Skip to comments.Potter Mania: Should Christian Kids Read 'Harry Potter'?
Posted on 07/23/2007 7:04:00 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback
If theres a child in your house, then you probably know whats going to happen when the clock strikes 12 tonight. The final Harry Potter bookHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallowswill be unleashed on the world.
The big question that has millions of kids on edge: Will Harry liveor will he die?
But the big question many parents have is: Should their kids be reading novels about wizards and witches and magic?
A Christian expert on Potter mania says, It depends.
Connie Neal, a veteran youth pastor and mother of three, is the author of a book titled Whats a Christian To Do with Harry Potter? Neal says parents must use discernment in deciding whether to allow their kids to read Harry Potter. For example, kids with an unhealthy interest in the occult should probably not read these books. Other Christians believe their kids benefit from the moral lessons the Potter books teach.
Neals belief that its okay for Christians to read secular novels comes from her reading of the biblical book of Daniel. Daniel, you will remember, was a teenager when he was taken away from Jerusalem to live in exile in Babylon. There, he was taught the language and literature of the pagan culture. He studied at a school that trained Babylons magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers. The actual practice of sorcery and astrology was, of course, forbidden by God. But Daniel studied it well to understand it.
One day King Nebuchadnezzer called on his magicians and astrologers to interpret a dream; none could do it. In a rage, the king ordered that all of his wise men be put to death. Daniel asked to see the king, who then asked him, Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation? Daniel responded: No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery which the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.
Daniel had immersed himself in his cultures pagan literature in order to understand it. But, because of his deep devotion to God, he didnt defile himself. As Connie Neal told BreakPoint, God put Daniel in Babylon to be a light in the darknessand he was. He was not afraid to read literature that resounded in the hearts of the people with whom he lived. He used his familiarity with this pagan literature to reveal the true and living God. And Neal knows some kids who have done the same in our own post-Christian culture.
Now personally, I dont recommend the Potter books. Id rather Christian kids not read them. But with some 325 million of them in print, your kids will probably see them and hear others talk about them, and theyre probably going to read them anyway. So use this occasion to teach them to be discerninglike Daniel. Dare them to have Daniel as their role model, not Harry Potter.
And if your kids do enjoy Harrys magical world, you should give them copies of C.S. Lewiss Narnia books and Tolkiens Lord of the Rings trilogy.
These books also feature wizards and witches and magic, but in addition, they inspire the imagination within a Christian frameworkand prepare the hearts of readers for the real-life story of Jesus Christ.
I’ve always wanted to be able to do that.
I haven’t read it but I always hear the latest HP book is the greatest. I went back and reread the series and nothing can touch Sorcerer’s Stone. Chambers is a close second which is why the series flourished. When the series started producing large books, it got a bit forced. By the time Half-Blood Prince came out, it was like a hike.
There is too much angst in the later books.
Probably with conservative websites running endless threads glorifying wizards like Gandalf, or talking animals like Aslan.
True. I am unable to understand that the Wizard of Oz is a documentary, and that real witches cast real spells that really work. I must be retarded.
Have you stopped beating your wife?
Uh, did you even read the article?
I’m just thankful that the networks finally took “Bewitched” off the air.
“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).”
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20)!”
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matthew 24:24).”
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:10-12).”
The world is a safer place.
Oooooh, nice one!
It will make an awesome final movie.
Never watched it. I don’t watch a lot of TV.
I just finished it this a.m. What a read!
She tied in every scene possible from the
6 earlier books. And I have to brag I
was totally prepared to see a revisit to
some of the devices also appearing earlier....
like Dunbledore’s Pensieve. Admittedly,
I was totally off re the characters she
killed off, and I blubbered like a little
kid during some of the reunion/loss scenes.
As for Christian ethics and positive mores,
I can’t fathom how anyone who has actually
read all the books and watched these characters
develop into young adults could possibly think
the story/activities are anything but GOOD!
How else would the Negates categorize the
“salvation” of Draco and his parents? And
that last chapter NINETEEN YEARS LATER must
be viewed as nothing but instructive inspiration
for any kid between the ages of 12 and 82!
getting mixed up in the occult is NOT a good idea.
I say it's not, and the only evidence anyone has offered that it is boils down to two things:
1. It is because otherwise the Bible would have told us to read novels about fictional wizards.
2. It is because there are some weird and badly parented kids out there who take it too seriously.
The Bible is talking about real life, not make believe.
Gee... I don’t usually have a problem differentiating between fantasy and reality. I also don’t usually have a problem with taking heed when my God gives me a warning. I would much rather err on the side of righteousness than compromise with the world. That is my personal decision to make.
Are the Potter series edifying? Perhaps to you, but to me, I see no such redeeming value. My life is complete without them, hardly sad. It’s rather pathetic when you consider the value of a person’s life based on whether or not they choose to read the Potter books or not. And in the long run, I don’t have to worry about making witchcraft more palatable, in the real world.