A Christian’s Response to Harry Potter

Read ’em. If you want to. That’s my response.

I am not (cannot be!) one of those Christians who, because of rank or status (ordained or self-anointed), would label what comes out of my mind or mouth as doctrinal. I am not one of those who would have the audacity to label anything I say or write as THE Christian response to anything. I’m just a guy who tries to follow Jesus, makes mistakes in doing so from time to time, but has (as you can probably tell by now) LOTS of opinions.

HarryPotter2

(for anyone unable to tell, all the people in the above picture are actors)

I’ve never read a Harry Potter book, and never will. But among the people whose opinions I value, my wife and daughters do read Rowling’s books, enjoy them, and none of them have become witches. I did see the first movie, and smiled all the way through it. I’ve missed the others, and don’t remember why; I probably had building committee meetings or something equally invigorating to go to.

If you want to see THE Christian response to Harry Potter, here are three of them:

here- Focus on the Family

here- Christian Answers for the New Age

and here- Exposing Satanism (this one’s the most fun!)

The common objection by these defenders of the faith seem to center around, “But what about the children??” Yeah, what about them?

Half the kids between 10 and 20 that I know have read all the Potter books. And I have yet to see any of them on broomsticks, doing incantations, or so much as carrying a magic wand. I don’t know how the reading of Harry Potter manifests itself among children in churches where there is more talk about the fear of Satan than about the love of God, but in the churches I spend time in (the latter), Harry Potter has not had any behavioral impact that I can see.

Except for the fact that there are a bunch of kids who have learned to love to read and are not watching some dismal sit-com on TV while they do it!

Can I suggest that no one anywhere has seen a child doing occult, witchy, or otherwise “dark” things because of their having read Harry Potter books? Kids are not the stupid lumps of clay many adults think they are. They have, at the age of 9 or 10- about the time most would even begin to read these books- real abilities to discern between truth and fantasy. Notice that you can’t fool them with your silly magic tricks, the way you could when they were 2 or 3; none of them will play peek-a-boo with you anymore. That’s because they are learning the difference between what is real and not-real!

And that will continue! If they are older than 8, 9, or 10, children’s cognitive abilities are getting even better, and more complex. Even the ones who think, for a moment, that there might be something to this broomstick business, will, after about three seconds of experimentation, realize there is not.

Relax. That’s another of this Christian’s responses to almost everything, come to think about it. Relax and, while doing so, take a look at the money angle of those who have lots to say about the Potter books. Are they raising money for themselves through their usual ploy of fear, yet again? Are they, through their own painfully minute exegesis of the Potter books, trying to build more credibility among those who willingly hand over their own abilities to discern to these “experts”?

Just relax. Stop reacting to the “panic” of others. I’d be far more concerned about my young child watching anything on (so-called) Christian TV than I would about her reading a Harry Potter book. (Which wouldn’t be hard to do, since I’d have NO concern over her reading a Potter book.)

Relax; stop trying to scare children into loving God. Take a child outside today, to the park or to the woods, and let God do all the talking.

For once.

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7 thoughts on “A Christian’s Response to Harry Potter

  1. barry,

    good thoughts here. it seems many in christendom make all us look bad, like we all are afraid of our culture. instead of hiding from it, we need to passionately engage it.

    anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

    p.s. i love the harry potter books, and i am not incliined to become a wizard or join the occult nor are any of the teens in my youth group.

  2. As a grown man, I’m much more terrified watching Bob Larson do another “exorcism” on tv while raking in donations, than I have ever been watching even an outright horror flick, much less Harry Potter. I’ve seen all the movies so far. They’re good, entertaining, and have decent underlying values in them. You’re right, fear-mongering has proven to be the best fundraiser for these people because they have nothing of substance by which to appeal.

  3. Pingback: Harry Potter News | Harry Potter Movie | Harry Potter Trivia | Harry Potter Books » Blog Archive » A Christian’s Response to Harry Potter

  4. So true! I’m so sick of hearing different groups STILL complaining about the books! If it’s not one thing, its another.. And scarily enough, it’s not just Christian groups protesting. o_o

  5. As a mother, I find all of this crazy “Harry Potter is the devil” talk ridiculous. I ran across a site today that the author posted that Harry Potter is satanic and quoted a text in the book of Exodus that read (paraphrasing here) society should not suffer witches, they should be burned… does this mean that free will is irrelevant? Those who practice the ways of Wiccans are just another form of a religious group… does this mean they should die?? I, even though I am Atheist, encourage my children to make their own choices in faith. Who am I to force my beliefs on them? Everyone has a right to their own free will, as even Christians state in their worships… I guess this will always be a never-ending battle and I agree that most of these crazies should do something fun and live life… quit trying to act like the mother in ‘Carrie’ before you make your children loony!!

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