Friday, July 29, 2011

Fun Friday: Harry Potter

Today's topic comes from a question one of my facebook followers asked. She said, "I'm wondering how many parents I guess christian parents would or do let there kids watch Harry Potter movies."

Let me start this by saying that this is one of the most difficult posts I have written so far. Harry Potter is a very beloved character to millions of people around the world and I have many friends and even family members that read the books and love the movies. I fully understand that I may not change anyone's mind and most will likely not agree with what I have to say on this subject. But regardless, I am going to be completely honest and give my opinion on the subject of Harry Potter and I apologize right now for the length of this post.

For anyone who is not familiar with these books or the story behind them, here is the brief explanation found on Wikipedia's website. "Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry's quest to overcome the evil dark wizard Lord Voldemort, whose aim is to conquer the wizarding world and subjugate non-magical people, and who seeks to destroy all those who stand in his way, especially Harry himself."

When this question was first asked of me I was very nervous about it, I had a very basic idea of the story line but had never fully looked into it. And while I am far from an expert on this subject, I have done quite a lot of research and study over the last 2 weeks so that I can intelligently talk about this subject. I watched the first movie, looked up tons of information on the internet, read articles from Christian's perspective as well as articles written by members of Wicca.

Let me say right from the beginning that I do not support, promote or agree with Harry Potter at all. I firmly believe that as Christians, these are books and movies that should be kept out of our homes and away from our children. Now for all the fans of Harry Potter that may be reading this, I ask that you please bare with me and read what i'm going to say with an open heart and mind before just tuning me out altogether!

I believe that the dangers in this book and in the character of Harry Potter are actually very simple. Harry is a witch, he goes to a school that teaches him how to perform witchcraft and the entire story is about witches. The bible is very clear about the fact that Christians are to have NOTHING to do with witchcraft. Period. It doesn't matter how cute the witch in question is. It doesn't matter if it's portrayed as "fantasy". It doesn't matter if you are unpopular for doing so. It doesn't matter!

As I said, the bible is clear that we are to stay away from all forms of witchcraft and honestly, most Christians wouldn't really argue that point. We know the bible is clear about that. But for some reason when it comes to Harry Potter so many Christians excuse it because these books are labeled "fantasy" and therefore it's ok to allow their children to read the books and watch the movies. But the problem with the whole "It's just fantasy" argument is, it's not just fantasy. Witchcraft is very, very real. Demons and sorcery are all very real, there is absolutely nothing fake about it.

These books have taken witchcraft and demonic forces and made these things completely normal and very glamorized for children for the first time in history. Witchcraft is now being given to kids in a children's format, and now kids are seeing witchcraft performed by other kids and everyone around them is saying it's more than ok, it's actually a wonderful thing. This satanic religion is being promoted on a children's level and is teaching them how to perform real witchcraft, all with their parents approval because it's "fantasy". Does anyone else see the problem with this?

In my study for this post, I discovered that you can actually get online and attend real schools of witchcraft and get certified as a practicing witch or wizard. So kids see Harry Potter having a difficult home life with a family that just doesn't like him, but he escapes it all by going to this school and learning how to be a wizard. Maybe if they become a wizard too that will help solve some of their problems with their family! Again, does anyone else see the problem with this? The powers that Harry taps into in the books and movies are the powers that kids want to be able to tap into themselves. But these powers are not just pretend, they are very real and very demonic powers.

There are so many examples of real witchcraft being brought into the story of Harry Potter. For example, the lightening bolt on his forehead is actually the satanic "S" which according to satanists "symbolizes Satan as our True Creator God".
In the game Quidditeh, Harry is made the "Seeker". In witchcraft, a seeker is known as anyone who is interested in learning witchcraft. But now because of the movie, a seeker in witchcraft is something wonderful and a high honor.
Owls are very good friends to the children and are one of the animals they are asked to bring with them to school. In Wicca, owls are very symbolic. This is a quote from a Wiccan website. "Owls, with their vaunted wisdom, have long been seen as a Wicca symbol, since Witches also seek to understand the Mysteries. Owls share the gift of vision with Witches who honour them. Witches also can see what is imperceptible to others."
The Jack-O-Lanters floating over the kids on Halloween in the movie is also very symbolic. Jack-O-Lanters were originally believed to hold demon spirits in them. People would place them on their porches and if it was hideous enough it would keep all the other demons from entering their house. And in this movie, they were freely floating over the children...

I actually found a witches website that goes through and lists several spells that are cast in these movies that are real spells. I was going to post the link to it but to be honest, i'm not comfortable posting a link to a witches website on my blog. But the fact is, if you really look into it you can not buy the lie that these books are just "fantasy" anymore. Yes, Harry Potter himself is not a real person, I will give you that one. But everything surrounding him is very real and by allowing your children to participate in these movies, you are allowing them to open themselves up to the demonic forces behind it.

I really wish this was a grey area. I wish this was something that could be ok. I know so many people that love this story and I wish I could just smile and say it's wonderful that your children are reading such a big book. But I can't. The fact is, it's demonic. It is something the bible says very clearly to stay away from. In Galatians 5 it says that anyone living a life of witchcraft or sorcery will not inherit the Kingdom of God. This isn't something to play with. This isn't something you should allow your children to play with. It's not a game. It's very real! It was created by the thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy, and who wants very much to destroy your life and the lives of your children.

Never forget that this life is a constant battle. Satan will use anything he can to get a hold of your children and rip them to shreds, even an eleven year old, spectacle wearing boy named Harry Potter.

"A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere." ~ Ephesians 6:10-18

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below, leave a comment on my facebook page or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.


srkindredspirits said...

I agree with you! It saddens me that so many Christians think it's ok, because it is just a movie, etc. I think the devil uses things like 'Harry Poter to help destroy homes! Thanks again! I love your blog, by the way!
-Rhoda @

Jamie said...

Rhoda, i'm so glad you enjoy my blog! Thank you very much for the encouragement. :o)


Anonymous said...

Jamie, would you say that all movies/books that have elements of magic, sorcery or witchcraft in them should be avoided, or only Harry Potter because it depicts actual spells and satanic symbols?

What about movies like Lord of the Rings, which has lots of magic and even depicts a demon creature in one scene? And what about stories like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty where witches cast spells on people?

The magic elements in these stories may not be actual spells that are used by real witches, but the whole idea of magic and sorcery stems from those practices.

Jamie said...

That's an excellent question and one i've thought about as well. I personally don't see a problem with the magic in Disney movies such as Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella. As for Snow White specifically, my kids don't watch that simply because it scares them too much. The one Disney movie that I didn't agree with and haven't allowed my children to watch is The Princess and the Frog. My reason for that is very similar to my reasons for not allowing Harry Potter. It has real sorcery and witchcraft in it, this time in the form of voo-doo.

I think anything that has any form of real witchcraft or sorcery should be stayed away from. The problem with Harry Potter is it makes witchcraft empowering, enticing and something kids crave. These movies have real witches everywhere cheering that witchcraft is finally being portrayed in such a wonderful light. To me, anything witches support is something I and my family need to stay away from!

Also in these movies, Harry Potter as a witch is the good guy, the one you're cheering for. This brings so much confusion to children because in all those other movies you mentioned, the witch is the bad guy and the one to overcome. There's nothing wrong with kids knowing that witchcraft exists as they get older, but they need to see it for the evil it is, and it's connection to Satan. Harry Potter has for the first time ever made witchcraft something kids want to be a part of and that's very dangerous.

Did that answer your question? If not, let me know and i'll try again. :o)


Jessica Heights said...

I'm blessed that my little ones are too young for get to escape this movie series...

Previous Anonymous Commenter said...

I'm still having a bit of trouble understanding the difference between Harry Potter and other fairy tales. You said that in Harry Potter, Harry is the good guy who all the kids want to imitate. But that is true for many other movies as well. Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a good guy, as is Cinderella's magical Fairy Godmother and the three fairies that raised Sleeping Beauty. I remember wishing I had magical powers when I was a kid because of these movies, but I never thought that meant I was dabbling in sorcery. So I'm not sure that the fact that the wizards in Harry Potter are good guys really is an issue.

But I totally understand your concerns that Harry Potter has ACTUAL spells in it. I'm not saying that I think you're wrong about Harry Potter, it just seems that if you disallow Harry Potter because it depicts sorcery, you have to apply that to other fairy tales as well. Because even though other fairy tales may not have ACTUAL spells, no one would have ever thought to invent characters with magical powers if real witches hadn't practiced real sorcery back in ancient times (and present day as well). Although Cinderella's fairy godmother doesn't employ actual spells, the very idea that someone could say "bippity boppity boo" and turn a pumpkin into a carriage comes from real sorcery. Hopefully this makes sense! :)

Jamie said...

I will agree with you about shows like "Sabrina the teenage witch" and "Charmed" and things like that. I think those fall under the same category as Harry Potter. To me, the magic in the Disney movies has always fallen under make-believe and imaginations. But you do raise a good point and I will be thinking and praying about this some more.

I don't think there is anything at all wrong with playing pretend and using your imagination. It's something we encourage in our kids and love to see them acting out. But when witchcraft is brought into the picture I believe it goes from innocent to evil. Now I just have to think about pray about wither or not Cinderella crosses that line. :o)

I think for each individual family this is something you and your spouse need to pray about and evaluate where you stand when it comes to the movies you allow your children to watch. I honestly can't give a definitive opinion at this point on Disney movies and the magic in them but I will be spending some time looking into them and praying about this issue. Thank you so much for your comments, you've really made me think!


The Happy Domestic said...

Very thoughtful and well-argued post. Here is some more food for thought.

Would you let your kids watch a movie where a man put actual curses on a whole country, including swarms of flies, frogs, blisters on their skin, and even killing every firstborn male? Or where he uses his wand to create a snake? Oh wait, that was Moses.

The things we think of as "magical" are really simply supernatural. I think the issue is not the depiction of or even *necessarily* the glamorization of the supernatural, but how the source of supernatural power is depicted. Fairies, for example, have appeared in legends around the world, and while they have been incorporated into some pagan religions it is likely that the concept originated in the very real appearances of both angels and demons - which explains their ambiguity in folklore.

In Lewis' venerable Chronicles of Narnia there is much magic, but the source is always clearly identifiable as either right (from Aslan or the emperor - God) or wrong (self-serving, like the White Witch). In the Bible there are many accounts of prophets, apostles, and Jesus himself that could be considered "magic", but we know that this power is from God. So I guess my point is, magic itself is not definitively good nor evil, it depends on the source. I hope no one will issue a blanket condemnation of the supernatural, but rather use discretion and the Holy Spirit to discern what is good and pleasing to God. :)

Jamie said...

The Happy Domestic~ I 100% agree with your post! I firmly believe in the workings of the super-natural of both Jesus and Satan. And I believe the super-natural work of Satan is behind these books and movies. That in a nut-shell was exactly what I was trying to say.

Thank you very much for your wonderful, spot on comment!