Harry Potter 3
For letters sent after March 20, 2001, click on Harry Potter Comments
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Bewitched by Harry Potter
Harry Potter and D&D
Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft - with praise from Christian leaders
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From Stephen: Laugh Out Loud. You need to let go of your hate, and jelousy. I am a devout christian, and i love the lord with all my heart, and also read harry potter. If the romans where to ban our holy book where would we christians be today. We live in America, why don't you read the document that layed down the foundation for it's people; i don't know if you've ever heard of it, it's called the Constitution. Take a look in the mirror.
I read banned books, [profanity] i even hope to right one!
I bet you let your kids watche television, hahahahahahahahahaha! man oh man you really are something else!
From LinkHylian: Certain members of a growing faction of the Religious Right have targeted the Pagan community in a vicious Internet campaign. Allegations of murders, child sacrifices and other crimes against humanity have been leveled at the adherents of one of the most tolerant religious systems of our time. Pagans are quite literally being demonized.
Such hate-filled language causes resentment on all sides. It rejects the basic ideals of discussion and discourse. It ignores the reality of a pluralistic society that depends on these things. It is the enemy not only of the minority groups that it attacks; it is the enemy of freedom and democracy.
Such groups seek to defend their position as a religious right. There can be no such defense. Hatred disguised as religious truth is the worst lie of all.
I haven't heard those comments nor seen what you describe, LinkHylian. But I do realize that some reports about paganism is motivated by fear and sensationalism, rather than a genuine concern for the hearts and souls of those who don't know our Lord. I wish we who call ourselves Christian would see the world around us as a mission field where we can reach out with God's love and encouragement to all He puts on our path.
As I have pointed out before, the Christian missionaries who left the comforts and safety of the Western world to travel to distant lands were motivated by God's love. They wanted to share their lives and His love with pagans everywhere. Trusting only God, they faced hunger, disease and death, yet -- by His grace -- they pioneered schools and hospitals in pagan communities around the world.
All the Wiccans with whom I have discussed these issues have been thoughtful and educated people who cared about nature and seemed, as you said, "tolerant" toward others. But the pagans groups around the world make up a broad and eclectic network. Many are totally independent of others. High schools students have told me that Wiccan groups in their schools follow no rules. Others do what they are told by the spirits they invoke.
But then, many who call themselves Christian neither know or follow the God I love. In the end, people choose their own paths and companions, build their own relationships, and serve whichever gods fits their dreams. Labels are often meaningless. Please see Biblical versus Cultural Christianity
Next segment of Daniel Gregory's letter: You can breathe a sigh of relief, in that I'll have less to say about your fourth quote. :) You cite Dumbledore, the headmaster, as saying, "To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." I don't really see what's wrong with this at all, or even what you were trying to show by it.
Nearly the same thing was said by Socrates. (This sentiment is expressed, by the way in Lewis's _Last Battle_, in which they say that the real adventure has begun once they've died.) And in context, what Dumbledore is doing is explaining why his friends the Flamel's were willing to give up something that would keep them alive on earth forever.
And though very remote from anything particular in the Bible (since we cannot in fact find any such substance) it should be clear that this is the right Christian response. To seek to prolong one's life endlessly on this earth is rebellious, the fruit of pride. Dumbledore in the same speech says that the Stone gave perpetual youth and infinite money, and he comments that, "The two things people seem to want most are also the two things that are the worst for them." Surely it is quite right to condemn the modern (and sinful) obsession with youth, and with wealth?
Neither Dumbledore nor Socrates demonstrate "the right Christian response." They do the opposite. They perpetuate a view of eternity that lulls people into presumptuous complacency. Assuming that all will be well after death, they ignore the cross, God's plan for salvation, and His narrow way.(See our introduction on the home page)
For when you place counterfeits of God's promises into the mouths of characters who obviously don't live by faith in God, the words change meaning. Their authority and power disappear -- just as the light in a lamp would die when you pull out the cord.
I have no comment to make on the actual quote you cited for the fifth passage, because there is really nothing objectionable about it. The whole premise of the story is that Harry Potter survived Voldemort's attack, and thus a comment on it is certainly appropriate by a character (Hagrid) in the book. I would say something about your comment that follows the quote though. You write: [Harry seems almost Christ-like, doesn't he, with his wound or mark, his psychic powers, and his victory over death and Voldemort?] I find the comparison stretched. Jesus didn't have psychic powers. And Harry didn't defeat "Death" as Jesus did. He only escaped death, which is quite a different thing, and happens to Indiana Jones on a regular basis. :-)
You are right. Good point. I didn't intend to make Harry an illustration of my Lord, Jesus. But I thought some might draw that connection. If so, the apparent (but false) parallel might confuse their understanding of Jesus. (See the Jan. 6 letter in Multiple Topics. It illustrates my concern.)
From Alex: First, let me say that I am an atheist, and disagree with nearly everything on your site. Secondly, I do not intend to attempt to change your opinion on anything, or badmouth you for putting up something I disagree with. Why? As you have said, there is nothing forcing me to go to your site, and thus I have no reason to change your beliefs.
What I am writing for is to indicate that you have made several misleading quotations, especially in reference to Harry Potter, which I think is truly an abuse of the influence a website may have.
Please show me the "misleading quotations" so that I can explain the point I was trying to make through the passages I quoted. Remember, I was speaking to Christians and my frame of reference was the Bible. Perhaps you missed my message.
And on a side note, I still find it very hard to come to terms that you really believe that things like Harry Potter and Sailor Moon are corrupting our society. Yes, I will admit that a few oddballs do become fanatic to everything, but I doubt that decent books are really a problem in our society. Do people read Harry Potter and turn to witchcraft and paganism immediately (no offense to anyone on that)? If they do, most likely this is a person who already needed counseling and help, and they would have been driven over by something else.
I don't think most children or teens turn to paganism as soon as their fascination begins. Many are also reading other books on the same topic. Adding to the impact, multicultural education in schools idealize pantheistic religions as does Disney movies and television. So children are immersed in such images and suggestions until contemporary paganism seems more "normal" and acceptable than the old Biblical absolutes.
As they then read Harry Potter books over and over again, delighting in the
magical and mystical context, they become increasingly curious and
captivated by these mystical powers. Wondering if they are as real as they seem,
many contact others pagans or seeking students who invite them to join their quest. As coven and pagan groups multiply -- especially through the Internet, it's not hard to find a group where they can be trained. Does that make sense?
I suppose it does, but I truly disbelieve that anyone reading a particular book would be desensitized to any sort of "dangerous" degree, as long as they are given positive reinforcement by their parents and other authority figures. I suppose in some cases, the books should be taken as a family thing, and not given to small children whose ideas about the world and theology are still forming by themselves.
And really, people who enjoy the whimsical world of Harry Potter will be most shocked when they see what may await them in true paganism (I don't mean to attack anyone's beliefs here, sorry), and will likely leave when they see it's not all happy times and funny sounding words.
I still think you have made a few misleading quotes, such as Ms. Rowlings statement that she thinks evil is very attractive. Wouldn't you agree? According to your religion, doesn't Satan make attractive (but false) promises?
She did say what I wrote. Check the reference. And yes, Satan does make attractive promises. That's why he deceives and seduces so many young people these days.
From Michele: [Re: Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter] I must have watched this movie a million times growing up (okay, I exaggerate!). My well-meaning parents didn't think there was anything wrong with it. As an educated, well-read adult, I'd NEVER let my 3 small girls watch this movie. The "Concerned Mother" was right, there ARE similarities between HP and Wizard of Oz. You have a "good" witch (Glenda in Oz and Harry in HP) and a bad witch (Wicked Witch of the West in Oz and Voldermot in HP).
Dorothy relies on a pair of magic slippers to protect her (not God). The only slightly redeeming thing is that in the end Dorothy wakes up and finds out it was all only a dream. Harry doesn't wake up and find out his experiences are only a dream though. He IS a real wizzard.
From Becky: I am the 28 year old mother of a six year old boy, born and raised a Christian. I myself was raised in an essentially pagan household, and accepted Christ on my own when I was 15. My son knows God, and part of that knowledge is a thorough understanding of himself as God's child, as well as a clear sense of what is reality and what is fantasy.
I read to him every night, for at least an hour, so we are constantly searching for new material. We recently read the entire Chronicles of Narnia. C.S. Lewis was a genius of fantasy and Christian ethos, and he slathered his writing with other-wordly powers and potions. The gifts that Lucy and the other children recieved (the potion that cured any ill, the horn that would always bring help), were without question 'magical' in their very nature. And yet Lewis has gained credibility within the Christian community for his faithful portrayal of Christ as the Lion, with all of the self-sacrifice and fierce love that I myself have come to know as my God's person.
This brings me back to Harry. My son and I began reading the first Potter book about a month ago. I remember being very concerned about whether or not the stories would cause my son to question his faith, when magic can seem so wonderous with all of the wands and powers and such. He has not. Mainly because my son has a very strong sense of what is real, and God is real to him. Not Harry Potter. This is MY job.
It is the parent's responsibility to foster and support our children's love and understanding of God so that they can be entertained by their fantasy-imagination, but not consumed by it. One of the leading causes of faithlessness, substance abuse, and a plethora of other destructions, is that these children have no real sense of their relationship to God. When a child knows that he is loved and protected and found precious by the single most incredible being in the universe, they have a sense of self which cannot be shaken. I would encourage you and your ministry to focus more on the development and maintenance of parent-child-God relationships, and much less on the scare-guilt tactics I see on your page.
I hope that you will prayerfully consider your response to these issues.
Becky, you mention that "these children have no real sense of their relationship to God." Since you are a Christian, may I ask you to write a list of Scriptures that describe that relationship? Perhaps you could do it with your son. Many of your passages will probably contain some of God's wonderful promises to His people. Please include all the conditions -- our part of the (covenant) relationship -- for receiving the blessing of His specific promises. You can find many such Scriptures in these pages: Christ's Example. Then, using a concordance, look up the word "imagination" as well.
Take your time. It's a wonderful exercise. I have loved marking my Bibles with the color red for His promises and green for His commands. Usually the two go together. Then I pray that He will enable me to obey -- to do what He asks of me. I know that I can only do it by His grace, but He is more than willing to enable me when I truly seek to do His will.
As soon as you finish your list, I will post it. Then we can look together at the meaning of the phrase: "real sense of their relationship to God." This is important, for we need to see both God and our relationship with Him from His perspective, not ours. Remember, "the heart is deceitful above all things...." (Jeremiah 17:21)
One of God's criticisms of His precious people in Old Testament days was this timeless transgression that still continues to distort our understanding of God and His will for us:
"You thought that I was altogether like you;
But I will rebuke you...." Psalm 50:21
This was Peter's problem when he didn't want to believe that Jesus would have to suffer and die. Matthew 16:22-26 tells us that
Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.'
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?"
Most of the discussions on this page have looked at Christianity from a human perspective. We want to see how far we can push back God's guidelines and still find favor with Him. It doesn't work. His way is to "seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness...." That includes seeking His will and following His way, allowing His purpose to overshadow and guide our own finite goals and desires.
I will be answering a related question on "magic" -- such as in C.S. Lewis -- in the Q&A section as soon as I find the time.
From Kelly: Get a life. I can't believe that there are people on this earth spouting forth as you are. The Bible is not meant to be taken literally. The Harry Potter series are books for entertainment. Do you read each book published in the world and analyse it to death? I find your form of Christianity offensive and I am sure that Jesus died for all not just for you. Something is seriously lacking in your world.
The Bible is meant to be taken literally, Kelly. Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle [tiny part of the letters of the original Scriptures] will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."
Actually, you are missing something, Kelly. The New Testament tells us that,
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
"But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.... But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For 'who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?' But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor. 2:9-16)
Anonymous: Everything that you have said on your website is a bunch of ___, and shouldn't be allowed online. That is just my opinion, and I really disagree with you and I'm sure most people do. J.K. Rowling doesn't put instructions on how to cast spells, and how to make magical potions, she just says that they are going to that certain class.
I hope you understand what I'm saying and why J.K. Rowling is writing books, to get children to read, and enjoy non-wichcraft books. Just open your eyes and make sure you are making the right decision on what is teaching witchcraft and what isn't.
From Wyrmagi: Excuse me. I am an ex-christion and now practicer of wicca. In case you don`t know what that is it is witchcraft. I read your artical about Harry Potter. This artical troubles me deeply. If you wish to write about my religion please be more educated about it. You could of at least used the correct name for it. We are not evil as you may think. We do not worship the devil. I, as well as many wicca followers, just want to live our lives in peace.
I know that you, like most Christians, just want to live in peace, Wyrmagi. I have talked and walked with many wiccans, and all were peace-loving people. I am not trying to change you. My goal is not to ban books or earth-centered religions. It is simply to help other Christians -- especially children -- stay true to the God we trust while they face all kinds of enticing but contrary beliefs and values.
We live like everyone else does. We just choose to worship differently, as is our right. Will you please be so kind as to remove any religion bashing from your site? I have many christion friends and they a gree with me that it is wrong to bash someone's religion. Please stop it. It is wrong no matter what religion you belong too.
May wisdom and tolerance come to you, A concerned wicca believer.
From SuMin Lim: Your comment that muggles are portrayed as "those boring, blinded, and biased humans who either don't believe in the world of witches or who despise it as evil" is highly misleading. Muggles are simply humans without magical powers. They can be "boring, blinded and biased" - the Dursleys are an example - but they can also be caring and open minded, like Hermione's parents. These muggles support her in her studies and send Harry food supplies while he lives with his stingy relatives. In fact, they are real people: some good and some bad. The evil characters in the books - Voldemort, Draco Malfoy,Crabbe, Goyle - look down on muggles and enjoy causing them suffering. However, the "good" characters - Harry, Hermione, the Weasleys - uphold the rights of muggles.
I am not the only one with the perception that Rowling used "muggles" as a negative label referring to those who do not appreciate witchcraft and wizardry. Have you noticed how the mainstream media has picked up, used and promoted that word as a label for those "narrow-minded," "intolerant" and "traditional" parents who don't want their children to read the Harry Potter books?
Secondly, you quote one Kenneth McCormick "stealing, lies, hate, revenge, and even murder are presented in a complete absence of moral conflict." Where? Harry and friends only steal when it is absolutely necessary - to uncover a culprit who is attacking students, to prevent Voldemort from rising and causing death and destruction. They lie under similar circumstances - to protect innocent people, to save Harry from drowning. Even so, they feel guilt and remorse ("Harry's insides gave a guilty squirm...").
You are right. There was a moral conflict in the last situation you describe. But my concern is today's cultural shift to situation ethics or moral relativism. The models in the Harry Potter books could encourage children to set aside moral guidelines when it feels good or seems better to violate those boundaries.
They hate torture, killing and cruelty - is there a problem with this?
They feel revengeful with excellent cause, such as in Book 3 where Harry believes his parents' were betrayed and murdered by their best friend. And they never murder.
From Fuyukaze Akido: If you think "persecution of Christians" is happening, you might want to read these articles, to see what *real* persecution is:
Feel free to rebut all you will, but this is happening to kids who are truly harming no one and minding their own business and exercising their First Amendment rights.
I'd like a response, because I've sent you several emails in the past several weeks, and I've not gotten any response.
Sometimes it seems like you don't notice that non-Christians are facing worse injustices than the ones you write about Christians facing here. (I would certainly agree that anyone being killed for their beliefs is wrong, and while that usually doesn't happen here in the US, it apparently still happens in other parts of the world, like Tibet, where the Chinese government has killed thousands of Tibetans for being Buddhist.)
I read one letter to you in the Harry Potter/Witchcraft section where a woman talked about how Wiccan teens are persecuted, and you agreed that it was bad. Yet sometimes, some of your articles can come across as veiled persecution. You've said you don't intend it to be such, and I believe you, but there might be people out there looking for reasons to, for example, burn witches.
Thank you for the correction, Fuyukaze. I don't want to promote hostility or persecution toward any religious groups. For many years, I happen to get my haircuts from a local witch. We discussed all kinds of things, and she knew I really cared about her even though our beliefs were so different. Those who would read Chapters 1, 2 and 4 in A Twist of Faith would see other friendly encounters with pagans that God has brought into my life. They were all thoughtful and intelligent, and I hope they remember me as someone who showed them genuine love.
From C___: If you work with this guy please don't let him brainwash you! This is nuts. Harry Potter is a great book. I am a strong Christian my self but it's out of the question. This book lets kids read about other places and worlds. Please tell me what is wrong with Harry Potter. If it is the work of the devil than that's crazy. I bet you any thing that this amazing book will be a classic one day. And you can't do one thing about it. You can tell the people how bad that it is, but every one I know really likes it.
If you don't agree with what this man says I am sorry to give you all this talk about what I feel. Please email me back. Thank you!
Please read my two Harry Potter articles: Bewitched by Harry Potter and Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft. . They will answer your question better than I can summarize here.
From Isabel Baptista: My response to your article on the Harry Potter books... is quite long, but I felt I had a lot to say.
I find the arrogance and intolerance of your writings mind-boggling! But the most amazing thing I find in your comments, is that you use a book (the Bible) and the religion it is connected to, to denounce other books. Especially if you consider the attrocities that have been committed through the ages in the name of the Bible and Christianity. If I follow your reasoning, that should be enough to ban the Bible for all eternity!
Please read Biblical versus Cultural Christianity.
But, you say, that was the misuse of book and religion by greedy, powerhungry peolple, and nothing to do with the contents and spirit of the Bible. EXACTLY! And that is the point I want to make. This is not only the case for the Bible. This is also the case in, for instance, the Harry Potter books (and many, many others!).
Peolple read books and interpret them in their own way, within their own reference frame. And not just books, people go through every experience they have in that way. Whatever is meant by the writer of a book, people will take contents and mould them to fit in their own reference frame.
Don't Christians have the right to read and interpret books in their own way -- just as you do?
Take your own interpretation of the Harry Potter books. You apparently take them to mean that the writer meant to put it about that Witchcraft and Wizardry are the way to go with your life, and your respond, within your reference frame, by saying that the Bible says this is wrong, and therefore it IS wrong. Also, you seem to believe in witchcraft and such, otherwise, why would you take it so seriously?
However, I can find no indication anywhere in the book that says: He guys, lets all go over witchcraft, it will make your life a lot easier! If anything, the message is the opposite. To me the story is about a boy who has lead a very unhappy up until then, because he is not valued, and therefore does not value himself.
He finds out that he has a talent, ( as all people have, unfortunately not all peolple know that about themselves and never find that out), and in his case it happens to be magic. He comes to a world with like minded people with the same talent, and he finally feels at home, and starts to believe in himself, he starts to believe he does have value in this world. But there are lots of people that are better at magic than he is. So he does not feel good about himself because he is better than other people, but because he has found his place in this world. And haven?t you noticed that he does not survive his adventures because of his magic, but because of his morals, his values? Because he acts according to loyalty, friendship, love, hope and just generally having his heart in the right place.
His life is not easier because of his ability to do magic. He still has to study hard, learn discipline, in short everything all of us have to learn. And aside from all that he has dangerous adventures which he only survives because of the good things he has in his heart and those which he has learned.
For me, that is the message I get from these books. Quite a different one from yours, isn?t it?
And so everyone will get a different interpretation. Is that a reason to ban books in general? Or only those that YOU find send the wrong message? Or those that do not concur with other books, such as the Bible? If so, I think I could make a very strong case for banning the Bible, as I said before.
So do you propose banning books? I don't. I am writing to and for those who want to follow my Shepherd, the God who gave us the Bible. If don't know Him, you have no reason to put aside the HP books. But those who do love Him, want information that help them stand firm in His truths, not compromise their faith. They would rather not read books that seem images and ideas that will clash with His Word.
Children have a vivid imagination ( something we grown-ups unfortunately seem to lose as we get older) and they get into the adventures and the excitement. Didn?t somebody read fairytales to you? Didn?t you want to be the hero in the books you read as a kid? I know I did, as I am sure most of us did when we were kids. We used our imagination, our fantasy and we enjoyed it. Did that mean we grew up to be bad people? That we jumped off buildings because we thought we were Superman so we could fly, or that we tried to get into rabbit holes because we thought we were Alice and wanted to get to Wonderland?
I do not want to get into a discussion on religion. I feel everyone is free to believe in what/who they want, as long as those believes do not hurt other people. Unfortunately I have seen very few religions that have not, now or in the past, hurt other peolple because they do not believe in the same things. Just because they believe, anybody who doesn?t is a danger to them and their religion. That is the kind of dangerous intolerance that is enough to scare anybody away from religion. That kind of intolerance and arrogance is what I think should be banned from this world! With friendly regards,
This is a religious issue, Isabel. Could you be equating "offend" with "hurt?" If "everyone is free to believe what/who they want," you would have to allow contrary voices to share their views. Would you want to ban websites such as ours? Should I be deprived of my rights because you claim a higher right -- a politically correct "right" not be be offended by a site you happen to visit. Keep in mind, I do value your freedom to believe anything you choose. Yet, you suggest that I show "dangerous intolerance." Against whom am I intolerant? Harry Potter? As many have said, he is just a fantasy. Toward you? Absolutely not. On the other hand, might you be a bit intolerant toward us?
To better understand what I am trying to do, please read Answers to Pokemon mail. It applies to Harry Potter mail as well.
From Su Min Lim (13): I am amazed by the fountains of nonsense that you spout in your articles "Bewitched by Harry Potter" . Your accusations were utterly ridiculous.
Firstly, you comment that "Harry seems almost Christ-like, doesn't he, with his wound or mark, his psychic powers, and his victory over death and Voldemort?" You obviously have paid little attention during your reading of the books. What exactly are these "psychic powers"? Harry did not use "powers" to escape Voldemort. He survived because his mother gave her life for him. "Love is a powerful counter charm..." Harry, shielded by his mother's love, could not be harmed by the greed, hatred and ambition of Voldemort. Love is being presented as more powerful than evil. Do you find fault with this?
And as for Harry's "mark" or scar - does having a scar qualify a person as "Christ-like"? If so, there are millions of people in the world who fit into this category. A scar is a sign of having suffered an injury, as many of us have done. Harry's scar has nothing to do with Christ. It is simply a remnant from an attack.
Both you and I know that wounds from the "attacks" on both Harry and my Jesus Christ were more than "simply a remnant from an attack." Both wounds were caused by momentous unseen battles in the supernatural realm. Both signified amazing victories that remain at the center of their purpose and power. But the opposites are just as obvious: Harry is the hero of a captivating myth that is seducing the world into loving occult power -- both "white" and "black." magic. My Lord, Jesus Christ, died to save the world from the deceptive power that Harry represents
I could point you to numerous passages that might help make that connection in the minds of Potter fans with some Bible knowledge, but here is one of them:
"But [Thomas] said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
"A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
"Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
"Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
"Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20:24-30
Because Harry seems Christ-like to many readers, he becomes more influential as hero and more credible as a promoter of the occult powers that oppose the Biblical God.
This quote "He is with me wherever I go," said Quirrell, referring to the murderous wizard Voldemort. "I met him when I traveled 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" does not reflect the message of the books. Quirrell is Harry's enemy. Harry fights against those who believe in these savage sentiments. Harry does believe in good and evil, and he and his friends and allies battle for the former and oppose the latter.
Yes, but I didn't say anything to the contrary. Your point doesn't change my point. This phrase is another misleading reminder. It is like a symbols through which a simple word or image trigger a memory or association. Though I am not saying that evil Quirrel represents Christian faith in God's presence, but the phrase he uses, "He is with me," brings to mind a promise of God cites dozens of times in Scriptures. Here are just three:
"I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go." Genesis 28:15
"God is with you in everything you do." Genesis 21:22
"I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20
I have not had time to cover all the stupidities in the articles in this letter. However, I will certainly write again.
From Jeff, 34, a seminary student in Atlanta: I would like to thank you for standing strong behind Biblical principles in the face of some very disturbing responses. I was reading through the responses and was struck by the amount of rationalization that several of proclaimed Christian parents were attempting.
We cannot bend the Bible to conform our lifestyles, but rather God gives us explicit guidelines on how to live AND how to raise our children. I do not recall anywhere in the Bible that says it is ok to let them do what they want as long as they understand that the Bible says differently. Our responsibility is to instruct our children in the Word of our Lord.
I shudder to read the words of one of your responses saying the Bible is not to be taken literally! I am not surprised that our culture has drifted so far away from God. It is evident everywhere we look. I will keep you in my prayers and I praise God for your ministry and your love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Remember, God changes hearts when ears receive the Word!!!
Anonymous: Let me introduce myself. I am an English teacher at a Christian school and I teach Harry Potter. Please remember a few things. If people act like religious zealots and attempt to ban books, then non-Christians are going to view us as lunatics and we will not be able to bring them to God.
Next, the burning of books has indirectly been linked to the Holocaust. Finally, judge not lest ye be judged. Find another soapbox or just keep your ridiculous views to yourself. I have students reading who don't enjoy books. If you aren't in education, then become educated before publishing.
I tried to reply to your letter twice, but my letter came back to me both times. I wanted you to know that I am not trying to ban books -- and that I am far more concerned about pleasing my Lord than I am about winning approval from people. Jesus didn't compromise in order to please the religious establishment of His times. That's why He was crucified.
One of my biggest concern is the way today's politically correct church is compromising His truth in order to fit into the world. Remember He told us to be in the world but not of it. That means showing His love and meeting genuine (not all "felt") needs, but refusing to conform. Here are three key verses. You may want to read them in context:
"Do not be conformed to this world...." Romans 12:2
"Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good." Romans 12:9
"For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial?... For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.' Therefore 'come out from among them and be separate...." 2 Corinthians 6:13-17
From Megan: I have just read your write-up on how the Harry Potter books are essentially "evil" and that no children should be allowed to read them.
Actually, that's not what I said, Megan. My goal is not to ban books, but to show other Christians how various forms of popular entertainment can undermine their understanding of God's Word and compromise their faith.
However, I am a 15 year old who has read all 4 books and see no threat to the series. I have not thought about any of the problems that you say the books have, and they weren't brought to my mind until I read your write-up. I can see how some kids might think that it is cool to be a wizard, I myself have thought that it would be neat to learn how to fly, whether it was on a broomstick or not. It is only the fantasy that the kids are after in these books. I consider myself a good Christian yet the Harry Potter series are by far the best books I've ever read. But I have also read the Narnia series (such as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) and they have some biblical reference in there. That series are also my favorite and really answered some questions I had as a Christian.
Although some kids would like to attend Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I don't think that they really think they have a chance, except for those who have written letters to Professor Dumbledore. It's the same as if they were to write letters to Santa Claus, wanting to visit the North Pole and/or receive certain present for Christmas.
No it's not the same. Santa Claus is a myth. But witches and wizards have used occult formulas to practice magic and sorcery for thousands of years. Today, more than ever, children in traditional home and communities can and do access occult mentors who teach them the craft and draw them into a lifestyle that immunizes them against Christianty and often leads to occult bondage.
>From a different point of view, you can see the characters and books of Harry Potter simply coming from the imagination of the author, J.K. Rowling. In fact, I hope that someday I am as creative of a writer as she is, the way she can capture the imagination of kids who have never really enjoyed reading before. My own siblings are some of the many examples- before, I was the only one really into reading and now they have been introduced to the wonderful world of literature through Harry Potter.
I'm not trying to badger your article, by no means - you have some very good points in there about kids wanting to try out the magic, but it is not because they are into the occult; it's simply because for centuries, kids have always been wanting to learn how to fly, or do something magical only because the experience would be magical, and fantasizing about it is the only way they can come close to the actual experience.
And to ban the Harry Potter books would be saying that kids would be deprived of the first ammendment, and that wouldn't be right. As said before, I consider myself a good Christian- I pray every night, attend and volunteer at my church regularly, and I know that God is the creator of everything and through Him I can find salvation. Not once reading the books did I ever think about attempting any of those things. I admit to being absorbed so intensly in the books that I wish I could attend a boarding school far away and spend every day with my friends and have adventures like Harry does. But I never thought about joining a cult or trying out witchcraft, and I suppose that most kids think the same way.
Megan, to help me understand what you mean by Christianity, would you tell me who Jesus Christ is to you? And how you "find salvation"? From what you said, I'm not sure what you believe. Others might be helped as well by your explanation. Perhaps you could include Scriptures.
So basically, it's not the magic that's in the books that captures the minds of readers, young and old; it is the magic of the books, and the way it can set your mind free from the constant struggle of everyday life in this society.
From Megan (not the person who wrote the previous letter): I don't think you understand what you are doing. I've read your comments and while you say you are not advocating the banning or removal of Harry Potter books from libraries and other public institutions, you have just given the 'go-a-head' to all the radical conservative Christians out there that would like nothing more than to have bonfires burning from Boston to Seattle. They'll take your semi-tolerant theories and make them hard, fast rules.
Megan, you attribute too much power and influence to our website. I am not encouraging encouraging book-banning from public institutions. God didn't call us to conform the world system to His ways. But I will continue to share cultural warnings from a Biblical perspective (as people requests this information) until God shows us another way to serve His people.
You may want to see an earlier answer to the same concern.
From Troi Alcala: I am writing to you from Manila, Philippines. I had been a Christian since June of 1989. I had been very active in church during my high school and college years, and was raised by a respectable family in which moral principles were regarded highly.
Since then, I had also been an active player of Dungeons and Dragons, and had acquired great interest and understanding of music, art and literature.
I disagree with the accusations made against both Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons. Sadly, people who choose to write about the said issues know very little about them and are obviously misinformed. Prove me wrong that you know a lot about Dungeons & Dragons or Harry Potter. You know so little about it I can very much tell, you are practically medieval in thinking.
Having analysed a great number of Christians who pass judgement on these materials are brought about by:
1. Personal preferences "I dont like the genre, therefore it must be evil."
2. Utilitarian ideals "It does not glorify God as its main purpose, therefore it must be evil."
3. Ignorance "I dont understand it, therefore it must be evil."
4. Spiritual and mental weakness "I am easily persuaded by things I see, hear and watch, therefore that thing must be evil."
5. Mass hysteria "Everyone ("Christians") says its evil, therefore it must be evil."
Did you read my articles, Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons- Like Peas in a Pod? and/or Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft? If so, could you please tell me which of the five categories you believe these articles match? Please quote from the articles by each point, so that I can respond to you. Thanks.
It's quite exhausting to debate on works which obviously do not have good nor evil alignments. The most sad part of this is that Christians use these issues to mask or sidetrack their own secret sins which are deep and scarring, like homosexuality, greed, envy and lust.
If there is any virtue I am proud of it is my sincerity as opposed to hypocrisy. Don't persuade us into your mediocre taste, God has given us talent and knowledge to share with others.
Since you love the Bible so much, you surely remember Isaiah 5:20-21. As I mentioned on the Anime page yesterday, those who base their values on the world's view of good and evil will naturally be offended by God's standards -- and also by this verse which is a relevant today as it was 3000 years ago:
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.... Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight."
Dont get me wrong I love reading the Bible more than any book because not only do I recognise its wonderfully written prose and poetry but I also see through the true intentions of its author.
From Orina: You are truly wrong about your information on Harry Potter and Dungeon and Dragons. Let me tell you the faults of your page:
1. You say Harry Potter books promote Satanism. It doesn't. Read the book. It is actually going agaisnt Satanism.
I cannot remember ever mentioning that HP promotes Satanism. Where did I see that?
2. You also say that Professor Lupin is a shape-shifter. Well, he isn't. He is a werewolf, and neither are bad. But of course you don't know that because you obviously didn't read the books.
His visible shape shifts between a human professor and a werewolf. Right! At least that's what happens in my U.S. version published by Scholastic. Do you have a different version? What does yours say?
3. You also say that Dungeon and Dragons are wrong. It is a role-playing game...KEYWORD: ROLE PLAYING. Fake! Not Real! Fiction! And as you quote: Fantasy World!
Please read The Dangers of Role-Playing Games.
4. You ALWAYS use quotes from children. Children will be children, and all children have wild imaginations! Children are fascinated by magic because they wished it was true, but they know it's NOT real! Why don't you sit down and read the Harry Potter books from cover to cover with an open mind!
I did. But both you and I evaluate what we read from the perspective of our world views. You probably would not be any more comfortable with some of the Christian books that I love than I am with books on practical witchcraft and wizardry.
5. You turn around what readers and the books say! I bet that you are going to twist what I am saying right now, and say that I am for Satanism. Well, I am not. You don't give complete quotes, and you don't say who or if the character is evil! And from what your website tells me, you are a Christian, and isn't telling a lie a sin? YES!!!! The bible states: Thou shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
How long does a quote have to be to be a complete quote? My articles are always long because I do use so many quotes. If I didn't keep the quotes as short as possible without losing the point, few would read them. But I always provide references, so that everyone can see the context and read the entire message themselves.
As much as you think Harry is for Satanism, he is not. I recall in the 4th book, somewhere its pro-god. Harry has a Godfather. Why would he have a GOD father if he didn't believe in God. As I recall, you have to be baptised in order to have Godparents, and that means Harry had to be baptised (and that's part of the Christian religion). What's wrong with society today? It certainly isn't Harry Potter. A lot the Christians think that all other religions are wrong. For all you know, YOUR religion could be wrong. You are probably wondering what my religion is. Well, I have NO religion. I don't believe in anybody or anything. You should concern yourself with your religion, and not others. If Christians are going out to worship the devil, they obviously don't have enough love for their god. Doesn't the bible say not to judge people? Well, by judging other religions, you are judging other people.
No, when I am judging a religion, I am doing just that -- judging the religion, not the people.
To me, living without religion is much easier than having one. Never once did I ever want to worship the "devil". Harry Potter doesn't, in a lot of people minds, bring forth Satanism. Even before Harry Potter came out, I didn't have a religion. I haven't had one my whole life. What you do, is put down other religions that could be as right as yours. Obviously, a whole bunch of people agree with me. You twist things around to make your religion look like its the good one.
I think you should redo your website, and make it more correct, and not put Harry Potter down like you do! If children are going out and becoming witches, its the parents fault, and not J.K. Rowling or the books. Parents should teach their children to read and not believe. And parents should be in their children's lives. If the parents don't know what their children are doing, the parents shouldn't be parents. Actually read the book. I have noticed a lot of Christians aren't OPEN MINDED, while some are. If you were open minded, you would notice these books are wonderful!
Anonymous: I am an English teacher at a Christian school and I teach Harry Potter. Please remember a few things. If people act like religious zealots and attempt to ban books, then non-Christians are going to view us as lunatics and we will not be able to bring them to God. Next, the burning of books has indirectly been linked to the Holocaust. Finally, judge not yest ye be judged. Find another soapbox or just keep your ridiculous views to yourself. I have students reading who don't enjoy books. If you aren't in education, then become educated before publishing.
Have I suggested burning books?
As for exercising discernment and guarding our minds against suggestions that clash with Scriptures, please read Ephesians 5 and Colossians 2:8. The latter would be especially relevant to teachers in Christian schools who want their students to know and follow Jesus:
"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."
From Ty: If we as Christians are going to take a stand against Harry Potter because of the sorcery element,shouldn't we also take a stand against Santa Claus. In my book, a sorcerer is a sorcerer.That's a good question, Ty. In today's myths surrounding Santa Claus, the jolly old elf and his reindeer do enjoy supernatural power. But those myths are rooted in an ordinary man who lived at a specific time in history and showed kindness to others. I don't think anyone would link St. Nicholas to the sorcery and magic that fascinate Harry Potter fans.
From Drew: How dare you!
I can not believe you would think this about one of the greatest childrens books of all time. I am christian and I attend church....... I OWN ALL 4 WONDERFUL Harry Potter books. Does that mean I'm going to burn in hell for all eternity? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I have a 3.97 GPA, I am an avid reader, and the first time I picked up a Harry potter book I was emersed in a world of IMAGINATION! Now even you can't tell me imagination is bad! These books make even 7 year old notice that reading is NOT BAD! I have witnessed with my own two eyes children READ insted of watch TV! And do you know what they were reading? HARRY POTTER! I am afraid you are soooooorly mistaken about these WONDERFUL books.
You say you are a Christian, Drew. What does that mean to you? What is your standard for knowing what God calls good or bad? Mine is the Bible. In it, God tells us repeatedly to have nothing to do with divination, sorcery, magic, spellcasting, necromancy (communicating with the dead)... practices which He hates, but which are touted and enjoyed in the Harry Potter stories. (The strongest statement is in Deuteronomy 18:9-12.) What's more, God tells us to "abhor evil; cling to what is good." How can you abhor evil while delighting in Hogwarts' world of magic?
Sure, it motivates children to read. But if reading turns their values upside-down, they might be better off reading less. Christian children are not immune to rationalizing why it is okay to do what God tells us to shun. In the process, mythical magic becomes more attractive than Biblical Christianity to many of them. The consequence is increasing mental blindness to truth and spiritual distance from the God who loves them. One of the saddest statements in the Bible is in Isaiah 30:15,
For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
"In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
But you would not...
From Iryl: I know it probably won't make a difference, but I'm sending this anyway. I'm a Christian -- have been since I was little -- and will be for the rest of my life, with God's good grace.
But... I have a problem with the ideas on your site presented about Harry Potter. If you would be good enough to read the essay I wrote about it (I just wrote it, so it's rather rough -- I'll clean it up a bit later).
Basically, if you don't get the idea the first time around, I think it's wrong to tell children that Harry Potter will lead them to the occult, and that a good solid grounding in God would be a better approach -- teach them not to take the books seriously.
But there's the essay, so I'll give you the link. You don't have to read it... But I would feel better if you did -- even if you don't agree with me.
See, I keep my mind open -- that's why I have such a good defense against yaoi/homosexuality (in another section of my website... it was a debatable issue for this show I love: Gundam Wing). I try to find the truth, and I think the things presented against Harry are well-written, but still just a blind strike at something without even trying to get behind the purpose of it.
Anyway, my essay:
I'm sorry Iryl. I can't include the link to your website. Your essay is not the problem. I just don't want to introduce children to a website linked to yours. You admit yourself that "It has a whole bunch of factual witchy things, based on spells and symbols "real" witches use." Fiction or not, it probably makes witchcraft seem more familiar, acceptable and enticing.
My mom says it won't do any good... that some people just don't listen or care about different approaches to controversial subjects. She may be right, but I kinda hope she's not.
(Forgive the heated tone of my essay, I was annoyed and frustrated. There's one curse word, but I only ever use words they have in the Bible. ^_^;; Not a horribly good excuse, but anyway.) Thank you, God bless,
Second letter from Troi Alcana: Thank you for your immediate response to my message. I appreciate the fact that you take time to contest our reasoning.
To the brief points I have presented, I have actually made a print out on all of your articles and have given them to our literature appreciation club at University of the Philippines wherein a majority of our members are from Campus Crusade for Christ. Though we do not agree on everything, most of your premises affect a great deal of highly acclaimed literary works. We will be submitting to you a full study on it in three (3) months, hopefully when our load in school does not become too heavy.
The bottom line is that when we want to see something so badly, we will surely get to see it
With regards to your defense on views...the world's view of good and evil does not always contradict God's view of good and evil. But if you see yourself as an "authority" of interpreting the scriptures to your view of good and evil then we are up against a brick wall.
Qualities like kindness and gentleness are good from the world's as well as from God's perspective. But God tells us (I don't make this up) that our best human efforts are not good enough for salvation, so the standards are still different. But since you are familiar with Campus Crusade, you know this well. God (not I) says, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23) That's true even of the best non-Christian person we might know.
As you know, the only way to be good in God's eyes is to trust in Jesus and receive His righteous life. Then God sees Jesus' goodness in us. This is radically different from the relativistic way the world deals with good and evil. But is just and fair -- for everyone is acceptable in Christ. The "good works" that count with God are those that God planned and accomplishes in and through us.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10
"for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13
Incidentally Scarlet Letter was considered before as a book with immoral and lustful themes by the "religious". I wonder if it is still considered such by now?
Probably not in the same way. Throughout history, churches has trailed behind but always followed the world in its downward slide toward immorality -- and increasing blindness to God's guidelines. It happened repeatedly in the Old Testament as well. See America's Spiritual Slide.
Anonymous: Dear fellow christians. Stop worrying about innocent childrens books and start looking at your own life and christian values.Interesting that adults, supposedly educated ones, cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality. Where do they get the idea that Harry Potter books teach children witchcraft? I've read the first 4 books at least five times apiece, and have yet to have learned magic or witchcraft. Is it possible that they are so unsure of themselves that they have to attack a fictional character to make themselves appear better?
I hope that you will take the time to consider that J.K. Rawling is one of Gods children too. I will pray that you find enlightenment and peace.
God's children, according to the Bible, refers to those who have been "born of the Spirit" or "born again" by faith into God's family. They become His children, and He promises to be their Father and provide everything they need -- strength, love, resources, etc.-- for walking victoriously with Him. J.K. Rowling has chosen a contrary path.
From an anonymous United Methodist pastor: As a member of the Christian clergy, I was (at first) amused at your attacks on the Harry Potter book series. My thought was that you really needed to "get a life."
Then I perused other portions of your web presence and discovered some very troubling ideas. I had a quite lengthy e-mail written to send to you, but the more I referred back to your work, the more I realized that your thoughts are beyond any rational response.
Please seek professional counseling before your paranoia gets any worse!
From Jeda Sunrider: Merry Meeting,
I am a Wiccan and I must say that I was appalled by what you stated in your sight. Just so you know where these comments are coming from, I am a 15 year old honour roll student born in Britain and raised in Westchester, New York. Both of my parents are athiests and i was told when i was very young that I could be any religion I chose to be. I spent most of last year studying different religions and I came to the conclusion that i wanted to practice Wicca.
First of all, even if i had read Harry Potter at the time of my decision it would not have effected it, nor does it effect the decisions of others.
Jeda, did you read Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft? In it and Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons I I quote children and document adults who have been influenced by Harry Potter. You may have chosen the Wiccan ways without Harry's influence, but a sample of one person doesn't provide a valid basis for a conclusion.
Wicca and the magic described in Harry Potter are completely different. There is a lot more to my religion than waving a wand around and muttering latin words (what Rowlings spells usually are) under your breath. I babysit for many christian children (all who know that i am a witch) who can understand the difference.
There is one family in paticular with two children, ages six and eight, to whom i read Harry Potter to whenever i babysit. They enjoy asking me questions (usually "can you do THAT? to which the answer is usually no) and even though they are disapointed when i tell them that I do not go to a wizards school and that I do not have a flying broom, they do not dwell upon it. They understand the difference between fantasy and reality and continue to be good christian children, i never have to remind them to say their prayers before they go to bed. one night as they were saying their prayers I heared the younger child say, "and may God bless Harry Potter and all his friends and may he be happy and not get a pair of socks for christmas this year".
As she climbed into bed i asked her if she thought that Harry Potter was real. She looked at me and answered, "I dont know but i want him to be happy and get nice preasants this year!"
In case you do not know, Harry and the rest of the students and faculty at Hogwarts celebrate christamas. how can the books be promoting satanic principles if they are celebrating christian holidays?
I have many christian, pagan, and satanic friends, all agreed that your web page promotes nonsence and ignorance. I am not asking you to change your sight or your opinions, i mearly request that you put this on your sight so that your readers can understand that reading Harry Potter is not devil worship, and more important, that Wiccans are not the cruel human-sacrificial devil worshipers that we are thought to be.
Jeda, have you heard the old saying, "You can't see the forest for the trees." Perhaps your personal involvement in Wicca brings you so close to certain contemporary beliefs and practices that the details hide the similarities. As I read Rowling's books and compared them with my own research into ancient history and contemporary feminst spirituality, I see the similarities as far more significant than whether or not witches can fly on broomsticks.
Remember the Bible is my standard. I don't try to stop you or others from pursuing your choice. But I must be free to share the Biblical warnings with those who want to follow God. Please look at the some parallels between His Old Testament warnings and the practices taught or demonstrated in the mythical Hogwarts world. I listed some of them in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
From Kellie Beck: I am a sophomore student at Citrus High School in Florida. I am 16 years old and I have been raised Christian my entire life. I have read all of the Harry Potter books and personally I LOVE fantasy books. They allow you to take it easy and relax into a world where stuff is different before having to face the mounds of homework and studying to be completed.
I read your articles against Harry Potter and I believe that they are a little unfair. In the part where you mentioned Professor Lupin and the werewolf thing I think you were only taking it at face value. The impression I got from the book was that Professor Lupin was cool because he stood by Harry when everyone else turned against him. This showed loyalty and caring not an occultic fascination. I don't mean to sound harrasing or anything to that sound but I just felt that I should make my feelings known.
I appreciate that, Kellie. I suppose different readers get different impressions from the same story. I would guess that young boys whose favorite Star Wars character is Darth Vader would find Professor Lupin cool for his occult power to morph or shape-shift into a werewolf. But you are right, he did stand by Harry.
From Tracy, Burlington, VT: I hope you will endure one more comment on the Harry Potter vs. The World issue:
Did you read Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft, Tracy? If not, please do. It gives both examples and documentation. Then read Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons. It cites some credible psychological studies that show the power of the imagination to change values.
If anything, the Harry Potter series promotes reading amongst people of all ages. I know of many children whose readings skills have improved 100% as a result of their reading the Harry Potter books. Why is this considered a threat to the welfare of children? Is reading a book so unusual today that if someone does it, and enjoys it, it must be evil? What kind of world do we live in that condemns and ostracizes people for reading a book and actually enjoying it?
Please show me where I have condemned or ostracized any person, Tracy. If I have, I want to apologize and change my words. But I need you to show me where you saw such a statement.
And by the way, I am a practicing Christian who has read the Bible, is studying the Bible, I watch TV, I read books, I pray, I talk to people about God and His works, and I see no problem with letting children learn the difference between real life and fantasy. A mind with no imagination is a stale mind. Let these children be children for the few years they have before becoming a member of the adult league. It's not bad enough you try to control their minds, do you really have to own their souls too?Could you explain what you mean by your last sentence, Tracy? I have neither the power nor the desire to control minds or own souls. But I am not sure I understand your accusation.
Since you call yourself a Christian, may I suggest you also read Answers to Pokemon. It is as relevant to Harry Potter fans as it is to anime fans.
From Autumnwind: (This had been posted on the Anime page, but it seems to belong here instead.) I don't even know why I'm writing this, since it's probably VERY pointless. You page even states that your page is for Christian parents (of which I am not). I guess it's just that reading your reviews opened up a HUGE can 'o worms for me.
Let me state right now that I am 18, married, and happily Wiccan. I have been both for almost 2 years now, and I have no intentions on changing religions back to Christianity.
There are several reasons I left the Christian faith. First, I can't believe that an "all-loving" God would damn someone to infinite suffering for FINITE sin. It's not, by any stretch of the imagination, fair to infants, the insane, or those who have never been exposed to the Bible. And it's also not fair that someone who murders and rapes ten children and repents in his last minutes of life can get into Heaven, but I, who am simply following my HEART, cannot. The murderer's sin is infinite - those mothers will never have their children back.
Autumnwind, God welcomes and forgives anyone who acknowledges their need, confesses their sins, and is willing to turn their lives over to Him by faith. That the worst sinner can be redeemed and restored demonstrates His amazing mercy and love, not injustice or partiality.
I know it is hard -- or rather impossible -- for us to understand His justice or see reality from the His high and eternal perspective. But if you really want to know His answer and see His love and mercy, please pray that He speak to your heart by His Holy Spirit. You might even get on your knees -- not that kneeling is some sort of magic -- but it does help put our hearts in that humble receptive state where we can better receive His truth.
My "sin" is finite, and something that I've heard Christians say that God WANTS people to do. I spend a lifetime helping others (regardless of faith) and doing my best to live without harming anyone, and I get Hell. Just because I used the brain that GOD gave me and chose not to follow humanity's view of "holiness." Big whoop-de-doo. That shows the effects of an immature, insecure God, and that's not what God is. God is a loving, understanding PARENT. We are not sheep, and he is not a shephard. And if you insist on the "sheep" analogy, I have one thing to say to you: "Baa baa."
He gave us that analogy, Autumnwind. I didn't make it up. But I love it, because it reminds me how wonderful it is to know that He leads and provides for me every day. Believe me, it has been an exciting journey as I have seen how He gives me strength and wisdom in all my weaknesses -- and through all the challenges He sends my way. I wouldn't trade my walk with Him for anything.
Since you changed the topic at this point to Gundam Wing, I will post the next section of your letter on the Gundam Wing page, then come back here and finish your letter tomorrow.
Autumnwind: HP The Bible was not written by God. It was written by man, inspired by God. Many works are inspired by God....
I don't have time or space here to give you all the evidence of the validity of the Bible. But I have recently been comparing today's Scriptures with the more recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls, and it is amazing to see the sameness of today's Bible and these original manuscripts lost for about two thousand years. Among the many Biblical prophecies that were fulfilled is Isaiah 53, which detailed the death of Jesus and His redemption and suffering for us.
On the presence of the word "witchcraft": That wasn't the original Hebrew word. The original Hebrew word was actually directly translated into "poisoner," to mean spiritually. Now, this implicated the Jews, Druids, Roman pagans, Celtic pagans (no, Druidism and Paganism are not the same thing), Egyptian pagans, and Atheists....
I deleted the rest of this long paragraph, Autumnwind, because I couldn't quite understand what you were trying to say. Perhaps you could clarify it. Since you bring in some interesting information, I would love to see some documentation if possible. A link to an informative website would help me, personally. I would like to add the explanation later.
I must say, I am INSULTED that you could say that anime and the like could hurt your faith, or your child's faith. I'll have you know that I was raised a "good little Christian girl" who read, watched, and played what she %@% well liked. And it wasn't the entertainment that hurt my faith. My faith wasn't so weak that it could be changed by something I KNEW not to be of God. My faith was destroyed by the actions of my church.
When I was 15, I was sexually assulted and impregnated. I didn't want the child of a rapist, so my two options were abortion and adoption. Since I was positive no one would want a rape baby, and I DIDN'T want my child to grow up in the system, I asked my youth pastor what I should do, and that I was seriously considering abortion. One of the boys overheard and walked over, grabbed me by the shoulder, and PUNCHED ME IN THE STOMACH AS HARD AS HE COULD. The pastor AND youth pastor just stood there and watched while the boy told me, as I began vomitting blood, that now I didn't have to worry about an abortion. I ended up miscarrying, and the boy was ejected from the youth group for A WEEK. That was all. Real "Christian" of the lot of them, wasn't that?
I am so sorry, Autumnwind. What a horrible experience! I can see why you would leave the church. I am especially sorry that when you most needed compassionate counsel and God's loving care, you faced another cruel assault instead. I know there are all to many churches that are Christian in name only. I was disillusioned myself for many years when I tried to find God in a particular denomination. But then He showed His love in a wonderful way, and I gave my life to Him. Then everything changed for me. I know He is real, Autumnwind, and I pray you will one day know Him and see His love as well.
May I also suggest you read this page: Biblical versus Cultural Christianity. We need to remember that as our culture drifts further away from the truths of the Bible, we will see more compromise in churches and fewer demonstrations of genuine Christianity.
After that, I was straight Atheist. No "God" could be so cruel as to condone that. What can I say? Let the sinners disrupt the faith, but at least I thought these people to be of God.
And about violence in anime: God demands death for witchcraft and homosexuality, asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, made Jonah sit in a whale's belly for three days (yum), killed almost EVERYONE by drowning them all, refused Cain's sacrifice because it wasn't a blood sacrifice (and no, I'm not defending him there), destroyed two cities and everyone in them, allowed his own son to be murdered, created a place where "bad" people can burn and suffer forever, and is going to destroy this world by fire, and you're talking about VIOLENT?
The Bible tells the truth about human nature, Autumnwind. It doesn't idealize, hide or rationalize sin, selfishness, envy or cruelty. But it tells the history from God's perspective. Human nature wants to hide or rationalize evil and show how good man can be. In contrast, God allows us to glimpse the horrors of a humanity that has rejected His wisdom and strength, so that we will realize our need and trust Him instead of ourselves.
The Bible mentions sex on a VERY frequent basis, fornication frequently, and beastiality at LEAST once and you're telling me that ANIME is inappropriate for children?
Yes, Anime is still inappropriate for Christian children because it gives a false view of reality -- both the physical and spiritual worlds.. And the Bible is good, because it warns us about what happens when people turn from the only God who can bring true peace. Keep in mind, unlike today's pornography or sensual literature, it doesn't show promiscuous images or give the kinds of details about sex that would lure children toward sexual addictions or bondage.
You probably remember that the Israelites began to follow the sensual-occult practices of their Canaanite neighbors in land, and soon all kinds of destructive promiscuity and unnatural sexual practices spread among the people. God then withdrew His protection and personal provisions for the land and allowed the people to go their own way. Finally, God's victorious natin became so corrupt and weak that other civilization destroyed their temple and took the people captive. And God's heart was broken over the pain of his foolish people. (See Jeremiah 7-9)
When I read my first REAL Bible (not a little kiddy one with cartoons and illustrations and print the size of Montana), I gave it back to Mom because I thought it was something that wasn't good for me to read.
Violence and sex are EXCUSES to keep anime and role-play away from kids, nothing more. Empty, shallow EXCUSES. Empty because you can open the"good book" to Genesis and see both violence and sex, and shallow because it's denying the children the right to use the free will that God gave them and force your own will on them. God doesn't want a mindless little biddy. If he did, he would have CREATED us as such. He didn't.
You are right. He didn't want us to be His puppets. He gave us opportunities to choose Him or to go our own way. The Bible is very honest about the choices we face. But we can't have it both ways: We can't indulge in these harmful practices and follow God and receive His blessings at the same time. But we can, even while caught up in sin, cry out to Him for help and freedom from bondage. And our faithful God will show His love to those who "seek Him with all their heart," confess their need and sin, then trust Him to deliver them.
And, if you can refute all of those arguments - my faith wasn't shaken by "worldly" things because I knew they were worldly, there's violence and sex a-plenty in the Bible, and God gave us ALL free will so we could use it- then it all boils down to this: IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, THEN DON'T WATCH/PLAY IT. Simple, no?
It's not that simple. Anyone reading the letters posted on this website will meet children and youth, parents and pastors who seem obsessed with today's popular books, anime, games and music. In Romans 6, God tells us that when we yield to our wants and cravings, they begin to control us. That's why God warns us to avoid certain sexual practices and occult images. He doesn't want us to be in bondage to the things that would captivate our hearts and minds.
Feel free to tell your kids that your don't want them watching this material, and if they respect you, then they won't....
My husband's almost 20. His father's been in prison for a felony, and his mother... well... his mother is the woman that carried him for 9 months. That's all. Eddie's tried his hardest to please her. When he got A's on his report card... nothing. His mother shrugged and kept smokin' her cigarrette and watching her soap operas. But when his grades slipped, she noticed. Ooooh, she noticed. Eddie has a SCAR from one of her temper tantrums over his grades. When he announced that he and I were engaged, she called me a "slut, whore, and b*tch", him a "mindless, whipped @$$h**e," and when he tried to calm her down ("Mom, I love her, she loves me, and it's not going to happen for at least another year,") she told him that she wished he was never born, that he had no right to live, and slapped him hard enough to throw him back into the wall.
When I choose to have children, I think, and when they decide that they want religion in their lives, I'll let them choose freely. If they wish to be Wiccan, so be it. If they wish to be Druidic, so be it. If they wish to be Christian, so be it. I will not force my religion on their shoulders- but I will keep the Playboys out of the boys' room and the boybands out of the girls'.
Walk in light
Life has been hard for you and your husband, Autumnwind. I pray that my wonderful Lord touch your heart with His love and show you the kind of peace that is beyond our understanding.
If you would be interested in reading a book that might encourage you, I would love to give you as a gift my book titled A Twist of Faith. (Just send me your address) You can read the first and last chapters online. Or read the first part of a Wardrobe from the King. I hope I don't offend you by mentioning those. My heart goes out to you, and I wish I could help and strengthen you in some way. I know He could.
New answers to a letter posted earlier:
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