Three Reasons I Read Secular Teen Novels

And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 HCSB)

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FreeImages.com/Antonio Jimenez Alonso

I love reading books and watching movies. One day my brother-in-law raved about a movie. He said, “Oh it’s so good. You have to watch it.” Now, I know him and his wife. They don’t watch anything their kids can’t watch. I was skeptical at first because this movie’s main character finds out he has magic: witchcraft. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and had to watch all the others in the series. Then I decided to read the first book. I was hooked. But, when it comes to these type of stories, I’m careful who I tell.

So, why was it bad to watch? To be honest, because it had witchcraft in it. Something that some Christian’s frown upon. Exodus 22:18 says, “You must not allow a sorceress to live.” (HCSB) Seems harsh, but God had a reason. 2 Kings teaches about the kings of Judah and Israel. When the king set a good example, the people followed his example and did good in God’s sight. When the King was bad, the people were bad. One of the worst kings was Manasseh.  2 Kings 21 says, “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, imitating the detestable practices of the nations that the Lord has dispossessed before the Israelites.” (2 Kings 21:2 HCSB) “He made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did a great amount of evil in the Lord’s sight, provoking Him.” (2 Kings 21:6 HCSB) “Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem with it from one end to another. This was in addition to his sin  he caused Judah to commit. Consequently, they did what was evil in the Lord’s sight.” (2 Kings 21:16 HCSB)

In a nutshell, practicing witchcraft means you are worshiping something other than God. If we are a child of God: someone who believes in Him, who accepts Him as Lord and Savior we should want to worship Him.

As a Christian, I have no desire to pick up witchcraft. I do believe it is real, and I believe that there are real people who practice it. I can see the danger some Christians may have after reading books like this. For this reason, I don’t tell people what I read because I don’t want to cause a new Christian to stumble. Something talked about in Romans 14 and in 1 Corinthians 8.

So, unless you read the bible, pray, and talk to fellow Christians on a regular basis, I don’t recommend just reading anything secular unless it’s required. But if you feel confident in your understand of God’s Word, here are my three reasons to read secular novels. (Especially for someone aspiring to become a novelist as I am.)

  1. It is really good writing. I’m talking about the craft of writing. I found myself asking, “Why is this so good?” I wanted to analyze it and figure out why I can’t put it down. It also seemed to move at a faster pass than what I was used to. I wanted to know how I could do that in my writing.
  2. I wanted firsthand knowledge of what my kids were reading. I wanted to be able to relate to what they were talking about. Not because I wanted to be their “friend.” There will be plenty of time when they are older to be that. I thought that as they got older they may be required to read some of these secular novels. I was right. That leads me into the next reason.
  3. I wanted to be able to give them God’s perspective or at least try. Let’s face it. I don’t know everything the Bible says. I don’t understand everything the Bible teaches. I’m still learning. I do know more than my kids. And, I know where to go if I’m not sure about something. As I learn more, I can teach them more.

Lord, guard my heart and mind against worldly views. Teach me your views. Help me to make them my views.

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