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 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.
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.
I’ll point you back to the topic we’ve been discussing that you are conveniently and blatantly ducking.
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.
That's really scary, considering the effectiveness of spells and witchcraft.
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.
You are a hoot. What is your screen name on Demo underground?
Amen! Preach it, OAV!
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.
Ah, that’s why the phrase “shoot, shovel, and shut up” came about. ;)
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.
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?
Never said they were Christian, however, they do celebrate Christmas.
There are 400,000 Jedi Knights in England (At least that's what they told the nosy parkers at the Census Department)
It's a struggle
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!
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.
I’m only halfway through.
Still a Christian!!
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)
Everyone says the latest HP book they have read is the greatest.
I keep telling people I learned how to turn them into newts from reading Harry Potter, but no one believes me...
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
My opinion. I'm no literary critic.
Our company’s VP of HR actually told someone to, “Eat Slugs” once.
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.