Today, I finished a book that was a menagerie of sorts. In it was a bit of everything; suspense, horror, romance, murder, intrigue, but despite all this, I’m afraid many people will think of me as a back-slidden heathen for finishing it. Do you doubt me? I will attempt, as an elementary student might, to do a book report on this book.
In my astonishment, I cannot even choose which abomination to begin with. A virtual buffet is before me and I must choose only one topic as my starting place. Let’s go with the obvious one: Witchcraft.
Necromancy is the term used to describe the process of speaking with the dead. I was hardly a quarter of my way into the book when, lo and behold, we are talking to witches and summoning the dead from their graves. Now some of our more liberal readers will say, "Yes, but the witchcraft was portrayed in a negative light." It is indeed, but does that make it proper? Can not a child, reading this book suddenly become enthralled or enamored by the magic therein, even if it is a villain who is saying “abracadabra?” Parents take note!
But speaking to the dead is a bit of a stretch for this modern world, as people hardly believe in magic anymore. Murder is a more contemporary issue, especially when scripted in the gory style of modern writers, so let us turn our attention to that.
Murder is present from Chapter Two and only gets worse as the book rolls on. Much, much later, we have one man stabbed in the head, another in his gut! Horrible! I am not one for censorship, but such tales can only lead to another Columbine, or worse. Many homes have enough violence (for a single abuse is too much) without bringing a book full of murder into it. Let us keep it at arm’s length.
By this point, I am already at strike two and I hesitate to continue, as I am afraid of being banished from this fine organization. But that would not be fair of me; especially after you have read this far.
I move past some very explicit sex-talk, not because it is not important, but because I am certain that there are young readers aboard and I do not wish to cause them to struggle. This brings me a man, several actually, who are demon possessed. What is this? The Exorcist? They are followed by a wizard, who tries to beat a Christian character at every turn. If you find that my description of theses scenes is brief, I beg of you to forgive me, for I am simply whistling past the graveyard.
Where was I? Yes, the Christian fellow. He is an obvious sort, a stereotype if you will. He jumps to conclusions, makes brash religious statements about things he does not understand and even acts as though he can walk on water like Jesus! At some points, the man is made to look like a fool.
Having said all that, I do you the favor of forgetting the title. Was it Harry Potter? No, not quite. Perhaps it was something by that Stephen King guy. No, wrong again. For a moment, you might wonder if it was not a “Christian” book, by a “Christian” author. You’re half-right. Take the quotation marks away and pluralize the nouns. I am talking about the Bible.
That was a long route to travel, and I thank you for sticking with me. My point is this: Any book can be made to sound bad; Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Da Vinci Code. Some are. As Christians, we need to be more discerning and more cautious about what might be perceived as a witch-hunt. Please do not misunderstand my essay. One does not have to read the Satanic Bible or the Necronomicon from cover to cover to know that it is bad. Some cases, however, require more research from a variety of sources, not just a variety of articles from one. Paul commended the Berean church for testing the waters of truth, let us take the hint and do the same and not rely on hearsay.
Jeremy McNabb is an amateur essayist and unpublished novelist. This is only one of many articles that he has published through FaithWriters.com. He is currently finishing up his latest novel; Cold, a techno-thriller.
Read more articles by Jeremy McNabb or search for articles on the same topic or others.
Good idea and a good message. Second to the last paragraph appears to be a contradiction. "I have done you the favor of forgetting the title" and then go on to identify the book. Have I missed it? Keep in mind the audience to whom are you writing. Keep at it!
Good idea and a good message. Second to the last paragraph appears to be a contradiction. "I have done you the favor of forgetting the title" and then go on to identify the book. Have I missed it? Keep in mind the audience to whom you are writing. Keep at it!