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Lucian Hodoboc

Christian fiction and denominations

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From what I've noticed on various online sites and forums, there seems to be a lot of division within Christianity. There are members of each of the major Christian denominations (Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism) who go as far as to reject the right of people from other denominations to call themselves "Christians".

 

When it comes to Christian fiction, do denominational differences matter? And if yes, to what degree? Does it influence publishing houses? Where do we draw the line in regards to what we consider Christian fiction and what is heretical literature? If an Orthodox or a Catholic were to write a contemporary novel with characters who are priests, nuns or monks, engaging in Orthodox or Catholic-specific doctrinal rituals (confession, Eucharist, veneration of saints etc.), would that be published by a Protestant publishing house? If so, would it be labeled as "Christian fiction"?

 

To give a concrete example, would you consider the novel "Letters to Saint Lydia" Christian fiction? It's a Orthodox novel about a girl who tries to communicate with a deceased saint (Saint Lydia) through letters. You can read the blurb on Amazon:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Letters-Saint-Lydia-Melinda-Johnson/dp/1936270080

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This is a very touchy subject and I hesitated speaking out. Too controversial. But, I decided to jump in anyway and see how thing pan out. 

 

I would use that old cliche that some don't like: In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity.

 

If the book is at odds with the essentials (Saved by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through the grace of God, and what the Bible clearly teaches) then I would not consider it a Christian book, especially one that I would read.

 

The RCC is considered world wide as a Christian church, and there are many saved people in it (in spite of the church teachings). The RCC has some of the basics right such as the doctrine on Trinity, However, they have added so much that it is heretical in may areas, such as praying to dead saints.. So, let the buyer beware.

 

As far as protestant denominations go, there is a wide variation in beliefs and doctrines. Some right and on some way off from Biblical teaching. So, also, let the buyer beware.

 

I would say do your due diligence before buying anything you aren't sure of. Christian book stores take a very wide all encompassing view of Christianity and accept almost anything as Christian literature. 

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A lot of the mainline Christian fiction could be read by a Muslim or a New-Ager, and they wouldn't have a problem with it.  That's how clear the doctrine is in most of it.

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I think you might be asking the wrong question. Really the question should be do each of us know the Bible and what it says? We should each be responsible to know what is true and false doctrine. We should be able to know commandments from traditions and the difference between traditions and man-made ceremonies. (Not saying all ceremonies are man-made) We have the very Words of God to turn to! Do I think everything falls under Christian? Not a chance! ( Matthew 7:21-23 ) But I believe it is our responsibility to point out when others are wrong, and we can't do that if we don't know the Scripture ourselves. ( Jeremiah 23:16, Matthew 24:24, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, and most importantly to the individual and Chruch as a whole Acts 20:28-30) 

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I don't buy fiction based on Christian denomination, but then again, I lean toward the 'Christian writing mainstream fiction' camp anyway. I love the kickstart Frank Peretti gave to Christian fiction with THIS PRESENT DARKNESS and PIERCING THE DARKNESS but think the real work is out there in the mainstream where the normal people are. 

I've written some Christian fiction but it was from the mindset of 'Christians don't have enough Science Fiction and here's some of that.' 

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7 hours ago, Lucian Hodoboc said:

To give a concrete example, would you consider the novel "Letters to Saint Lydia" Christian fiction? It's a Orthodox novel about a girl who tries to communicate with a deceased saint (Saint Lydia) through letters.


fwiw, Google considers it Christian Fiction. I'd never heard of it until just now. When I do read Christian fiction, I exclusively read SF/F.
image.png.a554cbba8b9fcb139c79fbbccea5ce07.png

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Amazon considers it Christian fiction as well:
 

Quote

#31584 in Christian Literature & Fiction

 

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    In my stories, when my characters attend worship, it's always at a Presbyterian Church.  The reason I do that, is that I am a member of a Presbyterian Church, and I'm following some basic advice which is given to all writers:  Write about what you know.

    Also, each particular church I describe is different.  Some of the pastors do base their sermons on the Bible.  However, in one story concerning a politically correct community, one of the characters is described as "...the arrogant, heretical Pastor of their local apostate Church".

   Then in my stories about a "Vampire Town", I mention that there is a "First Presbyterian Church of Vampires", where they hold worship services on Sunday Nights, and the Gospel is faithfully preached.  Its members are Born Again Christian Vampires, who only drink the blood of animals, not humans. 

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I was seriously considering using the Shakers as a model for the Pilgerbruder, a community of pacifist Christians living a life without technology in a large interstellar colony ship.

 

I was surprised to find in my research that some of their teachings put them outside the bounds of basic Christian doctrine in a way I couldn't reconcile with my main character's renewal of faith.

 

Rather than handwave them back into the fold, I drew upon my knowledge of The Society of Brothers, of whom several members participated in the local chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. So far, no red flags.

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18 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

What about the Amish?

You can use the Amish freely as others have done because the Amish will not sue.

Quote: "One thing that sets the Amish apart from non-Amish society is their reluctance and often outright refusal to get involved with legal matters."

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The Wethersfield (CT) community is less well known, small enough to be a single village on a starship the size of Manhattan, and the "modest attire" is bright gingham and calico. Style points!

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3 hours ago, Zee said:

What about Amish vampires?

 

Believe it or not, their is a subculture of books out there that are just about that!

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4 hours ago, Zee said:

What about Amish vampires?

I like my science fiction really hard and scientifically plausible. I can work with zombies but I can't wrap my head around vampires.

 

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On 5/17/2019 at 6:44 AM, Lucian Hodoboc said:

there seems to be a lot of division within Christianity.

Even within an individual denomination, you will find great degrees of differences, as much as what are considered differences between denominations. 

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In any religion there are always differences.  The major ones are what each religion officially  teaches; what it's members think that it teaches; and what each member actually believes.

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2 hours ago, William D'Andrea said:

The major ones are what each religion officially  teaches; what it's members think that it teaches; and what each member actually believes.

Well stated.

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