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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Daughter of God

Questions About Books & Movies

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Hi, I'm a newbie to the forum, and in many ways to the Christian life. I've described myself as a re-convert because I was always a Christian, but I was not raised in Christianity and have really mixed up, patchy training in it. But really, there's a ton I don't know because I've never had true community.


Anyway, I'm concerned about a few things, and some of the responses I've seen from members on another forum are kind of freaking me out. And NO ONE could give me any reasoning behind most of their answers, leaving me worse than I started out because their strong but unfounded opinions disquieted me without giving me much (when anything) to work with using my God-given reason. I'll post most of what I posted there.


(Re: LOTR, Harry Potter, horror movies, and the like)


I'm really confused about these things. Do they really let demons into your life? How/why? And how can you tell what's bad from what's OK? (Discernment, I know, but I'm sick and in a terrible mental fog as a result, so it'll be a while until I can be clear-headed enough to pray effectively about this...and I've been increasingly besieged with temptations, etc...I think the devil is trying to get me to make a hasty move in order to shake me and weaken my rooting in God...and eventually lead me astray...which is why I'm resolved not to make any moves now at all until I'm well again, but eventually, at least, I am going to need clear, solid answers to these questions.)


I don't really like "dark" stuff - vampires & gross stuff (though I was raised with that and worse, and I noticed life "lightened" more when I left that behind as I got older, to pursue my own tastes. But I am drawn to stories about demons, exorcisms, that sort of thing. Actually, I like the Christian elements, and it's not like they're portraying the devil in a good light, is it? Is that still dangerous? And how does that let demons have any sort of power to harm you (I mean, to what extent and in what way, so I can see if these things have happened)?


The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are old favorites, which I still like to read again. LOTR is painfully beautiful, though I do find certain elements offensive, but I I'm not sure I see offensive religious content there. It was an inspiration to me as a writer (the style, not the content). So there's a sentimental attachment there. HP was just a fun romp, great for laughs and light adventure. Both were written by Christians, and I really never understood the opposition to them. It seemed crazy to me, to be honest. None of them portray God in a poor light; actually, they're pro-faith and pro-God, although not explicitly Christian. What about about Terry Pratchett and others like Douglas Adams? Halloween?


I don't even like most fantasy, actually; more and more, it tends to have extremely vile philosophical underpinnings - and that's what I react against. I tend to have a strong aversion to things that are unnatural/unholy in their philosophies, rather than superficial external elements. So that's what I tend to go by - the spirit in things, not their "props," which can just be meaningless/symbolic, etc. And I just don't see that in the spirit and philosophy of LOTR, or even HP. Not sure about Discworld, but that's not as much a favorite re-read. Is it OK to read the other two again (eventually, not now when I'm weak) just to discern and get a clear understanding about it one way or the other? Then I could finally put the concern to rest...


Still, I lurched into a cult as a young girl after a life of abuse, so I'm pretty superstitious, and I get freaked out about all kinds of things. I can't tell if this is a real danger or another vestige of cult thinking. Part of me is afraid of even having them in my possession (I haven't, for years, haven't even accessed them online for ages). Would that in itself be dangerous? Or do you think it's only in the way they influence your heart and mind that they can be bad?


I'm trying to understanding the logic of people who do hold such views (and those who don't) so I can understand the reasoning and discern properly. It might help to make me more determined to avoid them while I am sick, at the least, if I here some reasoning behind rejection of these things.


Well, thanks for reading and for any advice. I know this is long, and sorry if it's not fully coherent. Neither am I at the moment. I might have a fever and no medicine, so... default_crosseyed.gif


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Whatever we read or watch on television enters our minds and affects the way we think. Sometimes different individuals will be affected differently by reading or watching the same things. When you read something you should ask yourself whether it makes it harder or easier for you to pray to God and to study and meditate on his Word.

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