Rockdale Lutheran Church

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Is magic good or bad?
It depends upon what you mean. The difference is not between white and black magic. The difference is between fictional and real-life magic.

What does the Bible say about magic?
Magic of all kinds, in all forms is forbidden by the Bible. Anyone who practices magic is breaking Godís Law. The verses condemning the use of magic appear in both the Old and New Testament. A list of verses appears below. The specific things that are rejected in The Bible are: divination (using magic to predict the future or learn secrets about lives), sorcery (casting spells using any form or skill), witchcraft (spell-casting or potion making), mediums and spiritists (claiming to speak with the dead or with spirits other than God or Godís angels), or any magic arts, including astrology (thatís right, astrology). Here are examples of verses in the Bible forbidding magic in all forms:
Leviticus 19: 26
Deuteronomy 18: 9-14
II Kings 17: 16-17
II Kings 21: 6
Isaiah 47: 12-15
Ezekiel 13: 17-23
Acts 19: 17-20
Revelation 21: 6-8
Revelation 22: 14-15

Does that mean I canít read my Harry Potter books?
No, it doesnít. Remember the distinction is not between white magic and black magic. In real life there is no difference. Magic is forbidden by God, always and in all ways. The distinction is between real life and fiction. Harry Potter is not real life. Itís fiction. Magic has been part of our fictional story telling for hundreds of years. Fairy tales are the most well known example of magic in stories, but there are many others. I see nothing in scripture that condemns telling stories that include magic, only practicing it.

Is there any danger then in reading Harry Potter books or other books about magic?
Yes there is. The danger comes when a reader loses sight of that line between fiction and real life. I find nothing in the Bible that forbids us to read about magic, but many verses that strictly forbid its practice. Any time a young person (or adult for that matter) is tempted to experiment to see if magic is real in real life, there is danger. That person has crossed a line into a dangerous area from which God is trying to protect us. Reading about magic in stories must never lead us to experiment with magic even in a form that seems innocent.

 What about magic in role-playing games?
Same issue. Role-playing is not real life. The danger comes if someone becomes confused between role-playing and real life. Many games of knighthood, including The Realm and Asheronís Call include magic. But they are not real life. They are on-line, interactive stories. Nothing more.

Are there other books that include magic that are written by Christians for Christians?
Actually there are some wonderful books that include magic that are written by Christians for Christians. The classic example and still the best is the seven-book series by C.S.Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia. These books were written by Lewis in the 50ís but are timeless in their appeal to the young and young at heart. They carry a strong Christian message set within a land brimming with magic and magical creatures. Below is a Bibliography of Books which include magic but are written by Christian authors.

  • Stephen Lawheadís three-book Dragon King Series beginning with In the Halls of the Dragon King;

  • Stephen Lawheadís three-book Song of Albion Series beginning with The Paradise War;

  • Madelyn LíEngleís multibook series of works beginning with A Wrinkle in Time.

I also highly recommend The Earthsea Series by Ursula K. LeGuin that begins with The Wizard of Earthsea.

There are others of course. My point here is that there are some wonderful series that include magic written by Christian men and women who understand that God does not forbid magic in stories even though God strictly forbids it in real life always and in all ways. All of the above books are available through Rockdale Lutheran Church. They are also available through on-line book retailers and for the most part, through your local library. Enjoy.

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