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What is the problem with Harry Potter?

The Question:

"I am a Christian, but I don't get what the deal is with saying Harry Potter- a child's fictional series- is evil? I have read every single one of the books and, watched the movie, the magic they mention in this specific series is a harmless kind, considering not many people can pronounce the words in the spells they cast. Where are the protests and books and all of the other stuff against drugs, rape, violence, racism, and sexism, since you seem to be so ready to protest against some children's fantasy story? The books do not promote the fact that magic is good. It doesn't say anywhere that if you say a magic word you can fly. Also if you are so ready to protest against magic why not protest against Disney and a million other books instead of just a certain series of books and movies?" (angelchild2588)

I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Harry Potter books are fun and encourage children to read! So what's the problem?

The Answer:

The world of occult is very fascinating, and no one starts out studying it with the intent to practice black magic or anything like that. As Christians we need first of all to know what the Bible says about sorcery, even cutesy "white magic" like Harry Potter stuff, the difference between Biblically acceptable uses of the imagination, and those uses of imaging that will lead us away from God. I've have an online study of the occult and the Bible that you are welcome to take at your convenience, and make up your own mind.

Did you know that consulting the dead, for example, like John Edward does, is strictly forbidden by God and brings a curse with it? Even Roma Downey, Touched by an Angel's star, doesn't seem to know that! A good test for anything you read or watch, including stuff put out by Disney, is: does it lead me closer to Jesus and promote a Christian lifestyle, or not?

Here is the address for the study:

There is an online version with pictures or a text version you can print out - plus an answer key (don't peek now!). It is keyed to the King James Bible. I've meant to redo it for the NIV but it's one of those things I've not gotten to as yet. There are other articles there about the occult too.

Another question:

(These were from a discussion on the message board at  :

"It seems to me if we raise a ruckus about Harry Potter, then we must also take a look at "Cinderella", "Snow White", and many other good children's books of imagination since they all have some sort of "sorcery" in them. To teach our children that sorcery is ok is of course absolutely wrong, but having said that, to teach them that these are "flights of fantasy" seems to me to enrich their imagination." (God's†Child)

"I agree with you on that respect. But why is teaching children that "sorcery is ok" so wrong? I mean you no disrespect, but isn't there a religion out there that believes in sorcery? And if children are taught that sorcery is wrong, won't that lead for them to discriminate against that religion in the future, which, I might add, is totally wrong- especially in our religion- because God loves everyone?" (Dear1498)

The Answer:

Deuteronomy 18:9-11 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. [NIV}

Galatians 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. [NIV]

Intolerance of other's religious beliefs is not politically correct these days, and in the US we are certainly free to believe as we wish. But as Christians we MUST teach our children right from wrong, and the Bible teaches that sorcery is wrong, and that any religion that promotes sorcery is wrong. Time and time again Israel got tangled up with paganism, idolatry and sorcery, and time and time again, God punished Israel for it. Yes God loves everybody, but God does not approve of what everybody does. And yes, we should teach our children to love everybody, but that does not therefore mean we must teach our children to approve of everyone's actions. Are we to be rude and mean to those with beliefs different from us? Of course not! But should we approve of, condone, and participate in activities that God forbids for the sake of tolerance? Again the answer is no.

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