Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What is a Christian to do with Harry Potter?

I should probably have put that title in italics - it's the name of a book I'm reading. We visited a church on Sunday that offered a Tuesday night class (or should I call it a support group) for we Christians who LOVE Harry. I love him, I just can't help it. And NO, I'm not referring to Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who plays HP in the movies (although he is getting awfully handsome as he grows up), I am referring to the character and the books.

I went to the class last night, and while I was disappointed in the turn-out (there were three of us and the first two were the couple moderating the class), it was very interesting. Last night's discussion was about power. We discussed the main characters in the books, what kind (and amount) of power they have and how they use it. It was a great discussion, and there were kinds of power shown in the books I hadn't thought of. We compared the power of the characters in HP to the power discussed in the Bible and discussed the fact that while there are many different kinds of power in this world (social, political, intellectual, evil, religious, parental...),true power comes from and belongs only to God and has everything to do with love.

I have several friends who have expressed dismay and even alarm that I would read the books myself, much less encourage my children to read them. I respond that these books are fantasy, and not witchcraft. True witchcraft, or occult, has nothing to do with pointing a stick in the air and shouting, "Lumos" in order to have it light up like a torch. HP has nothing whatsoever to do with Satan or the occult, and I certainly would not encourage the reading of them in my family if they did. I see no difference at all between the wizards of HP and the wizards in Lord of the Rings. It's been argued that LOTR was written by an author with a Christian worldview. Do we know for a fact that JK Rowling is a practicing witch? Might she be a Christian??? I haven't found any information that says she is not, and she is on record as a member of the Church of England. Besides, I read a lot of books that are by authors that I know nothing about, and certainly I do not know their worldview. Chase is reading the Animorph series, which have lots of other-worldly stuff and magic-y kinds of stuff, and I know nothing about the author's worldview, but the books are fun which translates into him enjoying reading. That is worth everything, in my mind.

We had a great discussion, and the class was very enjoyable. I hope next week there are a few more participants, but if not, I will enjoy the class for what it is.

Hi, my name is STQ, and I LOVE Harry! :)


Miz C (and Burton) said... name is AC...and I just gotta read those books one of these days!

Until then, if you discover that Harry can wave a wand and clean my house while I sit on the couch "computering," I will knock people over to join you on the I LOVE HARRY couch!

(Good wants me to type 8 letters to verify I'm a real person worthy of posting a comment. All this talk about Harry must have the verifier spooked!)

Beth said...

I totally agree on the point of getting your child to read. I have read all the Harry Potter books as well and love them also, but I think the size intimidates Ry right now. He did finish the first Spiderwick book and loved it and is starting on the second. Have I mentioned lately that we really miss you and your family? Cuz, we do.