If you want to see a church split, talk about magic.
If you want to see a faith community tear itself apart, talk about wizards, witches and spells.
If you want to see everyone start screaming and throwing around their opinion as truth, talk about sorcery, warlocks and the dark arts.
But does that mean that magic doesn’t belong in church?
Let’s start with one argument, the argument against magic in the church.
Most people will start their disagreement with magic with statements like this.
“We all know that there is no such thing as magic. What witches, warlocks, sorcerers, dealers in the dark arts are doing, what they are really dealing with are spiritual things. They are calling on the name of demons. They are worshiping Satan, under different names, but still Satan.”
“Magic, illusions, whatever you want to call them, all they are are elaborate ways to fool and deceive people into believing in something other than God. They believe in the power of the magician, the power of ‘Abracadabra’ or some magic word. They reject the power of the Holy Spirit and the Name of Jesus Christ.”
“If the Bible doesn’t have anything nice to say about it, then it isn’t something that we should be involved in. Simple as that.”
“God has very serious things to say about magic, witches, soothsayers and the like. Kill them. Depart from them. Don’t be yoked to them and what they do.”
These arguments against magic are sound. One cannot fight against what is written in black and white in Scripture. See what the Lord does say.
“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God (Leviticus 19:31 ESV).”
“And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger (2 Kings 21:6).”
“There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).”
That’s it. It is black and white. There is no place for magic within the church. And this is just a handful of the verses that talk about magic and those involved in it. There is a lot more.
And yet, there is a persistent battle in the church.
For some people, what they call magic is not what the Lord warned them about being involved in.
There is another argument, and not one without traction.
While the actual involvement of magic or witch craft is strictly forbidden, the Bible doesn’t say that we can’t read about it.
It doesn’t say that we can’t watch a movie or a TV show about it. There is no black and white Scripture about that.
And while there is no real Scripture used in this argument, it is usually to the Christians of the past that people of this camp look. People like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien are popular examples of Christians that talked and wrote about magic and witchcraft.
We have Gandalf, the White Wizard, in the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.
We have the use of magic, or magic as the explanation of what transpires in Narnia.
Even in the classic stories, like King Arthur or the tales of Merlin (link), magic is real and is interacted with.
And if we can read these books as kids, if we recommend them to our children, use them as illustrations in our church sermons, why not allow books like Harry Potter and Twilight?
“They are using magic as a story telling element, they aren’t teaching the kids to use magic” is the sort of thing that comes from people with this conviction.
This is an ongoing Christian debate, how do we reconcile, how do we actually live out our faith in this regard?
That’s what I want to hear from you.
Do you believe that all magic, books and movies talking about them, everything is bad and should be abstained from?
Tell me why you feel that way.
Or do you believe that talking about magic in books or movies is totally fine?
Explain why that is your position.
Maybe you have some middle ground or you hold a position I haven’t thought of.
Tell me why.
Start a conversation in the comments below.