Harry Potter: The Christian Cause?

by: 

Al Menconi
Jun 14, 2007

The Harry Potter craze is the latest 'Christian cause.' 'What do you think about Harry Potter?' seems to be the latest Christian question (say those two words real fast) of the day. I hadn't commented in the past because I hadn't seen the movie or read the books. Now that I have seen the movie--which holds true to the book--I have a comment:

Don't sweat the small stuff.

Okay, Harry is a wizard, and he uses magic to defeat his enemies. We know the Bible condemns the practice of witchcraft. Those are the facts. But are Harry and his friends teaching your family to participate in something the Bible says God hates? Or is it just a movie/book?

Here are my thoughts:

1. First of all, I don't see how a child can sit through the whole movie without falling asleep. It was loooong and plodding. I took notes so I could 'prove' this was an evil movie. But I don't see what the big fuss is about. It's a movie about a school for witches, but the movie doesn't show or teach real witchcraft. As far as I can tell, it's no worse than Samantha Stephens casting a spell to get Darrin out of trouble again on the old TV show 'Bewitched.' Okay, Harry Potter had bigger monsters, but really.

1. I am bothered that magic is equated to strength of character and power.

1. But my real concern goes beyond this movie or the Potter books. It has to do with the overall influence and acceptance of witchcraft. It is becoming more and more embraced and accepted by our popular culture. What is seen as common in entertainment is considered acceptable behavior in society. And what is acceptable in society must be normal. Without parents helping their children understand the real Truth of Scripture, Harry Potter books and films could possibly lead curious, uninitiated seekers, down the path of dabbling in the occult. The series of books and other films that will follow (like the books) will only get darker and darker (by director Chris Columbus' own admission).

The real influence of Harry Potter hit home when wandering through our local Barnes and Noble Bookstore, I found a whole section dedicated to Potterphernalia. I thought it simply a clever marketing technique until I noticed the next display over was promoting books on witchcraft for children. Witchcraft for children! As I thumbed through a host of brightly colored books with easy to read illustrations of an assortment of actual spells any child could make and cast, I realized this was my real concern. Harry Potter is making something God says is an abomination into 'child's play.'

In conclusion, if my children wanted to read the Potter books or see the movie, I would let them. But first, as with any form of entertainment they wanted to participate in, I would read the books first and see the movie with them. Having done so, I could then use it as an opportunity to teach them how to evaluate witchcraft from a biblical perspective. Children need to understand that witchcraft is real and should be avoided, but Harry Potter is simply a movie/book.

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