Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hogwarts, Magic, and Middle Earth

Last Tuesday came the release of the sixth Harry Potter movie. In honor of the film series nearing its close, I have decided to compose an article on what the Bible says about witchcraft. I also want to explain how the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are very different, because many Christians make the mistake of putting these two fantasies in the same place... the trash bin. I think I'll start with a verse.

Deuteronomy 18:10 -13
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.

This verse alone should give every Christian a shock when they think of going to see a movie that glorifies "good witches". But instead, we have an army of Christians going to support and fill their minds with scenes of ungodliness. I'm going to make a point that has been made before. Instead of witchcraft, insert something else that is equally abominable to the Lord....

This is a story about "good" Homosexuals and bad Homosexuals. The "good" ones go to school the learn the art of their craft. They need to learn as much as they can so they can beat back the bad Homosexuals and save the planet..... Need I say more?

Do you think that such a movie would be watched by Christians? Of course not. Than why do we tolerate and even watch something that is equally displeasing to God? The answer is simple.

Most Christians care more about entertaining themselves than they do about pleasing the Lord. I've heard Christians give the following argument... "Witchcraft is not really real, its just fun to watch". Do these people read their Bibles? Obviously God knew that witchcraft was real enough to put in His Holy Book.

Galatians 5:19-21
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

In Galations, it talks about the obvious acts of sinful nature, and witchcraft is one of them! I believe there is NO room for debate when we think about "good" witchcraft. I think it's clear that anyone who truly desires to do God's will, will boycott all things Harry Potter.

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With all that said, I'm sure you all wondering why I think the the Lord of the Rings is perfectly acceptable. After all, there are wizards in the LOTR. The answer to this question is a long one and requires much history and knowledge of the books. I will try to explain to the best of my ability. I will try telling the entire history of the wizards in Middle Earth briefly . Here we go....

The Istari (wizards) were sent from the west by Eru Il├║vatar(Creator God) to save Middle Earth in the third age from Sauron a fallen Maiar (angel). The Istari were also Maiar before they were sent to Middle Earth stripped of most their power and memory. They were sent to Middle Earth in the guise of old men. And instead of using their powers they were meant to use their wisdom to help the free people remain free. Wizard is just a word Tolkien used to describe these sent beings. None of the wizards ever use witchcraft. They have little magic about them at all. Their mission was decribed at the end of the LOTR in appendix B:
It was afterwards said that they came out of the far West and were messengers sent to contest the power of Sauron, and to unite all those who had the will to resist him; but they were forbidden to match his power with power, or to seek to dominate Elves or Men by force and fear.
So, one of the reasons you don't see Gandalf using magic is because he has been told not to. In this way they could help the people with knowledge instead of lording over them with powers.

There were a total a five wizards sent to Middle Earth to contend with Sauron. These are the only wizards in all the history of Middle Earth. There names were Saruman the White, Gandalf the Grey, Radagast the Brown, and the mysterious blue wizards Alatar and Pallando. It is suggested by Tolkien that all these wizards lost sight of their task of helping the free people and were drawn away by there own pursuits. All of them expect for Gandalf of course. Gandalf is the only one who stays the course set by the Valar. He becomes the last beacon of hope for the seemingly doomed people of Middle Earth.

As everyone knows, the LOTR is not an allegory, but there are many many Christian themes such as this scattered throughout Tolkien's world. Tolkien wanted nothing more from his works than for people to see God in them through his many themes. Tolkien's least favorite criticism was that his works contained no religion. I think it is up to the reader to make his/her final judgment on the LOTR. But I will say, the more I learn and understand about Tolkien, the more I think that his literature is not only acceptable, but edifying.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Poll Results of Round One.....


Which song do you like the best?

Votes:

-2- 43431- The Maids of Mitchelstown by Culann's Hounds

-3- 43432- The Drunken Sailor / The Bag Of Spuds by Liz Carroll

-6- 43433- Mollai Ni Hailpin/The Dusty Windowsill/The Merry Harriers by Colcannon
-2- 43434- The Walrus by Aureole Trio


...So our Winner of Round 1 is 43433 with 6 big ones.

On to Round 2!!!
(Check Player)

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I know I told some of you my reformation post would be up today, but the pictures are still being edited by Lauren. She is going to let me use a few since she got so many. So please bare with us a little while longer for that. At least you can listen to some music in the mean time. :)


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Monday, July 6, 2009

Two Thumbs Way Up



Ever since I saw the movie "Up", I've been wanting to write a review on it. Unfortunately, time constraints did not allow me to do so. I came across Isaac Botkin's review which is definitely better than a review I might write, so I have put a link to it below. Mr. Isaac Botkin is one of the most epistemologically sound film critics I have ever met.

Warning: This Review Contains Spoilers!

Isaac Botkin's: The Story of Up