Harry Potter

Christa - posted on 03/20/2010 ( 127 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.

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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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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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

Shana - posted on 03/27/2010

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Oh so now Christa we see where the interest in the magic began. I'm sorry to say that!
My parents also told me not to play with ouija, and i obeyed. A friend snuck behind her parents back and got one ...when her parents found out they burned it and it screamed while it burned. You have testamony here of someone who has been in witchcraft and you completely over look it.
I guess some should have told the hebrew children it was ok to check out pegan customes, someone should have told moses, abraham, lot, daniel, shadrach meachach and abendigo ..that it was no biggie to just go along with the flow. Life would have been much easier for them! But then they didn't and they didn't need their mommies and daddies beside them while they were confronted with the choices they needed to make because they were so feebly shelterered having not been exposed. The Hebrw parents didn't take them into egypt and babalon to witness human sacrifice or sexual orgies in the pegan temples to convince them it should not be done. They had been instructed since the were babes to stay far from the things pegans did ..to not even be entertained by them ..lest the be enticed! There are MANY examples in the bible of Kings of Israel that allowed just a little "entertainment in " and the price the whole nation paid for that choice.
I pray for each and everyone of you that God would open your eyes, that your ears would not be tickled. The he put a hedge of protection over your childerens eyes and ears and i pray you pray the same too.
I have said this many times and each are free to chose their own path i have not once called anyone a lesser mother or christian for their choice..we will ALL including myself be accountable for the choices we make ..let me err on the side of caution. My children will live just fine without Harry potter and similar material.
My last say. God bless all

Christa - posted on 03/27/2010

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Tania you bring up a great point "We have no control over what they are exposed to when playing or sleeping over at a friends house."

I was actually talking about all this with my mom today and she reminded me of a time when I was probably 10-12 and I went to a friends house. A good friend, a catholic friend's house and I played with the Ouija board. I did it because at that time in my life my parents censored everything from me and I didn't know what exactly I was playing with. I thought we were having "fun channeling spirits". Fortuately, I innocently mentioned it to her and she immediately let me know why this wasn't ok. Imagine what might have happened if I hadn't mentioned it, I might have done it again and who knows maybe moved on to darker things. The point is because I was so sheltered I wasn't able to recognize this evil when it was right in front of me. I want to raise my kids knowing stuff is out there, I think allowing them to watch HP with me where we can discuss things is better then them watching it at a sleep over and having a friend (who may or may not have the right answers) answer questions. It's sort of that saying "the devil you know is better then the devil you don't know".

Tania - posted on 03/27/2010

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I have read and enjoyed all the Harry Potter books and watched all the movies. I think Much of the problem stems from parents not guiding their young readers to understand, discuss and most of all THINK about what the are reading or watching. I have raised my daughter to discuss what she is reading and watching. Through this I am also able to discuss choices, consequences and the Christian faith with her. She is twelve now and already has the maturity to take appropriate actions when she is confronted by something of a questionable nature. She loves fantasy stories but also has a strong grip of the difference between fantasy and reality. We won't always be there to protect our children. They will be confronted by the world and the occult and earlier in their young lives than a lot of us realise or would want. We have no control over what they are exposed to when playing or sleeping over at a friends house. We have little say over what they are exposed to at school, in the shops, in the street. So what do we do, lock them away from the world 'for their protection', live in fear of what might happen, or teach them to think for themselves and make wholesome, God-guided choices. While we worry about the influence Harry Potter MIGHT have on our children our eyes are diverted from what is REALLY happening in the lives of our children. Maybe it is we, the adults who have forgotten the difference between fantasy and reality. That said, I did resist allowing my daughter to watch the movies or read the books. When I did 'give in' she watched the first movie and decided she wasn't really interested and that it's 'mum's thing'.

Carrie - posted on 03/27/2010

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Yes per God's word; Galations 5 :19-21, you really should not allow your children/yourself to watch pretty much most programs that are on tv today. Of course we all know that there was only one perfect person ever and that was Jesus. So, if you have any doubt about what you should or should not watch/read, you really should pray and let God give you that answer. We are not here to condem, just give an opinion or our interpretation of what God is saying to us.

Sheri - posted on 03/27/2010

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I love Harry Potter!!! yes it's about sorcery and magic but it's about imagination too. It's about good vs. evil, it's about doing the right thing opposed to doing the bad thing. Harry Potter also touches on things in the bible, for instance when Fawks the Phoenix turns into ash and is reborn again...that symolizes us from Ash we are born and to Ash we return. When Harry slips his sock into Tom Riddles book and gives it to Lucius Malfoy and he gives it to Doby and sets him free (without knowing it). I don't see anything wrong with these movies.

Kathleen - posted on 03/27/2010

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@Carrie Owens

Narnia is very much like a retelling of the crucifixion, but Lewis said that he didn't set out with that intent. He says he writes his stories because he gets pictures of scenes in his head. It made sense to him that his stories would be modeled after the greatest story ever told. Your description is accurate as far as it goes, but it is so much more than a war movie. Hollywood really did not follow the original book as accurately as they could, but they at least got this much: Edward, the younger brother, betrays his family (rather like Judas). He should have been punished for his sin. However, Aslan is sacrificed instead (like Jesus on the cross), so that Edward is allowed to live. He was also humiliated before being killed, with his main shaved (crown of thorns) and tied up (nailed to the cross). The creatures surrounding him mock him, calling him a great cat (mockery of the King of the Jews). Once he was dead, there seemed to be no hope for those left to fight the war. However, the girls Lucy and Susan stayed and found that he came back to life (the women finding the tomb empty and then meeting Him). He then returns to destroy the witch in a very real victory over sin and death. I'm sure there are ways the other stories in the series could be tied in as well.

[deleted account]

I think some feel it is "evil" or satanic in content. They may lump it into a catagory or label it not having read the books themselves. I heard from another Christian Mom (schoolteacher) that the author was actually pretty thoughtful in what she used for words for spells. I think some of them were latin words for things that were insignificant and harmless. I think it's a matter of perspective. Most stories in one way or another are trying to tell something about Christ-even if they're not trying to. People are always trying to work out the void inside. We're always "looking" for someone to save us from something or make the world better or make everything ok again. The stories have heroes who fill those capacities but what do you suppose we're REALLY looking for? Why Christ of course. He's the only one who can fill that void. I think the Harry Potter stories are creative too. I've read through the 4th book, started the 5th but took a break for awhile. I think the books are better than the movies -I like the details better. But they're ok. I think if someone is grounded in the Word, this shouldn't be an issue. I'd say-go enjoy them!

Julie - posted on 03/27/2010

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To be honest, I'm not sure why people have a problem with the chronicles of narnia - there is a witch and witchcraft mentioned, but these are portrayed as evil.

The problem isn't exposing children to the idea of withcraft, the REAL problem is exposing children to the idea that witchcraft is anything but evil.

That is what is wrong with Harry Potter... it tricks children into thinking magic and witchcraft can be good.

It might be safe for older children who knows this, to watch Harry Potter - I guess that is up to the parent to discern if their child is a strong enough Christian to handle it.

Someone made the comment about how it's better to read Twilight than books on sex. What books about sex do teenagers read anyway? I've never seen any that are specifically about the topic, but I can remember starting reading Tom Clancy books when I was not much older than my daughter (she's 8) and it contains sex "scenes". The thing is though, I was strong enough in my faith to skip over them and know that what they do is wrong.

I think the real issue isn't about a general blanket ban on everything, but rather censoring what our children until they are old enough to understand individual concepts.

We can't protect them forever - they will eventually grow up to be adults who make their own choices. And looking back at the things my parents tried to censor my brother and I from watching, I can see that some censorship is just outright silly sometimes.

But it does come down to what is best for an individual child. My mum didn't allow me to watch home and away til I moved out of home ( at 19!). I wouldn't let my 8 year old daughter watch it now, but I will when she is older as long as we watch it together with an explanation on why some behaviours are wrong and the consequences... eg that promiscuous is what leads to unwanted pregancies and STIs, using drugs gets people in trouble both personally and with the law,

I doubt though I'd let her watch Harry Potter until at least 15 years of age, because I don't see the redeeming qualities some people talk about. Sure there are a few themes of friendship and good vs evil,but the whole thing just crams witchcraft down your throat and I don't see a few small good themes worth the risk of kids thinking there is something worth it with withcraft.

Julia - posted on 03/26/2010

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I have a few family members that do not allow their children to watch, read or otherwise anything to do with Harry Potter (or Twilight, etc.) because the Bible talks against witchcraft and sorcery. I on the other hand, am a fan. Just because you like to read about it doesn't mean you are practicing the witchcraft or sorcery.

Bettye - posted on 03/26/2010

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Keeping those things in your home invites the demon spirits in. If you don't want to end up with demons in your home you should keep allllllllllll that stuff out. Read in the Book of Acts how they burned things like that.

Bettye - posted on 03/26/2010

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Haven't read other peoples reply but from what I've heard it's all connected with witchcraft. God didn't allow witches to live in Bible days.

Shannon - posted on 03/26/2010

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I think that you have to know your children. You can go to far with anything......food, TV, drinking, ect ect. I think that it's ok as long as you teach your children between make believe and reality. If you think HP is wrong, then Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, any of Grimes fairy tales are all wrong. If you notice your children are going deeper than what they should into fairy tales, then you need to intervene as a parent. Otherwise, let them be kids and use their imaginations =)

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