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.
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.