Hi, I'm Lela Markham and this is my inaugural post on Delia Talent.
I write speculative fiction, primarily, while delving into other genres on occasion.
I'm one of those Christian creatives who does not advertise my works as "Christian". Historically, Christian creatives didn't claim a territory and label themselves. We don't think of Bach as a "Christian" musician, but rather a great composer who made his living as a church organist. Unless you're a history geek like me, you might not know about his deep and abiding faith. Although we now think of CS Lewis as a "Christian" author, his fictional works weren't advised as such when he was publishing because Christians of that era hadn't decided to paint themselves into a box with a label. Back when I was a kid Elvis Presley (not an example of a "good" Christian, but a man with a church background) and Johnny Cash (by that time, a reprobate saved by Christ) were singing gospel tunes right along with their secular tunes on regular radio ... and my non-believing parents didn't find that the least bit odd.
I want modern Christian creatives to step out of the box labeled "weird" and "other" and place the products of our creativity where we can act as salt and light in the dark world around us. I think Christian creatives have a lot to give to the secular world if we're willing. But how do we do that?
I think it starts with a conversation among Christian creatives about what it means for us and our creative works to be "in the world, but not of it." There's nothing wrong with being counter-cultural, but at least some of us should be speaking to the society around us without painting ourselves into a self-segregated box where our books end up in that lonely section at Barnes & Noble. The real trick is doing that while also paying respect to our Savior and the flawed human beings who follow Him.
Let's explore that together.
Please visit Lela Markham on her blog to find out more about her, her books, and her other projects.
Questions for discussion:
How do we balance being the 'salt of the earth' while not being 'of the world'? Does everything we produce as Christians have to be overtly Christian to be considered 'okay'? Where do we draw the line, or do we have to draw one at all? I invite you to write your comments below. Please be honest but respectful. This topic has been known to spark intense discussions.--Delia