Harry Potter

Christa - posted on 03/20/2010 ( 125 moms have responded )

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So I was wondering, why do some Christians have a problem with Harry Potter?? I've heard of people who won't allow their kids to watch the movies or read the books and I am not sure why. I can understand children being too young, but why is it not ok for children in the age appropriate groups to enjoy these stories? I personally love them and think they are so creative and well written. I'm not trying to start a debate I'm just wondering why some Christians don't like them. :-)

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Carrie - posted on 03/21/2010

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Ok, ladies, I was not raised in a christian family. The only church I got was when the bus came around and got us. I know go to church every Sunday, if I am not working and every Wednesday for bible study. So, That being said here is my take on the whole magic thing. Our lives are filled with so much temptation, lies, and wickedness already, that makes it very hard to resist satan. By allowing our minds to open to this magic, sorcery, witchcraft, vampire stuff, it allows satan to start a thought process that "could" lead to wishing you had those powers etc. I know it sounds far fetched, but I can tell you when I watch those types of movies I tend to find my attitude will lean towards doing things that is not christian. Before I came to know God as my personal savior, I used to watch all that. Ghost Whisper, Ghost hunter, anything to do with the supernatural fasinated me. It still does, but I have noticed how it effects me in my personal life when I do watch it. This may not be the same for everyone, but for me this is how I feel. I dont even watch Narnia..... A good series to read is the Left Behind series. Great series and biblical insight. Sorry for the book. I can try to get you scripture if you like to back up what I have said.

Rebecca - posted on 03/27/2010

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You ladies have expressed several sincere points of view on either side of the debate, and I 'm happy to be able to share mine. I hope I don't repeat anything!

My first point is that as the Chronicles of Narnia were written by a Christian, there are several theological issues presented. Lewis said that Aslan is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, 'What might Christ become like, if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?' This is not an allegory at all. The incarnation of Christ in another world is mere supposal. This is fantasy, but it is purposeful- as is Harry Potter. The purpose of this series is to represent Christian values in an entertaining way, and to teach oral principles. Harry Potter was not written purposefully to do this, but to, in my opinion, counterfeit it. Narnia covers topics like temptation and sin, sacrifice and redemption, and gives an illustration of how these play out in our daily lives.

In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, failures of the occult side were demonstrated against the power of grace, love, and truth of God, though done through metaphor, where as the Potter books didn't demonstrate this.

The books do not condemn lying and deception, justifying the vices as a long as they meet the ends of the characters.

The resurrection theme is supposedly explored in J.K. Rowling's seventh installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” By the end of the book, Harry becomes the "Master of Death" and “resurrects” from the dead the spirits of his parents, his godfather, Sirius Black and his old teacher Remus Lupin. To me, this mocks the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

There is this crossover where the Wiccans know it, the occultists know, the practitioners of all these things know it, and they are using that curiosity that kids have for all of this stuff now through Harry Potter to attract readers to their real world how-to manuals. I think many parents just don’t get that. They don’t understand, This isn't just entertainment. It's a well devised, well-hidden, easily defend-able attack on our kids. It's easy to make parents out to seem like they're over the top, or over-protective, or weak in faith. That's why I reject HP in my home. I refuse to be a part of something that brings divisiveness. I refuse to bring things into my home that don't honor God, or that could cause the faith of another to be weakened. Witchcraft is not entertaining to me, its a sin. It's become an idol, something to be worshiped. Worshiping means extreme devotion or intense love or admiration of any kind. You cannot tell me that Harry Potter is not worshiped. You most certainly will find "christian" themes in HP, but I assure you that they are not innocent parallels. Our enemy is too clever for that, and we are too naive.

I don't condemn parents who choose to allow their kids to watch things that I don't allow for my daughter, but I do encourage them to look beneath the surface of everything. Educate yourself, and know the enemies plans. Most importantly, know God's will for his people.

Crystal - posted on 03/22/2010

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I don't necessarily think that seperating is the only issue here. God is clear in His Word that witchcraft is wrong, not bad witches are bad. ALL types of witchcraft and sorcery are wrong. It is not only in Deuteronomy 18:10-13, but it is also mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21. Why is it you consider what they do in the books and movies "fake"? Why do you consider it harmless(just out of curiousity)? If my child befriended an actual wiccan at scholl, I hope that I would encourage him to lift that child up in prayer and to respect their belief. Respecting others beliefs and loving your neighbor as yourself, does not mean I feed things that I know God finds detestable to them. It means I teach my children to be wise in what they watch and read and not to compromise our own belief in striving for a holy life.

Suzy - posted on 03/29/2010

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I think we must take a very careful look at what our children read. When they start reading about magic (especially dark magic) it becomes part of their thoughts. Soon they don't seem to see a problem with this type of magic. That is when the devil can start to insinuate those little thoughts into their hearts...what if I could to that? what's wrong with doing that? Those little thoughts can eventually lead them to witchcraft (which Harry Potter is loaded with). I've seen far too many youngsters start to experiment with witchcraft and the occult due to Harry Potter books. Witchcraft is very real, very dangerous, and is far too easily available. What seems to be a simple little book on spells can lead them into very real danger (not just to their bodies, but to their spiritual safety.) There is a book called "Harry Potter and the Bible" that discusses the books from a Biblical standpoint. It's by Richard Abanes and you can probably find it at www.christianpublications.com. Please read it before you let your children read any more Harry Potter stories or any others like them. Our kids minds are sponges, soaking up anything they read, watch or hear. We need to make sure they get the best moral input they can while we still have influence on what they do.

[deleted account]

Because it glorifies witches!! Harry Potter & the other characters are witches. & not "bad" witches, good witches. We don't want our children thinking it's ok to be a witch. It's never ok. Whether they know it's real or not, the movies/books still portray witches/sorcerers as good.



Deuteronomy 18:10-13

1 Samuel 15:23

Galatians 5:19-21

Revelation 21:8

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Angela - posted on 01/04/2013

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I'm still not sure of what is in Harry Potter that has never been in children's fiction before?

We've just had Christmas and The Wizard of Oz was on TV again. That's a tale with "good magic", "bad magic" and the triumph of good over evil. You'll find a similar formula in most traditional children's fairy tales. Sleeping Beauty for example! Do we now boycott all the age-old stories children have loved for generations?

Even CS Lewis's Narnia Chronicles (said to be an allegory of Christian values) has in it "good magic" and "bad magic".

I have never read Harry Potter (although I have all the electronic versions of the books stored on my computer for the day I have nothing else left to read on my Kindle!!) - I'm not certain that it would appeal to me, to be honest. But this isn't because it's perceived to be sinful or anything - just that it's not to my taste.

Are we all such weaklings that we can never read a book, a fiction book, simply for entertainment's sake? That's all reading fiction is about anyway. Are we so feeble and impressionable that if we read a fiction story that features magic and spells amongst its action & narrative then we'll be naive enough to believe in it and try it out for ourselves?

If this is the case then maybe we'd be better off keeping away from Harry Potter - and from other works of fiction as well!

Evelyn - posted on 01/03/2013

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I have read all that I can read of these posts as 123 and something are too many.

What I have read irritates me.

1)Harry Potter is entertainment only. Parents need to teach their kids what is fake and real. NONE OF THE SPELLS are real and made up. Twilight~~Vampire stories most certainly geared to older teens and adults. It is fantasy.

2)Movies~~They are not real either. If a parent teaches their kids what is what there should be no problem. But do keep in mind the ratings of said movies as you may not want the kids to see certain things.

3)We used to live in times where people were accused of being witches because they could cure things with herbal remedies because a doctor was not around, because someone in the village or town did not like them, because someone got looked at the wrong way and it was the "evil eye". I thought we had gotten past all that.

4)My son, I am proud to say is reading things he enjoys! He reads Halo books, Star Wars books, and he has read the classics. By the way, Huckleberry Finn is being banned because of the "racial" content. THe content in the book is there because that is the way people thought and lived in that time frame. It was written before or during the Civil War.

If you forbid your kids reading them it is your choice. But they will figure out how to sneak it to be able to read it. If you have raised your kids with values and morals, then they can make the right choices you want them to make. I think its a control issue.

Shelley-Ann - posted on 08/17/2012

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I just came across this thread and started reading. Very interesting discussion. I just wanted to say that it has brought some clarification for me and I'm thankful for the thoughts shared. A couple years ago I got an idea to write a fictional saga and I've been struggling with the concepts of magic and fantasy as it applies to Christianity and my personal walk. Reading through these posts has helped me settle my anxiety.

Angela - posted on 08/17/2012

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Ha ha Anna Del C Dye!! This isn't about Harry Potter to you, is it? It's an opportunity to promote your own literary works! LOL!!

God loves a trier - as the saying goes!

I will even check out your website because I love your opportunism and your audacity!

Anna Del C - posted on 08/16/2012

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There is a wrong thought that they content magic and witches and such are the devil's tools. It is weird to think that fantasy or something that came from our mind can be twisted to become something hated.
I am a Christian and I play with my grandsons Harry Potter and we used branches for wand and cry spell from the book. We laugh and fall and have a great time. Only my 8 year old have seen the movies, but he read all the books. His younger brother 7, just verily started the books. They all love to play with me. Some will said that is from the devil. I don't see it like that. They are beautiful stories in their own way and JKW has a great imagination, so do I.
Anna del C. Dye
for clean tales of Elfs & Romance
http://www.annadelc.com

Carla - posted on 08/15/2012

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Angela is correct that we do not always agree on certain topics. I thank you for your genteel reply to us and echo Angela's sentiments that you are welcome to read or comment as long as we are respectful to each other.

Thanks again!

Angela - posted on 08/15/2012

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Jane, you're welcome to comment on any of our threads - I go to several other Forums within Circle of Moms.

In my opinion, it's fine to state your case since you do so respectfully.

We're Christian believers but that doesn't make us so blinkered that we think any non-Christian is talking garbage! There is much variety and wisdom to be derived from an eclectic group of contributors.

This particular thread discusses Harry Potter books & movies and if they're appropriate for Christian children/teenagers/adults to enjoy. Many Christians feel they're harmful. I personally don't. Even amongst ourselves we're not necessarily going to be in agreement!

Don't feel you must depart from this community!

Jane - posted on 08/14/2012

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Carla and Angela

I did not even know I was in the 'Christian Mom's' community until I just checked as it is not one I go into - this post merely came up as I was on a similar post in Debating Moms. As you say I am an atheist and as much as I have read the bible and various other texts (most atheists come to the decision there is no god after studying a number of different religions, etc.) I do not understand how anyone can read texts written by men thousands of years ago and still believe them to be true today. However, I would never deliberately want to disrespect anyone's beliefs as one of our human rights is to believe (or not) in anything we wish to.

I therefore bow out of this thread as it would not be the proper place for a theological debate on a community set up for Christians. I would hate you to think I was an atheist 'trolling' christian communities! I had believed I was still in Debating Moms! I apologise for unintentionally thread-crashing! :)

Carla - posted on 08/14/2012

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Jane, after going to your profile and reading you are an active atheist, I now understand your post.

Without an understanding of God's plan for His people, I can see why you question some of the statements in the Bible. Once you get a grasp of the concepts, God's love of us shows through. It may sound foreign and even wrong. God has placed the accountability of the family with the husband. This is to keep the husband very involved in the day-to-day workings of the home. Unfortunately, men have abdicated their role and become lazy. I pray the Holy Spirit speak to Christian men and give them understanding to make his family a Godly one.

Have a good day!

Angela - posted on 08/13/2012

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Hi again Jane! The quote you give is actually about women being subject to their own husbands, not to every other man on the planet. We know that because Adam and Eve are mentioned (a couple). So it's entirely OK for a woman to be the boss over men in the workplace if this is her role there. And of course, an unmarried woman doesn't have to be subject to ANY man simply because she's female.

Now being subject to one's husband pretty much depends on the structure of one's own marriage and the agreement between the couple. I am not subject to my husband, he would never expect me to be. We have a pretty democratic marriage and decide on things together. If I earned more money at my job than he does at his, he wouldn't have a problem with this. He doesn't think it's bad for me to go out to work - but at the same time he says I don't have to work if I'd rather not. We hire a cleaner to do our housework, and he irons his own laundry. He does all the cooking - or nearly all of it. Just lately I expressed concern that I didn't want to always go on holiday to the same place and I was quite firm about it. He has conceded and we've booked somewhere different for later this year. He doesn't mind anyway as long as he gets to have a nice holiday with me! Occasionally HE is the one to make a decision that might override what I want but to be honest, most of the time we agree.

Each couple will do what is right for them in their own marriages. If both partners are happy with the man being the dominant partner, well good luck to them! It's their choice! I think this thing about men ruling over their wives comes from the traditional arrangement where men were also expected to carry all the family responsibility and provide for all the family's needs.

I get rather sickened by men who abuse their position and make unreasonable demands on their wives and curtail their freedom.

I appreciate that as a couple in our early 50's we don't face the same issues as younger couples with dependent children. Younger women are more vulnerable and if they have children but no independent income they are pretty much at the mercy of a "dominant" male - no wonder abusive men don't want their wives to have paid work! Money is a great controlling factor in an unequal relationship. And this goes for Christian men and non-Christian men alike.

Jane - posted on 08/13/2012

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Angela
There are many misogynistic quotes from the bible. The one I referred to is:

"Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (I Timothy 2:11-14)

And I note that you personally never said that reading fiction was wrong - my comment was aimed at those who have an irrational abhorence of fiction that deals with magic. Magic is good and I have nothing against Cinderella or Snow White or Rupunzel, etc. - I read them all to my son when he was little. He grew and his interests matured and so HP was far more appropriate to his age and I must admit I found them quite entertaining to read as well! My son also has them on audio tape and still listens to them at night - but then if he's feeling poorly or upset, he'll get out his old Paddington Bear audio books too (both read by the wonderful Mr Stephen Fry).

Angela - posted on 08/13/2012

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Jane, I'm not sure whereabouts in the Bible it says that no woman should put herself above a man? Can you enlighten me?

My previous post already states why I don't have an issue with Harry Potter book (incidentally, I haven't read any of them anyway!). Fiction is fiction, whatever it is about. I'm sure there's nothing in Harry Potter that hasn't already been published in other stories. Do we stop our children enjoying traditional fairy tales (which always feature good magic and bad magic)? Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Snow White immediately spring to mind! A preacher at my old church a few years ago preached a sermon on Snow White, drawing parallels between Snow White & Jesus and between the Evil Stepmother and Satan!

If we want our children to grow up into rounded individuals who can discern what is good and what is bad in life, make informed choices and generally get on - then an important part of that is to foster a love of reading from an early age.

I meet a lot of young people, bogged down in lives of misery, deprivation, unemployment and crime. Without exception, they have poor standards of literacy. Or at the very least, they would never DREAM of reading for pleasure. To them, reading was something you HAD to do at school. They might well buy a newspaper to read the headlines, check their horoscope and the TV listings - and maybe check the race meetings scheduled that day with gambling in mind. They've never joined a public library, and if their TV goes faulty, it's a tragedy! Whatever can they do with their spare time at home? The interesting thing is these people are not lacking in intelligence, but they've had an upbringing/family background lacking in stimulation!

I'd far rather allow my children to read Harry Potter (or whatever children's literature took their fancy) than allow them to be semi-literate.

Jane - posted on 08/11/2012

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Okay, just came across this post and realise I'm late to the party as it were, but I have to say I'm astonished that in this day and age people are still being so picky about which bits of the bible they adhere to - and the fact that they would have no problems with their child reading all the gory, blood-thirsty stories therein. The bible also says that no woman should put herself above a man - so all those female business people who run successful companies are all condemned to 'hell' obviously! It also says that if a man rapes a woman they should marry them, and a man can have many wives, and women should be stoned for the smallest of errors! And do you still sell your daughters for goats? Ridiculous!

These books are fiction - fantasy, harmless fun which engages children's imagination and encourages them to read.

Also, as has been pointed out - the bible was written by MAN. If a man claimed to hear messages from god as to how people should live their life these days they would not be held up as a prophet - they would be Sectioned and put into a mental institution.

Times have moved on - it's time some people did to.

These stories were written for children, to grow with children. What people don't seem to realise was that the first one was aimed at age 8-15 and as the books came out each year, so the material grew in it's maturity along with the characters and the initial readers. Yes, the later books get darker, but it was expected that the reader would by that time be old enough to handle the material.

Saying that magic and scorcery is 'satan's work' is just ridiculous. These books were the work of a very clever woman - J K Rowling - but naturally, that shouldn't be allowed as women aren't worth anything according to the bible!

Hannah - posted on 04/11/2012

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Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.



Galatians 5:19-21 The acts of the flesh 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.



In Galatians it does say that "those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Which could be taken,"As long as I don't practice these things") but then in Philippians it says not to even think of anything that isn't pure, which are all the the things named in Galatians 5:19-21, including witchcraft.

I don't have the time to look up more verses but Gods Word does say that we are to be very careful what we put into our mind. It also says we are to have the mind of Christ, and Harry Potter doesn't exactly advocate the mind of Christ.

I am not saying I don't enjoy a good fiction movie about evil things! I am flesh and blood. I love the Twilight Saga and it is no better. But I know I shouldn't watch it. I am working on it slowly. I have cut out all R rated movies and am slowly working on the PG-13's because they are as bad as the R's!! It is hard to let go, especially when you enjoy something so much. But you have to keep in mind, "Is this something Christ would have me spending my time on? Is this something he approve of? Fictional witchcraft and sorcery?"

I understand where you are coming from, it isn't real. But it is almost making light of the words of God, right? There is another place in the Bible that says to avoid all things with the appearance of evil. So, anything that even remotely appears to be evil should be avoided! And I would say Harry Potter has the appearance of evil.

Just pray about it! Read Gods Word and listen to the Holy Spirit. I hope this helps :)

America3437 - posted on 04/09/2012

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Okay to start...God didn't write the bible! Man did! The Bible is simply a book man wrote under the direction of God. King James actually rewrote his version to suite christianity.

I have wondered the same thing about Harry Potter. What is so awful in the books? I have read far worse in books my kids check out from the school library. If you want to get all tech about it God created witches and wizzards too. I am sad that Harry and the gang are forever gone and still hold out hope for there t be another book! Now it is time for me to hop on my broom and fly off to work in the Muggle world...lol

Katie - posted on 04/09/2012

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Yea, Harry Potter is terrible compared to the loving messages of rape, incest, and murder in the bible..that MAN wrote.

Angela - posted on 01/19/2012

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I'm going to give the same comment here as I've given on other Chat Forums discussing "Christian" books that some Christians are opposed to. Basically a novel is a novel - it's a work of fiction written to entertain the reader. Regardless of whether it's written from a Christian or a non-Christian/secular viewpoint - it's a made-up story!



Asking whether God would read it isn't a realistic way of judging a book. God is almighty, all-seeing and all powerful. God doesn't need to amuse or entertain Himself reading fiction, just like God doesn't need to eat food, drink water, attend the doctor's surgery, brush His teeth (does He have teeth??), breathe oxygen, live in a building, get married, do sport, take a shower, worship in a Church, keep fit, take medication, have sex, wear clothing appropriate to the weather, tell (or listen to) jokes etc ... These are all human needs or wants!



Most of the world can't even read and write. Let's be grateful that we and our own children can. And the best, most fundamental way for any child to advance with his/her education is to read books. That includes fiction!



Steer children away from books that you may feel are harmful by all means.



But let's not have this angle presented of "What would God do?" It's not a logical argument in my opinion!

Proud - posted on 01/18/2012

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My child will not be allowed to read these book or watch these movies.



To me we have to ask ourselves is this something God would look at, read, watch...etc



These books have the appearance of evil and the Bible says that is something to avoid.

Bianca - posted on 08/10/2011

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I don't expect non-Christians to understand or share the same view, so no judgement at all :) Although it seems harmless and 'fun' for kids, it is still dealing with spells and witchcraft which, in essence, no matter how innocently wrapped or presented, is demonic power. I have seen people personally delivered from demons and I don't think its good for kids to be exposed to things of a dark nature that even though, are made for entertainment, still have very dark roots and definitely have an impact on a kids spirit even if parents don't think so.

Lisa - posted on 08/10/2011

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Christa, we originally shared your point of view. Our son read all the books except for the last one. He ended up getting overly fascinated with magic and dark topics. I knew to be cautious with Harry Potter. We also have friends that don't allow the books in their house. I thought they were perfect to get my son into reading, but they ultimately ended up becoming problematic - especially in a Christian home.

My son started to distance himself from the other family members. He wanted to research sorcery and magic wands. He made his own magic wand and tried the spells in the books. He started wanting to dress in black and look like Harry Potter.

We ended up having to remove the books from the house altogether. It became a negative atmosphere and we needed to do more than put the books on a bookshelf. We ended up donating them & having a good friend (also a retired pastor) to come and pray for our family, for protection, for the house and for each one of us individually. It was a scarey time for our family. All it took was a spark to get my son's interest in sorcery, but it created a huge fire that we had to call backup to help get under control.

All this happened about a year ago & things are finally back to status quo. We just avoid those types of books, movies and television shows. It's amazing what Satan will use to try and get at Christians. Our family was on the brink of falling apart. I'm glad we got it all out of the house.

Sounds harmless at first, but it's like a gateway to things that are not harmless. I hope this helps you gain some insight into why some Christian parents don't allow their children to read the Harry Potter books.

Alisha - posted on 08/05/2011

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Some Christian's don't like it because it shows that those people are like mini-gods, making things happen for themselves, relying on themselves to change things. It is in total contradiction to God and what He wants for His children's lives, for us to fully trust Him that He will take care of us. The Bible also warns against magic and sorcery saying they are evil things and to stay away from them. I do like Harry Potter and how creative it is but I would not encourage my daughter to read the books or watch the movies.

Julie - posted on 07/18/2011

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I wouldn't let my daughter read LOTR until she was at least mid teens for that very reason. And I haven't been happy with her being shown the Wizard of Oz by others.

Cinderalla and Sleeping beauty are a bit "iffy" but at least fairies can be explained as being like angels although a misrepresented version of them.

Carla - posted on 07/18/2011

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We got a bit off-topic here, Christa, which I apologize for. The question was if you would allow your children to watch/read Harry Potter.

Some topics seem to be 'hot' buttons, and this seems to be one of them. We are not here to debate, there are tons of debating communities out there. I personally have given my opinion, and it stands. I hope you got the answers you needed, sweetheart, and your mind is at lease.

God bless, all

Carla - posted on 07/18/2011

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We got a bit off-topic here, Christa, which I apologize for. The question was if you would allow your children to watch/read Harry Potter.

Some topics seem to be 'hot' buttons, and this seems to be one of them. We are not here to debate, there are tons of debating communities out there. I personally have given my opinion, and it stands. I hope you got the answers you needed, sweetheart, and your mind is at lease.

God bless, all

Sandra - posted on 07/18/2011

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(I tried to post this earlier but my computer froze. Gah.)

Julie, you write "The difference between fantasy like Narnia and Harry potter is that in the Narnia books, witchcraft is made out to be bad, but in Harry Potter it is made out to be both good and bad (with the person in control of it making it good or bad) - and that is the danger."

With this standard, LOTR is also dangerous. (Gandalf is essentially a wizard. The Elves have spiritual powers and enchanted objects.) Also included in the dangerous list would be tales such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and The Wizard of Oz, all of which include helpful fairies.

Angela - posted on 07/18/2011

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QUOTE: "When do you know teenagers are lying? Because their lips are moving!"

BRILLIANT!! I just love that Carla!!

With kids and their diaries/journals, you can't read one that's kept in code and even if it's not written in code, you have to know that:

a) it exists and
b) where to get hold of it

Since diaries are essentially supposed to be private and secret (from ANYONE, not just parents) a resourceful child will first ensure that parents etc ... are unaware of the diary's existence. This may even involve having a "decoy" diary containing nonsense or meaningless stuff! Also there are online diaries, protected by strong passwords - kids are generally more computer-savvy than their parents.

So I stand by my comments on not reading the diaries of children & teenagers.

As regards my son's fondness for codes and ciphers - maybe this is my "fault"? I DID buy him a book you could send away for from the back of the Kellogg's Frosties packet all about codes and ciphers - as presented by Tony the Tiger. It was a book aimed at children and I'm sure most Christian parents would unreservedly approve of it but I think that's where his fascination with codes started. By the time he was about 9, having discussed his "interest" with his best friend, they approached a school teacher. This teacher showed them a code he used himself of strange symbols. My son and his young friend learned it off by heart, practised and practised until they could write anything they wanted quite fluently in code. And the "key" to the code was destroyed a good while before he started keeping the diary.

I was glad to take my son's example when I had a problem with a manager at work over a year ago. I have a work diary (a large, A4 one) in which I write my shifts and notes on the tasks I have to do etc... These entries are in ordinary, plain English and there's nothing shameful, secret or private about them. I leave the diary lying around all over the place and anyone could pick it up & read it. I'm a secretary/administrator by trade but this is not the field I'm employed in now.

No-one else at my workplace can write Pitman shorthand. Every time this manager said or did anything that I felt was bullying me or anything she did that was not recommended best practice in our line of work, it got recorded in my diary IN SHORTHAND!! She was also keeping a diary/notebook on me and my colleagues, but she carried it around with her everywhere!! In the end, I got my deliverance, she just walked out of the job. So my diary entries weren't needed anyway, but it was very therapeutic to make them. Some of our supervisors later admitted to me that she'd confided she was plotting to get rid of me.

I've gone a bit off-topic here - apologies to all the fans AND opponents of Harry Potter!

I will stand by what I said though about checking books. I DO trust the Public Library and the School Library. Kids and teenagers often leave their books in their desk at school anyway. I HAVE looked at books they've received as gifts or if they've bought books from charity sales - I love a book bargain myself so I would be very interested in what they bought.

They can read contemporary magazines aimed at teenagers and young people, the content of which you may not necessarily agree with. They do not have to buy these magazines themselves, they can look at a friend's copy during break time or lunch hour at school - you'd never know! A shrewd child isn't going to court parental disapproval by being open about everything.

SInce trust can be so fragile, why breach it?

Carla - posted on 07/17/2011

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Yes, I checked my childrens' reading materials, and yes, IF they would have kept diaries, you'd better believe I'd be reading them, too! It is our responsibility to keep them safe, and that means more than just watching to make sure they don't run in the road or run with scissors. Judge Judy has a cute saying, and I believe it's appropriate: When do you know teenagers are lying? Because their lips are moving! lol She didn't take as gospel what her children told her, and I didn't, either. I had been a teenager once, too.

We are in the End Times. Satan's attacks are becoming more and more, well, evil, and we, as parents, need to be ever more vigilant for their welfare. Satan can appear as an angel of light and deceive. Teaching our children that ANY magic/sorcery/witchcraft can be good is setting Satan up to be able to trouble their souls. Again, as I have said before, I would rather God say to me 'man, you went a little overboard', then to hear Him say 'you were so close, but missed it'. Just my humble opinion, though.

God bless, all

Carla - posted on 07/17/2011

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Yes, I checked my childrens' reading materials, and yes, IF they would have kept diaries, you'd better believe I'd be reading them, too! It is our responsibility to keep them safe, and that means more than just watching to make sure they don't run in the road or run with scissors. Judge Judy has a cute saying, and I believe it's appropriate: When do you know teenagers are lying? Because their lips are moving! lol She didn't take as gospel what her children told her, and I didn't, either. I had been a teenager once, too.



We are in the End Times. Satan's attacks are becoming more and more, well, evil, and we, as parents, need to be ever more vigilant for their welfare. Satan can appear as an angel of light and deceive. Teaching our children that ANY magic/sorcery/witchcraft can be good is setting Satan up to be able to trouble their souls. Again, as I have said before, I would rather God say to me 'man, you went a little overboard', than to hear Him say 'you were so close, but missed it'. Just my humble opinion, though.



God bless, all

Julie - posted on 07/17/2011

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I'm a single parent studying and working, admittedly I only have one kid but she has aspergers and ADHD and so keeps me very busy, but so far no trouble with keeping up with her reading, probably easier because I can speed read. I've had to give up reading for pleasure for myself, but I figure I can go back to that when she's older.

I'm lucky with the journal thing - my daughter loves showing off her journal entries to anyone who will listen. If I was concerned, I'd read a child's journal - that's because I know too many children who have been abused and not shared it with anyone.

Angela - posted on 07/17/2011

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Four kids, all bookworms, 2 jobs, a large home to run and part-time college as well - plus I was a single parent when they were growing up ..... NO! I darned well DIDN'T check their reading material! Took me all my time to read my own stuff for college, never mind reading for pleasure/entertainment! I trusted the school library and the public library. Read their books if something grabbed my interest - by that I mean something that I wanted to read for myself.

My oldest boy liked writing as well, as did a few of his friends. I didn't read everything he & they wrote (would YOU read your child's diary?) and anyway, they developed their own secret code - he was only 9 when he started with the codes & ciphers.

All my kids went to University & have good jobs. I know the value of education and it is helped along by fostering a love for reading. Youngest child is 22, oldest is 31.

Julie - posted on 07/17/2011

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Yes I have a good scan of everything my daughter reads, might not read the whole thing, but enough to thoroughly check it's suitability. Doesn't every christian parent?

Angela - posted on 07/17/2011

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I'm not sure how any of us can realistically curtail the reading choices of our children, our partners or indeed anyone.

School libraries stock Harry Potter novels. Public libraries stock them. In the part of England where I come from, any child aged 14 or over can borrow books from the adult library, although Harry Potter will be in the children's section anyway.

Harry Potter books are NOT the only books for either adults OR children that have a theme of sorcery/witchcraft/magic. They might well be the most well known, however!

Would you stop your children watching an old, classic movie like the Wizard of Oz? Or the book the movie is based on (by L.Frank Baum)? After all, that's about a wizard too!

Are you reading (or even just scanning through) every single book your child brings into the home? Especially if you have more than one child .....? If you are, then when do you have time to go to work, or do your housework etc??

I was so keen for my own children to progress and understand adult issues (as well as develop a more mature reading taste) that I made a point with each of them as they approached their 14th birthdays, to say "Hey, you're nearly 14 - make sure you join the adult library, you're old enough to now!! Mature teenagers generally display fewer adolescent behavioural problems and also fare better in the world of employment and further education. Any kid with a good level of literacy, plus spoken & written English makes a good impression with other adults and is less likely to be targeted by other kids who are unscrupulous and dishonest.

Of course, the benefits of the Children's Library mustn't be overlooked. In our area, no matter what your age, any overdue Children's books don't have a fine charged on them for late return!

Carla - posted on 07/17/2011

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Julie L--I LOVE sci-fi--certain ones. Star Trek I've watched since Captain James T Kirk first came on (showing my age here ;)), and all the sequels/spin-offs, Stargate SG1, Atlantis, etc. I loved the Narnia movies, they have such a strong Godly slant. The ones doing magic were bad, the ones fighting evil were good. I find a wizard doing good somewhat of an oxymoron. Wizards are of Satan, therefore, as Jesus said, 'Can Satan cast out Satan?' I find sci-fi LESS violent and there is usually NO sex on the ones I watch. Even as an adult, I guard my eyes so I don't end up garbage in-garbage out.



Your comments on we have to choose what we let our children watch/read is right on. We will stand before God and give an account of what we allowed our children to see. That, to me, is a scary thing, and I want to be able to hear 'well done, thou good and faithful servant'!



God bless, all

Julie - posted on 07/16/2011

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I saw the beginning of a harry potter film tonight for the first time. I must admit, I was shocked at how bad it was. Not in terms of what it's about (wizardry), but I thought it was boring and silly. I watched it as long as I had spare time, but it felt like pulling teeth.

But in reply to some other comments that have been made - first of all fantasy and science fiction are NOT the same thing. First of all, fantasy is a genre, science fiction is more akin to a setting. You can have sci fi westerns, you can period sci fi, sci fi war movies, sci fi romance, sci fi drama, sci fi comedy, etc.

When it comes to science fiction, it is the complete opposite of magic/wizadry/witchcraft. Sci fi is based on the premise that technology can explain things that seem magical. Magic and in particular, wizardry on the other hand is about magic that is supernatural and can't be explained by the natural universe.

Ultimately there can be christian sci fi, there can be sci fi that is anti christian (as sadly as lot of it is) and there can be spiritually neutral sci fi.

Quite frankly, I would NOT let a child read most of the science fiction books I have read. Ignoring the fact that many contain "adult" content like sex, violence, drugs and other adult concepts, the reality is, many of them contain concepts that I would not expose a child to until they are old enough to be strong enough in their christian faith not to be corrupted.

eg most of the sci fi books I grew up on shoved the theory of evolution down readers throats and pretended that it was both a "proven fact" and that "all" scientists believe it, when neither is true (it cannot be proven as it's not falsifiable for starters and is as much a religion as christianity is) and many scientists do not believe in the most commonly held theory of evolution, and a significant number do not believe in the theory of evolution at all.

For me, as a child, by the time I was my daughter's age, I was far advanced in my knowledge of science, and far advanced in my knowledge of the bible and in particular how the bible and science interact. I was smart enough and educated enough to know that evolution is a sad joke that is about as scientific as believing the earth is flat.

But my daughter on the other hand is only average in science and due to her aspergers is very susceptible to believing everything she reads without integrating it with what she already knows.

If she read sci fi books, she'd quickly come to think the antichristian theories posited were "fact", same as if she read books like harry potter, she'd become fascinated by wizardry and want to get into it.

While I read heaps of sci fi growing up, I didn't read much fantasy (other than a few authors who wrote series that in the end turned into sci fi rather than fantasy - ie any seemingly "magical" elements proved just to be advanced technology/advanced genetic engineering).

The difference between fantasy like Narnia and Harry potter is that in the Narnia books, witchcraft is made out to be bad, but in Harry Potter it is made out to be both good and bad (with the person in control of it making it good or bad) - and that is the danger.

It's like letting kids read books about someone who does drugs or get drunk - if you let them read books where there are benefits from getting smashed off your face, some of them will think it's ok and copy it - but if they read books that show characters who suffer because of either their own use or others, kids will learn it's bad. The third option is just to pretend alcohol and drugs don't exist and not let kids read anything about it.

Cutting out all mention of things that could lead our kids astray is dangerous - because kids will learn about it somewhere - but letting kids read about bad things like witchcraft in a positive light is even more dangerous.

I'm not against adults and older kids who truly understand their faith reading Harry Potter books (if you can stand such drivel) but until kids are strong in their faith, it's not something worth risking.

Doing what my aunt did (and throwing away her daughter's heretical books like the DaVinci Code) isn't the answer for older children - because eventually children will be old enough you can't stop them BUT it is our duty to do two things:

1. protect them from heretical books until they are old enough to understand the concepts in them and strong enough in their faith not to be swayed.

and 2. lead them in their faith and teach them so that when do become old enough, they are not swayed by wrong things they read.

I personally love sci fi, and so does my daughter. I grew up on Star Wars and Star Trek, and now I watch the new Star Wars with my daughter along with several other sci fi shows. BUT I always watch them and stop any that bring up inappropriate issues - whether it be sex, drugs, magic etc - the problem isn't the setting of sci fi, the problem is the same in ANY tv show or book - inappropriate topics and we as parents have to be on the look out to make sure children are not exposed to things that portray anything sinful in a positive light until our children are old enough to genuinely know these things are wrong.

Angela - posted on 07/15/2011

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I saw one Harry Potter movie and wasn't especially impressed to be honest, not because of any of the "Christian" reasons given by people on this thread. However, I've heard that the books are excellent and I've been told this by a number of children and adults alike. My husband and I have the full set of Harry Potter books in pdf available to read on our Kindle e-book readers - I just haven't got around to it yet!

I HAVE read the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, books that were written with a Christian message. I can recognise the Christian message when I've re-read these books as an adult but when I first read them as an 11 year old, I had no idea. They were just great stories.

I don't think Harry Potter has influenced children's belief in or fascination with magic, every child fantasises about being able to do magic. Many adults do as well. How I'd love to wave a real magic wand and become slimmer, healthier, make my house instantly clean and tidy, have my boss appreciate me more etc ....!

What Harry Potter HAS done though is influence a generation of children and parents about boarding school education for children. Did you know this?

Sandra - posted on 07/15/2011

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I wonder the same thing, Christa. It's unfortunate that some intend to determine what is acceptable in others hearts and homes rather than allowing individuals to come to their own decision (and conviction) without fear of contempt from fellow believers.
An APU professor of literature offers some great insight on the benefits of at least being familiar with what's happening in popular culture, but moreover to see how such work can open audiences up to concepts of good and evil. (I quote this professor here if you're interested: http://bit.ly/pxf3CL.)
Though I'm an HP fan, I don't try to persuade people to read or watch HP if they're uncomfortable with it. I just don't accept the claim that I'm a bad Christian and parent by allowing it in my home.

Christa - posted on 04/30/2010

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Margo, yes there is magic in Harry Potter, but it's about so much more. The magic is more of a prop a way to set the fantasy land, the story could be told without it, though it would probably not be as creative and entertaining. It's about good vs evil, I don't see why people don't like this but are ok with other fairy tails etc that use magic in the plots. Most of the disney classics have magic in them and there's never been as big of an uproar towards them. That's why I don't understand the "hate" towards Harry Potter.

Margo - posted on 04/30/2010

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Christa

I was under the impression that the series of Harry Potter is a impression of witch craft. If you think it is ok to glorify this practice, it is up to you. I asked my children not to let others influence them in what they should and shouldn't like.

Heather - posted on 04/29/2010

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Personally, I think it's lazy parenting. If you take time to talk with your kids about reality vs. fiction, they are not going to get confused. I never heard someone say they turned Wiccan because the thought they could start flying around on brooms and such. I have a real problem with saying that CS Lewis' Narnia series or the Lord of the Rings books/movies are somehow different because the authors happen to be Christian. What difference does that make to a child watching it? Magic is magic. The stories are creative and engaging, and should be an opportunity for entertainment AND learning!

Brittiny - posted on 04/29/2010

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Christa, I'm with you... I recommend the book by John Granger titled "Finding God in Harry Potter," it was fascinating - written by a father who was originally a full-fledged Harry Hater...until he ACTUALLY READ THE BOOKS. This book was a good backup to all of my arguements with my husband regarding Harry Potter, because it repeated several of the conclusions that I had drawn myself through reading the books.

So many moms that have posted are against Harry, and I think that it is sad. To each their own, but if you don't actually read it, you wont understand. I am excited to start to read the entire series with my daughter, who is 7, and I look forward to the discussions that the books will encourage. The Harry Potter series is not so unlike the Chronicles of Narnia series in so many of its examples of mankinds everyday battle of Good vs. Evil. The books are not a 'how to' manual on performing magic. They are, however, a story of one boy's journey to ultimately defeat evil, through love and self-sacrifice. I fully believe that the series is a great teaching tool, with a huge amount of entertainment thrown in.

Bianca - posted on 04/05/2010

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I am one of the Christians who do not agree with parents allowing kids to watch Harry Potter. As parents, with our kids being bombarded by all sort of rubbish, daily, why allow them to be filled with even more rubbish (witchcraft and spells and magic) when there are so many other things they can watch? Not to mention us being a part of supporting sales and distribution of witchcraft content. After the Harry Potter series started, children's interest in spells and witchcraft has increased immensely! ( I read some stats the other day). What Christian would want to be a part of that, let alone allowing their kids to watch it - that's what I don't understand...

Jessica - posted on 03/31/2010

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Can anyone from the 1950's and futher on back say they never read a fantsy or sifi book before? To me its the the same thing as reading Huckleberry Finn and lets face it that boy got into trouble.

Aileen - posted on 03/31/2010

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Wonderful, someone that thinks like I do. This could open a door for a good discussion with one's children about God and His ways.

Iysha - posted on 03/29/2010

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Your guess is as good as mine...I love Harry Potter movies....not so much the Lord of the Rings (couldn't get into it) and Narnia was a good movie but the books were better =]

Kirstin - posted on 03/29/2010

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We do not watch or read any of that magical stuff - no matter whom they where written from. There are so many books that teach good things, and I think the bible tells it clear to avoid anything that is inspired by satan.

Many books teach about friendship, love,..... without using that magic and fantasy stuff.

And I can not teach my child what is right and than allow him to watch those things.

That is just my point of view

Tania - posted on 03/28/2010

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The early HP books were originally written for readers aged 10 and over. The content of the later books, I believe, are intended for an even older readership. Children under that age do struggle to understand fact from fiction and there are elements of the books that can cause confusion in that area. Given that I am against school libraries loaning out HP books to under 10s - yes, it happens. Whether or not a child is permitted to read HP books or watch HP movies is up to the people who know them best...the parents.

Angela, I like what you say about teachable moments. There are a lot of them in the HP series besides witchcraft is bad. The books explore all sorts of relationships for starters. Then there is the part where Harry uses a spell he doesn't know with disastrous results, a perfect lesson in don't get into something you don't understand or haven't thought through.

For those who haven't read the books, perhaps I should tell you what I like about them. The character development is among the best I have seen; seeing the author grow in her writing skill is great; the books make me think about relationship dynamics, what difference would a few Christians and some of God's unconditional love have made in the lives of the various characters; my imagination loves thinking up alternative plots and endings. The plots can drag on a bit in the first half of each book but, once the pace picks up, I don't want to put the book down until I've finished.

Having said all that, I think it boils down to HOW we make our decisions rather than WHAT decision we make. We have not been given a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind. If each of us bears that in mind, we will, with God's guidance, make the choices that are best for the precious gifts God has given us - our children.

Christa - posted on 03/28/2010

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Shana, I love how you took a story of a mistake I made when I was young to discern that I have some interest in magic. I'm sad to see judgment is alive and well in your heart. Let thee without sin cast the first stone.

Julie - posted on 03/28/2010

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One more thought I had is we have to be careful with our children to be even all around - there is no point in stopping them from watching things involving the occult, if we then allow them to watch things with violence, sex and other adult themes.

I have never forgotten the seeming hypocrisy in my mother's censorship of my viewing (and my slightly younger brother's viewing). From a very young age, we were allowed to watch graphic violence (my mother liked war movies) but anything that implied sex (no actual sex - that is a different issue), was banned. And even more strictly banned was anything that mentioned other religions, especially eastern or incan/mayan religions.

I mean this went on til I was 19 and moved out of home.

I have heard the argument that violence is a little different from sex because sex scenes show real nudity but violence is only simulated, but I don't think either are appropriate for young children, but for older children, talk of sex (without showing it) isn't so bad - as long as parents are there with their children to talk about what is inappropriate and the consequences of such behaviour.

And as for other religions (including the occult)... I think it is important not to hide their existence from children - they need to know of their existence as a safeguard against their influence.

I won't be letting my daughter read Harry Potter until she is at least 15 and is secure enough in her beliefs to make her own decisions. But I won't be denying it's existence either.

Rather than a blanket censor on all things evil, we need to educate our children about what is evil so it can be avoided.

I have recently heard the story from a friend of a child who fell pregnant because even though she knew sex outside of marriage was wrong, she had never had it explained what "sex" was and didn't know it was even what she had had until it was too late.

The same applies to things like Harry Potter - we need to educate ourselves to what our children are exposed to, so we can educate them - be it sex, violence, occult other religions or other stuff.

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