Last year – on a shopping trip my 5 year old granddaughter sulked over me not buying her a Harry Potter pencil case. In a crowded and busy shopping area (not a good place to explain my reasons) – I tried to fob her off with the poor sexist excuse that Harry Potter was simply ‘not a girlie thing’ and opted to explain later. ‘Girls like Harry Potter’ she scowled, then proceeded to rant off a long list of her school friends that had the merchandise – Such and such a person has a pen, a lunchbox, a rucksack, etc.
As a mother of 2 adult sons – I had almost forgotten how tricky it was back then at not giving into what I decided at the time was ‘demonic merchandise’. Other mums (as well as a few Christian ones) thought my ideals were extreme – “at the end of the day, It’s only a toy; or a piece of plastic” they argued, but at the end of the day – I felt that I was buying in to it.
But at the time – I wasn’t concerned about what people thought of me, because up until this point in my life – my heart and mind had been scarred with unbearable emotional pain. During the 4 years of psychiatric treatment, my therapist had once told me that I would get recover emotionally, but never be truly happy. But some years later, through revelation – I found God, and how wrong that therapist was. . . Hallelujah
So here I was – with this clean slate, a new life, and equipped with my ‘spirit filled’ bible. I was absolutely overwhelmed by what the Lord had to offer me, and felt this deep sensitive love in the presence of the Holy Spirit. I honestly couldn’t believe how fortunate I was-to have this gift that was above and beyond anything I could ever imagine. All the pain, and anger in m my heart was replaced with the Lords heart, – his love and grace.
Picking up again what I mentioned earlier; concerning ‘occult merchandise’. Yes – the Harry Potter pencil case may have been ‘just a piece of plastic, but it’s what lurks behind it that really matters. By purchasing our children merchandise that derives from a demonic source – such as Harry Potter, are we not giving in to the devils subtle seduction? I have witnessed many Christians cave in and give into their children’s whims for a piece of the latest popular culture craze. And I appreciate how difficult it is because some of us are afraid of putting them out of the ‘norms of society’. And also – sometimes, in this modern fast-paced society – we simply don’t have time for conflict.
Sadly – Harry potter has revived a worldwide infatuation with witchcraft and occultism, and is being taught, studied, and pushed in public schools, and bear in mind that ‘the word of God’ has gradually been watered down and pushed out of our schools.
Of course – The idea that the Harry Potter stories are indoctrinating their readers with the occult is highly controversial, and even some Christians, including Christian leaders can’t see any harm in them. I.e. some argue that the stories present strong moral Christian values, they may well do – I don’t know, but what I do know is that kids are far more likely to be entranced by the magic and sorcery of the books than pick up on any deep Christian message.
Here are some points of view from Harry Potter Christian and non-Christian readers:
- “Rowling doesn’t have an ulterior motive”
- “Let your kids read Harry Potter!! It’s NOT satanic. The magic is very matter-of-fact”
Yes – I agree with some extent with viewpoint 1. that The author of the books (Rowling) may not have an ulterior motive, but we know who does!, and yes – as quoted in viewpoint 2, the magic may be portrayed in a ‘very matter-of-fact’ way, but that’s how the devil works doesn’t he? – in a very subtle devious manner.
- “I found that after I had finished reading the book, I was more open to accepting occult ideas. I was desensitized a bit to the occult, having spent a few days vicariously involved in it. The result was that these dark ideas were simply on my mind and I was more “aware” of and accepting of the ideas of sorcery, casting spells, using potions, etc. And in a very small way, I noticed my interest in reading the Bible had diminished”.
- “Each book takes you deeper into the world of the occult until it is possible, for one who is not on their guard, to have their values and their understanding of what is ‘good’ or ‘bad ‘ changed on an unconscious level”.
Looking at viewpoint 1, it is interesting to note that the Christian reader felt that he was ‘being desensitized’ and more accepting of the occult and his interest in reading the Bible had diminished. And in viewpoint 2, the reader talks about’ having your guard down’ which springs to mind – Proverbs 25:28, ‘A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls’. I.e. if we don’t exert control over what we let in – then we leave ourselves wide open.
I must admit – that after a few years of knowing the Lord – there was a point where I had become a bit too smug as a Christian, I.e. I thought that I was safe from letting anything sinful penetrate my walls. How naïve I was though – because this brought me to a place of complacency, and this is when a Christian is more vulnerable and open to sin.
Many Christians get sucked in to the notion that accepting a film or book with demonic undertones will not have a negative effect on them as non-believers as they are covered by the blood of Christ. How far away they are from the truth? For instance – Let’s have a look at Romans 12:2:
‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect’.
When we allow ourselves to be seduced by a worldwide infatuation, i.e. such as Harry Potter – we are ‘conforming’ to the world. We are not allowing our minds to be renewed and transformed, but are inviting bad, unacceptable, and imperfect things to penetrate our thoughts.
We are called to be conformed to the ‘will of God’ – Harry Potter is not the ‘will of God’ because it is witchcraft and witchcraft is the devil’s work.
A little while ago – A Christian teenager brought a Harry potter film to my home to watch with my son. I gently explained that I didn’t want the film viewed in my house as it was based on witchcraft and against my Christian principles.
During my explanation regarding as to why witchcraft is from the devil, and how it can have a demonic influence over our lives – the teenager piped up and said ‘Yes, but the witchcraft in it is OK because Harry Potter uses it to overcome evil’.
How sly and cunning is the devil in conning these young minds into thinking that witchcraft is good? Satan – the master counterfeiter and disguiser, (2, Corinthians 11:13-15) -Is he not disguising himself as ‘The White Witch’ in Harry Potter.
Of course – there is no such thing as a White witch or good witch. Is it Biblical to accept the use of ‘good’ magical power.
I was very saddened to learn that this teenager and her family (from a Pentecostal denomination) were avid fans of Harry Potter and another demonic international phenomenal – Twilight.
If we – as mature Christians allow things that are not of God to entertain our minds – then how do we expect our children to resist them?
In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul refers to witchcraft as ‘A deed of the flesh’.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, 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.”
Paul is not merely speaking to non-Christians – but to the Churches of Galatia. The warning is directed at those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
As Christians – we should not take Paul’s warning lightly and allow ourselves or our children to be entertained by witchcraft – works of the flesh. . .
But have self-control and live in the Holy Spirit as Galatians 5 continues . . .
22: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23: ‘gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law’.
24: ‘Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires’.
25: ‘Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit’.
26: ‘Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other’.
Instead you should ask what can be done to get closer to Him. You should be asking what you need to shed from your worldly life and not what fleshly behaviours you can add to our existence and still squeak by as Christians.
As a Christian – I understand how difficult it is in not giving into the things of the world and standing firm on God’s word because of several reasons:
- We can easily slip into it without realising – we are fooled by what is considered to be society norms
- We allow ourselves to be seduced and tempted by the devil
- A Part of us takes risks and hopes the God won’t mind too much
All of us have fallen prey to all 3 reasons at some points in our walk with God. (and most likely will still do so!) In the earlier years as a Christian – I particularly struggled with reason 3, because I fooled myself into thinking that God would not mind too much if I succumbed to a few worldly pleasures, as an example – not switching off a TV program that I was enjoying with blasphemy and bad language in it.
The truth is – is that when we question God what we can get away with – we are asking in the flesh and not in the Spirit. Which means – we are really asking the question ‘how far from God can one can get and still be in good graces with Him?’
Well . . . to be honest – I eventually got really fed up with toying around with ‘what I could and could not get away with’ without it affecting my walk with God. And finally – for me – there was nothing worse than feeling out of sorts with the Lord and that is what convicted me.
If ever I feel myself being tugged into worldly seduction, I always remind myself of the wonderful English revised version of the scripture:
‘And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God’.
Fashions come and go . . but the word of god stands forever. Amen.