“Harry Potter's wizardly world is becoming strangely familiar to today's youth. No longer do mystical incantations, transforming potions, dark omens or the ‘noble art of divination’ (as Harry's divination teacher called it) shock or alarm those who call themselves Christians. Popular magic -- real or imagined -- has become a normal part of our postmodern culture.
“So have rebellion, rudeness, and the kind of feel-good revenge that Harry Potter demonstrates in the latest Warner-Brothers movie: ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.’ It seems perfectly okay for the famed wizard to tell Aunt Marge to ‘shut up’ and, wielding his mystical power, cast a spell that turns her into a ballooning blimp that floats away into the sky. After all, she said cruel things about his parents. She deserved it! Didn't she? In this context, viewers are led to agree. For J. K. Rowling knows well how to evoke sympathy for her key character.
“Harry's magical revenge may seem funny as well as justified in this fictional setting. But even wizards have rules, and Harry had once again broken ‘the Decree for the Restriction of Underage Wizardry.’ Such use of magical powers was forbidden by law. The fact that the angry young wizard escapes the consequences only makes his rebellion and revenge more enticing. Instead of punishment, he won a quick journey on a magical bus back to the safety of the enchanting world of the occult . . . .
“God calls His children to trust and submit to Him and His will, not their own. ‘Not My will, but Thine, be done,’ prayed Jesus. ‘I can of Myself do nothing,’ He told His disciples earlier. ‘... I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.’ (Luke:22:42, John:5:30)
“The contrary messages aren't lost to the millions of children around the world who read Joanne Rowling's books. Her images, suggestions, beliefs and value system have established a growing consensus that equates paganism with entertainment and occultism with dark but delicious thrills. What's more, they have spawned a huge new brood of occult books for children as well as adults. Tearing down the old boundaries, they multiply the world's cravings for the mystical thrills and occult chills that animate life at Hogwarts . . . .
“When people discard absolute truth, they lose their mental anchor and flow with the currents of the changing culture. Having no certain truth with which to filter the flood of conflicting suggestions, they lose the capacity to resist popular deceptions. Any new information that captures the public imagination becomes acceptable, normal and real -- no matter how fictional or fantastic its source. And if our children are not prepared to take a stand, they may yield their hearts to this process with little resistance . . . .
“Never have our children been surrounded by so many spiritual counterfeits, seductive suggestions and occult images. And seldom has the Christian community been less prepared to resist such spiritual temptations. It's up to us as parents and grandparents to teach them to stand strong against these deceptions, put on the whole Armor of God, and walk by the light God gave us in His Word. We can't trust Christian schools or youth pastors to fulfill our God-given assignment. But when we do trust God, prepare our own hearts, teach His Word and train our children to follow His narrow way, we will know a fellowship in our families that far exceeds the fleeting, deceptive fun that the world offers. “
---Excerpted from “Harry Potter and the Postmodern Church” by Berit Kjos. See in its entirety at http://www.newswithviews.com/BeritKjos/kjos32.htm