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To Read or Not To Read Fiction

There are those who portend that reading fiction is not profitable. Desiring not have our own opinions but seeking to be keepers of the faith, we have prayed long over this issue and searched God’s Word diligently for answers. We would like to share this with you, but again remind you that we seek not to instruct you, but to encourage you to seek for your answers directly from the Word of God.

The Bible is a history book, a prophecy book, a book full of biographies, a book of the law, a book which reveals the nature of God, a book recording the life of Jesus, and most importantly, a book teaching us the plan of salvation. All things in the Bible are true so it is not a fictional work, no not one little bit of fiction in it or is there? Is there ever a place for fiction or storytelling? Our Savior often told stories to teach lessons about His kingdom and how we should live our lives. So storytelling seems to be okay, but what kind of storytelling is biblically correct? We need to look at the kind of stories that our Savior told. Notice. Jesus did not tell fairy tales, fantasy tales, science fiction stories, murder mysteries, or love stories. His stories never broke the law, therefore, His stories did not arouse lust or passion, they did not encourage homosexuality, they did not encourage violence, they did not stir up anger or hatred, they did not make fun of others, nor did they espouse feminist philosophies. The stories of Jesus always imparted knowledge and further understanding of godly living or a furtherance of His Kingdom.

Now, we ask ourselves, what kind of books are we reading? Would Jesus read these books, or would Jesus read them to His children? If not, neither should we. Never should God’s Word be violated in the name of fiction. Much of what is labeled Christian fiction could never be read out loud to Jesus. Much of today’s Christian fiction is aimed at our carnal nature, and the author’s desire to make a profit at whatever the cost. Evil can be incredibly deceptive. In a nonfiction book a reader is more alert to any false teaching. A nonfiction book has a straightforward goal, and one can easily debate wrong arguments. However, a storyteller weaves his philosophy in and through the medium of a good story. Undiscerning readers are not aware of all the false truths slipped into the story. Fiction can be a dangerous thing.

On a final note, we should be aware of the different forms in which fiction comes to us. We have proofread many biographies that are nothing but a smattering of actual facts used as a platform on which the author uses a well-known figure to advance his/her beliefs and persuasions. It can be even more dangerous to read fiction and assume it as fact.

May we encourage you to examine your family’s books and put them to this test. Would Jesus write this book and/or could you read this book out loud to Jesus? If so, why, and if not, why not? You will be exercising discernment and teaching your children how to have discernment. Without discernment, we are tossed about and manipulated by the world and Satan at will.

One thought on “To Read or Not To Read Fiction

  1. Dear keepers of the faith,

    Thanks so much for your article on C. S. Lewis and the article on fiction. We have always felt this way which is rare! Most people think we are legalistic; but we are not. It was so refreshing to know there are others out there that take the same point of view and are willing to say so. What an encouragement! Thanks.

    Jim

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