Friday, February 24, 2012

why I don't read paranormal books anymore. (or watch anything spooky or violent).

~the following is a blog post from a blog I had for a short while before this one; this post is from March 18, 2010~

Dear Pastor “….”,

Well, my purpose for messaging you is that I wanted to tell you about the past couple of days in my life. During your sermon on Sunday, I found myself feeling very see, for the past few years, I have been one of those teenage girls who was crazed about Twilight, and any book even remotely like it. For the past few months, I've been working to get closer to God: i've been praying and reading my Bible more than I ever have before, and I've really been feeling His presence in my life. And for a while now, i've just been ignoring just how much I was into those kinds of things: vampires, werewolves, the works. I've just ignored it, told myself "I don't believe in it, so its ok". But this past Sunday, I truly believe i felt God speaking to me, telling me that i need to not have those things in my life; that they were taking away from what i could have with Him. So, after i got home, i went though my bookshelves, filled some boxes. The next day after i got home from school, Emily and I went out to the backyard and had ourselves a little bonfire (don't worry, we were careful about it). She got rid of the few things that she felt weren't right, and i burned a total of 71 books. :) at first i thought, "why not just throw them away?" but then Emily and I both realized, why allow them to get into the hands of someone else? I told a friend about how we did this and she responded with "you do realize that you burned like, hundreds of dollars worth of books, don't you?" i simply nodded and smiled, and explained how i wasn't worried about the money at is so...insignificant in the big scheme of things. i know that i did the right thing, and i must say: its an extremely refreshing feeling to know that those things; those somewhat simple items that really do send whispers of darkness into the minds of all who read them, whether those people realize it or not; those things no longer have a place in my life. Or at least not a place that i'm willing to give them.

I wanted to share this with you, and just let you know that God has truly been working in my life these past few months, and i'm so thankful for it. :)


This is a letter I sent to the pastor of our church just a few weeks ago. Basically, it’s a response to the sermon he’d preached earlier that week on “God in the Home”. He had a list of 7 things that hinder God in your home…somewhere down the list was the phrase “Occult Practices”; in the description of this point was “books and movies that glorify” the things that pertain to the occult: vampires, witchcraft, werewolves, etc… I believe you know where this is going ;). So, here are my thoughts on all of this; and a bit of further explanation:

Vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches…these things just don’t fit into the same picture as Jesus Christ. No. Not even Edward and Bella. I know! Le gasp! “But Edward’s a good vampire! He hates himself just for being a vampire!” Yes. And hey, kudos to him for that. I’m not being anti-Edward. I’m being anti-vampire. Twilight is a huge abnormality when it comes to the vampire image. In fact, I don’t know that I can think of any other story with a vampire whose goodness compares to that of Edward Cullen. No, besides this sparkly Romeo, every other image of a vampire that pops into my head (and unfortunately, there are far too many of these images) is just…horrible. When Twilight is taken out of the equation, the romance and happy moments disappear; all that’s left are images of darkness, the crimson red of blood, terrible ear-piercing screams…

I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have these…lovely…things in my head if not for Twilight. I know, I know: “But Twilight has none of that!” No, it doesn’t. But to a 13 year old girl, it makes the whole idea of vampires seem glamorous: beauty that lasts forever, love that literally lasts for all of eternity…. For me, Twlight led to other things. Movies, books. Anne Rice, for example. Ah. Anne Rice. I actually still, to this day, get nauseous when I think back on reading The Vampire Lestat, which thankfully is the only Anne Rice novel I’ve read; I still feel disturbed by it today, 3 years after reading it.

Twilight began my own personal fascination with books that were based around anything occult-like; before Twilight, I was strictly a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants girl. But alas, at that 7th grade book-fair, the book with the somewhat odd cover made its way into my hands…thus beginning my journey of the next few years through dozens and dozens of books that really did nothing good for me.

What’s the point of this big rant about Twilight, you ask? Well, Twilight seems to be the one book that no one understands why I’d get rid of it. Well. As silly as it sounds, I can honestly look back and see for myself that that one single book has had a nice little impact on my life. And no. Not in a good way. My including Twilight and the rest of its series in that burnpile that day is really more of a symbolic thing for me, rather than an “I hate you Edward Cullen!! BURN!!!” thing. It’s me saying, “This is the best way I can think of to show that I really am letting go of this stuff: by getting rid of the real main source of it all. I’m ready.”

Ready for what? Ready to turn my eyes, my mind, my heart from these bits of darkness, however small they might’ve been, and give my all to focusing on my Lord and Savior. Yes, we may have been the ones flicking the switch on the lighter that day, but it was all for Him, and all orchestrated by Him.

We are to be lights in the darkness, not participants in it. Vampires, werewolves, all of these things….they are not things from God. I mean, obviously. There is no place for them in a heart that belongs to Christ; there is no longer a place for them in my life. I’m walking on sunshine now, baby ;)

“The Voice of Truth says THIS is for my glory. Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth” –Casting Crowns

~end that post~


Okay. So. As you've now heard, about 2 years ago, I made the decision (or rather God made the decision for me) that I would no longer read books or watch movies that had anything to do with the occult. No vampires, no werewolves, none of that. And also, a lot of fantasy was thrown out that day as well: fairies, witchcraft, all that jazz. And now, these were all just "normal" books, the ones you see when you walk past the young adult section in the book store. Harry Potter. ("You burned Harry Potter?? I'm unfollowing you!") Twilight. Anne Rice. The works. I went along my bookshelf, and just knew which books I had to get rid of; even ones I didn't really think matched the criteria of what I was removing from my room. But alas, the whole idea was to get rid of the things that do not honor God. And I believe that he was right there with me that day as I got rid of those books; like I said, certain ones I'd have never thought would be on the list...were. I remember running my hands along the bookshelf, and when I came across one of "the ones", it was like there was a stirring in my spirit. I truly don't know if I've ever felt God speak so strongly to me as I did that day.

But along with the books, any spook movies and shows went out the door that day, too. No more crime shows, no more bump-in-the-night anything.

And I believe that since that day, no matter where my relationship with God has been, that stirring in my spirit has stayed with me. I can see a movie preview, I can see just the cover of a book, and I know that there's something evil involved.

"Evil? Isn't that a bit extreme?"
Mark Driscoll, a pastor from I-don't-know-where said in one of his sermons (that was about Twilight) something along the lines of, "If you took someone from the Old Testament and dropped them into our world, they would easily see how demonic our culture is."

We're just so desensitized that we don't see it. All of those occult creatures who are without excuse evil just hang out on our bookshelves all day. So what if that guy on TV just brutally murdered that other guy? No big deal, right? So what if the book Mockingjay ends with a mass of children getting murdered. . .the books are good, so who cares?

When I went through my bookshelf, my copy of the Hunger Games had been lent out to a friend. So I didn't get the chance that day to consider it, or to ultimately get rid of it. But now that I've read all three of the books, now that I know what's hidden inside of their more series to the pile.
And I cringe every time I see another person saying how much they "love" those books.

I'm sure some of you are reading this, and thinking it's extreme. Maybe you'll understand where I'm coming from more if I tell you that I am a reader. I get very, very into what I read. I am a visual reader. And I've got a good memory. So that horror movie I saw four years ago? Still in my head. That creepy book I read in the fourth grade? Still in my head. Things stick with me. Especially books.

I love how my pastor put it..."don't give Satan a foothold."
For me, reading those books, and watching things that were scary or violence-oriented were footholds. And I gave them to the Lord.

I love you guys, my dear followers. And I can't believe I haven't shared this with you yet, since it's something I feel strongly about; it's something I've battled with my own family about! I know it's not something that people fact, only a few people I know have understood. I've gotten into quite a few arguments about it, in fact. But it's what the Lord has called me to do, and I do my best to listen.

Oh, and on a side note: Yes, I still watch the Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, and Disney movies. (You wouldn't believe the argument that ensued from that one!)

Note: my keyword is "glorify". What does this book/movie glorify? Does it glorify God? Does it glorify vampires? Witchcraft? Does it glorify murder?
In my opinion, a war movie with violence is different than a show like Criminal Minds, or CSI, that has violence.

Anyways. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. That may work better than trying to explain each and every particular ;)


  1. I love this post, Lauren!! Thanks for sharing your heart with us! I've never read any of those books you talked about however I did see (not willingly but I didn't want to be the "odd one out") "The Sixth Sense". Honestly, I wished I never would have seen. It still creeps me out (it did then too) and I don't like it when people say they "like" or "love" that movie. Don't get me wrong - I'm not hating those people or anything. I just don't see the purpose of watching those kinds of movies. I had wanted to see the last Twilight movie that came out, but I'm glad I didn't. It just doesn't seem that appealing to me anymore.

    Just curious - when you mentioned that you weren't going to watch anymore that you weren't going to watch any more crime shows, etc. did you mean all crime shows in general? Or just dark ones? (I'm not up on the crime shows these days - we don't have cable, which is probably a good thing bc I'd spend too much time watching it! :)

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your heart! It takes courage but you've got it, girl!!! :) <3's and hugs! :) <3 Rachel

  2. P.S. I love that last pic you put on this post - the one of the girl reading the book. :)It's cute!!

  3. I get where you're coming from! It's difficult (for me at least) because books like Harry Potter I treasure. but then again the content in certain books really isn't right. I think movies are really bad seems like anything goes in movies, and what I see on screen stays with me for a while. Mark Driscoll is absolutely right - our world is very demonic, but I don't think we notice it because it's gradually gotten worse over time. If you can just turn your back on certain books, it really does make you feel better inside with out having all that extra yucky stuff to think about.:)

  4. When I was under the influence of The Hunger Games, it was awful and I was depressed for a couple days and couldn't sleep.

    But it fades so completely after a while and everybody talking about it and being excited about it is just eating away at me like waves lapping on the beach.. I find myself excited for it and wanting to watch the movie and buy the merchandise, even though a couple months ago I couldn't bear to look at the books on my shelf. (I hid them under my desk downstairs.)

    I think you made a good decision. You're not alone. I also cringe when people mention about how they "laaaave" that series and it's their favorite and they're obsessed.

  5. I have never been "into" vampires, either, Lauren. I don't mind fantasy movies though - and in fact am a big fan of "fairy-tales." Still... I think there is a caution that should be applied to any and all fantasy - especially when it comes to vampires... whether they're "good" or evil.

  6. Thanks :)i was into twilight too but now, not so much.


  7. wow, AWESOME post, Lauren!! And this makes me think that I need to do this is an area of my life as well! My radio :( Thanks for the encouraging post. ♥
    God bless you! =)

  8. this point, I'm mostly a movie watcher or a Gilmore Girl watcher ;) Which means no crime shows for me at all! But the only ones that don't bother me if I'm in the room with my parents or whoever, are shows like Law and Order...that focus on the "law and order" part of crime, rather than the crime itself. For example, the show CSI is all focused around crime scenes, and doing visual flashbacks of how the crime occurred; that bothers me. Far too much blood and graphic everything (autopsies are shown on that show. Lovely, eh?). The show Criminal Minds is all about tracking down serial killers, all the while clearly depicting and talking about every detail involved in the murders. Again, too much.
    I've learned that shows like Law and Order that are based around the politics of the thing show minimal graphic images; so if any, those are the ones I haven't completely banished.
    ~Lauren :)

  9. Wow! Thank you for standing up in this area! I haven't read Twilight or Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, and am once again glad about it! I really enjoyed your post and am glad I'm not the only one who believes like this! :)


  10. I really admire you in this post and sticking to that which you so strongly believe in. Such an admirable quality, keep it up girl!! It's a little different for me, even though I agree and see exactly what you're saying. I think there's a line I won't cross definitely whether it's to do with movies, books or tv shows. I can definitely feel when the spirit isn't there and I automatically turn it off or put a book down or walk out of the movie theatre, I've done all 3 of those things. My personal opinion and feelings is that it really depends on the morals in the book, whether the story line is based on good moral standing.. If that makes sense, I think fantasy is only really taken too far when it becomes an obsession and a way of life to the reader etc. and almost overpowering them as a huge part of belief and life. In that aspect I really agree with you. But that's just my thoughts. :)

  11. Just popping over from The Director's blog. I REALLY like your last few thoughts about the glorification of God. So THAT'S my problem with Harry Potter. Even if it has a lot of good stuff in it, even if the good triumphs over evil, blah, blah, it still has that glorification of witchcraft behind it all. Maybe it's not supposed to be like that. But when I read it, I'm not thinking, "God is so awesome," I'm thinking, "Harry Potter is so awesome and I wish I had a wand so I could Accio that cup instead of getting out of my chair and getting it for myself." ;-) I just didn't realize exactly what it was about HP until you said that. Thanks. :-)

    1. If I may says something. I don't agree with some of the things you say in this post, (I would enjoy hearing your response to 1st Corinthians 8-10), but this last comment had several serious issues.

      First off, there was absolutely no evidence that Harry Potter glorifies witchcraft given. In no way do the books do that. Just containing something doesn't mean you are glorifying it. Also, when I read HP, I'm constantly in awe of this wonderful world that Rowling has created. I really enjoy it. And you know what? I would read HP again. I have read all the book twice. I see good in them. Lots of it.

      Second, if 1st Corinthians is truly looked at, I find that as Christians we are allowed to read or watch or listen to, or do anything not forbidden by God. If find myself getting slightly annoyed when people talk about how "wrong it is to simply tell yourself I don't believe in that stuff, so I can still read the book." If you're going to adopt that logic, gone are your trips to sports games, national monuments, local parks, malls, supermarkets, Disney, your walks down your street. Everywhere, you're going to see things much worse than you see in HP or Twilight, or Hunger Games. As Christians, we have the freedom to read those books.

  12. Anonymous...we *absolutely* have the freedom to read those books; the Lord gave us free will in all areas, did He not? And every time I share my convictions on this genre in books, I expect disagreement, and I expect a lack of understanding, even among believers. But what it comes down to is that these are MY convictions, this is what the Lord has CLEARLY told me to rid myself of. And as far as Harry Potter goes, I believe it *definitely* glorifies witchcraft. It makes it cool. It makes it fun. It makes kids in the real world wish they could go to Hogwarts, and when they can't, it depresses them. People find themselves wishing they could pick up a wand and do magic spells which is *witchcraft* whether you wish to call it that or not.
    And I don't know if you've noticed, but evil things, sinful things, Satanic things, often have a bit of a glittery aura about them...we can find ourselves easily attracted to them. And I know that the world Rowling creates is beautiful...I've read the books, myself. (Or at least the first 5 of them). But the reality is that the devil is very real. Spiritual warfare, spiritual battles are going on all around us. 1 Peter 5:8 says, " Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." I believe that books of paranormal types are NOT of God, but of the devil. I believe that Harry Potter is NOT something that God rejoices over, but that the devil rejoices over. But the Lord DOES *allow* us to read these books; As I said, free will. But I'm using my free will to choose NOT to read them, not to let Satan have those footholds in my life, or those places on my bookshelf. Because whether you wish to admit it or not, everything in this world matters spiritually, even the books we read. God is everpresent, and the battle is ever raging on. And I know it's easy to forget about Satan and the fact that he is "prowling" on this earth, but the fact of the matter is that he is. And I believe that paranormal books, graphic violence in entertainment, and so many other things, are whispers of darkness that believers don't need to be focusing on. We should turn our eyes to the Lord, and focus on getting to know Him, and learning how to hear His voice.

    And as far as being "allowed" to do things...yes, we are, to an extent. But by your logic, I am "allowed" to go have sex with every guy I meet tonight. (Blunt, yes, I know). But does that mean that God WANTS me to do that? Absolutely not!! Just because He allows us to do things doesn't mean that it's right! Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." We are NOT to belong to the world, but we are to belong to God (which that verse right there basically tells us that we are not "allowed" to participate in worldly things). We should wish to please Him. And that is why though we are given the choice to do whatever, we should consider what it is we are doing, and what it is we are allowing into our minds and thoughts and hearts, and who it is we are serving. Ourselves, or the Lord? Along those same lines, if we are believers, we are "to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles" (Hebrews 12:1). So we're not even really "allowed" to do those things, now that we are of Christ...but why would we want to?

    And now I've gone off on a whole different topic. Whoops ;)

    1. Ah, but you're not taking 1st Corinthians the way you should. You are NOT allowed to go have sex with every guy you meet tonight. Why? God has directly forbidden sexual immorality. I'm sure you would agree that this would be sexual immorality. However, for those things that God does not forbid us to do, we can read them. Why? Because you're missing the main point 1st Corinthians is making. What is an idol? Yeah, there's meat, and yeah, its been sacrficed to idols. And then essentially Paul says, so what? What is an idol? and Idol is nothing. Because I know, and you know, that Jesus Christ reigns on this earth. Idols aren't Gods. Not in the sense that God is God.

      To bring this back to HP, sure the book has witchcraft, so what? And your argument for why the book glorifies witchcraft appealed to things that *might* happen. And they probably do. But here's a question. What would happen if I wanted to do spells (mind you, I don't)? I would go outside, cut myself down a stick, and shout "Accio!" What would happen? Nothing. Why? Because witchcraft is nothing. Its' nonexistent.

      I respect your convictions, and I understand that not everyone should read everything. Therefore, perhaps HP, Twilight and the like are not edifying for you. That's perfectly fine. I do think you're taking it a bit far (and ignoring 3 chapters of the Bible) if you then go ahead and say that its not good for ANYONE to read these books. There is good in Harry Potter. I'm sorry, but there is. There's good in Twilight. Do you know why?

      Because there can't not be good in them. Because (and I know you believe this), but Christ is King. And Christ also is perfect in every way. In the beginning of John (the exact verse, I can't recall), it says: "All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that is made."

      That tells us that Christ is in everything. And because he is King, and Because he is perfect, what is the point pressed in Leviticus? When a profane thing comes into contact with a holy thing, the profane is destroyed, leaving behind only the holy. And following that through, therefore means that since Christ is holy, and he's in everything, therefore there must be good in everything.

  13. First off, would you mind explaining a bit more about what point you're making by using those chapters in 1 Corinthians? I don't think I quite understand what you're trying to say..

    And second off...
    While vampires and werewolves may not be real, witchcraft IS. Go to a country like Brazil where they practice it daily, depend on it daily, and then tell me it isn't real. It is. My friend, I think you greatly underestimate the fact that we are living in a fallen world. Satan's influence is everywhere. Yes, the Lord reigns, and the Lord has had victory, but not all have invited him in, not all have accepted his gift of grace. And to put it simply, if you're not under the influence of God, you are under the influence of the evil one.

    And your logic that Christ is in every little thing...I believe that the verse you used pertains to the earth, and to humans, to God's creation. I think that you may be stretching it a bit far if you say that there is good in every man-made thing as well; would you say that there is good in the tools invented to be used specifically for abortion? I would say that that is an evil man-made thing. Would you say that a book (a hypothetical book) that glorifies Satan as a fantastic ruler who will quickly give you all that you desire if you would only give him your soul, is a good thing, from God? No, you wouldn't. Yes, Christ is holy. But you forget that Satan whispers into our ears at times, as well.

    A father molests his daughter, rapes her for 10 years...if you ask me, that is a relationship that sin and Satan have corrupted. God has not been allowed to enter into that relationship. Therefore, Satan is the one ruling it.
    When we do not invite God into our lives, into our situations, into our movies, into our books, we do not get his blessing.

    I believe that there ARE books, and movies that are clearly anointed by the Lord, that share his truth. But do not forget that He gave us free will (as we spoke of before). If we wish to write that hypothetical book about how fabulous Satan is, we are perfectly allowed to do such a thing. But let's go really hypothetically crazy and say that we are outright Satan worshippers doing such a thing (which there are such people in the world). Is God's holiness there? Is his holiness in the brothels where women and children of any age are trafficked for sex? I believe that God *can* be found anywhere, as he is omnipresent. But I do not believe that his holiness is in every man-made thing. And to think that is like making an excuse to do, watch, read whatever you want. You say there is good in everything...Pornography. What is good in pornography? It is addictive. It is destructive. It is not holy. It is of Satan.

    Did the Lord not step away from Soddom and Gomorrah? He said, if there are ten righteous people within, I will not destroy it...and there were not. Do you believe that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were still holy? No. And that is why he destroyed them. God had been kicked out of those cities, so to speak. Yes, God is the artist of this world, of its' people. But he gave us the choice to choose him, or reject him. And when we reject Him, Satan we rejoices. When we submit our minds and hearts to *things* that reject him, Satan rejoices.
    You need to understand, friend, that while God's hand is clearly all over the place in this world, Satan's hand is as well. Spiritual warfare, spiritual battles. It would be wise to remember that.

  14. Here, we seem to have an issue. You clearly hold a different view of God's hold over this world. That father/daughter relationship? God governs that. Sorry, but the sin there is Satan's, but Satan doesn't rule that relationship. God does.

    You misunderstood what I mean by witchcraft. I didn't mean, "I don't believe people depend on it," I meant, I don't think it exists. People depend on something that's not real. I ask you how many times has a "witch doctor" conjured a spirit from the grave? Just how many times has a spell actually worked? Never.

    Also, I do not underestimate Satans hold on this world. We live in a demented, twisted, evil, corrupted, dark world. And that's why we need to be reading things like Harry Potter, so that "we can be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us." So that when a conversation about HP comes up between you and unbelieving friends, you can give an answer. Don't pretend like its not going to happen. You can't deny that HP is a known worldwide. So use that as an avenue to bring people to Christ.

    As for Soddom and Gomorrah, you took an arminian view in that paragraph. I don't believe that we choose God. God chooses us. I believe in the acronym, TULIP. I'm sure you've heard of it before. The "I" in TULIP stands for "Irresistible Grace." We can't resist God's grace.

    Do I believe there's good in pornography, brothels, and the like? I believe that there is darkness so that we can more clearly see the light. I would say that light can only shine as clearly as the darkness it penetrates. Pornography is wrong, and brothels are wrong. But there's no escaping the fact that even there, Christ rules. He creates that evil, I believe, so that we can see the overwhelming depravity of this world, and the vibrant beauty of his Gospel.

    I'm trying to make the point that according to 1st Corinthians, we are allowed to read and watch things like Harry Potter. You are taking 1st Corinthians in the wrong way. You are NOT allowed to do things directly forbidden by God. Nowhere did I (or Paul, for that matter) say anything like that.

    But here's my biggest problem. I don't think this discussion can continue. You and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum on several beliefs. The main one is the power of God over everything. Pornography, brothels, the father/daughter relationship. If you would like to continue this discussion (and I am happy to do so), then first we need to argue our differences, particularly about the sovereign and inescapable power of God. If you would like the conversation to end, or you are not willing to discuss the other theological obstacles that are separating us, then I will be happy to end the discussion.

  15. Lauren,
    I just want to applaud you for stepping out and sharing your heart with all of your readers. I can definitely understand about controversial issues and other people not understanding, but I thank you for sharing what God has placed on your heart. For, it has definitely called me out in a few places, which I am so thankful for. In fact, I love your entire blog. I love that you share your heart and your mind, but you do it in a kind and friendly way.
    I have never been a fan of Harry Potter or Twilight, in fact my parent just wouldnt let me read them, which I never understood but gladly accepted. Where I got called out was the Hunger Games. I never looked at things in the perspective of which you shared it. But, oddly enough, the whole "don't give the enemy a foothold" has come up a lot lately in my life, and so I feel a certain conviction with this.
    I also want to admit I used to be very into C.S.I. and Criminal Minds and enver understood why my mother didnt like me watching them, but I did agree to her wishes and remove them from my entertainment. Thinking about it now, it has made such an improvement in my being "afraid" of things, and now I completely understand why.
    All in all, thank you so much for this post. You are very encouraging and such an inspiration to me everyday, so thank you, thank you, thank you.:)

  16. New Anon...I'm so glad God was able to use my story to encourage you! It's funny how you mention an improvement of your being "afraid" of things...pretty much all my life, my parents have given me free reign over what I watched and read, and having a mother who's somehow a fan of horror movies (horror movie "fans" are something I don't get ;)), I've seen quite a few in my time. And I was always frightened of going outside at night, or walking home from my grandparents in the dark, all sorts of things...but once I stepped away from those spooky genres, that fear went away! So cool!
    Anyways, thanks for your sweet comment...YOU are an encouragement to me! :)
    ~Lauren :)

  17. Hey, Lauren! It is SO cool that you are sharing your thoughts and your convictions and, basically, your heart on here.
    I agree with most things that you have stated. (I do not, however, agree with the first "Anonymous" to comment.)
    I agree that things associated with witchcraft, zombies, werewolves, vampires, etc... are wrong and "touched" by Satan. You can read a blog post of mine similar to this here:
    However, with things such as the Hunger Games (which I do enjoy, BTW) or thrillers or the CSI's or the like, I don not understand them. None of them come from the occult. And when you said to do things that only "Glorify God" (Which I do agree with glorifying God), then you are pretty much saying that you cannot read any books, or watch any shows. Because even Christian shows have tiny little things that don't give glory to God.
    For instance, the movie To Save A Life, the sex scene does not glorify God, and yet the movie is appropriate to watch. Why? Because of the wholesome nature of the movie. It is about redemption.
    In the Hunger Games: You said that the slaughtering of the children at the end of book 3 didn't glorify God. No, it didn't, I must agree. However, just because that is in the book does not mean that the book (or its characters) are edifying the slaughter of children.
    As Christians, we are to keep a watchful eye out. Yes, it is best not to watch horror films, because of the content (language, inappropriate scenes), but that doesn't mean we CAN'T watch them. It just means we have to be wary when looking at those things. I, personally, really enjoy wholesome, Christian horrors (thrillers).
    But to be honest, I only have four non-Christian books on my shelf. I have never read/watched, nor wanted to read/watch, the HP books, or Twilight. (They just seem dumb to me)
    In fact, I haven't even read the LotR books or watched the movies. Why? Because the allegorical line is soooo thin that it is hard to interpret.
    As for fantasy, if it is Christian, then typically it is wholesome and it pretty much always glorifies God. (for exampe, the fantasy books by Ted Dekker, Eric Wilson, Donita K. Paul, etc...) However, if it is from a non-Christian worldview, then the fantasy will likely contain non-Christ-edifying materials, such as witches, demons, fallen angels, etc...
    Along the lines of Glorifying God. One thing you forgot to mention was music. This, surprisingly, is a big one as well. Because even in Christian bands there can be songs that have nothing to do with Christ or Christianity.
    I really appreciate and respect your views though. I understand where you're coming from. If this is something God has clearly told you, then by all means, do it!
    I really love the fact that you were so honest about your feelings on the subject.

  18. Hey Brian! Thanks for stopping by...I love your comment because you seem so *open* to discussion; very friendly, very chipper...thanks for that!
    You know, the idea that we should be immersing ourselves only in things that directly glorify God is something that's been weighing on my mind lately...because to really do that, you'd pretty much have to be Amish. So no, I'm honestly not that extreme! I still watch chick flicks, and read non-Christian books here and there, and watch tv...but I do realize that what I have said does somewhat contradict that. But as I said, to fully live that out, you'd have to lock yourself away from the world, which is simply unrealistic. But of course, that doesn't mean we don't have a choice in which things we allow into our minds ;) But I do understand that pretty much everything we watch or read today is going to have something in it that is not *good*. And when there is redemption, as in To Save a Life, it does make it more worthwhile...but while I, myself, *did* enjoy the first two books of the Hunger Games, I did not feel there was redemption in the finale of that series. And therefore, I simply cannot find an excuse for the graphicness...but if I may be honest, when children are involved, even when fictional, I do get a bit extra sensitive. So were that one scene not involved, it very well may be that my opinions may *slightly* differ.
    I like how you said that we have to keep a watchful eye out and that we have to be wary...I've heard that idea before from my small group leader last year, and it stuck with me. She said, and I agree, that if you just can't help yourself, and you have to see the latest movie or read the latest book, do so with a critical mindset, from a Christian standpoint. I DO like that idea, quite a bit; not because it seems to be an excuse to watch/do whatever, but because it's a real reason to do so. I had a friend who did read Harry Potter with the sole intention of being able to know the exact examples of just what is ungodly about it when it came up in conversation...he didn't read it to enjoy it, but to know its content so that he could speak against it. And my having seen horror movies in the past, and reading countless books on the occult have both made a major impact on my views of them today, which I am grateful for (though I'd rather I'd never seen/read many of the things I did.)
    As far as the violence goes, no, it doesn't have anything to do with the occult, but it was right around the time when I got rid of the books that I kind of became super spiritually sensitive...Does that make sense at all? For example, one night, my parents had on a show, CSI, I do believe, where it started out with a family sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, and the next shot was of every one of them brutally murdered, children and all. It shocked me, it appalled me, I was heartsick beyond words...and a scene like this was something that was not new to me; I used to be obsessed with CSI, Criminal Minds! But at that time in my life, I was very sensitive, and that was the last I watched of crime shows. Now, since then, my extreme sensitivity has greatly diminished; it has its ups and downs, as my relationship with God does. But I still have that conviction about delving into murders so graphically, that I figured I'd throw it into this post.
    And music is definitely a big thing! But alas, it isn't something I've struggled with too greatly. See, I've grown up with Christian music being what has been most listened to in my household, with a few exceptions of country here and there ;) So as I've not personally had much of an issue with music, I didn't think to put it in this post.
    Thanks again for your comment, left me feeling encouraged!

    ~Lauren :)

  19. :) You're welcome, Lauren! I appreciate your reply, and I thank you for your kind words. Keeping a watchful eye out is something that my parents have taught me for years. It is something they continue to teach me as well. And it is something I strongly believe in.
    In fact, I don't have a book on my bookshelf or a movie/show on my entertainment stand that has majorly perverse language or inappropriate behavior. My parents rarely allow movies above PG in our home (unless they're Christian-based)
    I too really do not like violent scenes that involve children. It just breaks my heart when things like that happen. (I actually cried a little at the end of Mockingjay)
    Music, also, is a big thing in my household. I have grown up where music has always been Christian.
    Another thing, I would really like to thank you for taking the time to look at my blog. :) And I really appreciate your kind, honest words.
    You're welcome, Lauren. I am SO glad that you feel encouraged. And you have also encouraged me, as well!
    God bless you,

  20. Thanks for sharing. This post was so encouraging. You are absolutely right that as Christians, we should not give Satan a foothold. I do enjoy the Hunger Games, but I haven't read Harry Potter or Twilight. Some of my friends say that there isn't really witchcraft in the Harry Potter books, but I disagree. I mean the school is called "Hogwart's school of Witchcraft and Wizardry." Says it right there. Thanks again for writing that post! I loved it. It was really encouraging and thought-provoking.

  21. Anon Number 1: Two things, and then I believe our conversation shall be over.
    1: I DO believe that witchcraft is real. When you mentioned that bringing people back from the dead doesn't happen, you are correct, but *demons* are summoned all too often. When you reach into the world of the occult, you are inviting Satan and his demons into your life...when you open yourself up to witchcraft, it's like giving yourself as free reign for demons, even if you're not meaning to do it seriously. It's like the idea of ouija boards; I believe that those are incredibly demonic, while a child may think it's simple fun. But really, it's an invitation for demons to make themselves present. I do not believe that demons are omnipresent as God is, and I believe that those under God's hand of protection have nothing to fear from demons...but those that are *not* under His protection are all too susceptible to hearing voices that are not of the Lord. I once read a book, that I would suggest you read as well (since you are a reader) called The Dark Side of the Supernatural by Bill Myers. He addresses the subject of demons quite a bit, and has impacted *my* view on supernatural topics.
    I still, and will continue to disagree with the idea that Christ is in every single thing. Because I believe that that is an excuse to do, watch, read, see whatever we want to. Sounds harsh, but that's how I'm seeing it.
    And I do believe that we have some theological differences. I believe that the Lord has given us the freedom of choice to choose or reject Him. You do not. Thus, though I'm not quite remembering how we even got there through this discussion, I believe that this conversation is coming to an end.
    No matter what our theological differences, what it comes down to is that you're still my brother in Christ, and I wish you the best. God bless.

  22. Hi Lauren, I'm 17 and recently I have been doing some soul searching regarding these same issues (THG, crime tv shows, HP, Twilight, etc) and I really struggled in these things. I have watched the Hunger Games, and read the first two books as well as the the first 5 Harry Potter books and movies. I'm conflicted, I love the drama and fantasy of HP, but I think that they glorify good more than evil, but I'm still not sure. Could you help me?


Hey there! Thanks for stopping by! Remember: I *always* love to hear your comments, whether positive or negative, short or long, relevant or non-relevant! So don't be afraid to chime in! ;)
PS, sweet friends: I do ask that you watch your language as you share those lovely thoughts...let's do our best to be honoring to our God!

~Lauren :)