Writing About Witches in a Christian World: A Response

One of my closer contacts on Google+ is Katie Cross. We have a very cordial relationship. I appreciate her insight on the publishing industry and you have to admire her hard work on her first release. Kudos girlie.

Katie has just released her book Miss Mabel’s School for Girls which is about witches. Her latest post at her website, Writing About Witches in a Christian World is an explanation of her position of why she, as a Christian, would write such a thing. However, there is another side to this story that is not being considered. I’m here to represent that side. Me and Katie communicated about this and she had no problem with me presenting this…too much. She had some reservations but suffice it to say, she didn’t disagree with my position here.

Before I begin, I must add that I am a Christian. As a matter of fact, I’m a pastor. I have been a small group leader and teacher for almost two decades. I’ve been a worship music leader as well. I’ve written commentaries on books of the Bible. I say that only to qualify that I know a little bit about the subject I’m about to discuss.

That being said, I’m going to make a prediction. That prediction is that this post is going to offend some folks. I expect it to though it is not written to offend. It just will. This is a different kind of post and many wouldn’t dare tread here because they don’t want to offend. I’m just not one of those people.

Now, let’s release the hounds.

Katie explains that she’s a Christian. She then openly admits she’s a Mormon. Here’s the thing: Mormons are not Christians. At all. Their belief system is anathema to orthodox Christian belief. As much as Mormons try to align themselves with Christians, many believing they are a subset of Christianity, they simply are not. Just like Jehovah Witnesses are not. Just like Christian Science is not. It’s like Grape Nuts. It’s not grapes and it’s not nuts. Christian Science is not Christian and it’s not science. So, that is the first faux pas of her post.

Why is this important? Because it is the core of the discussion. The presupposition was planted in the reader’s head from the title but the title is a misnomer because she’s not a Christian. She’s a Mormon. Big difference.

Now, I know she didn’t intentionally write that to mislead people. She sincerely believed that they were one in the same. But, like many, she’s sincerely wrong because they are not. This is a common mistake of many people, a lot of them sitting in pews in sanctuaries around the globe on Sunday. They really don’t know what it truly means to be a Christian. I’m not going to write a treatise on this but I refer you to the book by James R. White Is the Mormon My Brother? as well as Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin for a full treatment on the subject.

The second issue I’ll present in the form of a question because this is also a major theme of her post: is it permissible for a Christian who is a fiction writer to use witches and magic in their writing? Well, yes…and no.

Simply having a witch and/or magic in a story is not the issue. The issue is how we portray and handle it. When I say we, I mean Christians only.

Everything a Christian does should be to glorify God. This includes loving God and loving others. What that love looks like is world’s apart from what people think it is. Understanding that, our writing should be infused with that goal in mind. That means that even in our fiction, we want to give truth because that is (or should be) our ultimate goal, to represent the Truth and glorify God. We live by the scriptures (or should) and therefore, we adhere to the commands and principles it lays out. They are not optional. They are obligatory. That is, if the faith in Jesus Christ is real. For the Christian, this shouldn’t be an issue because we do it not out of duty alone, but because we actually believe it is right, good, just and loving to do so.

So, if a witch is in my story, they are evil. Always. They are never represented as good. Ever. Why? Because the scriptures say so. Biblically, witchcraft is not only evil and sinful, it’s an abomination, meaning it is detestable. Disgusting. God hates it so I hate it. This reality means I never want to give the impression that in any context, fiction or not, it’s good. I want to stay consistent with the scriptures.

But what about magic? Again, it’s how you use it. The world calls it magic. Christians call it miracles. Supernatural. Even the scriptures have something of this to a degree. The showdown of Moses and the Egyptian magicians or Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Both could be considered a “magic” showdown. But there are elements that we have to represent rightly. The “magic” does not come from the person. It comes from God using that individual, endowing them with the gift. Magic and sorcery are, again, evil in the scriptures. So our writing should reflect that reality and not misrepresent it because we write fiction.

As the Joker is known for saying, “Why so serious? This is just fiction” Because true faith is that serious. True faith taints everything we do. How we think. How we interpret the world which should be through the lens of scripture. You’d be hard pressed to find this because of the anemic understanding and lives of Christians who know little to nothing about the faith they claim to believe in. But that’s a story for another time.

So. There’s the other side of the equation. There’s much more that can be added but I’ve taken up enough of your time. Now, let the flaming begin.

6 Responses to Writing About Witches in a Christian World: A Response

  1. arhyalon says:

    I am a Christian Scientist. We are certainly and definitely Christians. We follow Christ. We do practically nothing else. Our church came into being when a dying woman read Jesus’s words in the Bible and was healed. She spend the next three years just reading the Bible and trying to figure out what happened to her.

    Eventually, she discovered that if one reads Jesus’s words and interprets them one way…one gets the same Signs Following Jesus got. She then taught others how to read the Bible in that fashion.

    Our Sunday School students know a great deal more about the Bible than nearly any other denomination I have ever seen…because the Bible is used in every single lesson.

    Now. You explain to me, sir, how we are not Christians.

  2. First I want to thank you for your comments on this. I know it is a sensitive subject. However, what matters is what the Bible says being a Christian is because for the true Christian, it is the final authority. The words will be hits to the gut because I’m trying to keep this short but it is nevertheless true. You will disagree but this is where true orthodox Christianity has believed for millennia.

    The majors of the faith according to scripture in order to be a Christian are:

    1. Jesus is God – Not just the Savior. Not just a teacher. Not just a way to get your needs fulfilled which is what Mary Baker Eddy uses Him as. From your own admission, you say that she taught others to read the Bible for their benefit, not for God’s glory. And for the true Christian, God’s glory is paramount, not what we get out of it. The Bible also says that an evil and adulterous generation looks for a sign. That’s from the mouth of Jesus Himself. Therefore, if all you’re reading the scriptures for is for some kind of personal benefit, Jesus is not your God. You are.

    Also, Christian Scientists do not believe Jesus is God but the Bible is clear that He is. That actually is one of the major sticking points with Christianity than any other belief. We believe our leader is God in the flesh. It’s the quintessential belief and absolutely necessary to be a Christian according to Jesus. If you believe Jesus is God, then you can’t be a Christian Scientist. If you believe that Jesus is not God, you’re not a Christian and Christian Science is not a denomination but a cult.

    2. Jesus died on the cross for the sins of mankind and rose from the dead. His death, burial, and resurrection are pivotal to being a Christian. Christian Scientists deny the sacrifice of Jesus as necessary and efficacious. The Bible is clear that if there is no sacrifice for sin, there is no forgiveness. If there is no forgiveness, then man is damned. If there is no resurrection, a Christian’s faith is in vain and the Christian faith is meaningless.

  3. To continue:

    3. The scriptures alone, meaning the Bible, are sufficient and what we live by. There is no addition, no new revelation. Christian Scientists use the Holy Bible as a footnote for their own ends. It is a part of the belief system but it is understood that there are other writings that are just as important, Like MB Eddy’s Science and Health. False. The Bible is all that is needed for godliness and life the Bible says. In addition, it also says that anyone who adds or takes away from its teaching is accursed.

    4. There is only one way of salvation and that is through Christ Jesus. All roads don’t lead to Christ or heaven. Christian Scientists do not believe in the biblical reality that man is evil and in danger. It falsely teaches that there is no hell, the heaven described isn’t the Biblical one, think that all men are saved which again, goes against what the scriptures says an is an embrace of universalism, a patently false belief system, and thinks that sin and evil is an illusion. All of that is false biblically and quite frankly a lie from the pit of hell. Salvation is necessary, the devil, evil, sin, and hell are real, heaven is awesome, and Jesus is running it all. The broad way leads to destruction. Only one way leads to life and that is through Christ Jesus it’s narrow the Bible says. Christ alone is the means of salvation.

    5. The Holy Spirit is God. Not a force or a source but God. This is a small but crucial necessity for the Bible says if you do not have the Holy Spirit, you’re none of His. The Holy Spirit is referred to as a He in scripture meaning He is a person, not a force. The Bible also says in no uncertain terms that God is a Spirit.

    These are the key beliefs necessary to be a Christian. Anything less is not Christian. These are majors of the faith and I’ve truncated this believe it or not. Also, one could believe all of this and still not be a Christian because they have never repented. Their lives don’t reflect true righteousness and holiness of which the Bible says no man will ever see God without.

    Therefore, Christian Science doctrine is not biblical, it gives people a false sense of security, and it is destructive to the souls of men. That’s not not Christian. That’s satanic. So, Christian Science is not Christian.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You can’t possibly know if Katie is a Christian, nor are you to judge. The label “Christian” no more makes someone a believer and follower of Christ than a walk in the woods makes someone a bear. As a Christian, and a pastor, you should know that your job is to love, not to judge where people stand with Christ. By seeking to point out what you think of others “labels” and what they call themselves, you push others away from Christ (the exact opposite of what he has called you to do). Jesus, the man you claim to follow, dined, rested, healed, loved, and rubbed shoulders with sinners and people of other religions. He didn’t bash them for their beliefs. He loved them, and that’s what drew them to him – his non-judgmental love. We, as Christians are to be an extension of that unconditional, self-less love. Your conversation with Katie about her beliefs and what you believe to be confusion could have been said over a polite email or a cup of coffee. If you truly cared about her soul, that’s what you would have done. Instead it was posted for the world to see, in a self-righteous blog that smells a lot like what the religious men probably sounded like the day Jesus flipped their tables in the temple. This defeats the purpose, brother. I would consider reading through the New Testament and really studying the life of Christ, his teachings, and what he intended for the Church to do when he called us to be an extension of himself – because nothing about this blog post glorifies god (as you claim all things that come from Christians should do).

  5. Well now.

    This doesn’t defeat the purpose one bit and I find it odd that you can get on my site anonymously and defend someone who I happen to have a decent relationship with. Katie can take care of herself and we have discussed this at length. She saw this post before anyone did. We have had a private email conversation about it at length and she laid out what she believed. She’s not a Christian. She’s a Mormon. And you’d never guess but we had a much more cordial rapport than…oh…the one we’re having now. So before you go accusing and pointing fingers, it’s better to get the full story and not react with emotional nonsense and noise.

    But let me address your concerns.

    The Jesus you’re talking about is not the complete Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus you’re talking about is the one you’re comfortable with, not the one that the scriptures lay out. Jesus was judgmental to the core. When He says, “Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins,” He is being about as judgmental as you can get. When He makes the statement, “I am the way, the truth, the light,” it’s the most intolerant statement in all of scripture. The Jesus of the scriptures pointed out a woman’s sin at the well when she was giving Him something to drink and also told her she didn’t know what she was worshiping. He told an adulteress to sin no more because she had sinned. He told a lame man to stop sinning or something worse would happen to him. He told the Pharisees that they were of the devil and that they were in error and didn’t know the scriptures. So whatever Jesus you are reading about, I’d suggest not excluding the aspects that you don’t like about Him because it makes you feel uncomfortable. In the very least be genuine enough to testify about the biblical Jesus.

    In terms of what Christians are supposed to be doing, we are to have no fellowship with the works of darkness but expose them (Ephesians 5:11). We are to be ready to give an answer for the hope of the call that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). We are to exhort, reprove, and rebuke with all patience (2 Timothy 4:2). I suggest you actually study the Bible and know what these things mean. You have stated things that are gravely in error about the scriptures and theology in general. It would do you well to be slow to speak and learn before making accusations.

    That being said, I don’t see this love you speak of coming from you. I don’t see concern if I was in error. I see someone who is in an emotional tirade and felt a need to vent. That’s fine but let’s not try to cover up your lack of emotional self-control for some kind of righteous anger. What you’ve done is shown how to be disobedient in loving a fellow brother. You’ve shown that you can’t be like the Jesus you’re talking about which I totally get. We’re all striving for that. But I find it the height of hypocrisy at the same time.

    Feel free to keep commenting if you must. I’ll take it all into consideration. But before you stick your foot in your mouth the next time, might be better to ask questions. It’ll save you some embarrassment.

  6. […] while back, I posted about what it meant to be a Christian in response to a post from another author. It got the response that I expected because those kinds of topics are sensitive and most people […]

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