Sunday, November 20, 2005

Zane as Church Lesson?

So I'm perusing the Miami Herald this weekend and my jaw drops when I read an article titled:MIAMI BOOK FAIR:Explosion in erotic literature BY NICOLE WHITE.
That conflict is even playing out on the bestseller list at Essence[Magazine.] Christian fiction authors and erotica authors routinely compete for the number one spot on the list. ''It's almost a battle between saints and sinners,'' Bass said.

Nevertheless, there is some mild acknowledgement of the genre's acceptance among young Christian adults. Zane said one of her most fulfilling appearances was a book signing for a women's group at a church brunch.

Steven Caldwell, 39, the pastor for young adults at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond Heights, admitted he has penned many lessons based on material gleaned from Zane's books.

''I don't tell them not to read it,'' Caldwell said. ``I have no problem with them reading it. In fact, I've read many of her books.''

Adding a caveat, the pastor noted: 'I use the characters' flaws and weaknesses to teach a broader lesson. I believe that the power of God's word is stronger than the power of a fictional character.''

Now, The Word states to not speak against our ministers, so I won't do that. But I am disheartened that he believes that its okay for his young adults to read erotica. Soft porn is a demon in black churches. Kirk Franklin confessed his own thorns over the issue and his new mission to prevent it within the young adult community.

Lately, we've talked at the faith*in*fiction board about the availability of sex scenes in christian fiction and the notion of Christian erotica. But we've all agreed that context and content is the dividing line here, not recreating a sexual act or inciting a reader's carnal emotions. It is clear line that within any case does not allow room for the types of works that Zane produces.

I thought about speaking to Zane about doing an interview here at Christian Fiction, as she is a Christian writer, but not a christian fiction writer. We belong to the same bookclub. However, I am spiritually not prepared to open that can of worms and I'm sure neither is she. So I ask you, is their a spiritual precedence allowing soft porn in young adult christian's minds? Is it okay for them to read erotica, as a bible study accompaniment? And if so, should christian fiction writer's be the one's writing these books?

4 comments:

Living Words said...

While I don't think that teens should be reading Zane, I know that they are. I'm glad that he has read enough to be able to look at it with a Christian perspective. I just wish there was another way to do it. But at least he is talking with and not talking out teens and young people. And I have trouble reading Songs of Solomon, too.

Dee said...

i do, too. zane's novel is everywhere. maybe i should contact him and see how he's doing it, because i don't see a christian perspective from those novels.

La Monica R. Smith said...

It's a super slippery slope to me. Even for young adults. When I made the decision as a young, single, adult to stop having premarital sex and practice abstinence 'til marriage, the Holy Spirit convicted me of even reading secular romance novels.

We need to stop acting like we're immune to this stuff because we're so super spiritual. PLEASE!! I know for me, reading "soft porn" would have a deeper impact on me than even watching it on a screen.

And your flesh will try to convince you that you're not doing anything wrong because it's just a "novel." It's not like being hooked on internet porn. But you can't tell me that some of Zane's readers aren't "hooked," on the erotica in her books. And not just her books, but all the other erotica that's selling like hot cakes now.

Dee said...

lamonica, i love you, girl. I fear this thing, too. I also fear that somem of our churches are losing their salt because they've fallen in love with this whole its cool to be christian thing that's going on right now.

I would love to talk with this guy about his view, but who am I? Let's prayer for the Holy Spirit to speak to them, becauser that's a mess. And what about the church book club going to a Zane booksigning? What is that about?

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