I have heard these questions asked of me many times over, and though I’ve made many shorter comments via social media on this very topic, Its article worthy now to address two of the top questions posed to me, being in the entertainment industry regarding Christianity viewing witchcraft and the occult as entertainment:
1. How is Harry Potter any different from Tolkien or Narnia?
2. Why can’t I “just be” entertained?
Regarding the first issue here, which has been rehashed by many writers, the primary reason Harry Potter and other sorcerers such as him will never be my friend nor hero is that they and their stories have book of magic incantations for selfish reasons and the relationships within are selfish and unhealthy. In Narnia, Lewis and filmmakers distinguish that potential. Even non Christian Mirror Mirror of Snow White story and Stars Camelot echo that there is a price to magic and the occult. Peter Jackson depicts Gandalf as a character who despite being a wizard, is humble and weary, happy to go to the grey havens, and despite being a wizard, prefers to not use magic because he knows his mentor and superior was beguiled by its power. Aslan in Narnia teaches Lucy reliance upon Him as source of power even though magic exists.
“Why can’t I just be entertained” is rather an absurd yet insulting question because it assumes, without any effort of the askers part if I can be entertained and if so, what does entertain me. Often the people who ask this question can’t or won’t distinguish what specifically they find entertaining or why they do. It is important to and mature to know the reason you like and dislike things.
Another approach/response I often get when I express my disappointment in the film industry and more so Christianity’s large acceptance of witchcraft, the occult and the demonic as “entertainment” consists of the person just viewing as entertainment. As a film producer and director, I am more perhaps keenly aware of the hidden teaching agenda of film and television…not in a conspiracy way, mind you, just that when one makes a film, not only is one teaching a message, be it blatant or subtle, there consists a craft to the film making process to guide the viewer’s emotions toward what or away from what is being presented. It is compared to music in a video about editing.
Since the late 90’s Christian complacency has been noted, and now it is largely passive and accepting of witchcraft and are of the world, in the world, rather than not of the world while being in it because our desire for entertainment is greater than desire for God. It seems to behoove and confound people that they could write the or might’ve written this generations Narnia or Tolkien story because the demand for things like Potter are worshipped and lauded. It’s official. Christianity largely has stated taking poison is fun all the while in the back of their mind wondering where the church of Acts went?
So why is God so seemingly harsh on those who practice witchcraft, denying them entrance into Heaven and saying rebellion is as witchcraft?
Witchcraft and rebellion of of the same heartbeat. A heartbeat for control and power. Not one of Trust. It seems entertaining because the user gets to temporarily see the results they wish to through the forces of evil. It is also born of the arrogance ( not just distrust) that people think it’s up to them to take power into their own hands, which is the same spiritual seed Lucifer took hold of that He wanted to be God. People see it as entertaining because they’ve never seen real demons. If they did, I would hope they would change their minds. Witchcraft is compared with rebellion because both say, “I wana do what I wana do.” Christianity’s acceptance of themselves as people above God is leading to a dangerous path and instead of heading, considering, asking about the Truth and reason, it has come to valuing how the individual sees things and viewing drinking poison as fun.
It rather reminds me of a video I recently watched about Victorian England beauty practices. Despite the elaborate and beautiful fabric on the gowns and suits, the time period was obsessed with death, not unlike today. Except, instead of hanging skulls in the car or wearing them as a design on clothing, the people of the Victorian era took tapeworm to remain thin. Now, that we know more, we view this decision as very stupid. We give our dogs heartworm mess every month. We would never dream of putting a live tapeworm in ourselves because we wanted to remain skinny. Thing is, they knew back then even, that there were extreme and often fatal risks in removing the tapeworm. Someone invented a tube to stick down the patient that had food to entice the tapeworm out. Trouble is, patients often choked to death because the adult tapeworm is extremely long and it takes time to extract it. Yet, people worshipped beauty. They worshipped self image. They knew it was dangerous. They knew also the poisonous content they put on their faces to remain pale was deadly, yet they were obsessed with pale skin.
We are worshipping death in different ways now. Now it is with film and story. It may not be a risk to our physical bodies, but it definitely is a risk to our souls. Yet people keep insistently either believing or teaching it won’t hurt our minds and hearts, which we are told to guard. For things, whether good or bad are planted and sprouted there.
Scripture tells us that the peace of God will guard us. Trouble is people seek peace in entertainment.
I have experienced witchcraft practiced on me when I was in a place of foolishness. But many Christians have no idea or they don’t care what God thinks over what they do or they are desperate for peace, and, instead of seeking it in the scripture, which is so often told and presented to them by pastors as unimaginable and cruel, they go to a human shallow pastor lacking understanding or the movies for temporary peace.
It is very uncomfortable to hear something that makes you feel good is dangerous, especially when one is surrounded by the unreliable. Witchcraft has to do with the forces of darkness. Evil likes to present itself as reliable, but it’s a ruse of slavery and dependency. You might ask well, doesn’t God want us to depend on Him? Unlike the devil, God is not dependent on us and He loves us. Too often is it despised or unconsidered how it breaks His heart that though He made us to know His power, we choose entertainment over truth, that we do not see what He has given us as opposed to what the forces of darkness offer as “cool”. It is out of powerful love that He says not to be deceived. To chronically lack responsibility in that puts a mirror to our spiritual countenance, despising the power of love and wisdom that prevented us from living eternity knowing only good and evil from the garden’s tree of Life and on top of that sending His only Son.
So what does godly entertainment look like?
We seem to have lost sight of that, comparing, rather than distinguishing the difference between how magic is presented. We seem to have forgotten Focus on the family’s long standing, “outdated” Adventures in Odyssey. Webster defines entertainment:
Definition of entertain
* transitive verb
* 1 a archaic : maintain b obsolete : receive
* 2 : to show hospitality to entertain guests
* 3 a : to keep, hold, or maintain in the mind I entertain grave doubts about her sincerity b : to receive and take into consideration refused to entertainour plea
* 4 : to provide entertainment for
* 5 : to play against (an opposing team) on one’s home field or court
We see descriptive here such ” hospitality, maintenance, consideration,…” yet all such things I do not see nor have known in witchcraft. The NT book of Hebrews calls us to entertain strangers (wisely, if the Lord’s Holy Spirit is nudging us to minister to them) because sometimes we might unwittingly entertain angels. I find this verse fascinating personally and humbling that angels themselves who know the power and presence eternally that never grows old still desire godly interactions with us as believers being beings also of choice. The devil had angels follow him to be booted out of heaven. That God’s angels enjoy the interaction with us praising God in good healthy entertainment in the midst of a fallen world prior to us experiencing the ceaseless creativity of God undampened by death.
Therefore, knowing God’s angels enjoy godly entertainment, why is it so strange and why does it then seem so lovely that demons which are fallen angels, desire entertainment as well. Only difference is they desire entertainment at our eternal expense and want us to eat what seems like the tree of life. I am a voice in this generation witnessing my fellow servants cash in to the lie and be beguiled into believing, despite being raised in a time where good was good and evil was evil, that propagation is going a dictorial direction that evil is, in fact good. That despite hearing and reading the Scripture’s Truth that times are going to get harder, that God will pour out His Spirit, that people will most likely get jaded by powerful acts of the supernatural despite the current mockery of the unseen battle as merely fictional and figurative, not for a moment thinking it could actually be real and going on all around them, that people still are drinking poison, calling it entertainment, rather than opening The Forever Standing Word and letting the Holy Spirit pour out in creative writing, film making etc because they fear flesh Father than the One who designed everyone. People do not despise doctors when the doc tells them they have cancer, which is invisible except by scan and symptoms. Yet the souls around me despise their designer because He and evil are invisible. They despise those with complex minds and discerning hearts. This is heartbreaking. I try to expose and describe the feelings in my poetry of watching souls who were once so brilliant die slowly in front of you watching. Yet, instead of hope in life, I’m met too often with a variation of “oh, well that worked for you.” These people who are perishing don’t want to be reminded of who they used to be because they’ve been letting the lie inside them grow.
God desires us to entertain. Entertainment is act of service, but it has been fashioned to an act of selfishness. It is desired because of the joy and delight experienced. Not that entertainment IS joy itself. God desires us to experience the fullness of joy. We are to delight ourselves in the Lord. Why can’t I “just” be entertained? It’s not because I despise the human attempt at hospitality. I am not “just” entertained because I know my Savior didn’t “just settle” for me and is not of that mentality. It is because when I tried to commit suicide in junior high, thinking what was around me was “just what there was and would only ever be” that mentality was Wonderfully shattered by an incomparable love. I know Yeshua/Jesus does not “just” create us, that he didn’t “just” die for us. “Just” in this mindset is one of the past tense. Yet, He is the God unlike any other who has plans and a future. Entertainment is about community, hospitality, sharing. What I cannot share in is death because life tastes so wonderful and that I know Faithfulness Himself. As wonderful as He created you to be, If you are putting an ultimatum to me in choosing to give my first fruit of the hospitality and generosity of my heart, He put me before Himself, so I would be a wicked servant to reject reciprocation and express gratitude and my Love for Him. He is hospitality toward me, providing every good thing.