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franklin county times

Every reason to fear Harry Potter

By By Allen Shortridge / special to The Star
July 5, 2003
In the June 22 issue of The Meridian Star, there were four articles about the Harry Potter books. None of these articles were unfavorable toward these books and the surrounding fanfare concerning the release of the newest edition.
I feel compelled to raise a voice of dissent against these supposed harmless and benign publications. Is the Harry Potter series harmless fantasy or dangerous fascination?
Many quotes in the article depict the "religious" fervor accompanying the release of J.K. Rowling's latest book "Order of the Phoenix."
We are to shun anything that replaces God or turns our hearts away form God. In I Thessalonians 5:22, Paul tells us to test everything, hold on to the good and avoid every kind of evil. We readily see that righteous judgments about popular culture are all too rare today, even in churches. Read Hebrews 5:11-14.
In the light of scriptural examination, are the Potter books, "Just good fun?" Do they merely depict "The battle of good verses evil?" The answer is emphatically, "No."
The Potter series is steeped in thinly disguised occultism. It favors morally flawed, egocentric characters who lie with impunity, practice occult techniques, use profanity and refuse to repent. It also frequently depicts gratuitous violence.
There is some glory in that these books have children reading again, rather than glued to the TV or computer screen. Actually, they have only moved from one moral, spiritual and intellectual wasteland to another.
A close inspection of the Potter books reveal their close connection to nearly every facet of the occult alchemy, astrology, spells, mediumship and other pagan practices. These books desensitize children and others to the forbidden and dangerous world of pagan magic.
Deuteronomy 18:9-14 warns against the heathen practices common in that day.
These include human sacrifice, divination, astrologers, enchanters, witches, charmers, consulters with familiar spirits, wizards and necromancers. All that engage in these things are an abomination unto the Lord. Also read Galatians 5:19-21. Revelation 22:15 warns against sorcerers, and places them with murderers.
Pagan groups sing the praises of these books and why not? They are pushing and promoting the popularity of witchcraft. Young people have reported their desire to become witches after reading of their spell-casting hero, Harry Potter.
We are in a desperate hour when nations and the young people of our nation need to turn to God and his word. Parents and ministers will not be blameless before God unless they refute Satan's encroachment through the Harry Potter series.
Remember the sobering words of Jesus: "And whoso shall receive on such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:5-6)
Anytime the dark side of the supernatural world is presented as harmless or even imaginary there is the danger children will become curious and find too late that witchcraft is neither harmless nor imaginary. In a culture with an obvious trend toward witchcraft and new age ideology, parents need to consider the effects these ideas have on young and impressionable minds.
To answer my earlier query, I must say that the Harry Potter series is not harmless fantasy, but rather very surely is dangerous fascination. May God help us again.
Allen Shortridge is pastor of Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ, 1404 Highway 19 South.