Its true! This prophetic remark in Harry
Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first in a seven-book
series on popular witchcraft, was fulfilled in record time.
The first three books hit the world schools, libraries, and
the New York Times best-sellers list like a spiritual
tidal wave, breaking down barriers to the secret and forbidden
mysteries of the ages and captivating children around the world.
Just look around. You can spot some of the committed Hogwarts
fans by the purple thunderbolt stickers
on their foreheads. This mark bonds them to Harry, an embattled
student wizard with amazing powers and an enticingly scary destiny.
Harry, like other students at Hogwarts
School of Witchcraft and Wizardry travels back and forth between
two worlds: the mystical world of magic, and the mundane world
of muggles—those boring, blinded, and biased humans who
either don't believe in the world of witches, or who despise
it as evil. Harry's cruel aunt and uncle fit the last category.
And, from Harry's point of view, so would you if you see witchcraft
as dangerous and demonic.
The skinny, green-eyed kid with glasses
and a thunder-bolt scar under a shock of unruly black hair makes
a sympathetic hero. Orphaned at age 1, Harry mysteriously survived
a murderous assault by the wicked wizard Lord Voldemort. This
scary villain, whom more timid wizards dare only refer to as
Who Must Not Be Named, killed Harry's parents. When he tried
but failed to kill their 1-year-old baby, Voldemort lost much
of his power. The thunderbolt scar on Harry's forehead marks
his peculiar psychic strength and triumph over evil.
For the next ten years, Harry lives a miserable
muggle life in his uncle's London home, constantly tormented
by his cruel guardians and a spoiled bully of a cousin. But
on his eleventh birthday everything changes. He discovers that
he is a wizard of great fame, someone who once conquered death
and crippled a devilish foe. Even better, he receives an acceptance
to Hogwarts, a coveted boarding school for aspiring wizards.
The haunted grounds of Hogwarts may be out-of-this-world,
but with its blend of earthly familiarity and practical magic,
it has captivated more than seven million minds. Adults and
children alike have, in their imagination, followed Harry through
that mystical veil between ordinary reality and occult fantasy.
Most find it hard to put the book down once they start it, and
when finished, many read it again and again. Immersed in this
mystical world of spiritual forces, they feel Harry's struggles
and share his fears. They sit with him through his classes on
Potions, Spells, Transformation (turning something into something
else) and Divination, and, like him, learn some tricks of the
old Craft. They sense the pain of his miserable return visits
to London, and they soar with him above the earth on a magical
and magnificent broomstick.
Delightfully gruesome images and scary
creatures become part of their memory, for the author, Joanne
K. Rowling, knows how to make her characters come alive in a
reader's mind. Oh, but it's just fantasy, you may argue.
We were raised on scary tales. It can't hurt.
Actually, it's not that simple. The stories
and the times have changed, making the new generation of children
far more vulnerable to deception than we were. Consider some
of the changes:
1. Different times and culture.
Unlike most children today, their parents and grandparents were raised
in a culture that was, at least outwardly, based on Biblical values.
Whether they were Christian or not, they usually accepted traditional
moral and spiritual boundaries. Even the old fairy tales I heard as
a child in Norway tended to reinforce this Christian worldview or paradigm.
The good hero would win over evil forces without using good magic
to overcome evil magic. Social activities didnt include Ouija Boards,
Seances, and an assortment of popular occult role-playing games. Nor
did friends, schools or Girl Scouts tempt children to alter their consciousness
and invoke the presence of an animal spirit or wise person. Occult experimentation
was not an option.
Today children learn their values and world view
from a variety of sources. The entertainment industry is one of the
most persuasive agents of cultural awareness, and it usually teaches
global and occult values, since thats what their global market buys.
In fact, children have become so familiar with profanity, occultism,
and explicit sex, that they barely notice just as in Old Testament
days: They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return. . . . No, they
have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. (Jeremiah
2. Different type of fantasy.
Books, movies, games, and television all involve the imagination, and
the specific fantasy directs the child's imagination. In other words,
the imaginary scenes and images in books and movies are not neutral.
As with guided imagery, the child's feelings and responses are manipulated
by the author's view and values. For example, the stories and books
children read in the classroom are usually selected or approved by each
state because their message teaches the new global values, and because
they provide useful discussion topics for the manipulative consensus
process. Good stories capture the heart, mind, and imagination
and are an important way to transmit values, writes Louise Derman-Sparks
in the influential Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young
Children, which is full of classsroom strategies for eroding traditional
boundaries and teaching the new spirituality.
Books such as the Harry Potters series fit, because
they reinforce the global and occult perspective. Page after exciting
page brings the reader into the timeless battle between good and evil,
then trains them to see the opposing forces from a pagan, not a Biblical
perspective. In this mystical realm, good occult spirits are naturally
pitted against bad occult spirits, just as in pagan cultures where frightened
victims would offer sacrifices to benevolent spirits who could help
ward off evil curses and other threats. Few readers realize that from
the Biblical perspective, all occult forces are dangerous. But today,
it seems more tolerant and exciting to believe this illusion than to
oppose the lies. The words of Old Testament prophet Isaiah ring as true
now as they did over 2000 years ago: Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil. (Isaiah 5:20)
3. Different purpose.
Children dont read Harry Potter merely to reach the conclusion
and resolve the suspense. Many read the books over and over because
they delight in identifying with the good characters in this newly discovered
world. They build memories based on felt experiences in an occult virtual
reality, and they are desentitized to the danger. The talent and knowledge
of the author makes this seductive world all the more believable. Just
ponder these bits of Hogwarts theology:
* Professor Snape who taught Potions: I dont expect
you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron
with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep
through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses. (1)
* A Centaurs views on astrology - We have sworn
not to set ourselves against the heaven. Have we not read what is to
come in the movements of the planets? .Or have the planets not let you
in on that secret? (2)
* He is with me wherever I go, said Quirrell quietly,
referring to Voldmort. I met him when I traveled around the world. A
foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and
evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and
evil , there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.... Since
then, I have served him faithfully. (3)
* Headmaster Dumbledore: To the well organized
mind, death is but the next great adventure. (4)
* Hagrid, the grounds-keeper at Hogwarts, telling
Harry about the strange power that saved his life, Happened when a powerful,
evil curse touches you didnt work on you, and thats why yer famous,
Harry. No one ever lived after he < FONT (5)< you except
one no em, kill ter decided><< and death over victory his powers, psychic mark,
or wound with he, doesn?t Christ-like, almost seems>
Once introduced to spiritism, astrology, palmistry,
shape-shifting, time-travel (the third book) and the latest version
of popular occultism, many crave more. They can easily find it.
In their neighborhoods and schools, our children are surrounded by peers
who are fascinated by occult empowerment and would love to share their
fun discoveries. Few children have the Biblical knowledge or discernment
needed to evaluate good and evil or to resist such threats to their
4. Different kind of classroom.
Its not surprising that Harry has suddenly soared to the peaks of popularity
in schools across the country. His story fits right into the international
program for multicultural education. The envisioned global community
calls for a common set of values which excludes traditional beliefs
as intolerant and narrow just as the Harry Potter books show.
The Biblical God simply doesnt fit into his world of wizards, witches,
and other gods.
Feminist writer Naomi Goldenberg knows that well.
In her book, Changing of the Gods, she predicts that God is going
to change. We, women are going to bring an end to God. We will change
the world so much that He wont fit in anymore. She and other radical
feminists must appreciate Ms Rowlings part in this process.
Of course, God will never change. But people, beliefs,
and cultures do. And some changes, such as todays cultural shift away
from loving God to hating His truths, have occurred a multitude of times.
The words Jesus spoke to His followers long ago now fit our times:
If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute
you. . . . because they do not know Him who sent Me. (John 15:20-21)
5. A different education
system. UNESCOs lifelong learning, now being implemented
through Goals 2000, takes education far beyond the boundaries of the
classroom. Its goal is socialization and preparation for a global workforce.
Everyone - in homes, schools, and workplace must be mentally prepared
to participate in the consensus process. In the name of unity and community,
people of all ages must help form new values, challenge contrary beliefs,
report non-compliant friends and relatives, and oppose all other obstacles
to compromise, common ground and mental health.
There are many ways to persuade the masses to reject
uncompromising Christianity and embrace a changeable blend of all kinds
of religions including a cross-less and universalist perversion
of Christianity. Schools do it through books such as the Harry Potter
series, through multicultural and environmental education, and by integrating
social issues and politically correct ideology into more mundane subjects
such as math and science. The media does it by selective reporting,
redefining words like fundamental, vilifying labels such as extremist,
religious right and homeschoolers, and by equating such
groups with narrow-minded bigotry and hate.
Harry Potters author does it by creating a captivating
world where strength, wisdom, love, hope all the good gifts God
promises those who follow Him are now offered to those who pursue
occult thrills. Likewise, her main characters demonstrate all the admirable
traits our God commends: kindness, courage, loyalty, etc. But muggles,
who are blind to these mystical forces, are pictured as mean, cruel,
narrow and self-indulgent. These subtle messages, hidden behind exciting
stories, turn Truth upside-down. But fascinated readers rarely notice
the deception. This power-filled realm with its charms and spells soon
becomes normal as well as addictive to those who immerse their minds
with its seductive images.
The Harry Potter books, first introduced in England,
are unlikely to fade from public consciousness in the near future. Scholastic,
a major provider of popular books for classroom use, bought the rights
to publish the books in the United States. Devoted readers who can't
wait for the sequel to be distributed in the U.S. are purchasing it
on the Internet from Amazon.com's British division. The series has already
caused great consternation among those who fear the seven books will
eventually crowd out adult fiction on the coveted New York Times
best-sellers list. This concern will surely grow, since Warner Brothers
(owned by Time Warner) bought rights to the live-action movie.
It's not too soon to prepare your child for the
increasing peer pressure to conform to the new social standards.
HOW TO RESIST DECEPTION
Know the True God. When children know God
as He has revealed Himself in His Word, they will recognize the seductive
Shun Other Gods. Its tempting to believe
the beckoning voices that display enticing counterfeits of all Gods
wonderful promises. The power is within yourself, they say. Dont
listen to the lies. Instead, take this sober warning to heart:
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise
the Lord your God for the good land He has given you. Be careful that
you do not forget... Otherwise... your heart will become proud....
You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have
produced this wealth for me.'... If you ever forget the Lord your
God and follow other gods...you will surely be destroyed. (Deuteronomy
The Harry Potter books are every bit as spiritual
as Christian literature, but the spiritual power they promote comes
from the same source as all other gods. If you treasure God's truth,
may I suggest you encourage your children not to read these books? I
know such parental intervention sounds grossly offensive, in fact, downright
muggleish, to children who love Harrys magical world and reject Biblical
absolutes. Yet, just as progressive leaders fear the influence of Biblical
truth on budding world citizens, so Christians parents need to guard
their children against all kinds of occult counsel:
Blessed is the man
< child>walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor stands in the path of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of mockers;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-6)
Remember History's Lessons. The witchcraft
and wizardry in Harry Potter books may be fantasy, but they familiarize
children with a very real and increasingly popular religion one
that few really understand. Far removed from the terrors of tribal witchcraft
and shamanism, Americans are oblivious to the bondages that normally
follow occult favors. But historical and archeological records have
traced the earth-centered myths, practices, and consequences through
the millennia. They have verified the timing of certain Old Testament
accounts of droughts, famines, and wars -- three consequences that Gods
people would face if they traded His truth and strength for the Canaanite
gods and rituals. (Deut. 28, 1 Cor. 10) There, as in other earth-centered
cultures around the world, the human cruelties involved in pagan worship
included torture, mutilation and human sacrifice. Many of these practices
continued in parts of the world until the 20th century, when the spread
of genuine Christianity (totally different from cultural Christianity)
with its emphasis on love and the value of life, made most of these
cruelties intolerable. But now the world turns, once again, from Gods
truth to the worlds gods and rituals. Its not surprising that Ms Rowling
warned that, starting with her 4th book, the series will grow darker.
Some good characters that the reader cares about will have to die (6)
Share God's Love With Everyone. God's
way to multicultural understanding and global unity is essential today.
He cares for people in every culture, longs to set them free, and wants
to love them through us. Harry Potter may conquor evil forces with witchcraft,
but in the real spiritual world, no pagan power can counter the frightening
consequences of dealing with demons. Only God can. That’s why
He has sent missionaries to all parts of the world to bring His peace,
love, and release from demonic bondage. Keep in mind, only Christian
love has motivated individuals to leave Western comforts (soft beds,
safe food and water, etc.) to serve and heal those who live with unthinkable
physical hardships and the constant threat of curses, spells, and other
spiritual dangers. His genuine love as demonstrated through His faithful
servants can't even be compared to the notion of politically correct
"tolerance" so widely promoted today.
Don't Apologize for Your Faith. Jesus
said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through me." (John 14:7) That sounds exclusive to some, but don’t
forget, His loving invitation includes everyone.
Remember that God is far Greater! By ourselves
we cannot resist "the devil's schemes," but in Christ we are "more than
conquerors." Thanks be to God who leads us in His triumph! (1 John 4:4,
Romans 8:37) PRAY. Only God can slow the massive international movement
toward conformity to pagan beliefs and values. In a nation that has
traded truth and reality for politically correct tolerance and unity,
Christians are called to remain faithful, prayerful and hopeful in Christ,
who offers genuine love and unity.
Wear God's Armor --a set of strategic
truths that exposes and counters every deception. When we "put on the
whole armor," God fills us with His life even as He covers us.(7) Don’t
forget that our real enemy is the spiritual hierarchy of occult forces,
not globalist educators or well-meaning teachers. Only God's power and
protection will enable our children to resist and triumph.
1. J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
Stone (New York: Scholastic Inc., 1997); p.137.
2. Ibid., p. 257.
3. Ibid., 291.
4. Ibid., 302.
5. Ibid., 55.
6. Paul Gray, "Wild About Harry," Time (September 20, 1999); page 72.
7. See also Romans 13:14, John 14:20
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