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Lucian Hodoboc

Is writing fiction a sin?

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Is writing and publishing fictional works (novels, short stories etc.) that are secular in nature (by 'secular' I mean not related to Christianity and not intentionally aimed at glorifying God) a sin? Share your opinions.

For example: fantasy novels about mythical creatures, science-fiction about robots and cyborgs, historical novels about wars and fighting etc.

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I would not say fiction itself is a sin - though the content could very well be. If we are being entertained by stories about things the Bible defines as sin, then I would say that book/author is sinful.

For example, Jesus said to lust for someone else is to commit adultery in our hearts, and elsewhere we are told to flee fornication (ie. have nothing to do with it); then any type of fiction that in any way promotes lust (ie. characters lusting for one another, immodest descriptions of characters), or has characters involved in adultery, fornication, and now sodomy - which we are seeing become more and more prevalent - (and I would dare say, relationships based on those acts), would be sin. See Matthew 5.

The Bible teaches God’s people are not to practice magic of any sort - therefore being entertained by stories and movies, etc. where the main characters are practicing magic would be sin.

Edited by Jerry

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You are asking a lot of disjointed questions.

Are looking for answers, or are you just trying to find a subject that causes trouble?

If you are genuinely seeking answers, then by all means continue.

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Lucian, not sure why you chose the confused emoticon. The Bible teaches that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. See Proverbs 23:7.

If our fiction is based on evil (ie. the promotion of evil - characters performing evil, evil being the primary themes, worldviews based on evil philiosphies - evolution, man becoming gods, multiple gods, or to use the opposite philisophy - a worldview based on utter and complete chaos, etc.), then it is evil to dwell on those things. See Philippians 4:8.

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1 hour ago, DaveW said:

You are asking a lot of disjointed questions.

It's a discussions community. I'm creating discussion threads. Isn't that what people do in an online discussions community? Is there a rule against asking 'disjointed questions'? If there is, do let me know, cause I like to obey the rules.

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It is not discussion for the sake of discussion, it is to create fellowship over what the Bible says about various issues - basically to finetune our beliefs, find Biblical passages and principles for or against whatever issue is being discussed.

Are you posting questions because you want to find out what the Bible says about something and therefore adjust your beliefs and practices accordingly, or just being “religious” and talking about things with no desire to really find out the truth and apply it?

I hope 2 Timothy 3:7 is not applicable to you:

Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

i have met many people who,want to discuss and debate endlessly, and it is not profitable to entertain those kind of people - waste of time and resources. But I have also met people who want to dig into the Bible so they can grow spiritually and apply what they are learning - it is profitable to discuss Bible principles with them.

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Fictional stories and writing fiction is not a sin in of itself. What would make it sinful is the content. Is the story glorifying something God has declared to be wicked or abominable? Is the story encouraging people to engage in sinful acts? Is the story following a hero/heroine who mocks God/Christianity and this mockery is seen as a positive thing? Are any of the characters morally reprehensible but held up as examples of good role models? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself to see if the book is sinful or not, and this includes some 'Christian' fiction. 

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1 hour ago, Jerry said:

Are you posting questions because you want to find out what the Bible says about something and therefore adjust your beliefs and practices accordingly, or just being “religious” and talking about things with no desire to really find out the truth and apply it?

Well, I do believe I'm a bit of both, but my situation is so complicated that even I can't understand it completely, so I'm not able to explain it... Well, not without writing an incredibly long post in which I explain my life story, something that I would rather not do for now.

3 hours ago, Jerry said:

Lucian, not sure why you chose the confused emoticon.

I have used the confused reaction emoticon because your previous reply states this:

3 hours ago, Jerry said:

then any type of fiction that in any way promotes lust (ie. characters lusting for one another, immodest descriptions of characters), or has characters involved in adultery, fornication, and now sodomy - which we are seeing become more and more prevalent - (and I would dare say, relationships based on those acts), would be sin.

The Bible contains chapters that promote lust (The Song Of Solomon / The Song Of Songs) and has characters involved in adultery, fornication and sodomy. Surely, you understand my confusion when being faced with the statement that any type of fiction that promotes lust is a sin, and the Bible falls into said category.

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The Bible gives the accounts of some characters who got involved in sin - to relate what happened and the consequences thereof, in a discreet manner - not to promote lust or encourage sin. Song of Solomon is not about sex, but about fellowship, picturing our walk with the Lord.** It therefore does not promote lust or encourage sin. Sex scenes in fiction do both. Even characters pursuing one another lustfully encourages sin.

**Song of Solomon pictures our walk with the Lord, ending with His return to take His bride (using language picturing the rapture). If it describes sex, then it is a faulty picture at best, and at worst would be a form of erotica. How consistent would God be telling us to flee all forms of fornication, then writing an inspired book to fill our minds with it?

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Why waste your time reading or writing fiction?  Real life is always better than any fiction story to read. I prefer to read printings, books, etc. that are meant to improve my life with Christ and better understand the Bible. Our church is currently going through the Old Testament this year, day by day.

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I disagree that reading or writing fictional stories is a waste of time. I enjoy a variety of genres: non-fiction, fiction, historical, Christian, humor, etc...Many fictional stories are based on real life accounts as well. I'm in the process of writing a Christian fiction novel based on biblical people, so it's based on real people but the story is fictional. Even if the fictional stories are not based off real life, the stories can still be very compelling, especially if the hero/heroine is a good up-standing character who encourages others to do good/make morally correct decisions or has a mentor that does the same for the hero/heroine.

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 Guys, I'm learning something new. I honestly had no clue that watching some movies can be sinful, I thought it wasn't that dangerous given that I would never do what those people do in movies. I thought it's just pure, harmless entertainment. But now I kinda worry over spending hours enjoying this sort of thing (btw I watch thrillers, psychological stuff, nothing gory but still I do enjoy violence in movies which is a concern).

   As for fiction, I have a huge soft spot for romance, to be honest. Nothing explicit though, I find that disgusting but I love the soft romance type too much. 

 

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The Bible teaches we are to turn away from graphic violence - that would certainly fit some movies, tv shows, and video games.

Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; itshall not cleave to me.

Sorry, it has been so long since I looked up verses on this topic that I can’t remember what they are or what word or phrase to look for (and my ipad is freezing up, grrr!). Perhaps some other members here might be able to think of some appropriate passages.

A couple general verses worth reading are Psalm 119:37 and Philippians 4:8.

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I am so thankful that my original missionary pastor was as learned and spiritual as he was. There came a time when he decided that he would teach on the Song of Solomon for our young church. He was wise enough to know that this book was very special, not to be taken lightly and should only be presented to his church once they were spiritually mature enough to understand it. Thus he did not go into this book while the church was still in its missionary stage, but instead he waited for a number of years after we had organized into a NT church.

In preparation for his teaching series on this book he was extremely careful to prepare the church membership for a proper, Godly understanding of what they were about to study. It seems like I can still hear the words of caution he used, although he has gone to be with The Lord many years now. I remember him pointedly telling his flock that this book was very unique and a proper understanding of it in any study should, in the very first instance, be undertaken by a Godly and Spiritually mature teacher. This was the first prerequisite,  the second was that those being taught should be spiritually mature enough to understand that although this book may contain language that was sexual in nature, it was not about sex. 

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3 hours ago, Corinne said:

 Guys, I'm learning something new. I honestly had no clue that watching some movies can be sinful, I thought it wasn't that dangerous given that I would never do what those people do in movies. I thought it's just pure, harmless entertainment. But now I kinda worry over spending hours enjoying this sort of thing (btw I watch thrillers, psychological stuff, nothing gory but still I do enjoy violence in movies which is a concern).

   As for fiction, I have a huge soft spot for romance, to be honest. Nothing explicit though, I find that disgusting but I love the soft romance type too much. 

 

Well, some people say that it is, and I feel like it is, but I don't know whether that's because of The Holy Spirit's conviction or due to my obsessive-compulsive disorder's symptoms.

 

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Even Paul struggled with his flesh, knowing what was right but not doing it or knowing something was wrong and doing it anyway. Everyone has these struggles.

Romans 7:19-25 "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

If you are struggling to know whether something is wrong or not, you're going to get all sorts of answers from people. Some answers are very simple but others, such as this topic, can be complicated or controversial. You need to pray and ask God to guide you and show you what you should/should not read or watch.

James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

Philippians 4:8- "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

If you're struggling with whether or not something is sinful, stop doing it until you have peace about continuing or stopping for good. There are some people that are convicted to never watch any TV of any kind . There are some people who are convicted just about certain types of shows or books and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to know if the movie/tv show/book/magazine is sinful and should be avoided. Neither viewpoint is wrong, both have convictions about not setting sinful sights in front of their eyes, they just have gone about this in different ways. 

I Corinthians 2:12-14 "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

 

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That video does point out a couple of good principles. I am not of the opinion that all movies and tv are wrong - I believe each movie/type of movie should be gauged by the content in it. There are some clean movies - maybe not a lot - especially depending upon theme and who is acting in it or directing it. Unfortunately, there was another law passed last year that allowed mainstream tv shows to allow graphic swearing on regular tv, so shows that seemed relatively decent before now are not so “clean”.

On another note, weird how whatever Bible version he quoted states that the last days will “stressful” - not quite the same thing as “perilous.”

Be careful, he also made a statement that if they want to enter the kingdom of God (and be prepared for the rapture) they need to stop watching movies. That could very well indicate he believes in a salvation that is based on works (unless he is just being unclear in his speach).

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6 hours ago, Rebecca said:

If you're struggling with whether or not something is sinful, stop doing it until you have peace about continuing or stopping for good.

I know that you meant to offer that advice with good intentions, sister, but it is not really that helpful for someone who struggles with scrupulosity. If they applied that advice, they would stop doing over 50% of their activities and spend most of their days in constant worry. 😔

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I have never heard of that term - but I could understand the concept. I have/am? ocd to some extent, but not to an extreme. Probably the best thing to do is to keep looking for Scriptural principles and promises dealing with whatever you are concerned about (especially if the Holy Spirit is putting something on your heart), apply the principles as best as you understand them (praying for wisdom), and trust the Lord to give you His peace as you obey, and His mercy and grace when you have failed or think you have failed.

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I was speaking broadly concerning movies/books only. Excessive worrying is another topic. I'm not a medical doctor or a psychologist, so I'm not even going to try to touch on the OCD side of things. I'm just an average Christian answering questions and giving opinions on how the average Christian should approach things -in this case fictional stories- they come across in the light of the Bible.

2 Timothy 1:7 - "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

 

Edited by Rebecca
removed opinion

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The bible uses fiction to convey meaning all the time. In particular with it's use of Parables. Fiction is not a problem but what is being conveyed is important to consider. 

Parable

PAR'ABLE, noun [Latin parabilis.] Easily procured. [Not used.]

PAR'ABLE, noun [Latin parabola; Gr. to throw forward or against, to compare to or against; as in confero, collatum, to set together, or one thing with another.] A fable or allegorical relation or representation of something real in life or nature, from which a moral is drawn for instruction; such as the parable of the trees choosing a king, Judges 9:1; the parable of the poor man and his lamb. 2 Samuel 12:1; the parable of the ten virgins, Matthew 25:1.

PAR'ABLE, verb transitive To represent by fiction or fable.

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On 3/16/2019 at 2:01 PM, John Young said:

Fiction is not a problem but what is being conveyed is important to consider. 

Only what is being conveyed or also how it is being conveyed? For example, is describing the sinful aspects in a lot of details within a novel that has a moralistic ending a sin? When Jesus told the story of the prodigal son, He just briefly mentioned that the son had "squandered his wealth in wild living". He never mentions what the "wild living" consisted of. Should writers follow Jesus' example and keep the descriptions of the sinful events to a minimum? 🤨

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It can be described well enough to be understood what it is and that it is sinful and why and how the character got involved in it but it not to do so in order to give pleasure or delight from its description. Remember also, even the law of God is pure and holy but to condemn sin it needed to give examples of sin. It is not wrong and it is even helpful sometimes to describe it. Sadly many will take the warning and use it to teach them how to sin. Yet that is not the fault of the Law but the evil manifestation of the Law breaker.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

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