Movie: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" and a response to: Is harry potter a christian tale?

~by Marcia Montenegro, July 2011

Page 2 of 2

A Christian Tale?

Much is made of the supposed Christian themes in Harry Potter. This has been addressed in other CANA articles on the Harry Potter books, and answered by writers like Michael O'Brien and Richard Abanes.

Since Harry meets the dead Dumbledore at King's Cross station (at least Harry thinks it looks like it), some have read a Christian meaning into "King's Cross." But this railway station is one of the busiest in London, connecting with many places. As pointed out in Harry Potter Wiki, it is appropriate that Harry believes he is there because that is the place where he entered the world of wizardry by going into Platform 9 3/4 to get the train to Hogwarts. It is also the border between the Muggle (non-witches and non-wizards) and Wizard worlds (http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/King's_Cross_Station).

King's Cross is a real station in London used in the story as a gateway between Muggles and Wizards and, in the last book, life and death. As it is a central rail station in real life where trains from many areas come and go, so it is in the books.

Harry does let Voldemort kill him after he finds out that he (Harry) is a Horcrux, and thus this will weaken Voldemort. This is a sacrifice. But a general story of sacrifice out of love, though it is an echo of Christ, is not sufficient to say the books are Christian. Many books have these themes. It is more accurate to say that the story of Christ is possibly reflected in stories of those who have heard it, or that themes of sacrifice and love derive from a Christian influence on the culture.

Aside from the lack of a true Christian meaning in the books is the fact that the books are very centered on occult arts and power. Casting spells is pivotal to most confrontations in the story and much is made of Harry learning his craft as a wizard.

Many claim the spell casting and other occult arts are merely plot devices. I have, however, over the years, carefully noted where real occult concepts and practices are in the books (sometimes given different names). This is documented, with specific references to the books, in previous CANA articles on Harry Potter. By this, I am not claiming that J. K. Rowling deliberately did this. In fact, I think she is unaware of what the occult really is and from what she has said in interviews, does not seem to believe in its reality. I think she has inserted ideas she has read or heard of without understanding there are spiritual dimensions to these practices.

Think about it: Would you as a Christian, knowing Deut. 18:10-14, and wanting to write a story with a Christian message then choose to make the hero a young boy who goes off to a school to learn to cast spells, divination, contact the dead, and include numerous and often positive references to astrology, amulets, charms, numerology, and magical potions? All of these activities exist and people make use of them today. Such a scenario is not even rational; yet in defense of these books, numerous people are dismissing or telling others to dismiss the occult activities so prominent in the books as mere plot enhancers.

A theme of sacrifice, love, and resurrection amidst the promotion occult practices and concepts does not send a gospel message nor does it allude to Christ, who would certainly not accept, much less endorse, that which is condemned in scripture.

Moreover, these books have led many to investigate the occult (I know this from my email and others, like writer Richard Abanes, have documented it). It is fact that the popularity of these books led at least four publishers to announce in 2001 that they would start putting out similar books with heroes who are wizards, witches, or something similar. Since then, a proliferation of books, cartoons, and movies have been produced in which practicing spells or using psychic powers is not a bad thing, but a good thing.

If Harry Potter is a Christian book, then why is it that due to Harry Potter, children badgered a pagan society in the UK with questions about witchcraft and white magic? Why did I get emails asking if there is a real Hogwarts, and could I please direct them to information on how to learn white magic?

Why is it that Harry Potter displays in bookstores included books for children and teens about the occult and how to practice it? I saw this over and over again each time a Harry Potter book came out, and even purchased some of these books for examination. These books gave information on actual occult concepts and practices, and, in some cases, directions on how to perform spells. I also tracked some of the numerous websites that popped up in connection with Harry Potter giving instructions on numerology (one allegedly run by Hermione) and spells, many of which were frequently linked to zodiac sites (as a former astrologer, I was particularly distressed at this). It should be stressed that these books and websites were written for and marketed to young people.

Dialoguing with Harry Potter Fans

Even if one does not believe there are authentic Christian themes in the books, one can use the themes of death and sacrifice to talk about Christ. One can ask: What would Jesus have to say about casting spells? What would Jesus say about power?

Jesus upheld the Old Testament as God's word. Being part of the Trinitarian Godhead, Jesus is always in unity with the Father. Therefore, just as Moses passed on God's command that one must avoid all occult arts such as casting spells, divination, contacting the dead, consulting mediums, spiritism, and so forth, so would Jesus uphold this.

There is nothing in the Bible about seeking to build power or gain power. Rather, God tells people that He alone is God and has power over everything. We are told that after his ascension, Jesus is at the right hand of God (a position of power and authority), "having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him" (1 Peter 3:22; also, Colossians 2:15). He is "the head over all rule and authority" (Colossians 2:10).

In Harry Potter, Harry is seeking to gain power over Voldemort. But with Christ it is opposite: one who believes in Him as the Savior seeks Christ's strength, not one's own, because man's power against evil is puny since he himself is infected by it. Only because Christ atoned for sins through his death and gives us his life through his resurrection can one be free of the infection's power and from the penalty of sin (evil) through trusting him.

"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so." Deut. 18:10-14

"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." John 6:40

Resources

Articles:
Article on book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_HarryPotterDeathlyHallows1.html

Article on the movie, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part one"
http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_HarryPotterMovieGrim.html

Harry Potter and the Paganization of Children's Culture by Michael O’Brien
http://www.arcapologetics.org/articles/article02.htm

Books:
Harry Potter, Narnia, and Lord of the Rings, Richard Abanes

Harry Potter and the Bible, Richard Abanes

Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture, Michael O'Brien

SpellBound: The Paranormal Seduction of Today's Kids, Marcia Montenegro

 

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