‘Muscles Marty’ moved into my personal space and flexed, but strangely he was not threatening. One might say he was even friendly. Yes, I think perhaps his posture was one of pity even. His brotherly smile carried with it something unspoken, something that, had he given it words, might say, ‘I see you are quite a slight fellow, especially when compared to my tremendous bulk. Don’t worry I shall protect you.’
As I said, he wasn’t threatening, and now I even felt somewhat comforted.
But then things changed. My take on his demeanor went from the realm of supposition to that of hardened fact: he gave voice to that look of his. With a deep baritone, he said, “Ah, I see young brother, that you are one of those … those weaker brethren.”
Well, I’m not saying it was right of me, but hearing myself called weak in a public fashion like that, well it brought up some of those nasty fruits of the flesh. I bristled.
I had done a fair deal of soul searching on this weaker brethren idea in the past, so it was not entirely a new concept for me to wrestle with. It seemed quite possible a weaker brother might not realize that he was in fact weak. Could it be true then? Was I weak? Thankfully I could see from Scripture that God loved and accepted the weaker brethren. Still, I did not want to remain one. I would much rather be in that other camp, the one with the strong muscly types.
And now that I was bristled, could I be humble enough to listen further to ‘Muscles Marty’ with any kind of honesty. And, what if I ended up being right, and he wrong? Would I be tempted to roll up my shirt sleeves and show the stuff of iron? Oh, the web of entanglements our own hearts and pride deceive us with.
Jesus Christ, and His love was the answer for us. Jesus loved us. We brothers must love Him in return, and thereby love each other. Loving our Master’s Word. Loving to sharpen each other with it, for the sake of the other, for the glory of God. Loving God’s truth which sets us free. And though we would certainly fall short pursuing this lofty application, still, it must be our goal.
So, looking to the great overflowing hugeness of God, I entered into the spirit of the thing, and invited ‘Muscles Marty’ to swing his mighty blade.
I said, “Did you say, that I was weak?”
Could he hear that my voice sounded funny? And why was my heart beating so hard?
‘Muscles Marty’ took a deep breath. His chest swelled, as he pointed at our sign, “You think it is bad to have good magic in a book. Is that so?”
“Yes, but only because I think that is what God also thinks.”
“Exactly!!” ‘Muscles Marty’ looked triumphant. “That is why I will not read my Harry Potters and Narnia in front of you. You are a weaker brother.”
“I don’t quite follow your logic, Marty. How does that make me a weaker brother?”
He flipped open his Bible. “It’s all right here in 1 Corinthians 8, Paul tells us to not set meat before a brother whose conscience tells him he shouldn’t eat it. The same would apply to Narnia and Middle Earth. Adult converts coming out of the occult, like you, are going to connect the use of magic with heathen rebellion against God. Like the meat issue, those with knowledge of the truth about magic in books, like Narnia, should not press the weaker brothers to partake of them until they are convinced. At the same time we teach the truth of what is allowed.”
I looked at the passage:
1 Corinthians 8:4-10 KJV
 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. …  Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.  But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.  But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.  For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
I looked up at Muscles Marty, “Are you trying to say that this passage gives us Christians liberty to do anything?”
“Of course not, that would be ludicrous.”
“How did you decide to correlate magic into this passage?”
“I … um … well, because just like food sacrificed to idols, books with magic in them are okay also.”
“I totally get the food sacrificed to idols thing. I’m glad we’re both muscular on that account. But where is the passage that tells us magic is okay?”
“The one I just showed you says it.”
I read the passage carefully again, and I could see that ‘Muscles Marty’ was doing the same thing. “I’m sorry, Marty, but this passage doesn’t say anything about Magic. Let me see if I understand your position. Idols and sacrificing to idols is bad, right?”
“Yes, of course.”
“But, eating food that someone else sacrificed to them is okay, right?”
“So we are in agreement so far then. Now, I’m going to try to put magic into this scriptural equation as fairly as I can see it, and you tell me if you still agree with my statements.”
“Magic and participating in magic is bad, just like the idols and sacrificing to idols is bad, right?”
“Umm … yes …”
“And eating food with a magic spell cast upon it is okay? or reading a book that had a magic spell cast upon it at the bookstore would be okay? Because the magic doesn’t really matter, it’s nothing. I’m not saying the scripture is actually teaching that, but it is a fair or true analogy, right?”
“Ummm … ummm … yes, that seems right.”
“I think that maybe, your original analogy is not a true one, brother Marty. Instead of having a book with a spell cast upon it, like food sacrificed to idols, you have a book actually saying that magic is good. That would be like telling Christians that sacrificing food to idols is good. Do you see the difference?”
‘Muscles Marty’ furrowed his brow. “I will have to think on that. Good day to you sir.”
We shook hands.