So many times I've picked up a 'Christian' book, read the first few chapters, then shut it. It was only with a bad taste in my mouth because of the content within it.
Christian authors need to understand something: putting God in a book as a thrown in element DOES NOT equate to being Christian. Because if you deny that very same God by the sexual innuendos and witchcraft displayed over and over again in your book, your "religion" means nothing (Faith without works is dead. You can tag the word on your book, but if it's not reflected in the writing, it doesn't mean a thing). I don't care if he was attempting to "show evil". No God-fearing married man should be thinking about women the way he was, in order to write this.
I've read secular novels with more morality than this one. That's low. That's really low.
If Brian Litfin was attempting to show that you can be Christian but still flirt with evil, he did it well. Because that's all this was. You can have both. You can be a Christian but still visit prostitutes (yes, seriously). You can be a Christian and still sexualize and objectify women. You can be a Christian but still read compromising books (like this one). Confession time: I'll admit it, I honestly wish I would have put this book down. And I beat myself up over that. For days.
Great job, Brian. Great job pointing people to Christ. *claps slowly*
You brought me to the place where as a Christian I felt morally sinful for reading your book. Was that your goal? To compromise other's faith and push them over their standards and boundaries? Because that's exactly what happened.
As a Christian, I don't feel comfortable reading your book. No Christian should. So why? What's all of this for? What was your goal? I expected more, far more, from this. It let me down and left me low. This wasn't a work of Christ. I'm not sure what exactly it was, but I am certain of this: it wasn't in accordance with God's pureness (let's all take a moment to remember Philippians 4:8, please).
I'm going to say it straight out: I'm sick and tired of books being labeled as Christian, when they in no way represent Christ the way he should be represented. I'm not talking specifically about Litfin here. There's been many a time I've picked up then put down a so-called 'Christian' book. I'm disappointing and ashamed of the authors that drive me to that place. Christians are meant to encourage fellow believers. If so, then why not in their books? If so, why not in their lives? If so, why aren't we seeing the evidence?
Here's a few reasons that may hint at why I feel so strongly against The Sword:
- the high priestess interacts with the devil, then proceeds to slit her palm (ouch) and write out their message with her blood. (I'm putting it mildly, because it was actually very intense and disturbing.) "The steel razor slit the priestess's palm smoothly, and she squeezed her fist. Blood seeped from her clinched fingers into the gold saucer..."
- the sexual innuendos were everywhere, and definitely not hidden. "Welcome to my carriage, princess. It's been some time since we last... connected." He winked at her. That's disgusting. "What are you doing out here in the dark woods? Maybe that's to our advantage?" .... "The only women present were the serving wenches, many of whom were providing much more than food or drink" That's also very disgusting. "Dirk began to advance along the bridge. His intent was obvious. Ana turned and ran. "Caught ya! You're mine now." (I took out the remainder of this quote, for the sake of your sanity.) I hope that's enough proof that on the sexual side, this one's a no-no. (And, just so it's known, I picked out the most mild scenes to use as examples. The other sections are nothing compared to this)
- Did I mention witchcraft? It's extremely intense and detailed. So much so I don't even feel comfortable including excerpts. So just trust me, it's horrifyingly painful to read.
- And (not that this is morally wrong, it's simply annoying) the logistics are impossible. I was, at times, shaking my head in disbelief and laughing at the contradictions.
I'd like to take this time and use it as a call to action. I firmly believe that some of the immorality in Christian fiction is due to believers not having a problem with it. Supply and demand, right? So why don't we start to object to it. To tell them to stop. To boycott the authors and the publishers. To write reviews like these. To discourage others reading the books, and returning ours that we've bought. Let's put up a fight and demand that Christ be taken seriously, and that Christian morals are used in Christian writing. Because honestly, we've begun to expect this and accept it in secular writing. But the day that we begin to expect it from Christians is the day I truly believe we've degraded what it means to be a follower of Christ. Let's not let happen. Let's be the resistance and let's be the light in the darkness.
Profanity: 7 (For crudeness. Not actual profanity)
Magic: 5 (Witchcraft)
Age: 18+ (But we'd recommend not at all)
Level: 4 (the plot isn't too complex)