Sunday, March 22, 2015

My Dilemma: Can There be Swearing in a Faith Story?

When my novella THE TIME BETWEEN released, I believed I'd dealt with the issue of my characters swearing making this a non-Christian book because there is NEVER any swearing in Christian books! So this book isn’t Christian. Since this book is a clearly a ‘THRILLER’ as one review shared, and knowing that what I'd written was also a ‘MYSTERY’, these are the tags I chose for my gutsiest book thus far.

However, since the second and third books in The Crucible of Becoming Series are faith stories, I knew I'd only delayed the inevitable. For at some point I’d have to admit that ‘YES! I did write Christian stories with swearing in them'. By now I’m sure you see my dilemma and may be wondering why I’m worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet. So for the purpose of this article, I’ve labeled the preceding ‘Phase One’.

When you read ‘Phase Two’, which I’m about to share, I think you be nodding you head so here goes…while sending out some info on the release of THE TIME BETWEEN, I included in large caps THIS IS NOT A CHRISTIAN STORY. Those who know me continued to Tweet and share the books info on Facebook. Aware that two sweetie-pies might have set themselves up for some grief, I tweeted one a reminder and reminded the other in a Facebook chat only to have one emphatically insist,
          “I’m NOT taking THE TIME BETWEEN promo down cause I know Jesus is there!
          And the other tweet me, “I know your heart!

So I find myself asking if I’d judged my work too harshly. Then again, I know that there are far worse things in Scripture. I’m not comparing my work to Gods Word. I am, however, asking when is a book Christian? Or more importantly do I as a faith writer need to be worried about backlash from Christian readers?

Perhaps the answer is to be found when I ask myself, who am I writing for?

My answer, as always is, I write for God because He called me to do this!

Well then, I might ask myself, is God only interested in Christians?

About now I feel like an idiot because I know God is interested in everyone!

Okay, I tell myself, let’s dig into that.

And digging into that in the only way I know how, I asked Jesus and He took me to John 3:17, which says, For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him. Whomever believes in him is not condemned, but whomever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only son.

I know, I know, I wasn’t taken to perhaps the most beloved, memorized and quoted Scripture, the one that precedes what I quoted which says, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16).

And the fact that God didn't take me where I and probably you thought he would helped me realize that I have to decide every time I do, say, think, or write something if I want to please God or man. I cannot bop between the two because God did not give any of us that option.

I can only do and go where I think I should if I decide to follow me…and if I did that what a fool I would be!

If you'd like to add your thoughts to mine, I'm going to gift a Kindle download to the first 10 people who leave their email address on this blog post. To check out the book before you decide visit:


  1. Interesting subject matter. I have wondered where the line between reality and offense lies myself.

  2. Thanks for taking a moment to share your thoughts on this important topic. Though Pastor, Reverend, Jimmy A. Garland and my friend who's a member of the church board where my hubby Pastor Ron Michelson serves the Lord, both affirmed that the swearing was critical to the story being believed, I still struggle.

    With believing authors friends as well as personal ones, sharing and retweeting info about the book, I tried to remind them that this book differed from my others and was told that knowing me, they knew what was written was important. And thta was true.

    Still, I found myself wondering why we live in fear of the supposed onslaught rather than worry over not accomplishing what Jesus (Yeshua) asks us to do. It is because of these concerns that I wrote this blog, and why I rejoiced when I read your answer. For where there is the light of the Lord there is also darkness, and without showing the darkness the light is not seen.

    So you, dear Cynthia, have my profound gratitude for your comment showed me that though my concern was valid, if I've eroded, I'll know.