I know, I am blogging a lot about the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia film, but cut me some slack, my personal blog’s name is The Wardrobe Door.
Although the C.S. Lewis classics are loved by many sectors of Christianity, they, along with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy are dispised by others for their inclusion of witches or other fantasy elements.
Christians speak of the spiritual world and the dual existence that humans have. Many place huge importance on the involvement of angels and demons. Some see demons in evil dark corner, including any book or movie that contains fantasy or magic. Is that biblical?
Can the Lion of the tribe of Judah exists with the White Witch?
I remember a conversion I had with my pastor when I told him I was going to show the Fellowship of the Ring to our youth group and have a discussion about it. He said, "Isn’t that about wizards and witches?" implying that something containing those must not be a positive thing for Christians to view. I tried my best to explain to him the faith of Tolkien, the faith that flows through the books and his relationship with C.S. Lewis.
I’m not sure he understood, as many well-meaning Christians do not understand today. You can find scores of websites devoted to the evils of Narnia and how they invite readers into demonic realms.
One of the greatest mysteries of Christianity is the supernatural and the spiritual world. Most Christians hold to the existence of angels and demons and their involvement in today’s world. Many accept the reality, but refuse to allow themselves to be caught up in the issue. Others believe that basically any and all "evil" things are demonic. Some even go so far as to make the Mama from Waterboy seem tame – "Fooseball is the devil!"
I think there is a biblical balance to be had without ignoring or obessing over demons. Paul was well aware of the spiritual aspect of life. He tells us in Ephesians that our struggles are not with other people, but with spiritual forces of evil.
But also in Ephesians (and Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians and several other books), Paul speaks of our sinful nature or our flesh being reasons for sin or our spiritual stumbles.
I do believe there is "demonic activity" at work in the world today. To me it is almost impossible to believe in a loving God and not believe in some type of agent of evil. But at the same time, I am not willing to remove all responsibility from people by given the classic response: "The devil made me do it."
While I do believe demons are a very real thing, I do not think my child will become possessed if he watches Pokemon or reads Harry Potter. I might not think those are positive entertainment choices for my child, so I might suggest other options, but one show does not a demon possession make.
This idea is ridiculous especially when it comes to works by Christian authors where evil is portrayed as such. The Lion and the Witch can coexists because we know the Lion is good and we know the Witch is bad. The lines are not muddied or blurred.
And to my fellow Christians who feel the need to look for demons under ever rock and condemn works of art (be they literature, film or books) by fellow Christians as demonic because they don’t meet your standards – get over yourselves. As Christians we are called to evaluate and, dare I say it, judge the fruits of people. But this responsibility does not give us the right to condemn to hell things that we don’t like. Our own personal style is not the determination of holiness or a right relationship with God. Scripture does a fine job of letting us know the areas we need to concentrate on.
I find it funny and somewhat sad, that you can say people like C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien were demonic for using fantasy as a means to impart spiritual truth, while you spew your attacks across a recently developed medium called the internet.
Fantasy is devil, guitars are the devil, praise songs are the devil, anything new is the devil, oh expect the new things that I use to attack your new thing.
Christians have a hard enough time explain spiritual things to non-Christians, we don’t need the job made more difficult by Christians claiming that everything they don’t agree with or like is possessed by the devil. The Christian life has enough hard teachings, let’s not add to them by adding Pharisitical laws and lording them over our fellow believers.
Initial idea Hat Tip: Stones Cry Out