Are Books About Wizards and Magic Bad?

Description

Just because a book talks about witchcraft doesn’t sensationalize it. I am more concerned with stuff that makes it sound fun to pursue. Wanting to find power outside of God’s power is not a healthy thing.

Question

Recently, my son picked up a novel about wizards and magic. Is that OK? Is it going to affect him spiritually? I know the Bible says something about witchcraft being evil and things like that, but is that the same as what’s in some of the books that kids read?

Answer

Hello, my friend. You asked a good question.

There’s a couple issues that have come up  in addition to the book, so we’ll handle them one by one.

First of all, the book issue. What is wrong with the book? Hmmm. I don’t know the particular book you are referring to so I can’t talk about specifics. I have read many fantasy novels about wizards and magic in my day so I will talk about the concept in general.

Is magic bad? Are wizard stories bad? Depends on how you look at it.

Real witchcraft is bad and things that lead us toward wanting to find power outside of God’s power is not a healthy thing. The Bible is clear about witchcraft and wizardry in real life.

Now what about stories? Some of the greatest Christian fiction is about wizards and magic. Consider the C.S. Lewis (one of the greatest theologians) and the Narnia series, it’s all about that stuff. Tolkien is a great Christian writer and theologian and he wrote the whole Lord of the Rings and Hobbit storyline using magic and wizards.

That’s why I thought that some churches' reaction to Harry Potter was odd. They condemned one and embraced the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. Weird.

But, notice that just because a book talks about witchcraft doesn’t mean it sensationalizes it.  I am more concerned with Sabrina the Teenage Witch stuff that makes it all cute and fun to pursue, more than I am a bad witch being utilized in a story to talk about the horrors of the occult. I don’t know how the book your child was reading was using the concept. Witchcraft is real and the occult is real. Just talking about it is not a bad thing per se. Making it look like a great idea, making people want to pursue power outside of God is not a good thing. Not framing it in the right context is not a good thing. But just using it in a story isn’t bad.

The second issue is the context of your son’s mind. My girls read some of the Harry Potter stuff since they were firmly planted in the mindset that witchcraft and the magic of Harry Potter were different and that real witchcraft was sinful. I didn’t let them get obsessed by it, nor read a ton of it, but they watched two of the movies with me. Then, it got too dark for the little one to see. I don’t know where your son is in terms of how much this stuff would get a hold of him. I don’t know if it’s merely entertainment to him or if it’s luring to him. It depends on the phase of his life and his personality. I had to stop reading a fantasy novel series when I was 13 because it was too enthralling to me (I wanted to be in that land and reading the book more than in reality interacting with real people). So it really depends on the child and on the situation that they grew up with. Merely telling them that one is bad and the other is OK isn’t sufficient. They need to have a framework in their minds for sorting stuff like that, otherwise it’s a slippery slope.

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