Christian Writing Debate Topic: Is magic evil?

Aug 10, 2013
8,900
2,932
I wonder if there is a difference between writing about something and actually doing it. Probably this is splitting hairs, but the Ten Commandments are very specific about committing murder, committing adultery, stealing, and not obeying your parents. While Exodus does not call them sins or say to flee from doing them, they are in plaques and monuments all over this country. Yet we have no trouble writing about them, sometimes very explicitly. What's the difference?
 
Jan 7, 2020
1,920
396
That's a good question. I would say there certainly is a difference. Jesus told parables where the protagonist does sinful things, but it was to make a point or to show character growth (as in the parable of the Prodigal Son). To reach people with stories that touch the heart and are impactful - whether with the Gospel itself or with moral lessons being taught through it - the people need to be realistic and personable and relatable. Perfect characters aren't just unrealistic, they are typically boring. For instance, the perfect way to showcase grace/mercy/forgiveness (all important biblical motifs) is to first have the protagonist sin and struggle with said sin.

Then there is the antagonist. What better way to warn against the sin listed in the Bible than to have the nemesis/enemy/antagonist/rival show the errors of doing that sin?

I would say, though, if what we write glorifies what is wrong, then we are leading our readers astray, and for that WE will be held accountable for it. I would say that is wrong. However, if by our writing we are glorifying God and His high moral standards, then we will be storing our treasures up in heaven, for we will be making an eternal impact on our readers.

I would also say that God judges the heart. Thinking about murder is not wrong. Thinking about what it would be like to murder someone isn't wrong IF it is to get inside the head of an antagonist; however, if we are thinking about murder because we have hatred in our hearts for someone, that is a sin (Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5).

Being tempted to sin also isn't a sin. Even struggling with temptation isn't a sin; however, if we settle or decide upon that temptation without rejecting it, that becomes a sin.
 
May 8, 2022
227
217
Witchcraft is VERY real as I have seen it with my own eyes, and we are told by God to turn from it.

It is no different than if I tell my teenage daughter not to go onto 8th and Nain with my car because the bad kids hang out there.

If she does, me taking the car away is not really the biggest problem. She could get hooked up with the wrong crowd. I love her and want what is best for her.

Whether my daughter gets convicted or not is immaterial, She disobeyed.

The point regarding Peter and the meat too was missed. That point by God was NOT about meat: it was a way of showing Peter that Jesus changed EVERYTHING!!

To me, we have to be very careful or we will end up like the Pharisees. They took Jewish Law, and turned everything into an edge-case, and then staunchly defended their position.
 

Johne

Senior Member
Staff member
Sep 27, 2005
3,613
1,585
Witchcraft is VERY real as I have seen it with my own eyes, and we are told by God to turn from it.
Nod. That much is clear from scripture.

What is also clear is that actual witchcraft has nothing to do with the use of fictional magic. It's just power. In my book, magic is powered by mana, a naturally-occurring substance on that world. It's what you do with it, who you serve that matters. Lewis and Tolkien show that fictional magic is fine in the right hands, and we feel we can't write about it as Christians.
 
May 8, 2022
227
217
I fully understand the conviction part.

I wrote my first novel and my wife did not think it was appropriate because the main character was unwed and pregnant with child.

I tried to change it, but THAT was the storyline and just was not the same.

After she left, I published it.

It has since out the gospel message in the hands of a lot of secular readers.

?????
 

Johne

Senior Member
Staff member
Sep 27, 2005
3,613
1,585
I wrote my first novel and my wife did not think it was appropriate because the main character was unwed and pregnant with child.
(Such people do exist and have real spiritual needs and character growth.)
After she left, I published it.
[So sorry for your loss. I don't know the story (and don't need to) but I wanted you to know I read this and felt immediate empathy for the wrenching 'torn asunder' realizations of such a situation, and I see you, and I prayed for you.]
 
Oct 2, 2022
199
130
To me, this is a conviction case.

A perfect example of a case of conviction is when Paul says that eating food offered to idols is okay. This is something may pharisees of our day would balk at! Idol worship is Clearly and Blatantly wrong. Food offered to idols were thought to be therefore blessed by those little 'g' gods and were sold in the marketplace very very cheap (the cheapest meat you could get, typically). And then the proceeds went to support the temple of whatever little 'g' god that blessed it. Therefore, by purchasing that meat, you were in very clear ways (as far as the way most Christians see things) supporting the temple of that little 'g' god. But the thing is, you didn't have to be an adherent to that particular temple to purchase that meat. In that culture, most everyone purchased that meat, even if they didn't worship at that temple.

Paul, the apostle, said that meat offered to idols was nothing. There was no 'blessing' because there was only One God. Therefore there was nothing wrong with the meat to keep a Christian from purchasing or eating said meat. Now, he also said that we should keep our weaker brothers in the faith from stumbling, and that if it meant saving a life, he would stop eating meat altogether. However, Paul made clear that the issue was one of conviction, not of morality.

I take my glasses off when I pray as a sign of respect and a point of conviction. That does not mean someone else is in the wrong if they do not. It was a personal choice of mine. I also don't drink alcohol; however, I do not see those who do drink alcohol as wrong. Getting drunk is wrong, but drinking alcohol is not. Even Jesus drank alcohol and was even falsely accused of being a drunkard. Card games can lead to the sin of gambling, but card games in and of themselves are not wrong or evil.

To limit ourselves unnecessarily is the same mistake the pharisees made when they created stricter laws than what was required to make sure the people of Israel never strayed from God's word. They had good motives at first, but it ended up being all about the rules and there was no relationship.

God desires relationship above and beyond the following of the rote rules. He says as much in Hosea 6:6 - For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.

This is HUGE, for in the time of Hosea, sacrifice and burnt offerings was THE WAY to get right with God when you had sinned. But God made clear, he wanted relationship more than he wanted those things.

In this topic, it is a matter of conviction, and what matters most is the condition of our heart, not whether we stand two feet from "the line" or two miles from "the line"

Jesus was called a drunkard, but was also criticized for hanging out with prostitutes and tax-collectors. Today, lost of Christians would also criticize anyone who hung out with prostitutes and corrupt politicians ( loosely translated to todays version of tax-collectors). However, Jesus answered them 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.'

If by getting 'close to the line', one can reach the unbeliever in ways that no one else can, then like Paul, I will become all things to all people so that Christ may be known and glorified.

and God said to flee from the devil and flee from evil. He did not say flee from anything that could possibly lead someone away. If that was the case, we would have to flee from food for it can lead to gluttony, flee from romance, family and friendship for it can lead you to putting someone else in front of God in your life, flee from all possessions for it can lead to jealousy and idolatry, etc.

It is true that if something leads us to sin, then we should flee those things - we should know ourselves and lead a life that will diminish as much as possible any potential situation where we will be tempted to sin - however, that is different for each person. I have a personality that could easily become addicted, so I stay as far away from alcohol because I know if I ever find an alcoholic drink that I enjoy, I would quickly lose the ability to control how much of it I drink and can lead to bad things. However, other people are just find having one glass of wine or a beer every now and then. My own father is very a very godly man, and he partakes in a single alcoholic beverage about two to three times a year. And there is no sin in that.

Some people refuse to shop at certain stores because those stores support cultural issues that stand against the word of God; however, that does not make it a sin if a Christian shops at those stores.

Bottom line, it boils down to conviction and having an open, honest, and obedient relationship with Jesus Christ.
Amen to that. I couldn't have stated it better.
 

Recent Discussions

Top