Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Brother against brother...

There is a situation going on right now in the fiction writing industry that absolutely appalls me. A well known author has taken it upon him/herself to publicly attack a respected, well-known and very successful publishing house in the CBA (Christian market) and question their authors, their morals, their purpose, their effectiveness...

I refuse to name names, or go into the details here. Odds are you know what I'm talking about and if you don't, then even better. I refuse to give this author the satisfaction of receiving any more Google hits on this matter than he/she already is by listing the specifics,

Maybe some think that even "negative fame" or attention is better than none, but I disagree.

I just have to say that this kind of Christian author attack on other Christian authors is disgusting. It's awful to try to gain attention and fame for one's own work by openly dissing the work of others. Maybe that's not his/her goal but it comes across that way, and is heartbreaking.

Don't we all have the same goal? Aren't we ultimately as Christian authors all writing for an audience of One? I find it an honor and a reverent joy to write for the CBA market and to have books published that promote hope and joy in the Christian life, that show characters struggling with issues of faith and dark circumstances and coming out victorious in the end.

It's a sad day indeed when a Christian author stoops to this level, especially without first finding out all the facts and details involved in his/her accusations and comments.

Ignorance is plain ugly.

I want to learn from this, as upset and sad as it makes me, and find good from the situation. It seems lately that God, through various means and avenues, has been showing me the best way to behave under personal attacks (and this one feels personal even though its not), and so far that has meant to not lash back - which is another reason why I'm not naming names here publicly. I just want you all to be aware that whether its in the Christian publishing market or in your own personal daily life, be careful. Get your facts because making accusations. Really know what you're saying, and PLEASE - pray about what you say before you say it!

I don't want to ever be the person on the other side of this issue I'm referring to. I don't want to ever find myself in that kind of dark place. Therefore, I am committing to speak slowly, listen deeply, and pray before ever launching what could be viewed as an attack on a fellow brother or sister in Christ.

I hope this author sees the error of his/her ways. I hope good will come from this in the industry at the end of it and not bad.

I just really, really hate division among God's troops. =(


Georgiana said...

Amen! I love your commitment to speak slowly, listen deeply, and pray. Words to live by!

Mike Duran said...

Hi Betsy! I came over from your invite. I happen to agree with the author you reference who believes that the Steeple Hill guidelines appear quite legalistic. The absence of the word 'poop' or 'pee' does not necessarily make fiction Christian. Nor "safe." Furthermore, do these types of lists represent the spirit of the Gospel or perpetuate an unhealthy caricature of what it means to be a Christian?

You may feel hurt by these types of internal criticisms (between brothers and sisters), but it is important that we have them -- especially if the dialog is in a constructive spirit. Simple objection is not necessarily unloving. Grace to you, Betsy!

Betsy St. Amant said...

Thanks Mike, for your input, but I respectfully disagree. This author's presentation of his/her opinion might have been in a constructive spirit but it was certainly not perceived that by way by those it directly affected. Constructive criticism is supposed to inspire and motivate, not tear down, create barriers, divide, wedge, and hurt.