Wizards the Games

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Wizards the Games

Post  technology tester on Mon May 31, 2010 4:44 am

The mass media's promotion of contrary values have prompted even Christians to replace or distort the pursuit of God with the pursuit of pleasure. So God's standards would hardly win a popularity contest today. Popular versions of Christianity has wisely rejected some of the stiff legalism of the past, but it has also tossed out God's much-needed guidelines and warnings.

The result is license to do almost anything that feels good. Christians who refuse to compromise are often demeaned as old-fashioned kill-joys who bring reproof and embarrassment to those who fear offending the world with the whole truth of the gospel. That's why Jesus warned us long ago,
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.... Remember the words I spoke to you: ... If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.... for they do not know the One who sent me." John 15:18-21
God gave us His Word that we might know Him. The Bible reveals His heart, will and ways. It alone can show us what is truth or error in those seven public responses to the Harry Potter phenomenon.

1. Chuck Colson praised Harry and his friends for their "courage, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice... for one another—even at the risk of their lives." Those qualities can be found in almost any culture. But, according to the Bible, a brave person is no more free to pursue paganism than a coward. Harry's occult skills -- witchcraft, sorcery, casting spells, spiritism, interpreting omens and "calling up the dead" fit into a category God tells us not even to discuss. "For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord...." Eph. 5:10-12, Deut. 18:9-12

Colson's dismissal of the dangers of delighting in such evils as "purely mechanical," makes no sense from a Biblical perspective. He says that "Harry and his friends cast spells, read crystal balls, and turn themselves into animals—but they don't make contact with a supernatural world…." Where then does their power come from? Natural rather than supernatural forces?

Of course not. Rowling doesn't acknowledge the source, but anyone who has researched witchcraft and talked with contemporary pagans will see the alarming parallels between contemporary occultism and Rowling's seductive message to children. (If you find this hard to believe, please read chapters 4 and 8 of A Twist of Faith

2. World Magazine (5-29-1999) made the same error. Calling Harry Potter's world "a delight... safe, inoffensive, and non-occult," is misleading assurance. True, "magic must have rules," but the primary rule of the occult is that Satan doesn't offer free and easy favors for long. He may indulge seekers in a free ride for a while, but as soon as his victims have been captivated by his lures -- all of which are counterfeits of what God offers those who follow Him -- he begins to demand his payoff. Suddenly the bright side of evil turns dark indeed. Attempts to resist or turn back usually lead to spiritual terrors and oppression.

As World indicated, "good does not—cannot—mix with bad" but not because "good" motives are always "good," even in a pagan context. God's good is corrupted when adapted to a pagan setting. In fact, God doesn't want what He considers good to be linked to the occult. He sends us out to pagans to share His love, but we cannot delight in what He calls evil. God shows us His reason in a most politically incorrect message:

"What fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?.... For we are the temple of the living God.... 'Therefore come out from them and be separate," says the Lord.'" 2 Cor. 6:14-17

3. World's second article maintained that "the real world of witchcraft is not Harry Potter's world. Neither attractive nor harmless, it is powerful and evil."

Actually, today's pagan movement is attractive to anyone disillusioned by unfriendly churches. It entices seekers by showing the "light" side of occultism. Contemporary witches -- both men and women -- that I have met are sincere, often compassionate, usually well educated and frustrated with today's rampant materialism. Few look evil. Instead, they demonstrate God's warning in 2 Cor. 11:14-15,

"For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness...."

The younger generation of pagans show another side. Many dabble in black magic and the other "dark arts" that are so seductively taught at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[9] Apart from the fantasy setting and dramatic demonstrations of magic, there is little difference between Harry's skills and the real world of the occult.

4. Mark Greene's endorsement in the British Christianity raises some serious questions. What does he mean by "Harry -- fine lad you know.... Comes from a good stock...." Is he referring to Harry's parents -- a witch and a wizard? Is he speaking as director of London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, or is this simply his personal opinion?

One thing is certain. This attitude is driving the current transformation of the Church. It's time for serious Christians to "count the cost" and be ready to stand uncompromisingly strong in the Truth God has given us.

5. They denies that Harry Potter "fosters an attachment to evil powers." It calls Harry's world "a moral one." It's wrong on both points. Just review the testimony from the Pagan Federation, which reaps the fruit from the soaring interest in Witchraft.

Second, Harry and his friends may show loyalty to each other and courage in the face of danger. But they also lie and steal. Would you call that a moral world? adds this insight:
"stealing, lies, hate, revenge, and even murder are presented in a complete absence of moral conflict. Lying exists, of course, in the plots of many children's books, but there is normally an at least tacit recognition that lying is a moral problem of some sort."

6. Focus on the Family critic, Lindy Beam came closest to the truth. The last part of her counsel is right: "Apart from the benefit of wise adult guidance in reading these books, it is best to leave Harry Potter on the shelf."

As for the first half of her counsel, it might be good to remember God's definition of wisdom: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
The fear of the Lord involves a sober awareness of what He loves, of what He despises, and of the consequences of disobedience and rebellion against Him. It leads to a sincere desire to please Him, heartfelt gratefulness for His mercy, and unending delight in His loving presence. So when we choose to "fear the Lord" we will heed Romans 12:9,

Among the obvious evils are the practices listed in Deuternomy 18:9-12: witchcraft, sorcery, spellcasting, divination, calling up the dead, etc. In other words, children who delight in Harry's occult world of spells and magic will naturally learn to enjoy evil and crave more. But they cannot "cling to what is good" while they love evil. The two are incompatible.

In other words, "wise adult guidance" would most likely choose to "leave Harry Potter on the shelf."

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