8 thoughts on “3 Lessons Movies Teach Us About Accountability

  1. Um, I am not sure how to say this respectfully, but I will really try. At the beginning of this article, the author says no thanks to Hollywood movies full of cheap sex. However, she then goes on to marvel at the accountability provided by characters in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I am not sure how we can hold the Hollywood cheap sex movies as bad, and yet exult Harry Potter. When held against the Bible, which the author quotes, both types of movies are disgraceful examples of sin which God points out we must avoid at all cost. He makes it very clear. As a Christian, I really struggle with the fact that many Christians seem to have no issue with Harry Potter. Against the Bible, it is simply a no go. I am all for accountability, but I am sure there are many other examples which could have been used here, in an effort to avoid promoting a movie such as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone amongst Christian and or non-Christian audiences. I simply don’t understand it.
    I do not say this to attack the author personally, but to highlight a sadly growing culture amongst ‘Christians’ who want to have it all ways. It just doesn’t work.

    • Your response is confusing to me. I am unclear how Harry Potter is a “disgraceful example of sin”. I read your response three times and I am apparently still missing how it fits this description. I mean, there is magic and there are wizards and witches, but that can’t be it since Lord of the Rings (and Narnia, not mentioned here) both have those fictional elements. So please. Help me understand.

    • Dawn, it is exactly the magic, wizards and witches which should offend us. I have never seen shorts of Lord of The Rings, so I didn’t particularly mention it. I am even more disappointed if that is the case. The following Bible verses should make it clear for you why magic, and those who practise it, should make these books/movies a definite no-go for Christians:
      Leviticus 19:26b
      Deuteronomy 18:10-11
      2 Chronicles 33:6
      Micah 5:12
      Revelation 21:8, 22:15
      If you are unclear how Harry Potter is a disgraceful example of sin, then please, read these verses. I know we are all sinners, and we make mistakes, but to deliberately watch these kinds of movies as entertainment, and to use them as positive examples in any way, shape or form, especially in a Christian setting, makes me beg the question ‘Please. Help me understand’. The Bible can’t make it any plainer. Thanks for taking the time to ask.

    • KE, I certainly agree with you — and I expect Dawn does too — that we should avoid witchcraft and sorcery in real life (most commonly manifested in horoscopes, ouija boards, etc. in the modern world). And parents should sit down with their children and explain that magic may be an acceptable story element in fantasy, but not in reality for the reasons you point out. However, I think there’s a clear line between fiction and reality, and that a good story may contain magic as an element without being inherently sinful.

      Consider:

      • In the Bible, the source of magic is clearly demonic in nature.
      • In Harry Potter, there is no clear source of magic; it’s genetic. However, there are clearly evil uses of magic, which are generally self-serving in nature, and good magic, which are sacrificial.
      • In The Lord of the Rings, good wizards (e.g. Gandalf) get their power from a divine source, the clear fantasy stand-in for God. When they start to use their power for evil, they are exposed as evil and are eventually killed (e.g. Sauruman). Other magic users, specifically Elves, are granted magic as a genetic gift. They treat magic as a potentially dangerous, corrupting tool (e.g. Galadriel with the Ring), and when the age of man rises, they remove themselves, and their magic, from the world entirely.
      • In the Chronicles of Narnia, a distinct allegory for Christianity, magic is an engrained part of the world. However, it either is granted by Aslan, a clear stand-in for Jesus, or from a corruptive, selfish source (e.g. the White Witch). The best examples of Aslan-provided magic are the two stars in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, who are granted magical powers to rule and to provide healing.

      My point in providing this survey of magic in fiction is simply to point out that, while in real life we get a straightforward “no” to magic, it can be much more nuanced in fiction, and can even be used to point to Jesus, as in the case of the Narnia books. In fact, by forbidding magic from fiction completely, you’re eliminating half of, say, Shakespeare’s plays, or King Arthur mythology, or George MacDonald or Lewis Carroll or any other number of authors.

      In the end, I expect this is a food-sacrificed-to-idols issue (1 Corinthians 8); Harry Potter would clearly violate your conscience, so I would not ask you to read those books or see those movies. I would ask you to recognize, however, that for many of us our consciences are not violated by books involving magic. There is certainly room for debate, but grace should have the final word.

    • I respect that everyone is entitled to their view, and nothing I can say will change your mind. Sadly, on this one we will have to agree to disagree, as for me, your argument is not in line with how I read the Bible. Thankyou anyway.

  2. Man, I was going to watch one or more of these movies, but no thanks! I don’t care for things like Lord of the Rings, I’m definitely not watching Harry Potter, and I didn’t even finish watching the trailer of the last one!

  3. Lisa, this is wonderfully insightful stuff and deeply meaningful for me. I’ve had lots of different accountability arrangements, but none of those folks did I ever consider true friends. And those I’ve thought were my true friends never did anything remotely resembling what you describe in this article, nor did I do anything for them. I think I’ve been missing something big in both areas of my life. Specifically, I think I have failed to try to love those who were accountable partners, and I have failed to TRULY love those I thought were friends. In my mind, accountability meant “speaking the truth in love,” but that love was a pretty hard-edged one. And in my mind, friendship was mostly about loving the person as is (including me), which is a pretty soft and squishy love. Neither love is how God loves us, or calls us to love each other. Instead, TRUE love for another seems to involve being a friend for the journey, a challenge when tempted by sin, and a call to action when seeking self over service.

    Thank you for your encouragement with this article!

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