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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Is reading Christian fiction books bad?

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Is reading Christian fiction books bad? If it is, why?


Steve Answers:

Many people would say, “Yes, reading Christian fiction books is bad.” I’m glad you’ve asked the second question: Why?

What have others told you when you’ve asked them these questions? Here are some of the answers I’ve received when I’ve asked the same question:

• It’s a waste of time and money.
• It’s not reality.
• It leads the reader to live in a fantasy world
instead of in reality.
• It tantalizes the mind so that people don’t want to face reality.
• It’s poor-quality writing.

I’m wondering how much fiction you read. And, I’m wondering how much Christian fiction you read. What kind of responses have you given people when they’ve said similar statements to you like the ones I just mentioned? Do you get defensive? Is there any truth in their statements?

I think some people are opposed to reading fiction because a writer named Ellen White made a few negative comments about the potential danger of reading fiction. Some people think that baptizing fiction by giving it a Christian slant removes any negative impact fiction might have. I don’t think it’s quite that simple.

Let me go on record as saying that I’m not opposed to all reading of fiction, including Christian fiction. Jesus created and told fictional stories and parables when He was here on earth. Often they had some similarities to what people were experiencing in their everyday lives. But Jesus often changed some of the details, which caught their attention. That’s what  fictionalized the stories. One example is the story of the rich man and Lazarus. You can read it in Luke 16:19-31.

The warnings and potential dangers or evils of fiction also apply to television, movies, and other forms of media, such as YouTube or something else on the Internet. It also relates to skits and plays—even putting on children’s dramas for family get-togethers.

Some people use fiction as a temporary escape from the stresses of life so they can better face life in the future. Have you ever heard the phrase “vegging out”? It’s probably a healthy thing to do occasionally, but certainly not for the entire summer—or school year!

Some people use fiction to live in a separate reality for a significant portion of their lives. Others do it to spawn their creativity. I’m a physical person, which means I’d rather play basketball than read a story. Is physical exercise better than mental exercise? It probably depends on how much you’re doing of each one, and how it fits in with your life as a whole.

A key verse for Christian living is 1 Corinthians 10:31. In the New King James Version it reads: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” My paraphrase is: “Make your life glorify God in everything you do.” Apply this principle to the fiction and Christian fiction discussion.

For those you’ll encounter who are paranoid about all the evil that will come upon you because you read some Christian fiction, I’d suggest that you respond gently with a statement such as, “What you’re imagining sounds like fiction to me!” Keep asking your questions, and if the responses apply to you, thank them for making you aware of this in your life. If they don’t apply to you, thank them for being interested in your eternal
destiny.



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