Fables and the Temptation of Christ
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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.” I Timothy 4:2-4
God’s warning to the early church through the apostle Paul, was that there will be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but will be turned off to the truth and will give ear to fables. The word for fable in the New Testament literally means tales, fiction or myths. The Scriptures give a strong warning about not getting involved in fiction. This is not to say that there aren’t wonderful fictional stories that encourage godly living, but they also do not violate biblical principals. Today, we are being bombarded with films and books such as The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.
These books talk of dialogue with witches, sorcerers, demons, as well as, spells being cast. Does the Bible warn us to be aware of such stories even though they teach “good character”? What does the Bible teach about such things? Witches and sorcerers are mentioned six times in the Old Testament. Twice they were specifically named “witch”. They were to be driven out or put to death and they were considered to be an abomination to the Lord. (Deut. 18:10-12)
How Apostasy Begins
One perfect example of how a church, a community or even a nation is deceived is found in Matthew 4:1-10 when the devil tried to tempt the Lord. The first step into deceiving someone is to offer something that seems harmless.
“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Matthew 4:3
To be totally honest in this first temptation, I really did not see a problem with that, except that it came from the devil. The Lord responded with:
“It is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
In the book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, even though it promotes Christian principles, it also intertwines mythological ideals. What is sad about this is that many people will read the Chronicles of Narnia, but they will not read the words that come straight from the Creator of the Universe… the Bible!
Someone I know read a series dealing with end time events that was well into the thousands of pages long, but they never read the scriptures. When it comes to dealing with the enemy, we are to submit to God and he (the devil) will flee. In the book of Jude, God’s word records:
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed over the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke Thee.” Jude 9
The second temptation was when the devil took Jesus and put him on the temple roof and said:
“If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”
The Lord responded with:
“It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Matthew 4:7
The series Lord of the Rings has been promoted by well meaning Christians as well as Christian ministries and bookstores. Now, with it’s trilogy of movies, it has gained much attention. One day while I was shopping the store I was previewing the movie Lord of the Rings. While watching it, I could not believe how questionable the movie was with it’s hideous creatures and sorcerers that were on the “good side”. As I watched the movie, I could not believe that fellow Christians are promoting it.
The third temptation was when the devil presented the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them and said:
“All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:9
This was totally crazy and should show every believer how worship-crazy the devil is to offer the Creator a very small piece of the universe He created. This is where the Harry Potter series comes in. Here the temptation is down right obvious and so are these books and movies. The character it promotes is bad enough, not to mention the witchcraft and other satanic themes throughout the series.
The sad thing about the Potter books is how it spellbinds young minds to read them with such fervor. One day my wife and I were having dinner at a local restaurant. When I went to the cashier to pay the bill she was reading a book. I asked her what she was reading and she said it was Harry Potter. I asked her what she liked about it. She replied, “The magic draws me into it. I do not want to put the book down.” This series is pulling tomorrow’s leaders away from the very answer the world needs to succeed.
Jesus replied to the devil’s last temptation:
“Get thee hence Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:10
Even though books like the Chronicles of Narnia promote Christian themes, are we being drawn to a closer walk with the Lord or are we being captivated to read other novels?
Friend, are you looking for excitement, wanting to discover life’s greatest mysteries? The answer is not found in fiction! It is found in the Holy Scriptures. God’s word tells us that if we search His word as we would search for precious treasures we will find the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2).
The greatest decision you will make in eternity is where you will spend it.
How does anyone get to heaven?
First realize that they cannot get to heaven on their own merits. The Bible says that “For all have sinned and come short (that means everybody can’t get to Heaven on their own) of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
Jesus Christ (who is the Son of the living God) came to earth and was born of a virgin woman (therefore he was not born of the curse of mankind) he lived a sinless life and died on a cross for all the sins in the world. Three days later, God the Father raised Him from the dead. He was seen of 500 witnesses and returned to heaven. God’s word says that if we believe these things and call upon the Lord, we will be saved. Romans 10:9 - 13