You only have to look at the magazine Christianity Today (CT) to realize that something has gone very wrong with evangelicalism in recent years. This periodical was started by Billy Graham many years ago and was the magazine of choice for most evangelicals. In the 1980s, it began a slow slide to the Left and the state of it now should be a warning. When a church, a denomination, or in this case, a magazine, begins a downward spiral, it almost never turns around and corrects its crash course. In other words, slippery slopes only lead to whoever is on them crashing and burning. Very rarely do they pick themselves up again and head back in the right direction. Many of us maintain that turning Left is still not right.
It didn’t take long for the magazine to hit another one out of the heretical park. That is only if you see the Harry Potter series as downright dangerous for kids and teens. Harry is gigantic news right now, in that part 2 of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows has premiered big time! Many showings were sold out well in advance. The Los Angeles Times is calling this “the most successful film franchise in modern Hollywoodand the most impactful piece of pop culture for a generation.” Christianity Today writer John Granger thinks just about like the newspaper.
Granger has authored a July online article in CT titled, Harry Potter is Here to Stay: Why the Final Movie is Only the Beginning of the Harry Potter Phenomenon. I will warn you up front: Granger is going to be among a lot of commentators who are comparing Harry to Jesus Christ, and who insist you really can find God in all things Harry Potter.
He’s right about one thing: Harry Potter is here to stay, but it’s because occultism and witchcraft are here to stay and these things are to wax worse and worse in the last days. But Granger says, “Harry survives many near-deaths because of his ‘bond of blood’ with the sacrificial love of his mother. Seven years in a row, Harry dies a near death and ‘rises from the dead’ in the presence of, or symbol of, Christ. Our hearts recognize, resonate with, and thrill to Harry’s annual death to self and resurrection. Rowling has written a spiritual allegory of the soul’s transformation to perfection in Christ.”
To add further consternation to people like me, Granger then proceeds to talk about Stephanie Meyer’s series on vampires called Twilight. He states that both Potter and Twilight have “resurrection experiences after a sacrificial death.” He also states that, “Harry Potter revealed the great spiritual hunger of our time.” I say it revealed the enormous appetite for the paranormal!
Sure! Kids and teens are breaking the doors down at theatres for a spiritual Sunday school lesson. No, they’re addicted to the glitz and the witchcraft–and the evil–that grows worse with each film and book. In a 2005 article in Christianity Today, the CT author writes, “Rowling uses her heroes to champion the fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness. . .” This non-discerning outfit then suggests that, “the witchcraft of the books is not to be confused with the witchcraft of our world.”
Isn’t witchcraft just that–witchcraft? There isn’t a brand of sanctified witchcraft and evil witchcraft. It’s all witchcraft. Harry Potter is politically correct paganism. A Wiccan group in Scotland says the Potter phenomenon has helped increase interest in witchcraft around the world. They say, “Harry Potter has had a positive effect, although we don’t let anyone join (our organization) until they are 18.”
My friend, Caryl Matrisciana, produces the very finest Christian documentaries out there and I might add–against all odds. Like this ministry, she faces obstacles to getting her brand of truth out there. Her documentary, Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged, reveals the numerous similarities between the spells and magic used by Potter and those used in Wicca. She claims there is overwhelming evidence that author J.K. Rowling meticulously researched Wicca and included its tenets in her children’s books.
Caryl says, “My greatest concern is that the godly fear that protects mankind from dabbling in the spirit world is being taken away from children who read these Harry Potter books. The terrors and horrors of black magic and occult practice, rituals, ceremonies, and demon possession are being normalized.”
She continues, “Alarmingly, the Potter books are engaging in pagan discipleship, turning our children to spiritual alternatives and also turning them away from biblical principles and God’s protection.”
Yes, the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 marks the end of a cinematic era — eight films, 10 years, $6 billion and counting in worldwide ticket sales. Some kids are getting grief counselingrealizing it’s the end of an age. Yet outfits like Christianity Today say Potter will live forever due to Harry’s “resurrection power.” Some are being conditioned to think the Holy God of the Bible will look the other way while His people commit spiritual adultery. He will not. He will send strong delusion for them to believe the lies of these last days (2 Thessalonians 2). It would be wonderful if once-trusted outfits like CT magazine would not cooperate with a dark agenda and that they would change course and sound firm warnings.
What is it about Deuteronomy 18:10-12 that Christians who defend Harry Potter don’t get? “There shall not be found among you anyone who… practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead…. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord…” All of these practices are the bedrock of all things Harry Potter.
As commentator Berit Kjos says in her movie review, “In a world that despises God’s Word and moral guidelines, it’s not surprising that a series of books based on witchcraft and wizardry has won the hearts of the people. Occult themes, whether in books, movies, or computer games, have become one of today’s most effective tools for social transformation. Even churches are promoting the change. The ‘light’ side of evil could hardly be more deceptive!”
We can snicker, call the magazine Christianity Astray, and move on, but a reality check reveals that entire denominations are backing the Potter phenomenon and Christian bookstores are carrying numerous books about finding God in Harry Potter. So understand that it’s not just the radical Jesus Seminar people who are so off base. The undiscerning tentacles of today’s apostasy are reaching into all avenues of liberal and conservative Christianity.
When Jesus was asked by His disciples about end-of-the-age signs, He warned them of deception and others coming in His name. As nuts as it sounds, Harry Potter is now a Christ-like figure and all things Harry Potter represent one of the greatest deceptions of our day. Something that represents terrible evil is being called good. J.K. Rowling tapped into the longing of our day for the paranormal. As a result, her wealth is only exceeded by the Queen of England. But there will be a terrible price to pay in eternity unless there is repentance which is available to all, no matter what the evil is. That is the good news of the gospel and the good news of this story.