Hey guys! I just want to take a minute and say I've really been enjoying all your comments lately. They seem to have grown in number over the last few weeks, and I find that to be awesome!
The topic of this post deals with my religion, so if you find that offensive, please stop reading now.
So, as I really hope you know, I'm a Christian. This means that I confess I'm a sinner and cannot be in the presence of God on my own. I submit to the Word of the Bible. I believe that Jesus Christ walked on earth, died, and rose again after 3 days, and that it is only by His grace that I could enter heaven. If you have questions about any of this I would suggest reading John, Acts, and Romans, three books in the New Testament of the Bible, or emailing me at sarah.y.faulkner(at)gmail.com.
As you also probably know, I love fantasy. I love to read it, write it, and lately watch it in the form of Merlin on Netflix. Magic has always been a kind of romantic idea to me. I mean, come on. Even when we're little kids we're read stories about fairy godmothers, sleeping curses, and dragons. How could we not fall in love with magic?
But the Bible has some pretty harsh things to say about magic, and for that reason fantasy books such as Harry Potter are often taboo in Christian circles. Some families are fine if their kids read it, some aren't. I have done my fair share of thought when it comes to fantasy and magic in general, and this post is what I've come up with.
If you're wondering, here's a little bit about what the Bible says about magic:
- Leviticus 19:31 ESV
"Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God."
- Deuteronomy 18:10-12 ESV
"There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you."
- Galatians 5:19-23 ESV
"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
And here's what I have to say about those verses in regards to fiction.
1. Breaking Physics in not the problem
In the Bible, Jesus, the son of God but also fully man turns water into wine. He also feeds a crowd of 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and then fills 12 baskets with the left overs. We know that Jesus didn't sin, therefore the problem with magic isn't breaking the laws of physics.
2. Different worlds have different rules
As far as I know, the Bible never says we're the only intelligent life he created. In fact, we know we're not because God also created angels. So yes, on earth the supernatural only happens in two ways. 1) The power is given from God and 2) the power is given from Satan. In Narnia (a series by C.S. Lewis) the magic works this way too. The good power comes from that world's Jesus, Alsan. It isn't spelled out as to where the bad magic comes from, but we get the idea that it's not good. And I'd have a hard time with someone who came to me and told me the Narnia books are sinful. I feel like those books really glorify God. (If you have a problem with this, again, email me.) If you have a world were elves, dwarfs, and dragons exists, who are we to say that what would be supernatural in this world couldn't happen there.
3. Reality is different
Here's the thing about fiction. It is not an actual representation of reality. Some things are different. There are a lot less bathroom breaks in fiction, for one, and also real life doesn't have cliff hanger chapter endings. In my fantasy novels, magic is not given by God or Satan. It is a natural talent that comes with it's own set of rules and restrictions. It isn't inherently good or evil, but can be used either way, depending on who's using it. That's just the way things work in this fictitious world, and that's the way I think of magic working in other books I read too.
For instance, we all know that there is no hidden Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is a made up part of the story. So are the characters. And so is the magic.
So those are my thoughts on magic in regards to Christianity. Basically, as long as it's not glorifying Satan, or saying that good magic come from doing evil things, then it's probably alright. (This post excludes fiction that has the summoning of demons, because that's a whole new ball park in as far as I'm concerned.)
Do you have questions about this post? Feel the same way? Feel differently? Did I change your mind or make you think about something you never had before? Please leave a comment and tell me. Or, if you want, write up a blog post in response. I love reading all the response blog posts that you guys write! It makes my week.
I know this can be a touchy subject, so please remember to be gracious to each other in the comments. The reason I wrote this post was to express my views and start a conversation, not and argument.
Thanks for reading!