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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: 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 !!
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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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