part of being Christian is the element of bearing one's cross daily," said Francis Schaeffer in the book True Spirituality. "We are in an alien world built upon man's rebellion against God, and in this life the Christian himself is not totally free from elements of this rebellion within himself."
The world around us is in rebellion against our Master and as Christians we either join in the rebellion (which is the norm) or fight against it. As much as writers think we're just doing what God has given us to do by using our creativity, it is not that simple. If we're not actively fighting against the rebellion and taking up our cross, we're joining the rebellion.
The world is hostile to Christianity and there's a hidden agenda behind many secular works. Where have the strong Christian characters been in works of fiction portrayed in novels, television or movies? They are very few and far between and usually if there is a Christian character – that character is a compromising Christian character.
Christians in this day and age seem to whitewash the fact that the world was against Jesus and that it's not really a friend to us (as His followers) either. Then they blithely go and serve the world instead of Jesus with their talents!
Tolkien and his good intentions
If you're ambiguous, the world is going to hijack your work for its own purposes. Just look at J.R.R Tolkien. He wrote this about his intentions in writing 'The Lord of the Rings':
"We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil."
That splinted fragment of the true light has not been seen. Not only has any original spirituality been destroyed by the movie versions (that have turned the book series into a mega-billion dollar franchise), but if you think it hasn't been perverted enough, you clearly have not come across Thorin and Bilbo fanfiction.
Devoted to God, Tolkien thought he was using his talent to shine a light. But instead of shining a light, the universe of 'The Lord of the Rings' has been perverted in every way imaginable because the world just doesn't get it! The Spirit of God is not vague, so why should we be?
For God or for men?
We are not called to seek the acclaim of men. Some authors claim that the more popular they get, the more they're able to shine a light. But is the light really shining? For the most part, their secular readership doesn't even realize that they're Christians. And if they do find out that said author is a Christian, they don't care because there's really little to no evidence of Christ in their works.
For most fiction writers, they're putting their soul into their works. But if their soul really belongs to Christ, then Christ should be self-evident and not ambiguous. The issue of selling your soul to gain the world isn't taken seriously enough. If you're not helping the spread of the Kingdom then your soul is not in alignment with the Spirit of God.
You either glorify secular society in rebellion against the One who created and loves us, or you glorify Him. They are not mutually exclusive and you cannot choose both. I want everyone to know where my allegiance lies –with Christ and not with the world. That's my motivation. God's Kingdom has suffered enough with talented people using their skills to further the world's agenda.
Bridget Brenton has been researching apologetics, philosophy and the paranormal for years. You can check her apologetic effort out at 101arguments.com
Bridget Brenton's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/bridget-brenton.html