Re: Fwd: Burning Books for Witchcraft
- The Bible only proscribes seeking knowledge outside of the path laid
down by God. It's an act of rebellion (a sin, usually punishable by
death under the Mosaic Law) against God to seek direction or wisdom
from an unGodly source. Mediums, sorcerors, witches, et. al., are
usually portrayed in the Bible as deriving their power from spirits
other than God.
The Biblical point of view has often been distorted through the
centuries, of course. Many Pagans/Wiccans rail against Biblical
proscriptions against their practices. "We're not evil", they say.
But, from the Bible's point of view, if you're not looking to God for
direction, you're rejecting him, and rejecting God is evil (or, at
the very least, not good).
Where Christians have fallen off the Biblical track regarding Harry
Potter, the Narnia books, and even in some cases Tolkien, is that
they have confused any use of the word "magic" with a reliance upon
some spirit other than God. Tolkien's use of the word was based on
linguistic principle, not vulgar conceptions. All the good
characters in Tolkien who use "magic" are, in fact, using a God-given
native ability, which he usually called a sub-creational faculty.
The kids in Harry Potter all appear to be using native abilities,
too. They are born with their abilities, and by implication those
abilities are given to them by God (because only God can grant such
The Mosaic Law was pretty stringent about requiring people to stay in
line. The Israelites had, of course, settled among tribes and
nations who did not worship God (or, the God of the Bible). People
question whether God should or needs to be jealous. I think that
gets into long convoluted arguments about how much evil God obligates
himself to tolerate. But many (if not most) Fundamentalist
Christians have managed to ignore the New Testament's stipulation
that we are no longer subject to the Law of God, but rather to the
Spirit. "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. I will repay". We're
pretty much expected not to be running around and drowning witches.
Regrettably, that part of the Bible hasn't been understood for about
2,000 years, give or take a few generations.
As far as the fantasy books go, it might be reasonably argued that
reading such literature detracts from learning about God, but even
the New Testament authors admonished their peers to be open to the
truth and tolerance. Education is as important to the Christian mind
as to any other mind. But Christian Fundamentalism seems to have
missed the whole point of the Bible.
It's very sadly ironic.
- My housemate, a paramedic, says two buddies of hers have gotten seriously
into the Left Behind series. One is a born-again Christian who looks on
this like a script from the Bible, and the other is a sci-fi freak who says
its great fantasy stuff. She also says the two are so different in every
way that she's almost tempted to read the book just to see what it is they
could agree on!
P.S. She *has* read the Red Tent and highly recommends it as probably the
best book she's read since high school (many thousands of books ago!)
From: ERATRIANO@... <ERATRIANO@...>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Friday, February 15, 2002 3:17 PM
Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Trying that forward again!
><< Both the idea that the gathering darkness in the Harry Potter books willgranted.
> them more offensive to book-burners and the idea that it will make it more
> acceptable presuppose that said book-burners read the books or pay close
> attention to the comments of those who do. I wouldn't take that for
>Oh guilty here... I am leery of the very idea of the Left Behind books...
>haven't read any. "We're saved and you're not, neener neener neener."
>The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
>Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
- From: <ERATRIANO@...>
> Oh guilty here... I am leery of the very idea of the Left Behind books...
> haven't read any. "We're saved and you're not, neener neener neener."I've read a few of the Left Behind books, and they really don't have that
attitude. The whole point is that these are people who were left behind
because, at the time, they thought those who were taken were religious nuts.
The heroes of the books all convert afterwards so they understand the
resistance that many have to Christianity, having had that so recently
On the other hand, I wouldn't really recommend these books unless you want
brain candy. They're almost all dialogue and action. They read very fast
but they're not well-written. It's like reading a movie.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2002 11:09 AM
Subject: [mythsoc] Trying that forward again!
>A good friend of mine, the principal of a charter school in Newark, NJ, was
baffled by an evangelical mother's objection to including _The Lion, the
Witch, and the Wardrobe_ on the syllabus, on the grounds that it was satanic
because it included a witch.
This happened in a small town in western Nebraska a few years back, when the school was going to put on "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" as a play. I remember commenting at that time that: 1) sometimes it's obvious that people haven't read the book they're talking about; and 2) it should have been the *non-Christians* doing the complaining (although, admittedly, there's often a shortage of non-Christians in small ranching communities).
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