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Tuesday, October 25, 2005 

The Fantastic, The Occultic, and the Powers of the Age to Come

I hear about a phenomenon of growing intensity from many angles, without necessarily coagulating them together in my neural firings of a brain. Listening to the radio (typically, Todd Friel) I hear the constant (unsubstantiated) truth proclaimed that youth, and typically "our kids," are turning more and more to Wicca. A different angle cites the popularity of Harry Potter and The (insert some mythic, Norse object/paranormal activity here) and its intrinsic evil, as well as use of real satanic spells and incantations to brainwash our children. With the Halloween season already upon us, Christians fire up various arguments for/against celebrating the "holi"day and to what extent we dress our children up. What if its a white witch? A converted elf? Does that help?

Basically, it seems to me that there is a fair amount of suspicion, skepticism, and perhaps even fear about some of the things that go bump in the night, and their ability to steal away our covenant children.

What brings this a bit closer to home is that I was always attracted to "power" and "magic" rituals, stories, et cetera. If I was growing up these days, there is little doubt in my mind that I would be getting mixed up in some of this mystical mumbo-jumbo.

Which isn't to say I'd be a raging heathen, either. My parents, in their God-given wisdom, did an amazing job steering me through my formative years despite my penchant for the occult and Satan. And amazingly enough, I think I can confidently say it was good for me. I absolutely love Greek mythology. I love it. I can still recite to you vast archives of it. I know how the gods are related, what their sacred animals and symbols are, where they reign, and what their quarrels and intimate relationships consisted of. In fact, I was this way with all mythology. I can remember checking out a book on Egyptian mythology in the fourth grade. I had memorized their pantheon shortly after.

I was this way about everything. While I loved playing with my G.I. Joes, nothing quite compared to He-Man and The Masters of the Universe, a theme wrought with occultic image and theology. (I can still remember when some righteous evangellyfish published a book exposing the utter paganism inherent to He-Man, resulting in my not being allowed to watch the cartoon anymore.) A few years later, I had to "have a talking to" because I wanted to pray like the Japanese ninja's prayed to their ancestors (only in form; it never occured to me to pray to anyone other than Jesus, even when I was seven or eight). As I grew older, I learned to love the Albion Trilogy by Stephen R. Lawhead, and C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings had already been near memorized. So fantasy, other gods, and magic were very much a part of my upbringing.

And as I mentioned, my parents beautifully brought me through those years in a way so that I never became too embroiled in some deep magic, nor resentful that they did not allow me a path that piqued my curiosity. Rather, they lovingly and wisely ushered me through that corridor, to where I now have a deep love and appreciation for fantasy and myth, and I feel that compliments my rigors in dogmatics and symbolic theology.

What frustrates me, however, concerning the fracas currently expressing itself in the modern Evangellyfish scene, is that (unfortunately) I doubt many children have the benefit of having parents as wise or as terrific as mine. So instead, they must wander the dark mazes alone, and without near as steady guides as I had to guide them.

I am convinced that at least one reason so many Christians struggle so much with their children getting a taste of supernatural power is that they are afraid they will be swayed by it, and in truth, the parents themselves are a bit afraid of unknown sources of energy and presence undetected by modernity's precarious scalpel. This is, unfortunately, the fault of the Church, which has never shown Her people the power of God. We are all a bunch of sheep scared of shadows and the howling of wolves when Aslan is our Shepherd. Our dearest comfort is the scariest thing in the universe. Christ commands us not to fear men (and by extension here, any man-made myths about Wicca or the occult), but rather fear God.

I think the place we have failed at this the most is in our worship. Our worship should be clearly seen as "power encounters." It is in corporate worship, when we gather with the saints under the Name of Jesus, that we taste of the powers of the age to come. The author of Hebrews describes the terror that accompanied Old Covenant worship, noting the smoke, the fear, and the terror. But then, he turns and examines what our New Covenant worship ought to be like:

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:22 - 29

So in NC worship, the same sense of fear isn't present in the same way, since we have so much a better covenant and a better High Priest, Jesus, who brings us in royal procession to the Father. Therefore we do not fear in the same way. But the power, Oh! the power that is present when we worship. We we gather under the invocation, God Almighty Himself calls His chosen servants into His house. The sky is rolled back, the roof of whatever building you are worshipping is thrown off, and the baptized are brought, by faith, into the courtroom of heaven. Notice who the author of Hebrews describes us amongst: angels in festal robes, the firstborn, the martyrs, God Himself, and Jesus Christ the Righteous. We are in heaven. Every time Christ's church gathers to worship, we get a foretaste of "the powers of the age to come" (Hebrews 6:5).

So little boys like myself should not be afraid to play with Egyptian gods if they know that come Sunday morning they are entering the presence of the Almighty. He is God, and there is no other. When we enter into the glory of the Triune God week after week, the pitiful excuses of the idols of the nations don't look as threatening as they once did. We must help our children - who are tempted by Wicca, the occult, and all manner of silliness - to see the glory laid before them in Christo-centric worship. And we must help their parents - who are afraid of the unknown and have never themselves tasted the weight of glory - to see the glory laid before them in Christo-centric worship. God help us all.

Here is nothing wrong with wicca u ass come visit http://senixisbattle.blogspot.com and we will have a little talk!

I shall have to beg your pardon as I fight the laughter now consuming me-anonymous sounds quite intellectual in his\her vocabulary.

Dear Anonymous -

That's Mr. Ass to you.

Thanks for taking the time to comment and read my blog. I'll be sure to spend some time over at yours. It really looks good! You've got a great start going: welcome to the blogosphere.

blund

Thanks ive gotten your post! Mr.Ass


As for this "kb" person death to those who live for nothing!

I am finally posting again Mr. Blund so swing by!

like I said my site moved to http://senixmarcoviahaa1.blogspot.com/

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Transplanted from the artic blight of Minnesota to the sunny paradise of SoCal, I am attending school and learning to say "dude." I like to think of myself as equal parts surf rash, Batman, heavy metal, Levinas, poetic license, and reformational. Other than creating blund blogs, I enjoy reading, sporting, and socializing with serious and funny people.
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How does Rowling and the "Harry Potter" series stack up against Tolkien and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy?
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