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Old 11-15-2008, 05:02 PM
Steve Schwenke
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Does the Bible's condemnation of witchcraft, necromancy, etc. have a valid application in today's society?
I am fully aware of occultic activity, the Wiccans, and all their "friends" including Masonry, etc.
But how about Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy?
What about "THe Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe"?
What about "Star Wars" and its use of "The Force"?
What about Harry Potter?

Are these appropriate reading/viewing materials for Bible-Believing Christians?
Is it "fair" to label these as "magic"?

I am curious to know what the folks think about the latter four, since they are so prevalent in today's society. I have my views, but I would like to hear some of yours first, if y'all don't mind!

Thanks in advance,
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Schwenke View Post
Does the Bible's condemnation of witchcraft, necromancy, etc. have a valid application in today's society?
I am fully aware of occultic activity, the Wiccans, and all their "friends" including Masonry, etc.
But how about Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy?
What about "THe Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe"?
What about "Star Wars" and its use of "The Force"?
What about Harry Potter?

Are these appropriate reading/viewing materials for Bible-Believing Christians?
Is it "fair" to label these as "magic"?

I am curious to know what the folks think about the latter four, since they are so prevalent in today's society. I have my views, but I would like to hear some of yours first, if y'all don't mind!

Thanks in advance,
My view is this: Christians have a certain degree of liberty in regards to the things they participate in. BUT that being said, the thing to keep in mind when deciding whether something is a healthy Christian activity or not is forseeing the consequences endorsing an activity might have on the weak in faith. What kind of message do we want to convey to children by endorsing books/movies that make witchcraft look like fun etc? Do we really want our children running around pretending to be little Hermione Grangers and Harry Potters casting spells on eachother? Do we want that childhood memory to stay with them when they get older and hear about real witchcraft, and are exposed to the seduction it has? Everything has a consequence, and everything we endorse sets a precedent in the eyes of young people and young Christians.

For Jesus' sake,
Stephen
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:13 PM
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Kiwi Christian Kiwi Christian is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Schwenke View Post
Does the Bible's condemnation of witchcraft, necromancy, etc. have a valid application in today's society?
Yes, I believe it does. It is a portal to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and if you open yourself up to it the god of this world will blind your mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Schwenke View Post
Are these appropriate reading/viewing materials for Bible-Believing Christians?
Is it "fair" to label these as "magic"?
I think it's fair to label them as such, yes. They are not appropriate for any Christian, young or mature in the faith. The subtlety which Satan uses in these stories is so crafty that even the mature Christian can be deceived by it. Best policy for the Christian, just like with alcohol, is to abstain from it, IMO.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:21 PM
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Forrest Forrest is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Schwenke View Post
Does the Bible's condemnation of witchcraft, necromancy, etc. have a valid application in today's society? I am fully aware of occultic activity, the Wiccans, and all their "friends" including Masonry, etc.

But how about Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy?
What about "THe Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe"?
What about "Star Wars" and its use of "The Force"?
What about Harry Potter?

Are these appropriate reading/viewing materials for Bible-Believing Christians?
Is it "fair" to label these as "magic"?

I am curious to know what the folks think about the latter four, since they are so prevalent in today's society. I have my views, but I would like to hear some of yours first, if y'all don't mind!

Thanks in advance,
Hello Brother Steve (from a fellow Texan down in Houston). This is a great question. And one that will surely "label" those who give an answer. I hope no one holds my particular view and answer against me.

Quote:
Are these appropriate reading/viewing materials for Bible-Believing Christians? Is it "fair" to label these as "magic"?
Personally, I do not think it's "fair" to label them as "magic" or "necromancy." But that's only my opinion concerning "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings." I have not seen/read the others you referenced. However, I do think the Holy Scriptures always have an application for us today.

I guess the key word for me is really discernment. In saying that, I support the truth that it's always wise for us to:
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
That's pretty broad, I know, but the Holy Spirit will guide us through the word. Do I always avoid all appearances of evil? No, I do not. And I do not (at least try not) to "label" those who decide to read/view the materials you referenced. I cannot be their Holy Spirit.
  #5  
Old 11-15-2008, 06:42 PM
Jeremy Jeremy is offline
 
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Hebrews 13 v8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. 9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.

God hasn't changed,therefore what is said about witchcraft is still a valid application. Satan influences us with visuals, in order to get us to sin. God gave us free will,we can either act on those thoughts and sin, or let them go and obey Him. Watching can also be a stumbling block to others,but,so could the music we listen,Television Shows or even the way we conduct ourselves on a daily basis.

Romans 14 v13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:17 PM
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If a book/movie glorifies Satan, then I would say not to read it/watch it.

Personally, I rarely watch movies, but when I do, I am choosy about what I put before my eyes. I avoid movies that have a lot of profane language, or sex scenes.

And if a book/movie (or even music!) gets between me and my Lord, then I put it away from me. For that reason, I no longer listen to rock and roll.

I recently re-read The Lord of the Rings, and enjoyed it. It did not pull me away from my Bible, or lessen my worship of the Lord, so I would read it again, perhaps. Other books I used to love to read I have thrown away, because of the content: an anti-Christian bias.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:37 PM
Traditional Anglican Traditional Anglican is offline
 
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Whatever does not come from faith is sin. I have a background in English Lit. so, I have read Lewis and Tolkien, I just take it with a grain of salt. I take is fiction, plain and simple. Blessings.
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:39 AM
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If you study magic out in the Bible, the supernatural power which is forbidden is that which is derived from demonic forces or Satan. Obviously, God doesn't operate through spells and potions, but through Divine Power, so the real-world application of "magic" is ungodly and unbiblical and should be eschewed by Christians with all vehemence.

On the other hand, however, the fantasy world is rather far removed from reality. In Lewis' "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe," for example, magic is similar to "the Force" in Star Wars; not a spiritual power, but one harnessed by those spiritual powers (or human) for good or evil. Obviously this is not even remotely close to necromancy (zombies) or sorcery (witch at Endor) which is forbidden in the Bible; the fantasy "magics" are many times simply a force like electricity: useful and able to be harnessed for human use. In Lewis' books, the "Deep Magic" was similar, in his allegorical works, to the Law of God, in my opinion. A traitor, according to the law, was to be killed, but the "Deep Magic" allowed that a perfect substitute could willingly give his life for that of the traitor, and the power of evil would be broken.

Now Lewis was far from a sound theologian, and many of his books are allegorically groundless, but in this example (and the astounding last-days prophecy in "The Last Battle for Narnia") the "magic" was simply a way for him to express the allegorical power of God, or perhaps the Law, to children who would read his books.

I think it is the same with Lord of the Rings: there are good "wizards" and there are bad "wizards"; these characters use powers that are more similar to what could be called sorcery, but these powers are more like elemental or residual forces, not spirits and devils.

Calling "the Force" witchcraft is rather comical to anyone who is really acquainted with the Star Wars saga. Yes, it shares a lot of similarities with New Age "life force" ideology, and perhaps is even derived from that, but there is little in Star Wars that could be likened to Biblical witchcraft.

Harry Potter? Dumb question. That's sorcery right out of Deuteronomy. I watched the first movie and part of the second, simply out of curiosity (and to know what they were about), and I must say (apart from the deplorable acting and stupid story lines) that Hogwarts (and their homosexual headmaster) is nothing but a tool to integrate demonic powers and ungodly spirituality into young children. Any Christian that allows their children to watch that trash is an idiot; if a mature Christian wishes to watch them to better discuss them with someone who is deceived by it, then that's between you and God. I'm not going to tell you what you can and can't do.

Now I'm not saying that any of the above-mentioned materials are "wholesome" other than for pure literary value (except Harry Potter!!). I would have no problem with my 8-10 year-old children reading The Chronicles of Narnia and perhaps my 12-14 year-olds reading The Lord of the Rings, but again it's for literary value alone. However, that's at the parents' discretion, and between them (or you) and the Lord. I don't deign to tell people what is right and wrong (other than what is clearly spelled out in Scripture), as should no one, so if you think that any of the books or movies above are wrong, then by all means avoid them. I simply wish to explain my viewpoint and why I don't think that Christians' most maligned series are bad.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:10 AM
aussiemama
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Here's my take on this topic:

Does the Bible's condemnation of witchcraft, necromancy, etc. have a valid application in today's society? Yes, definitely.

I am fully aware of occultic activity, the Wiccans, and all their "friends" including Masonry, etc.

But how about Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy? My belief is that this is wicked and we should stay far away from it. There is no such thing as a "good" wizard, and so this is deception.

What about "THe Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe"? I don't believe CS Lewis was a Christian, and I don't believe this to be good literature. I believe we should stay as far away from the evils of witchcraft as possible instead of trying to see how close we can get to a line without going over it.

What about "Star Wars" and its use of "The Force"? This too, in my belief, is wickedness.

What about Harry Potter? Ugh, no! Very wicked stuff here.

Are these appropriate reading/viewing materials for Bible-Believing Christians? I don't believe that Christians ought to watch or read these sorts of things, but unfortunately the only one my husband agrees with me on is Harry Potter, which makes me sad because it means my kids will be involved in witchcraft with their father's consent.

Is it "fair" to label these as "magic"? Yes, definitely, as that is what they are.

To be honest, it has always baffled me as to why any Christian would consider any of these things to be acceptable. I used to be involved in such things as witchcraft and satanism and know the damage it can cause, which is why I am so worried when others don't see the wickedness with these kinds of "fantasy" stories. I'm even uncomfortable with fantasy as a genre.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:29 PM
Steve Schwenke
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I must agree with Aussiemama.
Jesus and Paul warned us that "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." What Christians view as harmless, the devil views as a tool to gain access into the lives of believers. Many Christians - even fundamentalists, and yes even some KJVO folks - have accepted Harry Potter. How can this be? Well, it started way back there with Dorothy and "Glenda the Good Witch of the NOrth." Folks, there is no such thing as a "good witch."
There is no written record anywhere of CS Lewis' conversion. I doubt his salvation myself. While some may excuse his use of witchcraft as an allegory, I find no scriptural precedent for such use. Jesus Christ spoke in many parables, but He never used an evil means to parallel something GOOD. Witchcraft is evil - all forms of it are to be avoided.
The same is true for Tolkien.
We might as well throw Walt Disney in this as well, since all of those sweet little innocent childrens stories are all steeped in witchcraft - with very few exceptions. Even the ones without apparent references (ie fairy godmothers, etc.) have at least verbal references to magic.
Necromancy deals with a suppossed ability to communicate with the dead. In answer to my own question about STar Wars and "the Force" it is indeed a form of witchcraft. Actually the entire Jedi order is nothing more than a different term for the Far Eastern mystical religions. But the ability to levitate, move things, etc are all "magical" powers, so I think it does fall into this broad category, even though it isn't "traditional" magic (ie witches, sorcerers, potions, spells, etc.) Actually, I think it is a little bit closer to reality than the other fictional works.

I believe these are used to introduce ideas and philosophies that are contrary to Scripture. They are subtle, and hard to identify, but the influence is there even if we don't recognize it. Just because it doesn't cause us to jump off the cliff into utter apostacy doesn't mean it has not had a negative affect on us.
Christians allowed Lewis and then Tolkien, so why not Star Wars and Harry Potter? What makes Tolkien acceptable and Potter NOT acceptable? This is an inconsistent position to take.
For me, the danger is that if the wizardry and witchcraft in Tolkien/Lewis is acceptable, then so is the witchcraft and wizardry in many other series of books that promote this sorcery. Terry Brooks wrote several science fiction/fantasy series. THen there is the Dungeon and Dragons stuff also.

It is all the same stuff, and the lure is to sorcery - one small step at a time. It may not get YOU, but what about your children? If you allow Tolkien, they will allow Potter.
THe latest thing now is a series by Mormon author STephanie Meyer. The storyline involves werewolves and vampires. Of course, they don't drink the blood of humans - these are "civilized" vampires. The group of kids that grew up on Potter are eating this series up. That is how the devil works. He throws us something that looks "christian" or allegorical or innocent (think Glenda the "good" witch) and hooks us into something a LITTLE bit more dangerous.

I for one renounce all the hidden things of dishonesty. We are to walk as children of light. Why should we endorse such darkness and evil?
I do not understand the Bible Believers who endorse this stuff.
The arguments advanced in favor of this witchcraft are the exact same arguments I heard from "fundamentalists" who don't believe the KJV is the perfect word of God. It doesn't hold water. Either the Bible is relevant to all cultures and all ages, or it is a dead book that means nothing to us today.
Acts 19 shows us that those converts burned all their curious works.
I think we should follow their steps.

In Christ,
 

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