In spite of man’s sinfulness, there is plenty of printed material around — produced by non believers — that is good and nourishing. Instead of avoiding them, the Christians should only motivate their spread because they contributes to the stability of the society.
For example, just before writing the above paragraph, I was reading a very lengthy article against smoking in a secular magazine titled MY DOCTOR. All the writers are non Christians, yet there is nothing in the article that is wrong or unacceptable to a child of God. It condemns smoking in no uncertain terms. It is a scientific and medical article with a lot of facts and figures interwoven in a pleasant manner.
Since the Christian should always contribute to the welfare of the society in which he lives, all Christian writers should encourage this kind of writings. However, writings produced by dedicated Christian writers go one step ahead and offer something additional to the reader that is of lasting value. That value comes because of the spiritual component which forms the foundation and backbone of all Christian writing. We will, therefore, mention several things about the importance and uniqueness of Christian writings:
ONLY IT TELLS OF SALVATION: The good literature available today guides people into a lot of good things. However, the message of salvation is available only in Christian writings.
Moral and ethical teaching is necessary, and a lot of books written by non Christians try to teach these subjects. The same is the case with teachings related to self control, balance in life, patriotism, hobby development, and any number of worthy subjects that you can think of. However, being born into God’s family is a subject which only a Christian writer can write about.
(To communicate the message of salvation to the lost, the person doing so must not only be saved but should also be burdened to share this message with others. This requires a growing Christian to write on this subject.)
In other words, Christian writings are important because they contain the message of salvation, and they are unique because ONLY they contain this life saving message.
ONLY IT CONTAINS DIVINE WORLD-VIEW: Everyone has his own set of standards for evaluating the world. Ultimately all such yardsticks can be classified into two: the Christian worldview and the non Christian worldview. Everything that the unregenerate man can think of, even his best, is still human worldview. God has said that there is a VAST gulf between his thinking and ours. Thus it is not possible even for the best of the unregenerate persons to think God’s thoughts after Him. Even the best advise given by him is human worldview, even though some of it might have been influenced by Christian viewpoint. There is, however, a vast difference between viewpoint that shows Christian influence and the one that IS Christian.
The Christian worldview begins with the recognition that God is in firm control of history. It accepts the creation and redemption history recorded in the Scriptures at face value. It takes adherence to Scriptural norms and standards as a necessary condition to a fruitful life. It tries to view everything as God would want us to view it. That is Christian worldview !
The result of Christian worldview could be seen when Joseph fled away from sin, when Esther risked her life to save her people, when Job thanked God for calamity, when Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego refused to worship the idol, and when Daniel preferred the den of lions over his government position — or even life itself. All of these are foolishness when viewed from a non Christian worldview, but make excellent choices when seen as God sees them.
The Christian worldview can be expressed and advocated only be a person who first adheres to this viewpoint. That would be a growing Christian, and his work would be classified as Christian writing. Thus Christian writing is important and unique because among all the good literature that’s available, only the Christian literature contains a clear exposition of the Christian worldview.
ONLY IT CAN GIVE PEOPLE HOPE: To a superficial observer or optimist, the world everywhere looks full of hope, cheer, and achievements. New buildings are coming up everywhere, the shopping complexes are becoming ever larger, the glossy magazines are depicting ever more attractive and seductive models, and people everywhere seem to laugh a lot. Further, the TV seems to show more and more people who are happy and thrilled with their lifestyle. Yet this is only one side of the picture.
Life is not made up of a single side or single aspect. Even though the outer prosperity, joy, and laughter seems to increase, the inner joy and peace has been decreasing with an accelerated pace. In our generation people seem to have much more, but ask any counsellor and you will discover that most people are missing the most important part of life.
Witness the sudden increase in books devoted to personality development, overcoming tension, and maintaining mental peace. Witness the proliferation of magazines devoted to psychology, practical living, and health. This is only a symptom of the deeper problem — the ever eluding peace, stability, and happiness.
The psychology books and magazines promise a solution, but even the best of their offer has only a temporary value. It is like medicine applied externally on a tumour. It might give temporary relief to pain and some mental satisfaction to the patient, but it does not cure the problem. In the long run it only compounds the problem because of the false assurance given. Only deep and penetrative surgery can help. In the same way only Christian writings, which offer a deeper understanding of the malady, can offer them true cure.
According to the Word of God, the actual reason for man’s pain and aches is his sin and rebellion. The only way to escape from the penalty of his sin is to accept Christ as one’s personal Saviour. A lot of writers publish material on man’s spiritual quest, but only Christian writings show the true way. Struggles, trials, and pains do not cease when a person enters this new life. On the contrary, this is only the first step into a new life — of warfare. Throughout this life this child of God will be shaped and moulded through things that at times look very difficult — and pains that look severe. This does not indicate that God has abandoned this person, but only that the training process continues. However, it is difficult at the movement of distress for this person to recognize that God is at work.
Even the best writings from the world can offer only faint consolation to such a person. Human psychology and resources can go only a limited distance. However, there is a definite source of true, reliable, and lasting consolation. That is Jesus Christ, who bore it all first in his own body so that He could identify with human pain. Of all the comforting literature available, only the Christian literature has the power to deliver this comfort to people. Christian writings are definitely important and unique.
Christian writing is all that writing that is produced for glorifying God. Only a born again person who has a consistent Christian life characterized by growth, and who has a definite message to share with people, can author this kind of material. If you have not yet reached this stage, there is no reason for loosing hope. God gives opportunity to every person to grow to this stage, and what you need is to use those opportunities and grow.
The ultimate aim of Christian writing is to glorify God. It is special and unique because no other writings can deliver what Christian writings can give to its readers.