Harry Potter - 4
Your responses to
Bewitched by Harry Potter
Harry Potter and D&D
Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft - with praise from Christian leaders
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
For previous Harry Potter comments, click here:
Potter 1, Potter 2 or Potter 3
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From Kyle: I have read Harry Potter. I admit, the characters are witches and wizards, but in no way do I believe Harry Potter is to blame for anything. As one person said, get over it. Just because it has the word witch in there means nothing. It doesn't mention Satan even once. It is a classic battle of good and evil and primarily a fun adventure. It sparks and fuels the imagination in children, and gets them to read. What little child, before this, would read a 730-page book? Not one child would. Now, though, JKR has gotten children interested.I am a Christian. I believe that anyone who says HP leads children to Satanism is ridiculous, or just hasn't read the books. They celebrate Christmas and Easter. I will tell you why parents who believes HP is Satanic believe this. They are looking for a scapegoat, something to blame their horrible parenting skills on, or their plain apathy to the rearing of their children.
Are you a parent, Kyle? Do you really know the struggle many parents face when public schools train their children -- partly by immersing them in "values clarification" and multicultural experiences -- to reject home-taught values and determine their own values? Remember, many teenagers choose to follow their own favorite religious thrills while they tune out any counsel parents might offer.Everyone today that claims to be a Christian blames everything on music, movies, TV, video games, and now books.
Might you be exaggerating a bit, Kyle? You call yourself a Christian. But so far I only hear you blame parents -- the embattled targets of increasing media, movie and classroom ridicule.
One of the most important, basic foundations of human civilization. The problem is that parents are doing their jobs. If they impressed upon their children that Harry Potter isn't real and that it is just "make-believe" before they let them read it, there would be a lot less of these so-called problems. If parents would take the time to impress upon their children their own values, maybe their children would choose not to read the books, or maybe they would choose not to watch that movie or TV program or listen to that song. And if they are having trouble impressing these values enough that the kids can make the right choices, it is the parent's job to screen what their child sees or hears. However, it is also important to let a child know what he or she is being screened from so that they understand why it is wrong.Anyone who thinks Harry Potter is evil is ignorant, in my opinion. They are too stubborn to admit they are wrong or too conservative to open their minds to other things. NOT TO ACCEPT OR FOLLOW THESE THINGS NECESSARILY, BUT TO AT LEAST BE INFORMED SO THAT THEY CAN UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE FEEL THE WAY THEY DO. I believe that the people who advocate this site are sorely misinformed or they completely misinterpret J.K. Rowling.
Here is an Old Testament Scripture that we, as Christian, would do well to take to heart today. Remember, Kyle, our God hasn't changed. Nor has human nature. Christians who ignore God's Word will be as deceived as ancient Israel when they rebelled against God and sought thrills from occult forces:
"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."
From Meredith R: I read your section on Harry Potter and I just want to clear up one thing: Professor Lupin is not a shape-shifter who turns himself into a werewolf. He is just a werewolf.
I appreciate the distinction, but the way he changes his shape still matches the imagery illustrating or suggesting "shape-shifting" in pagan myths and stories.
The differences are: shape-shifters can turn into any animal at will. Werewolves can only turn into wolfs at the full moon. Now that I told you this, you're probably going to say that Sirius Black, James Potter, and Peter Pettigrew are shape-shifters. Well they are not. They can only turn into one animal at will (a dog, stag, and rat,) which makes them different from shape-shifters who can turn into any animal.
Actually, in the Native American myths that I have read, the shape-shifting only occurs between a human shape and a designated animal shape. Thus the Buffalo woman becomes a white buffalo -- or materializes from a white buffalo.
Please reply to this email to show me that you read it.
From Nicole Hart: I am not sure if you personally are responsible for the horrible bashing of Harry Potter books but if you are then I must say I am outraged!!! How dare you depict what is right and wrong and in my opinion you are worse off then the people actually reading these books. I myself am Catholic but I do not bring my faith to such an extreme as to stop my self from reading excellent literature. I do not read it for its content but merely for its style. It is original and unike. I promise you this will not be the last time i will address you on this issue. Yours Truely
Did you read the Scriptures I included in my Harry Potter articles, Nicole? They show God's standard for right and wrong. I merely follow His guidelines. If you don't take the Bible seriously, what is the basis of your faith?
Angela Marjorie (15 from Massachusettes): I, as an aithiest belive your articles are pretty closed minded. I understand and accept your comfort in your relgion.
You're saying that witch craft is wrong and it's influencing younger children. I've wanted to be a witch before anything about Harry Potter arose. Most children are taught to be independent. So I don't belive that childeren reading things like these would be really influenced by them to the point where they would practice it, seriously practice it. And if parents have a probelm with their children reading these books, they can always tell their children they're wrong.
Children who have learned new values from Harry Potter and his friends would probably not listen if their parents' advice clashes with their wants.
Also, in some part on your site you state "We do not apply them (gods standads) to non-Christians. In America, we are all free to follow our own conscience.", yet your telling people its wrong to belive in or find witch craft interesting.
Remember, I was referring to Christians. If you want to follow God you cannot delight in witchcraft or wizardry. Rom 12:2-9
Freedom of Religon is something to be practiced at will, same with Freedom of speech. With your articles your basically saying that witch craft is completely wrong. People should be able to practice it and talk about it at their own will. Their are billboards and television commercails and magazine ads about Jesus yet, I dont find any websites bashing those. And your religion could be just as wrong as any other. I find nothing wrong with beliving in witchcraft, or beliving in God, but neither one of them are wrong. I feel that if something wasn't meant to be done, it wouldn't of been created. Thank you for your time,
I agree, Angela, that "people should be able to practice [religion] and talk about it at their own will." That's why I am not trying to ban books or silence anyone. It's also one of the reasons I post all the diverse opinions and take time to discuss them. But those who love do well not to expose themselves to images and suggestions that will pull them away.
From "a person who can see through your shallow lies": The reason so many people are asking about becoming witches are because occultism is not "evil" as you say. Harry Potter is not true witchcraft, because not once in ANY of the books does it mention a god(dess) or deity. The magic in it is purely mechanical, instead of ritual or occult. All they do is say a word, and magic comes out of their wands.
I have read each book (all 4) about 8 times each. I know the books. I also KNOW witchcraft, I have extensively read countless books about it, and participated in rituals. Black Magic is not the same thing as Satanism;,
another name for Satanism is The Church of Black Sorcery. That is Satanism.
You two need to wake up, and stop having so much poison enter your body.
I have talked with many witches who believe their goddess is an impersonal force or source, not a personified deity. Either way, it fits the new feminist spirituality which invites women to design their own female deity that fits their wants. See Chapter 2 in A Twist of Faith.
Where have I said that Harry Potter or black magic is the same as Satanism? Satan existed as a personality -- a created angel who chose to rebel against God -- before the Bible was written and before humans were created. But, like you, I view the "satanism" as a specific form of occultism. It uses black magic, as did those who practiced alchemy, sorcery, kabbalah, etc. throughout history. See The Nature and Tactics of Satan.
From Alison: I was impressed by your article, “Bewitched by Harry Potter”, and it has helped me see why I should be careful when I allow my son to continue reading Harry Potter and his bible. If my husband and I can show him Harry Potter is just a book but the Bible and what Jesus teaches is real and should be the way he lives his life, then we have allowed him to expand his reading abilities and know right from wrong. I realise there are other better books to help him expand his reading but if he is interested in reading Harry Potter I will allow it.
Thank you, Alison, for your desire to teach your son to see from God's perspective. Since you will let him read the Harry Potter books, may I suggest you first teach him about the Armor of God. Perhaps the Invisible War would help guard him against the enticing suggestions in the Harry Potter books.
Remember, knowing the difference between right and wrong may not be enough to resist the allure of the wrong. We know that too many brownies can cause physical problems and stir a craving for more, but we eat them anyway because it pleases our senses. The same is true in the spiritual realm.
From Nicole: I am not sure if you personally are responsible for the horrible bashing of Harry Potter books but if you are then I must say I am outraged!!! How dare you depict what is right and wrong and in my opinion you are worse off then the people actually reading these books. I myself am Catholic but I do not bring my faith to such an extreme as to stop my self from reading excellent literature. I do not read it for its content but merely for its style. It is original and unike. I promise you this will not be the last time i will address you on this issue.
As a Christian, Nicole, I take the Bible very seriously. Jesus tells us to "love the Lord your God with all your heart," soul, mind and strength. See Mark 12:30 and Rev 2-4 That means no double mindedness, not compromise and no dilution of the gospel. It means saying as Peter did, "We ought to obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29.
People -- including you and others who write us -- want me to approve their choices -- no matter how unbiblical they may be. But the most loving thing I can do is to take a stand on what the Bible says is right and wrong, then refuse to compromise. Of course, this has never been a popular position, which explains why God's faithful disciples have faced much hostility and persecution through the ages. John 15:20-21 and Luke 6:22-23
From Nige: Just getting on my soap box, I saw your article Bewitched by Harry Potter, and I find your opinions slightly worrying, I'll will say now, I'm a none believer, if there is a god I will apologize if we meet, but I do not intend to be abusive.I live in the UK and Harry Potter books are read openly in the schools my children attend, and my eldest daughter and my wife have read the books and show no signs of been traumatized or indulging in witchcraft or sacrificing chickens! the laughable thing is, so called Christians killed thousands of innocent people who they claimed were witches, how many millions of people have been killed in wars by Christians and other faiths over the centuries because of there believes? slightly more than witches and Satanists.
I realize that horrible injustices were committed by those who called themselves Christians or Catholics. But they didn't represent my Lord, Jesus Christ. Please read Biblical versus Cultural Christianity.I think you will find any adverse publicity will sell H Potter books, not prevent people from buying them, pretty much like what it has done for Marilyn Manson, the more people complain the richer he gets, bit of an extreme case but do you see my point.
Everyone is entitled to there opinions, but religion is a more dangerous tool which corrupts more minds than any novel, or rock star, in my youth, I was a biker, read horror stories, watched films, listen to music from black Sabbath, punk, and Manson, I don't do drugs, never stolen anything, broke a few traffic laws! I consider myself weird, probably eccentric, but the images I've seen, haven't made me who I am, if there is a god I must of really p*** him off, I've had an interesting ten years! or he's a lousy judge of character. Hope I haven't offended, sorry for the *** bit, was the best way to express myself, hope you take the time to read this, and it would be great if you reply,
Two the most serious sins from God's perspective is arrogance and rebellion (the opposite of humility and faith), not all the sins that destroy our bodies and confuse our minds. Arrogance -- the proud resistance to confessing our own sinfulness and our own need for His love, strength and goodness -- blinds us to our only real hope for inner peace. But I see a measure of humility in you, and I appreciate that.
The Bible tells us that rebellion is like witchcraft -- both involve a conscious rejection of His way and a quest for something entirely contrary. The reason I warn Christians -- not non-Christians -- to leave the Harry Potter books to the rest of the world, is that its message will produce rebellion against God. You cannot delight in Hogwarts and in God at the same time. You cannot serve two masters. If you love magic and wizardry, you will hate God's ways. See Deut 18:9-12 and Rom 12:2-9 and What it means to be a Christian
Yesterday's comment turned out to be a duplicate of what I had posted a few days ago in the Multiple Topics section, so I deleted it.
From Filip: Dear Sir/Madam,I happen to be among the biggest Harry Potter fans and I must say that what you are doing is utterly close minded and primitive. First of all, there is no such thing as a witch, except for the ones from the fairy tales. Intelligent women, or women who wouldn't have sex with the local priest were pronounced witches by the good old god fearing murderers. Nicholas Copernicus was pronounced a wizard for saying that the Earth is round.
Filip, there were many horrible abuses and false accusations against women during the middle ages and through the time of the Reformation -- abuses that illustrate how human power corrupts leaders inside and outside churches. Please see Biblical versus Cultural Christianity. It helps explain the difference between the arrogant use of religion and a genuine walk with Jesus Christ.
Since most scientific advances during that historical time came from within the established church, both the great scientists and those who opposed them were Catholic. The conflict was based on human pride, not on Biblical truth. The Bible confirms Copernicus' observations, but many choose to ignore its amazing truths if it doesn't fit their perceptions.
Witchcraft was very real during those times. Just ask a contemporary neo-pagan or Wiccan who has studied that era and reads the flood of books on New Age and neopaganism. They look back to mediaeval witchcraft for insight into today's expressions of feminist spirituality.
Second, there is no such thing as a God. It is just something the church(es) made up, to keep people under it's command. Third, there is no such thing as Satan, which is also another fraud because the church needed to keep the people in constant fear. And, by the way, I think that you should find something to do instead of making a crusade against ms Rowling, because you will find your Saladin. In fact you already have! Just ask the children!
Children will echo what they like and learn -- usually from adults. Christian parents are responsible for guiding their children's education so that they learn to value what God loves and resist what He calls dangerous. That includes all occult influences. See Deut 18:9-12 and -- for a modern illustraton -- the first item on this page: Religion News
Satan is mentioned repeatedly both in the Old and New Testament. Please read the end of this page, Symbols and their meaning, and see my experience with his power. I am all the more grateful I belong to Jesus Christ. If you want to understand what that means, please go to What it means to be a Christian.
Second note from Filip (sent before the above letter was posted): Dear Berit, yes I would like you to post my letter. Thank you for asking me. I must say I never would have expected that from Christians, but a man learns while he lives. My regards.
Thank you, Filip. I hope you don't mind that I posted your second note without asking your permission. I thought it would serve as a reminder that all who represent Jesus Christ -- and bear His name -- are called to demonstrate His love and kindness. I pray He will always enable me to do that.
See also the added responses to the letter below:
From Heidi: I am 14 years old and I'm Wiccan. I hold nothing against the Christian religion, just to clarify that. Wicca is an earth religion, Wiccans heal and help. They're commandment is, "And it harm none, do what you will." Wiccans are not evil, they DO NOT harm people, or worship Satanic 'powers'. They evolved from the ancient druids and other such 'religions'. There is absolutely NO evil to this religion. In this day and age children are more mature, whether or not you want to believe it. They can make decisions on their own and know right from wrong. Yes, some children don't, but neither do some adults. I personally don't see how in the world the Harry Potter books can be associated with Wicca. Not once have the books EVER mentioned worshipping any god, deity, spirit, etc.I would also like to point out that these books ARE fictional. Let me explain, this means the characters, occurences, and everything AREN'T real. There are many, many other magical books out there that are fictional also, so what exactly sets the Harry Potter series apart? I really would like to know this.
Heidi, the many neopagans I have met have told me the same thing. They all say that witches and Wiccans care about each other, take care of the earth, and only use their power and magic formulas for good. In fact, contemporary witchcraft or Wicca has been marketed as an ideal religion for the new global society.
But in the marketing, it has been re-packaged or re-imagined. The new image looks nothing like the old mediaeval witchcraft or that which was described in the Old Testament of the Bible. For a glimpse of the Celtic or Druid spirituality please read Chapter 8 in my book, A Twist of Faith.
Also look at the first item (excerpted not linked) in the What's New section of our home page. It illustrates the terrors and oppression that has accompanied earth-centered religions through the ages. See also America's Spiritual Slide.
But you are right about the Harry Potter books. They don't mention any deity. Yet supernatural power has to have a source. Whether that source is an impersonal force or a personal or personified god, that all powerful source would be considered a form of a deity from a Christian perspective. It would be included among the "other gods" that our God warns us to avoid.
The main difference is its popularity -- and the acceptance the books have found in schools and churches. Since my warnings are for Christian families, I don't deal with things that are so dark and occult that Christians wouldn't be tempted to read or approve them.
Why don't you go disect about the other 3/4 of children's literature. And twist quotes and excerpts from them into sounding like something that is evil, when it truly isn't, when you keep it in the right context. What your site is doing is clearly against one of your own commandments. You are taking these innocent books and making them into something they aren't by being closed minded and not trying to understand.
Do you have children? If you do, what do they read, all Christian books? Well, some Christian books are fictional. But by all means, don't twist those books into something they aren't. I could say that Christ was trying to take over the world so everyone would be the same, and no one would do anything bad. They would all be how he wanted them to be.
Our three sons are now young adults, and we have two little grandchildren.Yes, I am a child. Yes, I don't know much about the world yet, but there are some things that are just totally wrong. And I am mature and intelligent enough to understand that you believe what you want, I just ask you to read these books from cover to cover and with an open mind, then tell me how evil these books are. I have tried to see these books through your point of view, and I still can't seem to figure out how they are evil.
I have read them from cover to cover, but I see their message through the filter of God's Word. The only way you can see as I do is by reading the Bible and praying that God open your eyes so that you can really see and understand what He shows you.As for children wanting to be in Harry's world, or go to Hogwarts, wow. That's just so bad. HELLO, WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD, children have imaginations, they are going to want to be part of something this magical and different from the harsh world we are living in. As I mentioned, children are more mature. They can decide if they want to be a part of witchcraft. And when kids say "I want to be a witch", that doesn't nessacerily mean they want to worship the Goddess, observe the solstices, practice healing, or perform true spells. Yes, they might want to wear a robe and have a wand or broom and hat and 'play' like they are one, but that doesn't mean they are going to go to that religion.O.k., how is Rowling trying to 'seduce' children into the occult. She simply found a subject that would intrigue children and keep them captivated through the storyline. The same thing fictional Christian books do. You want to keep people going, so they won't stop reading. She just picked a subject that the majority of children would be able to get wrapped up in, a subject and plot that would keep you interested and want more. Maybe she should write only about the things that don't puzzle you, that don't get you excited and make you want to turn the page. I thought that recently reading levels have declined, now these books come along and hey, people are interested. Kids at my school who are trouble makers and don't read, write, or do their work actually read these wonderful books. They couldn't stop talking about them, it completely amazed me.Rowling didn't have much money when she started these Harry Potter books, she needed this money and badly. She picked this topic because she knew people would become interested, you are pretty much saying she is a liar. She has clearly stated that she does not believe in magic or witchcraft. So why would she try to warp our little minds and fill them with nonsense she doesn't believe or promote. She may not have traveled the world and been a missionary, but that doesn't make what she did was bad. This money came to her quickly and she didn't have to work 'that' hard to get it. Now, I know this is pretty much off the point, but, so is your site.Harry and his friends DO show bravery and would sacrifice anything, even their lives for each other. You are evidentely STUCK on your Christian beliefs. Please try to realize that not all of the world believes what you do, and even if they do, they might have more open minds and see that these books aren't promoting anything bad. I would do the same for my friends as Harry does for his, and so would my friends for me. It's called loyalty, but it's deeper than that, it's a bond. Like the bond you have with the Lord, did he not sacrifice his only son to pay for 'our' sins?
Yes, He did -- to free me from bondage to my human nature and from God's legal judgment for sin. All the more I want to follow Him and obey His Word. That is not hard when He conforms our hearts to His heart by His Holy Spirit. In fact, it is a joy to walk with Him and live in the security of His constant and loving presence.
I go to a Christian school, my family is Christian, and they love these books. I asked them there view on all of this and they said it was all nonsense. They couldn't see anything wrong with these books either.
Then I am not surprised that you don't see the ways they clash with Biblical truth. Children tend to embrace their parents beliefs unless they are introduced by schools or peers to enticing but contrary thrills they learn to crave. The Harry Potter books fit human nature and its desires. But God has a different way for us. To understand what I mean, you may want to read Answers to Pokemon mail.THESE BOOKS SHOW HOW GOOD CONQUERS EVIL, HARRY DEFEATS THE DARK LORD, THE DEVIL IF YOU WILL, GOOD PREVAILS IN THE END, AND THE DEVIL DEMINISHES. IT'S CONFLICT, LIKE THE CONFLICT WE FACE IN OUR EVERY DAY LIVES, SAME FOR HARRY POTTER AND HIS WORLD. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS, HARRY'S WORLD ISN'T REAL. SO, PLEASE DISECT OUR LIVES AND SHOW HOW EVIL WE ARE BECAUSE BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO US AND THE PEOPLE AROUND US, SAY WE'RE EVIL BECAUSE BAD PEOPLE AND THINGS ARE ALL AROUND US. Thank you for your time.
From Harry Potter Lover ( and a Christian): I am a christian and I believe in God, good, evil, etc, but I have to say I disagree with you about Harry Potter being evil and bad for children. I have read all four Harry potter books and I can't wait for the next one to come out.Have you ever heard of a thing called a Fairy Tale /Story!! Because that's what Harry Potter is. It is people like you who give christians a bad name! You make everything out to be bad/evil !A few days ago I chatted with this guy on the internet and he says he is not a christian, because all the christians he has met looks down on him and they think they are better than him and they think they are right about everything and he's wrong! Are'nt christians suppost to help people instead of judging them???Stop making such a big deal about harry potter and such books. Why don't you rather do some good deeds like protect nature or help sick people?? Won't God want you to do something usefull rather than start fights and stuff OVER A STORY!!!!!I think as long as the kids no that it is a story then there is nothing wrong with it.
I'm glad you care about the sick and hurting. Jesus wants us to share His concerns for others. But compassion for people doesn't rule out obedience to God. It is a lot harder -- and far less popular -- to obey His guidelines than to do "good deeds." But our first responsibility as Christians is to know, follow and love our Lord with all our heart -- not to please people. Please look up Mark 12:29 in your Bible.
Did you read Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft? If not, please do read it and the other articles on this topic and consider the Scriptures they mention. But before you begin, please pray that God guide you and show you His will. Thank you.
Anonymous: I am a 13 year old girl who thinks all your talk about Harry Potter being evil is, well....stupid. IT'S A BOOK! when you were little didnt you read fairy tales? i don't mean to sound rude but i'm just saying that Harry Potter is not warping kids minds. they're not going to go out and buy some spell book just becuse of Harry Potter!
From Tori: I recently visited your site and I was shocked (and decussated) to see that you clam the Harry Potter book series to be “bewitched” and say that they “Lures children to witchcraft”. I totally disagree with you on that. I’m 14-years-old and I have always loved reading books (I like books by Stephen King, Anne Rice, and other famous authors). Harry Potter is just one of my many favorite book series. I have never noticed anything wicked about them!
Some of the statements you have made are extremely false. It seems to me that you two people can’t read this simple fictional children’s book correctly. You are twisting the words around!
Could you give me some examples? A quotation or two from my articles or comments? I can only respond factually and logically to actual and specific problems.
You can’t give me any real proof that Harry Potter is luring children to witchcraft (I’ve heard every excess there is).
Did you read my articles and see the quotes, examples and documented statements from the British Pagan Federation? What kinds of proof -- if any -- would persuade you? Would you believe any facts that clash with your assumptions?
I’m not trying to be mean, or anything, but you two people are brainwashing your self’s! I believe in God but I don’t have a religion because I don’t think it right to chose one religion out of the all of them (there are so many!) How the %$# do know which one to chose one pacific religion (don’t give me a cheesy answer)? Where do you think the bible came from? How do you really know? (Please don’t say: faith, or follow your heart). Do you have proof? (Please don’t give me some stupid link to a web site, or a book).
Please read some of the information on this unfinished page: Questions and Answers- Evidence for the existence of God
Anyway, your site gave me a good laugh . . . you people are seriously funny (maybe because your brainwashed, and devoted to all this “everything is evil...”) Peace out,
From Gus: I am a 12 years old boy from Mexico. I read your STUPID commentaries about Harry Potter. Do you know in which place is right now the book? Is the second most sold book in the history!! and that is for one thing, it is a healthy form to entertain the people, and you say it is satanic. React people!
I didn't say that Gus.
I know that every time a phenomenon strikes you always try to get the bad viewpoint to take down the mania, because you are angry that the kids dont go to church, or that they dont read the Holy Bible. So please be realistic and dont say stupid things that doesnt exist about things. So please react, ah and Im catholic, and how people say in my country: VIVA HARRY POTTER CABRONES!!
Gus, you have misunderstood my purpose for writing. I'm not mad at anyone for not going to church. A while ago, I wrote an explanation specifically for the Pokemon fans who claimed to be Christians. Perhaps it could also help you understand what is on my heart: Answers to Pokemon mail
From Sue: I am going to say that you two are disgusting and narrow-minded (very narrow-minded). First you say kids should read more [where did I say that?], and then when a book comes out you say that is a tool that Satan thought up to lead children astray. I am simply sick of you two hypocritical, close-mided, religious zealots who say that everything that is not christian is made by Satan and should be banned. Well, in America, you two stupid dips, YOU CANNOT BAN ANYTHING. To do so would break the Constitution that you so like to argue with when somebody posts a message differing from your ridiculous comments. You also would probably start persecuting the Wiccan religion again if it was not for the freedom of religion.
Sue, we are not trying to ban any books. We are simply trying to warn Christian parents that when children fill their minds and imagination with occult images and suggestions, they will be desensitized to beliefs and values that clash with Christianity.
Wouldn't you agree that Christians as well as Wiccans have the right to choose the God they will worship and follow? Do you think it is fair that schools have banned the Bible because it teaches Christianity, but delight in using the Harry Potter books which teach and promote witchcraft?
Have you seen expressions of hostility and anger from me directed at those who call themselves Wiccans? I believe in being friendly and nice to everyone because that is what my God shows me. In contrast, did you notice the hostility many of our visitors show toward me just because I express my convictions and try to help other Christians?
Just like all the censers out there, you two are still the same, except for one point, you two are remarkably more stupid. I hope you two get a conviction for slandering. You two are the worst of your kind that inhabit this earth.
I am a huge fanatic of the Potter books. And the quotes you use are only half-finished on your website. You say that it shows occultic practice when Voldemort battles Harry in the fourth book. Well, Harry triumphed over him.
You are right, Sue. Harry triumphed -- using the occult formulas and practices he had learned at Hogwarts. Just as in pagan cultures around the world, he pitted one kind of occult power against another, more overtly evil, occult force. But from a Chrsitian perspective, all occult powers -- white as well as black magic -- clash with God's way.
I have a feeling you are deeply biased, Mr and Mrs Kjos. I am glad you are not my parents. I would seek child abuse help. You two need desperately to seek psychological help.
Don't get me wrong,
I believe in God
But I do not believe in Christianity.
Who is your "God," Sue?
Second note from Sue: I believe in a God that does not support your ridiculous, narrow-minded
From Michael Mayers: I am studying to be a high school physics teacher and I would like to debate some of your points. I was formally a Catholic but left for a variety of reasons and now happily exist as an agnostic looking for some religion to convince me beyond SHADOW of a doubt that it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. My faith is too valuable for any half measures.
You argue that Harry Potter and Dungeons and Dragons are dangerous since they submerge youths in a world of fantasy that they are unable to distinguish from reality (I would also argue that Fundimentalist Christianity is also a world of fantasy that is more dangerous than Harry and D&D combined). I agree with you on this, they are dangerous; however, so is crossing the street. I engage in both activites and am a poster boy for skeptism.
This may be hard for you to believe, but it is posible to let a child role-play and fantisize while still instilling rationality and skeptisism. A typical child might finish Harry Potter and think "that was really kewl, I wonder if any of it is true." Then realize that the book is from the fiction section or talk to their parents about it and have the difference between fact and fantasy explained to them. If the child takes it a step forward and decides to research witch-craft, they would stumble across Isaac Asimov or Carl Sagan or James Randi or many other authors and find no hard evidence exists that descibes abilities that Harry and his friends had.
I don't suggest you look for clues in books or websites on witchcraft and magic, but they would provide lots of evidence that contradicts your assertions. However, I do suggest you read some of the illustrations in my book, A Twist of Faith. Start with Chapter 3 which I just posted. Tomorrow I will add chapter 5 which ends with another revealing illustration.
Your suggestion that "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," is totally true and is part of the draw. However, the is nothing that says that such a person immersed in this world must stay in it after the book is closed or the game is ended.
That's right. But you can't wipe the images and suggestions from your mind once you close the book or turn off your computer. They stay in your subconscious, if not your conscious mind, and continue desensitize you to contrary values and color the way you see reality.
Genies were supposivly able to grant three wishes; I believe that there are very many of us who often immagined, just in case, what we would ask for if given the chance. Then snapped ourselves back to reality once there was more important things to do.
As for the statement that false memories can be formed with vivid imaginings is totally true but can be negated by asking onceself how those memories compare to the real world. I myself have false memories of your typical alien obduction, but I relize this is from various books and movies not any real events. It's not that hard to tell the difference if one is taught the basics of skeptisism. In addition to not being a danger, I beleive that fantasy helps creative thinking by opening a child or adult to part of their brain which they might not use in a typical plug and chug math problem, but is very usefull when it comes to solving problems in higher level math and physics courses. In addition, it gets kids to read, it teaches kids that not everything they read is true, it's just good clean fun. All in all, I feel that Harry is much a benifit than a danger.
Some decades ago, children in American classrooms were 99% literate. If we would return to traditional phonics, hardly anyone would struggle with reading.
If what you read turns a person away from God and His truth, the child is better off not reading so much. Better to read a little that is good than lots of books that are bad.
From Chad: I am 13 years old. I am Episcopalian, I go to an Christian school, I thoroughly believe Jesus Christ died upon the cross to save mankind from human nature to sin. i am not the perfect christian, but I try as hard as i can to follow Christian ethics. I read the four Harry Potter books and was amazed in the compatability towards all ages and races.
I was browsing the web and came across a site which had a chain letter about how Harry Potter encourages the worship or Satan and how a small child said "Jesus died because he was weak." I was appauled! I read further that all of these quotes were fabricated, but the feeling was lasting. I decided to search for more on the topic and found your site. I read through your article and was surprised that a religious society would direct such allogations towards a childrens novel.
Don't you think, Chad, that freedom to critique a book and share a conviction might have been just what America's founding fathers intended? Would you censor voices such as mine (we're not a religious society) because I don't agree with your opinion?
I saw that you said they were pagans, but what I would like to know is why they would celebrate the holidays of Christmas and Easter, and there are strong boundaries and rules set to ensure the children grew up to be good people.
Christmas and Easter were pagan holiday's before Christians chose to celebrate Christ's birth and resurrection on the same days. But even if that wasn't the case, today's Easter and Christmas celebrations tend to be driven by marketing (toys, Santa Claus, easter bunnies and candy) rather than genuine devotion to Jesus Christ. See Earth Day Joins Easter
I find that the books encourage lawfulness, family, friendship, and has no connection with performing heretical acts. In your article, you say that at Hogwarts, dark magic is taught and practiced, which is not true at all.
Dark art PREVENTION is taught, and dark art themselves are grounds for extreme punishment in their world. As for the effect on peoples beliefs from both Harry Potter and Dungeons and Dragons, if your beliefs are so fragile to be broken and twisted by fictional stories, than you never truly believed. One question I have for you is: Am I any less of a Christian for enjoying this book? Does God forgive less of my sins? Is there any less of Gods love shining down from heaven? Please consider what I have said. Thank you.
The "Defense against dark arts" class at Hogwarts stirs interest in black magic. Some of the most exciting parts of the Hogwarts world are the demonstrations of "dark arts" by villains who are considered "cool" and thrilling. Remember, the popularity of the Darth Vader action figure. Knowing evil is bad doesn't keep children from enjoying it in their imagination.
From Kilie, 13, Wisconsin: I will say this with the least amout of rudeness I can summon. I respect and understand the veiws you have made, but I, in no way, got to my religon from Harry Potter. I am a Wiccan (or in your terms, a witch), and both of my parents are Christians. The first LARGE book that I read was The Hobbit. I know that there are wizards and dragons and such in that book, yet I don't find that being critisized at all. If you think that Satan will come and take me to hell you are absolutey wrong. The books, games, and movies you have metioned as leading children to the occult and witchcraft deffinately do not. My little brother is 10, he loves Harry Potter, Shrek, and all that, he knows its fake, but as you know it is only entertainment, so why are you so scared of it? You only fear what you do not know, so get to know the things you discriminate or critisize against.If you want a larger veiw on what is really happening to these children, ask someone who is not a Christian. Wicca is not damaging to the spirit, and it does not lead to self destrution like a few of my friend's mom's like to think. Satanism, as you think it is, does the biting off of the bat's head, like Ozzie did, but its not. The Pagan religons were around long long before there was Christianity, and the reason you think Satan and Satanism is basically the same thing is because someone derived "Satan" from the very accepting religon of Satanism. The thing you really think of is Vampyrism, and if I'm wrong forgive me, but virgin sacrafices and the like are non-exsistant. Why do you think Witchcraft and the Occult is wrong? Its nature and spirituality, and goodness. That is all i really have to say, but, have an open mind next time. Please. Thank you. Bright Blessings,
Thank you, Kilie, for your questions. First, I am not "scared" of the Harry Potter books. But I am concerned that they will turn children in Christian homes away from Jesus Christ to today's idealized versions of earth-centered religions. In fact, I would love to hear why you turned from your parents' beliefs to Wicca. Did reading the Hobbit have anything to do with your choice? If nothing else, it would have made occult images and suggestions familiar to you. You must have liked them well enough to read the whole book.
Christianity is the fulfillment of God's promises in the Old Testament. Though Jesus Christ did not come as a man until two thousand years ago, He always existed. Remember, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
For some warnings concerning witchcraft, read Chapters 4 and 8 (online) in A Twist of Faith. If you would like to read the whole book, I would love to give it to you as a gift.
From Misty of Waldron, Arkansas: LOL!!! Sorry but first parents gripe about how kids don't read. Then they find books that they like and you grip at them. Come on! It's books! OOO SCARY. It's just a collection of very complex, very interesting set of books. Like Laura of Georgia says, "It goes against satanism!" GET OVER IT!
Answer this, What words, in quote, does it try to get kids into satanism? Where are the words that say, "HEY, GET INTO EVIL STUFF?" I've read all the books. They are just complex stories on magic! You say it gets kids into magic? I read them because I already LOVE ready about mysterious stuff. Have you even read the books? Well don't judge a book by its cover or what others say its like. Read them take in every word then see if it provokes satanism.
I did, Misty. Did you read my four articles on Harry Potter? They answer all those questions. You will also notice that I didn't say that the series "gets kids into Satanism." My emphasis was on primarily on witchcraft, and I cited evidence to show how imaginary occultism stirs interest in the real thing. Do you have any objective (not based on your own subjective feelings and opinions) evidence to the contrary?
K! Here's my description of HARRY POTTER: "He kid learns more about himself from people who love and admire him. He saves the day, he's a hero with special powers!"
Oh wait a minute! Where have I heard of heroes with special powers? Let's see Superman and Batman! They must be evil because they also learned they have special powers. Answer this one also, Don't all these make-believe heroes all have some kind of special powers? Well so does HARRY. Therefore proving either HARRY'S not evil or ALL heroes are evil. Which one?
They all use supernatural power -- power from sources that are not from our God. That makes them occult. But Harry Potter is far more enticing and dangerous to Biblical faith. The others are simply fantasy. Harry uses power that is available to those who seek out Wiccan covens or witches and neo-pagans who can instruct them in spell casting and practical magic.
Also HARRY learns how to protect himself and others from the DARK ARTS. Isn't that right? They have a class on "DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS." How can that be evil? There Ministry Of Magic also does all they can to protect the MUGGLES and WIZARDS worlds from evil WIZARDS! That's like the law enforcement protecting you and me from criminals. Hey there's not mush difference, is there? Take a minute put yourself in our shoes. See what happens. Sincerly,
It all depends on where you turn to seek power or strength. In all pagan or earth-centered cultures around the world, people would pray to various spirits for help and protection -- often against more "evil" spirits. But the Bible calls all those spirits "demons." They are part of the hierarchy of an occult army of demonic spirits described in Ephesians 6:10-18. Using the power given through one demon to battle more scary ones is never safe or good. The only safe place to find strength is in our God -- through Jesus Christ. Please see What it means to be a Christian.
From H: My sister is seven years old and this is what she has to say about Harry Potter:
"Don't you know that some witches are good? Don't you know that Harry Potter teaches you a lot? Don't you know that it's very very special to a lot of people? Don't you know that a lot of wizards are good too? I knew that Hogwarts was made up. It's not evil at all. Harry Potter is a very very good book."
She understands that it is not real and she does not see it as a threat, why do you? If a seven year old can understand and learn from Harry Potter, than why do so many adults see it as a threat?
Because, believe it or not, they are older than wiser than a seven-year-old.
I am completely different from most people my age, I don't go to the mall, I don't do my nails, I don't care about my clothes and I think that opens my eyes a little wider to the world. I see things most people my age choose to ignore, including the really good books. I hardly ever come across a new book that I find enjoyable and I found Harry Potter very enjoyable. If you would only keep your mind open instead of assuming evil in everything you don't understand. I don't understand a great many things, but I do not assume they are evil. I do not understand your opinion on Harry Potter, but I don't think you are evil, I think you are ignorant of Harry Potter as I am ignorant to a great many things.
I hesitate to say this, but it doesn't seem to me that you are very open to ideas that clash with your feelings. Your arguments are not very persuasive since they are all subjective. No facts. No data. Just your opinion. Please read my articles about Harry Potter with an "open" mind? Its conclusions are based on facts and truth, not feelings and speculation. There's a big difference.
From Erin: "I totally disagree with your views on Harry potter. I am a 16 yr old Catholic and I have grown up with a strong religious foundation, and I think that Harry potter is ok for kids. My 9 year old cousin reads them and enjoys them immensely.
Erin, you illustrate one of my key concerns today. Children are learning to base their values -- their understanding of right and wrong -- on their feelings rather than on truth or facts. That's only one of the many consequences of the consensus process. See Mind Control
My whole family reads them all the way from my 6 yr old cousin (who gets them read to him) to my grandmother who is a very strong catholic. I think they are like any other fairy tail, the children who read them want to be the characters. I watched cartoons when I was little and no one sees me drop anvils on people or blow up people with TNT like the Looney Toons. Are all books supposed to be boring and make children not want to make believe. An imagination is what makes a child a child. I used to wish I was a witch when I was little I even used to go around my yard and collect things to make potions but as I grew older I realized that it is all make believe and the was no such thing as witches. one of my favorite movies growing up was called The Last Unicorn and it was about unicorns, witches, and wizards, and dragons, but I am not a witch today, I am not following Satan.you say you are not trying to ban the books, but you are turning people away from them. I think the books have important morals for children and adults alike. If a child reads these books and then grows up messed up and satanic, the books are not to blame, the many aspects of that person's life are blamed, a book can not screw up a person's life.
It may not appear to change a person's life, but when you see from a relativistic, feeling-based perspective as you do, you wouldn't notice it anyway. Your standard is already so far removed from God's standard. See Col 2:8
As I was reading some of the other peoples views on your articles I noticed a few of them shunning and putting down Christians, which I don't understand because the ones who wrote this article did not talk about your religion if you have any at all. I thank you for writing your article though I thought it was a load of crap and I believe it made me stupider by reading it, but as I said fiction novels can not turn a child bad IF THEY HAVE GOOD PARENTS TO TELL THEM IT IS FICTION!!! they do not need Christianity, THEY NEED GUIDANCE!!!!
Indeed, they need guidance. They need wise parents who will explain that occult images -- transmitted to minds via captivating fantasy or fiction -- will leave mental imprints that cannot easily be removed. These will continue to turn their minds to occult thrills and illusions and undermine their understanding of God and His wonderful ways. See Romans 12:2-9
Queequeg: If Harry Potter has you upset, you should try reading Moby Dick! It's chock-a-block full of explicitly satanic and pagan ideas. Homosexuality? Yep. Hatred of God? Yep. Heretical gnosticism? It's in there. And it's assigned in schools across the country! Kids *have* to read it! Better put up a new page!
Alison: just wanted to take this time to e-mail you about your ideas about Harry Potter. I don't know whether you have read the stories or not, but I do know one thing- They are wonderful! I don't feel that they really promote witchcraft in any way. I know about Wiccan practices, and they are very tolerant of others. I'm sure you don't like it if someone else says something wrong about Christianity, so don't knock other faiths that have different beliefs from yours.The main point of this is to say that while Harry Potter is about a school for witchcraft and wizardry, they are not "works of Satan" or tempting children away from Christ. They promote things such as friendship and teamwork. The characters are good, kind, caring, and lovable. I've also seen articles in which people complain of Remus Lupin being a werewolf or "shapeshifter". There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, I feel that Lupin being such a respected and well-loved character teaches children tolerance of others who are different from themselves, which is a lesson that we all could learn.
It all depends on your beliefs and values, Alison. Since I use the Bible as my guide to what God considers good or bad, I see shapeshifting and other timeless and worldwide pagan practices as out-of-bounds for Christians. I realize that His people have often chosen to ignore passages such as Deut 18-9-12, which lists some of the forbidden activities. When they did (and we all have a choice), the people faced devastating consequences.I am a 14 year old who loves this series. I have also read many other classic stories, and tend to read about a book a week. I would love to be a witch or a wizard as the characters in the book are, but I know that it is not a real story. I am a Christian, as are the characters in the story, who celebrate Christmas and Easter.
Alison, are you a Christian, like the characters in the story? Do you agree with the gospel (seeWhat it means to be a Christian) or have you interpreted the Bible in a different way? Just wondering, and would love to hear your answer.
The only real magic that Harry Potter is spreading is that of reading. That's something that all teenagers could use today. I would much rather have my 7 year old cousin look about to the characters in this story then to celebrities in real life who do not have the greatest morals. I realize I can't change your beliefs and respect them, I just have a different point of view. Thank you for your time, Peace Love Empathy.
Thank you for writing us, Alison.
Erin: I totally disagree with your views on Harry potter. I am a 16 yr old Catholic and I have grown up with a strong religious foundation, and I think that Harry potter is ok for kids. My 9 year old cousin reads them and enjoys them immensely. My whole family reads them all the way from my 6 yr old cousin (who gets them read to him) to my grandmother who is a very strong catholic. I think they are like any other fairy tail, the children who read them want to be the characters. I watched cartoons when I was little and no one sees me drop anvils on people or blow up people with TNT like the Looney Toons.
Are all books supposed to be boring and make children not want to make believe. An imagination is what makes a child a child. I used to wish I was a witch when I was little I even used to go around my yard and collect things to make potions but as I grew older I realized that it is all make believe and the was no such thing as witches. one of my favorite movies growing up was called The Last Unicorn and it was about unicorns, witches, and wizards, and dragons, but I am not a witch today, I am not following Satan.you say you are not trying to ban the books, but you are turning people away from them. I think the books have important morals for children and adults alike. If a child reads these books and then grows up messed up and satanic, the books are not to blame, the many aspects of that person's life are blamed, a book can not screw up a person's life.As I was reading some of the other peoples views on your articles I noticed a few of them shunning and putting down Christians, which I don't understand because the ones who wrote this article did not talk about your religion if you have any at all. I thank you for writing your article though I thought it was a load of crap and I believe it made me stupider by reading it, but as I said fiction novels can not turn a child bad IF THEY HAVE GOOD PARENTS TO TELL THEM IT IS FICTION!!! they do not need Christianity, THEY NEED GUIDANCE!!!!
Jessica: hi. I would like tomake a comment about yor web site. first there is some thing you should know, my father is pagan and my mother is a christian. i have had the chance to learn about both religions and i disagree with your views on harry potter.I have read all of the books and feel that if the children are young enough to believe that it is real then they should be told that it is just for their enjoyment shouldn't try to do anythinglike,try to go to hogwarts. And as for "LURING" kids into witch craft, well that just crazy, yes it talks about spells but in NO way,shape, nor form does it TEACH them witchcraft. All of the witchcraft in the book is very steriotypical. thanks for you time,
Jessica, I tried to answer your argument in Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft. It includes quotes and documentation that show how this kind of entertainment -- whether books, movies or television -- does produce a fascination with witchcraft that causes many young people to seek for lessons, tutors and practical, experiential magic. To persuade me that you are right, you would have to prove that these people lied and the news media falsified their reports.
Lindsay, 14, michigan: You syco's, So, you're saying that you want no one in the world to have any imagination, and want everyone to be narrow-minded, and self-absorbed like you, and not have any fun??? You people sickin me. You actually thing that the Harry Potter books have a NEGITIVE effect on kids?!?!?? Get a grip, grandpa.
Before the Harry Potter books, i never read. But now, they're the only things i read. I absolutely love them. Oh, and just so you old foggies know, kids don't read them because they want to be witches or wizards and disobey God or anything .... they read them because they love Harry's story, and because of the mystery of his past. I can't believe you would put those books, and all of the kids who love them, down. Oh my gosh.
Lindsay, I don't like to say this, but your arrogance and rudeness help illustrate my point.
Let me also remind you that we don't put kids down for reading the books. Our criticism has been directed at the entertainment, not those who enjoy it. There's a big difference. But you seem to be angry at me for expressing my views. I don't mind that, but it isn't very tolerant, is it? Did you learn this attitude from Harry Potter?
Andy and I have plenty of fun, Lindsay. We have a great family, we read a lot, travel all over the world, climb mountains and go on exciting treks in different countries. We go ocean fishing and stay in lots of interesting homes.... We do lots of singing and playing the "player piano" -- even our white American Eskimo dog plays that piano, believe it or not.
I could go on and on, but I won't. Just wanted to remind you that if you don't know the facts, its usually best to keep quiet. To see why, click here. As for wanting "no one in the world to have any imagination" -- you might read this story: Invisble War
From Lyndsey Melling: I found the pages concerning Harry Potter on your web site and felt I had to comment on your views. The very last thing I would like you to think is that I am condemning outright what you have written, but I would like to say that I found some of the quotes taken out of context, and therefore not fairly represented.
I went to a Church of England primary school, but despite a rigid Christian education until I was 11, I have decided I do not believe in god. This is true of allot of my friends who went to the same school ad has caused me to believe that children cannot really understand religion, and as a result of daily assembles, prayers and trips to the church, I came to dislike the Christian religion. I have since grown up to believe that god exists for people who believe in him, and does not for people who don't.
Please see Biblical versus Cultural Christianity. Perhaps it will help explain why you came to dislike Christianity.
I'd like to say that your repretensation of Harry Potter seemed to say that your god should be real to everyone, and though this may not have been your intent, I found it highly offensive that I should be expected to believe something that I don't think is real.
Lyndsey, I don't expect you to believe what I believe. Andy and I started this website to help and encourage Christian parents -- those who do know and trust the God I love -- not the rest of the world. We didn't expect so many non-Christians to come to our site. Remember, we didn't force you to come here. You chose to come. You could have left as soon as you saw our perspective on the various issues.
That's the way Jesus is -- He doesn't force anyone to come to Him. But His arms are always open to those who truly seek His peace and presence.
Children can't be expected to have beliefs at an early age, for it could cause prejudices that they don't understand, and is exactly what the Harry Potter books fight against. Muggles are only considered stupid, subordinate etc by the obviously evil characters, showing to children that picking on someone just because they are different isn't right. I think it is wonderful that a generation of children is growing up believing that racism, sexism etc are bad things and they have learnt that through these books. Christianity shouldn't be considered the only or the best way to teach our children ethics.
It' seems that you and I are standing on opposite sides of a fence, Lynsey. You see one side (today's global perspective) and I see the other side (God's guidelines on what is good and helpful). Consider why people from around the world flocked to America? Because, unlike most other nations, it offered freedom to follow our personal convictions. And the Christian foundations built a culture that valued honesty, kindness, diligence, etc. I believe the success came not only because of God's blessing on this nation, but because of God's loving life in His people. Apart from Him, people will live by their human nature -- which is essentially selfish.Finally I'd like to say that in today's world it is great just to escape for a few hours into a world of fantasy. It has always been done and will always happen, look at religion; if that isn't escaping this world to find a better one, I don't know what is. I have read allot of articles condemning Harry Potter, allot of them far more biest and unfair than yours, but it always angers me when people miss the point completely; that this is helping our culture, not hurting it.Yours faithfully,
From Dustin:hello i would like to correct your statment that states harry potter makes kids turn to witchcraft wich is called wicca now days all the kids i know that read harry potter were my friends before we started reading it all of us had changed our religion from your fake talk
you can not prove that your god even was real i was once walking past a church and heard a kid say god created the earth i corrected him it was the big bang thats what we'v provon that he didn ot make it so stop telling lyes we know its part of your religion but i must say DnD and wicca will live on forever its the great religion so i say your bad mouthing somthing you know @#$ about so i say you need to stop or the great gods of the pagans will have there revenge freedom of religion my freind
Dustin, the "big bang" has not been proven scientifically. In fact, most theories that supposedly explain the origin of the universe are only smokescreens for a problem scientists have not been able to resolve. That's why the theories keep changing and fraudulent research is often exposed. Please read these two pages for more information: Science - Dinosaurs and Evidence for the existence of God
From Leah Magid: With all due respect, I must comment on your website and the commentary that has been posted on it. While I commend you for publishing the negative comments that have come your way from your opinions of "secular" entertainment like the Harry Potter books and Shrek, I must say that the overall tone of these topics is distressing.
It seems to me that children should not be discouraged from reading any children's books that are available in the library. My husband just started reading the Harry Potter books to our 7 year old daughter. She looks forward to the readings every night. She knows that it's fiction. She knows that magic is trickery and that people don't fly. She also knows that Shrek is not real. They are means of entertainment. That is all they are. If I had been prohibited from reading a wide spectrum of material when I was younger, it is possible that I would not be so open minded today.
My point is that Christians who truly want to follow God need to more open to hear His heart -- which means we must be less "open" to all kinds of alternative religions that redirect our thoughts and affections. As Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Matt 6:24
Let me tell you a story: a person I know, a professional, was in a situation where a work of fiction was referenced. It was a commonly known work, not banned by anyone, not controversial. Just a classic.
The man was lost in the entire conversation because he hadn't read the book. He had never read a book for pleasure. Everyone felt sorry for him.
When you tell your children that they can't read Harry Potter (I imagine you are dead set against Roald Dahl, as well) you are limiting their horizons. That's perfectly fine with me. My daughter (and her other literate, well-read friends) will be more successful in the long run, because we as parents have taught her how to think for herself and how to tell the difference between fact and fiction.
My goal is to be faithful to God and what He shows me, Leah. It doesn't matter whether the world approves or flatters me -- or even feels sorry for me. "Woe to you when all men speak well of you," said Jesus in Luke 6:26, "For so did their fathers to the false prophets."
From Kitty Cat:Greetings and Blessings! I am yet another person writing to stand up for Harry Potter. I am a 19 year old esoteric Christian who has just started to read this wonderful series...and, I mean no offense to you in saying this, but some of the things you say and preach are simply not true. Harry Potter does not promote Witchcraft.
If you read Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft, you know that I verified my conclusions with documented evidence. What facts do you have to back up your views, Kitty?
It's FICTION given to us to insipre our imaginations...many Christians (even those who are not like me, who do not practice the occult arts) give this a thumbs up. It is meant to remind adults of the mystery and wonder we had as children, and it teaches values that people of ANY religion can value. The first book, "Harry Potter and the Corceror's Stone" is telling a very good one so far. DON'T JUDGE OTHERS. Sound familiar? It should. Mt.7:1 "Judge not, for ye shall be judged." Our Lord Himself said that, and alot of your page sounds very judgemental.
I don't judge a book by its popularity or by the consensus of the public. I evaluate it by God's standards as shown in the Bible. Matthew 7:1 refers to judging people, not books. In fact, Jesus tells us to judge by His standard for right and wrong in John 7:24, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment," He says.
The Scripture below tells we are to judge "all things," and we do so according to what God has shown us about Himself, His will and His ways. Because He lives in us by His Spirit, He enables us to see and judge everything from His perspective:
"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 Corinthians 2:15-16
Finally, this Scripture reminds us that we must always be ready to evaluate what we see and hear by His standards. There are many others like it:
"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." Col 2:8
You make the Harry Potter series out to be a serious threat....but shouldn't you be worrying about other things? Such as the violence in our media, or understanding our children? (I may be included in this, seeing as I am still
very young.) If I had children, I would ENCOURAGE them to read the Harry Potter series, for the morals it teaches.
We try to answer questions from Christian parents about popular entertainment and other issues. The films and books that are overtly violent don't need any explanation.
You claim the Harry Potter books to encourage Satanism, when they teach things that are taught in the Bible, such as love and acceptance.
Where did I say that, Kitty? As far as I remember, those are not my words. Did someone else tell you I said it?
I don't want to offend anyone, Kitty, no matter what they believe. But I need to speak the truths in my heart. I believe the most loving thing I can do is to tell about my Lord who stands with open arms to receive anyone who understands their own need for Him -- then turns to Him for His peace, strength, Life and salvation.
I know one email will not change your mind, or the other emails you have recieved. However, I had to make my opinion known. Thanks for reading my email.
God's Love and Blessings,
New note from Griffon MacLeshya [see letter below]: I do want to say that i am trying to give constructive criticism and not outright bash you like so many of the brethren of my faith would. I am trying to work toward a common understanding between Christians and Pagans. I feel that this world is for us all, and we can live
Bright Blessings and Light Laughter
From Griffon MacLeshya: I have never read so much adulterated babble in my entire life. If you Christians would just realize that the world is not out to attack you, and loosed your collars a little bit to have fun once in a while, you would find that you enjoy life a whole lot more.
I do agree with you on the matter of education. The education system today is totally atrocious, is not designed
to teach students on an individual basis. In our world Knoweldge (to quote an old proverb) is power in today's world and we are euipping our children in such a woefully inadequate manner. With Knowledge and Qestioning comes faith. I'm positive if you read your bible you will find I am correct.
It is true that (America for sure) needs a return to morals. If Parents would take an active role in their childrens' lives such atrocities as children walking into school and gunning other children down wouldn't happen. However if you cut off the imagination, such beautiful things of culture as poetry, literature, music, and theatre would be irrevocably lost.
Oh and just to let you know I have read Harry Potter, i have tattoos, I play D&D, and i am a Pagan. None of which are related or lead me to each other. I also wish to say that my parents are Christian. I love them very much, and i respect their beliefs. The religious community as a whole needs to learn a little patience and tolerance. I have had similar talks with Pagans as well as Muslims and Buddhists. Next time you rant, do a little research. That way you won't sound like such an ignorant fool for ranting about something you know nothing about. Bright Blessings and Light Laughter
Having been raised in a Christian home, how and when did you become a Pagan, Griffon? Would you be willing to tell me?
Anonymous: fiction is imgination.......just like harry potter...if a kid can't simply read a book and imagine a fantasty world without everyone making it a controversial issue what can the poor kids in this world do?
Hike, go camping, make a kite, build a tree house, train a seeing-eye dog, help with a Five Day Club... and read lots of great books that don't idealize witchcraft..
A not angry any more harry potter fan (see earlier note below): I'm sorry If I offended you, I didn't mean to if I did, I just got sort of mad. If you want to post my comment, go ahead, it's your page, it's not mine.
I hope you forgive me,
Thank you for your nice note. I really appreciate it.You didn't offend me at all. I'm used to it. Jesus told us that the world wouldn't like those who really take His Word seriously and try to live by it. I know it makes others uncomfortable, but I have to speak and write what I believe to be true. Thanks for understanding.
From "An Angry Harry Potter Fan": I read your Harry Potter "Lures children to Witchcraft" webpage, and, I must say, nothing was correct. You say that Harry Potter books go against Christianism and encourage Satanism. They do not encourage Satanism, in fact they go against it.
I for one should know that they do not go against Christianism, I read the Harry Potter books, I like them, and I am a Christian. In my opinion, people who say this either have never read the Harry Potter books or won't because they can't think for themselves and only listen to what other people say. So if you want people to stop E-mailing your website with mad messeges, take my advice, read a Harry Potter book, and put at least a little bit of truth. God Bless you....
Believe it or not, I did read the books. Did you read my three articles on Harry Potter? Did you notice some of the Scriptures -- such as Deut 18-9-12 and Rom 12-2-9 -- which I used to back up my conclusion? They show that Harry Potter's world at Hogwarts School for witches and wizards clashes with the Bible?
I didn't use the word "satanism" at all. But I know some of the Harry Potter websites attribute that word to me and our articles.
From Janis Jellie: i just read your site about harry potter and i have to tell u that its the buiggest load of rubbish i've ever read!I'm 11 years old and i luv Harry Potter, it's brilliant! i got 2 your site by accident because i was looking on the net to find harry potter roleplay sites, like my one.
How stupid do you think kids are? Adults are talking about what they should and shouldn't read while they could just ask the kids if they want to read the books. The only problem you would have with that is that it would be something less for people like you something less to moan about!
Myself im not a christian and i don't see the point of being one if it stops you from reading interesting and perhaps a little contreversial books.
Janis, I can understand why you would question Christianity. Only those who know our God realize how wonderful He is. When we trust and follow Him, He puts the desire in our hearts to do what He wants, so it isn't hard to say "no" to Harry Potter and his occult world. God's ways are so much more exciting. If you want to know more about it, read The Invisible War.
My whole family love the harry potter books as do almost all of my friends and i think i can tell you why, instead of shielding children from the real world like many other books do it tells you what the world's really like. Im not talking about wizards and witches but i mean that it tells you that there is evil in the world and people do die from it but eventually it can be overcome. If you must die its better to die standing up than crouching down, thats what i like about it.
Maybe kids do like the theory of being wizards and witches but its mostly little kids who see it like a proffesion. Once they actually grow up, like me they can see that magic isn't real. so with all due respect i would advise you to stop writing such rubbish and read the harry potter books!
Magic is real, Janis. You may have talked with little kids, but I have talked with many men and women who call themselves Pagans or witches. They know that magic is very real, and they have learned to manipulate those occult forces. They also know that some of those who dabble in magic and spellcasting become very confused and oppressed by the occult spirit world. It's not something to play around with it.
From Eve: I can not believe you are christians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you put down other peoples religions and harry potter and pokemon and i think it is disgusting. you make it sound like the bible is the only book that is right in this world. GUESS WHAT? I am pagan and i don't appreciate you sounding like my religion is bad. Harry Potter is a great book and it has nothing to do with satanism and if you twist what i am saying around and say i likes satanism you are going to get a very angry letter posted on the internet for all to see from me!!!!!GOT IT??????? good. Harry Potter is wholesome and fiction. Keyword :FICTION. fake, fantasy, not real etc.
Harry does not make kids believe that rudeness or disobedience is right! I can tell you are like a reporter who does not want the whole truth but only what sells, or in your case, bans harry potter from kids who want to read the books. You are acting like the whites believing that because of the blacks skin color they were not equal. The same thing with the Nazis and Jews! Now you are doing this to a wonderful book. You are despicable. I bet you have not even read the book!
I'm sorry you have misunderstood my message, Eve. I believe that God's family is made up of people from every race and nation. Skin color makes absolutely no difference. But beliefs and values do matter.
As for Nazi attrocities, you may want to read this page: Preparing for Persecution
I am not telling you or anyone else what do read or believe, but when Christian parents write and ask me to help them evaluate a book or a movie, I try to help. Wouldn't you do the same, Eve? Your message would obviously be different, but we both have the right to share what we believe with love. Right?
From Bill Tegethoff, true Christian and Catholic: Hello! What I would like to post in regard the Harry Potter phenomenon is that, unlike some of my "Christian" friends who would not read the stories because they are "evil," I decided to read and make my own determination. These stories are wonderful!
Of course, anyone who is predetermined to degrade and undermine any writing can find fault in any book. Read the Bible if you want to find hate, filth, death. How about "drink their urine and eat their excrement," or "bring your disobedient children to the gates of town so the elders can stone them to death!"? Yeah, right! You know what I'm talking about. Why don't you attack real evil, like the "Crusades" or the Catholic church persecution of Galileo? But noooooooooo, you have to condemn stories that teach courage and have good morals. GET-A-LIFE!
Bill, we are obviously reading different Bibles. Did you find the first quote in the Apocrypha which is only part of the Catholic Bible? As for the second statement, it is not an accurate quote. You may be referring to Deuteronomy 21:17, where a rebellious son -- perhaps an adult -- does reject authority and follow all kinds of harmful cravings.
The Bible does show us that God takes outright rebellion seriously. In Old Testament days, God was warning His beloved people about the consequences of rejecting His wise and loving guidelines. When they chose to ignore His Word and "do their own thing," all kinds of destructive behaviors and natural cravings of human nature -- arrogance, envy, cruelty, murder, sexual perversions and abuses, etc. -- spread like yeast through the society and eventually destroyed the nation. By punishing such sinful and selfish behavior, others learned to abstain from the same kinds of defiance and, instead, trust the only God who could provide peace and safety in their midst.
These Old Testament lessons help us understand how God despises sin, even as He loves sinners enough to die for them. But in the New Testament, He shows us a different way. Now, because believers are joined to Him through the cross, we have not only "died to sin" -- we have also been given His resurrection life so that we have power to resist and triumph over the sinful cravings of our human nature. Seeing the seriousness of sin, we all the more appreciate God's mercy, grace and victory on our behalf. See What it means to be a Christian
From Shannon Erdman: The thought of people feeling threaten by having their children read a BOOK is ridulous. I bet they're the same close-minded people who think Dungeons & Dragons is satanic. The only this people of this mind set show are that ignorance is NOT bliss and perhaps someone should point out to them it's a BOOK! Not some witchcraft teaching...And even if it were, would it be so horrible to show our children that just like there are different people in the world and we should love and tolerate them all, there is more than one or two religions, and we need to all live together.
Shannon, I totally agree that we all need to live together in love and understanding. But those who love God and trust His Word, want to follow His guidelines. He sends His people out, throughout the word, in order to demonstrate His love among "different people." But He also warned them, "Do not be conformed to this world...." (Romans 12:2) That warning applies to Christians today.
Among other things, it reminds us that when we study other religions and befriend those who follow them, we need to understand those religions (including the Shinto-Buddhist foundation for anime) from a Biblical perspective. We can't embrace or mix the different religions, but we care about the people who have embraced it.
When parents condemn something within their children's hearing, it make those children fear and hate things that are different from them. I am a young christian woman, and anyone who condemn Harry Potter books because they think they have a negative effect on our children...Look around you! This world is plagued by murder, rape, and crime presented to our children in every factor of life...Schools, News, Movies, Books, Television. Harry Potter is a book that's fun. Let our children read books and have fun doing it without bringing in ridiculous notions of witchcraft and immoralilty. Have anyone of you condemning actually read them?
Of course, I have read them. Did you not read my articles or review of book 4? See Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
"Harry Potter is a magician of incredible power! He turns TV-watchers and video-game players into readers right under their parents noses. Any small boy who can accomplish in one stroke what legions of well-meaning adults haven't been able to do is a small boy to be reckoned with. Maybe he SHOULD be banished!
After all, do we want a country full of little bookworms smuggling flashlights under bedcovers? And after Harry Potter, what then? The doings at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry can't continue forever and we all know where this kind of thing can lead. Just imagine hordes of small book-readers sneaking off to places like Oz, or Camelot, or Lilliput, or Narnia. It bears some thinking about. "-John Monk
Those who love Harry Potter are not sneaking off to read about Oz or Narnia. They are headed for more of the same. That's why a whole new genre of books on witchcraft, sorcery, magic and spells are flooding the bookstores. All those who love Potter and his worldview will hate the Bible and God's standards. Wait 'til you see how this spiritual shift will affect our culture. For now, you might read America's Spiritual Slide.
From Sue: I just want to say, I am a witch. I am Pagan. I have seen your inhumane and ridiculous page and I want to say: "GET A LIFE!!" I can hardly believe you two are Christians, even though you make rude, loathing comments to those you don't like and the dismiss it like a coward. Your short-sightedness and narrow-mindedness will take down all good things like love and beauty with one disgusting thing, "ignorance."
The Harry Potter books are filled with delightful things like morality, honesty, bravery... But still you consider yourselves to be above the rest, saying you have the right beliefs and then take all the idiots in the world with you.I am so glad I do not know you in person, it would make me sick just to see your 2 blotchy, sinful faces and your dreadful eyes.
The Harry Potter books are not evil, they are filled with good, and I consider you two to be evil. I encourage my friends and family to read fantasy books, and play Pokemon, and play Magic:The Gathering, and practice Wicca. I would send my two hounds after you if I could, they could smell your harrowing scents. I cannot believe you are Christians, you ridiculing devils
You obviously have some firm beliefs that you like to express. So do I. Shouldn't we both be free to share our views without being offended by each other?
I'm not upset or offended by your writings even though you express a great deal of hostility and intolerance toward me personally. Keep in mind, my critiques of books and games point to problems with material "things" - not people.
Would you want to repeal the First Amendment with its promise of free speech and freedom to choose your own faith? Remember, if I lose my freedom -- which I might well happen as America implements the UN plan for assessing and monitoring politically correct beliefs and attitudes -- you lose your freedom as well. For when our thinking and beliefs must meet a global standard for attitudes and values, everyone must conform. No one would be free.
From Rev. S. Hamilton-Nickels [Priestess Kat]: I spent a great deal of time looking at your page and trying to read it open-mindedly. I see that you are trying to give as honest a depiction of things as you possibly can.
I would be willing to correspond with you if you would like furthering your information, however I would like to point out to you, that some of your information is somewhat offencive to people of other beliefs. I am sure that many of them have already stated this to you, and don't feel a need to judge you for what you are doing. I rather would like to provide you with more credible reasources and information as to be sure your page is less offencive to those of us who have found peace and love of God in other ways. You do not have to accept this offer, no more than I had to offer it to you. But in the beautiful words of Amy Grant, I would like to quote:"When the weight of all my dreams are resting heavy on my head,and the fervernt words of help and hope, have all been nicely said,but I'm still hurting, wondering if I will ever be the one I think I am.Then he gently re-reminds me that he made me from the first,and the more I try to give my best, the more I get the worst,and I realize the good in me is only there, because of who you are....All I ever have to be is what he made me.Any more or less would be a step out of his plan.As he daily re-creates me let me always keep in mind,I only have to do what I can find.And all I ever have to be is what he made me."God does not want us to suffer, and yet time and again man has said and done things to hurt one another. I do not agree with harm and the use of tactics to cause suffering to another as you sometimes find in the world of the occult as well as in the church.
I am a healer, a gift placed here by the hand of God. But please bare in mind, if you hear no other words in this letter, that my fight is for the peace of humanity, to accept one another no matter what the differences are. Whether it be race, sexual orientation, or religion, we are all in this world together, and the only way we will meet peace while we are here is to show each other love and understanding, which is something Jesus did time and again. Pointing fingers and calling names is just another way to bring harm, and is against God's will.
Please, let's work together to make a few changes that will benifit us all. It will stop your hate mail from pouring in as I have seen it on your web site, and possibly help a few lost souls find God. I am a clergy of a different faith, and yet, if you seek the truth, you will find our goals are much the same.
Disappointed as I am at the representation of some of the replies to your web site, I still think that with proper research, your site could be a valuable tool for prevention and misunderstanding in the occult community. For example. Rather than saying... "Don't beleive it!" as you so promptly put it on your site... perhaps say..."This is not part of the Christian faith and is condemned by our beleifs as Christians."
The Witch trials ended serveral years ago, but still we have not found peace among ourselves and those who oppose us. It is time to put to rest the old call to arms between our people and follow our God's beleif... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.... 'an it harm none.
Brought to you with peace and respect,
Rev. S. Hamilton-Nickels[See What it means to be a Christian] It also means knowing His Word and seeing reality through the filter of His truths. His values become my values, and my greatest desire is to stay close to Him and do His will.
Thank you for taking time to write us such a thoughtful letter, Rev. S. Hamilton-Nickels. Would you like me to post your comment? I would like to show that our different beliefs system doesn't prevent us from being friendly to each other.
No matter how much Andy and I want to demonstrate God's love and show that we hate no one, I doubt we can make our website non-offensive. Our goal from the beginning was to answer questions and encourage Christians in their faith. I didn't know so many people with other beliefs would visit our site. Now I am well aware of the anger and offense caused by our message.
Yet, we can't change that message which is based on our beliefs and values. Christianity calls for an uncompromising faith in the one God who has revealed Himself to us through the Bible.
Because I love and trust Him, I have to speak what He has shown me. I truly have given my life to God, and to compromise or alter the truths of the Bible would mean denying my Lord and Friend who has done so many wonderful things for me. Does that make sense, Rev. S. Hamilton-Nickels?
From Scott Alford: I really do not know that much about the Harry Potter books, but I do support your stance and views. I agree with you in a major way. So many of the people who responded said that they were Christians. I have to question that.
I came from a life of sin. When I was became Born Again or Saved as some like to call it. The first thing that changed in me was a love for the lost and an even deeper hatred for sin and darkness. It is sin and darkness that our precious Savior was BEATEN, spit on, and crucified for. He suffered enourmously for us so that we could be free from Satan and his powers.
I believe that these comments (from your other christian readers who say you are crazy) are a true reflection of the Church of America. Which is now a very weak church. It is a church that accepts homosexual relationships, accepts abortion, adultery, and many other sins. It isn't a church that is willing to lay its life down for its savior, Jesus Christ.
The problem isn't these books, but the lack of hearts that are hungry for the presence of God Almighty. If we could get to God's Glory the way that Moses and King David did, then there would be very few in America that would even be interested in reading a little fiction book. Because no matter how powerful these books can be, they don't hold even the slightest chance against the Glory of the Almighty God.
May God wake this great nation up with a revival like the days of Pentecost. I am ready to see the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, and every cancer and AIDS patient get up from there bed healed by the love of Jesus and the precious blood that was shed at Calvary. May God Bless your work. Feel free to respond or even post this. I pray for a God's Glory no matter what the cost is!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you, Scott.
From Antoine Sindhu: Your views on these books are absolutely ridiculous. It is not meant to be taken seriously. It's a children's fantasy book. FANTASY BOOK. That means it's not real. And kids know it's not real. They're not as stupid as some might think. Ok, maybe it would be inappropriate to read them to seven year olds, but for anyone over 9 years, these books are excellent.
How do you know this, Antoine? Have you read any of the countless and credible studies that show how the beliefs and social values of adults and college students can be changed merely by manipulating their imagination which, in turn, creates false or virtual experiences and false or artificial memories?
They are extremely well-written, and they feature many good qualities such as bravery, friendship, honesty, and generosity.
That makes the occult suggestions all the more persuasive.
The death, evil, and hate you keep talking about is only a very small part of the books and it's also a part of real life. And I'm sorry, but Hermione talking about a book called The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts is not featuring death, evil, and hate. And where would the excitement be without Lord Voldemort?
When I first read these books, I felt that they were probably some of the greatest books ever written. And when I saw your site, I almost fell out of my chair. I cannot believe that you can even think about these books having a bad effect on children. And you're probably the same people who keep saying that violence in TV shows and computer games is very bad for kids. And I agree! So what's the problem in kids reading 700 page books instead?? As far as I'm concerned, saying that the Harry Potter books are inappropriate is a pointless waste of time for people who have nothing better to do and an insult to one of the greatest authors in the world.
It doesn't matter if you're trying to ban and/or censor them or 'warn parents about the dangerous content.' All you would be doing is depriving kids of a wonderful priviledge.
I see a big difference between banning books in the public domain and simply writing a warning for Christian parents based on scientific studies and Biblical guidelines. On the other hand, would you want to censor me for expressing my views? Many would. For some strange reasons, many youth would rather quench free speech and the First Amendment than allow people like us to express their views. That's scary!
From Eric: I just wanted to say that I found your article about D&D and Harry Potter to be very humourous. You should, however, point out that the bible references are examples of how the bible can be misinterpreted by the wicked, and that the article is intended as a comical piece. Thank you for the great laugh, brother. Praise The Lord!
From Jason Benson: Though I respect and appreciate your religion and your faith, I disagree with the ills of D&D and Harry Potter. They are both forms of entertainmet and provide a fantasy experience, much like a video game. A rational mind is able to keep reality and fiction seperate. Your example of the man at the fantasy store was a good point other than the fact that his character was a priest, not him. It is much like acting though you play a doctor on TV, does not mean one is a doctor. And if someone assumed that a doctor on TV was one in real life is kind of foolish.
Actually, countless studies have been done on role-playing this last half century -- not by those who hate or love D&D role playing games, but by educators determined to change the attitudes and values of children. (See Brave New Schools, Chapter 3- A New Way of Thinking) They have found that the mind (with its facts and logic) is less influential in determining a person's values and attitudes than feelings. In other words, discerning between reality and fantasy won't immunize you against the subtle but persuasive influence of values-changing myths and stories that manipulate a person's feelings, attitudes and world view.
I do not know much about Harry Potter, as I have never read the book. I have although played Dungeons and Dragons for a number of years...Though it's fun to play once a week, I do not carry anything over into my life. Which leads me to religion and answers, I myself am Humanist...but I am by no means correct. I have read and searched for information and answers myself and have drawn a conclusion. Am I done searching, no...Do I say your beliefs are wrong, no. If one thought the stars were gods, would I be sceptical..yes, are they wrong, I dunno. I think faith is a truely awsome thing, and not all have it or are capable. Until one has solid proof, I don't think they should be telling people their religion is wrong. It may be wrong for you, but it is not for them.
I believe that history and archeology prove the truth of the Bible and the integrity of its Old Testament scribes and prophets. Even more important, the evidence for the resurrection of Christ has persuaded some of the staunchest skeptics that Jesus told us the truth about His identity and mission. Read Is He risen? and Evidence for the existence of God.
This page will also be posted on the Dungeons & Dragons page.
Jacqui Komschlies: I've been reading through the Harry Potter section, and I
would like to address some comments to those Christians who have been writing
I grew up reading books like Harry Potter. I probably
started when I was about 10, over thirty years ago. There is somehow this perception out
there that the "Harry Potter" genre is new and different, and therefore all the
more compelling. I can tell you that Harry Potter is not new. What IS new is how many
people think it is wonderful. As a child, I was very unusual. None of my friends liked
that type of book. My parents let me read whatever I wanted, and what I wanted
was anything that had to do with the supernatural. Normal was boring. I wanted sorcery,
ESP, magic powers - things that made me feel like I was the one with the power, at least
while I was reading the book. For the most part, all that I read was fiction. I was a
well-adjusted child and certainly knew fantasy from reality. I went to church every week, even when my parents didn't. I
wasn't a Bible scholar by any means, but I knew the basics. In my mind, there was
absolutely no conflict between Christianity and what I was reading for fun. I continued reading Harry Potter-type books through grade
school, high school and into college. The older I got, the easier they were to find. I
read books by Tolkien, Terry Brooks and many, many others, including my favorite author of
all, Marilyn Zimmer Bradley. I hit the jackpot with her books. There must have been 50 or
more to choose from. I could read to my heart's content - to the tune of 3-5 a week. Her
characters inhabited a planet very similar to Earth. However, some had psychic powers. The
characters that had no powers were afraid of those that did - even though their powers
were used to help others for the most part. Sound familiar? Those that had the most power
could call up "beings" that increased their power further. These books were fiction, fantasy, completely removed from
my real world. Yet I found them very compelling. I couldn't wait to read the next book in
the series. I found myself thinking about them even when I wasn't reading. After a while,
I started dreaming about them. The dreams started changing, and the characters from my
dreams started talking to me. After a couple of days of that, I didn't need to be asleep
to hear them. That was my very first clue that something was wrong. I had
been reading "magic" books for over a decade with absolutely no ill effects. If
someone had asked me whether there was a conflict between reading fantasy and my Christian
faith, I would have said, "Of course not! This is fiction, not reality!" I cried out to God to help me, and He did. The voices
stopped. Like I said, I was no Bible scholar, but I recognized that the voices were from
Satan. Some people have said that I became delusional because I couldn't separate fantasy
from reality. That was not the problem. The problem was that I COULD, and that I had no
idea that reading something obviously fictional could put me in contact with REAL evil.
I grew up reading books like Harry Potter. I probably started when I was about 10, over thirty years ago. There is somehow this perception out there that the "Harry Potter" genre is new and different, and therefore all the more compelling. I can tell you that Harry Potter is not new. What IS new is how many people think it is wonderful. As a child, I was very unusual. None of my friends liked that type of book.
My parents let me read whatever I wanted, and what I wanted was anything that had to do with the supernatural. Normal was boring. I wanted sorcery, ESP, magic powers - things that made me feel like I was the one with the power, at least while I was reading the book. For the most part, all that I read was fiction. I was a well-adjusted child and certainly knew fantasy from reality.
I went to church every week, even when my parents didn't. I wasn't a Bible scholar by any means, but I knew the basics. In my mind, there was absolutely no conflict between Christianity and what I was reading for fun.
I continued reading Harry Potter-type books through grade school, high school and into college. The older I got, the easier they were to find. I read books by Tolkien, Terry Brooks and many, many others, including my favorite author of all, Marilyn Zimmer Bradley. I hit the jackpot with her books. There must have been 50 or more to choose from. I could read to my heart's content - to the tune of 3-5 a week. Her characters inhabited a planet very similar to Earth. However, some had psychic powers. The characters that had no powers were afraid of those that did - even though their powers were used to help others for the most part. Sound familiar? Those that had the most power could call up "beings" that increased their power further.
These books were fiction, fantasy, completely removed from my real world. Yet I found them very compelling. I couldn't wait to read the next book in the series. I found myself thinking about them even when I wasn't reading. After a while, I started dreaming about them. The dreams started changing, and the characters from my dreams started talking to me. After a couple of days of that, I didn't need to be asleep to hear them.
That was my very first clue that something was wrong. I had been reading "magic" books for over a decade with absolutely no ill effects. If someone had asked me whether there was a conflict between reading fantasy and my Christian faith, I would have said, "Of course not! This is fiction, not reality!"
I cried out to God to help me, and He did. The voices stopped. Like I said, I was no Bible scholar, but I recognized that the voices were from Satan. Some people have said that I became delusional because I couldn't separate fantasy from reality. That was not the problem. The problem was that I COULD, and that I had no idea that reading something obviously fictional could put me in contact with REAL evil.
I can't prove that it was really a demon talking to me, but I never read that kind of book for fun again. On the contrary, I began reading God's Word and dedicated myself to knowing HIM better. I had always considered myself a Christian, but I realize that I was a spiritual infant at best. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had not gotten off the path I was on.
I read the Harry Potter books - not for enjoyment, but so that I could talk intelligently to people who loved them. As I did, I could feel a "tug" on my spirit. I can recognize that "tug" for what it is - Satan tempting me to immerse myself in the story, to go back to the way I was. Is it possible that many of the people who really love Harry Potter also feel the tug, but interpret it as strong enjoyment of the book? How else do you explain the huge following these books have?
Christian parents, before you leap to the defense of Harry Potter books, please consider this. Is it possible for Satan to use a fictional book for his own ends? If so, would he be blatant about it? He doesn't normally proclaim himself to the world. He gets the biggest results when people don't see him at work.
In the Book of Matthew, Jesus says, "See that no one deceives you." When you think of a false prophet, do you picture someone in long robes, spouting weird messages? Someone you'd recognize in an instant? Satan isn't that stupid. Oh, those people are around, and draw a few poor souls, but a real false prophet is anyone or anything that draws your attention away from God and begins to change your perception about Him.
Has Harry Potter been doing that to our children? Does the child who is willing to pay the price of a movie ticket just to see the Harry Potter movie preview have God as his first priority?
Thank you for your work, Berit and Andy. I don't expect this to change anyone's mind, but maybe the readers will see that not everyone disagrees with you.
Thank you, Jacqui, for sharing your life and insights. What a wonderful demonstration of God's love and power! I so appreciate your help in showing the potential bondage and spiritual danger in occult literature.
From hannah: hello.....i am a witch, there is a fact i would like to make clear 1st of all is witches are not satanic....i am 14 years old and i have read all 4 harry potter books, they are not true to life and most children no that.
i find that ur blaming of the harry potter books is patheticly childish and i feel that it is not a very researched point of veiw. witch craft is a complex thing that a young child would not be able to understand so upon trying to find out about witchcraft they would come across great difficulty in understanding it.
another thing you are doing is depriving the children of parents who read your website and talk it seriuosly from reading well written exciting books. i feel that your web site is unfair to the writer and insulting to me as a witch and to many other witches around the globe.
if u would like to argue your case feel free to email me back, but i would like to make clear to u that upon opening a returned email i would not like to read abusive language or a text saying how i am to young to understand these matters. good bye
Dear Hannah, I am sorry I offended you. That was not my intention. If we could sit down and talk with each other, I believe you would see that I care about you and have no hostility toward you.
Would you like me to post your letter? You can express your views far better than I can and -- though I know what I believe and must stand firm in my convictions -- I do want to help others understand some of the different perspectives we will face in today's pluralistic culture. Perhaps we can show others that, in America, people can live together in peace, caring for each other, even though our religions are very different.
thanx 4 undrestanding my veiw and respecting my beliefs.....do wot u like with the email i sent u. im in a rush so i cant say much. blessed be
From Shawn and Shelly Friesen: My wife and i have been reading through your site and we just have onething to say.. BONEHEAD!!
Do you agree with anything?? is there anything in the world that is remotely fun that is not tied to the devil and the occult?? we are both christian and have both read and very much enjoyed the harry potter books. we are anxiously awaiting the time when we can start to read them to our kids.
i undestand, to a degree, why you are concerned as these books are aimed a children, but keep in mind that it is just a story. it is fiction. it is our job as parents to educate our children as to the difference between reality and fantasy.
Yes, but facts and reality alone don't remove the mental images or immunize children against the delight in occult forces and violence that is fed by popular fantasy. Would your children choose broccoli over brownies if you told them that broccoli had more vitamins?
it is our belief that books like harry potter only allow our children to use and strengthen their imagination. all the things that we have in this world stemmed from someone's imagination. do you think you would be reading this letter right now if someone hadn't imagined the possibility and then put it into reality. i am not saying that children should try to put witchcraft into a real practice, i am simply saying that the imagination is an important aspect of development. again, it is our job as parents to help guide our children in the direction that they go.
i think that the biggest issue here is that we, as parents, need to become more involved with our kids. we know that it is difficult these days as most families require a double income to make ends meet, but parents need to make time for their kids.
i think that if these concerned parents would simply relax a little bit and take the time to look at the harry potter books for what they are, a good STORY, then people like you would have no need for a website.
as a child, i played dungeons and dragons (and enjoyed the recent movie) i have played and intend to teach my son to play magic the gathering, we read a lot of fantasy and intend on encouraging our kids to read these as well. due to the loving attention of our parents and the guidance that they gave us, my wife and i have both turned out to be normal, healthy, christian people.
I'm not sure what you mean by "normal, healthy, Christian people." In churches as well as in the United Nations and the US Department of Health and Human Services it means people who "tolerate" and "appreciate" all religions and lifestyles -- even those that clash with the Bible. It means choosing to compromise rather than speak God's truth if that truth might offend someone. Is that what you mean? If so, what is the Bible to you?
To me, the Bible is the unchanging, infallible Word of God -- the body of truth and wisdom and hope needed to know and follow Jesus, to make Him number one in our lives and to live victoriously each day in peace with Him and with love for each other.
in closing, we think that you should find some real issues in the world to try to help people with. we have seen almost everything on your website that you criticize and for the most part, we do not agree. i think the only thing that we do not let our kids watch that you pick on is Dragon Ball Z as we feel this show is too violent.
p.s. what do you think about Winnie the Pooh???
We loved reading it to our children when they were small.
From A: I know there are tons of others before me who said this but....there is NOTHING in Harry Potter guiding kids to Witchcraft. I am 15, a Jew and am performing spells. An I am really annoyed of "Harry Potter drives kids to Satan" stuff. COME ON!!!! This encourages kids to read!!!! In my school the gossip is not about who's gonna kill who, or about the lastest gang shooting, ect. But it's about...."Is Voldemor really back, and what's going to happen to Snape."
I've made a whole new circle of friends, Christians, Hindu, everyone and even out teachers love it. And if Harry Potter promotes Occult worship. Then what about Santa Clause, or the Easter bunny, or dare I say, the tooth-fairy? Aren't those "ghosts" and yet we encouarge kids to believe whole-heartedly in them to the exent of writing letters to these fictional characters. And another thing....have you even read the Harry Potter books without condeming them at first glance?
You ask some good questions, but my answers may not make sense to you. Please remember that I wrote the articles to help Christian parents and children, not to convert those who have embraced other religions. But since you are Jewish and base your traditions on the Old Testament, you may share some of my beliefs. Please remember that in Deuteronomy 18:9-12, Moses tells the people to have nothing to do with witchcraft, sorcery, divination and spells. I take that warning seriously. In fact, all through your Torah (the first five books of the Bible) we are reminded to have no other gods and to follow the ways of the Lord. That means knowing Him and obeying His commands and warning.
Since He created the world and cares for His people, doesn't it make sense to rely on His wisdom and trust in His ways? He is all wise and all powerful. Why trust in other forces? One of the saddest statements in the Bible is found in Jeremiah 2:13. God had offered His beloved people peace, power, prosperity along with everything else they might need, yet they had turned their backs to Him. Seeing the terrible consequences, He said,
"My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water." (Jeremiah 2:13)
I wouldn't want to be in their shoes -- nor do I want His children to lose sight of His goodness.
Anonymous: I browsed your articles concerning Harry Potter and found it to be disappointing.
I am a Christian, but have read the Harry Potter books and find them interesting and wholesome. I have not experienced the desire to become a witch after reading this entertaining and clever series, as you claim readers will.
I didn't claim that at all. I did give examples of Potter fans who say they would like to learn more about witchcraft from actual pagans, however. I also quoted British pagan leaders who report a huge increase in interest in paganism because of Harry Potter and popular television programs.
Just what are these books doing wrong? There have been innumerable harmless fiction books in the past that have told about far-off lands, wizards, evil spirits, trolls, and other creatures of the sort. Are you trying to tell me that all these books promote witchcraft and Satanism? I am sure you read books like this when you were a child and you don't seem to be too evil. Harry Potter is just like any of these books, but because it is so popular, it is getting negative reactions. It's just fine that you have your opinion on the book, but I don't feel that your opinion was too researched.
If you have read all four articles on Harry Potter (the links are at the top of this page) and they have not persuaded you, would you please also read Answers to Pokemon? It answers your question better than any summary I can give you here.
From an "anonymous person:" Who on earth do you think you are? Harry Potter is good and doesn't lead you to differant religions like Paganism. Your articles make me as sick as a pig. It is JUST A STORY! It isn't true! Only people who are gullible would belive half the stuff you made up and put on your website. I send this e-mail anonymously due to I do not want to be slagged of by you as your appear to do on your comments page. When did I ever take that magic was real seriously? NEVER! When did I ever go to Paganism? NEVER! Get a life.
From Sebastian: I heard on the radio that the Harry Potter books have been banned in some christian schools here in england because it was against the bible. They said that wizards and witches were a bad influence. just to inform u
From "muggle for harry potter": i love star wars. i am 18. i am a christian. the future is mine.
your articles make me absolutely sick. to think that anyone in this day and age could be as narrow-minded and short-sighted and completely uninformed and yet have so great a following...it just proves the theory that fools will believe anything. i am glad i am not a fool. you will probably discount everything i say.
think of me as just another kid with flights of fancy. yes, the worlds of harry potter and star wars and disney are alluring. it would be wonderful to believe and know that good always triumphs and everyone will live happily ever after and that the force will be with us, but i know that the world is corrupt. i know that we kill each other and our own souls everyday, i know that witchcraft is a hoax and a mind-game. but i'd choose to believe in the happy ending over reality any day. i choose hope over despair, and i thought that most other people would too.
and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
Dear Muggle, I am sorry that you have set your heart on a mythical "happy ending" rather than the wonderful reality that our God offers us. "Flights of fancy" are no small distractions when the flight is away from God's Word and values.
You call yourself a Christian, yet you seem to "choose" a shaky pie-in-the-sky type of "hope" instead of the lasting hope God offers us. Remember, there is no "despair" in Him. He is the sovereign Creator of the universe, our Father who made us and loves us. He offers us unshakeable hope of lasting peace and fellowship with Him, no matter how corrupt the world becomes. Please consider what He says about "fools:"
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For ... we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews [and to our politically correct culture] a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen... that no flesh should glory [boast] in His presence.
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, "He who glories (boasts), let him glory in the Lord."1 Corinthians 1:18-31
You people should be ashamed of yourselves spreading this cult-like
propoganda. YOU are the scary people in the world. It's people like you who
teach your children to hate and fear! An innocent series of books like Harry
Potter and you find evil in it?? That is absurd! You people are so brain-washed into what is your translation of something in the bible. And you dare to admonish other Christian leaders for not declaring the Harry Potter books evil. The only evil people here are you.
I am Pagan. I do not even believe in Satan- let alone worship him. You people need to get a grip and stop trying to brain-wash others into believing your garbage!
Proud to be a Witch
I can understand why you are upset, and I am sorry that our views seem so offensive. But please know that we are not trying to convert or brainwash you. We are simply trying to help Christian families raise their children according to Biblical truth.
Today's culture is pressuring everyone -- Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, etc. -- to compromise and blend their beliefs in order to achieve social unity. That may be fine for those who believe that all spiritual paths lead to the same God. But when Christians turn from this politically correct and pluralistic deity, they reject the Biblical Christ.
Please remember that our God calls us to demonstrate His love wherever He sends us. If you were my neighbor, I would want to help and encourage you when you had a need -- no matter how different our beliefs. Without religious freedom there can be no freedom in America.
From Michael Butler: I have read all four books. (By the way, I am an adult, have two wonderful children, have taught Sunday School for years, and fully love the Lord.)
That being said, you all need to get a grip on the difference between reality, fantasy, and the Bible. The Bible is not reality. It is the divine word inspired by God, but written by man. Just as things change, we too must change.
Is that what you teach in your Sunday School class, Mike? What is your source of authority and insight? The new Total Quality Management system or today's global education program? Both call for continual adaptation to a world of "continual change." Please see Brainwashing in America.
It's true that we change as we become increasingly conformed to the life of Jesus Christ, who comes to live in the believer. But we cannot be conformed to the changing world. ("Do not be conformed to the world, but be renewed...."
But neither God nor His Word change with the changing times. The Bible is the unchanging, immutable Word of God. Throughout history, people and nations have drifted toward or away from God's unchanging Truths. His principles and the cycles of change have remained amazingly consistent -- in spite of modern technology. That why Isaiah 5:20-21 is as relevant today as in Old Testament times:
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness....
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!"
We as Christians no longer have slaves, yet the Bible and Jesus himself support it. We no longer put women to death for adultery, having relations during certain times, or from wearing clothing made from two different fabrics.
No, He didn't. Neither did He put a stop to it, since He didn't come into the world to change the world system. He came to change people's hearts and offer a hope that transcends human suffering. His promises of eternal life, closeness to Himself, and "peace that passeth understanding" reached out to slaves as well as the free, for His wonderful truths "set you free" no matter how hard your human condition. In the end, His eternal joy and justice will more than make up for the injustices suffered here on earth at the hands of a cruel and materialistic humanity.
Deal with the fact that fiction is just that. If parents spent the time with their children instead of have both parents working and their kids being raised by daycare, grandparents, friends, etc, I don't think we would even be having this discussion.
If the only books you feel are acceptable are those that do not challenge, intrigue, or stimulate the minds of our young people, are your libraries empty of all the classics? Do you only have the Bible to read? No Koran, Torah, Code of Hammurabi, Shakespeare, Voltaire? How about the Constitution of the United States? It states "...Creator..." not God. God created us to have free thought, not manipulated thought by anyone.
Yes, we have free will to decide whether we will follow God or the world. I say with Joshua:
"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.... But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15
Second letter from Michael Butler: I have no problem with my letter being posted. I also apologize if I sounded overly harsh. I am a devout Christian (Nazarene by birth and choice). Yet I find many topics interesting and insightful. I truly feel if parents would be parents, instruct their children as God instructs us, with love, compassion, discipline, and finally the option of choice, we would have a lot less violence in this world. It is not my job to police your children just as your job is not to police mine. (In the global sense, not personal sense).
I am not sure what you mean, Michael. Do you see me as a "police" because I express my views on our own website and try to evaluate entertainment for concerned parents who want help in raising their children? Remember, I don't force anyone to listen nor do i hold anyone accountable for heeding my counsel. You wouldn't want to limit First Amendment rights in such a way that Christians who base their values on Scriptures be excluded from the Internet, would you? Actually, I believe that may happen soon, since so many -- even those who call themselves by the name of Christ -- seem to equate Biblical values with hate. See Clinton's War on Hate Bans Christian Values.
Too many parents today, both Christian and non, place blame where it should not be - Disney, Potter, TV, film, etc. As a retired member of the US Army, I have defended everyone's right to free speech and expression. The easiest way for parents to make things go away that they do not approve of is not trying to censor or ban them, that just makes them more desirable.
(Once the money stops flowing in to the manufacturers, they will find something else to do.) It is to have intelligent discussions with their children; refuse as appropriate for the age of their children, and to have constant prayer. As Christ did not force us to follow him, there comes a point where we cannot force our children either.
From Jenny Niehls: I wanted to comment on your article "Harry Potter Lures Kids To Witchcraft". First of all, within your article you claim that Hogwarts (the wizarding school) teaches dart arts. This is completely untrue. In fact if you read the books you will find that only DEFENSE against the dart arts is taught.
Let me give you an illustration, Jenny. Remember, Harry and his classmates have a library at their disposal. Herminone satisfies all her curiosity through the books she finds in the library and elsewhere. And Professor Moody (a villain in book 4), teaches about the dark arts in order to supposedly teach how to defend against those deadly curses. If you click on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, then scroll to "Demonic creatures and the dark side of the force," you will find these quotes with page references:
For a split second, Harry thought it was another leprechaun formation. The he realized that it was a colossal skull, comprised of what looked like emerald stars, with a serpent protruding from its mouth like a tongue. As they watched, it rose higher and higher, blazing in a haze of greenish smoke, etched against the black sky like a new constellation....
It's the Dark Mark, Harry!" Hermione moaned, pulling him as hard as she could. "You-Know-Who's sign!"...
"Voldemort's?" .... (128-129)
"I told you, it's You-Know-Who's symbol, Ron," said Hermione... I read about it in The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts."...
"Reducio," said Moody softly. "You don't need thumbscrews or knives to torture someone if you can perform the Cruciatus Curse.... That one was very popular once too... anyone know any other [spells]?
Hermione's hand shook slightly as, for the third time, she raised it into the air.
"Yes?" said Moody, looking at her.
"Avada Kedavra," Hermione whispered. ...
"Ah," said Moody, another slight smile twisting his lopsided mouth. "Yes, the last and the worst. Adava Kedavra... the Killing Curse." (page 215)
Secondly, your article seems to be very concerned about a ten year old girl who said that she wants to be a witch. To ease your fears many ten year olds want to become a variety of impossible things as an adult. My sister wanted to be a horse for quite a while at that age. So becoming worried over what a child wants to be at age ten is just a little silly.
I have talked with countless women who are proud to call themselves pagan. They have told me that their initial interest in New Age or Wiccan spirituality was sparked by multicultural education, books about witchcraft, and experiential learning about Native American spirituality and magic in their elementary and middle, or high schools. The girl mentioned above is only one among thousands who now longs to explore the mysterious realm of the occult.
Since you call yourself a Christian, let me share some Scriptures that show us God's desire for us:
"Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good." Romans 12:9
"Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.... See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:11-12, 15-17
"Abstain from every form of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22
"...all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned... knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:12-15
Finally, notice the progression in this Scripture. (1) Those who study or accept ungodly advice and teaching -- from authors as well as teachers -- will (2) take their stand with those who reject God's ways, and (3) will join those who mock and ridicule Christian parents and pastors (today's muggles):
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly
Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and in His law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:1-2
Finally, it seems very easy for you to criticize others for "luring" away your children.
Did I say that? My children are now young adults -- and love God. No one lured them away. I'm just trying to help other parents.
I as a Christian tend to fall into this as well. However, instead of focusing on others and complaining about what you can't do, why aren't you directing your energy into pulling children back to the church? Remember the warning given to us in Matthew 7:4 "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?"
The real topic for discussion is what can be done to make children WANT to come to church! And just for the record, I am an avid Harry Potter fan. As a future teacher, I feel that it is a book which promotes the characteristics of friendship, loyalty, and courage. Plus students will be interested in it and hopefully through it will learn to love reading. Because how can we have a good Christian if they cannot read God's word?
Is that how you would draw people back to church -- not by demonstrating the love and purity of the gospel but offering the world's popular thrills in the Church? I can see why the world would love you!
But don't you see the compromise? God seeks faithful disciples, not a crowd of thrill-seekers. What counts with Him is the heart, not the numbers. He would far rather have a pure, small Church than a large corrupted church. Remember what Jesus told His disciples:
"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 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 15:18-21
From Kathrine: I have just finished reading your article on Harry Potter and the "danger" of the books about him lureing kids to witchcraft. However, the fears of most parents are completely unfounded, especially since most of them know nothing at all about today's witches, and seem to prefer to remain ignorant.
I did not convert to the beliefs of witchcraft (Paganism/Wicca) because I read about it in some book, then decided "Hey, I wanna throw spells around!"
But lots of people do, Katherine. I have talked with at least four witches or neo-pagans who told me that their interest in witchcraft and magic was sparked by books such a those by Lynn Andrews while they were still in school.
No, my friend had told me some of the things she did as a witch, I became interested, researched, and decided that this was the right belief system for me. After a few people found out that I had converted to Wicca/Paganism from Christianity, most were accepting, but there were a few who decided to inform me that I was "going to hell for going against God". I informed her that her God wasn't my God, which is true. It's those types of extremist Christians (strangely, no one of any other religion does this. Hmm.) who made me want to shift my set of beliefs from Christianity.
I assure you there is no real danger in Witchcraft if you take the proper precautions. What makes it most interesting to younger kids is that you can DO things and SEE results. It is definitely an interesting "religion" to be a part of.
I cannot even tell my mother that I practice Witchcraft and follow Wiccan beliefs, because she'd freak out on me and tell me I'm going to hell. She believes Witchcraft is silly, and it doesn't work. However, I know it does. I've seen proof. (No, The Craft is not a valid source.)
So please. If you feel the need to knock Witchcraft, or post a very biased article on it, at least include some of the things about Witchcraft that those of the belief system consider good. Many scared parents would have their fears put to rest if you did. If some of these Harry Potter scared parents are afraid of letting their 10 year olds practice Witchcraft, then I understand. It's not for very young kids. However, I'm 16 myself, and am able to understand dangers involved, and am willing to counteract those. It takes devotion, it takes control.
I doubt that you really understand the dangers involved, Katherine. Since you have rejected the God who created the world and the spiritual mastermind behind witchcraft, you cannot see the deception. He gives us insight into witchcraft from His eternal perspective. He also shows us that the forces you think you can manipulate through timeless pagan formulas will, in the end, control and oppress you. May I suggest you read chapter 3 and 4 of A Twist of Faith?
One reason witchcraft has become so popular is simply that people want their way and don't know the consequences. In the developed world, the lessons from history have been shrouded by politically correct revisions, and the horrors of spiritual oppression have been erased from our cultural memory.
I realize that you probably will not believe me, Katherine. My words are more likely to offend than help you. Even so, I want to give you a passage from the Bible. It could provide some encouragement if and when you become disillusioned with the gods you now follow. This is from our page on The Armor of God. It shows why I have taken my stand with Jesus Christ and can neither compromise nor bend to today's popular religious trends:
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:10-13.
For previous comments, go to Harry 1 or Harry 2.
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Related comments: See Witchcraft & Feminist Spirituality
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