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”
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
Contact Connie Neal at her Web site: www.connieneal.com
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.