Is Harry Potter good or evil?
That question may sound silly to some readers, but there are many Christians who believe it’s wrong to watch movies like Harry Potter (some very close to me whom I love dearly feel this way). I know because I’ve seen every HP movie in the theater, and have had this discussion with more than one Christian after they heard I was a fan.
Some Christians believe it’s wrong because Harry and his friends make witchcraft look like fun, and guess what – I understand their point of view.
Witchcraft is a serious sin as the Bible points out – check it out:
19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21 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.
Those who “live like this” – that is, those who practice witchcraft as part of their ongoing, unchanging lifestyle “will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Wow! Sounds like Harry Potter could be dangerous if it causes someone to want to practice witchcraft, but is it?
Patrick Mead made a post on Tentpegs today that I’d like to share with you … he writes:
… this is a timely question that came in recently via Facebook.
I saw on your Facebook page that you and your wife went to see the latest Harry Potter movie. How could you??? The Bible is very plain in condemning witchcraft. How can you support this evil with your money???
I’ve heard things like this many times since the first draft of Harry Potter was written on the back of napkins over lukewarm cups of tea. Why did I see the movie — and all the others? Because I’ve seen evil, and Harry Potter isn’t evil. It is a fantasy. I am just barely old enough to remember preachers condemning Rex Harrison and “Doctor Dolittle” for talking to animals (and, yes, there was even a Cincinnati preacher who railed against Mr. Ed for the same thing… and claimed that playing the song backwards revealed Satanic messages). I’ve read the articles written against C.S. Lewis for engaging in fantasy, calling him a supporter of witchcraft. Tolkien fought against the same charges.
Some people have a very hard time differentiating between fantasy and fun on the one hand and evil and darkness on the other. In the Bible, the witchcraft being condemned involved ritual murder, the killing of children, bloodletting, serial adultery, etc. I’ve met with witches (self styled), coven leaders, Satanists, people who were convinced they were Warlocks… and found them almost without exception to be sad, lonely people. They are the precursors to the lonely man/woman playing computer games where they are a twentieth level mage… while in real life they work at the Quiklube.
Then I have met others — sorcerers and necromancers and pagans of a different ilk. They were evil. You could see it in their eyes, hear it in their words, and watch them as they spread darkness wherever they could. I have seen photos and films made of butchered men, women, and children; pregnant women whose wombs were ripped open and their babies killed for the amusement of this or that army that stomped its way through their village, raping and burning all the while. THAT is evil.
Harry Potter — and thousands of other like minded books, plays, and movies — are allegories. They are stories of light versus darkness where light is treasured, heroism is lauded, and courage, honor, and loyalty are elevated highly. The characters are told to do the right thing, regardless of personal cost. TRUE darkness mocks the light and encourages people to follow the Satanic slogan of “Do whatever you want to do” (that is translated from their faux olde English styling).
You find witchcraft everywhere nowadays, but it is disguised as comedy, music, and drama. Watch carefully and you see that everyone’s problems are solved by self love, self esteem, etc. and by applying either sex or violence to the situation. Self sacrifice, humility, and grace are never in sight. Light is covered up in darkness. Witchcraft no longer uses brooms and the devil no longer cares about cauldrons and potions. Darkness has moved into the cultural center and calls itself light.
And if Christians can’t see that but, rather, spend their time fighting about Madeline L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, or Harry Potter… if they can’t tell the difference between metaphor, symbol, and reality… then we are in real trouble.
As Patrick points out, I don’t believe enjoying fantasy movies like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or the Chronicles of Narnia is the same as practicing real witchcraft.
But could Harry Potter and movies like it still be dangerous? I mean, the Harry Potter stories do glorify witchcraft by practicing it in the books and movies, don’t they? Could the books and movies cause a younger person (or even an older person) to become interested in looking into real witchcraft?
Of course they could.
But could watching the latest season of American Idol or America’s Got Talent influence someone to become obsessed with fame?
Could watching Jack Bauer handle business in 24 influence someone to commit an act of violence?
Could watching Judge Judy influence someone to act like a condescending jerk to everyone they come into contact with?
Yes, yes, and yes – the potential for evil is there in all of those things.
Here’s my feeling: almost any television show or movie a person watches has the potential to influence them for evil. I believe it’s up to individuals to decide how they’ll allow themselves to be influenced, and I believe it’s up to parents to do a good job teaching and explaining things to their kids (like the dangers of real witchcraft, and how Harry Potter is just a story that someone made up).
That’s how I feel, and I’m going to stop right there and ask you these questions:
Do you think Harry Potter be should be completely avoided by Christian families? Why or why not?
If you do believe it’s ok for kids to read the books or watch the movies, do you believe any precautions should be taken (i.e. should you talk to your children about real witchcraft before allowing them to read the books or watch the movies)?
What do you think? I’m interested in hearing from you.
Now, for no particular reason, here’s a picture of Harry Potter smoking a cigarette:
My entire family thoroughly enjoys Harry Potter. The books AND the movies. We have had this same discussion amongst ourselves and I appreciate and agree with the way my dad puts it: “When we go to a movie or read a book, we are putting our own world aside and entering an entirely different world – a world of fiction. Reality is different. If the author or screenwriter that creates their world without a god or God, then we should accept THAT world without it. I’m not saying we should lay aside our Christian values and beliefs, simply that we should view a FICTITIOUS world the way it was created.”
In Harry’s world, witches and wizards are just another kind of human being. The only thing that makes witchcraft evil in that world are those who choose to use it for evil. Also, my sister did some research on the 6th and latest movie and told me these two things. I admit I have not done my own research and have not verified it for myself, but I believe what my sister told me, so I’ll just throw these two things out there for your consideration. The Vatican supposedly blessed the 6th movie for its clear representation of the fight of good against evil – the side of good uniting in faith and hope and standing against an enemy who seems so much stronger. Also, many law schools are using the 7th HP book as required reading because it teaches valuable lessons in ethics.
In short – do I believe Harry Potter is evil? Absolutely not.
I’m not a Harry Potter fan, but my wife is…and I don’t mind. I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy much more, but that is just a personal preference.
Like Patrick Mead, I have worked with witches, too. One was malicious. The other was kind but misguided. Witchcraft is a sin against God in either case, but one is more obvious than the other.
As for teaching children, I believe in teaching my son about the dangers of witchcraft while allowing him to have some exposure to it in the media. Last Christmas, we bought a Scooby Doo cartoon video for him–I have forgotten the title. In the movie, the writers and director tried to tell kids that Wiccans were merely misunderstood people who drank herbal tea. I explained to my son that the people who made the movie were trying to deceive him and other children. Wicca is a false religion, despite what the people who made the movie were trying to teach. It was important that I watched it with him, because most Scooby Doo stories are innocent detective stories, but this one had a bad message. So I would advise parents to watch questionable movies with their children, ask them questions, and answer their questions.
Thank you for this discussion. I saw my first Harry Potter movie with my Grandson this past week and am all mixed up….he said it was because I hadn’t read any of the books (not because I am blond)…..not sure I am going to read them yet.
Keep up the good blogs….
Ben and Terry – I agree with both of you.
Ben – I especially like your dad’s point of view.
Judy – it’s worth renting the other movies and getting caught up, however I’ve heard the books are much better.
Here’s a comment from Bruce Logue via Facebook:
Wes, evil is far more sinister and abundant than Harry Potter. It shows up at work. It is present in the churchman that gossips about a fellow disciple. It sits at the elbow of the man who can get enough porn. Critics of HP need to realize that evil looks far more common and accepted than a book of fiction. It looks more like a friend. Making HP the enemy is disarming and gives the true evil a smoke screen to operate in our lives.
Here’s a comment from Charlotte Sohm via Facebook:
Wes, I started reading the books because I was going to have to talk to my students (4th graders, at the time) about why I *didn’t* read them. In doing so, I became a huge fan of JK Rowling’s writing. The HP books are some of my favorites in my book collection.
Do I think that these books should be avoided by Christian families? No, I don’t… Read More. I LOVE that Harry and his pals try their hardest to constantly and consistantly battle evil. Just as we shoud on a daily basis. Do they make poor choices ocassionally? Of course, but so does every human I’ve ever met – including myself. But the theme of love conquering all and good triumphing over evil is more Christian to me than some fiction works that are trumpeted as “Christian fiction.” The selflessness and devotion to doing what’s right above all else strikes me as something we should instill in all our Christian families. (Next question answered after the jump.)
Our oldest is 4. There is some material in the books that I don’t think he would understand yet, is too gory/scary, and or, is just not appropriate for a child his age. I do have to admit that I don’t like the swearing (bad language) in these books. I think I would object to this over the “witchcraft” that is preformed in these books. These … Read Morebooks are fantasy, and I would make sure that our kids know the difference between fantasy and reality before I read them the books. Even people who would call themselves true witches or warlocks would tell you that what the students do in these books is NOT true magic – it’s made-up, it’s fantasy.
As I mentioned before, our oldest is 4 years old, so these books are mature for him. A good friend of mine is letting her daughters read these as they get to the same age Harry is in the book. (For example, Harry is 11 in the first book, her daughter got to read the first book when she turned 11, but has to wait until she turns 12 to read the 2nd… Read More book, and so on.) I do think that, once a child gets to about 15 or 16 (maybe 14?), they’ll be exposed to so many other outside things, that it might be okay for them to “read ahead.” But, I like the idea of waiting until my kids are 11 to start reading the books.
Watching the movies is a little different, as the swearing content is down and the scary scenes are downplayed. My children haven’t seen them yet. I think I’d like them to read the books before they saw the movies, but I suppose that’s to be determined as they get older.
Finally, I’d like to say a huge AMEN to Bruce, who was so eloquent with what he had to say about what evil truly is and didn’t have to monologue like me. Wonderfully said, Bruce!
Here’s a comment from Janet Laudett via Facebook:
Here’s my thought Wes–what about all the Fairy Tales we grew up on of witches, etc??? Has anyone ever complained about them? (Maybe they have; I’ve just never heard it.) To me Harry Potter is a story, showing the value of courage and sacrifice; and the consequences of evil. Just like any story, for younger kids, you probably do need to make sure they understand it’s just a story, it’s not real, and help them learn the lessons to be gleaned from it. Just my thoughts! 🙂
Why bring Judge Judy (the $9,000,000 woman) into this forum? Watching her perform raises your sensitivity to patience, insight and proper judgment!
lol … yah I knew you’d like that.
Great post. I am in agreement.
[…] read a great post called Christians Enjoying Harry Potter – Good Idea, Bad Idea? His position is well summed up […]
Cool – thanks for the linkage amodernlevite 🙂
I am a Christian and I enjoy all the Harry Potter movies a lot The Lord of The Rings trilogy is my favorite 3 movies though . I feel reading or watching the Harry potter books/movies or anything like it is fine as long as you do try to get into anything to do with real magic or a real or fake religion that practices real or fake magic. watching or reading the Harry Potter movies or anything like it should be read or watched for entertainment purposes only so teach your children it is fiction and that real magic or sorcery is a terrable sin in the eyes of God if your child learns that from an early age then your child will be much less likely to dabble in the real occult.
I am a Christian, and I happen to love the Harry Potter series. I don’t find much wrong with them (although, like a previous poster or two, I don’t like the swearing). My mother, when she found out about how Harry and his friends are “witches” and “wizards”, banned the books from our house. I told her that I don’t pay attention to the magic. I like them, in part, because I can relate to the three friends (Harry, Hermione, and Ron). I love their sense of friendship and loyalty.
I am just really confused. I don’t want to make Jesus mad at me, but I don’t really believe that I’d go to Hell because I read a series of books. My pastor says that he thinks there isn’t anything wrong with the books, as long as “children know the difference between good and evil, and they don’t let the bad triumph over the good. And as long as children don’t pick up sticks and try to do spells.” Granted, my pastor is not God, so it’s not like he has the final say in things. What about other fiction? Like the books by C.S. Lewis? It seems like the same thing to me. There is no question that these books tell us that good is better than evil.
Alyssa – I am also a pastor, and I would agree with yours has said.
Unfortunately, my current pastor has condemned the Harry Potter series, saying that they cause young girls to get their parents to take them to occult bookstores. He even said that the series leads young girls into Satanism….at that, I left the sermon for a brief restroom break, so as not to interrupt, and tell him exactly what I thought. As an adult who feels much the way both of you do, I am becoming really annoyed that my pastor shows such hatred and contempt for something he knows nothing about. I am more than willing to guess that he has never read a harry potter book, or watched a harry potter movie. While I like the people in my small church, I am feeling tempted to leave, due to the pastor’s anti harry potter rants, and, of late, boring, dry sermons, which require no less than 2 cups of coffee to stay awake for. As an adult Christian, I am trying to figure out the most mature way in which to handle this. Thank you
Thank you so much for this! I grew up on the Harry Potter books and have always been Christian. It wasn’t until I got older that I began to question whether or not they were ‘sinful’– This is something I’ve struggled with to this day, and reading these posts has comforted me quite a bit.
Hi I love Harry Potter also! But only after my wife made an irrefutable point to me. I was anti HP because my pastor at the time, whom I know has much wisdom and love and insights on truth told the congregation so. I used to think that my two pastors at the time couldn’t be wrong because they loved Jesus so much and preached so well on topics and in scripture but then as The Holy Spirit used my last pastor to challenge my beliefs about doctrine and what the bible contained in its canon and that every English version was a mere paraphrase that only scratched the surface and sometimes was wrong and was translated as the opposite meaning, this deeply disturbed me! And I took him and some other people’s advice to study myself to disprove them but found out that they were right and I had to repent and apologize for my ignorant arrogance!!! The same thing happened to me for Harry Potter. I couldnt listen to anyone’s opinion about anything without verifying it for myself like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 to see if what was taught was true or not! To my amazement again God had used my wife who is on the other rare side of liberty, to get me to watch HP for myself and pray and test it. I was amazed that I loved it and deeply appreciated HP for myself and received the Spirit’s personal conviction of approval! A most valuable lesson I learned was that truth comes in three categories. 1 Absolute 2 personal conviction and 3 personal preference. Christ as God is always absolute no matter who disbelieves. Some saints God has personally convicted of certain things that become sin for some of us but not all like having cable. And 3rdly its true that I prefer Electronic music to worship and feel close to God. HP would be in category 2 but I like most ignorant saints tried to put it into category 1! Now I know the difference and Im so grateful I have this series to enjoy in films, books and video games! I have actually been grieved and hurt badly inside from bad bible studies with immature arrogant saints and came home and watched Harry Potter with my wife and felt more love and edified again!! This is a terribly sad inditement on the church but a sad reality! I now love HP more than any other movie, book, game or idea outside of the bible! HP really comforts me and We can identify with the characters more than any others in this season of our life since 2008 when our hell began and has been unchanged much! I hope this year of 2011 will finally be different and we will be done with this terrible trial and not dependent on the lukewarm churches here anymore! We just need 1 or 2 people each who will commit to daily or even weekly fellowship! We really need solid fellowship and love both to give and receive from other saints who are as free in Christ as us and mature enough to enjoy life more than legalistically go around following laws of do’s and dont’s! I live in spiritually dead ohio in Columbus and cannot find any solid church or friends here to be apart of nor do we have any real Christian friends or family except one couple but they are in their 50’s and we are 31 and 27 and they don’t prioritize us and their church is too man centered with major false doctrines. And we also haven’t found anyone there who loves us for who we are and wants to fellowship. We have tried in every church group many times to make friends and study and watch movies and have my wife cook free dinner. Everyone in OHio here is so immature and has God in a box and doesn’t like Harry Potter or us or our other interests enough or even Christ enough to study and live by every word that proceeds from out of the mouth of God together! I know that my wife and 19 month old son and I have a high calling to full fill some day to be used for the glory or YHVH but currently we are treated like Job, despised and rejected by everyone it seems. We need love and friends with people who are like minded and have the same value to know and love and allow progressive obedience to happen from every word of scripture lead by the Spirit and not the letter of the law. We feel so drained and at our wits end barely paying our bills. We cannot find anyone who wants to be close with us! I can’t even find one male to be my study partner/best friend from their limited free will choice to keep me accountable and make my own bible! Im so tired of studying the bible by myself. My son is too young and my wife is too busy and doesn’t like studying anymore with just me or by herself from being discouraged for so long. We both need others desperately, catalysts for change and God is not doing anything from HIS sovereign end but I also believe that HE allows men to choose how we will spend our time and with whom so I have been begging every saint I can find to try and fellowship with us and live like the 1st church did in Acts. But not one person for each of us is responding.? Not one group anywhere in the USA have I found to live like they did in Acts, sharing everything in common and considering others as better than themselves. We have done this to others but have been continually rejected! And every Chjristian has the excuse that there is no perfect church so they can avoid guilt or being corrected which bothers us to no end! If that’s someones response than they must not have their hearts or minds right with Christ because that is not what we are trying to find! Please help us if you all can! Thanks so much for your time and I cannot wait to see the last HP 7 part 2 film!!! I hope it will be with some new friends from a divine appointment! Please pray for us! : ) MY cell is also 614-707-6586. Feel free to text or call anytime!
I’ve been a Christian since I was 12. As first me and my family didn’t want anything to do with Harry Potter because of the witchcraft. Then one night, my family and I sat down to watch the first Harry Potter movie. After it was over, we decided that it showed us good fighting evil. Ever since then, I began to watch all the Harry Potter movies.
I feel that if a Christian chooses not to watch Harry Potter….that is fine. But I see nothing wrong with watching the movies or reading the books. I know that real witchcraft is a sin. But there are tons of stories out there that have magic/witchcraft in them. They are just stories. Just like time travel and Space adventures.
Plus if Harry Potter is so evil like some people say….then why are there two bibles verses in the last book? The verses are Matthew 6: 21: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. And 1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
I agree with all of you on here.
God Bless you all!
My question is this: why would any Christian even want to try to defend anything that the world has produced (i.e. Hollywood and J. K. Rowling), neither of whom claim any adherence to the Gospel? This is truly a classic case of Christians attempting to justify their bonds to the world, which is contradictory to the Scriptures requiring that we be in the world but not of it. The 21st century Christian simply is not willing to live a life of simplicity, sacrifice and repentance. Today’s Christian wants to enjoy the same pleasures of life as the unbeliever, only with the assurance that they will not go to hell when they die. This is the precisely the harlot church that John wrote about in the Revelation. And Jesus said that He would reject them. Stop justifying your decisions and actions based on what other Christians do and think and accept. You will not be saved by following the crowd on the wide road, Christians or otherwise. Seek wisdom that comes by and through the Holy Spirit. Follow the narrow road. If the respondents here were influenced by knowledge of the Scriptures and the true presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, the posts here would be quite different. May the Lord Jesus Christ guide you in all you do, say and think! Only a remnant will be acceptable in the last days. Set your mind on Christ, and on the work of the Kingdom, and stop focusing on worldly things.
KJ, here’s my question: why would someone even want to defend anything that you have produced? You, a human, can produce only worldly things just as the author. The thing about this is that JK Rowling has made something revolutionary that teaches and demonstrates lessons God taught us. It is true that Christians are now different from the past; the faith of most people is now a delusion. However, can we not enjoy life’s pleasures as a Christian? As Christians, do we lack any pleasure God has promised us in life? An unbeliever enjoys life less than us despite persecution because we have God for freedom. A Christian is set free and redeemed, assured of heaven, and able to enjoy life more than a Christian. The Spirit has granted us wisdom to not judge a book by its filth. The Bible is also full of gore, sex, and wickedness, yet it is not bad: it is, how should i say, a block of gold stained with dirt yet still considered gold; it taught us how to remove our specks and become pure gold. We did the same with Harry Potter and found it as a great story soiled with dirt by the hands of prejudice, misunderstanding, and self-righteousness.
A Christian is set free and redeemed, assured of heaven, and able to enjoy life more than an unbeliever.*
Harry Potter is more logical then the story of Adam and Eve. Praise the Rowling.
My parents positively hate Harry Potter because of the witchcraft in it. I always knew that the books are fiction, and would never run around trying to cast spells because I know God says that’s wrong. I am trying to find a defense for my beliefs so I can face my parents and lay out my case.
Right on, I am a Christian with a very active imagination. The way I see it lord of the rings, star wars and so on and so on all have a little magic in them and thank God for a little fun movie magic… I agree with all your points. On the other hand if they were eating baby’s in the movie I would be more appt to be against the movies but there not. True witches are the ones who ordered the dead baby’s that got confiscated at an air port about 3 weeks ago. Look it up it’s In the news. Cant wait for the new Hobbit movie. Blessings Matthew
I’ve been a fan of Harry Potter books even before I was born again. It did not do me any harm obviously because even though I loved the books I was still led to Christ and accepted Him. Now, in our cell meeting, this Harry Potter business being evil came up and I was so torn (I mean, HP is part of my childhood) that I decided to make a research about it which led me to your blog. IKR! Everywhere we can see things which can lead people to sin! It’s just a matter of faith, of how guarded and protected it is to not be snatched from us. I agree in quite a lot of what you say! I read many books and manga and anime which has a lot more violence than HP but I never practice nor was delighted by it. But there are also some issues regarding the Illuminati symbol (specifically, the Deathly Hallows mark?) present in the book. Maybe this mark is just a coincidence but even so, personally it’s preferable to use a different symbol (although it was said in the book that it was not an eye but actually represented the wand, the stone and the cloak so i guess it’s fine..). Anyways thank you for this post! I am glad I’m not the only Christian who loves the book and not see this as a twisted story about witchcraft. So i guess if i have younger siblings reading HP ofc I would allow them but I should be responsible enough to see if they start to have crazy ideas and try out the actual spells and practice witchcraft!
BTW, that’s not Harry Potter in the picture but Daniel Radcliffe who played the role of Harry Potter 🙂 just saying…kids might come to this blog and think he really is Harry! well, i remember when i was a kid i was a little stupid myself thinking that Daniel really is Harry Potter. LOL.
God bless you!
Reblogged this on michan.
Harry potter does promote witchcraft. Mentioning other movies or books that are worse or just as bad doesnt negate this fact. It bothers me terribly when christians use the argument that hp has christian morals and themes! It is a perversion of Jesus sacrifice and paints revenge and unforgiveness , rebelion and curses and idolatry in a positive light. Any “fighting of evil” done in harry potter uses witchraft. God is love and God hates witchcraft so any arguments made that the power of love triumphs over evil in the harry potter series is blasphemy. And for those people who believe it is all just a fantasy and that children will know the difference i challenge you to google oberon zell-raven heart, founder of online wizarding school teaching children witchcraft just like the harry potter school.
Absolutely true… Harry Potter might seem fun, but the magic is more than fantasy. It’s the real deal! :O
I’ve never seen or read any HP books or films, but have been more interested in it recently, and this blog really helped. I’ve always been a Christian, but my family has an anti-HP view, though I think that the points here, especially the ones about how it’s no different from Cinderella, LotR, etc., overrule my parent’s ones. I will however pray beforehand, as I want to be safe, just to be sure. Thanks 😉
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