Wednesday, August 3, 2011

2 things part 2

My friend Abigail's husband, Taylor, has made what I think are a couple of very good points with regard to the nature of fantasy magic.  Here is part of his response to my last post after edit 2.

"First, a one to one comparison with fantasy novel "magic" to Biblical sorcery probably isn't possible. Sorcery in the Bible, as far as I'm aware, almost always involves some kind of evil spiritual forces or the Devil himself. This is almost never the case in fantasy novels.

Probably a good question to ask is: "why is sorcery wrong?". I don't really hear people interacting with this question much. It isn't because it's "super-natural". Otherwise, all miracles would be wrong, even those for a good purpose. In the Bible, sorcery is wrong because it relies on forces that are anti-God, and are used for purposes that are anti-God. This is very different from the magic in fantasy novels such as Narnia or LOTR. In fantasies, magic is simply part of the universe these characters live in, just like gravity is part of ours. Gandalf, Harry, and Narnians all use "magic" to fight evil. They don't draw their power through some kind of evil spirit, or Devil-type being. So, in that sense, it's nothing like the sorcery that is condemned in the Bible. The only thing they have in common is that they are super-natural, but, as I pointed out, that doesn't disqualify something as wrong."

His thoughts tied together some of what I was coming to. When I looked at the OT discussion of sorcery it is as I pointed out below has to do with demonic forces and the occult.  Fantasy isn't [necessarily] the occult. It is not like our world.

Still I think things could go both ways.  Arguments could be made on my last question about making what is inherently evil into good and I'm sure other things that are over my head &/or beyond my untrained mind. The more I think of it the more I find that...

"...building on a broad Biblical principle, Paul's words about eating meat sacrificed to idols may be somewhat applicable. Paul states in Romans that there is nothing inherently wrong with eating meat sacrificed to false gods. The gods aren't real. It's just meat. But, he also says, if eating the meat causes you to have some kind of wrong conception about the one, true God, you shouldn't eat it. So, in this case, the books are just fantasies. Some of them don't even take place on Earth. The world these people live in isn't our world. If someone can read these books and walk away knowing it's just a fantasy story, that's great. There is no Harry Potter, just like there are no false gods. However, if someone can't read a fantasy novel in that manner, they probably shouldn't read them. One certainly shouldn't be obsessed with them."

All things are lawful but are they good for you?

Sorry for the terrible flow of these two posts. Not that that is really all that new of a thing. lol

7 comments:

  1. Question: In the stories of Chronicles and LOR or Harry Potter where does it say their "magical powers" or "supernaturality" (if that is a word) come from? I believe that if doesn't distinctively say that it comes from God then it is sorcery. And even sometimes people or demons can claim to have supernatural power that comes from God and guess what? It does not.
    Also, Bekah mentioned earlier about Christian Liberty. The whole lawful thing. Christian Liberty is God giving you the freedom/power to do what is right...not whatever you want. So it really just depends on your perception of the scriptures. Garrison made a good point the other day. If we say that we can read or watch things like sorcery or magic (which the Bible speaks against) and just say I will watch with discretion. Then he could watch Sex and the City with discretion. (he wouldn't really just making a point) The Bible does speak against adultery and all that junk, but guess what it also speaks against having anything to do with sorcery or magic. Which would be super-natural power that doesn't come from God. Hope this all made sense.

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  2. Plus (sorry this keeps getting so long) the Bible specifically speaks against Wizards. And I do believe there are Wizards in LOR. So you can't say well one is doing supernatural stuff that is clean and one isn't. So one is good and one isn't. Cause the Bible does speak againts Wizards. Does that make sense?

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  3. But if is a world without God as He is defined in Scripture- as fantasy novels are- then his argument stands.

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  4. I don't think I quite understand what Anonymous is saying

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  5. If it is a "world" without God. Then the super-natural in that world is definitely not a good thing. Why would a christian want to read or watch something that has the super-natural without God? Did I misunderstand

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  6. The Bible is a source of all truth. If you want to make a world where there is no God then I definitely believe that u are creating a world under Satan's reign.
    Also reading sorcery is not a personal decision. I mean. It's not something that you can just decide is fine for you on your own. As Christians there is nothing (not even normal day things) that WE should just determine is ok for us. It is scripture that we look too. Plus as Christians why would we want to be involved with something that is just ok? And scripture speaks against witchcraft, sorcery, and even being wise in your own eyes. Which would go under deciding on your own that something is fine for you.

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  7. Correction. The Bible is THE source of all truth.

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