Monday, July 18, 2005

Casting A Spell

Sometimes writers wonder if their work ever has any meaning. I mean, does it count if someone else doesn't read it? Was it worth it if it isn't widely accepted? Is it worth it if I only write for kids, adults, women, etc?

This weekend has changed my writing life. I was watching various reports on the newest Harry Potter Book. Several guest were debating whether the novels were fantasy or based on the occult. Other guests were debating whether it even mattered if the books were a form of occultic teachings as long as the children liked to read. Some guests admitted that they purchased the books for themselves and loved them.

Then I turned to CNN where a guest related that, according to several occult organizations, interest in the occult was up at least 12%. These organizations were regularly receiving calls from children asking "How can I become a witch?"

My jaw dropped and I thought that couldn't possibly be true when I answered a call from my aunt. We were trying to get together that day and she explained to me how the whole family was tired. Why? Because they had stayed up all night to get my nephew the new Harry Potter book and he was already almost done with it. He is eight years old. They made it a wonderful family outing and stood patiently for hours to get the book.

My blood ran cold.

I haven't shared with them about Jesus. When I have tried I have been patiently redirected, told that this is fine for "me" or met with a "uh huh, that's nice". These are people I love and who love me, but I have not fought for them. I have not sought a way into their hearts, their lives, their homes. While I have taken my time, been patient and tried not to offend......a deadly enemy has been brought in, made an honored guest and now has a foothold over this child's mind.

Overreacting am I? Children are calling up occult organizations and asking how to become witches! When is the last time a church, let alone several Christian organizations, reported that children were so moved by a book that they were receiving calls about how to become a Christian? How about reports on CNN that Christian organizations were reporting an INCREASE in these calls? How about children and their families standing patiently in line to receive the Lord?

Perhaps as writers, like I as a Christian, we have hesitated. We have chosen to be invited in, waited patiently or wanted not to offend. Meanwhile, the enemy hasn't even had to storm our gates, we opened them and let the children run out. Some of us lead the way (many Christians buy the books)! Now, there is no doubt that it is NOT Christ who has the hearts and minds of a whole generation. But hey, if it gets the kids reading, right?

Maybe now, more than ever, we should just write. Come hell or highwater we write from our hearts, lead by the Lord. Whether we reach one reader or millions, we just trust the Lord to get it to who needs it. And controversy? Bring it on!

And just maybe we should jump into the fray of today's world. Not embrace the violence, sex and rampant occultisim, but certainly not ignore it. Have we whitewashed the heart, the redemption, the danger and the humanity from our work? Have we whitewashed the Lord? The worst offense of all, have we made Him boring and out of touch? Have we done the devil's work for him?

The Bible is certainly one of the most moving and life changing books of all time, it is also (in my experience) one of the least read. Sure, people can quote and paraphrase all day. But does anyone really sit down and read it for fun? Maybe somebody does, but in the numbers that read this Harry Potter?

Why is this? The Bible is full of sex and violence, fascinating stories and incredible feats. But how many people know this? The writers of the Bible didn't flinch when reporting the facts. They didn't care about being politically correct or offending someone. They didn't whitewash the battles, the sin and the faults of themselves or others. They didn't leave out passion, sex and lust. They didn't turn away from abuse, incest and murder. Yet, this book has lead untold numbers to the Lord, and is in fact called the word of God. So why are Christian writers doing this?

What if, as writers, we are called to write for such as time as this. What if we aren't just to say "hey, read the bible", but are called to write the way to it? Called to draw a treasure map to it. To lead people down the road to it, to rush towards it and draw people to follow us. To point the way with certainty to a lost and dying world?

And what if, just what if, someone else is doing that exact same thing for the Devil and we have simply stood aside and watched curiously while the spell has been cast?


Samantha said...

Wow. I do agree that God is being sort of 'downsized' in our society, and at times it feels like we're the minority. I don't think we are though, many of us are hiding in the closet and not taking a stand.
As for Harry Potter, I have to admit, I read it. I read it avidly and watch all the movies. But, that's it. I just read and watch. I drew the line between life and entertainment long ago. You can't control whether or not a child knows that and things are bound to happen. I'd like to say it's a phase with some, but many it's not. However, letting a 8 year old read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I would not have. It was the most vulgar and sensitive book Jo has yet to put out. I don't know, parents are going to raise their kids on their own accord and since I don't have any I don't have much room to talk.
Well, this was just sort of a bunch of nothing, and thought I'd share.
I hope you have a nice day!
God bless,

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Wow. What a powerful post. Thank you. I wonder what kind of story one would write to reach children the way The Purpose Driven Life has reached adults?

What kind of Narnia story could one write?

There's a lot to focus on there.

Thank you for the inspiration!