Most agents to the Christian publishing world represent a variety of authors from a wide spectrum of theological thought, so we understandably have a little more forgiving attitude than others about differences between fellow believers.
There is one type of book I have always felt uncomfortable representing…one which criticizes a certain theological stand, a particular church group or even a specific person within the Christian community.
I am not talking about critiquing error, where cult-like activity or teaching is evident. Those things need to be identified and brought to light.
I am talking about “inside” discussions, which need to be civil personal discourses between believers, not literary artillery shells lobbed across the countryside at one another.
Face it, there are hundreds and thousands of churches and hundreds of different Christian perspectives prevalent in the United States alone simply because we can’t all agree on certain things. Some disagreements are relatively insignificant in the big picture.
On a personal level, over the years I’ve spoken with Christian leaders who are convinced they are right on everything and anyone who disagrees with them is going to hell. I recall having a discussion with one who asserted an Arminian theological approach was correct and Calvinists were not actually Christians at all.
As a personal defense mechanism against becoming bitter, I often try to envision conversations between God and certain people (even me) when arriving in heaven where God asks them why they saw the need to stir up so much trouble between their brothers and sisters when there were so many more important issues to be addressed.
“There were 3,000 unborn babies killed every day in the United States and you spent your time arguing about worship styles? I wish you had used the time I gave you better. But welcome home, all is forgiven.”
All right, maybe I shouldn’t be putting words into God’s mouth and will need to be held accountable for it when I reach my eternal home, but it is valid to make my point and hopefully make me a little less judgmental.
Of all the topics to cover in Christian books, criticizing another follower of Christ, another Christian church or another Christian perspective, is something which should probably be avoided.
I am not personally on the lookout for such books to represent.
Biblically speaking, if you have something against another, you confront them directly and begin a civil discourse, which should hopefully end in greater unity of perspective and purpose rather than a win/lose situation.
Christian writers of all kinds should give far greater weight to the New Testament epistle written by James than to any legal framework provided by a country constitution. Legal freedom of the press provides no creative license to a Christ-following writer.
Looking at the world today, little question remains who is the real enemy…and it is not a fellow believer who thinks a little different theologically on matters of relative unimportance.
Christian writers need to step up the creativity and boldness, but direct the artillery at the one who prowls about looking to who he may devour, not the church across the country who has a different opinion than yours on global evangelism, worship styles or youth ministry.