Harry Potter and Christians – What Part Does Light Have with Darkness
Editor’s Introduction: I clipped this article from the web in 1996. It is every bit as relevant today as it was then. Parents should not encourage their children to dabble in occultic practice by exposing them to it through recreational reading. Parents need to be very careful about the heroes they present to their young children. Harry Potter doesn’t meet the criteria.
The “The Wicked World of Harry Potter,” was produced at Vernon Baptist Church, by Pastor Glen Spencer, Jr., SR2 2002 E, Punkhannock, Pennsylvania 18657. Phone: +1 (570) 333-4263 E-Mail: VernonBaptist@prodigy.net
As a Pastor I have received many questions over the past few years about Harry Potter and his shenanigans. With the popularity of Potter continuing to soar Christian parents need to be informed so as to make the right choices. God has not left us in the dark concerning what is, and what is not acceptable for His people. As in all matters of faith and practice, the Word of God is our final authority. We will not look at the Word of God in light of Harry Potter, but rather, Harry Potter in light of the Word of God. God’s Word does have quite a bit to say about Harry Potter.
“And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 20:6-7).
“When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 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 18:9-12).
America’s kids have gone wild over Harry Potter. Everywhere you go-grocery stores, department stores, book stores, and other retail places, you will find Harry Potter books. These books have infiltrated homes, school libraries, public libraries, along with the minds of America’s young people. The market has been flooded with the witchcraft and wizardry of Harry Potter. The BBC News agency recently reported:
“Bloomsbury has now sold more than 110 million copies of the books in several languages around the world. The company has also cashed in on the phenomenon through a range of Harry Potter merchandise. It is now preparing for the launch of the film in November and says its printers are poised for a ‘wide range of possible reprint figures.'”
Think about that! One hundred and ten million copies. It is obvious that sin and wickedness is popular in this depraved world.
While there seems to be lot of controversy about whether or not these books are suitable for the young reader, such need not be the case for Christians. A casual reading of these books will quickly expose their dangerous and destructive content. The Christian is to be separated from the wicked things of this world. We are commanded to, “… have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). If Christians would obey this verse alone, there would be no question about Harry Potter. Our place is not to get mixed up in the darkness, but as the light of the world, we are to expose the darkness. Paul said, “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils” (1 Corinthians 10:21). There is no middle ground here. Reading Harry Potter is drinking from the devil’s cup. The pursuits and activities of Harry Potter are enough to discern that these writings are dangerous and should not be accepted by anyone-let alone Christians.
However, during the past several months numerous “Christian leaders” have accepted and promoted Harry Potter as harmless and helpful for young people. Here are a few quotes from these so-called leaders:
Recently the popular and new evangelical, radio commentator, Chuck Colson, in his Breakpoint broadcast, praised Potter and his friends for their: “Courage, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice for one another-even at the risk of their lives.”
Colson went on to brush Potter’s satanic practices off as: “Purely mechanical, as opposed to occultic. That is, Harry and his friends cast spells, read crystal balls, and turn themselves into animals-but they don’t make contact with a supernatural world.”
Roy Maynard, author for highly circulated World Magazine praised Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as: “A delight-with a surprising bit of depth … Rowling … keeps it safe, inoffensive, and non-occult. This is the realm of Gandalf and the Wizard of Id, not witchcraft. There is a fairy-tale order to it all in which, as Chesterton and Tolkien pointed out, magic must have rules, and good does not-cannot-mix with bad.”
Wheaton College professor Alan Jacobs said that Harry Potter promotes: “A kind of spiritual warfare…. A struggle between good and evil…. There is in books like this the possibility for serious moral reflection … the question of what to do with magic powers is explored in an appropriate and morally serious way.”
The popular Christianity Today magazine published the following comment: “We think you should read the Harry Potter books to our kids. The literary witchcraft of the series has almost no resemblance to the I-am-God mumbo jumbo of Wiccan circles. Author Rowling has created a world with real good and evil, and Harry is definitely on the side of light fighting the ‘dark powers’… Among the laugh-out-loud scenes are wonderful examples of compassion, loyalty, courage, friendship and self-sacrifice.”
Earlier James Dobson’s Focus on the Family made the following comment: “Harry Potter is a standard tale of good vs. evil, and good always wins in the end. Harry, the hero, often triumphs because of his upright character and pure motives. Unconditional love and courage are held as ideals of great importance. By following Harry and his best friend Ron, the reader gets a glimpse of true loyalty and friendship, as well as self-sacrifice.”
These are just a few sad remarks by undiscerning Christian leaders who will not take a stand. How one can read the Bible, believe what God has said, and promote Harry Potter is beyond me. That these books are demonic and dangerous can hardly be denied. “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).
The Decorative Tale
The Harry Potter series of novels is the work of Scottish author J. K. Rowling. Her main character is Harry, an eleven year old son of wizard parents who were both murdered by the wicked wizard Lord Voldemort. Orphaned Harry is sent to live with his mean “muggle” (non-wizard humans) relatives, his horrible uncle Vernon and aunt Petunia Dursley along with their despicable and disgusting son, Dudley. In his new home Harry is forced to sleep in a small closet under the stairs. It is not long until he discovers his predestination to be a wizard when an owl delivers a message to Harry telling him that he has been accepted at the famous “Hogwart’s School of Wizardry and Witchcraft.” It is at this school where Harry meets a whole host of wicked and demonic characters.
At Hogwarts Harry is introduced to the world of witchcraft, wizardry, and sorcery as he becomes involved in all sorts of occult activity like creating potions, casting spells, necromancy, and other wicked practices. Although Harry is portrayed as the main character-it is easy to see that he is not. Witches, wizards, ghosts, and other eerie characters play the lead roles in the Potter series.
Potter books portray the world of sorcery and witchcraft as exciting and attractive. Witches are portrayed as dazzling and wonderful, while normal people (known as Muggles in the books) are boring and unbelieving. Harry Potter along with his wizard and witch friends lie, steal, break rules, disobey and disregard authority. There is swearing, revenge, and violence.
One of the textbooks at Harry school (Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry) is titled “The Standard Book of Spells.” The instructors of the school are ghosts who died frightening and horrible deaths. One of the characters is named “Near Headless Nick.” He was killed by being struck forty-five times on the neck with a dull axe. There are ghosts who haunt bathroom toilets. There are creatures called Dementors that suck the soul of people.
Harry Potter makes and uses drug potions, including the dangerous psychedelic drug thujone used to make a drink called Absinthe. Absinthe was very popular in the 1700’s but has been illegal to produce or sell in the United States since March 16, 1915. Other potions and additives used by Potter are Monkshood, Mandrake, and the “The Elixer Of Life,” a potion that gives wizards and witches eternal life. In one of the Potter novels there is a “Sorcerer’s Stone” that has the power to give eternal life.
Though Rowling claims that her books are merely fiction Harry Potter books are none the less loaded with raw occultism. Throughout the pages of Potter one will find wizardry, witchcraft, sorcery, magic, divination, casting spells, etc. In addition you find disrespect for authority, rebellion, and a multitude of other wickedness clearly condemned by God in His Word. Evil and wickedness are presented as attractive and acceptable.
The Devil’s Territory
There is nothing holy and honorable about Potter. Although wrapped in fancy covers and dressed with captivating storylines, the fact that Potter is deceptive and dangerous cannot be denied. Rowling claims that her books are only fiction and are therefore, harmless to the young people who read them. While we understand that the stories may be fiction, it is evident that the practices promoted in the stories are far from fiction. They are indeed a reality and forbidden by the Word of God. “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 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 18:9-12). This passage of Scripture, though written thousands of years ago, is just as up to date as tomorrows headlines. Here we find nine practices forbidden by God and from the start He identifies them as “abominations.” Several of these practices overlap. They are:
(1) To make a child “to pass through the fire.” This passage refers to the pagan custom of sacrificing children to the pagan god Molech. Many who would never think of sacrificing their children physically are sacrificing them spiritually with satanism and spiritism as found in Harry Potter books.
(2) The use of “divination.” Noah Webster defines divination as, “The act of divining; a foretelling future events, or discovering things secret or obscure, by the aid of superior beings, or by other than human means.” The wicked practice of divination can easily be found throughout the Potter series.
(3) “An observer of times.” One who claims to foretell the future, a soothsayer, a false prophet. Such is a prevailing theme with Potter.
(4) “An enchanter.” Noah Webster defines an enchanter as, “One who enchants; a sorcerer or magician; one who has spirits or demons at his command; one who practices enchantment, or pretends to perform surprising things by the agency of demons.” One would not have to stretch his imagination to see such wicked practices in Harry Potter.
(5) “A witch.” One who practices witchcraft (one who makes use of magic formulas (potions) or spells. Potter books are loaded with potions and spells. There is a lot of controversy in our time about “good witches” and “bad witches.” It is just a smokescreen! All witchcraft is an abomination.
(6) “A charmer.” “One that charms, or has power to charm; one that uses or has the power of enchantment” Noah Webster. “A dealer in spells, one who by means of spells or charms pretends to achieve some desired result. The verb here used primarily means to bind, and the species of magic indicated is probably that practiced by binding certain knots, whereby it was supposed that the curse or blessing, as the case might he, was bound on its object; this was accompanied apparently with incantation” (Psalm 58:5)-W. A. Alexander, The Pulpit Commentary. As we can see, the practice of the charmer overlaps with the witch. One of Harry’s textbooks Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he attends school is titled “The Standard Book of Spells.”
(7) “A consulter with familiar spirits.” “One who asks or inquires of an Ob, that is, a Python, or divining spirit. This spirit was supposed to be in the person of the conjurer, and to be able to reveal to him what was secret or hidden in the future (Leviticus 20:27; Samuel 28:7, 8; Acts 16:16). The notion of “a familiar spirit,” i.e. a spirit not dwelling in the person, but with which he is intimate – generally the spirit of one who formerly lived on earth – is a modern notion not known to Scripture-W. A. Alexander, The Pulpit Commentary. Harry and his friends are constantly meddling with the spirit world.
(8) “a wizard.” A male witch. One who makes use of magic formulas (potions) or casting spells. (See comments under 5 & 6).
(9) “A necromancer.” This is someone who inquires of the dead. Noah Webster defines it as, “One who pretends to foretell future events by holding converse with departed spirits; a conjurer.”
The Bible clearly warns against and condemns the occult and it’s practices. Harry Potter erroneously teaches that there are “good witches” and “bad witches.” For the sake of sales, Rowling dresses her witchcraft in deceptive language to make it appear as a battle between good and evil. Satan has a way of making dark things appear to be good. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). All witchcraft is wicked. The result of practicing these wicked things is unmistakable and clear. “All that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD”(Deuteronomy 18:12).
Such practices are “an abomination unto the LORD.” God did not pass them off as fantasy and fiction. Instead He listed them as capital offenses that were not to be accepted or tolerated. Christians today need to quit play games with God’s Word and just obey it. In Old Testament times witches were not allowed. “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” (Exodus 22:18). We are not sent out on witch hunts today. However, we must realize that God takes these abominable practices seriously and so must we. Harry Potter books are loaded down with many if not all of the practices and abominations that God forbids His people to be involved in.
Jesus said, “For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes” (Luke 6:44). Please answer this question. What kind of fruit comes from Harry Potter? The answer is undeniable. The pages of Potter are overloaded with rebellion, witchcraft, wizardry, sorcery, divination, observing of times, consulting with familiar spirits, spell casting, etc. Harry Potter is full of abominable sin. Paul said, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). Instead of try to make excuses to toy with sin, why not just take God at His Word and reject Harry Potter.
The Dangerous Tolerance
God has designed that parents train their children in righteousness. Our young people need to be familiar with the Word of God-not the occult. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). It is every parent’s responsibility to raise their children for God. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
The bombardment of Rowling’s occult teaching breeds familiarity in the minds of our young people with that which God has commanded them to have no part of. It is Satan’s plan to desensitize children concerning the wickedness and abomination of such practices. The attractive and dazzling stories that Rowling calls “fantasy” serves to take the edge off the sin and wickedness involved. As in Jeremiah’s time, folks will become so familiar with wizardry, witchcraft, sorcery, and other abominable practices that they won’t even be ashamed of it. “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 8:12). Notice that they had gotten so use to the wickedness that they weren’t even “ashamed” of anymore and “neither could they blush.” They had been involved in their abominations so long that they were use to it. They had accepted the wicked practices forbidden by God-they had become desensitized. That which is condemned by God and once brought horror to God fearing people the world doesn’t even take notice to it. In many cases they flaunt it as R. K. Rowling does in her writings. “The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves” (Isaiah 3:9). Whether or not the stories are real to Rowling is irrelevant. The reality of the content of her books is very real. Young children are introduced to wicked and forbidden practices dressed up in story book garb it takes the edge off the sinful and abominable practices forbidden by God Almighty. Harry Potter creates the familiarity and infatuation with abominable practice-the next step is involvement.
The Divine Truth
We are living in the latter times-the exact time that the Apostle Paul spoke of when he said, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1). These seducing spirits and doctrines of the devils are rampant today. The occult has launched an all out attack in an attempt to claim as many victims as possible. Harry Potter is loaded with occult practices. The word occult is derived from the Latin word occultus which means, “things hidden, secret and mysterious.” It is the things that we studied earlier from Deuteronomy 18:9-12. Harry Potter’s world is one of wicked occult practices. While many pass the spirit world off as fantasy and child’s play, it is, nonetheless, very real and dangerous.
This world is a battleground and the Christian is engaged in war. Paul warned us to, “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 6:11-12). Is Harry Potter simply harmless fantasy and fiction? The answer is no! The Bible declares that “…Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” Satan has peddled Harry Potter to the world as something that is harmless fun. Satan is a great deceiver who is able to make things look good when they are not. The fancy covers and entertaining content of Potter books have captured the hearts and minds of many unsuspecting readers. The forces of evil and wickedness are gaining ground because so many Christians have failed in their duty as a soldier of Jesus Christ and have become entangled in the affairs of this world. “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4). As God’s people we are not to be entangled in this world’s wickedness, but rather, engaged in warfare against it.
Rowling’s books introduce her readers to witchcraft, satanism, sorcery, magic, divination, rebellion and other wickedness. It is not simple fiction and fantasy-it is instead a subtle and satanic indoctrination of young people. Children are young and impressionable. God has designed that their young minds and character are to be developed by the principles of His Word. As Christian parents we must reject that which God rejects and train our children up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). We cannot stop a pagan world from enjoying the wickedness of their sins and gods. However, we can refuse to sacrifice our children to their “Molechs”
“Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils” (1 Corinthians 10:21).
VERNON BAPTIST CHURCH Dr. Glen Spencer Jr. SR2 2002 E-Tunkhannock Pa 18657 Phone: (570) 333-4263 Email: VernonBaptist@prodigy.net