Lately, a certain thing has been annoying me.
What is a Christian fiction novel?
What sets it apart from other books in the publishing world?
According to the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a Christian fiction book "should not contain profanity, graphic sex, gratuitous violence or other objectionable material, and must otherwise conform to generally accepted standards of the CBA" (2017).
The reason I ask this question is because a certain publishing company, which I will not name, has been allowing some of the items stated above to pass through with their books. This isn't a small press either. This publishing company is well-known and has been publishing Bibles and stories for a long time. I know many authors contracted with them who write nicely done Christian fiction, so this doesn't apply to everything they publish.
In 2015, Amy Drown, a fellow reviewer and founder of Fiction 411, found a book by this publisher that had a number of cuss words written in the text. While she gave a bad review to the book for the profanity, she was raked across the coals by a number of people who saw her review. I, personally, agreed with Amy.
Last summer, I got a Netgalley copy of another book from this same publisher. The book features a villain and her friend who is the actual mastermind behind the crimes. The story was moving along at a nice pace, then Wham! I got thrown for a loop. The villain was lusting at her friend as she comes out of a pool. This was between two women. Made me pause and scratch my head. How did this get past the copy editors and all the way to print? Yes, the author is well-known in the secular community, even has a show on Fox News. Maybe the publishing company wanted to reach another audience that they normally don't reach. I don't know, but I didn't like it.
This month, this publishing company is releasing another book by a debut author. I truly enjoyed her novel and her writing style. It is unique with a touching story. But . . . the heroine runs a shop with what I assumed is a homosexual partner. No, the author doesn't come out and say that he is gay, but the actions of the partner speak louder. When he comes to her house that she inherited, he wants to find the male construction workers and the way he speaks things make me thing other wise. This lowered my review on the book too.
Why is this acceptable to print in the Christian fiction market?
I read Christian fiction so that I don't have to deal with the cussing and the sinning of the characters. I have had a lot of suggestions from secular authors, but I can't get past the cussing or the disregard for the characters of the opposite sex. I want the couples to be male and female. No homosexual couples. It is WRONG!!! I don't want to see the Christian market cater to the world. There is enough of that out there already. Us, as Christians, have to sacrifice so much of what we believe because it offends the weaklings already. I don't want to see the Christian fiction market go the same way too.
I may get a lot of flack for writing this post, but this has been something that has been on my heart after reading the second book printed by this publishing company.
If you disagree with me, please move along and don't leave a comment. But . . . if you agree, please let's start a discussion about this. I hope I'm not the only one feeling this way.
Works Cited:2017 Genesis Contest Rules. http://www.acfw.com/genesis. Web. 2017.