Chapter Twenty, To The Secret Place / by E.M. Hernandez

Am I a Christian novelist, or a novelist who is a Christian?

It's a fairly new distinction. Only in the last couple generations have Christians broken their art away from the wider culture via labels.

The labels are not a bad thing, I believe. In a world saturated with media it's good to give parents the option to select things for their children that reinforce their beliefs rather than undermine them. It is good to have a cultural refuge and a retreat where any of us can escape into a world that is culturally consistent with our beliefs. Perhaps we shouldn't live there all the time, but it used to be possible to live within your own culture simply by living within the geographic confines of that culture. That era is gone, replaced with global media empires and the omnipresence of Hollywood's world views and beliefs. We can only find home on purpose. 

So, should I embrace that "Christian Writer" identity?

I have not completely answered the question for myself yet. When I write plays they tend to be exclusively faith based. I like to put scripture on stage; renewing its life as oral tradition; allowing myself the opportunity to proclaim my faith in a vibrant, joyful, and meaningful way.

Breaking The Skies does not live and breath on earth. The scriptures of Israel do not exist in Durian because Israel does not exist in Durian. So, Breaking The Skies is not Christian, per se.

But there is a God there. One True God, who hears prayers. There has to be one there because there is always a God, in any universe, because God created any universe that can exist. And there has to be one there because I can only see the world through the lens of Christianity and Theism and faith, so I can only write a world founded on those things.

I try not to think of this conundrum in terms of "hats". I don't put on my Christian Writer hat when I'm writing plays and take it off to write books. I don't take it off for work and put it on at church. Christianity is not a hat, but an identity. It is in all that I do and all that I write. Even in my sins and mistakes there is a tempering that comes from the power of The Gospel in my life, which inhibits them and encloses them, guarding me from their full capability. 

In the end, I hope that I am so infused with The Gospel that it will come through in anything I write. That's probably not true yet, but I'm working on it. God knows the lazy medium of Facebook sets me back two steps for every one I take forward. But when I am intentional about writing good and beautiful things I hope that the Goodness and the Beauty come from the one who died for me and rose again.