THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY
Rom 12:21 “Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good.”
· Overcome (3258 Strongs) = to subdue, prevail, get the victory.
· Movie theatres worldwide/bookstores full of Harry Potter.
· USA Consumer Report – more than ˝ all children in USA between 6-17 have read one of the books.
· Currently 116 million books in 200 countries.
· JK Rowling plans 7 books in all – one for each year Harry at school.
· Spin offs everywhere:
· Example – Merchandise – dolls, games, sweets, Coca-cola.
· Example – Collectors cards games based on film. Made by Wizards of Coast – also Pokemon/Dungeons & Dragons.
· Major publishers have produced study books/discussion guide so teachers can lead students through “origins and mysteries of Harry’s world”. References Ţ Real Occult books/Websites.
· A Wiccan High Priestess, President Covenant Goddess’s in interview with ABC News – Great, positive, witches are friendly good, book might change how people feel about us.
· Popular does not mean acceptable: How should Christian respond?
· Relativism – humanist philosophy – can’t decide right or wrong.
· Christian’s divided over issue: (a) Fantasy literature (b) Real world of occult.
· 2 Tim 3:16 “All scripture … instruction in righteousness.”
Prov 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go.”
· Train (2596 Strongs) = narrow, restrict, dedicate.
· Parents responsible to shape childs direction in life Ţ protect evil influence.
· 1 Thess 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
(i) Are beliefs/teachings contrary to the Bible?
(ii) Are values promoted contrary to good character?
(iii) Is there supernatural force evident – source not God?
(iv) Are there occult, witchcraft, psychic, satanic, New Age, vampire, symbols, values, practices?
(v) Is immorality, sensuality displayed and promoted?
(vi) Does it incite fear, violence, evil?
(vii) Does it have obscene language?
· Practices in Harry Potter – Sorcerers Stone
* Magic – art of producing effects by supernatural means or spirit power.
* Divination - commonly mentioned and practised.
- Talking mirror
- Talking hat
* Sorcery – including mixing of potions.
* Necromancy – communicating with spirits of dead.
* Witchcraft – controlling people, events with supernatural power.
* Levitation – raising objects by supernatural power.
* Transportation – broomstick.
* Objects with supernatural power.
* Solid objects changing.
* Demonic creatures.
* Supernatural destiny.
* Communicate with serpents.
· Deut 18:9-12 – Bible declares God’s view of practising occult practices. Phil 4:8; Lev 19:31.
· Bible clearly opposes witchcraft and occult practices.
· Note: Reading book is not the same as involvement in practice.
(i) Concealment of the source of supernatural power
· Magic/witchcraft in the book is fantasy.
· Source of power never revealed – do the correct spells – power released.
· Satan never gives free ride – demands price for accessing his power.
(ii) Misrepresentation of occult realm – Occult = hidden
· Witches and wizards are not portrayed realistically – supernatural without God is dangerous.
· Portrayed positive, friendly, helpful – real world is powerful/evil.
· cf Acts 13:8-10 – children of the devil.
(iii) Fantasy – identification with a character who is a wizard
· Fantasy/imagination important part of a persons development.
· Fantasy in Harry Potter – spirit world nearby.
· Most books the witch/wizard is evil person – main character a victim.
· This book hero is wizard – people asked to identify.
(iv) World value system is not Christian
· Reading the book arouses curiosity Ţ experimentation.
· Children’s view becomes confused – fantasy/reality.
· Children are desensitised to evil and reality of the evil of the supernatural.
· Non wizards (muggles) portrayed as boring, spiteful, abusive.
· The family that befriends Harry – good, helpful.
· Wrongly portrays good and evil as two sides of same coin – 1 John 1:5; John 8:44.
· Avoid Harry Potter – “That kid is up to no good!”
· Eph 5:12 - Nothing to do (reactive). Expose them (proactive).
(i) Refrain from judgemental attitude to people of different view
(ii) Use opportunity to discuss with children – teach what Bible says
· Note: Teach children not to look down on those with different opinion.
· Look out for other material eg, computer/video games/TV.
(iii) Make use of curiosity factor – people open – direct to truth
· Share what you have found about Jesus – know when to stop.
· Learn to listen, 1 Cor 9:22 “all things to all men.”
· Probe people with questions – point to supernatural realm God.
· Share concerns about witchcraft.
· Talk to teacher/principal.
· Withdraw child if needed.