Countdown-to-midnight excitement mounts daily as July 21, 2007 creeps closer. On that Saturday night, at 12:01 a.m., kids and adults worldwide will eagerly seize Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final installment in J.K. Rowling’s series. As Pottermania rolls relentlessly toward its dual-to-the-death climax between the teenage wizard and the evil Lord Voldemort, so does the raging controversy over whether the Potter novels themselves are healthy or harmful; a gift from heaven, or a gateway to hell.
Before I express my opinion, let me ask you a personal question: Do you believe what the Bible says about the dangers of witchcraft? When one boils the issues down – inside either cup or cauldron – this is the biggest question. If you believe God’s Book, then this article will make sense. If not, no amount of reasoning will change your mind. Notice carefully what the world’s all-time bestselling volume says about sorcery:
There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one 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 (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 NKJV, emphasis added).
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23 NKJV, emphasis added).
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19, 20 NKJV, emphasis added).
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8 NKJV, emphasis added).
You’ve just read God’s words, not mine. No matter how you slice it, the fact is that the Bible plainly teaches that witchcraft is a sin, casting spells is an abomination, sorcery is a work of the flesh, and that all occult practitioners are destined for “the lake of fire.” Does this sound intolerant? If I told you that 2 +2 = 4, and that there is only one right answer to this equation, would you consider me intolerant? I doubt it. It’s the same with what the Bible says about witchcraft. It’s dangerous. This is the truth.
Harry Potter attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He takes classes on Divination, Spells, Charms, and Potions. If Harry were a real teenager, and if he suddenly decided to follow the Bible, he would have to break his wand, renounce his spells, and abandon Hogwarts in order to line up with God’s Book. It wouldn’t matter how conscientious his life may have been as a young sorcerer. Magic would have to go.
Perhaps you haven’t noticed the witchy trend, but real witchcraft (called “Wicca”) is now experiencing explosive growth throughout North America and around the world. Wicca is considered to be the fasted growing religion on high school and college campuses. “The area we live in is FULL of Wicca and Paganism,” declared a woman in Northern CA who wrote to me recently, “members of my own family are struggling with beguilement from current TV programming, Harry Potter, and occultic influences. Our children really need to be properly equipped to spot all this and avoid it.” I receive many letters like this.
So now the issue isn’t just Harry Potter , but real witchcraft. I realize that those who have chosen the Wiccan Way are people just like me, and that most are sincerely searching for spiritual power to help them cope with the stresses of life. Yet based on what the Bible says, they are in great danger. They think they are practicing “white magic” and are connecting to “nature spirits” in their rituals, yet the Bible warns that those spirits are really “seducing spirits” (1 Timothy 4:1) who are masterfully and systematically leading them toward a fiery future. Am I being intolerant for sounding a sensible warning?
Is Harry Potter leading kids toward hell? If reading Harry Potter makes witchcraft seem fun and creates even the slightest interest in checking out real magic, or if it creates distaste for biblical truth , then the answer is yes. Remember, all “sorcerers” will end up in “the lake which burns with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8). Only those who follow truth are on the path toward heaven (see 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11).
Consider this: “People line up at my cash register to purchase Harry Potter books and books about Wicca,” declared a young woman who works at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Nashville, TN. Another woman called the radio show,Live from Seattle , which interviewed me about the growth of Wicca. “My daughter read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” this mother told us, “and then she started buying real witchcraft books.” I realize that not all kids are doing this, but many are. The truth is that the Harry Potter novels and films are part of a deceptive trend now sweeping the globe that is desensitizing young and old to the incredible dangers of sorcery. They are aiding the Wiccan cause.
Let me clarify something: Jesus Christ loves J.K. Rowling, every boy or girl who reads Harry Potter , and real witches. Yet life is not a game to the one who agonized on a cruel cross paying the penalty for “the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Jesus longs to open our eyes to His love, grace, mercy and truth, before it’s too late.
Make no mistake about it. The Devil is real (see 1 Peter 5:8), and he is behind all forms of occult magic and sorcery (see Deuteronomy 18:9-14). Lucifer promotes these things, yet God strongly opposes them because they are deceptive, dark and dangerous. Witchcraft connects people with invisible demonic powers, whether they realize it or not. It also leads to feeling no need for a Savior from sin and guilt, or for His gracious gift of eternal life (see Romans 6:23).
I have a two-year-old son named Seth. When Seth gets older his daddy and mommy will continue teaching him to love God, the teachings of the Bible, and the truth.
He won’t be reading Harry Potter.