Harry Potter and the church (2002)
I love the Body of Christ.
That's where I find my forever brothers and sisters. It is my deepest, deepest, desire to see the family of God grow from children into sons and daughters of God. And finally perhaps to thrill as a number develop into nation changing men of God and women of God.
That's why it has hurt to see so much of the church's reaction to the Harry Potter phenomenon. To realise with a shock that despite the western world's wealth of Christian conferences, videos, books, Christian radio and the God channel, the core of the church remain spiritual 'children'.
Harry Potter is about witchcraft. Witchcraft is evil. God hates it. He warns us to stay well away from it.
That should settle it.
But sadly it has not.
Much of the church - leaders included - have been as thoroughly bewitched by the spiritual powers behind the Harry Potter phenomenon as the spiritually vulnerable public have been.
And a spiritual phenomenon it surely is.
Only the Bible still has more translations than Harry Potter, but the Bible has had a substantial head start.
One of J.K.Rowling's childhood friends (called Ian Potter) explained that as a little girl she had a 'dressing up box' containing witches outfits and that she always enjoyed playing witches and wizards, but it was in 1990, while on a train journey to Manchester, that she suddenly received, in one complete and instant 'download', the full revelation of the Harry Potter series. She said it all came at once in a great rush of excitement.
Children's books and films have always had sorcerers wizards witches and demonic beings but they have almost always been clearly portrayed as dark and dangerous.
As if by the wave of a magic wand that has dramatically changed.
The church, especially the leaders, should have been increasingly aware of what the 'spirit of the age' was about. Evil was being re-packaged in an attractive bewitching suit. Indeed it was hard to miss the way being well prepared by popular TV shows such as 'Sabrina the teenage witch' and 'Buffy the vampire slayer'.
With the release of the first books the Pagan Federation were forced to break their own rules and appoint a full time information officer to handle the number of enquiries from young people, especially young girls.
Since the release of the first Harry Potter film the tide of young people fascinated with the occult has swollen to enormous proportions. Witchcraft web sites are inundated with enquiries from young people. The interest in spells, witches, wizards and witches paraphernalia such as cloaks wands pointed hats etc is at epidemic level
In Toronto 12,000 people, mostly children , many dressed as witches, paid up to 200 dollars each just to hear J.K Rowlings read from her books.
Many internet sites that refer to Harry Potter lead directly to fully-fledged, official occult and Wicca Web sites.
In an interview J.K.Rowling said that no child had ever come up to her and said that because of her books they had got involved in witchcraft. She was undoubtedly picking her words carefully. Movieguide publisher Ted Baehr has said. "The leading witchcraft site on the Internet claims that an incredible number of children have come into the witchcraft movement because of the Harry Potter books and materials,"
The marketing feed-off predictably has produced material such as the children's book of spells.
The church, called to be salt and light seems to have lost its saltiness, and seems to have let the darkness in rather than shining God's Light upon it.
Many ministers, instead of warning the families they are responsible for, have gone public in honouring and admiring the Harry Potter works, thereby clearing the way for sheep to follow.
Even the Archbishop of Canterbury gave honour to the film in his final address to the nation saying that it was "great fun".
Unable to halt the tide sweeping into the church, even well known ministries - rather than attempting to stem it - have tried to draw some Christian truths from it in order to either minimise the potential damage or to maximise on the phenomenon. Potter fans speak of the 'redeeming love' expressed in the book which "is surely at the very heart of the gospel"
A booklet produced by 'Churches Together in Britain and
Ireland' states that the novels "ask people to look again at the
selfish material world and the presence within it of Christian values -
truth, love and, supremely, self-giving and sacrifice."
However the day after the booklet was launched I listened with increasing unease to an hour long radio talk show and phone in where the presenter and the majority of callers relentlessly mocked the church for trying to use the success of Harry Potter to 'sell its message' They joked about Christians now needing Harry Potter books to understand the Bible. To them this was was simply the final proof that Christianity was out of ideas.
A good friend was shocked when his daughter's schoolteacher announced that not only were they going to read the Harry Potter books in class, but also to act out each days studied scenario. The children were to draw or paint a scene from that day's reading while seated at a table named after one of the book's characters. (Such as 'slither') My friend asked the Headmaster if his child could be excused this portion of the day because his family were Christians and was most surprised to be informed that the teacher in question was not only a committed Christian but attended Bible School part time.
Here's the salt and here's the light.
Witchcraft (Wicca) and its associated sorcery is an abomination to God. There is no way you can dress it up, twist it or turn it so as to produce a single facet that God has, can, or will ever bless.
Jesus is the Light of the world and we are to be 'of the Light'. Witchcraft speaks of its relationship and dealings with 'spirits', 'elementals', 'Lords', 'gods and goddesses' and 'magick'. Witchcraft deals with the 'secret things' of darkness and the secret things of spiritual darkness are not for us to be fascinated with.
Not only are we commanded not to have a fascination / friendship / fellowship with the things of darkness, (buying the books, watching the films etc) but rather we are the ones God has entrusted with exposing them for what they are.
One Christian leader's wife took their children to the Harry Potter film dressed as witches. Others have used the books in Sunday schools. One Christian wrote a passionate, and anonymous, letter in a church magazine saying that we had no right to stifle our children's imaginations by prohibiting them reading the Harry Potter books.
God has different ideas about what we should stir the imagination of our children with..
When you have ministered liberty in Jesus' Name to those who have been involved in witchcraft and seen the demonic manifestations you realise that the demonic is always always attached to the world of witchcraft. There is no such a thing as spiritually neutral witchcraft.
Rebellion against God is as bad as it gets. God likens rebellion to the worst thing He can think of.
The worst woman in the Bible was undoubtedly Queen Jezebel. Why?
Possibly the worst king recorded in Israel's history was Manasseh. He became fascinated with the secret things of darkness.
As Israel moved further and further away from the clear commands of God they moved more and more towards witchcraft.
Witchcraft power has always been around. It is not new. It has always had a deadly fascination, even being linked to God by the spiritually vulnerable public.
The problem is that because witchcraft is all about the lust for 'having power' and seeking to always be in control, it can happen that even when converted, the soulish desire for 'spiritual power' can remain strong.
It is one of the works of the sinful flesh and is contrary to the works of the Spirit.
As well as being led by the Spirit (rather than the soul)- Romans 8:14 - the main evidence of the growth from infants babes and children into 'sons' within the Kingdom of God is recognising that light and darkness have no communion and separating ourselves from it completely.
Start hungering for maturity in Christ..
Have nothing to do with the fascination with witchcraft.
Guard your heart, your home and your fellowship.
Mystery Babylon is on the rise all around you.