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Christian Parents, Please Stop Practicing White Magic

Parents who fear mystical objects and symbols should compare this “white magic” with actual Scripture.
| Sep 26, 2014 | 65 comments |

white magic

Many Christians, including many parents, are practicing “white magic” whenever they fear and shun objects, symbols, and Things more than they fear Jesus Christ and hate inner sin.

Just this morning I saw this mystical perspective on display yet again.

With Halloween on the way, it’s time to explore this topic again (more on this next month). And yes, calling parents’ fears and reactions “white magic” seems harsh. But I’ve come close to this before, and novelist Mike Duran provided further helpful reflections.1 And I don’t know what else to call it when parents repeat these beliefs:

  • The Devil can own objects, symbols, visual motifs, and Things, and use these things to “get to” your innocent children and to you.
  • Therefore to protect yourself you must fear these objects, shun them, and perform spiritual measures (including rule-following and verse recitations) to stay safe.

Folks, this is too close to the kind of divination God condemned in Deuteronomy 18.2

So what brought this back to my attention? A concerned parent being fearful on Facebook.

Plugged In takes a step

Yesterday PluggedIn.org posted part 2 of an excellent interview with hip-hop artist Lecrae.

If you don’t know Lecrae, he happens to be successful breakout hip-artist and a Christian with a very biblical view of art, culture, and vocation. You can see that expressed here:

“I believe the reason why the church typically doesn’t engage culture is because we are scared of it. … We’re scared it’s going to somehow jump on us and corrupt us. We’re scared it’s going to somehow mess up our good thing. So we consistently move further and further away from the corruption, further and further away from the crime, further and further away from the postmodernity, further and further away from the relativism and secular humanism, and we want to go to a safe place with people just like you. We want to be comfortable.”

So I like it that Plugged In is interviewing Lecrae. Often Plugged In is seen as one of those websites that evangelical parents use to “outsource” discernment to staff rather than to help them explore popular culture.3

I also like it that Plugged In is trying something a little different with their “Movie Nights” feature. To me it appears the writers are exploring a radical concept of treating teens like junior adults rather than innocent children who need to have bad words screened for them:

This whole issue of good movies/bad movies has been a point of tension for me ever since I began working for Plugged In—and, really, I think it’s a paradox that Plugged In has always dealt with. After all, most movies aren’t altogether good or bad. Most fall somewhere in between.

[…] Our Movie Nights are never to be treated as a seal of approval. We’ve said that for years. And I personally like that, because I think that sometimes more content-laden movies—particularly popular ones—deserve a Movie Night treatment more than the squeaky-clean ones.

[…] In essence, we want to help jumpstart conversation in the world you actually live in, not the world in which we’d ideally like you to be.

It’s a small step, at least for Christians who years ago started hollering about how we need to stop creating our own often-delusional popular cultures and shine light into the actual world. But Christians with conservative backgrounds, let’s not be trolls. We can empathize.

Plugged In steps too far?

But if Plugged In hopes to encourage parents to think beyond inspection of a film’s outward appearance — so they can be sure the film is “safe” for Message delivery — they face a long hard journey. Many parents still hold the views or the default posture of one commentator. This concerned dad saw Plugged In’s image of Lecrae with a triangle over his eye and said:

Perhaps he should not portray the Illuminati pyramid with the all-seeing eye emphasized. This is exactly the type of Luciferian propaganda used by the secular musicians.

Please don’t just laugh (as some commentators did). This father is genuinely concerned that Plugged In’s graphic designer intentionally used an “evil” symbol, or at best was ignorant of the “secret knowledge” that this symbol is used to transmit evil intentions on behalf of a “Luciferian” secret society or “the Illuminati.”4

In response you can laugh (perhaps if you’re one of Them: a member of the evil society or an ignorant compromiser). Or you can issue a challenge to someone like that. This is what I did. I think it’s the only way to combat such beliefs: to say that they’re the mystics, they’re the ones who are attempting “white magic” contra Deut. 18 and contra Colossians 2:20-23.

BG, I challenge you to prove from the sufficient Scripture alone that certain symbols, visual motifs, etc. are intrinsically evil and to be feared.

By accident, you’re actually advocating a “white magic” approach to evil — as if avoiding certain sights, sounds, and presumably objects will keep out sin. The apostle Paul challenges such notions in Colossians 2. Jesus Christ the Savior of His people, who made a public spectacle of demonic powers (Col. 2:15), warns against such attempts to act as if the evil is “out there” in the world or things we bring from the world into ourselves, rather than our own sinful hearts (Mark 7). Here you have slandered Plugged In and its graphic designer(s) in a way that has not shown Christlike love for them.56

If Plugged In’s writers or other Christians aim to “jumpstart conversation [using popular culture] in the world you actually live in, not the world in which we’d ideally like you to be,” then what will we do when people react like this? Ignore them? That’s not loving. Laugh at them? It’s hard to avoid this, but that’s also limited and/or not loving. Challenge them? Yes, I think we should. We must challenge Christians, starting with ourselves, to reject such “white magic” notions about the world. We must see that actual sin-corruption comes not from evil objects, symbols, or Things, but from our own hearts (Mark 7). And we must find the solution not in worthless and pagan worldly rules (Col. 2), but in our holy loving Savior.

  1. See “‘Clean Fiction’ as White Magic,” Mike Duran.
  2. See “Winners Don’t Do Witchcraft,” E. Stephen Burnett at Speculative Faith, Oct. 31, 2013.
  3. E.g., many parents want to fetch trained “ministry” staff to provide a tally of cusswords, violence and Messages. This supports the view that art is a containment Vehicle for entertainment or Messages, rather than an expression of man’s imitation of the Creator that reflects truths, beauties, lies and ugliness in messy mixtures.
  4. If you believe that sort of thing, please note that my argument here works even if such secret evil groups actually exist.
  5. Comment at Plugged In’s Facebook page, E. Stephen Burnett, Sept. 26, 2014. That last part is especially revealing, for the original commentator is not only expressing fear about the Plugged In designer’s accidental “sin” but accusing them as if it’s a sin for which they must be “held accountable” and ashamed! So in that case, what is the actual offense that could be happening here?
  6. Sept. 29 edit: Some readers are unable to find the original conversation at Plugged In’s Facebook page. As of this writing, readers can find the conversation by clicking this link and then expanding comments after the comment by BG Sawyer. I’ve also provided a screencap of the whole conversation here.
E. Stephen Burnett is coauthor (with Ted Turnau and Jared Moore) of The Pop Culture Parent: Helping Kids Engage Their World for Christ, which will release in spring 2020 from New Growth Press. He also explores biblical truth and fantastic stories as editor in chief of Lorehaven Magazine and writer at Speculative Faith. He has also written for Christianity Today and Christ and Pop Culture. He and his wife, Lacy, live in the Austin area and serve as members of Southern Hills Baptist Church.

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Matthias M. Hoefler
Matthias M. Hoefler

A friend of mine calls this “Christian paranoia.”

Leah Burchfiel

Well, that’s certainly nicer than my initial reaction of “dumb, superstitious waffle.” And “superstitious” seems the aptest word to me. Avoiding corruption by collecting the Jesus-iest talismans reviews from shamans vetted reviewers (+3 damage) and the best spells Bible quotations (+2 damage). It seems thisclose to lining the TV cabinet with salt and throwing beans at the computer screen to dispel the miasma of swearwords and sideboob.

Kat Vinson

I hear what you are saying but your tone comes across just as judgmental as the point of view you are arguing against. Some people take things too far – often because they let someone else do the thinking and just ran with the final judgement, not having any real understanding of the issue. But not everyone avoids certain symbols, objects or things because they are afraid of evil magic “getting” them. Everyone has their reasons for choosing when or when not to participate in certain things. It’s a complex situation juggling personal convictions, Biblical commandments and cultural implications.

Case in point: my husband and I do not participate in Halloween. Not even the Autumn festivals and such that many churches/Christians choose to do. We arrived separately at that decision before we had even met, having thought it through on our own. We tried slightly participating when our daughter started school – allowing her to stay for the party and even wear one of her play-costumes. But the conviction afterwards literally made me feel sick. We will not compromise again. But we don’t have any issues with the many, many Christians who feel differently. (And we have no problem with cosplay or the type of costume, though I find the gory ones repulsive) Romans 14 applies here.

As for Plugged In, I find it an extremely useful tool for gauging whether or not a movie will contain content that I’d rather not see. But it is a tool – not an excuse to be lazy and not think for myself. I don’t base my opinion off the reviewers because we all have a different standard of “what’s too much”. Expecting other Christians to exactly align with every one of our convictions is ridiculous and impossible. (That’s where the man in Facebook has tripped up, I’d say.)



Leah Burchfiel

Out of nosy curiosity, what is it about the Neewollahs/trunk-or-treats/festivals/whatevs that elicits a “no compromise” reaction for you? I view them in pretty much the light as church hoo-wahs for the Fourth of July, Mother’s Day, etc: an excuse for socializing and potluck (but I repeat myself).

Kat Vinson

Well, because it’s a compromise.  People do them to provide sanitized versions of Halloween so their kids won’t feel deprived. But guess what, the kids will get over it. I wasn’t all that pleased as a child when my parents had similar opinions (Want to humiliate your kids? Try handing out bible verse bookmarks to trick-or-treaters.) but as a teen I ended up making the same choice for myself. Not to mention my husband and I find nothing appealing about it whatsoever and we’re not going to give satan the satisfaction of even a compromise. We waffled on it that one year but all it took was seeing *kindergarteners* in bloody clown costumes for us to firm up our opinions.

Kat Vinson

(Because I forgot to check the “notify me” button and I don’t see a way to do it after the fact…)


Things mean things. If not, nothing means anything. People use symbols for a reason. Some people use symbols because they’ve seen other people use symbols and are simply copying. But other people use those symbols as representations of their philosophy. So your “parents are afraid and practicing white magic” sounds a bit thick to me. Perhaps parents simply know what symbols represent. They understand the underlying worldview behind them. They might not leap out of their skin and start throwing Holy Water on a t-shirt with Baphomet, but they might assume that a rock artist wearing the shirt might not altogether be a savory character or a good role model. Conversely, an atheist might understand the philosophy behind the crucifix with a dead guy on it and not want their child influenced by the philosophy behind it. I hardly think this is magic or superstition, but what all parents do to one degree or another–they control and filter the influences in their children’s lives.

J.M. Hackman
J.M. Hackman

There are a few side issues you’ve brought up with this article.

This battle of symbols is one Christians have fought for a long time (remember Steve Taylor and his “tarot card” album, I Predict 1990?  I’m probably dating myself here . . .I remember at least one article where he defended the album’s illustration — drawn by his wife — as just that, an illustration.) So Plugged In isn’t the first to fight this battle and probably won’t be the last. I’m not sure I’m on the same page as you are regarding what they’re doing — I liked their reviews because it gave me a heads up on what to expect when walking into the theater and dropping a boatload of money.

Some teens can be treated like junior adults, but some can’t. Just because my teen faces vulgar language on the bus, doesn’t mean I’m okay with her seeing more of it on the silver screen. And if we want art to imitate life, there should be an opportunity to occasionally view the art that imitates my Christian life, which unfortunately is not offered very often.


“The scene shows Hazel and Gus taking off each other’s shirts, and she undoes her bra. (We see her from the back.) They caress and kiss as they give in to their passion. Afterwards, both are seen mostly naked, with the sheet covering only the most critical body parts. And it’s worth noting that much is made of Gus’ previously virginal “condition” … and that this union is seen as the perfect end to it. The couple cuddles and kisses elsewhere.

Gus’ friend Isaac makes out with his girlfriend in a parking lot, and we see him kneading her (clothed) breast. God’s name is used as an expletive about 30 times, twice paired with “d‑‑n.

This is why I have never taken “Pluggedin” seriously either. I wonder if Mr. Asay would be ok with his wife or daughter or son “performing” like this.  If they would be ok if it were him? Is God? Does the Lord excuse His name being taklen in vain 30 times because it’s in a movie that some worldly website thinks Christians should use for “movie night”?

The idea that the God of the bible would use such sinful andblasphemous trash to teach His lessons is an outrage.  Stephen you need to make up your mind. I hope Cap weighs in on this.

Travis Perry

I think the attitude some Christians employ does approach a “white magic” view of symbols, though I don’t think that is always the case with all such concerns.

I have never thought of this issue in the terms you used though. I found your observations very insightful as a result. Thank you.

D. M. Dutcher

Yeah, I  grew up with this mindset in my church. It’s lessened compared to the eighties, but it’s still there. The Halloween thing is a big example; I haven’t celebrated it in ages, mostly due to the remnant of being programmed about how satanic it is when I was a young teen. You should have seen the reaction about Dungeons and Dragons back then, too. Or for a past generation, bar codes.

I’ve been out of the loop culture-wise, so I’m not sure how it manifests these days.

Mirtika Schultz

I wasn’t programmed to be anti-Halloween and I loved dressing up and T&Ting as a kid, but I just dont need candy, am too lazy or often lacking energy to cosplay/dress up. I just ignore it cause it doesn’t much matter to me.

I might feel differently if I had kids who wanted to dress up and stuff. Then I’d be into it. I’d guide it, but I think horror/scary stuff is not just fun in that odd way scares are fun, but are great, great teaching opportunities. No matter the costume or spooky thing, there’s something there, literary or theological, to talk about.

Martin LaBar

Thanks, all. I needed this.

Last Sunday, one of my Sunday School classmates (who is over 70, and a lay pastor) said that he thought that we should avoid steeples and stained glass, because they were (maybe still are?) used in satan worship.

Leah Burchfiel

….Where the heck did he pick up that Satanists use stained glass and steeples? Some misplaced Freudian joke? Though it makes total sense if “satan worship” is used as an absurd and nasty euphemism for Catholicism, and I think we have all known that one old person who has absurd and nasty opinions of Catholics.

Mirtika Schultz

Oh. My. Sweet. Pickles.

Barbara Ogg

So, you think this guy, LeCrae is biblical?
“I believe the reason why the church typically doesn’t engage culture is because we are scared of it. … We’re scared it’s going to somehow jump on us and corrupt us.”

Proverbs 14:16 The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure. 15 The naive believes everything, but the sensible man considers his steps. 16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless.

Job 28:28 And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”

Psalm 34:14 Run from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it.

Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord and shun evil.

Proverbs 16:6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for: through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.

proverbs 22:3 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Well Stephen, I am actually not afraid of sin, but I have certainly see what it can do and how easily I personally can become entangled in it. But because I have been able to see and recognize I was entangled in sin does not in anyway mean that I am more susceptible to become entangle in sin than anyone else. It just means that I have recognized I was entangled in it. I have also learned that when people are in deep delusion they do not know it… well because they are deluded. I have yet to find any scripture that says we are allowed to play with sin.  But I see plenty that say avoid it.

When I was a child and my mother would take us to the carnival, she would instruct us Not to look at the carni people trying to get us to go to their booth. I thought that was rude actually. I mean they were talking directly to me and I was told to ignore them. But I listened to my mother (because she was standing right next to me). Later in life I understood her wise words. If I look at them I will go to them. We go where we are looking.

We are to focus on Jesus. Satan’s game has always been to get our focus on anything but Jesus. I don’t play around with sin or evil and rename it culture. We are on a path and hopefully the right path, the one the Bible describes as the narrow path that leads to Christ, not the broad path that leads to destruction. We will be mocked while on this path (by the world).  Will there be Christians also mocking and throwing stones at us also?

Are we pointing people to Christ or away from Christ?

I do not practice white magic. I practice avoiding and shunning evil. I do not fear Satan: I fear God. The same reason I listened to my mother when she said to avoid even looking at the carney people who tried to get my attention. I was not afraid of the carney people, but I was afraid to disobey my mother. God said avoid evil and I am trying to obey Him.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
1 John 2:15

Paul Lee

We look to the Cross, and the mystery of the Gospel provides the framework to then look at all the world and all of human experience. God is real, and He is everywhere. There’s no objective manifestation of evil that can be definitively identified other than the act of sin.

Mirtika Schultz

Knowing that culture can corrupt and fearing it and seeking isolation are two different things. The verses do not apply to the context. The context is about isolating into the Christian safe space (we only socialize with Christians, we only buy stuff with little fishies on it or approved by Focus on the Family, etc). Jesus and the apostles did not shun their culture–they engaged it in order to change the people, one by one, and thereby have an effect on their world.

There are Christians who think rock is evil–not the milieu of many rock artists with groupies and drugs–but the actual musical type, the beats, the rhythms. This is WHITE MAGIC thinking. The music itself is not evil. But some cultures formed around it may be. Just like classical musicians can have a sinful culture. Hip hop is not of the devil, though many hip hop videos sure look like whatever demons lodged around Gomorrah were designing the choreography.

When the culture feels that all we have to offer is condemnation and our main reaction is avoidance or sneering, we are doing something wrong. This is why when they think “Christian,” what comes to mind are narrow-minded judgmental prigs. Jesus was not narrow or judgmental (though he certainly pointed out sin). He engaged with all around him–even the unclean lepers and Samaritans. No one was off limits. No house. No food. No beverage (He boozed it up!) 🙂

You don’t change culture by avoiding it and ignoring it and hiding. You change it by being the shiny, salty part WITHIN it, so when folks interact with you–be it the neo-pagan tattooed kid or the drag queen in sequins or the junkie or the materialistic skeptic lawyer or the hooker or the communist union activist–you aren’t trying to shy away and avoid “those people,” you are loving them and showing them why Christ has a really great thing to offer.



Stephen says: “You obviously feel it’s okay to include examples of Plugged In’s bad stuff in order to show people how bad it is.”
No. I do not ever need any Christian to hypocritically defile and pollute fellow children of Father Adam by financing their sin in the pretentious name of protecting the church. It’s a lie. And a ridiculously easy one to expose.

Stephen says: “But this is exactly what Plugged In writers and/or other Christian movie-reviewers do when they include “pictures” of bad stuff so you can see how bad it is. So the difference again is … ?”
There is no such thing as a Christian movie reviewer who does that. I’ll say again. I don’t need to crawl around in a dumpster to know that it’s filthy and rotting inside. I can smell it from all the way over here. The godless pagans at IMDB will tell me everything I’ll ever need to know about any of these godless pagan movies or TV shows.

Stephen says: “Don’t go’n say that about Asay or imply he’s a hypocrite.”
Either he believes God would bless the scenes I quoted being portrayed by himself and or his own family or he IS a hypocrite for watching other do it AND recommending the church watch them too. And if he does believe God would bless that, he needs to get saved for sure. Additionally. He is NOT even just telling us how bad it is. He is recommending it for young Christians on a Christian movie night.

Stephen says: “The fact is that all Christians assume that some of us may be more qualified to see stuff like this without being personally tempted to sin, including sex and violence. (Most of us aren’t, which is why we should be aware of our own custom weaknesses.)”
God qualifies NONE of His children to pay His money to watch other people sin in the production of blasphemy, blood and debauchery for utterly frivolous and superfluous entertainment. You know what aggravates me about you? Your insufferable arrogance. Ya know why I say that? Because you  DO NOT  pay attention when other people spend their valuable time composing detailed thoughtful words to you. I went over this in detail the other day here. http://www.speculativefaith.lorehaven.com/2014/06/20/why-we-condemn-game-of-thrones-porn-and-think-you-should-too/#comment-140730

From that comment:
“My point was that if REAL murder were included in a film, it would be sin to produce it 100% of the time. While there may not be actual intercourse happening, there is plenty of actual nudity and actual sexual contact in today’s visual media entertainment that is sinful in it’s own right having nothing to do with the audience’s reaction. It is that that has been my focus for the year now that I’ve been regularly dealing with this. I don’t even address whether it induces lust in the consumer or not. Because people lie and most effectively to themselves.”

Stephen says: “If you don’t believe Plugged In writers are able to do this, then you will surely believe that someone else can — soldiers, social workers, paramedics, police officers. Witnessing the nastiness of a sinful age does not automatically equate to participating in the sinful age.”
You have to be the dopiest smart person I have ever known. I don’t think I’ve ever met ANYbody who is as clearly intelligent as you are and who is yet so embarrassingly inept a debater. You are a true anomaly Stephen. Please do not take that as being hostile. It’s cross eyed bewilderment. Not hostility.

Am I actually being expected to believe that you cannot perceive the difference between real life situations where God provides grace for those called upon to undertake life saving occupations or emergencies, and the cinematic, photo realistic portrayal of sin in the name of of utterly superfluous “art” and “entertainment? You REALLY don’t get that? Really?

Stephen says: “The reducio ad absurdum of the view that “no Christian is allowed to see acts of evil without being implicated in those same acts” is exceptionally absurd.”
Once again. I addressed this VERY idea the other day. BUT, you would have to demonstrate a piddling modicum of respect in actually listening to people when they communicate in your direction in order to know that. Let’s try again. Right under the comment I linked above from the other day. ONLY PLEASE ACTUALLY READ IT THIS TIME. 😉

“…No, it is not sin to inadvertently witness real life violence. I would never say such thing. I live in Detroit, but the real standard is that the bible does not say that seeing violence by accident is a sin.  Or nudity for that matter. If forced into an emergency situation by God’s providence, He would also give grace for delivering a baby or protecting a naked woman running from a house to escape an assailant for instance. (these really happen. At least here) Life saving medicine is also unrelated to entirely unnecessary art and entertainment. I’ve heard that one 100 times too.”

Stephen says: “Again, you yourself in this very comment proved that you actually believe that Christians might see bad examples of bad things not in order to imitate the same things but in order to see how bad those things are and avoid them.”
Brother, what pray tell, do you think people did before there was even electricity? I do not need some God hating blasphemous pornographer to teach me ANYthing by their “art”. EVER. Unbelievable. This man thinks that without movies and TV we wouldn’t know how bad sin is. I say that your very holding to this view shows that you don’t even know WHAT sin is. To say nothing of how bad. Read Owen’s “Of the Mortification of Sin in the Life of the Believer” for example to lean about sin. Written by candlelight 360 years ago. You’ll never view that filth factory in Hollywood the same again.

 Stephen says: “We also agree that just because folks disagree on stuff, within Christianity, it’s no cause for separation from them. 🙂 “
I refuse fellowship according to 1 Corinthians 5, to those who promote pornography as a legitimate God blessed form of “art and entertainment” and “education”.  (God help us!! I can hardly even type that). You don’t. You embrace them. I just refuse to believe that this will always be the case which is why I cannot get myself to write you off. .

Make no mistake my friend. Your head is already in my God given noose as I type this. If you continue as carelessly as you have thus far, you WILL be swinging, eyes bugged and tongue out very soon here. If you only had any idea how much this bums me out. 🙁

Leah Burchfiel

No, Burnett! Don’t feed the Tribble!

Paul Lee

Nobody should feel pressured to respond to rhetoric that could be interpreted as a death threat.

Tribulus, I think and hope that you don’t really believe that God has given you the calling to kill people. I believe your reference to a “God given noose” simply means that you don’t think Burnett is a real Christian and that he will ultimately fall under God’s judgement. But this is the Internet, and we can never be sure what someone means. Also remember than no one is obligated to read anyone else’s comment or to respond. You don’t know Burnett personally, and no one should be forced to make an Internet discussion with random strangers personal. There’s only so much time and emotional energy that anyone can invest in an online discussion, and you don’t have a right to demand that anyone give more.

Tribulus, whoever you are, some advice. Take some time off from reading blogs. Look, I’ve gotten too wrapped up in blog discussions before, too. Last year I gave up blog reading and commenting entirely for Lent, and it did me good. Stay away for a while; cool down.


September 27, 2014 at 9:07 pm
Bainespal says”Nobody should feel pressured to respond to rhetoric that could be interpreted as a death threat.”
Oh for Pete’s sake LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!

I do hereby declare and affirm that my statement of the following:

“Make no mistake my friend. Your head is already in my God given noose as I type this. If you continue as carelessly as you have thus far, you WILL be swinging, eyes bugged and tongue out very soon here”

:was and is intended to convey figurative content only. The notion of manifestly fatal defeat in a battle of ideas. Any construal so as to find any actual real world physical threat is the unfortunate delusion of the one suffering from it. By God’s gracious providence I have already had this brief clarification with Stephen offline. He laughed at it 🙂 Because he knew I wasn’t ACTUALLY threatening him LOL!!

It appears I’m not the one who needs some time offline 😉 Too many movies I’m afraid there bub. Rots the mind. Must be violence everywhere you think huh?. I live every day surrounded by real world violence and would have instantly known what somebody meant by what I said.

Leah Burchfiel

Wow, that is probably the most perfectly textbook demonstration of  gaslighting I have ever seen. It’s like you studied.

D. M. Dutcher

Of course, the insulting content of the original post seems to have slipped your mind. Maybe it’s because “you are the dopiest smart person I have ever known” as well as “an inept debater.” Or you possess “insufferable arrogance” and “do not pay attention when people compose detailed, thoughtful words to you.” Neither do you display “a piddling modicum of respect in actually listening to anyone who communicates to you.” Perhaps the metaphorical noose you need to worry about is woven out of your own words.

But hey, i’m not saying this to insult you, I’m just “cross-eyed bewildered.” I just can’t quit you, man. *brofist*

More seriously, you seem to be repeating the same old stuff that got you banned at Mike’s blog. And if you think what you do, why are you even at a site that reviews secular stuff in the light of how it can work with God’s story and Christianity? And got to second Notleia on that-not like I think gaslighting is as prevalent as it is, but darned if that isn’t as naked a personal attack and distraction from the point of how hilariously inappropriate your original metaphor was.


People, are you guys serious?  Isn’t anyone here at all familiar with figurative language?  Why ever are you insisting that what was said here was a physical death threat?   Come on folks.   That seems to be quite ridiculous.


I need to make a correction to my comment and the editing time is already up.

“People, are you guys serious?  Isn’t anyone here at all familiar with figurative language?  Why ever are you insisting that what was said could be a physical death threat?   Come on folks.   That seems to be quite ridiculous.”


I don’t know what “gaslighting” is.

Stephen and I had extensive friendly dialog before my posting this comment. We had agreed to a public exchange. Quite mutually.

I sat on this post for 15 hours (it was completed Friday night) waiting for him to be able to respond to my PM’s first so I could talk to him about it in light of our recent offline conversation. I knew he was busy because he hadn’t’ seen them at all until then. People have lives. I also gave it to two folks I trust to read first.

I told Stephen what it would be like, that it would be personally offensive to him.  That I would post it somewhere else, like another thread if he felt it off topic here or not on spec-faith at all if he prefer. He told me to post it here. Here it is. I don’t consider there to be near the tension between he and I that some of you folks are assuming.

He told me it would probably be some time before he could respond, which I then told him of course would be fine. As I say, people have lives.

He’s a big boy. Why don’t we let him do that?

I know what got me banned from Mike Duran’s site DMDutcher. I met a good new friend through that situation, who is my friend still. Aside from that, I stand by pretty much everything I said there.

sally apokedak

That woman’s objections reminded me of a book I read years ago when my kids were little. Turmoil in the Toy Box. One of the worst books ever. If I remember correctly, guy actually believed that little girls were being raped by demons because they had troll dolls in their toy boxes. Some nonsense like that. I’ve tried to wipe it from memory.

What bothered me most about the woman’s comments was that after the Plugged In people apologized for the confusion, she said this:

I have no doubt, with all of the attention to detail and knowing the ins and outs of graphic design that your designer knew exactly what he or she was doing. He needs to be held accountable. 

She has no doubt. Doesn’t matter what they say. Doesn’t matter that they told her they weren’t doing what she thought and they apologized for inadvertently offending her. Doesn’t matter they they explained exactly why they did it.

She has no doubt. The graphic designer was purposely doing a wicked thing because, hey, she just knows it. She doesn’t have to take them at their word. She doesn’t have to say she’s sorry for falsely accusing them. She doesn’t have to believe them and forgive the perceived offense. Because she has no doubt that they’re wrong.

No reason to interpret other Christians in a charitable light because I have no doubt they love to do wicked things and they are doing them on purpose. I have no doubt that people have never heard of this or who don’t care about this are either wicked or lazy. And either way they need to stop it right now and repent of their shameful, shameful ways.

D. M. Dutcher

My family had that book. Actually we had all three of his books, plus the “Halloween and Satanism” book. It was tough growing up as a Christian kid who liked role-playing games then. Even now my mother still believes that spirits can come in and influence you through the objects you have in your house, although she’s softened quite a bit from my younger days.

The eighties were a bad time for Christianity. There was a paranoia in the air and an abuse of authority that wound up gravely harming the public face of the faith.


Sally says: “Turmoil in the Toy Box.”
HAHA!! I remember that book.

What bothered [Sally] most about the woman’s comments was that after the Plugged In people apologized for the confusion, she said this:

“I have no doubt, with all of the attention to detail and knowing the ins and outs of graphic design that your designer knew exactly what he or she was doing. He needs to be held accountable. “

I’m not finding those comments. Are they at the Lecrae interview. I don’t see any comments there.



So do Christians today think that the true villains are the Apostle Paul (who referenced pagan works in the Bible) and the early Church (most knowledge we have of the ancient world, including the myths come from churches)? Because by the logic of those today (agreeing with the foolishness of the Puritans on a few issues), most Christians in history, including the bloke who wrote most of the NT, are all bad folks or not really Christians.

Randy Streu

Not one to do this, generally, but I dealt with this topic from another angle last year. Seems pertinent.

Good post, Stephen.