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Harry Potter - good for our kids?

T

The Harry Potter books have sold over 30 million copies, been translated

into 35 languages and set a record of 3.8 million books for the first

printing. The books have provoked sharp reactions. Rev Brian Coleman, Vicar

of All Saints Church in Guildford, held a special 'Harry Potter' service

beneath a banner featuring a serpent, complete with wizards, pointy hats,

broomsticks and a game of quidditch. He insisted that the books are 'highly

moral … about standing up for good against evil.' On the other hand they

have been condemned for promoting interest in witchcraft among young people.

The most balanced articles I have found on the subject are written by Berit

Kjos and can be accessed on the Internet www.crossroad.to/ . We have copies

of these articles, which I summarise below.

 

Christian leaders who endorse Harry Potter books in their desire to make

Christianity attractive to young people are in danger of throwing out God's

much needed guidelines and warnings and leading young people to experiment

with things forbidden in the Bible: "When you come into the land which the

Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations

of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who... practices

witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or

one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up

the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord...."

(Deuteronomy 18:9-12). "Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good." (Romans 12:9).

 

The hero of these books, Harry Potter, like other students at Hogwarts

School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, travels back and forth between two

worlds: the mystical world of magic and the mundane world of 'muggles' -

those boring, blinded and biased humans who either don't believe in the

world of witches or despise it as evil. Harry's cruel uncle and aunt fit the

last category - and so would you if you see witchcraft as dangerous and demonic!

 

In the Harry Potter books there are examples of witchcraft, astrology,

sorcery, spell casting, communicating with the dead and astral travel. There

is an underlying occult philosophy, which sees the battle between good and

evil from a pagan not a Biblical perspective. Children reading the books

delight in identifying with the 'good wizards' in the books and sometimes

even with the obviously evil wizards. But from the biblical point of view

there is no good witchcraft and what they are being lured into is seductive

world in which they experience a kind of occult virtual reality. Here are

some examples of the ideas they are being exposed to:

 

Professor Snape who taught Potions: "I don't expect you will really

understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering

fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins,

bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses…." Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's

Stone p 137.

 

A Centaur's views on astrology - "We have sworn not to set ourselves against

the heaven. Have we not read what is to come in the movements of the

planets? ….Or have the planets not let you in on that secret?" Ibid p 257.

 

"He is with me wherever I go," said Quirrell, referring to the murderous

wizard Voldemort. "I met him when I travelled around the world. A foolish

young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord

Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil , there is

only power, and those too weak to seek it.... Since then, I have served him

faithfully." Ibid.p209

 

Headmaster Dumbledore: "To the well organized mind, death is but the next

great adventure." Ibid p302

 

"... and Voldemort's dead victims whispered as they circled the dueller,

whispered words of encouragement to Harry, and hissed words Harry couldn't

hear to Voldemort. And now another head was emerging from the tip of

Voldemort's wand.... The smoky shadow of a tall man with untidy hair fell to

the ground... and Harry, his arms shaking madly now, looked back into the

ghostly face of his father. "Your mother's coming..." he said quietly. "She

wants to see you.... When the connection is broken, we will linger for only

moments.... you must get to the Portkey, it will return you to Hogwarts...."

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire p667.

 

In this mystical realm, "good" occult characters are naturally pitted

against bad occult spirits, just as in pagan cultures where frightened

victims would offer sacrifices to "benevolent" spirits who could help ward

off evil curses and other threats. Few readers realize that from the

Biblical perspective, all occult forces are dangerous. But today, it seems

more tolerant and exciting to believe this illusion than to oppose the lies.

The words of Old Testament prophet Isaiah ring as true now as they did over

2000 years ago: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…." (Isaiah 5:20).

 

The Harry Potter books are a gift to the people in education and the media

who are working hard to bring about a different kind of society which will

reject out of hand biblical Christianity and embrace a blend of all kinds of

religions, including a cross-less and universalist perversion of Christianity,

based on the occult idea of discovering the force or the 'god' within. Our

culture is full of influences which promote the idea that there is a 'good

magic' which is more tolerant than traditional beliefs, and which teaches

people to take better care of the environment and helps them to empower

themselves.

 

The Harry Potter books are feeding into this trend by creating a captivating

world where strength, wisdom, love, hope - all the good gifts God promises

those who follow Him - are now offered to those who pursue occult thrills.

Likewise, the main characters demonstrate all the admirable traits our God

commends: kindness, courage, loyalty, etc. But 'muggles', who are blind to

these mystical forces, are pictured as mean, cruel, narrow and self-indulgent.

These subtle messages, hidden behind exciting stories, turn Truth upside-down.

But fascinated readers rarely notice the deception. This power-filled realm

with its charms and spells soon becomes normal as well as addictive to those

who immerse their minds with its seductive images.

 

Christians who stand against this trend will be denounced as old fashioned

kill joys even by many in the church who are trying to makes friends with

the world by adopting its ideas and values. Jesus calls us to go against the

flow and teach our children to look to the power of the Holy Spirit given to

those who call on His name for salvation in order to help us to overcome

evil. As gross spiritual darkness covers the earth and Satan's plan for the

control of humanity reaches its climax, the good news is that God is much

greater and his power within those who know him is greater than all the

power of evil in the world. The final conflict between the power of God and

the power of Satan will be the Second Coming of Jesus when Satan's forces

will be utterly routed at Armageddon. Now is the time to get on Jesus' side

if you want to see the really exciting spiritual action!

T