Friday, April 22, 2016

Should Christians read books containing warlocks, witches, and wizards? Oh my!

Update on Current Book I'm writing, She Walks in Power. 


Book 1 of my Protectors of the Spear Trilogy is nearing the end of it's first draft. I'm hoping another 3 weeks and this baby will be birthed into the world.  Believe me, it feels like I've given birth. This first draft is the bare bones of the story line, plot points, and characters without all the description,historical objects that give it that feeling of authenticity, emotions, and other fluff which add flesh, skin, and beauty to the baby.  Like giving birth, this is the hardest part for me, painful at times and often birthed with a great deal of strength and stamina and hard pushing. Once I have the baby in hand, then I go back over it two, three, and sometimes more times to polish it up and make it pretty. For me that's the fun part and something I will get to do in June and July before it goes out to editors and early readers.

This is my first time writing Medieval and I wasn't sure how well I'd do on dry land for the entire book, but I've surprised myself with how much I'm enjoying this story.  Which brings me to my point of today's post.

Should Christians read books that contain wizards, warlocks, witches and the like?  I've run into people on both end of the scales. Those who would NEVER dare pick up a book or watch a show or movie with any demons or warlocks or even an innocent mermaid in them, and those who read books and watch shows with all of those things in them. I've always had an interest in the spirit realm and hence, in the battle going on around us between good and evil. I believe too many Christians go through life completely unaware of such things and ignorant of the wiles of our greatest enemy.  The Bible commands us to stay away from all forms of sorcery, witchcraft, astrology and the like.  Dabbling in any of those things, even something as innocent as reading your horoscope, having your fortune told, or playing with a Ouija board can open up a hole in your life and your soul through which demons can enter. This is nothing to mess around with.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I have a warlock and demons in She Walks in Power. They are a necessary part of the story which involves a fair amount of spiritual warfare. I could find no other way to portray spiritual warfare without the bad guys.(wink) Yet I know, because of this, several of my readers will choose not to read my book. I understand that and respect their choices. I truly do.

For years I struggled with this very question. When everyone was reading the Harry Potter series and going to the movies, I sat back and refused to get involved. I even hesitated before seeing Narnia and Lord of the Rings, even though those are Christian based stories!  I'd spent so much time living in the darkness before the Lord rescued me, that I never wanted to take a risk of going back again.  Yet, one day as I was reading the Bible, I realized that it contained wizards, witches, demons, and even Satan himself. That revelation completely changed my thinking. Since then I have a litmus test on whether to read or watch something that has warlocks or witches in it. 

Does the book or movie glorify the warlock? Does it portray the wizard in a good light, glorifying their evil deeds and encouraging those who are reading or watching to practice the same?  Or does it show the warlock or witch for what they are, satan worshipers, possessed by demons to do the bidding of their master?

By that standard, I would have to say that Harry Potter will never be on my list to read or watch. From what little I know about it, the wizards and such are the good guys who are portrayed as being the heroes.  "But it's all fantasy" you might say. Yes, but what about all the magic kits and sorcery books they produce for kids? Do you think those are harmless too? Would you want your child in his bedroom reading a book on casting spells?  This stuff is real, folks, not games or toys. Demons are lurking around our children, salivating at the chance for a small opening they can slip through.

I know this might make some Harry Potter fans angry and that is not my intent. I merely want to issue a warning, something for you to consider. 

I have a powerful warlock in She Walks in Power, a man who curses, casts spells and rules over a horde of demon wolves. But he is shown to be the vile, evil, satan worshiper that he is. And he is no match for the Light!  My hope is that readers will embrace the power we have over satan and his demons as believers in Jesus and become more aware of the spirit world around us. 

So, what about you? Thoughts? Arguments?  By this standard, what do you think of Narnia or Lord of the Rings?


28 comments:

  1. Vicky (Sydney Australia)April 22, 2016 at 1:19 AM

    I agree with everything you have said, I love books by Frank Peretti like Piercing the Darkness, Ted Dekker, and another book I read not long ago On the Edge by Parker Hudson which really brought home to me how important it is to pray pray pray to keep evil at bay, there is good and evil and when evil is portrayed as evil and good overcomes we just want to shout "onward Christian soldiers" we need to be aware that these evils do exist in the world, I actually think that is Satan's greatest ploy, unbelief in him. I love love love Narnia, l can't wait for my grandchildren to be old enough to understand the movies or books so I can explain it all to them, I love how Jesus is portrayed as Aslan. On my profile page I have a cross with a Lion looking through it and every time I see it I think of Jesus (the Lion of Judah), and Lord of the Rings, loved it too, would never ever watch Harry Potter as you said evil is the hero. So go for it MaryLu and can't wait to read your new series as I have read everything you have written. God bless you good and faithful author.

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  2. I agree with you also. If the warlocks and witches are seen as the "good guys" then I stay away. There is a real, evil realm that exists but it needs to be acknowledged as such, EVIL.

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  3. I agree with you 100%. Looking forward to the new book!

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  4. I wasn't allowed to watch "Bewitched" as a child, because of the very reasons you listed above. My parents believed that witches and witchcraft were nothing to take lightly. I have read a few Christian fiction books about demons and admit I had a difficult time reading them. They were shown in their true light, but it creeped me out too much. I've never seen any of the films you mentioned - not necessarily because of their content, but lack of interest on my part. I am SUPER excited about reading your new medieval series as I can't put down Tamara Leigh's books right now. Also, I know you'll do them justice because you've dealt with spiritual warfare in your other books. Will be keeping you in my prayers throughout your "labor and delivery" - wink! wink!

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  5. I am so excited! I can't wait to read this new book! I agree with your sentiment as I also am well aware of the spiritual warfare in our lives. I agree with your stance.

    I am so happy you are dabbling into the medieval era as it has long been my favorite. I do find it funny that you are doing that while I, who have protrayed a16th century princess for the last two years at a Ren Fest, have had to change my character too. Lol, my real job is ramping up my work hours so I can't do my hobby as much as I like. So my husband and I are stepping back and helping part time at the Festival's children's area, dressed as Privateers! ;)

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  6. I am so excited! I can't wait to read this new book! I agree with your sentiment as I also am well aware of the spiritual warfare in our lives. I agree with your stance.

    I am so happy you are dabbling into the medieval era as it has long been my favorite. I do find it funny that you are doing that while I, who have protrayed a16th century princess for the last two years at a Ren Fest, have had to change my character too. Lol, my real job is ramping up my work hours so I can't do my hobby as much as I like. So my husband and I are stepping back and helping part time at the Festival's children's area, dressed as Privateers! ;)

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    1. LOL That's funny, Brooke. We don't seem to be on the same page! No worries, I intend to head back to the sea at some point.

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  7. I totally agree with you, MaryLu! You know how much I love your spiritual warfare! I grew up in a pentecostal church and demons are the like are so real! Christians seriously need to be careful what they innocently dabble in. I never cared for Harry Potter and did not allow my daughter to read the books when they first came out and she was small. We monitored everything that went in our home via books, tv and the like. Satan will enter in through a crack! I love Narnia and Lord of the Rings because there are many parallels that are consistent with Christianity. You always have a reader here. I trust your walk with the Lord!

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  8. I agree with what you said! I loved the Chronicles of Narnia! And cannot wait to read your new book! I love that you touch on spiritual warfare! It's real! :) Your stories always have such a good story line with messages throughout! LOVE THEM!!!

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  9. I like what you wrote and respect your opinion immensely. You are a talented writer and warrior for Christ. However, as a Harry Potter fan, I disagree with you on that point, though I respect you for your decision. :) I see Harry Potter as a Christian allegory in the same vein as Lord of the Rings and the Narnia chronicles. Harry Potter has a lot of Christian symbolism (the Gryffindor sword is like the powerful two edged sword, in Lily is the symbol of the Mary the Mother of the Savior and the Phoenix is a symbol of the Savior who can resurrect [these are were common symbols in the middle ages, per my college humanities class taken many years before Harry Potter], snake is a symbol of the evil one, and many many more) as well as a scripture in the last book that is a big point. JK Rowling said if she talked too much about her faith in God people would know where she was going with the series, which is true since the book testifies of the power of a laying down your life to save your friends.

    Like you, I know many faithful Christians with differing opinions of what is "acceptable" magic for them to read and watch on TV. I have faith that we all can work it out with the Lord as individuals and determine for ourselves and our ourselves only of what is acceptable to read. And, we don't need to judge others if they come to a different conclusion than we do.

    I'm really looking forward you your medieval tale!

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  10. Agree. This is my stance as well. Unbeknownst to me (shame on me) we took our kids to the Disney movie Brave when it came out. As soon as the witch was shown, our kids ASKED to leave. $50 wasted? Not really...it was such an affirmation that our kids want to flee from evil. They didn't even care about the story... they could feel darkness and wanted to escape. It is no different than watching violence or nudity.. they are enticements of the Devil. We must be on guard and protect our hearts and minds. I appreciate you sharing! God bless!

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  11. I would just like to add that my test is does the movie/book/tv show strengthen my faith in Christ? If so, then it is good. If not, they we don't watch or read. Most things are one way or the other. The things that do not strengthen my faith try to replace it with other wordly philosophies ranging from materialism to outright atheism.


    Also, Paul gave us great counsel in Philippians: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things".


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  12. I always respect your thoughts, MaryLu, and this is a great post. However, I have to agree with Brenda in her thoughts as well. No matter what I watch, whether it be Narnia, Pirates or Harry Potter, I would never continue to watch them if I didn't have a strong "good" feeling about them. This world is full of truly evil books and movies and it all comes down to a personal decision that you can live with, knowing that God "knows" your heart. As for Harry Potter, I began watching these movies because I thought the kids were so adorable, but I kept watching them because I saw a very strong message of hope, love, faithfulness and sacrifice. At the end of the Harry Potter movie series, I walked away feeling a sense of victory over evil. In the final scene,(spoiler alert) Harry holds a wand that basically gives him power over everything and everyone....and he breaks it in two and throws it over a cavern. *goosebumps* Brenda describes these movies wonderfully. And I have pointed out to my children and grandchildren the importance of being careful about what you watch....in the end, it is their decisions, between them and God. I'm not saying that everyone should watch Harry Potter, or even the Pirate movies...that's not my place. Case in point, OUAT...that show started out clean and entertaining...even the mean queen turned nice. (and may I point out that some of the characters have powers?)Then, they had to go and put a gay couple in there...that ended my liking of that show. Not just because of the gay couple, but because of the fact that they added this couple in order to "give the gay community a love story" and because they say "this is how the world is today". That show was definitely NOT bringing me closer to God or even entertaining me anymore. No matter what you choose to watch/read or not watch/read, search your heart and pray about it. Yes, young minds look to us older minds for guidance. And when my kids were young, I didn't allow them to watch anything with "evil" in it. They weren't happy about it, but I explained that they needed to wait until they were old enough to truly know fact from fiction, then they could make their choices. That's all a parent can do. Even today, I am learning more and more when I read the Bible. God will open our eyes and reveal to us things in His time.
    Again, great post and I am looking forward to your new book! And stay true to your convictions..not everyone has the same convictions and that's okay. God will use whatever tool available to bring lost souls to Himself....even a little boy named Harry Potter. Love and hugs.

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  13. I love your post, Marylu.:) As always, you bring into spotlight delicate topics and I applaud you for having the guts to share your honest opinion with no fear.:) I wholeheartedly agree with you on what you said in regards to so-called fantasy books/ movies, I'm not into them either, first of all, because this is not exactly my cup of tea and secondly, because they usually portray all sorts of practices that excercise an unhealthy pull on the readers/ viewers.But I'm not casting ANY fantasy book out on the mere assumption that it is evil. If I am truly interested in it, I go searching it online and see what's all about. If it glories evil and powers of darkness, then no, thanks. That being said, I'll have to respectfully disagree with Harry Potter fans because honestly, I don't see anything Christ-like in it. Don't stone me.:)On the contrary, these books have received a lot of criticism on the basis of influencing young kids to magic and dark arts.I say that those critics have a point. I doubt that a child will learn the difference between good and evil by watching/ reading Harry Potter. He'll most likely be drawn to spells and such, not Christ. I don't believe that it's wise reading choice, but I respect its fans.We need to be aware that satan will use even a loophole in order to enter in our lives and into our kids' innocent minds.Evil has a way of seeming harmless/ fun until it consumes you entirely. So, always base your convictions on the leading of the Holy Spirit, not on your own personal preferences.:)
    I'll like to share a link to a documentary called "Halloween:Trick or Treat" where they approach this matter. They also said that while making horror movies, producers actually used input from REAL witches to get everything a more realistic feeling.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzoN9FYkjp4
    As far as Narnia and Lord of the Rings are concerned, I only got to see some parts from LOTR.Like I have said above, it's not my thing. Those creatures creeped me out big time. lol

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  14. However, even though I'm not a fantasy book lover, I'm definitely interested in your new series, Marylu.:) Because I know you'll teach your readers some great lessons of faith and that is something that I'm looking forward to.:) I have heard of Frank Peretti's books and they seem compelling, I love a book that portrays spiritual warfare as it is, a living reality and from a Christian POV.

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    1. Even though I don't recommend his newest novel Illusion, Frank Peretti's books are fantastic.

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  15. I can't wait to read this series and I agree with everything you said. If you ever decide to develop a launch team I would love to be a part of it.

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  16. Hi Ladies! Thanks for your comments. I wish I could respond individually to each one but I have my granddaughter today (two year old terror!) and my computer time is limited. I truly value all your opinions. (even the ones who disagreed with me). I'm glad you feel safe to express your thoughts here without fear. I want my blog to be a safe haven for all of us to share ideas and opinions without worrying about angry confrontation. Also, thanks for your enthusiasm about this book! I'm excited about it and hope you enjoy it even though it's not set on the sea!
    I'm a big fan of Peretti and Dekker. Have you all read Tosca Lee's Demon Memoirs? Really good. Anyway, seek the Lord above all else and ask Him to guide you in the things you watch and read. He will if your heart is sincere. Have a great weekend!

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  17. MaryLu, thank you for standing up for what you believe. I have to say that I agree with your reasons for taking this subject seriously. There is a difference between writing a story that glorifies evil and one that exposes it. I know you write the latter. And so I'm excited to see what you have in store for us next! I appreciate the time, effort and prayer that goes into your books. Again, thank you! Hugs!

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  18. Will this book be labeled Christian or secular fiction, MaryLu? You may have said above and I overlooked it. I am very aware of demonic forces since I encountered them in a woman who claimed to be a Christian. And it was a pretty creepy experience that God helped me through victoriously many years ago. But bc of that experience I'm having some mixed feelings. But will be praying about it! <3

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    1. Diana, this is a very very Christian novel. The wizard plays a very secondary role.

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  20. A thought-provoking post, MaryLu - thank you!!

    I haven't read any of the books you mentioned - I've heard/read much about each of them, however, fantasy isn't one of my favored genres. With so many other books to read, I just haven't had the desire or need to read them.

    I feel sure Narnia is Christian based - not only because of what I've heard/read about it, but my nephew, a chaplain, is extremely strict re: the books & movies his girls are allowed to read/watch, and has praise for Chronicles of Narnia. I gave him 3 books as a gift for his oldest daughter a couple of years ago - written by a Christian Fiction author who writes for teens and pre-teens, is well-known and from what I've heard/read is respected for her work. I don't think my niece ever saw the books, they were conveniently forgotten.

    All that being said, I agree with reading books and watching movies such as these if portrayed in the right light re: good and evil. I have an interest in the spirit realm also, we all should be interested in and aware of it as spiritual warfare is real and going on all the time. I've been a victim of evil spirits and experienced them at work in the disturbed children I worked with before retiring. Satan is wily, cunning, and a master at his game - seizing every opportunity to find a loophole or crack for evil spirits to sneak through, even through supposedly or innocent appearing sources.

    We must be on guard against spiritual warfare - which requires acknowledgement and knowledge. I have enjoyed your books containing spiritual warfare and am looking forward to reading 'She Walks in Power' - I know you will portray the good and evil in the characters correctly.

    Love, hugs and prayers!!

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  21. MaryLu, You've got it. You've explained this so well. The world has evil in it but we don't glorify it,we show it for what it really is, Satan's work and how Christ conquers all.I look forward to this new series. Isn't this explanation similar for "This Present Darkness?"
    Onward in true spiritual warfare!
    Elva Cobb Martin,
    Pres. ACFW-SC www.elvamartin.com
    Author of "Power Over Satan" on Amazon

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  22. It is amazing that you would pose this question, because I have been having an ongoing debate with my co-workers for the last few weeks. I always view my likes and dislikes through the eye of the impressionable mind. Not the solid Christian who knows that the battle between good and evil is very real, but the young person searching/grasping for something to believe in. I have never been a fan of Harry Potter, Dungeons and Dragons, and other fantasy/mystical things. I'm not even a Narnia fan because the fantasy genre is not my forte. But, I think because of not wanting to broad-stroke everything in the fantasy genre as wrong, I've come to the conclusion that it depends on WHO is in charge of the world these stories take place in. Good or Evil? In Narnia, we know that God is in charge. Yes, there are evil influences that need to be fought, but God is the supreme ruler of the world that Narnia takes place in. I can't say the same for some of these other stories, worlds, or games. I lean towards the conservative because for so many years my husband and I were youth leaders and saw firsthand how easily the youth culture can be swayed by the influences around them, good or evil. Satan has no problem wrapping his propaganda in a "harmless entertaining" package to make it more acceptable. Oppression is very real. And the Christian who opens himself up to such influences is not immune. And, of course, if someone finds themselves spending more time in the world of fantasy than reality, it would be safe to say, it is an unhealthy practice. With that said, I have to admit I wasn't thrilled to see that your next series would take place in medieval times. It's just not my cup of tea. BUT - your writing is!! You tested my boundaries with a mermaid, and I absolutely loved it! I have followed your career since it's beginning (remember . . . I was writing a pirate book when The Redemption hit the market) So, I trust you to correctly handle the Word of Truth. I will definitely read your new series because you have proven yourself to be someone who wants others to know the Savior of your heart. Just my thoughts.

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