There has always been a debate over whether or not Harry Potter encourages children to consider witchcraft, black magic and other non-Christian concepts as legitimate. Many Christians in the past seemed determined to point to the use of magic, witchcraft and sorcery as a concrete basis for boycotting this the Harry Potter series. Deuteronomy 18:10-11 cautions Christians to avoid practices in sorcery, witchcraft and casting spells. Surely, Harry Potter has not changed in that regard. So, what could make the Vatican and scores of other Christians change their tune regarding the Harry Potter series?
The Vatican applauds the newest movie, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, for its theme of good triumphing evil. In an article detailing why the Vatican felt the need to praise the film, the fact that sacrifices were made by characters in an effort for good to prevail was highlighted. A number of other praises about balance in the characters on-screen romance and immorality being condemned contributed to the favorable response from the Vatican as well.
Well, as a Christian I have to admit that I never understood the negative fuss about the series. Sure, it has witchcraft. Sure, it has sorcery. Sure, it has magic. I am reminded that I was not always a Christian. And, I am reminded that I was once a child who knew little about Christ; nor did I understand why His death meant so much for my life. It was my parents who taught me about Christ. It was my parents who taught me right from wrong; who raised me up to believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Trinity.
Keeping that in mind, I have had several conversations with parents who disapprove of Harry Porter based on the themes in the movie. And, I am always left to wonder why. Parents have such authority and influence over the lives of their children that this movie, or any other media, should not be the basis for a child’s belief system. The values and morals of the parents should, however.
While the Vatican and other Christians may be changing their minds about the Harry Potter series, the real challenge lies with the parents. If this is something a family does not approve of, then it is that family’s responsibility to instill values that are in keeping with their belief system. Otherwise, there will be a multitude of other media that will influence a child far beyond magic and witchcraft. (Have you seen the ridiculous nature of some television programming lately?)
Instead of Christians relying on the church or some mandate to approve or disapprove a belief held dear, it is up to us to take control of our own walk and determine, according to the Bible and God’s Word, what is good for our family and our children.