It’s a tough question. Christians (writers especially) are supposed to be a light to the world. However, this gets hard when writing. Of course the character is going to go through some difficult things (if not you should probably reevaluate your story.) But the question is, how dark is to dark? And what exactly consists of dark fiction?
First, what is the definition of dark? The dictionary defines darkness as the partial or total absence of light.
Darkness is the absence of light. There is nothing there, it’s cold, scary, and gloomy. As Christians, we’re told to think about “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
But if we can’t see the dark, if we think we’re just good people, that’s worse. Apathy killed more men than violence ever did. We can’t see the wonder of the light without the dark.
Ted Dekker, famous Christian thriller author says “There’s a reason we are drawn to the light. A reason why we fear darkness. It’s important to be terrified and unnerved about certain things. That way we will choose another path. The path that leads us to truth and love.”
How much is too much? Yeah, you might say, I know darkness is out there, but we’re not supposed to dwell on it.
I would reply yes. Yes, we’re not supposed to dwell on evilness. We’re not supposed to go into detail about things that should be hidden. However, we are called to expose the darkness, and to shine our lights. That can be done by alluding, or even showing in some instances.
Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
The Bible has darkness in it. There is murder, adultery, and a lot of other horrible things. The problem is when we portray the darkness as good. Light always overcomes dark, eventually.
John 1:4-5 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Someone once asked me why I have dark things in my writing. I thought about it, and this is what I said. I write dark things not to glorify them, but to show them for what they are. I like to have some darkness in my stories to show that even the darkest hearts can be forgiven. Without the darkness, we can’t really appreciate the light as much. Just because I write dark things doesn’t mean I approve of them, rather, I strive to show them for what they are.
What are your thoughts on darkness in Christian writing?