Potter Fodder: The Harry Potter Controversy

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What do you think about the Harry Potter books? How should Christian parents approach these and other things in our culture that can have an effect on our children? Where does a Christian draw the line between fantasy and the occult in the things their children are exposed to in the media?

CBN.com Some of our readers agreed with Connie Neal on her approach to the Harry Potter books. Here is a sample of their thoughts:

FOLLOW CONNIE’S ADVICE: My opinion is to follow the advice given in the article about putting spiritual armor on the children so they can discern right from wrong. Parents should be involved in what their children read or listen to and who their friends are.

SHE HAS GREAT SUGGESTIONS: I enjoyed the great imagination [in the Harry Potter books] and it was like reading a fairy tale. The good guys – bad guys. I didn’t see where the books left out God or promoted witches. I probably will not read any other Harry Potter books because the last chapter of the last book was pretty scarry … It was evil – even for make believe. When I told my grandson (he is 8 1/2) what the books were about he declined reading them. I have read the article by Connie Neal. It has great suggestions.

PARENTS ARMED WITH THE WORD OF GOD: If the Harry Potter books are to be read in the home, first by the parents, then to the children of appropriate ages — both parents should be there, armed with the Word and lively discussions should ensue. We’ve done this in our own family with the children’s Left Behind series.

DON’T BUILD A WALL: I think literature that illustrates the triumph of good over evil in the world has a positive affect on society. I know people cannot build a wall around themselves and function in meaningful ways in society. We as Christians are the salt and light in our world. It is the spiritual equipment that you mentioned that girds up the loins of of minds to guard and protect us in the world in which we live. I was fortunate enough to have been reared in a Christian home by God-fearing parents. I was taught from a very early age the principals of my faith. If Christian parents continue to make this priority with their children, the “equipment” to stand in the evil day will be in place. Take courage parents and don’t bow down to fear of the occult or any other evil spiritual force. These things only have the power that we as Christians are willing to give them in our minds.

PREPARING FOR ENCOUNTERS WITH THE ENEMY: I think your commentary is interesting. My children are older teens and so we have not had to address the Harry Potter issue personally. The only comment I would make is this: Using one book of the series under your guidence and direction to increase your children’s understanding and discernment of the occult could be very benificial in preparing them for any future encounters with the “enemy”. We are encouraged to know our enemy and his ways. The desire to read every book of the series would to me indicate deception of motives.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: If we rob our children of all fantasy what is this Christian world coming to? I’ve never read the Harry Potter books but I feel it may be much ado about nothing.

Other readers disagreed with the article and thought that Christians should not have the Harry Potter books in their homes:

GUARD OUR HEARTS: I choose another way to arm my children. Just teach them how to recognize witchcraft and sorcery and how to avoid it. Tell them how the bible says that we were left with the authority over the devil and his demons by the shed blood of Jesus. We do not have to read these books to understand what evil is. Haven’t we been told to above all guard our hearts? This to me means not to expose our minds or our children’s minds, for sure, to such demonic entertainment. Don’t buy this book for you child to explain evil, take ten minutes of your day, sit your children down and tell them what to watch for. Then take the money that you would have spent on the book and buy a poster board and make a sign indicating how bad these books are and go picket the stores that are selling them.

NOT A WISE PARENTAL CHOICE: For an authority figure to purposeful encourage a child to read a book that makes that which is clearly forbidden in the Bible as evil seem to be fun and good is not a wise parental choice. Why should we purposefully defile our children just so they can relate to their culture? This is not biblical but seems very humanistic to me. Scripture is very clear in stating that we are to be holy and not love the things of this world. There are so many wonderful classics that portray the reality of God and who He is without sinking to the level of allowing the culture obsession with the occult to influence our young peoples minds. C.S. Lewis is an example. By endorsing Harry Potter books, which are clearly occult based, we are condoning the further deterioration of our society. I disagree with the author’s stance though I am sure it is well intended.

KEEP THE DOOR SHUT: This series is truly demonic in every sense of the word. I am protective of my children and I admit there are many things out today that neither of my kids are allowed to participate in or even look at. As a Christian parent I will do everything I can to keep the door shut so that Satan and his minions cannot penetrate.

GO TO A CHRISTIAN BOOK STORE: I think that parents should not let their children read any of the books. They would be better off going to a Christian Book Store and see if there are books they are interested in reading. I wouldn’t want my money going into the pocket of such a writer.


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