Recession-proof Christian Life
7/16/11 at 04:54 AM 0 Comments

Harry Potter Theology, the Bible and Witchcraft

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Danielle Tumminio, a Yale University lecturer who teaches “Harry meets the Bible” and Episcopal priest recently spoke with CNN's Kyra Phillips about the connections between the "Harry Potter" series and faith. She describes witchcraft as a gift that can be used for good or evil. The Potter series according to Danielle, is said to teach "good" witchcraft and guides us to ask questions of ultimate meaning.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" broke box office records for a midnight opening Thursday, hauling in $43.5 million according to Warner Bros. Pictures. There is nothing any will write that will stop the latest film from becoming another huge financial triumph ... but please do not interprete this blog to mean you need to discover why for yourself. I admit if it helps to see my bias that I have not watched any Harry Potter Film and will not recommend it to any. J.K. Rowling in the Potter Chronicles, no doubt provides an unsurpassable educational, entertainment and cultural experience as many observers have already confirmed. No special discernment is required to see that the prime motivation for this movie offering is commercial at the expense of watchers who assume there are no other costs but the ticket price. But spiritually, it will cost a Christian everything ... and there are implications for nations.

Listen to Tumminio's perpective in the interview below.

What does the Bible call witchcraft and are there good ones? Saul once found a good witch, an experience which preceded his gory end. Moses also wrote in Deuteronomy.

Deuterenomy 18 [10] Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, [11] or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. [12] Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. [13] You must be blameless before the LORD your God. (NIV)

In Galatians 5:17 - witchcraft is listed amongst other vices like uncleanness, murders and lasciviousness as the works of the flesh – practitioners will not inherit God’s kingdom.

While in the Bible, witchcraft is never spoken of as good – or in colours as black, white or blue - it can appear very respectable as we see in the story of Balaam hired to curse Israel. Today witchcraft is as prevalent in the boardroom, pulpit, politics and careers as with shamans in the jungles.

A witch is simply an alternative problem solver. Sounds innocent enough but according to the Word of God all kinds of witchcraft (voodoo, black or white magic), any charms for protection or destruction - all are bad no matter what and how the witches represent it to deceive people. Christians do not need any protection from Satan's side. God is greater than the defeated Satan, also God's angels are stronger than Satan's army (evil spirits). According to Psalms 34:7 God's angels guard those who honour the Lord and will rescue them from danger.

We should not follow those people that disobey the Lord, no matter how cultured or elegant the presentation even if they claim they are pastors, priests, Christians or have a gift from their mother or ancestors. Those kinds of gifts directly come from Satan not God. Some of the witches claim to be Christians but they are not. Instead, they are wolves in sheep’s vestures. According to the Bible Christians should never get involved with witchcraft of any kind - even for so called good purposes.

There is a twisted logic that propagates witchcraft in all cultures. When the missionaries came to Africa and had difficulties in winning people from witchcraft, they were told “ We already know that God is good and kind and we know the devil kills and is destructive and evil... but this tells us that we must worship and appease the devil for protection against death, destruction and evil” This twisted thinking can only be corrected by seeing as well the God of judgment who reigns over ALL ...even as we pray and learn to love God for who He really is ... and not love God for what He can or cannot not do for us. God, because of his benevolence, will not give you what you always want – He is God and not the butler we summon (by twitching our nose or waving a wand) as we wish. Witches provide a deceptive alternative path to obtaining our way – but though it may work for a while, soon payday comes. For this same reason witchcraft thrives on the pulpit – used with an humanitarian agenda and to prosper the impoverished. Imagine an already doomed marriage in which the groom weds the bride because of her fortune and powers or for fear that she can destroy him if he backs out. God wants us to love Him for Him.

In all cultures, there is a bad side to humans that loves to watch and I dare say practise witchcraft, crime, uncleanness, murder of the born and unborn etc. the Bible calls it the flesh. As we walk in the Spirit of God we must not give room to the flesh. But Is a nation really harmed by witchcraft? The plain Bible answer is yes. The Bible says God defeats entire nations as punishment for engaging in witchcraft (good or bad). Beware that God can use economic, natural, physical and extra normal methods, indeed a variety of ways to bring any nation to its feet. We already understand that a little inexplicable and unpredictable shudder of the earth or winds too gusty can reduce a great thriving metropolis in an instant to rubble.

In spite of claims that this is the last in the series, we do not expect this climax to be the final word on religious fantasy - not until Christians decisively shun it. Surprisingly a presumably Christian nation is the greatest market for laughing at and learning about witchcraft on the big screen. When we hate iniquity, God promises to anoint us above others...when we giggle at what God hates – we become God’s enemies. Can this be more plainly put?

Hebrews 1 [9] Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Also read previous blogs on C.S. Lewis, Narnia series and Christian fantasy.

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