And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. (Mark 9:42)
This verse has been on my mind a lot recently. As an author of books for young people, I am constantly aware of my charge to create stories that uplift and encourage my readers. That's why, when I see forces pulling the opposite direction, that is, toward acceptance of sin, I lament and try to pull even harder toward righteousness.
These thoughts are likely in sharper focus for me now since I have lately participated in a couple of online exchanges with people who say that all kids sin or that it's normal for young people to sin. This was in context with debates about the characters in the Harry Potter books. Some say that the books depict "normal" kids and that all kids are like them--lying, cheating, stealing, etc--even kids who are raised in Christian homes and have professed faith.
Such thinking is a stumbling block for young people. When they are told over and over that sin is normal, that "real" kids are rebellious and mean, that they can never escape committing sin, those who tell them these lies are causing them to stumble. The lie-bearers will answer to God, and according to the verse I quoted, their judgment will be terrible to behold.
The truth is that real kids can be obedient to God in all things and at all times. If they surrender their lives to Jesus Christ, they will have to power to obey and follow God with all their hearts.
Here is the truth:
Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:7-10)
I hope that those who are preaching the opposite will repent before it's too late, and I hope that young people will be able to recognize the deceivers and reject their lies. I will continue to do my part to shine the light of truth, that God cleanses all true believers from all unrighteousness and gives them power to live holy lives. I will continue to write about young people who care about doing what's right and make heroes out of them, giving good kids role models and making them feel "normal" instead of out of touch with what many of J. K. Rowling's supporters falsely call "reality."