Monday, July 30, 2007

Harry Potter and Christianity


One thing that I thought I would touch on is this new religion of Harry Potterism. I was at the Airport going to and from Seminary for some classes I have been taking and there were dozens of people carrying around the new Harry Potter book. Not only that, when they see each other many of them converse in a language that is foreign to me and the rest of the folks standing around. And finally they speak about the book, the author and the characters inside as if they were real. Well maybe the author is. :) Now I am all for people reading the latest book if that suits your fancy if that does not cause you to sin. However, some of these folks were self proclaiming Christians. That is a different story. These books that promote sorcery, witchcraft, disobedience, hatred to those in authority, disrespect, indifference, and many other despicable things. I think wisdom would say we as Christians should despise these things. It is important to be apart from the world on such things and not like the world. Worse really are the Christians that use Harry Potter as a "Bible Study" or to lure Non-Believers into their churches with "relevant" sermons that have Harry Potter Movie themes. Harry Potter, its author and the characters are not Christian nor do they represent any Christian values. This should make us think twice about how we allow that to influence our decision to watch or read the book.

1 Comment:

Tim P said...

Um,....have you actually READ the book? Any of them at all? J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote the "Lord of the Rings" series which has magic of all sorts in it was a devout Christian who indirectly taught Christian values through literature. Mind you, he also had a heavy Christian influence on C.S. Lewis' return to the Christian faith, which brought us The Chronicles of Narnia, which also has magic throughout it. I don't see you up in arms about those books.

You claimed that J.K. Rowling's books promoted "sorcery, witchcraft, disobedience, hatred to those in authority, disrespect, indifference, and many other despicable things." Yes, her books contain fictional spells that she made up using simple Latin words or phrases, "Expecto Patronum," for instance simply meaning, "I await my patron/protector." or, "defendo," meaning "to ward off; repel," or "lumos," from the Latin, "lumen," meaning, "light." However the mass majority of children recognize the series as fictional entertainment, and have no desire to become actual aurors (a term you'd know if you had read the books yourself) in real life.

Take a look at this website for an explanation of many of the Latin "spells," Rowling used (http://blogs.transparent.com/latin/ten-latin-spells-from-harry-potter/)

As for your accusation of promoting, "disobedience, hatred to those in authority, disrespect, indifference, and many other despicable things," well, you're obviously incredibly misinformed -- again, you clearly never took the time to read the books yourself before you started making accusations. The main characters are in fact pursuing the opposite. Sure, you could make an argument about them being disobedient, but I don't recall any character making a speech about why they should all stop listening to authority figures. They were kids being kids, --oh, and also trying to stop a dark wizard from returning to power. "Hatred to those in authority," are you serious? I'm not even going to dignify that with a response. Indifference? To what??? To whom??? Lastly, whatever, "dispicable things," you have in mind I'm sure you got from your limited knowledge of dark wizardry, which, in case you didn't know, was the entity of evil.

I read the Harry Potter series growing up while I was, and still am a humble, devout Methodist follower of Christ. People can most certainly use Harry Potter as a teaching tool for Bible studies(I have -- I'm a youth director) because just like J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling is also a Christian, and teaches Christian messages indirectly through her literature. Yes, you are right to despise actual witchcraft and sorcery, which was much more common during the middle ages (see "The Sorcerer's Tale: Faith & Fraud in Tudor England" by Alec Ryrie). However, to make such accusations towards Rowling and her books without having read them yourself is incredibly unwise and unseminarian-like.

Wisdom dictates grace first, understanding second, and loving guidance third. If you take the time to read the series or go watch the movies and still feel that way after having an open heart, not intentionally seeing only what you want to see, then feel free to advocate criticism, but choose your words more lovingly and carefully.

There is evil that exists, and is constantly attempting to rise to power. There is only one person who can stop him, but the prophesy states that "neither can live while the other survives." One has to die so that the other (and all others, really) can live. And out of pure love, a sacrifice is made for the sake of all others. But because of his sacrifice, he is raised, and evil is vanquished. Oh, you thought I was still talking about Harry Potter? Actually I was talking about Jesus. But yeah, Harry does that too: Love, Bravery, Friendship, Forgiveness & Sacrifice. That'll preach.

Best,
-tim