Christians, parenting, and “magic” in stories

I’m taking an extended break from ministry activities
(a sabbatical) – so this is a pre-scheduled post for your edification.

I have to admit – I  love a good story.  I love stories that include elements of the supernatural (there’s so much we still can’t explain… except to say, “In the beginning, God…”).  I love stories that mix the two.

In line with that bent, I played Dungeons and Dragons (c) when I was a kid (GASP!).  I read fantasy novels (Piers Anthony, Isaac Assimov, others…).  I loved the first Star Wars movies (the first one came out when I was around 8 years old).

But as a Christian parent, I’ve had to re-think a lot of that, because of the two extremes that have cropped up in modern Christianity (in America at least… I wonder if they are so concerned about it in Africa, or Asia, or Indonesia?)   On the one side you get genuinely concerned parents, trying to appropriately lead their children to a right understanding of the world, the supernatural, and the mixture of the two.  On the other, you find parents who are deathly afraid that their kid might hear about a person named Harry Potter and slide down the slippery slope into witchcraft and wizardry themselves.

So what’s a Christian parent to do?

Honestly, I think there’s WAY too much hype over this issue in some quarters, and not enough wise-thinking parents teaching their children HOW to think, rather than WHAT to think.  So in that vein, I give you THIS article by N.D. Wilson on the subject.  I found it very helpful!

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3 thoughts on “Christians, parenting, and “magic” in stories

  1. My opinion is that it’s up to the parent to discern the maturity level of their children and treat them appropriately. I don’t mind going to see a Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter movie, because I can get into the story without having any belief that it’s real. (It would be kinda weird if I did, heh). If I suspect that a younger child may not be able to understand that the story is simply just a story, then I would probably refrain until they’re slightly more discerning.
    They used to have kids jump out of windows because they thought they were Superman. Who knows how many bow and arrow injuries happened when immature children played cowboys and indians.
    I look at it as kinda the same thing.

    • Hey Loren, interesting you mention the Superman thing… my mom tells a story about a kid when she was small who jumped off the windmill with a dish-towel tied around his neck – trying to be Superman. Anyway, I’d go a step farther than you did, saying that the PARENT should be responsible to teach their child, no matter their age, about REALITY… in this case, within movies, fiction, etc. Too often parents just let the kid go along, expecting them to figure it out. They shouldn’t have to… that’s what parents are for!

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