Christian Comic Arts Society

A Network of Christian Fellowship for Comics Fans, Pros, and Amateurs

Where do you guys stand on having magic in comics?

I was thinking about writing a story, involving (slightly) wizards, and fairies, and charms and potions. And maybe even, as lightly used as it would be, spells. I don't really think there's anything wrong with these types of elements, provided I don't use real spells. Right? I mean, I know a lot of Christians avoid stuff like that... Myself, generally included.

Yet I can't really see, so long as I don't do anything too out there, how bad it would actually be to do this. I mean, case and point, I know a lot of Christians don't like the Chronicles of Narnia, because it has 'magical creatures'. Yet, the man who wrote it, C.S. Lewis, was a born again Christian himself.

But, because I fear God and wish to keep His commands, (and in fear of doing anything, perhaps, un-godly?) I thought maybe I should ask the brotherhood here at CCAS first... So, where do you guys stand on having magic in comics and/or stories in general?

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Look I come from the place you both seem to be coming from. I am unsure if it is scriptural ignorance you speak from, or "live and let live" attitude. But there are things were told not to do.

I am speaking to you as a Christian speaking to other Christians. And it does concern me that you see little spiritual trouble from your tolerance of magic/witchcraft. I am going to just start over and try to understand where exactly you both are coming from. What exactly do you believe on witchcraft? Not that it "might appear" as a miracle to the non believer, but how do you feel about it?

One of the most Difficult lessons the Lord has taught me is HE is right and WE are wrong. And the only resource we have to discern which spirit we listen to is the Scriptures. Do you believe them ? Or are you saying you believe they have been tampered with by Constantine, or whomever? And if so, have you actually seen first hand evidence of it yourself, or are you just parroting something you have heard elsewhere? I myself have heard Constantine did all sorts of naughty things to the scriptures, yet I have yet to see any evidence of this myself, its all just hear say. I remember early, very early into my belief that the bible might be real, and by actually believing what it says, leads me to believe the Source, of it (GOD) is also real. But that HE is also able to keep his word. I used to make my own conjectures, and one day God led me to

Rev 22:[18] For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
[19] And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Stop and read those 2 verses very carefully and weigh out what they mean to us as Christians especially

James 3

1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

2For we all stumble in many ways If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.

3Now if we put the bits into the horses' mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well.

4Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.

5So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!

6And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

Hopefully you can discern from at least one verse above why I no longer dispute Gods word.

Sure there are some minor translation issues, but typically they stem from certain words having multiple meanings , hence why I typically quote more than most. If you see a verse I have quoted, that you believe I have taken out of context, BY ALL MEANS REBUKE ME in scripture, and in love.

As for "responsibly using magic" would you also apply that reasoning to a responsible use of premarital sex?
What about blasphemy? It does not matter the sin, As we all need to recognize them as things we need to avoid. You need to ask yourselves, does it edify God? If it does not, and by extension does not edify the lost to God, and help them Grow in Christ, then do you really want to argue that it is something you should be doing? much less defending?

One of you asked if I have spoken to atheist, and yes, I have. And yes I have come to a different conclusion than you apparently have. I am not saying top brow beat them with scripture, until they repent. But I ask you this. How can anyone share the Gospel of Christ, without the Gospel?

Once you remove Jesus Christ from it to make it more palatable to the non believers, you also remove the very one they desperately NEED to get to know.

Allegory and moral lessons aside, the Bible gives us very specific things to do and say in faith, and it might offend some atheist. And if you believe it, it can very well bring some to repentance and salvation.

I keep hearing several of your own examples alluded to, but I am not clear on what exactly you are saying in your own stories. Care to elaborate a little further? I also ask that if you have trouble discerning magic, and spells, and what not from the Miracles, of God, that you might want to read up on it in the Bible.

Much of what you say almost makes it seem like we are disagreeing on semantics, but then I see some things that make me wonder how much of this you have really studied for yourselves.

We are living in increasingly difficult times, and will continue to do so as we move closer and closer to the fulfillment of Gods plan. Now is not the time to shrug off trying to get closer to God. But rather to pull into his word, because that's the only thing we have to test, all things to see if they are, or are not from him.

Test me, if you doubt what I am saying. I do my best to try and make sure , what I say is from Gods word, and not of my self or my opinion, and if it is something, the scriptures are vague one, I do my best to , look at how it compares to Gods word. But the first thing is to not doubt it.
I am a Christian by choice, not tradition.

As a sci-fi fan, I know the difference between what is real and what is not real.

You may, and I may, but not everyone does , You aren't the only one to research other religions, So have I , only , before I was brought to repentance, I had planned to create my own myth, incorporating all manner of sin, ranging from false religion/mythology, to even including witchcraft. When I began to realize how fanatical people can become about such things, it caused me to pause from my labor, and pray. At the time I had a diverse collection of books ranging from astrology, to an innocuous Bible given to me by my grandparents.
Once I began to read that book, the others quickly fell away. All of the things I had "heard" about the Bible were woefully inadequate in comparison to the real thing.

But long story short, I decided that I do not wish to be a stumbling block to others, as yes many fictions had been to me. I may not have worshiped them, but I most certainly idolized them, as millions still do.

Rom 14
[12] So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
[13] Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
[14] I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
[15] But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
[16] Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
[17] For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
[18] For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
[19] Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
[20] For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
[21] It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
[22] Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
[23] And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Which is my point about much of this.
It was said that the non believer might confuse magic, with a miracle of God.

in 1 Cor 14 we are told
[33] For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

there is much more in that chapter though

[20] Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
[21] In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
[22] Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
[23] If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
[24] But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
[25] And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
[26] How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, everyone of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
[27] If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
[28] But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
[29] Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
[30] If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
[31] For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
[32] And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
[33] For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

the previous verses teach us many things, that we do in fact need to be concerned for the lost, and how we represent Christ to them, as well as that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. IE God does not contradict the word he has given to the prophets.

"The point being that in order to understand a greater Truth (with a capital "T"), it is sometimes necessary for human beings to step out of the immediate here & now and to re-cast the issues facing them in a different context." I have no issue with trying to convey the truth to another, BUT I do have issue with using and incorporating things that the scriptures clearly tell us to avoid in order to convey that message, because Sooner or later you will confuse someone.
in Rom 2
[17] Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,
[18] And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
[19] And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
[20] An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
[21] Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
[22] Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
[23] Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
[24] For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

and Rom 3
[3] For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
[4] God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
[5] But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
[6] God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
[7] For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
[8] And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
[9] What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
[10] As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

What I am saying is and this applies to any sin, not just witchcraft. Is that if we are Christians, and we are believers, in God and his Word, then we do not need to be endorsing any sin, as without consequence.

Just because you believe witchcraft is powerless, does not mean it has no hold on someone. Anton Lavey may have invented his brand of "satanism" but it separates people from Christ just as effectively as those who actually worship Satan.

Satan goes after us where we are weakest. Some through alcohol, some through homosexuality, some through adultery, some through idolatry. Your or my Strength in one area should not be a stumbling block to others.

You said as a kid you were drawn to dinosaurs, and through them to Sci Fi. Do you not see the potential for someone unlearned to read a story that Glorifies, or makes light of the occult, magic, idolatry or any other sin take your pick. That does not Appear to you to demonstrate any spiritual danger. But like both you and I both did we researched topics that I for one have little use for other than a general overview and the recognition that they do not align with Gods word. Do you not think that is exactly how some people became involved in real wicca, and other very real occult, or sinful things that ensnare them.

You started trying to point out the differences between different forms of "witchcraft", and made mention that many find solace in them, even though it cannot provide salvation. You answered it yourself wen you said that they are incompatible with Christianity.

But do you recognize that for all of their differences, and even the solace it offers some, that NONE are worth holding on to, and all separate people from God. If their net effect is that they help to separate people from God, how is it that they are at all removed from satanism? After all the Goal of satan is to seperate us from God, Hence Why I personally call all sin and things that lead to it satanic. I realize it does not line up with the dictionary definition, but scripturaly Satan is defined as the adversary of God, and anything and everything that helps to seperate us from God is well satanic. But I digress (a bit)

As for rituals, I don't understand why you make a distinction. A tradition of men is a tradition of men.

We are called to be a light in the darkness. Comforting or not, without Christ , they will not be saved. It may not comfort them but its true. I realize that we are surrounded by the customs and traditions of men everywhere we look, but they cannot save any better than the idols of old can.

I make no distinction between western and eastern customs, if it is not scriptural. and it contradicts scripture, it is not of God, but of men, and or satan.

Speaking of which, I am aware of Crowley and la vey , But I wanted to see what your view is, Do you believe that there is a Satan? I look at it this way, when it is all said and done, unless someone is a Follower of Jesus, they will end up apart from him, be it from something thaey made up, or something they followed that was not of God.

As for validity, Nothing apart from Christ is Valid. Hence my asking why one sin (witchcraft) can be whitewashed, and represented as if it is acceptable, when if we did the same thing with any other sin, it is not.
Whether or not Ditko, draws it or not. I remember back when I still collected comics, and bought into the speculator market, that I had bought a "Son of Satan" comic issue number 1. I was not really a believer back then, but I had things such as that, that I definitely see as Not of God, and as things that can lure people in and cause them to be separated from God. As I once Was.

As for revelation, its not the only example of warning us not to add to or diminish from Gods word.

As for the cannon, I have looked at many of the apocryphal Books, and agree that they do not belong in the scriptures, They are not reiterated in any other cannocal scriptures, and as I stated before What we have is sufficient for salvation.

Deuteronomy 4:2"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."

Deuteronomy 12:32"What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."

Jeremiah 26:2 "Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord's house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word."

Proverbs 30:6 "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."

II Corinthians 2:17 "For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."

And Galatians is another verse similar to the one in revelations
Galatians 1:6-12"6. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7. Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."

In other words, it specifically cautions against saying "this is the Word of God" and throwing your own 2-cents in rather than "don't ever tell a make believe story to illustrate a point".

When I brought up bestiality everyone freaked out, but when you think of witchcraft, you don't freak out.

Ever wonder why that is? I am not saying the exact cause because there are many, but To be certain we have been desensitized to it as evil. through Fairy Godmothers, good witches of the east, and yes harry potter.

What I am trying to point out is one sin like murder, or the be word, is immediately singled out in disgust and revulsion, yet with witchcraft, you and many others still want to flirt with it, and entertain it as not so bad, as long as it serves your idea.

According to the scriptures all sins are bad, You keep bringing in suspension of disbelief and talking about how in a real world setting you would not advocate it. What I keep trying to convey, is why stop at witchcraft? if you think that it is "safe" and ok for children to read, why stop there? Sex is a part of life, Why not include that too? We like to pick on the "wickedest " sins, like child abuse, and genocide, but to God they are all evil.

As for relating to a person. I remember an old WKRP episode where they were trying to show the effects of alcohol and how it slowed down your reactions, only one of the test subjects Got Faster. It was a Joke sure, but
If Popeye scarfed down a pint of Whiskey to get his "super strength" (which is another issue as well but lets continue) Would you feel the same way about it as you do using magic since the "effect" of the green whiskey is to pump him up?

To say one can only tell Pollyana-type stories means one is denying Christ's message we should forgive one another to people who otherwise won't hear it. It means the person not inclined to Pollyana must first jump through an arbitrary hoop before encountering Christ's truth.

So are you going to write stories about the benefits of smoking cigaretts to reach those inclined to smoke?

Do you not see the flaw in this way of thinking?

Yes we want to reach all people, but not at the cost of the weak among them.

We do not sin that Good may come of it.

"Christ criticized the Pharisees for creating man-made rules and laws that made it more difficult for God's people to find the Truth rather than easier."

And that's my point were creating man made stories, many of which have superficial passing resemblances to Christianity, and expecting the lost to Discern the truth from that.

I have met many people who do not Get, see or discern that Cs lewis , or Tolken meant Aslan, and Gandalf to be analogs of Christ. Do You know Why?

They are not Christ, and they Do not hold him as their own savior.

Again the Gospel cannot be preached without who it is about.

Many modern christians have been lulled into the belief, that if a story does not have sex, or violence or foul language, then it is "Christian". And that is Not Christ. it is ignorance.

How can they hear about him, and the salvation he offers, unless he himself is preached?

"As for premarital sex, I don't think you can cite a specific Biblical injuction against that. Extra-marital sex, yes (tho not against polygammy or concubinage); immoral behavior, yes; but not a specific injuction against premarital sex."

I am not trying to be mean, but have you read much of the bible for yourself?

1 cor 6
[15] Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
[16] What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
[17] But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
[18] Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that commiteth fornication sinneth against his own body.
[19] What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
[20] For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

"Now, as Christians we infer from this that refraining from sexual relations until marriage is a good and desirable thing, and Paul certainly urges though who have sexual longings to get married rather that have sexual frustrations distract one from the love of God, but nowhere is it specifically stated that in all times and under all circumstances is premarital sex verboten."

I am not aware of ANY verses that permit it, at all.

"It is a moral order for Christians, not the world at large." I don't believe it should be legislated, or beaten down a non believers throat, but if God wishes that all would be saved, and all that are saved are told not to commit fornication, well, hopefully you get my drift.

"We Christians should urge one another not to act out promisculously outside of marriage, but non-Christians are not and should not be bound by our constraints."

Like the previous comment I split this from, I don't advocate the judgment of non believers, for their ignorance, but I am not going to encourage them to sin, nor tell them that they are doing right by God by staying there. As for " Should not" like your comment about pre marital sex, I am beginning to wonder what you Follow. I have heard similar arguments from those defending homosexual sin, and fornication. They are sins like all others, no worse, nor any better, but sins nonetheless.

A tug boat is not specifically forbidden as an abomination before God.

I don't have a problem with using analogy to teach, AS long as the analogy does not stand in defiance to Gods word. And produce questions as to why that is?

Chris, thanx for a very courteous and sincere request for me to ellucidate; I trust I have reciprocated appropriately even if we still do not agree.

I hope I have clarified things better in what I have been trying to convey.
R Jay McCarty said:
Chris, I just want to point out a few things to you. Let me preface by saying I'm the one who challenged your use of the Bible. Not Buzz. Wether or not he agrees with me I don't know but don't confuse the two of us as the same or hold him accountable for what I write.

1) One of the most Difficult lessons the Lord has taught me is HE is right and WE are wrong

"He is right and We are wrong" you said. We Christians love to say stuff like that but what does it really mean? That is like saying never say never. It should be said "he is right and we must follow". If we are always wrong then why are we even having this debate? If you are talking about denying the flesh then yes we must, but denying doesn't mean ignoring. If you don't look at your symptoms you'll never be able to find out what is wrong, and if no one is willing to talk to you about them you'll never now how to be cured.

I was trying to state that We are all proud and think we know much when we know very little.

The only concrete example we have of Gods will is the Scriptures, anything opposing them is not of God.

2) And the only resource we have to discern which spirit we listen to is the Scriptures.

And this is a big one... and kind of of the subject. About the scriptures. I must start by saying I believe the Bible contains the Word of God. Having said that, the only real evidence to when it first appeared as the Bible is the date the "church" was formed because they were the first to put together the books of the current Bible

Faith does not require evidence.

(Much easier to control a religion if there is a play by play rule book incidentally). Funny thing about the control assertation I hear many try and weave about the scriptures, is that if one actually reads them, the alleged control that many hype as the churches doing is non existent according to the scriptures.

Another interesting thing is that the dead sea scrolls were found to contain far more then just what is currently in the Bible. The group we call the Bible didn't even exist at the time all the books were written.

I also recall that the vast majority of the text that duplicate what we received, are exactingly close, demonstrating the care to preserve the word as God originally breathed it.

Whom then decided what was valid and what wasn't? Could God have orchestrated it all? Sure, I'm not saying the scriptures aren't the word of God, I am just trying to illustrate how foolish it is to site it as your only reference/fail safe.
If you have no rule book then you have no rules. God is not the author of confusion

Don't you think God speaks to us through more than just the Bible? And don't you think God uses the imperfect to accomplish his will? Look at David, look at Solomon, Abraham, etc. etc. All flawed, but all used in a huge way.

Yes and that's why WE test the Spirit to see if its Genuinely of God and lines up with the scriptures.

Therefore couldn't the Bible be imperfect?
I personally have faith that it is.

You don't have to think it is to admit there is the slightest possibility.
You mean like Satan suggested to Eve in the Garden?

And if the book itself is not couldn't our understanding of it be flawed?

Its not like we don't all have access to it to read it for ourselves. I have stated to rebuke me scripturally if you feel I am twisting them to say what I wish, instead of them bending me to his will.

Take for instance the debate between the old and new testament. Many believe the rules changed once Christ died for us (and indeed they did). But some say it's as true today as the time it was written about. I hope you don't think that you are unclean and could go to hell if you were to die while your wife was having her period. Sound crazy? It's in the Bible (Leviticus 15:19-32), and we could play this little game all day long.
I am not playing a Game. And it is not that difficult to read.

Think about this... The Bible never says that it is the infallible word of God... How could it, it didn't exist yet. Go ahead and say that God knew it would be brought together so he went ahead and told John to put it in there, and you could be right, but your strongest example, the scripture you reference from Rev., isn't talking about the Bible at all. It's talking about the vision... the book of Revelations itself. Whom ever really wrote the book put that in there so people would take great care not to alter parts of his vision. Prophecy is all but useless if it isn't exactly translated.
As I quoted for Buzz its by no means the only example, but it is one of the more to the point. I used to go around and dispute and question it myself, until God Showed me the error of my ways, not to mention running across that verse, and it begging the question, is all of the criticism, and doubt and alternate theories, Are they worth Risking the punishment that the scriptures warn us of, or is that really the Word of God, and something we should fearfully hold as holy, and be terrified of the consequences of not taking it seriously.

Then there is the fact that Christians disagree on translation. Do you know Zondervan? Do you respect that name? If you do then you may be surprised to learn that they acknowledge there is a debate among Christians about wether or not The prophecy of Revelations has already happen or not. If that is news to you then that may be a sign that you are a bit too sheltered at this stage in your walk with the Lord.
I am aware of them, and their "revisions" yet if one believes the scriptures they know God does not change.

I'm not trying to "disprove the Bible", I'm just bringing to light that there are things surrounding it that are still open to debate. And should not be your only resource for reasoning.
Why said I am reasoning? as for them being my only resource, they are sufficient.

As for debate, and resources, the scriptures point only at Christ, I cannot say the same about any other "resource"

I grew up Christian, I went to a private Christian school, I went to church 3 times a week, I've read the Bible continually, I've felt the Holy Spirit, and I've heard your point of view many many times. Darn near every time it leads to periods of disillusionment. In what exactly?

See I have not always been, I was brought to church on occasion, but I was Not informed about it properly.
Imagine my surprise when I actually began reading it for myself, and then realizing that I had personally witnessed many of the things it speaks about . As for my point of view, and your hearing it, I am not so sure you have because I haven't heard it, I have read it in the scriptures, but not seen or heard too many that believe them like I do.

Once you find the Christian world isn't this perfect little bubble of truth, you are in danger of throwing it all away. I don't look to the world, I look to Christ.

I have not had that struggle because I have always tempered what the church gave me with prayer, the Bible, and my God given experiences. For my money it's best to take things with a grain of salt, to challenge preconceived ideas and to live your life actively in prayer.
I only challenge them when they contradict the scriptures.

To be clear I was born a pagan(heathen)gentile, and raised up in it most of my whole life.
The spirit, and the Word have shown me the truth, that this world, this place, will not last.
But it is a place.

Do read the Bible, It's the most direct line to God outside of prayer, but don't throw everything else out without a second thought.
The scriptures tell us to test all things, I am doing that, are you?

It seams foolish to say "I don't dispute the Bible because the Bible told me not to"... I'm sure many religious text say the same thing. Joseph Smith certainly used that line, and the Koran, etc. But I'm not here to dispute the Bible. I'm just saying all this because you seam so determined to prove it's the only reference we have available to us.
We are told to not rely on our own understanding, when I said I was wrong and Gos is right, that's just one more thing He is right about, that without his word for discernment, we are blind. And we rely on ourselves.

3) As for "responsibly using magic" would you also apply that reasoning to a responsible use of premarital sex? What about blasphemy?

You ask if I could "responsibly" use extramarital sex as well. fiction. And isn't that what we are talking about here? You can learn a lesson through fiction and hopefully not have to learn it again first hand in real life. Isn't that the idea of a morality tale? Blasphemy I would not do because writing the Lords name in vain is the same as speaking it. But I could allude to it to make a point.

Again I am not talking about totally banning any example of sin whatsoever. What I am talking about is taking a sin, any sin witchcraft, or fornication, and picking it up, and dusting it off, and trying to present it as something it is not, Good.

4) You need to ask yourselves, does it edify God? If it does not, and by extension does not edify the lost to God, and help them Grow in Christ, then do you really want to argue that it is something you should be doing? much less defending?

We don't edify God, God edifies us... I should have said Glorify there, and edify each other ,and the weak, and lost.
If we follow his will.
Once again we defend the right to use magic as a tool to educate Christians and non Christians about God, what is of him and what is not. We would never defend real magic. Magic is never harmless.
So are you saying you do not present it in a flattering fashion or light?

Like I stated I am not against explaining how it is a snare to some, and not of God.
But I am against, making it cute and fuzzy, and presenting it as something cool, benign, or acceptable to God.

5) How can anyone share the Gospel of Christ, without the Gospel?

We'll that's easy, The real Gospel aint' a book. We have a personal relationship with him and the true gospel is more than the written page. The Bible is certainly where it comes from, but it also transcends into countless works of fiction etc. Once we know the truth we carry it around like a light. Don't you think that someone without a Bible on had can win over someone to the Lord? I may not always be able to regurgitate scripture word for word but I can certainly give the gist of it and pray that God would direct and use my words (As I do before I start any of these posts). The goal all the while is to usher people back to the Bible (the source) whether it be in a direct or indirect manor and then ultimately to prayer and the man himself.

You just made my argument for me , you know that don't you? I Am only saying that the bible is the only way we have to verify that what we speak, and do to share the Good news is in line with Gods will. If we deviate so that we are contradicting it, we are not in line with his will.

6)Once you remove Jesus Christ from it to make it more palatable to the non believers, you also remove the very one they desperately NEED to get to know.

When on earth did any of us say we want to take Christ out of anything? You see this is the danger I speak of. If A is true, then B must be true, and if B is true then C must follow and so on. This is your argument in a nut shel but it's full of holes and preconceived ideas.

You mean like the judgement you have just made of me, based on your own preconceived ideas ,and experience?

All we really know first hand is that A is true. If A is God exists than that is the only all or nothing question, but B and C can be sticky customers. Obviously your B and C differ from mine.

If you doubt the scriptures, or are incorporating something else with them then yes, But otherwise read what I am saying, instead of jumping to conclusions about me. I know you "think" you've heard it before, but If your a Christian, you have just thrown doubt and suspicion, upon Gods word in your opening paragraph. And Were all supposed to be Christians. I mean are you saying you doubt it yourself, or are you playing the devils advocate, and if so why?

I would venture a guess that you have not traveled the world or talked to many Christians outside the US. If you had you might understand how really big a varied our knowledge of God is. There are many language translations of the Bible, and even more interpretations. Are you the only one right just because you say so? Christianity is a thinking man's religion. The minute it stops being that is the minute it dies. The Catholics say they are the one true church. Are you a Catholic?

So you might say "if you question something about the Christian faith then you'll have to question everything about it" and I say Good. That leaves plenty of room for God to work. Some admittedly can not handle this. Their faith is to shallow and rooted in Ritual that it has never truly been tested, but for others God speaks more clearly and they are able to step out in faith to win new territory.

Elaborate a bit more on this you start off sounding one way, then its like question everything. if you question everything, then how are you obeying God, and how do you know your are obeying? If you cant trust anything.

I trust the scriptures, everything else, unless it lines up with the word, is a tradition of men.

7) Allegory and moral lessons aside, the Bible gives us very specific things to do and say in faith, and it might offend some atheist.

Not offending is not my mission, but not driving away is part of my mission. Your mission may be different and just as valid. Praise God that you were able to witness. Stick with what works, but don't admonish others for doing it differently. It all leads to the same place.

Thats what I am trying to discern you almost come off as universal, hence my confusion. Not all roads lead to the same destination

That will have to be the last one. I want to comment on another topic before I run out of time.

I am growing to really appreciate Buzz's point of view. I think he may disagree with some of what I say but I usually agree with what he says. Like he said, debate is a good thing and will help all of us to grow.

I don't feel like its a debate yet, because I don't understand where you are coming from.
R Jay McCarty said:
Looks like we wrote our posts at the same time but you beat me to it Buzz.

Man, I wrote all that and I should have just gone with little Toot, LOL!

God bless you Buzz!

Your point on premarital sex is astute although I don't know If I understand your view on premarital relations. Are you saying it should be admissible? As you know, just because it isn't officially stated doesn't mean it isn't implied. You are probably arguing, like me, that things not in the Bible are toted as scripture and Visa Versa, but it still makes me take pause.

See Chris, this is an instance where if I relied only on the Bible I couldn't dispute his statement. If he and I disagree on this basic level and I can't overturn his statement with bonafide proof then I will have to rely on more theological means and appeal to his baser instincts and reasoning skills.

At the moment I'm not going to dispute his statement... but I want to and I may down the line when I have something articulate to say.

-- R Jay

What I am saying is that the bible is the only totally common ground we have right now, as for debate , I am weary of it. You said you couldn't dispute his statement, but I don't see why not, unless you are discounting scripture.

Either you believe it, and accept it, or you don't. I know at least for me personally any of the verses I once might have doubted, have been illuminated by the spirit, and proven to me at least that they all are true.
been busy so I'll keep it short.

Since we have gone off topic I would like to get back on it.

What examples of magic do you approve of in fiction?

My stance is that if you promote it, what is stopping you from promoting other sins as well?

Mentioning it, or demonstrating how it can separate one from God, are not promoting it.

But I see it as hypocritical to use wizards, fairies, charms, potions, and, spells.

But to turn away from foul language, murder, homosexuality, etc .

In my opinion those ok with it are turning a blind eye to that sin. And are teaching a conflicting message to their audience.

As for scripture, I have no issue with things that do not directly contradict the scriptures, but those that do, well I have warned all I know how to, and all I see left is to allow you to step into the darkness, until you realize that it is in fact darkness. Yes God works outside of the scriptures, but He never contradicts them.
R Jay McCarty said:
Short is good. I'll be short too.

I, like you, would never use magic without showing it's consequence and aversion to God, or portray gifts of the holy spirit without a distinction from magic (though maybe not immediately sometimes). The difference between you and me is (I think) that I am open to that which you may call magic, but I would call fantasy or make believe. Superman flies, is that magic? I say no. Is the story of Pinocchio evil? I say no. Until God shows me otherwise, I will defend this use of fantasy to convey more important issues and ideas though I will caution others to do it responsibly. .

God bless,

-- R Jay
I mostly agree with what you are saying (I think) but I was responding to the original posters direct implication of "wizards, and fairies, and charms and potions. And maybe even, as lightly used as it would be, spells" all of which I would call witchcraft, or idolatry, (placing ones faith in an item or charm. )
So where something like supermans power of flight is not expressly defined, harry potters abilities clearly are, as being derived from the occult. So no I am not instigating a witchhunt.
You said you would caution others to do so responsibly, what would that entail?
I am concerned that you are perceiving me as some ignorant puppet repeating something I have heard taught to me, I am not, I derive my opinions from the scriptures, as well as the spirit, as long as the spirit does not contradict the word.

As for the scripture, I just want people to use every tool available along with scripture.
What do you mean?

Scripture is the second most important tool (after the spirit) but too many disregard all else bscause it isn't "the infalable Word of God". The scriptures are inspired by the Spirit, so I do not understand your aversion, to following them. The problem with following only the spirit, is that not all spirits are of God. So while yes God is more important than the written account of his word to us, he does not contradict that word.

God's wisdom does exist in other places., Yes but again there is only one God, his signature upon all of creation, including the Bible, does not void something he gifted to us in his word. I believe we are to follow
1 Thess 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
The scriptures are Gods word, and they are point in fact the only thing we have from God that is concrete, for testing things.
I mean if you meet someone who is lost and you preach Christ to them, are you not also going to offer them a Bible so that they can read for themselves? So while yes people take and twist bend and distort scripture to put fourth all manner of ideas that are not from God. The most important defenses we have to "prove" and test doctrine to see if it is in fact of God and not from some lying spirit is to compare what we learn to see that it lines up with the rest of the word. That's why the Koran, and book of Mormon are accursed, because they bring new gospels unheard of before, and in direct contradiction to the Bible. So while Yes when you hear someone spout off a mouthful of venom trying to pass it along as a "word from the lord" and it grates against your soul, because it is not in accordance with Gods word, yes that's the spirit, but unless it lines up with the scripture, its not of God. No matter how much you or I might want it to be. I remember falling under the influence of one of those lying spirits early in my walk, and the closer I drew to Gods real word, the scriptures, the further the deceiving spirit withdrew from me. It literally had me filling notebooks full of nonsense, that is and was in clear violation of the scriptures. I have also felt the real spirit as well, but that spirit nourished me with Gods word, and showed me that I have no reason to distrust it. Every doubt I have personally had about the scriptures the Holy spirit has answered, and shown me the truth, that it really is the word of God and is trustworthy. Its like the ignorant atheist who takes a look at verse that disagrees with their own sense of righteousness, they discount Gods word as if it were false and something from men, but since it is not , they reject it, without testing his word to see that it is in fact true. Skeptics annotated is a good example, it is full of ignorant superficial readings that they use to mock God.
Its like the word Christian, when I first began to believe in my ignorance I wanted nothing to do with the name, because I perceived it as tainted and smeared, but it is in the scriptures, and we are told by them not to be ashamed of it, and now it is the only "denomination" I call myself, because anything else is man made.
I am not a follower of Calvin, or Luther or any man, but a follower of God, and the only way any of us currently have to test our doctrines, to see if they are of God, and are not man made beliefs, is the Bible.

Also, I wont follow anything that contradicts the scriptures either, but what contradicts the scripture is sometimes open to interpretation. I'll bite do you have an example of this?
I mean I see it all the time myself, but I am curious to your point of view.

If you and I disagree on scripture and what it says, all I can say is, that is why we must rely on the Holy Spirit to be our guide. It is a living book after all and it can obviously be misinterpreted. I walk in faith as do you I'm sure. You said IF, not where you might think we disagree, Iron sharpens iron, IF you see me doing something in need of rebuke, by all means point it out. I cannot see my back for example, but if you see a knife stuck in there pull it out, or at least tell me about it. That's my whole reason for responding in these forums, is that this is an Christian forum, I came here to have fellowship with other Christians. So you are my audience and not the lost, I expect more from you, because you are a believer. I understand tailoring the message to the audience, but I do not believe in sidestepping scripture to do it. We live in a world of propaganda (every commercial every ad, every show etc) so while we would like to believe we are not influenced by the world, I hear every day how we are, even from my own mouth at times. The only one I want to advertise is Christ. Since he alone is savior.

The difference in my mind is I don't impose my understanding of the scripture on you, but you seam to have no problem telling me how God should be talking to me, what he should be saying, and what my convictions should be.

Why not? if you believe I am following false doctrine, grind it away from me, so that I will be free of it. I freely offered this and will continue to do so. I realize I do not hold doctrines that the "mainstream" do not hold, and I see them as following the traditions of men, and Not God. But I could be wrong, and if I am point it out, and lead me to Gods word where I may be sustained by it. I don't believe in pretribulation rapture, and believe the "left behind" series is accursed. Just for example. I have read several debates on it, and based upon the scriptures, I see no reason to follow it, because it requires a pretext to even follow it, it requires "special revelation" and I believe the cannon is closed. And that the Holy spirit does not contradict the very word it inspired to the writers.

If that means you feel I "Walk in Darkness" than so be it. I'm sure I take listening to God's word just as serious as you do. I will entertain your opinion and anyone else's for that matter and weigh it against the Scriptures and what I know of God, but as I've said before, I am accountable to God, not man. What he tells me goes. I'm sure you understand that

Oh I agree, And I am not sure I meant that comment towards you. I have been responding to 2 people and it is difficult given the limited functionality of this forum.
Buzz Dixon said:
Chris asked:

What examples of magic do you approve of in fiction?

Any that work dramatically and do not lead the reader to think magick is a viable belief system comparable to Christianity. (I will use "magick" to denote the actual belief practiced by some people and "magic" as a clearly imaginary fictional plot device.)

And your audience is clearly informed of this difference how exactly?

My stance is that if you promote it, what is stopping you from promoting other sins as well?

Nothing. But since we're talking about magic the clearly imaginary fictional plot device, then it is not a sin.

But that's my point, if it is merely a plot device and nothing more, why even use it at all? if it has no value other than to propel the story, why not use an alternative, that is not clearly associated with the occult?
You obviously, feel little responsibility, for the potential to open the floodgates to other writers, many not Christians, to not only use less fictional forms of witchcraft, but also the ADAPTATION of other sins into (clearly imaginary fictional plot devices)
I am concerned also by using the word, but then placing the disclaimer that its imaginary therefore ok, that many can take that as inference that any number of real world analogs, that are not imaginary, are also safe to dabble in, when the Bible tells us they are not. You seem to be equating Christianity to a belief system, and while Yes it is superior in every way to the utter uselessness of witchcraft, You assume that all of your readers will be able to discern this, but how can they discern it when you are seemingly supporting it?
What effort are you making in your work to show the reader that Christ alone is the way of salvation, and that some occult charm, spell, or artifact have not only no good outcome, but should be avoided in real life?

Mentioning it, or demonstrating how it can separate one from God, are not promoting it.

Shifting the goal posts? Up to this point you've been arguing any mention of magic is anti-Christian unless it is to condemn it.

Actually no I have not , you just jumped to conclusions and assumed that. Unless of course you are arguing that taking up the name magic is somehow supposed to make it acceptable ,because it is like a gun or knife and inert except in the hands of the user. Which Yes I disagree with.

I do think we as modern Christians are all to eager to adopt things that we have a predisposition toward, without first testing those things under the light of the scriptures to see if it is in line with Gods word.
Most people frown on Nazis, but the swastika existed before them, but that doesn't make it a Good thing, because the Nazis adopted it as their emblem.

But I see it as hypocritical to use wizards, fairies, charms, potions, and, spells.

In. What. Context? Did our flying unicorn have to visit the wizard to find the magic charm that would free the faries from the evil spell they fell under when they drank the potion? Anybody who reads a story like that and believes it represents reality in any factual way is Seriously Screwed Up in the head.

No offence.

Yet parents read these stories to their children YOUNG children every day, and so I assume you are expecting a child taught fairy tales to somehow discern the difference between that , and Gods word? Many of which are taught these tales instead of Gods word.

But to turn away from foul language, murder, homosexuality, etc .

Again, in what context? I was in the Army 6 years, I don't have a problem with language that a lot of other people would have. I try to keep my audience in mind when I write, and much more often as not I can find alternatives to the really salty stuff, but I won't hold back if the story demands it.

The story demands it? But who is it that is directing the story?

Case in point, some years ago I wrote a screenplay based on Robert Smalls [Google him] in which white Confederates frequently called Smalls & his fellow slaves the n-word. Because, y'know, that's what they did to slaves back then, in addition to branding them, whipping then, beating them, raping them, and splitting up families by selling them. I would hope I'd never use the n-word in any real life conversation, but the Smalls story pretty much required it.

I doubt you presented that in a flattering light hearted way either. Magic is typically presented as benign and friendly, and all that, unless of course its by the overbearing , like I assume you perceive myself as, who are just fuddy duddy sticks in the mud trying to take all fun away from life.

Murder? As in the unlawful, unsanctioned taking of a human life? Hard call. I can think of any number of fictional dramatic situations that might become morally confused enough for a person to commit or at least contemplate murder. To use murder casually -- the way old serials and B-westerns used to bump off baddies & supporting cast -- is neither good drama nor good morality. To use if effectively, the way it was used in THE UNFORGIVEN, f'r instance, can prompt a lot of thinking & soul-searching in the audience.

Homosexuality? Again, tell me the context. I'd have no more problem writing about a sympathetic gay character than I would about a sympathtic alcoholic, a sympathetic adulterer, or a sympathetic embezzler. Conversely, I could write about an unsympathetic clergyman, an unsympathetic parent, an unsympathetic fireman.
Now who is shifting the goal post. I am not talking about sinners, but the sin itself being repackaged and recycled into allegedly something new. The scriptures warn us about this, that there is nothing new under the sun, and to not call good evil , and evil Good.

Telling a creator what he/she can/can't write about is like denying them the letters "A," "N," "S," and "T" 'cuz you can write "Satan" with 'em.

I me--, -eriou-ly, doe--'- -h-- -ou-d u--erly ridiculou-?

Uhh again, I am not arguing that you can under no circumstnce use the word witchcraft, or anything associated with it, but rather how you are arguing in support of being able to repackage something the Scriptures NEVER ever speak well of, and re brand it as something Good. New and improved, is hardly ever new, or improved. Its like a brothel with a sign that says under new management, but the business itself is the same. That's the problem with harry potter, both the protagonist, and antagonist, use the very same sin, and in doing so render the sin benign, and of no meaning. And yes wizard of oz would fall under the same situation, like the word says there is nothing new under the sun.

Like the old saying goes, "There's enough good in the worst of us, and enough bad in the best of us, that none of us should be judging the rest of us." The only people Christ passed judgment on while He was on Earth were those scribes & Pharisees -- "hypocrits" as He called them -- who claimed to be better than everyone else.

Funny thing Is I never said anything about being better, I said that I think its inappropriate for a christian, to present something, that the scriptures call sin, abomination , etc, as , freshly steam cleaned, and therefore presentable, and tolerable to the christian. Its like going to a poisoned well, and pouring a few drops of bleach in, and proclaiming it safe. Do you really truly , believe its safe, and do you want to take responsibility for those you have lead to drink of it?


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