Harry Potter

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by ChozGod, Oct 12, 2001.

  1. ChozGod

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    I have a new student in our school, she is in 10th and has been in the public school system and last year they had her read the Harry Potter books, I told her that they are anti-christian, she agreed with me but I am not sure she is convinced, I know this is a topic of old, but can you lead me to some of those old boards so I can make some good christian points???
    Paula
     
  2. Amazing_Grace

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    I have heard people mention this before. I have never read these books, so what is it that's anti-Christian about them?

    Couldn't we argue that a lot of fairy tales that might be anti-Christian?
     
  3. Daniel Davidson

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    I always thought that fairy tales taught the Christian worldview! Which one were you thinking of?
     
  4. Helen

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    A good friend of mine, Matt Slick, the webmaster of CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry) wrote this, which is up at his website. I think it might help answer your questions.
    http://www.carm.org/features/harry_potter.htm
     
  5. Ars

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    Here is a brief summary of the book. Harry Potter and the Bible I highly recommend it.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Harry Potter books are flying off the shelves of secular bookstores at an astonishing rate. Some evangelicals are buying them, too. Should Christian parents be exposing their children to these "wizard-in-training" manuals? Is there a sinister side to Harry Potter and his pals that is spiritually dangerous for young readers? Characterized by astronomical publishing statistics, controversy and opposing voices, the Potter phenomenon begs the title question of this book: Is it harmless fantasy or is it a dangerous fascination? This book by apologist Richard Abanes responds by cataloguing the various forms of occultism included in the first four books, offering scriptural responses and discussing the psychological and spiritual dangers associated with the Rowling volumes. The latter half of the book includes: an overview of good and evil from the Garden of Eden through cultures ancient and modern; a mini-encyclopedia of various occult practices, with special attention to those glamorized in the Potter books; and an explanation of the difference between the Potter books and those written by C.S. Lewis or Tolkein, for instance.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You can find it at: http://store.equip.org/cstore/parser.cgi?SKU=B609&TMP=CRI
     
  6. Jamal5000

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    Hi there!

    I have only read the first Harry Potter book called HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCEROR'S STONE.

    Honestly, I cannot understand why these books are considered so anti-Christian. They're just fiction stories. They are only make-believe.

    When I grew up I read tons of these kinds of books (One that I would recommend is THE MAGIC GRANDFATHER by Jay Williams. Superb!), but I am still a devoted follower of Christ.

    Why should we think our children won't turn out the same?

    Just my two cents.

    Praise be to God [​IMG]
     
  7. Brother Adam

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    Jamal, I understand what everyone else is saying. And if they don't want their children reading those types of books fine. But I believe they have very little if any harmful value... of course we must be different in judging each different book.

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  8. KeeperOfMyHome

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    flyfree, you are saying that there is nothing wrong with witchcraft and wizardry? The Bible speaks quite plainly and openly concerning these things. They are not of God.
     
  9. Brother Adam

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    If you really don't understand what I mean, feel free to email or private message me and I would be happy to talk to you. personally though I see no reason to argue something like this on a thread.

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  10. Jamal5000

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KeeperOfMyHome:
    flyfree, you are saying that there is nothing wrong with witchcraft and wizardry? The Bible speaks quite plainly and openly concerning these things. They are not of God.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Just two comments and two questions, KeeperOfMyHome:

    You are right. The Bible is quite plain and open about the wrongness of witchcraft and wizardry, but does that mean we should not understand how it manifests itself in this world? Storybooks are often the first time kids get exposed to ideas. Do you not think that stories books about witchcraft and wizardry are a good way to introduce children to these very real forces in an understandable way, especially if they are done under the supervision of a parent/guardian who can explain the pros and cons of what they are reading?

    God Bless you all the time.


    [​IMG]
     
  11. Jamal5000

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flyfree432:
    Jamal, I understand what everyone else is saying. And if they don't want their children reading those types of books fine. But I believe they have very little if any harmful value... of course we must be different in judging each different book.

    Until Next Post, Adam
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hi Adam [​IMG]

    Thank you for your response.

    I agree with you. Allowing kids or not allowing kids to read these kinds of books is a personal call. I also understand what everyone is saying; its a concern.

    However...this is just one of many situations that comes up in our Christian lives that puzzles me.

    The world is full of ideas that are un-Godly and against His word, but we live in this world, right? In order to witness to people who live in the world, don't we need to be knowledgeable rather than naive about the ideas that exist in the world (such as the depiction of Wizardry and Witches in HARRY POTTER)? Otherwise, how would we be able to make rock-solid testimonies that we can connect to their personal experiences?

    I don't know. I just can't see us being effective witnesses if we are not educated about the popular un-Godly ideas that are perpetuated in the world like these POTTER books?

    We can't be everything to everybody like Paul if we don't know about anything.

    Grace be to you, Adam.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Brother Adam

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    Actually I disagree with you there. We are in the world but not of it. Do I have to kill someone to relate to a murderer? Of course not. I think the Bible is a fine source of information to introducing children to the cons of the darkness of this world.

    Why do I think it is fine to read the Harry Potter books? (As I have read the first one) Because they are not meant to be an instruction manual into the dark world. They are for your reading leasure. I don't have time to read many fantasy books now but when I do (if i ever do again ;) ) I will likely read my redwall books again. There not Christian- but they have great stories in them :D

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  13. KeeperOfMyHome

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flyfree432:
    Because they are not meant to be an instruction manual into the dark world. They are for your reading leasure. Until Next Post, Adam<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ah, but my brother, you miss an important device that Satan uses to draw us away from God! When children read these books, they become interested in what they read . . . they want to know more and more and more about the subject. They may even want to become very much like the main character in the book. So, they take it further than just reading a book for pleasure! It can become easier for them to be drawn into the occult. Though I'm not saying it will happen to every child who reads Harry Potter, we cannot think of these books are merely pleasure reading. Why put a child at risk?

    Witchcraft and wizardry dressed up as cutsie children's books is still witchcraft and wizardry.

    When I was a teenager, about 13, I become quite interested in witches, witchcraft, and casting spells! I am horrified to even think about it now! Praise God He delivered me from that, and it did not get far! I was not a Christian at that time, though I had been raised in church, and had been baptized. I had no clue that witchcraft was wrong . . . and so wicked and evil! I became interested after I had read several fiction books where one or more characters participated in witchcraft and the like. The books most assuredly had an affect on me!

    Young people are easily pursuaded in many areas. We must give them good, pure influences, lost and saved alike! As the saying goes . . . garbage in, garbage out!

    So, as you see, I speak from experience concerning the influence of fictional writings on young people.
     
  14. Amazing_Grace

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    Do any of you let your children watch Disney movies?

    Snow White lived with seven men, and her step-mother practiced witchcraft and tried to kill her.

    Sleeping Beauty was put in a deep sleep as a result of witchcraft.

    Cinderella had a fairy godmother, who was nice but still a witch.

    The Wizard of Oz was full of this stuff.

    Grimm's fairy tales had a story about parents who tried to lose their children in the woods, and when those children got lost they faced a witch who wanted to eat them.

    I have not been permanently damaged because I enjoyed these stories as a child. I always knew they were make believe, and to the best of my recollection never thought I could perform those spells.

    I think we need to calm down. If you don't want your child to read them, that's fine, but I think calling them anti-Christian is going too far. They're just for fun.
     
  15. KeeperOfMyHome

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    First of all, I see no need to caution everyone to calm down . . . I do not see that anyone is hysterical about this in this thread. I think everyone has peaceably stated his or her reason for or against Harry Potter.

    Secondly, I do curtail what my children watch when it comes to witches, ghosts, etc. Though it might seem fun, I see no reason for this to be fed into their minds.
     
  16. Brother Adam

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    And that remains as your personal choice, and that is fine. But think about all of the classical books out there. If some Christians had their way they would all be banned, yet many are of enormous literally value. If reading non-Christian fiction books is wrong, someone had better tell my old High school English teacher who was the greatest Christian influence on that school and yet we still managed to study non-Christian literature.

    And yes, if a child cannot understand the difference between fantasy and reality, then there may be a problem with them reading any fictional books.

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  17. KeeperOfMyHome

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flyfree432:
    If reading non-Christian fiction books is wrong . . .<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And this seems to be where we have a misunderstanding. Harry Potter is not just another non-Christian fiction book. Trust me, I can the non-Christian fiction thing, but a line must be drawn somewhere as to content, etc.

    Let me share something that I heard today on Marlon Maddux's Point of View radio show. They were, surprise surprise! speaking about Harry Potter books. The lady on the show (the guest speaker) recently did research and a video concerning Harry Potter. She made a point with which I think I could live: the difference between Snow White or Cinderella is that the witch doesn't win (she is defeated) and witchcraft is cast as bad and evil (as it rightly should be). However, in Harry Potter, witches and witchcraft are being portrayed as, at the least, neutral! That is the main difference in the old Disney movies and Harry Potter.

    It's not the our children are never allowed any fantasy. There are things I can handle because I know they absolutely are not true (fairies are an example, talking animals on cartoons . . . etc). However, witches and witchcraft are real, and they receive stern admonishing in God's word (to say the least).
     
  18. Ransom

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    KeeperOfMyHome said:

    She made a point with which I think I could live: the difference between Snow White or Cinderella is that the witch doesn't win (she is defeated) and witchcraft is cast as bad and evil (as it rightly should be). However, in Harry Potter, witches and witchcraft are being portrayed as, at the least, neutral!

    Hmmm. And if I were to consider the two arguably most popular fantasy works of the 20th century, not counting Harry Potter - The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia - I find that both works fall into the latter category with Harry Potter! In both cases the villian uses powerful, evil magic that is overcome in part by good magic, for example, the powers of Gandalf in LotR, and the magic rings, horns, elexirs, and so forth of Narnia.

    It should be noted that both of those classic works were written by Christians from a Christian worldview (in the broad sense - Lewis was high-church Anglican, Tolkien Roman Catholic). In both cases magic is basically neutral - according to the "rules" of the fantasy world, you can wave a magic wand, mumble "A la peanut butter sandwiches" and dispatch a Balrog. Neither Lewis nor Tolkien were trying to introduce their readers to the occult; they merely wrapped the old "quest" motifs in a fantasy setting.

    I see the same thing in Harry Potter. The books are basically boarding-school stories in the vein of Tom Brown's School Days or This Can't Be Happening at McDonald Hall! set to fantasy. All the conventions are there: strangers arrive at school, meet some chums and make some rivals; there's some kind of major sporting event in which "good" and "evil" students face off; protagonists have run-ins with eccentric teachers; protagonists sneak out after dark and get in trouble with the Headmaster who turns out to be a kindly old man outside that hard exterior; and so forth. Harry Potter is Tom Brown with the addition of a magic broomstick and a longstanding enmity with an evil wizard named Voldemort.

    Beyond that, it's certainly not teaching witchcraft or occultism, unless you happen to believe that waving a wand and mumbling some Latin will turn your schoolmate into a banana or something. It's storybook magic, nothing more.
     
  19. Jamal5000

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flyfree432:
    Actually I disagree with you there. We are in the world but not of it. Do I have to kill someone to relate to a murderer? Of course not. I think the Bible is a fine source of information to introducing children to the cons of the darkness of this world.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I see your point, Adam, and I see it reaaaaally good. It makes excellence sense.

    However,--and I know this sounds morbid--to a certain degree, you DO have to kill someone to relate to a murderer just like you have to do drugs and really feel the devastating affects that they cause in order to really relate to a drug addict. You have to actually lose a parent to really understand what it feels like. You must go through something in order to really understand all of the emotional and psychological trama that goes with it.

    As a Black man, there is NO WAY a Caucasian can understand the real emotional and psychological turmoil that it means to be a Black minority in the USA because he/she has not grown up as a Black person and does not live through life as a Black person.

    I agree with you so much that we as disciples do live IN the world but not OF it. But...isn't that a relative term? For example, are we not living IN the world if we work at jobs that the world's society has created? Are we not living IN the world when we enjoy a NY Yankees baseball game? Are we not living IN the world when we enjoy a good meal at a restaurant owned and founded by un-Godly people? All of these above things in which millions of disciples involve themselves are worldly things created by men.

    If we were to apply the most extreme definition of the phrase "living IN the world", then to participate in any of these things would mean that we are indeed living IN the world. If we were to apply the most extreme defintion to the phrase "living IN the world", then the only way for us to truly live OF the world is to become a hermit and live in isolation in a cave in the middle of the desert like the monks did during the Ascetic Movement back in the 400-500s AD.

    Now here is another way of looking at "living IN the world" VS "living OF the world".

    I would like to suggest that you only live IN the world when you choose to allow the mechanisms and philosophies of the world to replace the Wisdom of God in your heart, mind, and soul. It is one thing to watch a football game for fun. It is another thing when you stop praying, stop praising God, and stop applying biblical principles because your mind is overwhelmingly occupied with the thoughts of who is the best Free Safety in the NFC and with thoughts of whether or not you will skip Church "just one more time" to catch all of the televised games. It is one thing when you read about the descent and recover of a nympho in true but graphic detail in a novel in order to understand another perspective of the details involved with the mental disorder. It is something totally different when you allow those images and ways of thinking presented in the novel to dictate your sexual relationship with your wife. Bringing this back home, is it not one thing to read about wizardry and witchcraft in HARRY POTTER while it is something totally different to allow the images and concepts to influence you to do witchcraft?

    As brothers--you and me--in Christ, let us live OF the world,...but let us not become unaware, uninformed, and uneducated about the social systems, social institutons, and popular culture that comprise the world. That's why Paul was so successful: he knew how to witness to pagans because he knew how to think pagans . Learning about the culture of the pagans allowed him to understand through the Wisdom of God in Christ what it was like to be a pagan and allowed him to discover what strategy to take to most effectively help lead pagans to repentence.

    You are a genuine, bonafide child of God. Praise be to Him for allowing us to meet!

    You're pretty cool, Adam [​IMG]

    PS. Nice webpage! :D
     
  20. Brother Adam

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    Jamal,

    Thank you for your post.

    I agree with your post so long as we are not sinning in learning about different cultures. No, I can never relate to what a slave went through despite what Walt Whitman thinks, because I never experienced it. But I don't need to experience racism in order to tell someone about the joy and peace of knowing Jesus Christ.

    We are all sinners, and as such all know what it feels like to be w/o God in our lives and to live for ourselves. And we know what it feels like to have God in our lives and be exuberantly (sp?) joyful. This I believe is what is most important to understand and relate to, in order to share with others. I wouldn't want to take drugs in order to be able to relate to a drug dealer. But I've been through some messed up stuff to, so I can relate in that I know what pain is, and I know what living for myself is.

    Until Next Post, Adam
     

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