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From Anon: It must be wonderful to feel like you have the answer to everything.

To feel like you have a grasp of the Allmighty that eluded the greatest sages of all times.

To not experience the doubt that gnaws at even the most spiritually advances men and women.

To never have to wrestle with angels like our Forefathers.

I wish I could be so smug and bland and unquestioning about my faith.

I wish I could fire back glib responses to children who are desperately seeking guidance about God.

I wish I love myself so much that I believed that I was "God's special cheerleader."

But then I realize that those "wishes" are sinful.
I realize that my struggle to love God is mine alone.
I realize that I do not whore my love for God by parading it around in public like a harlot.
Only when my Trust in God is like Isaiah's will I ever commit a word in public declaming it.
I guard my relationship with God in my heart. Fiercely. Jealously.

I am scared that if I put it out in the world it will be corrupted by my weakness to please others, to derive self-satisfaction and worldly pleasure from it.

So I hide it, like the faint glowing light of a candle which will blow out at the first gust of wind.

Your web-site is a mockery of the values you supposedly profess!

An invitation for evil-doers to mock God.

A shame for all those who see it.



From Jeff Wallace: My youngest son, Doug who is 24, shared something with me the other day that I thought was very profound and true. He had an interesting thought on the recent debate about abortion vs capital punishment. It seemed to me that the innocent unborn children are to today's society what Jesus was to the Jewish crowd right before his crucifixion, and those criminals that society wants to spare from the death penalty are like Barabbas.   Just wanted to share it with you.------God Bless

From Mercutio: I'm a High School Student and in my school I am taking a Journalism Class and we put out a monthly school paper. Each student must write an article each month regardless of whether it goes in the paper or not, and I am currently writing an article concerning Harry Potter and whether it promotes Witchcraft/satanism etc. or not. So of course i read all four books and I went searching online for various sides of the story. And in during my research one of the first articles I came across was yours on your site.

I myself am catholic, i attend church regularly, and my family and I also attend an extra prayer group with many others that offers weekly meetings, various retreats and teachings. But that isn't the reason why I am writing, after reading your article I am wondering how you interpret the various witchcrafts.  I have many friends that actually are wiccan and out of my own curiosity i researched it, for my article. 

I don't understand how you accuse one book of so much. I read the book, and normally when one reads a book, they read it for plot, characters, etc. No one really searches for what you have in your article.

And I have conducted a thorough interview of many people (from elementary to my school) and not many of them believe that it supports witchcraft it any way what so ever. As in your article you put:

Ten-year-old Gioia Bishop said it well, "I was eager to get to Hogwarts first because I like what they learned there and I want to be a witch." I really doubt that she truly understood what she was saying. A lot of younger kids are like that, they don't actually understand what they're saying, it's like when i was little and i said I wanted to be superman or something.

I myself thought that the book was very good, and I have actually been exposed to various forms of witchcraft and I have been unable to locate anything in that book that actually refers to GOD or denounces HIM in any way. It makes no reference to actual witchcraft and is not really related to it except that the book is about witches and wizards.

... I find no religous qualms in this book and I don't understand why you are reading so deeply into this book making extra interpretations and accusing this book of very immoral things that the average kid doesn't see in a book like this. All i saw when i read it was a kid that went to an imaginary school and triumphed over evil and had a plot that kept me hooked on the books.

Most of the obvious differences between Harry Potter's world of witchcraft and the real world of witches and neo-pagan are superficial. Real witches rarely wear black capes or pointed hats. Nor do they ride broomstics or follow magic maps or communicate with talking pictures. Since contemporary witches look and act like everyone else, many Harry Potter fans simply dismiss the books as pure fantasy.  

The similarities are subtle and far more dangerous: Harry Potter's world view, the use of spells and magic, the possibility of communicating with the dead, the invisible forces that carry out the summons or wishes of those who use the occult formulas... all these beliefs and practices are as real today as they were in pagan cultures throughout history. Please read  Halloween 2000 - Starring Harry Potter and  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

From Ken Ashe: Its fiction. Fiction. Story telling. Grow up people, please!  And as for this quote:

"1. Chuck Colson praised Harry and his friends for their "courage, loyalty, and a willingness to  sacrifice... for one anothereven at the risk of their lives." Those qualities can be found in almost any culture. But, according to the Bible, a brave person is no more free to pursue paganism than a coward. Harry's occult skills -- witchcraft, sorcery, casting spells, spiritism, interpreting omens and "calling up the dead" fit into a category God tells us not even to discuss. 'For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord....'" (Eph. 5:10-12, Deut. 18:9-12)

Why is it that you, and Chuck, stop short of living by the entire Old Testament? You only quote it when it is convenient for your, modern day, current Christian interpretation. Let me know the next time you sacrifice a 'kid of the goats', I would like to be there. Or next time you stone your non-virgin daughter to death after being returned by her husband (only two chapters further in Deut from what you quote above).

As for the Ephesian passage, back up a couple of verses and look at vs. 8 "for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light". So, under your interpretation, the Ephesians, all of them, were Wizards and practiced the 'dark arts'. They were not, they were Jews! To the Jew first, then the Greeks. Stop reinterpreting scripture to suit your current day, trendy, all in the name of attracting money contributions, Christianity ! This is bumper sticker theology and is unbecoming of the faith!

From a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, washed in his blood, and written as a saved, Bible believing, Christian. I am so sick and tired of trendy, condemnation, of something like the Harry Potter series. The witchcraft of the Old Testament is as far from the Halloween version as Hitler is to Candy Corn.

You ask some good questions, Ken. The answer is that the Levitical laws of the Old Testament were fulfilled through Jesus Christ when He was crucified. His death as the perfect Lamb of God served as the propitiation needed to redeem all who would believe in Him. No need to sacrifice a goat or lamb or anything else when Jesus Himself met all the conditions for us. That's what the book of Hebrews (in the New Testament) is all about. 

On the other hand, the moral laws of the Old Testament are as applicable today as ever. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6: 17-20,

"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."

We are responsible for knowing and following those guidelines -- not by our own strength, but by His life in us. In other words, as we study His Word (Old and New Testament), know His guidelines, and depend on His life rather than our own, He enables us to follow Him and demonstrate His life.   

"Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music." George Carlin

I have never heard of George Carlin, but I suppose his statement could apply to either side in this debate. Many view Christians like me as insane today. Remember Jesus said, 

"If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. ... If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.... because they do not know Him who sent Me." (John 15:19-21)

From Xenia Eggen:  I am a school teacher and an Orthodox Christian - Russian - one of the most strict - if you know anything about the Russian Church Abroad. 

Ready [reading?] all of the Potter books has been a great joy for me and my children. They are sweet, funny and delightful. I am sorry your life lacks color. We will pray for you. Anything against Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz? How about Cinderella.    In Christ,

Berit's letter to Ms Eggen: Thank you, Sandy, for taking time to write us. Would you like me to post  your comment? Many would agree with you.

Second letter from Xenia Eggen: Yes, please print. My comments will, indeed appeal to literate individuals that have gone beyond "Chicken Little". Your sister in Christ, 

I may be wrong, Xenia, but you sound a bit sarcastic to me. Would you prayerfully re-read your notes, then compare your words with the message in Galatians 6:22? It describes the sweetness of the life of Jesus in the believer:

 "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."

From Canem Cave: Hello. I have some questions regarding your article "Harry Potter and D&D -  Like  Two Peas in a Pod?" I would appreciate a response. However, I realize that I  probably won't get one - critical thinking is not most people's strong point.

General Questions:

  1. Have you ever played D&D?
  2. Have you ever read a Harry Potter book?
  3. Where in the Bible does it state that playing D&D or reading Harry Potter  is bad?
  4. Where in the Bible does it state that *pretending* to be a witch or  wizard is bad?
  5. Where in the Bible does it state that *reading* about a witch or wizard  is bad? Does that include reading about a witch or wizard in the Bible?
  6. Where in the Bible does it state that *imagination* is bad?

Berit’s answers: 1. No, but I have read several books and manuals that show the D&D world, define the rules and describe the characters. I know more than enough to be able to discern how this conflicts with the Biblical world view.  I don’t need to “experience” evil in order to recognize evil. The belief that experiential knowledge of evil is necessary to understand it is a deception straight from Satan who wants to desensitize to and trap God’s people in what God calls evil.

2. Of course, I have read the Harry Potter books. Didn’t you notice the quotations from them? Perhaps the most revealing are in the last book.

3. God doesn’t have to mention D&D or Harry Potter to show us the beliefs and practices they promote clash with His Word. Witchcraft, wizardry, magic, sorcery and spell-casting all fit into the list of forbidden practices outlined in Deuteromy 18:9-12. (See Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.)  

4-6. Both "pretending" to be a witch or wizard and "reading about" a witch or wizard involves the imagination. If the imagined wizard and witch are as appealing as Harry and Hermione, children tend to identify with the pagan characters and their practices. Children imagine themselves part of that particular occult world, become familiar with it, become comfortable in it,  and – in the process – are desensitized to the forbidden realms of the occult. Here are some of God’s warnings against the timeless practice of imagining evil:

“I know your thoughts, and the devices which ye wrongfully imagine against me.” Job 21:27

"...the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth...” Genesis 8:21

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed..." Psalm 2:1-2

"They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.” Psalm 38:12

“Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil...." Proverbs 12:20

“Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me." Hosea 7:15

“And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD. Zech 8:17

“He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.” Luke 1:51

More questions from Canem Cave: Some thoughts to think about. Does reading about something mean it's true?  Here's some questions along those lines - If you read about A, does that  mean you do A?

  1.  If you read/talk/think about witches, does that mean you believe in witches? That you are a witch?

  2. If you read/talk/think about Satan, does that mean you believe Satan  exists? That you worship Satan?

  3. If you read/talk/think about murder, does that mean you commit murder?

  4. If you read/talk/think about crime, does that mean you commit crimes?

The more you read and think about witches, the more familiar they become.  If you keep focusing on witchcraft, you become increasingly desensitized to it. The effect of talking about witchcraft usually depends on the views of the other person. For example, when you talk with a witch about witchcraft, you are far more likely to start believing in it than if you discuss this subject with me.

Specific Article Questions:Why did Amazon also list Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Player's  Handbook as best-seller #6? Could it be that this product was best-seller #6 BECAUSE it sold well? Why else would Amazon list it as #6?

My point was simply that the two books – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the D&D Handbook – both fit the desires of a global audience. They demonstrate contempory beliefs, values and popular entertainment.

Quoting from Berit’s article: “1. Both immerse their fans in a plausible, well-developed fantasy world, replete with an evolving history, a carefully mapped geography, and wizards  that model the thrill-packed and power-filled way of the mythical shaman.”

This comment could be said about any book. For example: Comparing the Bible  to a Sherlock Holmes mystery, both ". . . develop a plausible,  well-developed fantasy world, replete with an evolving history . . . ." Both  have ". . . carefully mapped geography . . . ." Why is this a point to  consider? When comparing/contrasting items, this information a given.

Both the Bible and Sherlock Holmes deal with the real world, not fantasy. And while the Hobbit and the Narnia stories showed fantasy world, their worlds were not as plausible as the D&D setting or  Harry Potter’s world. The fact that a person can identify with the character or role-play an imaginary part, makes its values and world view all the more seductive.

Quoting: “3. This process is reinforced by innumerable other occult images and suggestions created by an entertainment industry eager to please a global  market -- a worldwide base of potential customers that favor "inclusive" and "tolerant" pagan entertainment and turn their backs to Biblical values.”

What "myriad of other occult images and suggestions" are there? Does the  "global market" include peoples of other religions? Or should the "global  market" only cater to Christianity?

No, I don’t expect global marketing to cater to Christians.  I expect global corporations to sell their products to the largest possible market. But that doesn’t mean that Christian parents should buy products for their children that clash with their faith.

Why are "inclusive" and "tolerant" in quotes? 

Because they refer to what is inclusive and tolerant in the eyes of the world, not from a Biblical perspective.  Those who call Christianity “exclusive” and “intolerant” don’t realize that God, unlike the world’s other gods, accepts anyone willing to come to Him in their weakness and believe in Him without any merit of their own. He “includes” and welcomes people from every culture and of any color.

What is pagan entertainment? What Biblical values are you talking about? Are they the same as Family values? Didn’t Jesus state that he came to replace the old (Moses) Laws with 2 laws: Love God and Be Nice To People  (paraphrased)? If so, why even refer to the Bible except for these two laws?

Many use the words "family values" to mean the "traditional American values" established by our founding fathers. 

Jesus didn't say he came to replace the old Mosaic or Levitical law. He came to fulfill it. He Himself became the Lamb that died for our sins. Please read this earlier answer to your question. But Jesus did summarize of the moral law, which is as relevant as ever: 

"Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:37-40

Quoting: “4. In the toys and games industry, two trans-national giants have been  swallowing up most smaller companies: Mattel and Hasbro. The latter bought  Wizards of the Coast, which makes and distributes role-playing games and  cards for Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and D&D fans around the world.   What's more, Warner Brothers -- producer of the Harry Potter movie scheduled for release next year --  granted Hasbro licensing rights to produce a variety of Harry Potter toys  and games. Pagan fun has become big business!

What does this have to do with this article? Large, trans-national companies  have been swallowing up smaller companies all over the world. Large, trans-national companies also make licensing agreements with other large, trans-national companies. What does this have to do with this article?

 It helps show the vast financial resources behind today's popular entertainment. The toy and game industry has changed. Fifty years ago, toy makers were concerned about morals and values. Today money is the bottom line, and the toy and game industry continues to expand and erode the old moral boundaries. Their current products are desensitizing their opposition, while their well-researched ads keep raising the demand for their manipulative and values-changing entertainment around the world.  

From Lois: Having observed all the fuss about Harry Potter books, I have now read the first two for myself.

As far as I can see, they are in the great tradition of English School stories, of which I read a good many whilst growing up. There are the same characters, the hero and his friends, his "enemies", various types of teacher, nasty members of staff, nice members of staff etc. If you took out the wizards and witches bit, that's what you'd have - a school story. 

That's right, Lois. The fact that this fantasy is so close to the real thing makes it easy for children to identify both with the context and the characters. This distinction makes it far more effective in molding a child's values than either the Hobbit or the Narnia stories.

Unfortunately, this genre doesn't sell very well these days; so obviously Ms Rowling had to change the setting to make it more attractive to publishers and the book buying public.

It's fantasy. Children are not stupid. They know you can't zap people with a magic wand or fly on a broomstick or change a pencil sharpener into a mouse in the real world. What is wrong with fantasy? 

You're right again. But because contemporary witches don't wear pointed hats or fly on broomsticks, readers also dismiss the very real dangers of spells, magic and dabbling in the actual world of the occult.  

I find the Harry Potter books good fun and I'm nearly 40! My son of 14, after much sneering, has read them too, although they are probably a bit too young for him, and we have both enjoyed them.  People should be free to read what they want. No one has the right to tell another person what they should read...or think...or believe. 

I would deny that Harry Potter books soften children up for taking part in the occult. 

Please read the documentation in Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft and  Halloween 2000, which shows that children -- especially girls -- are flocking to pagan groups where they can learn witchcraft.

I have some knowledge of the occult myself, and if you want books which have a much "darker" edge to them, try "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" and "The Moon of Gomrath" by Alan Garner. Marvellous stuff, based on Nordic myth. That should get your hair curling!

Maybe I should learn more about my Viking heritage. I knew that ancient Norwegian paganism was evil and violent -- no better than the animism in other other parts of the world. This realization helps put all regions and races on an equal footing, for we all share a history of earth-based occultism.

Finally, Nietzche (spelling!) in his book "Beyond Good and Evil" said: "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he does not also become a monster. And when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."

From Fyriel [Witch fyre]:  I recently read your article on how Harry Potter and other fantasy stories were raising concern in Christian circles. Firstly, I am hoping that you are both open minded people, if you are, then please continue reading this email. If you arent, then dont bother because you're won't really be listening to my point of view.     

I grew up as a christian and in fact I still worship God. I believe in goodness and being kind to each other.

I was a bit alarmed at the your welcome section of your webpage that implied that God wants you to shun those people that you should be fostering a bond with, guiding and serving. God does not want us to segregate ourselves and ignore the truths of other doctrines, because any truth that represents goodness of mind and soul is a truth of Gods. God is in all of us, so by shutting yourself away from mankind and shunning those that are different to you you are in fact shutting yourself away from God.
With regards to your Harry Potter article: I would also wish for you that you realize that teenagers joining covens is frowned upon by any self-respecting leader. It is my one regret for Pagans out there that people have made public on the internet spells and potions for children to find. Being pagan is not weaving spells and chanting, although a lot view it as such. It is predominantly finding God in his creation, nature, the earth and meditating in the hopes that it brings your closer to Him/Her/It. It is a common misconception that Pagans hold the Earth and Nature as being deities when in fact it is the spirit of God in all of these things that they are worshipping.
I think that what we must remember with regards to stories such as the Harry Potter series, is that children are closer to God than we can ever hope to be and we should encourage that delightful innocence and belief in miracles and magic for it raises them to be adults who do not put their God in a bottle and limit His influence in their lives by not fully experiencing even his most mundane miracle.
I think that parents should focus on their children and stop letting the television set be their teacher and babysitter. I think that parents should encourage to read, read to and create for their children as much fantasy lives as is possible because by participating in that magic we parents learn to see more of God in our children's eyes.  I hope that this is a lesson that you wanted to learn and that you can take insight away from it.

While we worship different Gods, Fyriel, I am glad you wrote and explained your beliefs. I looked again at the "Welcome" section of our home page, and I can  see how my words can be misread and misunderstood. I didn't say, nor did I intend to imply " that God wants you to shun those people that you should be fostering a bond with, guiding and serving." Here is what I said and meant:

"Joshua encouraged God's people to follow truth, avoid compromise, and shun their neighbors' earth-centered spirituality. His words clash with today's demand for unity, consensus and global values. But they fit our times:

"... choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)

"The crossroad - the way of the cross - may be rocky and narrow, and it will never merge with the crowded superhighway nudging the masses toward a global village. But no other way leads to genuine love, peace, and lasting security. The destination is well worth the struggle."

There is a big difference between shunning a contrary religion and shunning the people who practice it. I referred to the religion, not the person. As a Christian, I must avoid compromise while I show His love to those who follow other gods.

You say that "God does not want us to segregate ourselves and ignore the truths of other doctrines, because any truth that represents goodness of mind and soul is a truth of Gods. God is in all of us, so by shutting yourself away from mankind and shunning those that are different to you you are in fact shutting yourself away from God."

That may be what your deity ("Him/Her/It") tells you, but it is not what my God says in His Word. According to the Bible, most of today's so-called spiritual realities or truths are actually distortions or counterfeits of God's truths. Whether they twist His truth  a lot or just a little, the outcome is the opposite of what the Bible shows us. But since you and I see reality from two different perspectives (See 3 Paradigms), we can't agree on this point. 

Here are two of God's many warnings that tell His people not to be deceived. I realize that both Scriptures are very politically incorrect and offensive to those who have embraced the global ideal of worldwide unity and spiritual solidarity. They help explain why uncompromising Christians have been persecuted around the world during the last two thousand years:

"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."  Colossians 2:8

"O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.... What part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them.... Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate,' says the Lord."  2 Corinthians 6:8-17

Second note from Fyriel [Witch fyre]: I appreciate that you actually listened. There are too many Christians, and in truth, too many people in general out there that feel that it is their personal mission in life to "push" their lifestyle or belief system on others. Whether it is because they are shaky in their faith and are desperate for validation or just misguided in their attempts at reaching out to their fellow man, the sum result is that this is not only unfortunate for the people who are being foisted upon but also for the people doing the foistiing.
I think that true evil is intolerance, no matter which disguise it takes, and I wish for us all that we become more tolerant and kind to ourselves and then to each other.

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