Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A CRIMSON CAPLET - Is Harry Potter 'Christ-like'?



(the following article was taken from Telegraph UK and will be seen in red font - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/harry-potter/8083870/Harry-Potter-is-Christ-like-claims-theologian.html and I shall include my own commentary in white font)

They are beloved by millions of children and adults alike, but the Harry Potter series has attracted widespread censure from fundamentalist Christians who claim the books encourage witchcraft.

So here is the question: Do the Harry Potter novels in fact, encourage witchcraft? In my opinion, yes and no. To those who want to read these novels as just fun entertainment, probably not, or they may acquire a temporary fascination, experiment a bit, and then move on in some other direction. Others, who may already have an attraction to spirituality may in fact become committed witches after reading and become inspired by these books.

Whether one 'experiments' in occult endeavors or is fully committed, ANY involvement whatsoever can result in devastating and dire consequences. A simple 'toying' with a Ouija board for example, can result in demon possession (which literally happened and was researched by William Blatty who wrote the novel The Exorcist, but based it on four actual case studies of possession).
J.K. Rowling certainly did her homework when it comes to methods of meditation and acquiring an altered state of consciousness, and in various forms of ritual common to witchcraft; just as George Lucas knew his material in creating the legendary Jedi Knights and their Buddhist-identical view of the universe and the mystical. Mr. Lucas himself has an affinity for Buddhism.
However, one thing in which these two powerhouse film franchises differ: there are no such things as Jedi Knights . . .

The congregation of the Christ Community Church in Alamogordo in southern New Mexico even staged a book burning claiming 'behind that innocent face is the power of satanic darkness.'
But now the boy wizard has found an unlikely ally
.

Burning books would seem a far less effective means of deterring the reading of these novels by children than if Christian parents took them in hand, and in gentle, loving conviction firmly stated, explained why wizardry and witchcraft are dangerous, and why those who practice such things place themselves, and those closest to them in spiritual danger. Further explain to these inquisitive, young minds how and why spiritual life in Jesus Christ is far superior and actually the only life for those who desire to obey and please God.

Theologian Rev Dr Stephen Holmes has claimed Harry Potter should be seen as a "Christ-like" figure because he promotes Biblical values.

Harry Potter promotes Biblical values? What a fascinating assertion! How, Dr. Holmes does he promote Biblical values? Forgive me Doctor, but the answer does not at all seem 'elementary' to me (and no, my name is not Watson).

The Acting head of divinity at St Andrews University, said some religious commentators had been hasty in their condemnation of the phenomenally successful series.
He read the books after hearing them denounced as "ungodly" and concluded that they contained a very obvious Christian narrative
.

So not only does this boy wizard promote Biblical values, but this story contains "a very obvious Christian narrative"! My word, this explanation I simply must hear!

He said: "What do you need to succeed at Hogwarts? Courage, self-sacrifice, careful logic and to be unselfish. It's almost a classical list of Christian values.
"The behaviour that is recommended in the Potter books is profoundly Christian."
Dr Holmes said the Biblical inspiration became most apparent in the final book, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, the film version of which is due to released next month
.

Courage, self-sacrifice, careful logic, and unselfishness? This sort of morality seems rather common place in any religion, even secular humanism would aspire to such noble intentions. So how are these values necessarily Biblical? Also, I would take exception that 'careful logic' is necessarily a Biblical value - after all the scriptures do state that God's ways are as high above our own as the heavens are above the earth (see Isaiah 55:9)!

Other religious leaders have sacrificed for the sakes of their followers, some have even given their lives for the causes they fought for. The foundation of Christianity is not that Jesus Christ died on the Cross merely, and by doing so defeat some arch-villain (He did), but that He took upon Himself the sins of the world, died in our place and then rose from the grave offering the victory over death and eternal life to all who repent of their sins and by faith believe the Gospel.

Jesus Christ did not perform the various miracles and healings by some incantation or the waving of a magic wand, nor by some mystical power did He exemplify the art of levitation with occult flourish, but by the very Spirit of God (the same God incidentally that denounces and condemns witchcraft, wizardry, communication with the dead (necromancy), charmers, etc (see
Deut 18:10-11, Lev 17:7).

It seems that in Harry Potter novels, just as in Star Wars, the magickal forces are really from one source, and that it's the intent that makes these forces either good or bad. This is hardly a Biblical value, nor is it profoundly Christian. The Bible emphatically states that the practices of religious mysticism, magick, sorcery and the like are exclusively evil, and that only the power of God's Spirit is good and holy.

He pointed to the denouement in which the wizard confronts his arch-enemy Lord Voldemort for the final time.
Dr Holmes said: "What happens gives the strong impression that Harry dies, discovers an afterlife in a place called King's Cross - a striking reference from a Christian perspective - and comes back to life.
"The effect of his death has been to render impotent the power of evil. That is a Christian narrative which is almost impossible not to recognise
.

One must wonder what sort of Bible Dr. Holmes reads that he can examine a Harry Potter novel and correlate that to the history, themes and truths of scripture. Not to mention the fact that anyone (be they an imaginary character or a real person imitating Christ Jesus in such a fashion, but whose source of spiritual power is derived from the very opposite source of the Kingdom of God, would by definition be anti-Christ in implication (that is, a person who would be deemed worthy as a substitute for Christ and thereby touching and stealing the glory of God).

"JK Rowling is not saying to people 'you ought to be a witch'. She is trying to imagine a world in which wizardry and witchcraft are a reality and that is an important distinction."
The author, a regular churchgoer whose daughter Jessica was baptised into the Church of Scotland, has previously insisted that her books have no religious agenda
.

I do beg your pardon Dr. Holmes, but wizards (in particular fashion) and witches ARE A REALITY , and any distinction between these two by way of recruitment really doesn't matter a whole lot. Rowling's books are powerful and inspirational enough that children who read this series are eagerly emulating Harry Potter more so than they are Jesus Christ.

"No religious agenda" is a striking statement considering that witchcraft is gaining huge popularity in our day; a casual perusal in your local bookstore chain reveals an increasing fascination for and belief in witchcraft, nature worship, reincarnation, meditation, etc. Yet we are to assume that Harry Potter in both book and film version have nothing to do with this trend, especially among our youth?

She said in 2007: "I did not set out to convert anyone to Christianity. I wasn't trying to do what CS Lewis (author of the Chronicles of Narnia) did. It is perfectly possible to live a very moral life without a belief in God, and I think it's perfectly possible to live a life peppered with ill-doing and believe in God."

I almost completely agree with Rowling in her above statement. It is "possible to live a moral life without a belief in God", and its quite true that "its perfectly possible to love a life peppered with ill-doing and believe in [a] God." There are atheistic humanists that seek to feed the poor, care for the sick, help the needy, etc. There are also those that devoutly believe in [a] God and commit ill-doing, like flying airliners into skyscrapers and such like.

Yet for those who genuinely believe in Jesus Christ and are born of His Spirit, these are followers of the Creator God and we endeavor to walk in the Light of God's grace, love and peace and to stand for righteousness and holiness and truth. Any of us gifted with the ability to write would seek to use such a gift to draw others to the Truth of God's Word and the Gospel (take Frank Peretti for example). Yet church-goer Rowling states that she didn't "set out to convert anyone to Christianity."

She has also stated that the books have been "lauded and taken into the pulpit" just as much as they have been attacked from a theological point of view.


I have no desire to attack this intelligent lady who is obviously a gifted novelist, but I likewise have no desire for children to be subjected to teachings of witchcraft (be it in non-fiction or fiction form); yet Christian parents, and even pastors not only see nothing wrong with Rowling's stories, but they promote them!

For more information on Harry Potter, witchcraft and related topics, please visit the following web sites: From www.christiananswers.net read the following article:

From the web site Christian Answers for the New Age (C.A.N.A.) there are reams of valuable information by Marcia Montenegro -
(page 1 of 4: to read all four segments visit the web site [http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/]
and type in "Harry Potter" in the search engine).

To view the site of Ex-Witches who are now believing Christians, go here:

May the LORD guide you into all Truth, and bring to you His wisdom in dealing with issues such as these.
Your brother in Christ Jesus,

James J. Fire

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