Should Christians Watch or Read Harry Potter?

This is one of those questions that keeps popping up and popping up — so I thought I would just take the discussion to the people.  I was able to listen to, engage in and play devils advocate a recent Harry Potter Debate amongst some ministry staff.

According to an on-line Bible ministry that answers questions through a Biblical framework, they said this about Harry Potter and the debate: “Harry Potter books and films are full of stereotypical magic. Witchcraft and wizardry are central themes, and the lead roles are played by wizards, witches, and other magical creatures. Although the characters practice casting spells, reading crystal balls, etc., they do not communicate with spiritual (supernatural) forces. While this may be considered a positive, one definite negative is that there is no higher power to answer to at all.”

I’m not sure exactly what all of that means from a contextual perspective, because I have not seen the movie or read the book.  I have not made the choice “to see or not to see” because of any specific reason, thought or belief… I simply have never watched it.  I used to watch this cartoon called Hip Hop Harry with my youngest son, but I think that may be a different show. 🙂

The scripture that those arguing against indulging in Potter is Deuteronomy 18:10-12 “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.”

Those on the other side of the argument, say “Why stop there the list could go on and on about the types of movies you should and should not watch.”

What do you think?

Should Christians Watch or Read Harry Potter?  Is it different for adults and children? Share your reasons for or against.  Ready, Set, Go!

  • Brent

    I’ve got no problem with it. I think that there is a big difference between enjoying a good book or film and actually practicing magic, sorcery, etc. Christians start becoming irrelevant to the culture when they start dismissing things like Harry Potter because they proof text (…if this even qualifies as proof text because it doesn’t apply to enjoying a movie/book) in order to stay away from popular things in culture.

    • I agree, glad I didn’t have to scroll any farther to find exactly my response.

  • I’ve enjoyed watching these debates since Harry Potter first came out when I was in middle school. It feels like by not watching it, Christians are choosing to stay in their own sheltered bubble, but by watching it you might be negatively influenced causing you to stumble in you walk.

    For me, telling a Christian not to watch it, or shunning them for watching it, is like telling them to only have Christian friends and only be around other Christians but still fulfill the Great Commission.

    To win souls you need to be where those souls are and be able to relate to them.

    As a side note, The Ministry of Magic (ironically MoM) is their ultimate authority figure to answer to…but then who does the Ministry answer to? If there is a question of ultimate authority it should be there.

  • John

    There is no reason to forbid your children from reading the Harry Potter books if they are entertained by them, or similarly for the films. There is nothing in these stories that is in any way anti-christian, or suggesting that God does not exist. The stories merely do not touch upon that subject because they are not meant to be religious in any way shape or form, and trying to mix in a religious message would only muddle the story from its grand structure. They are, at their base, about the battle between good and evil, and learning to use your talents to overcome evil even when you feel vastly overwhelmed and overmatched. The story emphasizes the importance of having strong family and friend relationships and never being afraid to ask for help, but also knowing when to stand on your own. If these are anti-christian values then I ask you…exactly what IS christian these days?

  • Chris

    I thought it was a bit ridiculous when churches around the country encouraged their congregations to dress up like Harry Potter. Some people like to say that Harry Potter is the typical ‘Jesus’ archetype in that he died to save his friends’ lives, blah blah. I laugh more than anything when I hear justifications like this which could swing for either side of the fence on this topic. I also think it would be a little ridiculous to make the jump and say the Harry Potter series is comparable to trashy romance novels if you’re going to have a decent reason not to read them. Is one choosing not to read it simply because they’ve heard it has magic, witchcraft, and wizardry? Or does one merely do what others tell you all the time? Make up your own mind.

    J.K. Rowling did an AMAZING job because she got millions of kids (and adults) around the world to sit down and read rather than play video games, talk on Skype, or tweet pointless spiels across the internet. I applaud her in that regards. My wife and I own all seven books in the series and will own every movie once they are available to purchase. Once our kids in the future get old enough to understand all the themes and motifs I would be glad to let them read the series. So long as they understand the values of the Christian faith I do not see why it would be a problem.

  • When I was little I LOVED the Smurfs. But I know my Christian friends weren’t allowed to watch it because the use of magic in the cartoon. Also some weren’t allowed to watch Disney cartoons because some type of magic or sorcery in it.

    I like the approach that Pastor Mark Driscoll takes in his recent blog Why Christians Go Postal Over Facebook, Jay-Z, Yoga, Avatar, and Culture in General Where he says we as Christians need to know whats going on in culture and then develop our critical thinking skills. What he does is discuss the things that are contradictory to our faith and discuss the reasons why with his children. My mom did the same thing with me.

    I have to say that it did help me with making better choices when I was out from under my parents mindful watch while at college. While I wasn’t always perfect it did give me the skills needed to deal with the “real world” out there. Unfortunately, I saw so many of my Christian college classmates not make it in when left to their own discression. I strongly believe that it is because they were told don’t do this and don’t do that but there weren’t told why the shouldn’t do it and why the bible is our life manual that will help us get through any situation.

    Personally, I’ve never seen movies like Harry Potter or Twilight. But I do like lots of sci-fi like Dr. Who and Warehouse 13. But i do not base my faith on it.

  • I like the approach that Pastor Mark Driscoll takes in his recent blog Why Christians Go Postal Over Facebook, Jay-Z, Yoga, Avatar, and Culture in General Where he says we as Christians need to know whats going on in culture and then develop our critical thinking skills. What he does is discuss the things that are contradictory to our faith and discuss the reasons why with his children. My mom did the same thing with me.

    When I was little I LOVED the Smurfs. But I know my Christian friends weren’t allowed to watch it because the use of magic in the cartoon. Also some weren’t allowed to watch Disney cartoons because some type of magic or sorcery in it.

    I have to say that it did help me with making better choices when I was out from under my parents mindful watch while at college. While I wasn’t always perfect it did give me the skills needed to deal with the “real world” out there. Unfortunately, I saw so many of my Christian college classmates not make it in when left to their own discression. I strongly believe that it is because they were told don’t do this and don’t do that but there weren’t told why the shouldn’t do it and why the bible is our life manual that will help us get through any situation.

    Personally, I’ve never seen movies like Harry Potter or Twilight. But I do like lots of sci-fi like Dr. Who and Warehouse 13. But i do not base my faith on it.

  • benjamin muenster

    This post is about 10 years too late.

  • BlessedPanda

    I never publicly share my opinion about this subject due to its sensitivity. Im ok with people that think it is wrong. I personally have a difficult time seperating the differences between Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and even our beloved C.S. Lewis’ Chroncicles of Narnia. They each have witches/wizards, spells, creatures and they all revolve around a fictitious story about good vs. evil. I enjoy the Harry Potter movies. I think the only danger is minimizing the reality that witchcraft is a real evil force in this world and many have been led in dark paths due to curiosity. With that said I believe there should be an amount of censorship to children who are not mature enough to understand both elements of fiction and non.

  • Scott, I’ll buy you a copy of Harry Potter if you’ll read them as it is a great story and people who don’t think it is haven’t read the books.

    If someone is convicted to not read Harry Potter then they shouldn’t, but hopefully it isn’t based on what they have heard is in the books/movie without really knowing.

  • Jonathan

    If we can’t watch Harry Potter movies and can’t read the books either based on the above mentioned criteria than “The Chronicles Of Narnia” are out to. There’s magic and witchcraft mentioned in these books. For those that think the theme of Harry Potter books is magic, they should probably read or watch the movies before they jump to conclusion. Both series, CON & HP are about the Human Character and how individuals are shapes when faced with adversity. Oh and by the way people, it’s called fiction for a reason.

  • Blake

    I’m just waiting for Mardel to make a movie about Perry Otter who goes to bible college and is called to fight demons and become the next great super evangelist. 🙂

    He doesn’t need a wand…he’s got the Sword bless God!! (said in preacher voice)

    • maya

      Haha! That would be interesting!

  • I wonder if a similar debate was going on in the 30s when the Wizard of Oz movie came out?

    When I was in bible college I wrote a paper that blasted Harry Potter and relied on the aforementioned verse in Deuteronomy. Shortly after writing the paper the first Harry Potter movie premiered on HBO and I watched it at my grandparent’s house over Thanksgiving break. I loved it. I felt so judgmental and small minded for making such a knee-jerk reaction based on second-hand information and opinions.

    As we journey through the continual process of sanctification and as the indwelling of the holy spirit makes us more like Christ we will more fully understand the standard for Christian living. We shouldn’t conform so much to the world that we don’t stand apart from secular culture but at the same time we need to be holy. It’s a tight rope that we all have to balance as Christians. Cling to what is good and flee from the appearence of evil and be all things to all people.

  • Bob Cochran

    While I firmly believe in the garbage in garbage out principle I don’t think that, at lease in my book, this would go down as a no watch for my children. Are the films full of Stereotypical magic and do they have Witchcraft and wizardry as central themes, yes. But are these reasons your children should not watch the movies? Many Disney animated movies deal with magic in one form or another. The Little Mermaid’s father the sea king and Ursula the sea witch both use “magical powers.” Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Hercules, all have magic in one form or another. Even Snow White has a witch. Alice in Wonderland, I’m not even going there. Is magic alright if it’s a “Jolly Old Elf” in a red suite that delivers presents? Bottom line, if your children are rooted deeper in Harry Potter than they are in God’s Word then you are asking for problems. But if you instill the truth in your children, invest in them, and clearly define the limits of real and fantasy then it won’t be Harry Potter you have to worry about.

  • I have never watched nor read any installments of the Harry Potter series. I have also subtly but consciously avoided getting too involved (dogmatic) about this issue, just as I did with the DaVinci Code. I guess I’m like Switzerland…always neutral (only on stuff like this). But my reason for avoiding taking a stance against this series is that I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and given the wizardry and supernatural stuff in that (which most Christians supported) I felt like I had no authority to speak against the fictional sorcery in Harry Potter…a casting stones issue.

    I also think of the other movies many Christians watch that we easily justify yet contain many activities/lifestyles contrary to God’s righteousness…Gladiator, Bourne series movies, Matrix – all contain violence & murders which, according to my Bible, “those who practice & even approve of such are deserving of hell” (Rom. 1). And my favorite TV series of all time, 24, has tons of violence. Or what about the greed, theft & vengence in Oceans 11/12/13?

    Again, I’m not say yay or nay for Harry Potter because I believe it’s a matter of conscience but I do think we need to examine our selection of entertainment and see if we have the attitude that at least “my sin (movie selection) isn’t as bad (i.e. have as much sorcery, violence, cursing, sexuality, deception) as their sin (movies).

    On the contrary, I also think we need Christians with a spine and are willing to stand for GOD’s righteousness (not our own self-righteousness) and speak against certain things. But let’s not let matters of concience become God’s holy standard for all mankind! Maybe He just doesn’t want you and your kids to watch Harry Potter!

  • Jeff

    We’re in a season now where it’s acceptable for kids to believe in a fat man dressed in red creating all their toys during the rest of the year. Then, when one day comes, he hooks up with nine magical deer who fly him to their home where he can wedge himself and the presents through their chimney, leave the presents, get a little midnight snack of milk and cookies, and leave through the same chimney to do that for EVERY home in a 24-hour span.

    So if someone has a problem with allowing their kids to read Harry Potter, yet make their kids BELIEVE the deception of Santa Claus, I have little appreciation for their opinion.

    For my part, ironically, I tell my 5- and 7-year-olds that Santa Claus isn’t real SPECIFICALLY because of things like Harry Potter. We establish what is real and what is not so that they can engage in the culture (of which Harry is a part) and we can have an honest discussion about something that is otherwise pretty entertaining. If my kids read Harry Potter, or whatever, they will be able to recognize what is truth and what is junk, which is all I’m asking for.

  • Carl

    I only have a few things to add that I would like Christians to consider:

    – Christians are call to be holy, a people set apart; we are not to conform to this world
    – Isaiah 5:20a “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil”
    – 1 Thessalonians 5:21 “but test everything; hold fast what is good.”

    I feel that it is dangerous for us to compare one movie/show/song with another. Each should be tested against scripture. Each should stand or fall on its own merit. If we compare a movie to another movie, is this not the same as comparing one sin to another? Let us hold up all things to the mirror of Scripture and allow God to speak to us.

    How many times as Christians do we ask God whether we should watch, listen or participate in something? I don’t do a very good job of this personally.

    Finally, examine yourself. Have you defended Harry Potter (or some other movie, or activity) more passionately than you’ve defended or championed Christ?

    I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

  • Justin McCullah

    I have read all the books and watched all the movies. I find them a wonderful piece of litterary expression on Good vs Evil and the power that unconditional love has. In the books it states the Love his mother had for Harry was greater than any kind of magic and it protected him. I find them interesting but battle with the magic spells and curses. Then I read and watch Narnia which I love that also. It has a witch casting spells and turning children and creatures into stone. Is is just because C.S. Lewis is a pronounced Christian that it is accepted? I find them both to be wonderful works or art. I find that both need to be censored and watch and read along with your children to point out truth and untruth. I find all the LOTR’s the same way. I believe my children will be in Middle School before we start reading or watching the HP series together. Then I can find a way to tie it all to God and his glorious Agape love. I also believe it is how God lays it upon your heart to deal with. As a man that was raised in a legalistic church for 18 years I try to find God’s truth rather than what man wants us all to believe and see.

  • Justin McCullah

    By the way the above comments are merely opinions and do not think all should feel the same way. It is just the way God has led me to handle it.

  • Tricia

    I think the scripture speaks for itself. The intent of the author seems critical. If the author uses the topic of magic n light of the authority of God (Narnia, LOTR-even wizards are sent by Illuvitar, the creator) it is not much different than dealing with technical issues in general. When the author personally practices witchcraft and publicly advocates for it including publicly denigrating Jesus personally and his followers corporately that seems a different matter entirely. furthermore the themes in the books beyond the typical dark/light themes continue the pattern of rebellion against authority, which is consistent with I Sam 15:23.

  • You quoted Deuteronomy, which says do not participate in witchcraft, but if you witness a healing of a believer through prayer and laying on of hands… you must observe how an outsider could interpret that likewise… The Holy Spirit could be another name for witchcraft, could be…(didn’t say it is)

    Similarly, HP is just honest, they call themselves witches and wizards.. George Lucas calls them Jedia, Disney has a plethora of names for their witches.. This concept of magical powers and forces is not new. It’s a double standard, if not our right hypocritical to say our kids can’t watch Harry Potter, but can watch shows on nickelodeon… FairyGod Parents, I think it’s called, same thing, but they’re fairies… it just sounds nicer, but it’s the same thing. if you’re going to censor HP on your religious crusade, you might as well do away with all television and film all together, because even the news is bad- it’s not uplifting, it’s depressing, full of sorrow, grief, pain, murder, sin.

    Jesus touched water, and it became something else, one might call that witchcraft. I call that God in the flesh, but it’s interpretation. Personally, i think the overall story of HP is interesting, haven’t read the books, and the movies are a little dull for me, but it doesn’t hinder my faith. I am not out there with a twig pretending, or actually making things fly in the air and becoming invisible.

    What’s great about harry potter is it has done something we all fail at miserably, and that’s getting our kids to read. With so many video games and tv shows now, what are we doing to promote healthy activities in our kids’ lives? So it’s poorly written, kids are reading it, ingesting verbiage, building vocabulary (sort of) and growing intellectually- and every fan of Potter i know, despite age, has been able to differentiate the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Many of them are passionate God fearing, Acts 2 believers.

    This is my opinion; however, you are entitled to your own. I’m a media professional, I went to school for film, and watch movies like Potter because many of my friends are fans, I feel i shouldn’t judge it if i don’t know what it is, and i study the special effects-that’s my professional job. (potter does well with gfx) That being said, I don’t own a television, a dvd player, or even an actual DVD or VHS; thus, I do not watch syndicated or broadcast television unless i happen upon a show that catches me attention so i find it on Netflix, or online.

    My bottom line: Harry Potter’s main theme is humans with supernatural powers… ABC’s Lost, same thing, that smoke monster thing (don’t spoil season six for me, almost done!) NBC’s Heroes… even CBS’s How I Met Your Mother has supernatural undertones that could be interpreted. I think, if you’re against Harry Potter (you need to at least read it or watch the films, else you’re just wallowing in your ignorance) you should be fundamentally against any thing in media, in film, in reality that even suggest the presence of supernatural powers being used that aren’t from the Holy Spirit. I.E. Twilight, anything Science Fiction, Lord of the Rings, anything vampiric, or in the fiction section of your favorite book store.

    Is that radical? Yeah, it is, but that’s the point- God came to this world to be in it, not of it… you can’t be in the world if you ignorantly judge everyone and everything you disagree with. Jesus partied with strippers and IRS agents… you think they would have given him the light of day had he said “your profession is evil and sinful and you should be stoned to death!” It’s in the law of moses, but Jesus showed them love, engaged them at their level, and brought many of them to redemption.. Want to think big in the small? Show love.

  • Scott Williams

    Great thoughts and discussions, keep em’ coming!

  • Years ago I struggled through this very issue. I decided to read proponents opponents of HP, and there were some key points the proponents made that the opponents could not overcome.

    1. Scripture never condemns using innate ability. In the world of HP (LOTR / CoN, etc…) the wizards have an innate ability to do magic because their world is innately made of magic.

    2. Scripture condemns obtaining a “power” that is not innate nor from God – like real Wicca, which tries to obtain power outside themselves and God. The worlds of HP, et al, possess innate power.

    3. Quote: “While this may be considered a positive, one definite negative is that there is no higher power to answer to at all.” I don’t see this is a real point, unless there’s something I’m missing. I am thinking in terms of the book of Esther in Scripture…

    4. The magic in HP, LOTR, CoN are purely fictional. Can you make a patronus charm? Can you take a specific kind of stick and do wondrous things with it because IT has innate “power”? I believe there is a difference in make-believe and what Scripture condemns.

    My points overlap with each other, but I wanted to show (at least try to show) different aspects of the same point.

  • We have this debate about Harry Potter, but where is the debate about The Wizard of Oz? Or Bewitched? Or any number of other movies/tv shows with the same type of magic/witchcraft/wizardry? It seems there is a double standard at times. Whatever you are–be consistent.

  • The variety of responses here are fascinating. I wonder if those who say Christians shouldn’t read/watch HP would also say Christians shouldn’t flock en masse to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The Pevensie kids have enchanted weapons. Lucy even casts spells in this film. Tsk-tsk, right? Or maybe not. Maybe the message in this (and the HP films) is that good ultimately triumphs over evil. A philosopher friend of mine wrote an article about Harry Potter that I’ve found helpful. I posted a link here: http://rtbtaketwo.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/whats-the-bother-with-harry-potter/.

  • Jeannette

    My statement may be taken as too simplistic or “religous”….. If Jesus were to be sitting with you in your living room and you were watching Harry Potter(or anything else you might watch), would you be watching it? (If you are born again, He is with you anyway.) Philippians 4:8-9 (The Message) gives us a standard to live by:

    8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

    Just saying…

  • Carol

    Since the beginning, the desire to understand how we engage this life has been played out in stories. Most of the time mere words are not adequate to convey emotions, conflict, and triumph. Symbolism is a tool that helps to facilitate that understanding.

    Simply put, people don’t have supernatural powers. Only God does. So I think the scripture reference is misplaced. IF we go to anything that claims this ability we will be sorely disappointed. And to do so insults the majesty of our creator.

    Back to Harry Potter. Harry is an ordinary boy who “fate”(God has chosen us) has smiled on. No matter what challenges are thrown at him, he seems to stumble across extraordinary PROVISION (friends, gadgets, etc) to help him succeed or avoid disaster (trials of faith). Each time he learns that it’s his decision to choose good (obedience), along with the love and support of those around him (community of believers), that gives him strength and wisdom. Sounds like a Christian message to me.

  • angel

    We can justify anything that we want if we really want it…is it edyfying???
    What about the verse from david “I will not set before my eyes any vile thing” Personally I do not allow much in the form of pop culture entertainment in my home, my mind, or my kids minds…don’t want any opportunity for the enemy to creep up in here stealth

  • Andrew Wight

    The question for me is do I want to expose myself (and my family) to the dark or the light. Without question Potter is dark on many levels that do not rest easy in my spirit. So I choose to not watch/participate in that type of entertainment (every Christian & American’s choice).

  • Tina

    As a child of the 70’s I watched Bewitched, HR Puff n Stuff, Wizard of Oz and anything else that came along. Did it hurt me, no. But it just may have exposed me to some themes &/or gave the enemy an inch with which to lure me.

    I later dabbled quite a bit in the occult and can tell you there is a huge difference within my Spirit when I have watched or read something that is pure fantasy and something that teeters on the edge of actual incantations or practices.

    Just my humble option, but why see just how close we can get to evil before it’s too much?

  • Greg

    I see a few different sides of this issue, but overall I do not have a problem with it. I think that everyone on both sides of the line (yay sayers and nay sayers) needs to understand the bottom line of Harry Potter: it is fiction. It is not devil worshiping, it is not promoting witchcraft, it is merely a fictional story of fantasy. Period. However, I would caution those with children and those early in their walk with Christ to understand 2 things: 1) It is fiction 2) Nothing in the movie denounce the power and presence of God. Just because someone can whirl a stick around and make someone disappear doesn’t mean they have the power to cast away their sins. 🙂 When you start setting things like fantasy life as a priority, that is when you start making things of this world your god.

  • Good discussion so far. Just a couple comments.

    Regarding edification, things can only edify if we think rightly about them. To ask, “does it edify?” is simplistic at best. It is what we DO with the subject matter. Are we “thinking” in terms of what is right?

    For instance, pastors must deal with people who struggle with a particular sin. That sin is definitely not good by any stretch, but what is edifying is that the Pastor helps the person being counseled to think rightly about the issue, hence, he is edifying him.

    It just seems to me that the issue of edification comes up as if the topic must do the edifying and we just sit back and be edified without much effort on our part. It is what we DO with the subject that it becomes edifying.

    Paul commands us to “THINK on these things” – it is an effort, something we DO to establish edification.

    I cannot shield my kids from every evil, however, I can address an issue to help them think rightly about it. When we watch a TV program they like and bad attitudes arise, I like to ask them, “Is this a right attitude? Why not? What kind of attitude must we have in a situation like that? How can we change our attitude from a bad attitude to a good attitude in a situation like that? What makes Jesus happy in this situation?”

    THAT is edification. It’s engaging the worldly situations and rightly thinking and acting within those types of situations.

    Sometimes it’s good and right to denounce something outright (NC+17 movies?), but to outright denounce something like HP yet you watch the Wizard of Oz every year, creates questions in your kids’ minds and shows YOUR inconsistencies. And then we wonder why our kids don’t agree with us as they get older.

    I’ve rambled on enough for now…

  • jimmy hankins

    Well, there’s devil’s advocate pro: “Seriously, why stop there? So many many many things can be focused on. So little time, so much to react to…”
    Then, there’s devil’s advocate con: “Seriously? Still not over the whole pigskin touching thing? Or working on the sabbath Cmon!”…
    Then there’s devil’s advocate advocate: Heh heh, got em fighting over the distractions again. Earth girls and Christians…heh heh heh

    Harry Potter is just another view of good against evil where you are led to believe that evil had a chance against good instead of simply being another shadow.

    Or as we non-aliens like to think of it; fictional entertainment.

    But y’all obsess over whatever you want. We’ll make more…still, I do miss the hullabaloo over Halloween. It’s just not the same without all the focus on the Evil Occult UberLordz of Evil! Muah hah hah!

    At least we have Potter. Oh and those Weezly’s..imagine, purebloods associating with muggles…or worse yet, mudbloods like that Grainger girl…

    Can you grok it? Like a G6? Or is it cause you got jesus on yer necklace (lace-ace)?

    What? Too many culteral/generational references for ya? kk. DJ turn it up!

    (grin)

  • Femi

    This argument can go on and on without any headway.

    My thoughts are simple. Take a child that loves Jesus… I mean really loves Jesus! Then expose that child to HP shows consistently (just 1 month), then have a chat with the child afterwards …you will know the answer to whether Christians should watch or read HP.

  • My $.02 is this. They’re books. That’s it. Harry Potter, Davinci Code, and Twilight for that matter are books. As for age appropriateness, that’s for individual parents to decide. Would I let my 4 year old watch the Harry Potter movies? No. He’s 4. Could I watch them (taste in film aside)? Sure. There was so much hoopla over the Davinci Code movie that was all about nothing. If you, or anyone else is losing your/their faith over that movie, or book. The fault lies in your weak faith. Not a book. And not a great book at that. It was an ok book. Love the blog Scott.

  • jimmy hankins

    Femi, With the faith of a child, he’ll simply wonder why you don’t just ask Jesus. (grin)

  • maya

    I’m 13 and have read 6 of 7 HP books. (my dad has yet to finish 7) 🙂 I’ve also seen moves 1-4.
    I really enjoy them and think they’re great stories! I think it depends on the family and their beliefs, but I don’t think HP from the Devil or anything like that! I also don’t think J.K. Rowling is purposely trying to get kids to practice Witchcraft! My dad has read each book before me, which I think (depending on the age) is the way to go. That way he knows what I’m reading and can discuss the books with me. ( he said he thinks the romance is way more controversial than the magic) 🙂 I highly recommend reading them with a parent or child. It’s fun to have something in common to talk about and enjoy together! Now before I finish, I’d like to make 2 points:
    1. There’s no grey in the books! There’s a bad guy(side) and a good guy(side).
    2. Real witches do not go around flying on brooms and playing Quidditch. 😉
    Well I hope that helps someone! Oh, and the movies are great too! 🙂

  • Natashaj Stewart

    I’ve been raised in church since I was born and got saved as a kid. I have also given a testimony at a youth rally a little while back. I’m thirteen and have commited myself to being a servant of God and I just finished watching the series Harry potter with my cousin. I was curious if since there is magic and spells involved would it affect my walk with God. I think the series is great and I love it but I’m not obsessed. I agree with most of what was already said I mean it’s ok to enjoy a good book or movie but when it become more important to you than God then something is wrong. I think that as a teen its good to be mature, and to know right from wrong. I think Harry potter teaches good lessons on how to build friendships and to believe in yourself no matter what kind of evil (darkness) might be within your heart and that good can always overpower evil. I think Harry teaches young kids to be brave and faithful because when someone told him he was crazy for believing that voldemort was back he never stop telling people! I think that’s a good demonstration of what us youth should be doing saving people! And telling them about God! Other than the fact that it demonstrats this through the form of witchcraft I think it’s avoid series! 🙂

  • RachellovesLOTR

    I noticed that some of you have compared the fantasy in Harry Potter to The Lord of the Rings or Narnia. The main reason I prefer those two series more is because they don’t focus on witchcraft or creating potions like the characters do in Harry Potter. The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia are set in imaginative worlds, whereas Harry Potter is set in a school in London. So, HP was never really an escape based series in the first place.

    Yes, there are mentions of wizardry in LOTR and Narnia. But they don’t emphasize it so much, they focus more on what it means to fight against evil and on the meaning of who you are, and how you can overcome temptation, no one ever conjures up potions, crystal ball gazing, or palmistry (The main activities in HP) so this is what makes them separate from Harry Potter. The magic in LOTR and Narnia is more imaginative than from the occult. I understand that there are a lot of Harry Potter fans, so I’m not out to judge you for liking it. We’re all born to like something, but personally I never loved it or got into it eagerly.

    Unlike J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S Lewis, JK Rowling has stated in interviews that she follows no religion and tried to keep the HP books free of positive Christian themed messages, unlike LOTR and Narnia the HP books have no Christian themes.

    LOtR and Narnia may not necessarily mention Jesus specifically, but they certainly don’t have anything that goes against what God wants. Again, I’m not out to point fingers, because we’re all human and we all sin, I just personally try to avoid diving into themes of witchcraft or sorcery.

  • Sydney

    Then again, Harry Potter is not real and kids and anyone should know that he is not real… So i think it is okay if a Christian watches or reads the books. Remember, none of it is real. It is just there for entertainment. Christian kids should be smart enough to know not to get into witchcraft. My whole family is Christian, and we loved seeing the movies and reading the books. I will raise my children to know that witchcraft is bad, but i will let them watch Harry Potter.

  • Makayla

    I was raised in a Christian home my entire life and I have been restricted since a young age to watch many movies. Such as, Spiderman, Batman, Harry Potter, and other movies based of of the theory that there is something other than God. My parents have loosened the reigns on a few of those movies as they get older and more tired but the one they with hold a grudge to is Harry Potter.
    Now, I go to a public school and have friends who weren’t raised the same as I was so naturally, I was convinced to watch these movies behind my parents backs. I was fourteen. After I watched the movies it instantly brought question as to why my parents forbade my to watch these TERRIBLE movies that GLORIFIED witchcraft and wizardry but aloud me to watch LOTR or Guardian’s of or the Galaxy without any issue. So I asked them, and they told me that Harry Potter brings a bad message (but couldn’t elaborate on what that ‘bad message’ was) and it shows that participating in witchcraft is okay and glorified. (They have never read or watched the movies) Yes, I guess that’s true…but the thing they don’t remember that this story IS fiction and doesn’t necessarily bring a bad messages on the lines of “Do drugs! It’s good for you!” or “Everything comes easy in life!” Why should everyone throw a fit over a story that states God may not be real? There are plenty of movies out there that say that and if a simple movie can change someone’s faith, then I doubt they had a very strong one in the first place. The movies did not change my faith in any way. Sure, I think it would be pretty cool if the world of Hogwarts did exist as much as I think Middle Earth and Narnia would be cool.
    Parents, allow your children to experience the outside world. Let them see the ideas of others that may not believe in God and raise them to see their own views, not yours because ultimately that is what matters in the end. They need to find their own faith.

    Thanks for reading my rant 😛 (This is basically what I would like to say to my parents right now)

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