Many people are flocking to the theaters to see the newest release, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1. Some have mused over the competition Harry Potter has with the Twilight saga, both with two part conclusions. All the while there's a small group of folks who feel the need to have their say about the whole thing with a very dark and negative tone. It's towards this small group that I am directing this entry to, because while they are a small group; those effected by this group are large in number.
I have read all four books in the Twilight saga and all seven books in the Harry Potter series. I've seen the film versions of Twilight and the first three Harry Potter films. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books as well as the first and third books in the Twilight saga. The Harry Potter movies were sub-par in my opinion, and the Twilight movie was crap. More importantly, I have studied witchcraft of both Eastern and Western craft. There is a lot to understand about both of those and I cannot claim to be an expert, but I must establish that I am more familiar with those arts than most. I can safely say that Harry Potter magic is nothing like real witchcraft. Yes, there is the possibility that impressionable minds could be encouraged to discover the real witchcraft. There's also a possibility my kid could watch Star Wars and decide he's going be a Jedi Knight like Luke Skywalker, so I'll have to put up with him wanting to wave his hand every time he comes up to an automatic door as he pretends to have opened with the Force.
They say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Sometimes, I am astounded just how profoundly true this is. This small group of naysayers, who preach that those who like Twilight and Harry Potter are into devil worship or tinkering with the occult could take a lesson in history. Flip back your calenders to the early 1950's. Rock 'n' Roll was on the rise and honest preachers of the Gospel began to set their sights on keeping their congregations away from the devil's music. While some preachers and pastors simply made it a point to encourage their flock to stick with the hymns, others went on a campaign against rock music to such a degree that it was a choice between rock music or Jesus. For a decade "Christian soldiers" irreverently reamed the Gospel up the arses of their church folk, turning many young people away from God altogether. In the 1960's the drug culture and sexual revolution in America hit like a tsunami in combination with massively popular rock artists of the time. Most of those little church boys and girls in the 1950's were leaving home and into the most dangerous world imaginable, the colleges; the slaughterhouse for those youth who had previously been kept in check by their parents. Professors in the '60s were exposing their students to all kinds of experimental and theoretical philosophies of Eastern thinkers warped by political agendas and anti-war sentiments. In spite of this, God managed to pull of lot of that generation back to His side, but it wasn't without a lot of effort on the part of real Christian soldiers like Larry Norman, Greg X Voltz and Bob Hartman in '70s who brought a new spin on rock music.
I look at what's happening with Twilight and Harry Potter and see much of the same thing today. There's definitely a legitimate concern about the obsession of the fringe fanatics, seeing as how they want to emulate their storybook heroes Edward, Jacob, Harry, Hermione, and Ron. They might actually try to get into witchcraft or vampire occultism. For most though, the reader perceives witchcraft and vampires/werewolves as literary devices to explore deeper issues. I don't see a whole lot of those same naysayers sounding the rally cry over Frank Peretti's book, The Oath, [SPOILER WARNING] which features a dragon that is really a demon. Are you, naysayers, going to now accuse anyone who likes dragons to be someone who worships demons? (By the way, spoilers end here.)
Christians, if you have not read the Harry Potter series or the Twilight Saga, but you're thinking about it; don't bother. There are a lot of books with better stories, while not as wildly popular at the moment, you will probably benefit more from reading these others books. If you want to read the books just so that you can say you've read them, go ahead, but you won't be any better for it. In fact, if you were to read the books so you could say you've read them, wouldn't you just be conforming to the patterns of this world contrary to Scripture? ( Romans 12:2 ) Just something to think about before reading Harry Potter and Twilight. I'd recommend The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Wormwood G.P. Taylor, The Circle Series by Ted Dekker (also known as Black, Red, Green, White); Monster, The Oath, The Prophet, The Visitation, This Present Darkness, and Piercing The Darkness by Frank Peretti. If you've read all of these and need more reading material, just leave a comment on this entry.
Naysayers, check yourselves... Do you really want to be responsible for another generation turning away from God because you're a little too eager to judge a whole generation for the reactions of a few and far between? Are you going to irreverently ream the Gospel up the arses of this generation? It didn't feel good when you were a kid, so why would you do it to them? How important is it to you that you have your say on the matter instead of letting God's Word speak for itself? Remember that this isn't about you or your piety and adherence to God's letter of the law, because in reality there isn't any of that. There is only the love of God through Jesus Christ; loving your neighbor as yourself. Can you bash those who read Twilight/Harry Potter and love your neighbor at the same time? Tread carefully, my brothers in sisters in faith, for you are walking on eggshells.
Hoc est verum,