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Can You Use Harry Potter to Share the Gospel?

By Connie Neal
Guest Writer

CBN.com -

The other day I was pushing my shopping cart down the aisle while getting food for my kids’ lunches. A girl of about nine walked past, holding a package of juice boxes with a picture of a castle and an owl on it. I overheard her excitedly tell her mom,

“Look! It’s Hogwarts! Oh, Cool!” She was gave a little hop, in her excitement.

I smiled as our carts passed, and said, “So, you like Harry Potter?”

She beamed up at me, nodding; but it was her mother who spoke,

“Do you know ANYONE who doesn’t?”

Her rhetorical question makes a good point. Harry Potter fans abound. Polls estimate that between 1/3 to 2/3 of American children ages 6 to 16 HAVE ALREADY READ a Harry Potter book. Over 100 million books have sold worldwide. The movie will be out November 16. Harry Potter merchandise, tie-ins, and spin-offs are everywhere. Some Christians shudder at this, but try looking at it another way. Some Christians are riding the wave of popular culture to the solid ground of God’s word. Just as the Apostle Paul used the pagan poetry to preach Christ to the people of Athens, there are ways we can use the Harry Potter story to share the love of Jesus Christ in a relevant way.

God’s word says, “Don’t be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” What if you could use Halloween and Harry Potter to advance God’s kingdom? Would you be willing to overcome any discomfort you have over Harry Potter to introduce kids who love Harry to the love of Jesus Christ? Most Christians can recite John 3:16, but let us not forget the next verse, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). Let’s turn our attention to the girl in the grocery store, her mother, and “the multitudes” they represent.

Let me share how our family plans to use Halloween and Harry Potter to share the gospel, and how you can too. We’ve made up bookmarks like the ones below. We’re going to tie these bookmarks to full-sized candy bars and pass them out when kids come to our door. We want it to be the best thing in the bag, so they will read it with an open heart.

You can get 25 free bookmark / tracts at your local Family Christian Stores or other independent Christian retailers who carry my book “What’s a Christian to Do with Harry Potter?” Call first to see if they still have some in stock. If you can’t find any in your local area, feel free to print this out and use it however you like.

Picture this: suppose you’re at home on October 31 when kids arrive at your door. Up front stands a boy with his trick-or-treat bag held open with eager little hands. You note -- perhaps to your chagrin -- that he is wearing a wizard’s hat, a cloak with a Hogwarts emblem, round glasses, and sporting a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead. How would you treat that child? Could you extend the love of God in a way that would make a positive impact, but also warn against the dangers of real-world witchcraft? You can.

I know many Christians struggle with the dangers and debate surrounding Harry Potter. Those are important issues, Christians need to work through in godly ways. That’s why I wrote my book. However, even Christians who personally oppose Harry Potter can choose not to condemn the multitudes who love the Harry Potter stories; but use that interest as a connecting point. Let’s choose to reach out with love and kindness. Let’s smile, not scowl at them, when they come to our door. When we do, we can bring the light and love of Jesus into their lives -- even on a night that could be filled with darkness.

Here's what the tract looks like:

So, You Like Harry Potter?"

Before Harry was born, a wizard "...went ... bad. About as bad as you could go. Worse. Worse than worse." He terrorized the wizarding world with a deadly curse.

Harry became famous as The Boy Who Lived when he survived that curse. Voldemort murdered Harry’s dad, then threw the curse at Harry, but Harry’s mom took the curse on herself to save him. Voldemort hit Harry with the curse again. That’s how he got his lightning bolt scar. But the curse was broken. Hagrid calls this "a great myst’ry".

Lily Potter loved her son so much that she gave her life. She jumped in front of

the curse to save him. At the end of the story, the evil one couldn’t even touch Harry! As Dumbledore said, "to have been loved so deeply", gave Harry protection forever.

What a great story! It’s set in a fantasy world. There’s another great story. It REALLY HAPPENED in our world...

[Turn over to read that story.]

The back says:

Before the world began, an angel went...bad. Worse. Worse than worse. God cast him out of heaven, like lightning, see? He tricked people into disobeying God and

hit ‘em with a deadly curse. People lived in fear of death until the curse was broken.

Jesus broke the curse. He took it on himself when he died on the cross. When Jesus came back alive that proved the curse was broken.

"God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not die but have eternal life. (John 3:16). Believe in Jesus. He is the real elixir of life. Then you can be The Boy (or Girl) Who Lived.

Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (that angel who when bad). He prayed we would "be protected from the evil one." In our world, all witchcraft is like the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. So don’t dabble! Practice Defense Against the Dark Arts. Get all your supernatural power from God.

Read more about the Harry Potter Debate

Order your copy of “What’s a Christian to Do with Harry Potter?”

Contact Connie Neal at her Web site: www.connieneal.com

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