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Potter Mania: Should Christian Kids Read 'Harry Potter'?
Breakpoint with Chuck Colson ^ | 7/20/2007 | Chuck Colson

Posted on 07/23/2007 7:04:00 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback

If there’s a child in your house, then you probably know what’s going to happen when the clock strikes 12 tonight. The final Harry Potter book—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—will be unleashed on the world.

The big question that has millions of kids on edge: Will Harry live—or 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 What’s 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.

Neal’s belief that it’s 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 Babylon’s 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 culture’s pagan literature in order to understand it. But, because of his deep devotion to God, he didn’t defile himself. As Connie Neal told BreakPoint, “God put Daniel in Babylon to be a light in the darkness—and 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 don’t recommend the Potter books. I’d 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 they’re probably going to read them anyway. So use this occasion to teach them to be discerning—like Daniel. Dare them to have Daniel as their role model, not Harry Potter.

And if your kids do enjoy Harry’s magical world, you should give them copies of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

These books also feature wizards and witches and magic, but in addition, they inspire the imagination within a Christian framework—and prepare the hearts of readers for the real-life story of Jesus Christ.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: breakpoint; christians; harrypotter; nowayjose
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To: conejo99
The existence of a soul is quite explicit in these books.Heaven is very heavily hinted at (the Kings Cross station scene). God gets a capital ‘G’. The books a deist, but not Christian, Never said they were Christian, however, they do celebrate Christmas.
251 posted on 07/24/2007 3:17:10 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: Tenniel2
Ok. But I was just making the statement that I didn't know that Lewis was Christian, or that his works had Christian messages. Do you think that kids or people would get that?
252 posted on 07/24/2007 3:19:44 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: NotSoFreeStater

I can’t think of a single reason in the world why a Christian kid ought not read a Harry Potter book. I suppose there are some Christians who think they should only read Christian oriented material, and that’s there right. But there’s nothing unChristian about the Potter books.


253 posted on 07/24/2007 3:26:09 PM PDT by wolfinator
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To: Secret Agent Man
If the child gets the messages that are in the Potter books, then I have no problem. They don't teach witchcraft. The teach friendship, loyalty, courage, thinking for yourself, perseverance, sacrifice and that good must triumph over evil. Your stuck on magic, rather than the message. The books are very clear that you must have a "magical" family tree to be a witch or wizard. But in the end, it is all pretend. I played "Jeannie" and "Samantha" as a kid, went to church, and turned out pretty well according to folks I know.
254 posted on 07/24/2007 3:28:58 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Uh, you might want to review my position on the Potter books. I’m with you. It is fantasy. I support the Harry Potter books and movies.


255 posted on 07/24/2007 3:31:03 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: uglybiker
So much of what makes America great began with children contemplating the impossible. They didn't stop until the impossible...became the possible. Yep! Because the kids that were allowed to envision and create, we have the computer and internet we now converse on. In a few short generations ago, these would have been "devices of the devil".
256 posted on 07/24/2007 3:34:25 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: js1138

I’ll point you back to the topic we’ve been discussing that you are conveniently and blatantly ducking.


257 posted on 07/24/2007 5:12:05 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man
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To: oneamericanvoice

You are correct, they do not teach the mechanics of witchcraft. What they do do for some kids is whet their appetite to learn the mechanics of spells and potions and necromancy and get involved in witchcraft.


258 posted on 07/24/2007 5:16:17 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man
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To: Secret Agent Man
What they do do for some kids is whet their appetite to learn the mechanics of spells and potions and necromancy and get involved in witchcraft.

That's really scary, considering the effectiveness of spells and witchcraft.

259 posted on 07/24/2007 5:18:31 PM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138

Your statement shows just what a high regard you have towards God’s warnings not to get involved with this kind of stuff. The fact is that in some cases these kids tap into demonic forces because that is the force behind the occult.

Why do you think real witches cast actual spells within certain circles and other drawn figures on the floor? It is for their own protection. Sometimes that protection doesn’t help them. I have seen interviews with real witches who have talked about becoming possessed by demons even with other witches around as well as other protections. Some have even called it quits after such an episode happens to them.


260 posted on 07/24/2007 5:27:40 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man
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To: Secret Agent Man

You are a hoot. What is your screen name on Demo underground?


261 posted on 07/24/2007 5:31:05 PM PDT by js1138
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To: oneamericanvoice

Amen! Preach it, OAV!


262 posted on 07/24/2007 5:49:49 PM PDT by Xenalyte (Lord, I apologize . . . and be with the starving pygmies in New Guinea amen.)
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To: js1138

Great comeback. You’re so witty.

I am a bible believing, 2nd Amendment, pro-life conservative. You appear to be intellectually deficient. You have absolutely no ability to defend your position from a logical point of view, you reduce yourself to name calling and trying to turn the discussion away from the issue to other things and sarcastic personal barbs. Yeah, because I don’t think like you and think HP is perfectly fine like you do I must be a liberal. Really makes a lot sense. Sounds more like you’re the one cross-posting from DU, fella.


263 posted on 07/24/2007 5:53:18 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man
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To: Mr. Silverback

Ah, that’s why the phrase “shoot, shovel, and shut up” came about. ;)


264 posted on 07/24/2007 5:56:07 PM PDT by Xenalyte (Lord, I apologize . . . and be with the starving pygmies in New Guinea amen.)
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To: jess35
Have you been turned into a toad recently?

I have been turned into a newt... But I got better. :)

But seriously I have a problem with majick and sorcery being portrayed in a positive light. It is contrary to what the Bible teaches about such things. Under the laws of moses people who practice such things would have been put to death for it. God takes witchcraft and sorcery very seriously.

265 posted on 07/24/2007 6:40:44 PM PDT by ColdSteelTalon
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To: js1138

If we let this Harry Potter thing go unchallenged, what’s next? TV sit coms and kids cartoons about witches? Where will it all end?


266 posted on 07/24/2007 7:01:54 PM PDT by wolfinator
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To: oneamericanvoice

Never said they were Christian, however, they do celebrate Christmas.
Yep.


267 posted on 07/24/2007 7:46:08 PM PDT by conejo99
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To: Mr. Silverback
So use this occasion to teach them to be discerning—like Daniel. Dare
268 posted on 07/24/2007 8:16:54 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy ("You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!")
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To: Mr. Silverback
Only a nut would believe he can become a Jedi knight after seeing a Star Wars movie

There are 400,000 Jedi Knights in England (At least that's what they told the nosy parkers at the Census Department)

269 posted on 07/24/2007 8:30:40 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy ("You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!")
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To: PAR35
Any kid that can slog through Mein Kampf should be welcome to read it. Have you ever tried to get through it?

It's a struggle

270 posted on 07/24/2007 8:33:04 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy ("You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!")
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To: Mr. Silverback

I read it in 2 days.

My 17 year old is almost finished.

IMO. it was the best of the 7.

BTW, I’m still proud to announce that Jesus Christ is my Saviour!


271 posted on 07/24/2007 8:36:39 PM PDT by airborne (ATTENTION PA FREEPERS !! https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Oztrich Boy

Most of them did that just to see “Jedi” on the list of religions when the UK census came out. But are some of them nuts? Yep.


272 posted on 07/24/2007 9:36:54 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Backing Tribe al-Ameriki even if the Congress won't.)
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To: All

Freeperarious!!


273 posted on 07/24/2007 10:04:51 PM PDT by Shortstop7
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To: airborne

I’m only halfway through.

Still a Christian!!


274 posted on 07/24/2007 10:05:50 PM PDT by Shortstop7
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To: ColdSteelTalon; JenB; Corin Stormhands; RosieCotton
Of course they do. They also cast spells and practice sorcery.

FYI, despite many attempts my oldest son has yet to be successful at casting a Cruciatus Curse on his younger brother.

Do you also forbid your children from reading books which contain themes of rebellion? I'm not sure if you remember but the Bible does say that "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft." (I Sam 15:23)

275 posted on 07/25/2007 5:36:17 AM PDT by ksen ("For an omniscient and omnipotent God, there are no Plan B's" - Frumanchu)
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To: airborne

Everyone says the latest HP book they have read is the greatest.


276 posted on 07/25/2007 5:38:31 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: ksen

I keep telling people I learned how to turn them into newts from reading Harry Potter, but no one believes me...


277 posted on 07/25/2007 5:40:41 AM PDT by JenB
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To: ColdSteelTalon

Dude

No one practices magic. It’s a book.

I play a game called Call of Duty online as part of a Christian ministry. People are constantly chastising us because we are Christians that play a game where people are killed. We have to ask them “Who has died? It’s a GAME”.

I once used a Harry Potter clip in Sunday School and it was a very effective lesson


278 posted on 07/25/2007 5:42:00 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: AppyPappy
I disagree. Rowling was pretty bloodthirsty. She killed off a lot of characters. The last part except for the epilogue seemed strained while the middle seemed slow.

My opinion. I'm no literary critic.

279 posted on 07/25/2007 5:42:42 AM PDT by CholeraJoe ("It's like being a house elf, but without the job satisfaction.")
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To: JenB

Our company’s VP of HR actually told someone to, “Eat Slugs” once.


280 posted on 07/25/2007 5:44:59 AM PDT by CholeraJoe ("It's like being a house elf, but without the job satisfaction.")
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To: JenB

I’ve always wanted to be able to do that.


281 posted on 07/25/2007 5:46:17 AM PDT by Sue Perkick (And I hope that what Iíve done here today doesnít force you to have a negative opinion of meÖ.)
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To: CholeraJoe

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.


282 posted on 07/25/2007 5:48:04 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: wolfinator
Where will it all end?

Probably with conservative websites running endless threads glorifying wizards like Gandalf, or talking animals like Aslan.

283 posted on 07/25/2007 6:19:58 AM PDT by js1138
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To: Secret Agent Man
You appear to be intellectually deficient.

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.

284 posted on 07/25/2007 6:21:56 AM PDT by js1138
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To: mountn man
So you'd have no problem then with your child reading Mein Kampf or The Communist Manifesto? How about Playboy or Penthouse?

Have you stopped beating your wife?

285 posted on 07/25/2007 6:25:23 AM PDT by Sloth (The GOP is to DemonRats in politics as Michael Jackson is to Jeffrey Dahmer in babysitting.)
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To: oneamericanvoice
Oh no! Not this AGAIN! I am soooo tired of these paranoid attacks!

Uh, did you even read the article?

286 posted on 07/25/2007 6:30:53 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: js1138

I’m just thankful that the networks finally took “Bewitched” off the air.


287 posted on 07/25/2007 7:13:28 AM PDT by wolfinator
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To: americanophile

“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).”


288 posted on 07/25/2007 7:24:56 AM PDT by myrabach
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To: wolfinator

The world is a safer place.


289 posted on 07/25/2007 7:26:36 AM PDT by Sue Perkick (And I hope that what Iíve done here today doesnít force you to have a negative opinion of meÖ.)
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To: Oztrich Boy

Oooooh, nice one!


290 posted on 07/25/2007 8:03:43 AM PDT by Xenalyte (Lord, I apologize . . . and be with the starving pygmies in New Guinea amen.)
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To: AppyPappy

It will make an awesome final movie.


291 posted on 07/25/2007 8:47:45 AM PDT by airborne (ATTENTION PA FREEPERS !! https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: retrokitten; CholeraJoe

Not this $#it again!!!!


292 posted on 07/25/2007 9:12:54 AM PDT by schwing_wifey (Damn..the kid knows how to disapparate...just ask him to do a chore......)
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To: wolfinator

Never watched it. I don’t watch a lot of TV.


293 posted on 07/25/2007 11:26:35 AM PDT by js1138
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To: Mr. Silverback

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!


294 posted on 07/25/2007 11:57:27 AM PDT by Grendel9
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To: Mr. Silverback

getting mixed up in the occult is NOT a good idea.


295 posted on 07/25/2007 11:58:23 AM PDT by balch3
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To: balch3
The question is not whehter it is good to dance with the occult, the question is whether reading a novel about an obviously fictional wizard who uses obviously fictional magic in an obviously fictional world is the same thing as dancing with the occult.

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.

296 posted on 07/25/2007 12:04:16 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Backing Tribe al-Ameriki even if the Congress won't.)
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To: ColdSteelTalon

The Bible is talking about real life, not make believe.


297 posted on 07/25/2007 12:31:23 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: balch3
getting mixed up in the occult is NOT a good idea. Reading fantasy like Potter is not "getting mixed up with the occult". Reading and trying to do real occult practices are not a good idea. And just like in real life, fantasy is about good versus evil. Potter stands up for good and defeats evil. But don't take my word for it. I challenge you to read one of the books and see if you want to go over to the dark side. I haven't. I trust kids and their parents.
298 posted on 07/25/2007 12:39:36 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: myrabach
Can you understand that this is fantasy, pretend, make-believe? Guess not. It is very sad that you can't differentiate between the real world that the Bible is speaking about, and that of fantasy. The witches and wizards of the Potter series are not Satanists or involved with the dark side. The students (not the readers) are taught how to FIGHT evil. The same way your pastor and the Bible teach you to fight it, only with different tools. The readers of these books CAN NOT become witches or wizards because they don't have the DNA. They CAN NOT conjure, charm, do divination, call up spirits, ect. My roomate who is a born again daughter of two ministers thought like you until I challenged her to read the books and go to the movies. She proved how strong she is in her faith and did. She will tell you there is no problem with the Potter series.
299 posted on 07/25/2007 12:52:22 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: oneamericanvoice

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.


300 posted on 07/25/2007 1:21:30 PM PDT by myrabach
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