Is It "Selling Out" When A Christian Writer "Goes Secular"?
When I was younger, I used to believe that when a Christian singer transitioned from singing Christian music to "secular" music that they "sold out" their faith for money or fame. Now, I know that this blog is about writing fiction, and you might be asking what does singing have to do with my blog? Well, I think we can apply this to all genres of art-music, painting, drawing, dance, writing, etc. So the question becomes is it selling out when a writer transitions from writing strictly Christian and faith based fiction into "secular" writing. By secular we mean fiction that has no faith or Christian themes or undertones whatsoever.
Well, Personally, I don't think so. Why I used to think it meant that they sold out, I don't know. I'll attribute it to naivety and immaturity, both spiritually and in age. I think some of this immature mentality - at least in the spiritual realm - stems from the very common and, dare I say, erroneous thinking that we consider jobs like pastor, youth pastor, missionary, worship leader, and those other jobs that the church's signs the paycheck as "full time ministers" but we don't think of those believers who work in the construction field, or restaurant business, or multimillion dollar companies, or Walmart, or McDonalds, and the such as "full time ministers". The fact of the matter is that all jobs any believer has is his or her "full time ministry", just in the marketplace. Let's think about it this way, if we looked at ourselves the way we do with artists and those paid by the church, then we would have to say that we, ourselves, have sold out - unless we have actually entered "full time ministry" as we traditionally think of it. If we have a normal job, does that mean we are sell outs? No. In fact, with our "secular" jobs we have opportunities that the "full time ministers" can never have. Just a side note - for many artists and writers it is not about the money, but about the love of the craft.
The last thing I will mention about this topic before closing this out is something I learned from personal experience in my passion for writing fiction. I truly feel God literally communes with me as we write together (this I will talk about further in a later post). God has given me a plethora of "Christian" stories of all sorts, but He has also given me "secular" stories of all sorts as well that actually have nothing to do with faith or Christianity. In fact one of my "secular" stories involves a couple of antiheros who will slit the throat of an innocent person if they get in the way of their mission, yet they are pulled into the roll of the good guy. I truly believe God inspired these characters. If God has given me both "Christian" and "secular" fiction ideas then He has to be okay with "going secular". It doesn't seem to me that it is selling out, and if I ever become a well known writer, I hope to be able to leave a legacy that will result in the salvation of my readers because of my "secular fiction".
So, these are my reasons for justifying - if you will - that God can and does bless, even the Christian author who transitions into writing only "secular" fiction.