I'm of two minds on this one. Firstly, I think it is the obligation of any writer to do their best. I think the power of fine writing far outweighs the power of 'good' writing (good as in morally).
I think God gave us talents and gifts to use wisely and do good with. I asked my brother-in-law, who enjoys writing, if he thinks his work should portray his values and he said no because it's fiction and fantasy. But look at all the good C.S. Lewis has done with his literature because he did incorporate his values in his work.
What are your thoughts. -Gr8Life
A well written author is a well read author and a well read author has a far higher chance of having his background and philosophies investigated by the curious.
Besides that, if we are truly given our talents by God is it not our moral obligation to mold those talents to their greatest potential?
I think restricting one self to only writing books within the moral code that they live by is career-destructive and unrealistic.
No one person, except perhaps Prophets and Apostles and such, can honestly say that they continuously live by their ideologies without flaw. By creating characters that do live their lives without flaw, a writer is doing a great injustice to the reader.
However! I believe there is a balance to be found between the two. No one should forsake what they believe so that they can appeal to the masses.
But you sure as heck can mask it.
The Chronicles of Narnia are a great example of a writer showing what he believes without restricting himself by doing so. I believe that C.S. Lewis understood the balance. He not only understood that good people should make good choices, he understood that good people more often make bad choices.
Most writers who attempt to project their beliefs onto the reader miss this very, very important lesson.
Orson Scott Card said, "a writer should consider religion when building a world or a culture precisely so that does not end up turning all his stories into confessions of his faith."
I firmly believe that C.S. Lewis understood this. His writing shows a conscious attempt at melding his faith into his stories. Most writers who aspire to display their values fail to consciously map out how they are going to do that. The opposite is true as well.
So the choice becomes, do I write because I want to glorify God? Do I write because I want to bring people closer to God? Do I write because I enjoy writing and want others to enjoy my worlds?
Each one of those choices means you need to take a different approach to writing. Each one of them can still allow you to show your ideals and values, but it's done in an entirely different manner.
For the first, those who want to glorify God--I would suggest writing a non-fiction book. The second of bringing people closer to God needs the time and energy of incorporating your beliefs into what you are writing, as C.S. Lewis did. The third means taking the time to evolve a set of moral standards within your creation to mask your own faith.
I think a great writer can show truth without burying the reader in doctrine.
"Time wears grief like a riverstone. The weight will always be there, but it'll stop scraping you raw at the slightest touch."To truly have a discussion about the ins and outs of morality in literature it's important to make the distinction between these three types.
"Killing is a lot messier than you'd think, and the mess doesn't end with burying the corpses. I speak from experience."
I, myself, like all three types for their various reasons but am more inclined to be of the third. I like writing a good story from my imagination but I think it ought to not go so far as to be abhorrent and distasteful.
So, how that answers your question, I'm not sure... but that's how I feel about it. :)
What do you think?