Larry Grant 5a

THE SORCERER'S STONE!

CHAPTER TWENTY: BARBARA SPEAKS TO THE PRESIDENT   

 As the three walked slowly back to the dorm, they knew their case must be left in the hands of God.

Although he did not mention it to the others, Larry knew his personal situation was serious. Where would he go? His parents were on the other side of the world, in India. They would not return for months. He would lose an entire year on his transcript, and it would have a blot on it.

 By this time, Larry had a lot of student friends on campus. As they walked slowly along, a couple students greeted them.

“Hey, how’s it going?” Larry didn’t have the heart to say much of anything. But Peter spoke up and told them what had happened.

“What! That guy is going to kick you out, when you have helped the students so much!”

Just then Barbara and Jenny heard the commotion and walked over. “What’s going on here?” demanded Barbara.

When she heard the latest, she really got angry.

“We will not put up with this!” she exploded. Turning to Peter and Skip, she began talking to them like a drill sergeant.

“Go to the boys’ dorm and tell them what has happened! I’m going over to the girls’ dorm and start a firestorm over there.”

“Wha’da’ mean?” said Peter in an awed tone.

“It’s still early in the afternoon,” said Barbara. “Get the boys over here in thirty minutes, and I’ll get the girls. Right here. We’ll meet here. We’re going to march on the ad building!”

The girls ran south to their dorm, and Peter and Skip ran north to theirs. Larry came along behind. Praying that the Lord would guide, he disliked such a show of disrespect to duly authorized authority. “But I guess, I have to stand by what I have told others. We must obey God rather than man, when it comes to standing for Bible principles. My friends are trying to stand for Bible principles and I should not interfere.”

Arriving at the dorm, he slipped in, intending to quietly go to his room. But boys crowded about him in the entrance. Yes, it was true what Peter and Skip were telling them; he had been kicked out. No, he didn’t know what he was going to do. But right now he was going to his room and pray.

Peter and Skip had quickly sent eight scouts, one to each side of each wing of the two-story building. Running down the hallways, banging on doors, they told everyone to get out front immediately for a special meeting.

Mentioning briefly what happened in the president’s office, Peter and Skip led them to the center of the campus. There they found the girls hurriedly gathering also.

Peter stepped up onto a low wall and was about to speak, when Barbara got up there also, interrupted him and said. “Listen! you all, quiet down!”

Everybody became very quiet. “Listen, you people, I’m angry! And we’ve all got reason to be angry. Half an hour ago, the president told Larry Grant he was kicking him out of the school, as of right now, because Larry would not back down and give his approval to that special class and memorize everything that Centaur and the other two teach!”

A murmur of anger ran through the crowd.

“We all know those three—Chaos, Vetala, and Centaur—have turned this place into a witch’s den! You and I know we should not be holding this meeting here, but we’re not just defending Larry Grant; we’re defending God. And that’s why it’s all right to hold this meeting!

“Now, I ask you,—Are you going to put up with this! Or are you going to march with me up to the ad building—and demand that President Vandersleeve rescind this action!”

Soon they were headed west to the administration building. There was such a noise outside, that the president knew he had better get out there as fast as he could.

And there he met Barbara.

“What is this all about? I demand that you disperse right now!” President Vandersleeve cried out.

A loud voice silenced him.

“Dr. Vandersleeve, on behalf of the students of this school, I demand that you rescind your decision to kick out Larry Grant.”

Shocked to the bottom of his toes, the president shouted at Barbara, “And what right do you have to make such a demand?”

But Barbara had also been sending a prayer to God for guidance. The answer came. She called out, “If you don’t, we will contact every one of our parents and they will make sure you are fired!”

At this, the president visibly crumpled. Normally, students cannot make such a demand and get away with it. But the president knew he was on shaky ground, for the students had a lot of evidence they could present to their parents about the negative effects of that class and all that Larry had done to help the students. Besides that, at least some of the parents might believe in the Bible and not want their children taught by people with familiar spirits [Leviticus 19:31; 1 Chronicles 10:13-14; Isaiah 8:19-20].

In a softened voice, he said, “Uh,— I’ll see what I can do about this.” Before he could turn and start toward the door of the ad building, Barbara called  out to him. “If Larry is not taken back as a student, ours is not a threat but a promise!”

Before separating, Barbara told the students to keep on the alert. She and Peter would alert the two dorms as to the outcome of this. “We’re not going to let this matter rest!” she said.

After conferring with Mr. Silverton, the school treasurer and second in command, twenty minutes later, a messenger was dispatched to Larry’s room. “Telephone call for you down at the dean’s office; said it’s important!”

On the line was the president. “We have decided that we will give you more time to make a wise decision in this matter, Larry. You are still a student. Do you understand?”

“Yes sir,”

“Thank you.” Click went the receiver.

“The poor guy didn’t want to talk to me any more than he had to. He probably knew I would not change what I had said, and it would be humiliating for him to have me say that.” Larry thought to himself. He felt sorry for the president. Larry really had not wanted to cause him any trouble.

“I guess when you do what’s right, problems happen sometimes,” Larry said philosophically.

Peter quickly phoned Barbara, and news of the president’s phone call quickly circulated around the campus.

“Everything’s back to normal,” Larry said relieved to have the students quieted down. “Well, that is, except for that class; it’s still going.” 

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: THE FIRST BIG MEETING 

“You know, Peter and Skip,” Larry said that evening as he put some more seeds on the feeding station so the birds could get them as soon as it was dawn, “I’ve been praying, and I’ve made a decision.”

“What is it,” Larry,” they asked expectantly, “I’ve been praying about all this. Souls are in the balance. I think it’s time to hold a meeting of all the students.”

“What kind of meeting?” asked Skip. “Another march to the president’s office?”

“No, no, not at all. A meeting to help explain to them exactly what the situation is. Most of them are still attending the witchcraft classes.”

Peter and Skip were totally puzzled. “Where are you going to hold the meeting? Out on the lawn?”

“You’ll see,” replied Larry.

Hurrying to the phone, he called Miss Stevenson. “Would it be all right if we held a general student meeting in the library auditorium tomorrow night?”

Although Miss Stevenson had earlier told Larry he could use the library for meetings whenever he wanted, in response to this call, Larry somewhat expected a tone of uncertainty and perhaps a turn-down.

“Absolutely!” said Miss Stevenson. “Any time; just let me know the hours so I can have it ready for you!

“Would 7 o’clock tomorrow night be too early?”

“That would be fine,” she replied.

“Uh, could you do another favor for me?”

“Certainly, what is it?” asked Miss Stevenson.

“Could you run off enough copies of that special information sheet for the entire school body and perhaps a few extra?”

“They will be ready for you.”

Larry asked his two friends to say nothing about the forthcoming meeting till he told them to announce it. Then, at four o’clock the next afternoon, he dialed the girls’ dorm and told Barbara to notify all the girls about the student meeting that night in the library auditorium.

Immediately, he alerted Peter and Skip to tell everyone in the boys’ dorm.

“This thing’s so big by this time, that I believe we’ll have a good response,” said Larry.

“Why so suddenly?” queried Skip.

“Otherwise word might leak to the president and he might try to stop it.”

“Talk about the president; what about the librarian! Miss Stevenson is in charge of the library auditorium!” exclaimed Peter.

“You get the boys’ dorm over there, and you’ll see what happens when they get there,” said Larry with a smile.

By seven sharp, the auditorium was filled with students, along with a surprising number of faculty members. They heard through the grapevine and decided to tag along.

Deeply surprised, everyone saw the head librarian, Miss Stevenson, step to the podium and announce that Larry would be the speaker of the evening. Then she sat in a chair on the podium, showing that she was giving him her full backing.

(Later, when Larry asked her why she did that, she replied, “I’m going to get fired for letting you have this meeting here, so I might as well go all the way. We’ve got to get the witches off this place!”)

Stepping to the podium, Larry asked that they might begin with prayer. By this time, there were still a few students on the campus who had never heard a prayer in their lives. But after all that had happened, it was beginning to sound like a good idea even to them.

After Larry prayed meaningfully to his heavenly Father, a subdued, calming spirit came over the entire assembly. For the first time, some of them felt the situation would be solved after all. Expec­tantly, they listened to hear what Larry had to say.

First, he briefly reviewed a number of points that had been discussed in the group meetings held in both dorms, such as the origin of witchcraft and the mysterious, but empty, things the spiritualists used to entrap people into it. He also mentioned how Satan was behind it and how it was condemned in the Bible.

Then Larry said this: “I am asking you, personally, individually,—to make your decision and never again attend those witchcraft classes! I cannot make the decision for you; you have to do it yourself. But your decision will affect the rest of your life. I guarantee it.”

At this, a student arose. Larry beckoned to him, and he asked, “You know that we’ve attended a number of these classes. Yes, we can stop now. But won’t our having attended as many as we have let the devils have power over us in the future?”

“That is an important question. I’m glad you asked it,” said Larry.

“There is a way you can protect yourself.”

“I’ll tell ’em,” called out Chet Arnold.

“Come right up here and tell them,” said Larry.

At this, Chet stepped up on the platform and told how he had wanted to learn more about witchcraft.

“I thought I could impress people; and, using the power the teachers said I would receive, I would become an important person here on campus. Then one afternoon, snakes appeared in the corner of my room. When I screamed in terror, my roommate ran down the hall and got Larry. He prayed for me and the snakes disappeared. I’ve been praying and reading the Bible ever since; and, as long as I do it, I’m safe.”

As Chet left the platform, another student arose with a question. “We need to know more. How can we protect ourselves from the spirits? Those witches brought them in and we’re afraid.”

Larry told them, “Repent of your sins and come to God. He alone can forgive; no man can. Then study your Bible every day and pray. And don’t just pray once or twice a day, but talk to God every so often all day long. Pray quietly when you’re around others; pray out loud when you’re alone. Praying is not a chore, it’s a source of great strength and peace of heart. You know that you are with God and He is with you.”

“Another thing,” said Larry, “Do not listen to anything favorable to witchcraft. Nothing. And do not read any books or watch any movies favorable to it.”

At this, a girl raised her hand, and asked, “What about the witchcraft books for children they’re selling in the stores? This stuff is on television, and they’re making movies of it. There’s a woman in Britain who’s made millions of dollars writing children’s books explaining how fascinating it is.”

“If any book or movie makes gremlins, goblins, and witchery seem interesting,—have nothing to do with it,” replied Larry. “Whether they know it or not, demons are helping people write those pro-witchcraft books and movie scripts.

“This is the test: Does it make witchcraft seem attractive, something you would like to know more about. If so, it is bad and have nothing to do with it.”

“Well that’s most all the witchcraft and fairy tale books on the market!” said another student in the audience.

“Well, I’ve given you the test,” replied Larry. “Do they make witchcraft look attractive. There is not one book in a hundred that warns you to stay away from witchcraft. Stay away from demonology, and warn your friends. If they start getting interested in such things, tell them how dangerous it is and what it can lead to: outright demon possession.”

“What about the children’s fairy tales?” asked another student.

“You’ve probably read some,” replied Larry. “Did they make you want to read your Bible or more fairy tales?”

“Fairy tales,” came the answer from all over the audience.

“You have your answer,” said Larry.

At this, Jed Corvor stood to his feet. “Please, Larry, let me say something!”

“Sure, Jed, come on up so they can hear you better.”

At the podium, Jed explained, “I want you to know, folks, I was at the bottom. I had read fairy tales and children’s witchcraft books for years. I reveled in stories of mysterious lands I could get to by passing through a mirror, being caught up in a tornado, or entering a trance.

“I also read everything I could get my hands on in science fiction. It was another never-never land, where I could escape to. Stories of murder and shooting fascinated me. It seemed like fun, watching people killing people on TV.

“And then there was the witchcraft. Looking back on it now, I see the other stories prepared the way, but it was through the witchcraft stories that I got into the deep things of Satan.

“I was so far gone that I could hardly think straight. I was in trouble before I transferred in this year to Badger Bay. And I want you to know that the witchcraft in Centaur’s classes is child’s play compared to what you will find in the Potter books, Dungeons and Dragons, the demonic videos, and some of the other witchcraft junk on the market.

“If it wasn’t for Larry’s prayers, I don’t know what would have happened to me.”

At this, Larry, who had sat down while Jed spoke, came to the podium. “Jed, can I ask you a few questions?”

“You sure can, Larry, I’d do anything for you. You saved my life!”

“It wasn’t long ago that you were totally under the power of Satan, is that right?”

“Yes, I hate to admit I was taken in so bad, but it’s true.”

“Back then,” continued Larry, “while I was holding those meetings in the boys’ dorm, warning people against witchcraft and praying with people, what were you thinking? What were the thoughts running through your mind?”

“It’s hard,— it’s sorta hard to describe,” replied Jed. Another pause while he searched for words. “I was no longer myself. I seemed to be another person—or another mind was in charge of mine.

“Ya’ know, years ago, at first, I thought it was exciting. I thought that, through witchcraft, I was going to gain power over others. Yet I never did. People became afraid to be around me. Girls didn’t like me anymore. I had become a mess. Yet, that other mind was taking over and I couldn’t get away.

“Gradually, everything became a horror, a real horror. Day and night I felt miserable. And I lived in terror. Sometimes at night, I would see things in the darkness. Sometimes something would grab me by the throat and start to choke me. I now think the devil did this to keep me in terror, so I wouldn’t try to leave him.

“When you came on the scene, Larry, I hated you. There was something telling me I had to hate you. And I feared you. Yet, at the same time, I sensed you were the only person who could help me escape. Yet I still hated you, if you can figure that out. There seemed to be two minds inside my head. One thought one thing; another thought another.—But it was the other mind that controlled mine. I don’t know if I have explained it well. It’s hard to do.”

“Thank you,” said Larry. “Okay, everybody; now you know. Stay with God and don’t even get near the edges of witchcraft.”

When the meeting was over, young people crowded around Larry and asked him more questions. He didn’t get back to his room until nearly 10:30 that night.

One girl asked, “How do you know so much? How do you know all this?”

Larry replied, “I’m nothing special. I just pray to God and He helps me know what to do next. But it’s only because, in His strength, I keep studying and obeying the Bible. Life is like a journey down a foggy road. We cannot know what the next day or even the next hour may bring. But we hold onto God’s hand and we walk along. That’s the only way we can fulfill His will for our lives. Here is a key passage I live by: Psalm 119:105, ‘Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’”

“That must be a happy way to live!” said the girl.

“It is, but it requires dedication, patience, and self-control. We can’t spend our time pleasing ourselves and serving Him too. It just doesn’t work. It has to be one or the other.” 

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