I can't believe the fires raging in Southern California. I've been watching the news coverage since last Sunday, hoping (and praying) the winds would die down. My family and friends are scattered around Orange and Riverside Counties, so it's been hard not to worry about them. My brother, Bryan, sent me some pictures taken from the roof of his building, so I'll be posting those tomorrow. To everyone with family and/or friends involved in this right now, you are in our prayers.
I'm taking some heat (no pun intended) for my stand on Harry Potter--I guess some people don't like to be told that Witchcraft isn't biblical. Hard to believe, but there you have it. Some people commented that I shouldn't quote one Bible verse as doctrine, but I beg to differ. When that verse is supported by every other verse on that topic, you're safe quoting one verse. By the way, there is one particular verse I would gladly quote as doctrine every day for the rest of my life: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).
I didn't write my article on Harry Potter to make people angry, but it doesn't bother me one bit that it did; it's funny how anger seems to spark the thought process, and people start putting two and two together instead of letting others add it up for them.
One more criticism leveled against me is that I slam Harry Potter and give Narnia and the Wizard of Oz a free pass. This kind of response comes from someone who isn't thinking (as my father always used to say). First, C. S. Lewis characterized the White Witch as evil. Second, the Narnia tales are not centered around Witchcraft, raising the dead, reading tea leaves, talking to the dead, spells, wands and other assorted paraphernalia of the occult. Sorry, they're not. Lewis uses mythological creatures to a certain extent, but it would be a stretch to link them to the occult; the best you could do would be to say they are pagan.
As to the Wizard of Oz, Frank Baum's portrayal of Witchcraft is mixed: both bad and good. Spells are used once or twice, and the Wicked Witch of the West rides a broomstick. But the great Wizard of Oz himself turns out to be nothing more than a stranded actor--and in the end, the entire story is a dream. The plot does not center on Witchcraft or promote the teaching of Witchcraft . . . unlike Harry Potter whose sole theme is learning and practicing sorcery as a way of life.
Incidentally, since when is it against biblical doctrine to use our imaginations? Why can't we use fantasy literature to emphasize the awesome power of God and its triumph over everything dark and occultic? I tried to do this in my youth book, Jack Star and the Secret Door (we're releasing it once again in the next few months). I loved using my imagination to further the Kingdom of God, and I hope most people will see it that way.
Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Fantasy can be a powerful tool if used correctly. Unfortunately, Jo Rowling used it to further Witchcraft and Gay Rights . . . sad and infuriating, but true. It's time for the Church to hop off the fence and acknowledge Harry Potter for what it is: a tool of the occult.
(If you're interested in reading my complete article on Harry Potter it's available on Christian Worldview Network:
http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/article.php/2619/Jill_Martin_Rische My blog entry a few days ago was a shortened version of it.)