2 Peter 1:16–21, 2 Timothy 4:1–8
Yesterday, we read about mediums, sorcerers, et al., and that they were bad mostly because of the human tendency toward the self. The problem with the way this is portrayed is what seems to be an apparent conflict between scriptural admonitions and the world.
One of the easiest targets for this over the years has been the Harry Potter series. The story about an outcast becoming a hero is very attractive to many people. Yet, many well-meaning Christians warned (and continue to warn) others that the series was steeped in occult and black magic.
On the other hand, those same people would insist that everyone see/read Narnia series and The Lord of the Rings series. The Narnia series was written by Anglican C.S. Lewis, and he was deliberate in developing the series through a Christological lens. Roman Catholic J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings series. Both series written by devout (and vaunted) Christians were steeped on otherworldly lore…and magic.
What are we to take away from this, then? Be discerning about both what you read/watch, including Christians. Legends and myths are useful to teach and learn Biblical lessons from a different perspective. J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and even J.K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series) tell wonderful, inventive, and disturbing (i.e., looking in the mirror) books about humanity.
Can people take them too far? Absolutely! This is where we tie back to Paul’s and Peter’s words. If the myths pull us away from Christ and the Truth of the Gospel, then they are to be avoided. The primary myths that Paul and Peter were dealing with were Roman pagan gods (now studied by even conservative Christian colleges as part of their liberal arts programs) and the Jewish Laws that Jesus opposed. Yes, Narnia, Middle-Earth, and even Hogwarts can be used to teach about Jesus. Again, one must be careful in doing so.
1) What do you think is an American (or your home national) myth? Why is it a myth? What is its power?
2) What do you think is a family myth? Why is it a myth? What is its power?
3) What do you think is a church myth? Why is it a myth? What is its power?