Thursday, October 16, 2008

Christian Writers Who Don't Know What They Believe

Recently, this blog has focused on writing. Occasionally, I cover some topics that aren’t as mundane as others. Some may even offend a few people. You may recall that I took a strong stance on Thomas Nelson’s statement about the Nicene Creed, a few weeks ago. It keeps things interesting. Today, I want to cover a similar issue, so it may offend a few people, but it also has something to do with writing.

Thomas Nelson has made the statement that if a writer says he or she is a Christian they aren’t going to question that. I want that to be a reminder to me that I should not make claims that specific writers are not Christians. But I believe I am safe in saying that there are many Christian authors who are not saved. You may find that easy to accept. I don’t care what church you attend, you will probably find a few church members who aren’t saved. Even among those that give evidence of salvation, there are many who don’t understand the very basic doctrines of the Bible.

Let that sink in. Christian publishers make statements that they want to publish books with a Christian world view and they often weed out some books by people with a clearly non-Christian view, but there are still books published by authors who are biblically illiterate. The power in Christian books is that it can be used as a tool to carry out the final part of the Great Commission, “teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you.” It will be a great tragedy if we allow people who do not understand the Bible to try to teach it.

Without naming names, let me give a specific example. I visited the blog of an author who has signed a book contract with a major publisher. On this blog are some statements about what the author considers to be unknowns. The one that really got me was the statement that the author didn’t know how God would decide whether a person would go to heaven or hell. That goes to the very heart of the salvation message. Let me put it simple. There are many doctrines that are confusing and many of us may disagree on many things, but if you don’t get this one doctrine you are messed up.

Look at what the Bible says. What child didn’t learn John 3:36 in Sunday school? “He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” You can’t make it any more simple than that. If you put your trust in Jesus, you are going to heaven. If you don’t, you are going to hell. Are you still not sure? Go read the book of First John. It was written so we could know whether we are going to heaven or not. For more information on that, check How to Know If You Are Saved.

Now, while I believe it is very important that you know whether you are saved or not, “so your joy may be full” or so you can take care of that before it is too late, that is not my point. My point is that people who haven’t studied the Bible well enough to know what it says about knowing that you know Jesus have no business writing books for a Christian market, whether it a book on Bible doctrine, a novel or cookbook.