I don’t like terrorists, bullies, or facists.
I read a disturbing blog post recently on Bible Believer Journal called You Need to Burn Your Occult Books. On the the face of it this seems like a solid premise. A Biblical example ( which the admin quotes) is in the Book of Acts:
And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. (Acts 19:19 ESV)
Sounds good. If I was a witch or some kind of sorcerer and I converted to Christianity, I should leave my old life behind and perhaps burn my grimoire etc. as a symbolic act of demonstrating my leaving my old life behind me. I get it. That makes perfect sense and could be instrumental in my early walk upon the Way akin to burning bridges so that I may not go back to my old dwelling. I now dwell in Christ.
The problem is that that is not what my Bible believing brother is talking about. The writer of that blog names a number of popular authors and book series that he considers satanic and claims that they all need to be burned. First of all, I don’t believe in burning books as a rule with the possible exception of the example from Scripture quoted above and even then only for the reason described. Second of all, the authors that he claims are satanic writers are the likes of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R, Tolkien. I can understand (sort of) objecting to the Harry Potter and Twilight series but cannot condone burning them under any circumstances. That brings images of Nazi Germany to mind and control by ignorance, manipulation, and violence.
Burning books is an act of violence spawned in the evil hearts of its perpetrators. It’s control by ignorance rather than empowerment by education and anyone who would condone such an activity in the name of Jesus needs to check his or her heart and repent because such behavior in no way proceeds out of a loving heart. As a Christian, educator, writer,and avid reader I am, frankly, appalled by the mere suggestion of coercing another into burning any book.
If you disagree with the premise or plot of a book, simply don’t read it. Or, better yet, read it and then if you maintain your opinion at the end of your reading, then explain intelligently your personal issues with the text. That is how intelligent, loving Christians educate others.