March 06, 2014

Controversy - Good or Bad for Christian Writers? by Glynis M. Belec

Truth be told, I don't like writing to stir up controversy. I am a bit of a rebel at heart and love enthusiastic and sincere conversations that challenge. But I am not one to put my words out there to raise the hackles of readers. I would sooner soothe and encourage and make people laugh. I sometimes think I am a bit of a wimp because of that. And every so often there are times I wish I would be bolder with my words.

But doggone, I have this tendency - which might be misconstrued sometimes as a fence sitter, but I can often see two sides of the story. I can see what might provoke a person into feeling a certain way. I understand how a person can blow their top. I realize that sometimes hurt people hurt people. I don't necessarily make excuses for people but I understand motivation. I was told by a man, a very long time ago who was testing me for a career path that the results of my testing indicated I should have his job or that of a counsellor or arbitrator - because I was able to see both sides of the story and have compassion. I've never forgotten that. Then I wonder did I never forget that because it justifies my wimpiness or is it because that is just how God made me.

As a Christian writer I think my job is to build up the kingdom of Christ and if I go off on a tangent arguing this that and the other I don't see how I am accomplishing that task. That said, I am not being critical of writers who choose to engage controversy. I think we need it. After all there is much to be controversial about in this world.

But I do not feel any God prod for me to be that writer. Hopefully I am honest in my dealings, and don't gush or offer words for the sake of making a sound on the page. Blessing others with my words is what I want to accomplish.

There are many writers who articulate well, their feelings and attitude about certain topics. I will if someone asks me, but I don't particularly like tossing out controversy.

I've tried to psychoanalyse myself and then wonder if I am not doing God's will by not being bolder. Then I stifle that thought and remember that just because I am a writer doesn't mean I have to tackle every subject.

Then again, if I stirred up a little controversy in my writing, I would get more traffic to my blogposts or more readers buying my books or reading my articles. Let's face it, everyone responds to debate, negativity and hullabaloo.

As long as I have peace with what I write, surely that has to be a good thing. God has given me that peace, so I'll keep going for now. My witness to those who happen to be watching me (many non-believing family and friends) has to be one of Christ, I figure. So I write my heart and I feel because Christ has me right/write where he wants me, then I will pay attention to Him instead of my own wavering thoughts. I can't go wrong there.

          “So then, we must pursue what promotes peace and what builds one another” (Romans 14:19)



  1. Ruth Sakstad3:02 pm GMT-7

    You have given me some things to consider. Thanks for your boldness.

  2. Thank-you for your brave and vulnerable thoughts. The verse you included sums it up perfectly. You have the gift of encouragement and humour and I think you are using both to honour God and bless others!

    Write/right on!

  3. HI there... from my fence to yours. Methinks there are a few of us fence sitters out there. Perhaps there's even a crowd of God-made arbitrators. Who knew?

  4. Glynis, thanks for sharing your heart. I agree with you that God made each of us with unique abilities and bents. I also agree that as long as we're listening to that still, small voice and being obedient to it, we're on the right track. If we were all rabble rousers the world would be a scary place!

  5. Oh, Glynis, that is me all the way. I see both sides of a situation too and don't say anything. If the Lord wants me to write something I get an ongoing nudge in my heart that keeps coming back. So far, no nudging about writing controversial things. I'm with you on that. Good article.

  6. I'm getting comfortable beside you and Bobbi on that fence. While there are some things that are not debatable, there is still plenty of room for differences of opinion on certain topics within Christian circles, as well.

  7. Glynis,
    Dear Sister - that is why you and I have an affinity toward one another. We like to encourage others in their walk with the Lord. Making waves to me just causes division. And the Lord said we were to be in unity.
    So I sit with you and others, praying for peace and unity where we worship our Lord in love and faith.

  8. I think you're just fine the way you are. Controversy? Not for everyone. Thank goodness there are writers who like to encourage and uplift :)

  9. From what I 'see' of you here online, Glynis, you are no wimp. It takes boldness to speak truth in any genre, including humour, and I think you have that in spades.

    He needs all of us doing what we do best. And He needs his gentle folk as much as he needs his bold-stand-up warrior folk to round out the work of the ministry to the saints and the world at large.

    I'll never forget the time when I was chatting with a woman I met who was 'larger than life' in ways that weren't just physical -- her whole personality was more brassy. She told me once that she'd been talking to the Lord about how she wished she could be more gentle in her mannerisms and not be such a 'bull in a china shop'.

    He told her that He didn't need more gentle people, that He wanted her as she was -- He had lots of the gentler version, that He needed a few bold ones like her.

    She settled into that and decided to just be who she was. I never forgot that. That must go for writing you, eh?

    BTW, I like how you end your posting, that when we're paying attention to Him we can't go wrong.
    Indeed! Thanks, Glynis!

    Blog Moderator

  10. Glynis,
    These are my thoughts exactly, and how I view myself. In fact, this is so much like me that I wish I could copy and paste this into my blog post for March 11th. Thanks for being an encouragement to me today.

  11. I wish that I did not always feel compelled to speak the truth, to go against the flow when everybody is just getting comfortable,but that is what God has called me to do, to speak the truth of his word. I feel bad that it upsets people but I must obey. Glynis I think you sum it up well when you say that we just need to obey God in whatever he has called us to do . He knows best, and He has planned it all out so there would be some of each of us. We need to uphold each other as we obey. It is not easy whether God has called us to be front liners or support staff. We are all on the same team.

    Pam Mytroen


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