Dear “Dochas82”, some guy I just met, who once went by the Twitter Handle “Glittery Mob Neelix,”
I liked that, by the way. 🙂
I saw your disappointment in the Tony Jones/Rachel Held Evans fiasco. I saw how you vowed to delete your blog, and vowed never again try to make money off of Christian publishing. I saw you follow through—your blog is, in fact, deleted. I saw your passion, and your desire to genuinely serve people.
Let me encourage you to stop and reconsider eschewing “writing for profit” for a moment.
You’re right that no one should try to fleece the sheep for money. You’re right that Rachel Held Evans showed serious hypocrisy in her dealings with the Jones/McMahon situation. You’re right that everyone who ever creates a product for Christians to consume should be held to a higher standard. The Bible guarantees that God himself will hold anyone who claims to teach others to a higher standard on judgment day.
However, if everyone with Biblical ethics leaves the publishing industry, and refuses to make money off of their writing, then the only people left will be those without Biblical ethics. That leaves both the influence and the money in the hands of people that you don’t trust.
Don’t do that.
You have a voice that God created to be heard. That has real monetary value, and people are willing to pay for it. It’s not sinful or shameful to be compensated for your work. If you help lift others out of darkness, and show them God’s marvelous light, people are happy to pay for an ebook! They’re happy to tell others about it too! “Hey, did you hear about that Glittery Mob Neelix guy? He wrote this book that really helped me see God’s face during a dark time in my life. You should read it.”
I know that many people have different convictions, and I want to honor that. You may have been called by God to offer your work for free. The Apostle Paul certainly was. However, there’s a big difference between acting on a conviction God placed on your heart, and reacting to the sin you see in big-named Christian celebrities. If you want to help the poor, make a lot of money, and give it all away! If you want to write, make sure as many people see your work as possible! But don’t let the failings of Rachel Held Evans and her ilk drive you away from your calling.
Now, “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Jude 1:24 & 25, NIV