Defining Magic in Christian Fiction

Please welcome our first guest blogger of the new era - the one and
only Andrea Graham, as she defines magic according to Biblical principles...

Stage magic: smoke and mirrors. Illusions of natural origin without any supernatural power involved. Only scripture anyone could possibly hang someone who does this on is to avoid even the appearance of evil.

Magic as the Bible defines it: supernatural power given by demons rather than by God. This magic is by definition evil (whatever its color) and is strictly forbidden in the bible with no exceptions. Before the Cross, those who practiced it were to be stoned. After the cross, in Acts, the Church had occultists who repented and embraced Christ burn their spell books, a way of renouncing their old way of life and completely turning their backs on their former allegiance.

Spiritual gift: supernatural power that comes *directly* from God. This is the real deal that the devil seeks to imitate (crudely) and counterfeit via magic. The bible contains very specific lists of supernatural abilities that God gives, plus Christ's miracles--in His first coming, He laid His own power aside relied upon the same Holy
Spirit that empowers His people.

Note the confusion between the first two is precisely why wiccans spell their magic as "magick," to differentiate it from stage variety.

Also, in Fantasy, to be biblical, you mainly need to make it clear that any supernatural power the good guys use comes DIRECTLY from the Lord God (Jehovah/YHWH/Whatever name you give Him). The bad guys can use all the magic they want, but it needs to be the inferior crude imitation that the reality is, or at least the good guys need to make such a distinction and not use the same terms to describe their power.
Now, an apprentice good guy may well have to wonder, "if their power is so inferior, why are they whipping our tails?" (A: because the bad are often better at being bad than we are at being good)

In Science Fiction, you can do technological miracles, which are by definition natural and hence not magic. For instance, in the Order of the Sword (a Laser & Sword serial) the Sword's sidekick, er, equal partner, Revelator invented a nanobiotic device that can detect and interpret brainwaves, which he can mentally block or focus in on to eavesdrop on folks' thoughts. He also has the device set to unconsciously scan the brainwaves of those around him and inform him of any danger. VoilĂ , demon-free telepathy. Laser & Sword invented this technological miracle because the first draft had our assistant editor (that would be me) threatening to resign.

Of course, God knows everything, and can reveal what He pleases to whom He pleases; we call this prophecy. In practical practice, it takes discernment and a firmly grounded knowledge of God's Word to distinguish between God's power, Satan's counterfeit, and human error.

In Christ's Truth,
Andrea Graham

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