MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. (BP)–Parents and even pastors who have found the Harry Potter books harmless rely on the fact that these books are fantasy and therefore conclude the witchcraft presented in the books should be ignored.
The Harry Potter books revolve around the adventures of a character so named. Harry is a child wizard who goes to school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to learn how to better access and use the power of witchcraft. The child reader follows Harry while he learns of spells, curses, divination, reincarnation, potions, communing with spirits of the dead and even demon possession — all practices God has condemned.
With this content, obviously proponents of these books need a “fantasy defense.”
However, is a book’s content really acceptable because it is fantasy? To be consistent with this notion, anything J.K. Rowling, the author, writes in the remaining three books of the Harry Potter series is going to be acceptable, other fantasy witchcraft books are acceptable and in fact even pornographic fantasy books would be acceptable. Do we really want our children to consider all fantasy books harmless? If fantasy is not dangerous, why have we banned Joe Camel or assigned ratings to movies, or why are we concerned about video games or TV shows?
Some argue that because Rowling uses whimsical language as she presents the various elements of witchcraft this makes these books harmless. The incantations Rowling has written are whimsical but the principles of witchcraft are accurately presented. There are many variations of witchcraft practiced today. However, all witchcraft has certain basic principles in common. These principles are accurately presented in the Harry Potter books.
One such principle is that a person can change people, things, themselves and know the future by accessing the force or power of witchcraft. As witches have rejected the God of the Bible, this means they rely on the evil power resident in this world, although they say the power is from within or from nature. In describing the first Harry Potter movie, Warner Brothers claims that the movie accurately depicts witchcraft (Orlando Sentinel, July 10, 2001). The movie is a direct reflection of the first Harry Potter book.
Have those who gain comfort in this “fantasy/whimsical defense” not realized that our children are surrounded by witchcraft propaganda? There is more witchcraft material easily available to our children via the Internet than at any time in history. There are hundreds of websites eager to educate our children about the non-whimsical versions of witchcraft. Some teaching aids used in many public schools directly or indirectly take children to these witchcraft websites.
Also the proponents of these books list classic books that have characters as witches as a defense. They must assume that these books they quote trump Scripture. However, they miss the point in another way. There are no examples in literature in which the child reads about other children learning the specifics of witchcraft. When a child sees the image of Harry Potter on a can of Coca-Cola or one of the other countless products, the child sees a child character, a hero who has almost universal acceptance, who practices witchcraft. How is a child to determine that the power that Harry uses is dangerous, evil and perverted?
God has declared the very practices presented in Harry Potter an abomination (see Deuteronomy 18). When individuals use the power of witchcraft, they are using demonic power and opening themselves up to demons. Unfortunately many Christians appear to believe that God’s warnings about witchcraft are worthless, as they have concluded that witchcraft is just a bad use of imagination and nothing else.
Most children and teens do not fear experimenting with witchcraft today. They are surrounded by witchcraft material. They know other children or teens who are experimenting with various witchcraft practices. This is a critical victory for Satan and has put our children in great danger. The pagans are convinced that Christians are ignorant and too passive to protect their children. They also believe we can be easily intimidated by those who accuse us of being a bunch of foolish religious zealots.
Will the legacy of our ministries be that on our watch we allowed the neo-pagans to indoctrinate our children? To find out how you can educate your people about the Harry Potter books, go to www.therealpotter.com. At this website, you will learn how to use a very effective video on this subject both for your church and in your community.
McGee is author of “The Search for Significance” and associate pastor for discipleship at First Baptist Church, Merritt Island, Fla. He and Caryl Matrisciana are featured on a new Jeremiah Films video, “Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged – Making Evil Look Innocent.”