Regarding edification, things can only edify if we think rightly about them. To ask, “does it edify?” is simplistic at best. It is what we DO with the subject matter. Are we “thinking” in terms of what is right?
For instance, pastors must deal with people who struggle with a particular sin. That sin is definitely not good by any stretch, but what is edifying is that the Pastor helps the counseled person to think rightly about the issue, hence, he is edifying him.
It just seems to me that the issue of edification comes up as if the topic must do the edifying and we just sit back and be edified without much effort on our part. It is what we DO with the subject that it becomes edifying.
Paul commands us to “THINK on these things” – it is an effort, something we DO to establish edification.
I cannot shield my kids from every evil, however, I can address an issue to help them think rightly about it. When we watch a TV program they like and bad attitudes arise, I like to ask them, “Is this a right attitude? Why not? What kind of attitude must we have in a situation like that? How can we change our attitude from a bad attitude to a good attitude in a situation like that? What makes Jesus happy in this situation?”
THAT is edification. It’s engaging the worldly situations and rightly thinking and acting within those types of situations.
Sometimes it’s good and right to denounce something outright (NC+17 movies?), but to outright denounce something like Harry Potter yet you watch the Wizard of Oz every year, creates questions in your kids’ minds and shows inconsistencies.
With this in mind, let’s begin an edified conversation.
Years ago I struggled through this very issue– edification and Harry Potter. I decided to read proponents and opponents of Harry Potter, and there were some key points the proponents made, at least in my mind, that the opponents could not overcome.
- Scripture never condemns using innate ability. In the world of Harry Potter (Lord Of The Rings / Chronicles of Narnia, etc…) the wizards have an innate ability to do magic because their world is innately made of magic.
- Scripture condemns obtaining a “power” that is not innate nor from God – like real Wicca, which tries to obtain power outside themselves and God. The worlds of Harry Potter, et al, possess innate power.
- Quote: “While this may be considered a positive, one definite negative is that there is no higher power to answer to at all.” I don’t see this as a real point, unless there’s something I’m missing. I am thinking in terms of the book of Esther in Scripture.
- The magic in Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings, Chronicles of Narnia are purely fictional. Can you make a patronus charm? Can you take a specific kind of stick and do wondrous things with it because IT has innate “power”? I believe there is a difference in make-believe and what Scripture condemns.
My points overlap with each other, but I wanted to show (at least try to show) different aspects of the same point.
What do you think?