Harry Potter Exposes a Real Problem with Christianity
As some of you may know, the television network Freeform, offers what they call “Harry Potter Weekend.” They actually do this on a regular basis. You can spend all weekend watching 7 of the 8 Harry Potter movies (for some reason or another they do not seem to own the rights to the Order of the Phoenix and as such never show this one during the marathon). This is something that my wife and I have watched a number of times. It got to the point where we wanted to watch the movies without as many interruptions (and wanted to watch the missing movie). So, we bought the Blu-ray box set while Amazon was having some kind of a sale. It was a really good deal.
Now, my wife has been listening to the books while she works. We have become quite the fans of the enchanting tales of Harry Potter and we are looking forward to seeing what J. K. Rowling has to offer with the new series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. After watching the first movie, we are excited to see more. However, this has not always been the case for me.
My Past Experiences with Harry Potter
When I was growing up, lots of my classmates were reading Harry Potter. To a middle schooler, the books were huge. Some people loved the large books; others made fun of the nerds carrying them around. I pretended to be one of the people making fun of the nerds. In reality, I was told that Harry Potter was un-Christian. The magic elements went against the words of the Bible and the teachings of Christianity. When I was a child, this is something that I subscribed to. There are plenty of Bible verses suggesting magic is wrong or evil, but I think Deuteronomy 18:10-12 is particularly interesting.
There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.
However, as I grew older and matured spiritually my thought processes began to change. Yes, the verse above speaks out against magic simply enough. You do not have to be a scholar to figure that out. There is certainly evil in the world and there are most definitely evil spirits. Demonic “magic” is very real, but I am not so sure that putting Harry Potter and demonic magic in the same category is very fair.
Perhaps one of the most confusing things to me as a child growing up is when magic was appropriate and when it was inappropriate. I remember being told that Magic the Gathering was evil, but then I found a Bible verse on one of the cards. I remember being told that the Chronicles of Narnia was a Christian book and that Aslan was a representation of Jesus. However, these books are laced with magic and surreal experiences. When I got older, I remember hearing that the Lord of the Rings was acceptable. Though the spiritual aspects were much more hidden and implied in Middle Earth, there was still plenty of magic and the Jesus figure himself was a wizard. This was justified by the fact that Tolkien was an outspoken Christian (and as I later learned close friends with C. S. Lewis).
To confuse a young child even further, I remember hearing that J. K. Rowling was a Christian and that she was involved with the Anglican Church. Doing a 10-second google search I found this article which seems that Rowling herself would attempt to put the spiritual aspect (read as Christian appropriate) of her books on par or even above Lord of the Rings. As time went on I realized that there was a major difference between each series – a different author wrote each one. Simple as that.
It wasn’t just my home where Harry Potter left a child confused. It was an international thing. At one point the Pope condemned the book. There have been book burnings and it has been added to banned book lists (to which J. K. Rowling laughs and says “I still got your money”). It reminds me of the time that Pokémon was evil because it promoted evolution. I mean, come on Christians, evolution can be scientifically proven beyond any reasonable doubt at a micro level 1The concept of evolution itself is not evil, but to use evolution to disprove God is. There is a difference. Pikachu isn’t inherently trying to send your child to hell.
What I am getting at is that there is always something that we can blame the corruption of children on, but ultimately the corruption comes from within and the fact that all of our children are born with death causing sin. I am sure they are out there, but I haven’t seen Christians boycott Disney, and that is certainly a magical place. Are you going to deny your kids a trip to the Magic Kingdom because it has magic in the name? Hang on… I have to go google this… This is nonsense. Apparently there are a few people who think Disney is the anti-Christ in disguise, but I couldn’t find any reputable non-conspiracy feeling source that said Christian’s shouldn’t go to Disney. Rather, I mostly found the opposite.
Please continue on to the next page where I talk about what Harry Potter really is, and how I learned about the problem Christians should have with it.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↑||The concept of evolution itself is not evil, but to use evolution to disprove God is. There is a difference. Pikachu isn’t inherently trying to send your child to hell|