Q. How should Christians view such things as fantasy tales and science fiction?
I grew up with Disney movies such as Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, etc. My parents read me fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm. I never thought these things were real and I never felt they skewed or damaged my view of God or relationship to Him. Likewise, my brothers grew up on Star Wars, alien space ranger stories, and things like that. Obviously, we knew they were all “pretend”.
I’m at a place now where I’m wondering what God thinks of fantasy and fairy tales involving fairy godmothers, magic spells, etc. If a person doesn’t believe in those things and understands that these plots and stories are just “make believe”, what is your opinion of what God thinks of that? Are we allowed to indulge in childlike imagination or are these things that add fantastic creatures to what He’s already created intrinsically wrong and the gateway to the occult as I’ve heard argued by ultra-conservative Christians?
I want to please God and pursue a holy life, but as I near a point in my life where I move towards marriage and begin having children of my own, I find myself wondering if princess fairy tales for any daughters I may have and space ranger stories for any sons are wrong in God’s eyes or if they fall under disputable Romans 14 matters. What do you think?
A. I think the crux of the matter lies in a person’s ability to distinguish fantasy from reality. I’m frankly a lot more troubled by the practice of traditions in Christian homes that clearly usurp God’s role in our lives, like making Santa Claus the all knowing all seeing giver of gifts instead of God, or letting pagan fertility rites become a more important part of Easter than the Resurrection.
I realize that there’s a more concerted effort now than when I was a child to blur the distinction between harmless fantasy and dangerous paganism in our entertainment, and that without proper guidance this could possibly lure unsuspecting children onto a dark path, but one of the primary roles of a parent is to be a teacher who puts things like this into their proper context, rendering them harmless.
I don’t support the current trend in some Christian circles of simply banning such materials, because we all know that prohibiting things just makes them more appealing to the curious. Better a supervised exposure and some basic instruction from a Godly perspective. It’s called parenting.