FIRST-PERSON: Nov. 16 means decision time for parents re. Harry Potter
WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (BP)-Nov. 16 is the day "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" comes to theaters across the country. Parents, like it or not, it's time to make a decision about whether you and your family are in the Harry Potter fan club.
I love literature and writing so much that I got a B.A. in English. The ability to read and write is a wonderful gift that God gave to the human race. I encourage kids of all ages to read, but not to read just anything.
Bear with me if I say that the Harry Potter books are some of the best writing for children I have read in years. J.K. Rowling has a phenomenal writing style that can capture imaginations of any age and practically hold them hostage, eagerly anticipating the next page, chapter and book.
All this is to preface my opinion that even though the books are terrific literature, they are also terrifying. I cannot believe that any secular book, character or movie advocating witchcraft of any kind could be this wildly successful without Satan having an agenda for it. The bottom line is that we know the right choice is to steer clear of these books and movies, but we don't want to make the sacrifice. Satan is a wonderful writer and movie producer.
Parents who have read the books may be unsure. I can associate. But I have read all four of the Harry Potter books. The first book seemed harmless enough, so harmless that one influential Christian author actually recommended the book, calling the magic a "mechanical" part of the plot. However, as the series continues, the subject matter gets spiritually darker, more violent and spookier, until one character is actually killed by bad magic in the fourth book.
Satan is playing at his old tricks. He seduces people with seemingly harmless arguments, then draws them into his twisted, perverted version of truth. Just check out your local bookstore for proof. The Harry Potter books are usually displayed proudly with witchcraft calendars, books about witches and other publications definitely not for children.
As Christians, all we need to do is ask for the Holy Spirit to guide us. Most Christians get that sick-in-the-pit-of-the-stomach feeling when they first start to read each book. That is the Holy Spirit sending a warning. The scary part is that the sick feeling starts to go away after a while, and we numb ourselves to what God is trying to say to us.
I grieve for the misguided effort of such a talented writer as J.K. Rowling. She may have no idea that her imaginative, creative mind is being used as a tool by Satan to casually draw an entire generation of Americans toward the seductive side of witchcraft.
Zebel is director of children's ministries at Applewood Baptist Church, Wheat Ridge, Colo. Copyright 2001 by Jennifer L. Zebel, 12235 Viewpoint Drive, Golden, CO 80401.