Harry Potter: Excessive Paganism Exalted
|By: Dr. Ted Baehr; ©2002|
|While this article deals primarily with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the principles also apply to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which opens later this month. Dr. Baehr and Dr. Snyder give advise to help you teach your child to see and understand the occult philosophy underneath the stories.|
Harry Potter: Excessive Paganism Exalted
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone had a lot of hype surrounding it, but the hype is somewhat deserved, because the book and its sequels have sold millions of copies. Even so, however, parents and children need to know the dangers that this cultural phenomenon poses.
Of course, theologically and morally, the occult, pagan worldview of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is abhorrent. When the occult magic fails, what does a witch or wizard do? To whom can they turn? Who’s ultimately in charge? Parents should ask their children these and other questions, because occult magic represents an unhealthy, selfish desire to replace God and to reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ in favor of a lifestyle that ultimately will lead to unhappiness and pain.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone also offers viewers a works theology, a form of elitism where those who are most successful at doing magic are the best. Witchcraft is a selfish, elitist form of Gnosticism, an evil theology of secret, esoteric knowledge. Mitigating this works theology are the movie’s theme about love and sacrifice, its rejection of false immortality, and its warning about not getting lost in false dreams and desires. Regrettably, however, the movie’s occult, pagan worldview also rewards the children for disobeying the school rules at Hogwarts and lying about it. Furthermore, the story gives a wink and a nod at the fact that no one can keep a secret among the witches and wizards because of all the gossip. Are these messages something you want to teach your children? We think not.
The bottom line, however, is that God abhors witchcraft no matter how sweet and subtle it is: “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.” — Deuteronomy 18:10-11
Below we offer Media-wise questions for children who see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone or Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Please note that wisdom involves in part understanding the consequences of your actions. These questions are intended to promote wisdom. Please add questions that you find relevant for your child.
- Should we hurt others or take revenge on others, even if they “deserve” it, when we are angry or scared? Would we want others to hurt us or take revenge on us in secret using magic?
- What is the purpose of magic and witchcraft?
- Should we try to use secret power over others or over our environment? Should someone else try to use secret powers on us?
- Why is witchcraft selfish?
- The Adversary asks Adam and Eve if they want to be as God. Would you like to be as God? Do you ever make mistakes? If you were as God, how would your mistakes affect others? Are you smart enough and wise enough not to make mistakes?
- Would you want others to be as God, such as those who could hurt you?
- What would it be like in a world where everyone had supernatural powers to manipulate other people in secret?
- Would you like to have everything in your home or schools always shifting round and changing so you never knew your way to your room?
- Magic seems to fail at times. Harry’s parents, as powerful and adept as they were, were killed by another witch. Would you like to know about a power that never fails and never makes mistakes?
- When the occult magic fails, what does a witch or wizard do? To whom can they turn? Who’s ultimately in charge?
- Would you like to know about a greater supernatural power that is always good and always loves you?
- Would you like to live in a world where the better witch wins all the battles, even if that witch was not you?
- Would you like to live in a world where good may not triumph?
- Or, would you like to live in a world created by a good God who loves you and would never hurt you and who wants to save you from all the bad people and things in the world?