This week, my friend Marcia Montenegro has been highlighting the need for Christian parents to be aware of the amount of occult material available in their children’s entertainment.
I agree. Books, television programs,video games, and movies have been featuring occult characters and practices for decades now, but they do seem to be moving toward darker themes as popular culture embraces paranormal and occult themes. Parents need to make the effort to be involved in their child’s entertainment choices in a constructive, meaningful way.
It’s always interesting to me when parents ask me what I think about Harry Potter (especially considering the sheer volume of cartoons and video games with supernatural themes). I understand it’s because of my past as a witch, but just so you know— I’m not one who is gong to tell a parent what their child should or should not watch. Why?
When my girls were young, I was an incredibly rigid and legalistic Christian. In fear, I censored what they watched or read. I always based these decisions on what someone else said without bothering to research things for myself. I’d be consumed with guilt thinking I was a horrible mother for letting my kids watch a Disney film.
In the eight years I turned to the occult, I overcompensated in the reverse. I allowed my daughters to read or watch anything they wanted (within the parental rating guides for their ages) while introducing them to my occult ideology figuring I’d let them make up their own minds about my new spiritual path and Christianity.
Both approaches were extreme and neither was constructive or helpful.
I encourage parents to ask God for direction when it comes to entertainment which may be dubious. Be aware, investigate what your child is reading. watching, or playing. If there is something spiritually compromising or dangerous, explain to them why it’s important to follow God’s direction in these matters. Show them what the Bible has to say on the subject.
Read books or watch the films alongside children. Take the opportunity to open discussions about important (or difficult) topics. Don’t leave children (or teenagers) to navigate important issues alone or with only their friends as moral or spiritual guides. Ask your child what they think and tell them what you believe and why.
Children do need to understand what the occult is and the prohibitions God has placed upon it in scripture. They need to understand the difference between Hollywood/fantasy/stage magic and true witchcraft. They need to understand ghosts as depicted in books, television, games, and movies are not truly representative of the spirit world. Talk to them about the origins of popular monster myths such as vampires (and how they were never the good guy until recent years).
Above all, ask God to lead your discussion and give you wisdom.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15 (NIV)