There are an innumerable amount of children’s movies today that incorporate magic and other forms of “non-Biblical” spiritual powers. It’s critical that parents are aware and intentional about helping their child differentiate between fictional uses of magic and the very real spiritual influences that are present in the Christian worldview.
1. Biblical warnings of evil spiritual uses. The Old Testament wants against the evil uses of spiritual forces in Deuteronomy 18:10b-11: "And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, 11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead.”. Satan’s use of dark spirits and demons are very real. Meanwhile, it’s important to differentiate legitimate spiritual warfare from pulling a bunny out of a hat, an illusionist’s sleight of hand, and even sparkles from a fairy godmother’s wand.
2. Differentiate between good and evil. As Christians, parents must educate growing children about the dangers of witchcraft and Satanic influence. Growing modern movements, like Wicca, should be generally understood and warned against. Instead of learning about and informing your child about all of the dark forces in the world, it might be best to inform them of what pure, good, Godly spiritual power looks like. Pure spiritual power comes from God and is used for good. The Holy Spirit empowers one to do good for His glory. On the other hand, evil spiritual power is used for selfish interest and to fulfill sinful desires.
3. Differentiate between real spiritual power and fake “magic”. Perhaps the most important gift you can give to your child is the knowledge and discernment of knowing which spiritual powers are real and which are fiction. Help your child understand which uses of magic are dangerous and to be avoided. Great questions to ask your child include, “Where did this power come from? How is it used? What was the end-result of the magic?” As your child answers, guide them to the truth by pointing them back to Scripture. If you’re not sure yourself, explore God’s Word together. Ask a pastor. Discerning truth from lies, good from evil, can be one of the greatest gifts you give to your child.
4. Point to Jesus and His miracles. Jesus performed many miracles in order to prove He was God’s Son and to glorify His Father. He healed people, turned water into wine, and even rose to the dead - all so that people would believe in God and put their trust in Jesus. Only God has the power to perform such miracles. A miracle is any event that cannot be explained by natural or scientific law. Jesus’ miracles were always done for good.
5. Point to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a seemingly magical, miraculous gift given to us by God. Romans 8:11 says that "The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”. The Holy Spirit is God’s power living within the heart of every believer. It’s not something we can see or even feel, but it lives within us. It’s the urge we feel to make the right decision and turn away from sin. The Holy Spirit helps empower us to do God’s work in the world. In John 16:7, Jesus says, "But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.”. He’s talking about the Holy Spirit!
Use your best judgement when discerning if movies’ use of magic is best for your child to observe and potentially glamorize. One thing is for sure: without an intentional conversation with you, their primary spiritual influence, it’ll be really difficult for your child to properly interpret a movie’s use of magic. So, lead the discussion!