I could not be more proud of my daughter for opening her heart to the power of the Holy Spirit, respectfully pushing back against the authority that was forcing the issue, and then writing this as a final project.
May God bless your obedience Olivia. I believe he already has.
These are the words that she wrote...
"As I have read The Lord of the Rings, I have been convicted by the Holy Spirit as to the point and
purpose of the reading. I have struggled through the book and doing the project, essays, tests, etc that are necessary parts of the curriculum. To say the least, I am not a fan of reading
fantasy books at all. I feel that for the most part they are wrong and take away
from the true supernatural power of God and the Holy Spirit. I also feel that
the overall theme of The Lord of the Rings - good versus evil - distracts us from the true battle of good versus evil in our souls. Satan uses anything that he can to distract us from God and his power. Literature is one of mankind’s strongest ways of communicating and displaying messages to others.
Fantasy literature is not different in this regard. However, like anything,
Satan has manipulated literature and has been able to use books as a way to
distract people and take their focus off of Jesus Christ and the true Gospel
Fantasy books as a whole are about fictitious people and events where
supernatural things happen. I feel that these kinds of book take away from the
only true supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. Humans are made with the
yearning for God, a need to fill their hearts with something supernatural. If
they can’t find their need in God, people search in any way to fill the
“supernatural void” that only God can fill in their souls. Even if we know God,
I feel that humans still have a desire to fill their lives with supernatural
things. The most popular books now are about vampires, magic, witchcraft, and
other, ungodly things.The Lord of the Rings is no different.
Magic is displayed all throughout the book. The elves and Gandalf are example of good characters in the story that use magic. Magic, in any way is wrong. The Bible makes it very clear that magic is against God.
Deuteronomy 18:10 says “There shall not be found with you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to
pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices sorcery,
or an enchanter, or a sorcerer,(NIV). Leviticus 19:31 states this about wizards and witchcraft “Don't turn to
those who are mediums, nor to the wizards. Don't seek them out, to be defiled by them. I am Yahweh your God.”
In the Lord of the Rings, magic is used on both the good side and the bad side. Magic is displayed in a good and bad way. However, God makes it very clear that magic is not good. Magic is ungodly and from Satan. We should turn away from magic, witchcraft, wizardry, etc. and turn to God. We should only rely on God for everything. Magic is defiling. Whether we practice witchcraft or read about it, it is effecting us for the negative. The Bible says that we are to “run from all these evil things (1 Timothy 6:11 NLT)” and “pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11 (NLT). We should not allow anything evil in our minds. Yes, in the world we see and hear evil things every day, and we all sin. But Jesus says in Mark 7:15 that “There is nothing outside a
person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him (ESV 2001).”
The things that we intentionally put into our minds and heart are affecting us. And we, as humans must be very careful what we put into ourselves because what comes our shows what we believe. “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart (NLT).” If the things that we are putting into our hearts and minds is evil, then we must be very cautious because eventually, whether in a small or very large way, evil things will begin to come out of us.
Another point I would like to make is the battle of good versus evil. It is all a lie of Satan that there is even a battle going on. Yes, humans have a choice here on earth whom to follow; but ultimately Satan’s power was already been defeated when Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again. There is no battle, and good has already won. Satan, however, the father of all lies, would very much like us to believe that
he still has a shot – even though he knows that his days are numbered and all any individual has to do is believe in the Christ of God in order to secure his or her position alongside Jesus Himself.
Evil will never be greater or stronger than God. However, in the book, evil is displayed as stronger, greater and more powerful. Even though in the end good wins, the appearance shown is that evil is greater and was conquered by “something smaller than it.” This is incorrect. God has always and
will always be greater and more powerful that Satan. We must also be very careful when we read any book, but especially books about good versus evil. Note that this point in particular could be rendered moot if we had not been induced to draw parallels in class between Holy Scripture and this most unholy writing.
Holding the works of man in direct comparison to the works of the Most High God
is sinful pride – as the people of the city of Babel.
The author’s point of view is always expressed. When you read about the realm of the supernatural and good versus evil, the words and the story are influencing us and our beliefs. Lies from the enemy about God, good, and evil can be displayed through the literature and can greatly influence what
we believe. The Bible makes it clear in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 that, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.”The Lord of the Rings is an example of a myth or a fable. People are turning away from sound doctrine, the truth of the Bible, and turning instead to human desires and human teachings.
False doctrine can be put into our minds, even through a seemingly harmless story. Even if the author is not trying intentionally to influence someone’s beliefs, their views and opinions are always shown through
their writings. We, as readers, must guard our hearts and be discerning to the truth of Christ, and the lies about Christ fed to us by the enemy. Satan is creative in his ways to influence us and whether we flat out deny Christ, or slowly turn away from him, Satan is doing his job. Ephesians 4: 27 says, “do not
give the devil an opportunity to work.” Don’t allow Satan any chance to influence you. He is working to get between us and Jesus, and he is good at being “harmless.” We as readers must be very discerning as to what we read and what we accept as truth.
I also feel that what happens in fantasy books takes away from the miracles that Jesus performed here on earth. If someone doesn’t know Christ and they read about His miracle, they may think that they can’t be true simply because that person has read and seen so much made up fantasy throughout their
lifetime. Even if someone has a good perspective and knows that fantasy can’t be real, they may become conditioned to not believe that what Jesus did was real. On the other hand, you read about Jesus and His miracles and the amazing power of God on display in the Old Testament - and then you go and read fantasy. Soon you will be equating the two. Someone may even say that the things that happen
in the book are from God.
Putting God into a Godless book and trying to find meaning from it is wrong.
What is displayed in fantasy books, and particularly The Lord of the Rings, as “good magic” seems to be very similar to what Jesus did here on earth through his miracles. A person that doesn’t know Jesus who reads about Him for the first time may think that what Jesus did was just “good magic” and that it can’t be
real. Jesus’ miracles were used by God to display to the world that Jesus was and is God, as shown in
John 2:11that says, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him (NKJ).” Jesus displayed his miracles as a way for people to see
the power of God. Jesus says in John 10:38, “but if I do his [God’s] work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don't believe me. Then you will know and understand that the
Father is in me, and I am in the Father."
Satan can use many ways to try and trick humans into believing in him. He will use magic and seemingly wonderful things to gain our attention and turn us away from the Christ and desensitize us to the power of His miracle. Allowing the lies of Satan into our hearts just enough to divert us from the true Gospel message is exactly what he is trying to do. If the target, so to speak, at which we are
shooting is salvation, it does not matter to Satan if we miss it by a little or a lot – so long as we miss
it. If Satan can convince one person that Jesus’miracles are equivalent to or even lower than the seemingly amazing things shown by Satan himself or in literature, then he has done what he is trying to do in all of our hearts.
I think that the most upsetting thing for me during the process of reading and discussing The Lord of the
Rings was having to find scripture to “back-up” the book or comparing the book to scripture or a story in The Bible. As I mentioned, Holy Scripture is sacred and it is not meant to be compared to any other book. It is the word of God, not a work of man, given to us so that we may know God more and live our
lives in a way that is pleasing to Him. Trying to justify a Godless book by falsely applying spiritual meaning to it is wrong. In short, trying to put God into a Godless book is wrong.
This being said, I must also argue that not all fantasy books are indeed, wrong to read. I think that the most important thing is to look at the author and the true purpose of writing the story. If the author states that there is no purpose, especially when the author goes out of his or her way to state that
there is in particular no “Christian” theme or purpose, then you should be very careful. There
is always a purpose to writing a story. Especially if the story is good versus evil, you have to be careful. It is very easy for someone to display their beliefs on good versus evil rather than show the true Gospel message of Jesus.
As written about above, the genre of fantasy and in particular The Lord of the Rings is something about which I have been convicted. The magic used in the stories, in good or evil ways, is wrong. Also, the supernatural events that occur take away from the only true supernatural power of the Holy
Spirit and from Jesus’ miracles. Satan can use literature to display lies about the truth of Jesus and good and evil. False doctrine can be shown through literature and books about the battle of good versus evil. In conclusion, Holy Scripture should not be compared to stories that are not about God. Comparing
Scripture to books and trying to put meaning into and godless book is wrong. These are my spiritual convictions about the genre of fantasy and The Lord of the Rings.:
Olivia R. Warner May 2013