Hii, darlings! I hope that you all had a lovely first half of July, and that your second half goes just as wonderfully. And if not, I dearly hope with all my heart and soul that you are at least able to see God in the midst of it and that things get better for you <3.
Today’s post is one that is a fairly controversial topic in the Christian community. I am not at all trying to pick a fight, and regardless of where you stand on the topic of Harry Potter & Christians reading it, you are allowed to have your own opinions on this topic and this post is in no way an attempt to try to get you to change your position. This is more of a gentle discussion that will hopefully spark more conversations about what media we as Christians should be taking in.
This post is part of a post series that I am excited to be starting. It is called “Should Christians Read…” and will basically be me discussing various books & genres and whether or not Christians should read them. This series was created because I myself have lately been trying to make better decisions about the media I am consuming, and hopefully I am able to help you guys as well. If you have any books or genres that you would like me to discuss whether or not Christians should read, please feel free to let me know in the comments.
Okay, wow. I’m gonna be completely honest with you guys, I am very nervous to be writing this, because what if I word things wrong? And what if I offend someone? I really hope I write this well <3.
A lot of Christians have chosen not to read Harry Potter because of the witchcraft aspect, so! I guess we will be diving headfirst into this part first. No Bible believing Christian can deny that the Bible warns against witchcraft. Revelation clearly warns against this, saying multiple times that the sorcerers will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (Revelation 9:21, Revelation 21:8, Revelation 22:15).
But then the question is: what does the Bible mean by sorcerers? I personally take sorcerers to mean people who practice witchcraft and/or the occult. Anyone who uses tarot cards, a ouija board, palm readers, horoscopes, etc, is practicing the occult. So, the Bible means those people are sorcerers. The Harry Potter series does not include the occult in it (well, actually it does, but I will be elaborating on that in a second), so it should be okay for Christians to read, right? Not exactly.
Harry Potter does have one occult themed storyline that some readers may be uncomfortable with (I personally was not thrilled with it and personally think that J.K. Rowling could have left it out). Those of my readers who have read Harry Potter probably already know what I’m about to talk about. I’m going to talk about Professor Trelawney’s class. Professor Trelawney runs the divination class (fortune telling). She has the students read tea leaves and attempt to predict the future. She also has visions. So yes, this is definitely a problematic. I would like to point out that she is seen continually as a fraud throughout the series (although she does have a few visions that are real and VERY creepy), so you may want to keep that in mind.
The witchcraft in Harry Potter is undoubtedly the most problematic aspect. After all, as I recently mentioned, the Bible warns against witchcraft. But now I ask you all, is the witchcraft in Harry Potter actual witchcraft? It is all very silly and fake and fantasy-themed. Everything in the series is built upon a magic system and not a religion. I won’t be going too in depth into this because I feel that there is no need. But! I would like to point out that a lot of Christians who are uncomfortable with Harry Potter choose to read Percy Jackson (a MUCH more problematic series — I may or may not do a post about it in the near future). Percy Jackson is all about false gods and even includes prayers to the gods (it includes other things that are very anti-Christian). I personally am far more uncomfortable with Percy Jackson then I am with Harry Potter. Percy Jackson is literally about false gods?? And it never makes it clear that these gods are false? And besides, in the actual mythology, these gods are very sinful and evil, and yet in Percy Jackson, they are seen as good?? Personally, I would rather read a book series about magic (that is fantasy themed rather then wicca themed) instead of a series about false gods that are good.
Witchcraft is not Harry Potter’s only problematic theme. Throughout the series there is swearing, making out scenes, graphic violence, really dark storylines that may disturb readers, and gore. These alone should make us all wary of the Harry Potter series. One more thing we should stay aware of is that Harry Potter is not written by a Christian. Books that aren’t written by Christians may not all be problematic (I personally don’t read a lot of Christian fiction — although I am trying to read more because I feel like secular YA literature lines up with my beliefs less and less every day), but they definitely do not reflect a Christian worldview. And this is something we need to be aware of.
Something that I saw an article talking about while I was researching the topic of Christians & Harry Potter, was whether or not Harry Potter normalizes witchcraft. I mean, I will say that potentially because of Harry Potter, we (Christians) are probably desensitized to witchcraft. Someone who is a Harry Potter fan might go on to read a book with more occult themes and yet assume that “it’s just like Harry Potter, there’s not problem”. So yes, Harry Potter has definitely normalized witchcraft in our culture. We as Christians need to be more alert as more occult stuff appears in our world.
The final thing that I would like to end with is that as Christians we are called to love others. This means loving those who practice witchcraft and the occult. Despite not agreeing with their beliefs, we need to love them just as Jesus loved us. Jesus loved the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the drunks, and the broken sinners. He loves us, and aren’t we incredibly broken? Don’t we not deserve His love? And yet He chooses to love us. Can’t we follow in His footsteps and love those who practice witchcraft and the occult? If we hate on them, we leave a bad taste of Christianity in their mouths, driving them even further away from God. If we care for them, we get a chance to be witnesses to them. Don’t you want that opportunity? I know I do.
Oh! And I just remembered that the point of this post was to talk about whether or not Christians should read Harry Potter. I’ll talk about that right now. My conclusion is that it really depends on your conviction. I am comfortable with Harry Potter (as long as I remember that it is just fantasy and nothing more), you might not be. That’s alright. We all have our own beliefs and that is fine!! By the way, I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please feel free to contact me if you want to have a more detailed conversation.
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I hope that Jesus blesses your day,