Hey Devil Are You In There???


I’m going out on a limb with this one. OK, that’s an understatement; I’m going to tap dance all over the limb with this blog. I may have a witch hunt after me for posting this, but none the less, here I go!

Tap! Tap! Tap!

For those of you who don’t know, I am an avid reader. Over the decades, my taste for literature has gone through all kinds of phases. There was the Anne Rice obsession, the historical European fiction addiction, the chick-lit romance year and of course, the Harry Potter lifestyle (yes, I said lifestyle). I can get hooked on just about any genre from Romance to Horror, Self-Help to Fantasy. I do not discriminate on the playground of Barnes and Noble.

The same goes for movies. While scary movies, as we’ve already covered, scare the BEGEEZUS out of me, I do enjoy most everything else. I can even respect (from an eyes closed position) some of the horror ones, as long as I don’t have to sleep alone after watching them. J

I enjoy reading a lot of material that is deemed religiously inappropriate in a lot of my circles of influence. I am no stranger to being “one of questionable judgment” when it comes to books and movies. I guess it all began when I wrote my senior research paper on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which is still, in my opinion, an excellent novel. While I understand and agree with a lot of the points made by the church against such writings, I’m still amazed at the amount of religious fanaticism that goes into deeming books and films as “evil”.

My earliest memory of this witch hunt behavior was probably the whole “Boycott Disney” thing. Anyone else remember that? I was still in the Southern Baptist ring during that time and until some overzealous adult pointed it out, I HAD NO IDEA that there was a penis on the cover of my Little Mermaid VHS! While I do not condone the inappropriateness of such oversights, I do believe they were oversights. I’ve worked with jokers like the ones I’m sure were in the drawing room that day. I imagine the conversation went something like this, “Dude, we should put a $*(% on the cover of the Mermaid movie and see how long it takes someone to see it!” Whatever the reason was behind all that scandal is really irrelevant. The fact of the matter is I would’ve been better off to have not ever noticed the cover. The Little Mermaid is still my favorite Disney movie to date and I do not blame it or Alladin for any sexual experiences I may (or may not) have participated in over the years. 😉

Book burnings, picket lines, anti-whatever parades, blogging rants… it’s all the same thing. It’s hype and it’s publicity and in extreme cases such as depicted below, it’s ignorant.

Harry Potter book burning in New Mexico. (tear)

I pose this thought. If our eyes are so bent on finding evil under every stone, isn’t the devil winning? Surely our sights are on him and not where they should be and isn’t that exactly what he wants?

I will not advocate for anyone to go against their religious convictions and ride down the Harry Potter or Twilight trail with me. However, I don’t believe the devil is going to be any more or less interested in me because I happen to appreciate excellent literature.

Now, if I start filing my teeth into points and drinking TruBlood, feel free to say, “I told you so!”


6 Responses to “Hey Devil Are You In There???”

  1. 1 hemphrey

    Hey! You know what? I’m with you. Christians have villainized my passion too. I hate it because I am a Christian and the dominant attitude makes me feel like I am the one who needs to hide under a rock. But I am not going to anymore. My brothers and sisters who haven’t given it any real thought or study are currently the majority. I guess it is my job to educate them. I appreciate what you are doing here. Keep it up. Remember to do it with love and grace.

    God bless you.

  2. Just stumbled across you on the tag surfer, and I just wanted to compliment you on expressing these ideas so clearly and thoughtfully. I work for a national bookseller, and I’m always amazed when I hear people go on rants about how this or that book (usually Twilight or Harry Potter) is morally reprehensible and is tarnishing the souls of our youth. I don’t run in the same circles you seem to, but I share the belief that one can have strong faith values and enjoy a variety of books and movies without being “tainted” in some way.

    Also, you might want to check out a great memoir called Trespassers Will Be Baptized by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock. She grew up the daughter of a Southern Baptist minister, and her take on church life is charming, funny, and very insightful.

  3. I see your point existing around me most days. I just shake my head and chuckle at them. They look at me like “how dare you laugh at such a serious matter”, and I say to them “God gave you an opinion of your very own. Go find it.”

  4. Amen, amen, amen!

  5. 5 Livin' Sacrifice

    Hey, i can tell you really like reading these kinds of books. Im sure they are exhilarating, and why wouldn’t they be??? they are full of action, romance, and a whole lot of other interesting things. But is it really worth it? Is it worth numbing you mind to the cursing, the sexual immorality, and who knows what else? Maybe the devil isn’t getting a foothold on your life. but is it worth someone who looks up to you to start stumbling down the wrong path b/c they saw you reading it and thought it was ok? Is it worth it??? I mean really worth it??? 1 Timothy 4:12 says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

    I don’t think the devil is winning just b/c ppl are arguing over whether it’s right or wrong. He’s winning b/c ppl are allowing themselves to become numb to his tricks. and believe me it’s easy to do. but we have to keep up our guard. the cost is too great if we let it down. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12). It’s when we think we have it all together that the devil can knock our feet right out from under us.

    “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” Timothy 2:22. It doesn’t say to experience with it but to flee…in other words…don’t even taste it. If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.

    “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ” (Romans 12:1-2)

    “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Your body is a temple of God. The same God who love you enough to give up everthing, including his very life, is the same God who is living in and through you. He’s with you everywhere. He hears everything you say and think. Nothing is hidden from His sight. Yet He still wanted to be with you…He died so that He could be with you. Is it worth forcing a wedge between you and the Living God just because you want to see some video, read some book, hang out with certain friends, or try certain things. He gave up everything for you. what have you given Him?

    So the question is…IS IT REALLY WORTH IT????

  6. 6 lisa

    I agree with you that the tactics sometimes used to make a point (no matter which side you are on) are not always very appropriate. The point of any issue (and there are many) always needs to be made out of love with a broken heart for what is happening and the people that could be hurt by it.

    For me, as a parent , I know that Biblically I am responsible to Christ for what I allow to enter into my children’s mind while they are at home in my care. As a youth leader and a parent, I am responsible to Christ for what I teach the kids, the example they see from me in the things I do, watch, and listen to, and for telling them the truth about things. This can be a scary position to be in and I know I fail at it many times. In the end, they have to make their own decision and be responsible for it, but at least they don’t go into a decision blindly. The can see both sides and decide what they are going to follow. They always need to check their decision on anything with Christ’s standards…., not on friends standards.

    You know, when people are taught to spot counterfeit money, they must spend endless hours looking at the real bill. Why the real thing?……..because the counterfeits always change. If you know what is real you can spot a counterfeit immediately, no matter how many times it changes.

    The same is true with life. We don’t spend time “looking for the devil under every stone”. We know the truth of God’s Word, then when satan shows his ugly head (although it is really disguised as fun, inviting, and no consequences) we recognize it immediately and can warn people of the dangers. “Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Christ comes that you might have life abundantly.” We focus on Christ, so that, we might recognize things that might try to pull us away from Him and His plan for our life.

    As far as books about the supernatural world, the Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that ” our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”
    Some may be able to see them as fantasy stories about the “dark” side, but hopefully they do realize that the unseen world of satan is very real. That is why the Bible speaks so strongly, in both the OT and the NT, about completely avoiding any type of sorcery or witchcraft. We have to be careful and not desensitize ourselves to the reality of what is real . Everyone has to make their own decision, but they need to look at all the facts.

    Believe it or not, I really hate to write…lol

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