I remember when the first Harry Potter movie came out. I was taken aback by the frenzy of the many people who were flocking to see it and read the books. I was taken aback then, and I am still taken aback now. Only now, I am even more perplexed, not so much at those who are not followers of Christ who get excited over the movie, but those who are in Christ.
The main problem isn’t that the movie has a witch in it. Such movies as “The Chronicles of Narnia” also have a witch in them. But there is a massive difference. Whereas the Chronicles of Narnia completely depict the witch as evil, allegorically making her synonymous with Satan, the movies and books of Harry Potter depict the witch as the protagonist, effectively endorsing the character and his actions by the unspoken, yet very real medium of the story line and the cinematography. Movie goers find themselves (as to be expected with any movie) “on the side of” the protagonist, identifying with him.
I am worried that the Evangelical church is blending more and more in with the world by not being discerning in the things we take part in. Evidence of this can be found in many different areas, but I want to focus on this particular area right now. The area of entertainment, and specifically Harry Potter.
God’s plan for His church is the same as it has been for His original human creation from the very beginning, and what was passed on to Israel. We are to bear the image of God in the world and reflect His glory wherever we go. We have received a promise from God, a promise that was passed down from Abraham on and culminating in Messiah Jesus. It’s a promise to bring God’s blessing to the whole world. And as God’s chosen people who carry His blessing, we are called, like Israel was, to live our lives in God’s ways, reflecting His character to that world. In so doing, we make Him known to those who are lost and without hope in the world.
I offer the following scriptures for consideration:
“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 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, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 18:9-13
And, lest anyone complain that this is “Old Testament stuff,” Ephesians 5:6-11 says:
“Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light–for the fruit of the Light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth–discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
And again in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18:
“Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? And what agreement does God’s sanctuary have with idols? For we are the sanctuary of the living God, as God said, ‘I will dwell among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people. Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.'”
These words are not my own. They are God’s. And I think at the very least, we need to ask ourselves one question: Would He approve or sit in the theater and watch the movie with me?
Will watching Harry Potter affect your salvation? Of course not. We are saved by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. But what I just don’t understand is, why we as Christians would WANT to watch, take pleasure in, or support something that God clearly hates. What about God’s call for us to be His light in the world and the salt of the earth? (Matthew 5:13-16) If we argue that “it’s O.K. for me,” are we really thinking about the others in the world who live in darkness who need the light that we bring? Are we taking seriously enough the call to be a blessing to the whole world by bearing God’s image and glory?
I realize many of you will not agree with my assessment, and that’s fine. Personally, I am glad this whole Harry Potter series is finally coming to an end. Good riddance. But many of you who are Potter fans and Christians might have a differing view on this whole thing. I do hope this blog challenges you, but I’m not trying to be a bully on this subject, nor am I trying to be judgmental. I welcome your feedback, as long as it’s well thought out and biblically supported. But most of all, I believe we can still love one another in the process, no matter which side of the HP debate we are on.