AT: Preaching to the Choir
CBA: Preaching to the Choir?
Apparently, it’s a common dilemma for Christian novelists: Should I be writing for the CBA (Christian publishers) or the ABA (secular publishers)? When I started writing novels years ago, I naturally figured I should write for the ABA. After all, if I wrote for the secular market, my message would be reaching the lost, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
I have since changed my mind. Or maybe God changed it. I believe of course there’s a place for Christians in the ABA, but I also believe that my place right now is in the CBA. Maybe writing novels for people who are already believers is preaching to the choir, but there’s a very good reason for doing that. As my fellow novelist Robin Lee Hatcher so succinctly and correctly put it, “The choir is sick.”
No offense. And hey, I’m part of the choir too. But we’ve got to take a good look at the health of the church in America and realize there’s something wrong.
I’m the lady who’s always going on about our postmodern culture, so here we go again. With the loss of absolutes and the rise of relativism, we have no standards of right and wrong--even, in some instances, when it comes to church doctrine. If we think we can’t be absolutely sure about what the Bible teaches, then anything goes.
Unfortunately, anything is going strong. Did you hear about the Presbyterian church that sponsored a retreat for women, inviting them to get away and worship the divine goddess within themselves? The Methodist church that incorporated Wiccan (modern witchcraft) prayers into its morning services? The Baptist church that taught a class on our fellow Christian believers: Mormons, Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Unitarian Universalists?
I wish I could say it weren’t so. But in fact I attended that class at the Baptist church out of curiosity. My jaw was on the floor throughout. This same church offers a wide variety of New Age literature in its library.
Barna recently conducted a survey to find out how many American adults hold a biblical worldview. The criteria for having such a worldview included believing such propositional truths as: God is the all-powerful and all knowing Creator, Christ lived a sinless life, salvation is by grace and not by works, and the Bible is accurate in all its teachings. The basic tenets of Christianity, right?
Of the overall adult population in America, 4 percent have a biblical worldview. Of those categorized as born-again Christians, 9 percent have a biblical worldview.
What, then, is the other 91 percent thinking?
I suppose among them are those people who call themselves Zen Christians because they simultaneously place their faith in Christ while practicing Buddhism. Also included might be the Methodist witches, the earth-worshipers who revere Jesus as a compassionate guide, the pew-warmers who make their life decisions based on their astrological sign, and the syncretists whose Mr. Potato Head religion is designed according to their own tastes--with a little bit of Jesus thrown in for good measure.
I could go on, but I won’t. I’m sure you get the picture.
Can Christians be deceived? In a word, Yes. Can and are. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth, and will wander into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). I have a feeling that time has come.
In the past few years the Lord has made it clear to me that helping a person stay firmly rooted in the Truth is just as important as introducing a person to the Truth in the first place.
So until the Lord tells me otherwise, I’m sticking with CBA, because I believe that the ministry done through CBA books is important beyond words.
Ann Tatlock's work can be found at www.anntatlock.com.