Christianity is a strange religion. We have one book we say we live by, one God we say we want to please, but there are so many different variations of what is called “Christian” these days. So many different denominations, sects, and organizations that it’s hard to keep track of them all, so how does the new believer know how to determine the good ones from the bad? How can he know what churches and leaders to follow? How does he know who to look to for guidance? A similar dilemma is faced by Sayaka, in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, when she becomes a magical girl for the first time. As a newcomer to the world of magical powers and mysterious creatures, she is unsure of her goal, other than that she needs to fight witches in order to save the lives of normal people.
Much like our new Christian, she’s pretty sure of her end goal, but needs guidance on the path towards that goal. The new Christian would look for other Christians, and a good church near them to attend, in order to gain the help and guidance they need. Oftentimes, they are aided by those who brought them to Christ; perhaps a friend or family member acts as a mentor to them in their Christian walk, teaching them to have “love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith”, as said in 1 Timothy 1:5. In Sayaka’s case, she is confronted by Kyoko, a veteran magical girl who has been fighting for a long time. If anyone can give her advice, it should be Kyoko.
But instead of urging her to fight for the protection of those around her, Kyoko encourages Sayaka to fight only for the Grief Seeds necessary to purify her Soul Gem (read my last Madoka Magica post to get an understand of why that is so important), even if it means leaving innocent people to die in order for the witch to manifest enough power to drop a Seed when defeated. In the case of the new Christian, Kyoko is analogous to an older professing Christian who, while not encouraging the new Christian to leave the faith, encourages them to use their newfound faith as a way to help themselves. This can be seen in many ways, from the self-righteous legalism of some fundamentalists to the laid-back easy-beliveism of some charismatics. Those who teach these things, while they may have good intentions, have ultimately “turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertion” (1 Timothy 1:6a-7).
The new Christian’s response to any and all teaching should be to measure it by the best standard: the Bible. If the doctrine taught by those around them doesn’t line up with the principles taught in Scripture, the responsibility of the Christian is to follow God’s Word, no matter how good the words of men seem. Similarly, Sayaka sees that Kyoko’s words do not line up with her original goal when she became a magical girl: she could not use the power that had been given to her purely for her own gain, no matter the personal cost. This put her at odds with Kyoko, who saw Sayaka’s way of thinking as naïve and misguided, and their relationship begins as a rocky one. Commitment to serving God is not an easy path to tread, but it is one that is ultimately fulfilling. As we Christians learn to love and serve God more, as we grow our communities and strengthen our ties with fellow believers, we, like the magical girls, can overcome great obstacles and achieve new heights of victory.
I hope you guys liked this one! I’ve noticed that I’m already falling into a formula for my posts, so this time I tried to break it up with a new angle and style of writing. Let me know how you like it. 🙂