Okay. Now fiction:
I was thinking how “writing about wickedness” would be very closely related to this present thread, “Reading about wickedness.” Speaking to nonfiction for a second, if you were to play amateur historian regarding the atrocities committed by Dahmer, then your recording of history would have to be very surface level. To be a detailed, meticulous historian regarding various kinds of murderers would cross the line into setting something wicked before your eyes (Psalm 101:3). It seems that in the matter of research or reading nonfictional material, if you have to set a wicked thing before your eyes, then you ought to forget doing the research. For example, if a Christian were to wade through pornographic or murderous excrement, not for any pleasure to be experienced, but as a “professional duty” as a researcher, historian or whatever; then he would be violating certain principles in Scripture. The fact that a researcher may have “blood like ice” does not justify reading the wickedness of nonfiction pornographic material in the name of “research” or “journalism.”
A little sidetrack there on nonfiction. Back to fiction. Pornographic fiction is a Biblical no-brainer. It is condemned in the 7th commandment, Hebrews 13:4, Proverbs 5:16, and many other passages in the Bible. This kind of smut fiction glories in its desecration and defilement of the marriage bed. It seeks to make sexual immorality entertaining and exciting. I think of Romans 1:32 AND Romans 2:19-22 when I think of the irreligious and certain professing Christians who SAY they hate certain kinds of wickedness, while simultaneously and vicariously enjoying and taking pleasure in this wickedness through the medium of movies, t.v. shows, fantasy, video games, books (novels), etc.
But what of Song of Solomon? Many say that this book is an allegory of Christ and the Church that uses sexual imagery. In my days of irreligion and unconcern I virtually nothing secular that had sexual imagery. If a Christian sins while reading any part of the Bible — or Song of Solomon — then the fault is not the Bibles. We are admonished to read His Word for instruction and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). And elsewhere in the Scripture, we are told:
“For whatever things were written before were written for our instruction, that through patience and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
The Song of Solomon does NOT record sin; I mention it in order to contrast it with extra-Biblical fiction that would use similar imagery. Many atheist and agnostic types say that Song of Solomon is quite erotic and graphic and therefore “evil.” By what standard do they judge anything “evil”, is my question to them. Anyway, comparing Scripture with Scripture, the Song of Solomon does not violate such passages as Hebrews 13:4 and Proverbs 5:16. If we were to write or preach on Song of Solomon we must give the all important context, lest someone misconstrues us as endorsing sexual sin.
This is not fiction here, but it was the only verse that came to my mind when thinking of Marc’s comment about “fiction that portrays wickedness in order to expose it rather than glorify it.”
“Behold, I am against you, declares Jehovah of Hosts, and I will uncover your skirts over your face, and I will cause the nations to see your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame. And I will cast filth on you and will disgrace you. And I will set you as a spectacle” (Nahum 3:5-6).
Now IF there are any extra-Biblical fiction works out there that do something akin to what Nahum 3:5-6 does then MAYBE it would be alright to read without setting wicked things before our eyes, violating various commandments, general Scriptural principles, etc. Obviously, this cannot be done literally in a movie or in a magazine with pictures without casting filth and shame on oneself. It probably could be done if you wrote a fictional dialogue between a Christian and a promiscuous woman that was not too detailed but had the Christian exposing her sin in order to show her that she cannot meet up to God’s perfect standard before presenting to her One who did meet that standard on behalf of His people.