What is the difference between make-believe magic and occultism?


Hi minister,

As a parent, how should I handle children's entertainment? My child loves movies that have princesses as she now says she is a princess (she loves dresses ). But a lot of children's content has a form of magic in them. What is the difference between make-believe magic and occultism magic? Is ALL magic considered evil and sinful in keeping the Word of God?

I want my child to be able to have entertainment without being a lunatic parent who is extreme, but I also want them to watch the right things. I bought tickets to Disney on Ice for my child and was so excited but now I feel guilty. The show will feature Encanto and Frozen. Encanto is a movie we've watched and loved but admittedly it does have some pretty questionable magic. One character was attempting to contact the dead and did what appeared to be a seance. I read Christian parents' reviews and some think it's bad and some think it's okay. I just feel like a bad parent for taking my child although I'll admit I do intend to still go since we have tickets.


Make-believe magic is fantasy. It is a world based on the imagination that everyone agrees is not real.

Practitioners of the occult believe that they actually have powers or wish to deceive others into believing they have powers. In other words, they are lying to themselves and lying to others. They use their lies to control other people, make money off of other people, or be respected by other people. See Is Witchcraft Real?

Exercising the imagination is important to children in order to sort out the complexities of the world. Your daughter likes to pretend she is a princess even though you and she both know that you aren't really royalty. There is nothing wrong with such role-playing so long as it doesn't spill over into reality. See What makes some fantasy stories wrong?

Therefore, as a parent, you simply need to make sure your child remembers that there is a difference between make-believe and reality. Make-believe is fun to think about, but it doesn't change reality.

All that said, some things should not be thought about, even in make-believe. For instance, we know that it is wrong to pretend to engage in sex with someone with whom you are not married -- that is lust. Thus, in a story like Encanto, there is an opportunity to discuss why it was wrong for the character to attempt to contact the dead, as well as emphasizing that people can't really do it anyway, though God can. Talk about what the real problem was, which was not being able to move on from the past. It might be too deep at this moment for your daughter so keep it simple.


Thank you.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email