Fantasy and Faith

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I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Psalm 101:3
 
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Glomung

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I am very glad that Evangelicals will never be in a position of political power.
The tyranny of good intentions that would follow would be just as hard to live under as the Nazis.
Everything not conforming to their prejudiced and narrow view of reality would be banned.
C.S. Lewis spoke of this also.

Case in point:
The Puritans did not ban bear baiting because of their concern for bears,
they banned it because they could not stand to see anyone enjoy themselves.
 
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Do you know how many people I watched turn away from God over this very debate growing up? Not because they wanted to practice magic, but because the internet was new and what I essentially consider entertainment wars were going down?

Do you really think God prefers his children to turn away from Him in despair due to messages of others condemning them, rather than having them continue to look to Him despite their potential error in judgement? So long as they are looking to Him, there is hope that if He truly does care about this issue that he can impress this upon their hearts--once you lose people over (what are, ultimately) smaller things like books and TV, you don't get the chance to help them grow in bigger things like loving one another and not judging people and (most importantly, and a life long process--not some overnight miracle!) loving God Himself.

Do you know how many people turn from Christianity because they think stuff like "Eep! No way I'd ever be that. The Minute You Become That you have to give up this, and this, and this, and this, and this...."

Two things:

1. We aren't necessarily suppose to change everything about ourselves in an instance. That's an act, not a true and honest growth of character. If we do things "because someone / something" told us so rather than out of conviction of the Holy Spirit and of a willing heart, do you really think God won't know the difference?

2. The things we do ultimately change about our lives are not merely a change that we make on our own. Nor are they (if genuine) or should they be (at all) due to pressure of someone else's interpretation of what something means. The only reason any of us are even capable of having a snowball's chance of changing anything in our lives is because we get help from the Holy Spirit in doing so. Do you not think God will know whether we worked with the Spirit? What our intentions were in each and every thing we did during every waking moment of our lives? (I mean c'mon, you just know he's gotta have the spiritual equivalent of a DVR going on all of us, right? *laughs*)

Now... The OP definitely invited us to share our opinions with them in regard to this issue, so there is no one judging out of turn here. However, this is one of those areas that can be so personal to an individual that getting lambasted with "This or Else!" reactions can be more likely to make someone stumble or pull someone further away from what the OP might be writing ever could.

In short I would rather see someone say:

"I am a Christian who watches Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and writes fantasy."

Then to have someone say:

"I could never be a Christian because I watch Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and write fantasy."

I know this because I have been there. Even when I started searching several weeks ago my boyfriend (who is 1000% not Christian) had the second statement as his immediate remark to my even having interest in this.

So here is what *I* will say to the OP:

Keep writing your book. Do what you feel is true in your heart and what you are being guided to do here and now. If people read your book, we have an awesome, loving God who will without doubt use it to do his work, because he can use anything. As you continue with your journey as a Christian, continue to pay this type of reverence and respect to the Lord in regard to your writing, regardless of genre. You are a child of the Author of Life--make Him proud.

There may come a day when my heart will be turned away from the topics discussed above. I am definitely aware of the controversy and I definitely do need to read the various sections of the Bible that might connect to them.

But if we are really going to go hardcore on all of this we wouldn't be reading stuff, or watching TV, or buying lattes or any of that anyway. We would be serving the needy, studying and / or spreading the word of God, working to correct the wrongs that have been done to this planet (since we were originally put here, in part, to care for it), visiting those who are in prison, giving everything but the absolute basics needed to survive to the poor, etc. You ready to really, truly die? If not literally then to completely abandon yourself and solely serve God? To give yourself up in absolute and utter entirety? Didn't think so. We all have a long way to go, guys. And we all take different paths to get there.

But I would encourage us all to be careful that we don't cause someone else to give up faith completely because their path doesn't happen to match our own.

I'm sorry if I've come across really harsh here, but this is something I've been struggling with myself. I'd rather continue to work at having this sorted out within my own heart and potentially be in error (for a time--my point is that if it is truly wrong I believe it will eventually be made clear to me), than to have people tell me they know I am in error (which if I have not invited them tends to just build walls), to a point where I do not feel able / willing to continue learning and growing.
 
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Leviticus 20:27 - A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood [shall be] upon them.

Leviticus 20:6 - And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people

I spent most of my life up to my eyeballs in LOTR, Star Wars, Alien, and every kind of sci-fi and horror book/movie you can think of.
I say repent, get it and any other Hollywood filth out of your home.
Totally agreed my brother!
 
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Do you know how many people I watched turn away from God over this very debate growing up? Not because they wanted to practice magic, but because the internet was new and what I essentially consider entertainment wars were going down?

Do you really think God prefers his children to turn away from Him in despair due to messages of others condemning them, rather than having them continue to look to Him despite their potential error in judgement? So long as they are looking to Him, there is hope that if He truly does care about this issue that he can impress this upon their hearts--once you lose people over (what are, ultimately) smaller things like books and TV, you don't get the chance to help them grow in bigger things like loving one another and not judging people and (most importantly, and a life long process--not some overnight miracle!) loving God Himself.

Do you know how many people turn from Christianity because they think stuff like "Eep! No way I'd ever be that. The Minute You Become That you have to give up this, and this, and this, and this, and this...."

Two things:

1. We aren't necessarily suppose to change everything about ourselves in an instance. That's an act, not a true and honest growth of character. If we do things "because someone / something" told us so rather than out of conviction of the Holy Spirit and of a willing heart, do you really think God won't know the difference?

2. The things we do ultimately change about our lives are not merely a change that we make on our own. Nor are they (if genuine) or should they be (at all) due to pressure of someone else's interpretation of what something means. The only reason any of us are even capable of having a snowball's chance of changing anything in our lives is because we get help from the Holy Spirit in doing so. Do you not think God will know whether we worked with the Spirit? What our intentions were in each and every thing we did during every waking moment of our lives? (I mean c'mon, you just know he's gotta have the spiritual equivalent of a DVR going on all of us, right? *laughs*)

Now... The OP definitely invited us to share our opinions with them in regard to this issue, so there is no one judging out of turn here. However, this is one of those areas that can be so personal to an individual that getting lambasted with "This or Else!" reactions can be more likely to make someone stumble or pull someone further away from what the OP might be writing ever could.

In short I would rather see someone say:

"I am a Christian who watches Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and writes fantasy."

Then to have someone say:

"I could never be a Christian because I watch Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and write fantasy."

I know this because I have been there. Even when I started searching several weeks ago my boyfriend (who is 1000% not Christian) had the second statement as his immediate remark to my even having interest in this.

So here is what *I* will say to the OP:

Keep writing your book. Do what you feel is true in your heart and what you are being guided to do here and now. If people read your book, we have an awesome, loving God who will without doubt use it to do his work, because he can use anything. As you continue with your journey as a Christian, continue to pay this type of reverence and respect to the Lord in regard to your writing, regardless of genre. You are a child of the Author of Life--make Him proud.

There may come a day when my heart will be turned away from the topics discussed above. I am definitely aware of the controversy and I definitely do need to read the various sections of the Bible that might connect to them.

But if we are really going to go hardcore on all of this we wouldn't be reading stuff, or watching TV, or buying lattes or any of that anyway. We would be serving the needy, studying and / or spreading the word of God, working to correct the wrongs that have been done to this planet (since we were originally put here, in part, to care for it), visiting those who are in prison, giving everything but the absolute basics needed to survive to the poor, etc. You ready to really, truly die? If not literally then to completely abandon yourself and solely serve God? To give yourself up in absolute and utter entirety? Didn't think so. We all have a long way to go, guys. And we all take different paths to get there.

But I would encourage us all to be careful that we don't cause someone else to give up faith completely because their path doesn't happen to match our own.

I'm sorry if I've come across really harsh here, but this is something I've been struggling with myself. I'd rather continue to work at having this sorted out within my own heart and potentially be in error (for a time--my point is that if it is truly wrong I believe it will eventually be made clear to me), than to have people tell me they know I am in error (which if I have not invited them tends to just build walls), to a point where I do not feel able / willing to continue learning and growing.
Fantasy is one thing. Occultism is something else altogether. The more it is accepted the more the deception is.

Of course knowledge is the key. If we do not know that something is Occultist, then we can claim innocence. But when we learn we no longer can do that.

Example.......The Smurfs. Cute. Cuddly, innocent, sweet. No concern at all, right?

Papa Smurf is the most infamous wizard or sorcerer of our day. “Smurf” means “little devil.” Even if cloaked as a cute cartoon, if it’s “white” magic against “black” magic, the Smurfs are 100 percent Occultist. We do not like to here that!!!! It sounds crazy...I know that.

Watch the cartoon. YOU decide. Every time the Smurfs have a problem, they go to Papa Smurf who whips up a spell or recites an incantation to help them out. These are very strong images to the child’s mind. As Christians, we want children to learn to call on the Lord Jesus to help them through problems. In His Word, god tells us to trust Him, and only Him. He tells us not to rely on practices such as witchcraft to solve our problems. Nevertheless, children will not learn Godly principles if they are constantly saturated with images of characters using witchcraft and other occult practices to solve their problems. That is a fact not a preference.
 
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I am very glad that Evangelicals will never be in a position of political power.
The tyranny of good intentions that would follow would be just as hard to live under as the Nazis.
Everything not conforming to their prejudiced and narrow view of reality would be banned.
C.S. Lewis spoke of this also.

Case in point:
The Puritans did not ban bear baiting because of their concern for bears,
they banned it because they could not stand to see anyone enjoy themselves.
I find your comment rather challenging.

How did things work out when the RCC was in a position of political power????

Was there any tyranny involved when they were? Glomung.....do YOU think that the Inquisition proved how Catholicism will react when it has possession of absolute power????
 
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What do I think???? Remember now that YOU asked ME. I must tell you brother that I am real, real old fashioned, even to a fault.
I was and still am to some extent involved in the teaching of "What Cults Are" and "How To Recognize Deception".

IMO humble opinion.......Lord of the rings, Narnia and Harry Potter all speak to and draw attention to "Witchcraft".

I base that on the fact that the first thing a anyone interested in OCCULTISM and or WITCHCRAFT is that there is a “force.”
IT is the same thing that was focused on by George Lucas in the Star Wars movies.

The “force” has two sides and can be controlled by magic spells, words, potions, incantations, rope magic, rings, amulets, and so on. Occultists and Witches believe that there is good witchcraft and bad witchcraft, and the good always triumphs over evil! Witches also teach that battles are fought in the Middle Earth and in the astral plane causing upheavals both above and below. Thus, witches emphasize that good must triumph over evil, but it is all witchcraft.

Many, and I mean many people try to substantiate their feelings on these books and movies by saying that the good magic always trumps the bad so then the good magic must then be GOOD. NO!!!! It is all witchcraft, and the good that these professing Christians are defending is witchcraft which is strictly forbidden in Deuteronomy 18:9-14.

Now then, remember that the number “13” is the coven number in the occult. Do not take my word on this stuff.......look it up!!!!
It is not a secret and is actually very easy to find now that we have the internet. I had to learn the hard and long way.

Back in Dec. 2001, “Focus on the Family” promoted a book in their magazine. The book being promoted is titled, "Finding God in the Lord of the Rings". Guess what the asking price was for that book? $ 13.00!!! Coincidence????

The Lord of the Rings trilogy was the work of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien as most people know, but you may not know this.......... He his writing during the midnight hours, and he worked for 12 years and released his story in the 13th year. Coincidence????

Here is something else interesting. The 1st Lord of the Rings movie was released on December 19, 2001.
The 2nd movie was “The Two Towers” and was released December 18, 2002.
The 3rd one is named “The Return of the King” and was released December 17, 2003.
All 3 were released in sequence.......17-18-19 th. of December. Coincidence????

Actually all three movies were released at the time of the witchcraft sabat of Yule!

As for Narnia........Tolkien, was devout Catholic and converted his colleague C.S. Lewis and they spent much time with each other at the Oxford pub or tavern. They claimed to have “kindred spirits” hence the appearance of like writings and characters.

WHO KNEW?
:) Ok so you have quite a bit to say.

Is it really a surprise to find that the devil has his hand in these? Is there anything he does not have his hand in? The devil is even in church. Some of our teachings can do a million times worse damage to our kids then Pappa smurf.

We need to focus on what exactly angers God. Chasing down the devil in everything is not to be our focus (I know its not yours, I am just saying ^^). We are to discern the evil and effect of whatever we watch or partake in, has on us and our kids. Not chase the devil's tail. God's production of earth and mankind included that devil under the bed / God wanted the devil to be part and parcel of our lives from day 1.

I just want to emphasize that God was highly upset with Jews doing witchcraft. Not pagans. Jews were His people. They knew Him. Jews who did witchcraft were 100% guilty of idolatry and 100% guilty of an even greater sin, which was leading other Jews astray. That is why God ordained they be burnt at the stake.

Andrews work can can be neutral / hardly affect anyone (Star wars) or for God's glory (Narnia). It must not be something that will make God frown (Harry Potter) or get upset (Salem).
 
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Grant Melville

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When I was younger I read the whole Narnia series, the Lord of the Rings books, and all the Harry Potter books. All good fun and very entertaining, but I wouldn't say they were anything more than entertainment. When I read C.S. Lewis's novels, I didn't know they were meant to be Christian. When I was told that he was a Christian and that the stories are meant to be allegorical, it didn't make much difference to me. They were good stories, I enjoyed them for that reason. I never really saw that they had any connection with my faith. I can't think of any work of fiction which really speaks to me in that way. I like Bodie Theone's historical novels, I read her 'Zion' series of books and really enjoyed them, because I'm interested in the period and places in history in which they're set. If I had teenage children, I'd recommend that they read those sort of books, or C.S. Lewis, or the Lord of the Rings, because at least I know there wouldn't be any bad language or anything else gratuitous in them. But in terms of spiritual food, we can only get that in the scriptures, and in teaching which is drawn from the scriptures. Those are the only sure sources for spiritual nourishment. That's not to say that a Christian writer of fiction can't introduce positive moral themes or provoke thoughts about, or discussion of, divine things. But, really, these 'pointers' would direct us to the scriptures, where the real treasure lies.

There seems to be a very loose understanding amongst us (believers, I mean) about what can be done for the glory of God. Strictly speaking, that is Christ alone - imitation (in the right sense) of Him and conformity to Him. The Lord Jesus, when He was here, never made any stirring speeches which have gone down in history for their skilful oratory. He never played a musical instrument. He never painted a picture. He never wrote a book. He never carved a statue. Yet He glorified God (John 17:4) and did always the things that were pleasing to the Father (John 8:29). If we walked with complete consistency in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus (not that we could, being mere creatures) then we would perfectly glorify God. No work of art or imagination could contribute in any way to that glory. If we look to Jesus and see in Him perfection in a Man, then we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that all the art and imagination of humanity pales into insignificance compared with the smallest, feeblest expression of but one single feature of Christ in the believer.
 
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It is also similar to playing a video game like Skyrim. I might play a character who uses magic, but I know it is not real. Would I really use magic in real life? No.

Suppose I play a racing game like need for speed where you can race down a street at 100mph. Would I do this in real life? No.

So why if one thing that we say would be wrong to do in a "fantasy" world and yet something else be acceptable? If you shouldn't do something in a fictional realm does it automatically make it a sin? It would be wrong for me to race down the street at that speed in real life but I don't think majority of people would have an issue with that in a game. But playing a character that uses magic is something I wouldn't do in real life but why is it condemned in a fictional game whereas the racing is not?
There are sins to our fellow man and then there are sins to God.

Speeding would result in an accident which would hurt / kill our fellow man. Sparking people's curiosity with witchcraft is not hurting our fellow man, but rather pulling the middle finger to God. You do have to judge yourself harshly as you are a Christian. But as I have said, this doesn't mean you have to throw the baby out with the bath water.

A teacher in high school use to accuse me of satanism for drawing 'demons' with angels :confused:.
 
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geralduk

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Well obviously not to us. We touch God's reality more and more everyday. But before you knew God as well as you do....what did you think of angels, demons, talking snakes, talking bushes, talking donkeys, dragons and the four horseman of the apocalypse?
It was always true whether I believed it or not.
The world was always round even when the world believed it was flat .
It did not make the world flat nor when men believed the truth did it make it round.
But when they believed not the truth ,their lives were constricted and limited both in mind and geography. For sailors never went further than the sight of land.
it was when they discovered the truth did they scatter to the four winds in exploration and in the same measure mens minds were set free from the dead hand and shackles of false religion.
Who believed in fanatasies and immaculate conceptions and "cunningly devised fables"

Who offered death to any and all who contradicted them.

in Christ
gerald
 
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geralduk

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And I never said it needed fantasy, but if the fantasy/fiction book being wrote successfully communicates a Christian message without undermining biblical standards, what wrong has the author committed?
if men will not accept the message in its purest form .They may well accept the message in a corrupt form.
But what good will it do?
None at all.

One of the largest rivers in France has its source just south of the Ardeche region.
You can drink from its source and its a s pure and sweet and refreshing as any man could wish for .
But with in a hundred feet men have thrown their rubbish in and walked in it and further down they have polluted the water.
Why should you offer that which is not pure?
and why direct men away from the source and to another ?

in Christ
gerald
 

Glomung

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I find your comment rather challenging.

How did things work out when the RCC was in a position of political power????

Was there any tyranny involved when they were? Glomung.....do YOU think that the Inquisition proved how Catholicism will react when it has possession of absolute power????
The Inquisition was a dark period, no question. Though what actually happened then and the common belief about what happened have little in common.
The Protestant reformers weren't shy about the violent use of power either. Calvin himself had blood on his hands.
The question is not whether evil men rise into positions of power in religious institutions. They have and do, both in the RCC and Protestant circles.
The question is whether the type people who see demons under every rock and ban everything they don't understand should ever be allowed to have control over anything.
I grew up around the "don't drink, don't dance, don't play cards Baptists". There has never been a more uptight, judgmental, hypocritical, and still willing to sin in every other way possible, bunch of people on the planet.

BTW there have been Christian govenments that have existed peacefully for centuries, Mt. Athos is a good example.
 
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The Inquisition was a dark period, no question. Though what actually happened then and the common belief about what happened have little in common.
The Protestant reformers weren't shy about the violent use of power either. Calvin himself had blood on his hands.
The question is not whether evil men rise into positions of power in religious institutions. They have and do, both in the RCC and Protestant circles.
The question is whether the type people who see demons under every rock and ban everything they don't understand should ever be allowed to have control over anything.
I grew up around the "don't drink, don't dance, don't play cards Baptists". There has never been a more uptight, judgmental, hypocritical, and still willing to sin in every other way possible, bunch of people on the planet.

BTW there have been Christian govenments that have existed peacefully for centuries, Mt. Athos is a good example.
Then you said............
"There has never been a more uptight, judgmental, hypocritical, and still willing to sin in every other way possible, bunch of people on the planet."

All you did there is describe YOU and ALL the people on this planet. In fact your comments right here, today prove that you are in no better position then any of them because of your judgmental attitude toward them.

If it was not so sad it would be funny trying to believe that you really believe what you just said when in fact your comments would fit any person who is entrenched in his religion including the Catholic person.

I can not help but wonder if what YOU said about Baptists was said about Catholics if our moderators would censure your comment???
 
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It was always true whether I believed it or not.
The world was always round even when the world believed it was flat .
It did not make the world flat nor when men believed the truth did it make it round.
But when they believed not the truth ,their lives were constricted and limited both in mind and geography. For sailors never went further than the sight of land.
it was when they discovered the truth did they scatter to the four winds in exploration and in the same measure mens minds were set free from the dead hand and shackles of false religion.
Who believed in fanatasies and immaculate conceptions and "cunningly devised fables"

Who offered death to any and all who contradicted them.

in Christ
gerald
Wasn't it the Catholic church that demanded the world was flat???
 
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:) Ok so you have quite a bit to say.

Is it really a surprise to find that the devil has his hand in these? Is there anything he does not have his hand in? The devil is even in church. Some of our teachings can do a million times worse damage to our kids then Pappa smurf.

We need to focus on what exactly angers God. Chasing down the devil in everything is not to be our focus (I know its not yours, I am just saying ^^). We are to discern the evil and effect of whatever we watch or partake in, has on us and our kids. Not chase the devil's tail. God's production of earth and mankind included that devil under the bed / God wanted the devil to be part and parcel of our lives from day 1.

I just want to emphasize that God was highly upset with Jews doing witchcraft. Not pagans. Jews were His people. They knew Him. Jews who did witchcraft were 100% guilty of idolatry and 100% guilty of an even greater sin, which was leading other Jews astray. That is why God ordained they be burnt at the stake.

Andrews work can can be neutral / hardly affect anyone (Star wars) or for God's glory (Narnia). It must not be something that will make God frown (Harry Potter) or get upset (Salem).
Agreed!

Lets consider what God has already told us.

Satan is the ruler today. 2 Corinthians 4:4............
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

The phrase “god of this world” (or “god of this age”) indicates that Satan is the major influence on the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of the majority of people. His influence also encompasses the world’s philosophies, education, and commerce. The thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions of the world are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions. God is still sovereign. But it does mean that God, in His infinite wisdom, has allowed Satan to operate in this world within the boundaries God has set for him.

1 Sam. 15:23........
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."

From Matthew Henry.......
" Repentance in God is not a change of mind, as it is in us, but a change of method. The change was in Saul; He is turned back from following me. Hereby he made God his enemy. Samuel spent a whole night in pleading for Saul. The rejection of sinners is the grief of believers: God delights not in their death, nor should we. Saul boasts to Samuel of his obedience. Thus sinners think, by justifying themselves, to escape being judged of the Lord. The noise the cattle made, like the rust of the silver, Jas 5:3, witnessed against him. Many boast of obedience to the command of God; but what means then their indulgence of the flesh, their love of the world, their angry and unkind spirit, and their neglect of holy duties, which witness against them? See of what evil covetousness is the root; and see what is the sinfulness of sin, and notice that in it which above any thing else makes it evil in the sight of the Lord; it is disobedience".
 
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The Inquisition was a dark period, no question. Though what actually happened then and the common belief about what happened have little in common.
Yes the inquisition is a very interesting study. When I first studied it I was shocked to find that only a few thousand (I recall the number being 3500 or so) were executed over several centuries.

Then the expulsion of the Jews in 1392 is interesting. Henry resented them for helping Peter. Expelling them and murdering many in the process was done in the name of the Catholic church. Henry was bankrupt and carrying out a personal vendetta. This was the rocky start to the Spanish inquisition.

It could be argued that the Catholic church ironically prevented religious genocide.
 
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I grew up around the "don't drink, don't dance, don't play cards Baptists". There has never been a more uptight, judgmental, hypocritical, and still willing to sin in every other way possible, bunch of people on the planet.
Its human / carnal nature to want to rebel against such. It is not the churches fault. It is the responsibility of the elders to set good precedents and discourage carnality.

I believe that ''the idea of judgmental Christians'' is mostly in the mind of the sinner. A Christian who love Jesus and the truth welcomes judgment and rebuke with open arms. It is always easier to not care and be a people pleaser.
 
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