Harry Potter, Christ Figure?
Professional Harry watchers on whether J.K. Rowling's hero is meant to resemble Christ
12/21/2010 01:26:04 PM
An other example which too me is plainy see in part 1 all the people harry potter is losing, Christ lost lots too, and even with the fact thier doing nothing visablly wrong, maybye these people dying with harry potter represent christ's beloved lost followers, I've not read many of the books but i've seen all the movies so far including part 1 of the 7th movie, doby the elf I think it's name is is dobby could represent someone that jesus lost even the way dobby dies and the way he was actoing at the time could reprsent it.
05/25/2010 10:02:53 AM
Jesus Potter, Harry Christ: Get the book today!
05/25/2010 10:01:17 AM
The similarities are there, and are obvious; why they are there is the pressing question. This is what I've been working on for several years, and about to publish in a book. Click here to check it out! http://www.jesuspotterharrychrist.com/ www.jesuspotterharrychrist.com/ “The real question we need to ask is not whether Harry Potter is a ‘Christ Figure’ (similar to a historical religious savior), but rather whether Jesus Christ is a ‘Potter Figure’ (a composition of redemptive mythological symbols and philosophies).”
07/23/2007 12:33:27 AM
I think that Harry definitely shows Christ like tendencies. The entire book is about evil and good.. and the only way you can defeat evil is with Love. I don't know if JK specifically went out with intention to make Harry Potter the new "Jesus" nor do I think that she would. But she has said herself that she is a Christian and I think that comes off very clearly in her books. Christ died with love in his heart for the entire world and Harry was ready since birth to fight evil and the only way he could ever win, was with love. I definitely see similarities, I think you'd have to be atheist or blind to not see it.
07/21/2007 05:32:49 PM
HP has nothing to do with Christ. It is not a religious book. It isn't an occult book. It isn't a pagan book. It is just a fantasy novel with traditional an epic type hero.
07/21/2007 04:51:28 PM
I think all this is trying to say is that Harry posses several qualities that people see in christ. In a way it's the same for almost any hero. The show of bravery, strength, kindness, forgiveness etc... Does this really matter? Yes its a fictional character, but it gives good examples for children of all spiritual back grounds. Fight oppression, be good to others, the basic fundamentals most people want to raise their children with. I see nothing wrong with it.
11/03/2006 02:11:33 PM
Harry Potter is no more a christ figure than I am. Its pure fiction and people need to separate fact from fiction. Its not any worse than the Lord of the Ring series nor the Hobbit series.
10/20/2006 01:38:47 AM
I saw much Christian symbolism in all of the Harry Potter books and movies which I enjoyed very much. I think that J.K. Rowling is a great writer and wrote the Harry Potter series in the traditions of C. S.Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien in the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. I saw many truths illustrated and eagerly await the next book/movie. My husband and I purchased the audio books and listened to them as we traveled down the road in our motorhome. By the way, we are in our seventies with grown children, grown grand children and great grandchildren. When we are at home, we have family Bible study one evening a week with four generations present. We dig into our Bibles and explore for knowledge of our awesome God. I think that Rowling will take her place along with the many other great writers who have presented the Bible message in many and various ways.
06/15/2004 07:09:16 AM
Harry Potter is a wonderful book series, but I don't think J.K. Rowling has deliberately made Harry out to be a Christ figure. She's used mythology more than biblical themes, except for the good versus evil genre. Like someone said earlier, we don't have to become or practice what we read. We shouldn't have to be influenced by the beliefs of those around us. If you want to read Harry Potter, either because you like the topic or enjoy the idea of the story, you shouldn't NOT read it because of what people say to you.
06/14/2004 07:56:04 PM
but, when the organized religious sector decided to unify everyone so they could own all of the so-called flat world, they put it into writing, voted on it(yes they took a vote to see which stories they thought worked best) and there you have the bible. if it were the divine word of god it would not be fought over, killed for, lied about nor would it have severed the bonds of humanity. instead it's misinterpretations and mistranslations have caused more schisms and bloodshed than anything else in history. party on!
06/14/2004 07:55:48 PM
spoder points out very brilliantly that this is a common lierary devise-humans with supernatural powers- it's a devise that storytellers, poets, playwrites, and writers have used since the dawn- and littledebby if you read the bible carefully, jesus instructed his disciples to tell noone of what they had seen, why would someone who did miraculous things say, do not tell anyone this happened? and now we have people like you running around saying these things happpened as if you saw it- you are getting fed generations and generations of literature that is as unprobable as a universal flood. and you can not see that every civilization has had their own creation, flood, salvation and redemption story. it's their explaination or campfire tale used to instill values and morals into their tribes or families- it's called oral tradition. (cont)
06/14/2004 07:06:07 PM
the humor in all of this supposed literary debate is this, JK Rowling could care less. these books are wonderfully written and are for kids and teens. they have been extremely well accepted by real critics. patrick madrid shoots himself by comparing her to dante, clancy or king- Rowling could care less of his opinion and doesn't need validation from a religious magazine article writer without anything substantial to say. nobody cares! she's made millions off of her well written childrens' books that have been made into movies. argue all you want, she's cashed in with or without this discussion.
06/12/2004 02:30:17 AM
Harry Potter is a movie....no more no less...i would say the professional harry watchers need to get a real life.
06/10/2004 04:13:14 PM
I'm not surprised that there are comparisons between the Christ story and Harry Potter. There are comparisons with Christ and Mitharis, Christ and certain Greek gods, Christ and the mystery school figures etc. We are dealing with archetypes that continue to play out in religion, literature, art and culture at large.
06/07/2004 11:05:08 PM
Good point MBTOC. As for the question of where Harry gets his power--being genetic, I thought it was God-given. The boy was baptised, too. In these stories, being magical is like having green eyes or freckles--simply a genetic trait. I don't understand why some Christians are so afraid of magic. Who were those guys who visited Jesus at Epiphany? Magi. You can say 'wisemen', but you can also say 'magicians.' Don't you think their presence was about God's acceptance of ALL people? I do.
06/07/2004 07:17:49 AM
BS"D Stupid article. EVERYTHING is Christ-centered to a Christian.
06/06/2004 07:28:12 PM
Interesting comparisons, but they left out one important one: both Christ and Harry are of mixed blood. Just as some Jews didn't believe that Christ could be the messiah because he had Gentile blood in his family tree, Harry Potter is not a pure blood--he's one-quarter Muggle, from his mother's side of the family.
05/04/2004 04:27:31 PM
I suspect that the lovable wizard-in-training will show up somewhere, some how, college course catalog in the near future! I'm guessing a 4-credit elective. Though declaring a "Potter" major may be possibility too. So much debate over a fictional character! Christ was not fictional, nor his works and teachings,and certainly a better topic for public discourse!
03/18/2004 07:57:28 PM
At first I thought of the mark of Cain, but Steinbeck excludes this possibility by pointing out this was God's mark of protection to warn others not to harm him. Then I remembered another biblical character known for having miraculouly survived a headwound that would kill any normal person. When I was a kid I read the best selling Late Great Planet Earth and its melodramatic tale of Rapture, Antichrist and Second Coming. Today many now this suspect 'theology' from the bestselling Left Behind series. But long before Hal Lindsey the antichrist was already a popular biblical illusion, and Streinbeck would certainly have expected his devout depression-era readers to recognize his numerous biblical analogies. Notice noone would suggest that John Steinbeck was 'evil' for putting no less than TWO antichrists in his novel (any more than John Milton was evil for portraying Satan in Paradise Lost.)
03/18/2004 07:42:45 PM
As a skeptic, I don't believe in god anti-god or any other superstition, and I consider it a fanciful belief that Harry Potter is the 'same' person as Christ, the antichrist, or any other mythical creature in the same sense that Samuel Clemens is the same person as Mark Twain. As a lover of literature, I long ago learned to spot biblical allusions is even the most humble books. I remember my English teacher pointing out that the preacher Jim Casey in The Grapes of Wrath was meant as a Christ figure - his initials were a sure clue. I recently noticed something I hadn't picked out before in Steinbeck's other great epic. Practically every character in East of Eden is a biblical allusion. This should have been obvious from the title and the main character Adam. Samuel Hamilton, like Samuel, posesses an inate capacity to detect evil. There are also two seperate Cain and Abel stories - Charles and Adam, and Caleb and Aaron. Then I noticed that the two evil characters had scars on their foreheads.
06/29/2003 03:40:58 PM
lildebbycakez Someone "coming back from the dead" is still an occasional event even with advancements in cardiology, in Christ's time it was probably fairly common. We poor doubters are quite right to be skeptical of anyone claiming to be a divinely chosen world dictator or his representative. The idea of the only living son of God proving his divinity by imitating fairytale magic is not beyond my wildest dreams. All of the miracles Jesus performed, if not conjuring tricks, were standard storybook magic. He turns objects into a physically similar objects, usually changing only one general aspect of the object, and often in a manner that imitates a natural event, such a calming a rough sea or wilting a healthy fig tree. Turning a marionette into a wooden boy or a pumpkin into a pumpkin shaped carriage are other familiar examples of the same type of miracle that Jesus and Krishna performed.
06/29/2003 12:32:05 PM
Spoder, you say that if He does not need to prove anything he does not need to perform miracles. Maybe he doesn't NEED to perform miracles, but there are unbelievers and doubters such as you who refuse to believe that he is the one and only son of God unless they SEE something that is beyond their wildest dreams. And seeing someone come back from the dead is an example of this. Also another point you seem to miss alot, is the fact that He performed MIRACLES, not simple magic tricks. He is not a magician, He is the power of the universe. Also you say that your fate is in your own hands. Well, you're right. It is. I guess I need to rephrase what I wrote before. The Bible doesn't decide your fate you do by what you choose to do with that book. ~*~Debbie~*~
06/27/2003 05:26:27 AM
lildebbycakez Well yes his magic powers are limited to turning objects into similar objects, turning sand into wine would be just as easy to see, but a magician with no limitations destroys the plot. If he does not need to prove anything he does not need to perform miracles, if he is not limited he does not need to save magic power by opening the tomb or filling the jugs manually, and turning a rough sea into a pregnant virgin would prove that his magical powers were not subject to the same restrictions as the Blue Fairy in the Pinocchio stories. You say He does not need to bend down to man's will but He bends down and conforms to the very human pseudoscience of alchemy(a.k.a. witchcraft), both a common literary technique in fables and an inherent part of the occult. My fate is in my own hands not a book that has inspired the torture mutilation and murder of millions of people.
06/27/2003 01:27:08 AM
Spoder, you ask why is He limited to turning objects into similar objects... etc. Well first of all,He is not Limited to anything. HIs powers are infinite. Why should he have to prove 'some divinity'? He does not need to prove anything for people to believe in him. If He feels it would be easier for people to see water to turn to wine, than for jugs and wine to appear out of no where, then so be it. And tell me this, what would turning a 'rough sea into a pregnant virgin' prove? Absolutely nothing. Like Christianman said, He does NOT need to bend down to man's will. And if you think that the Bible is just a story book, then you had better live by that story book because it is the one that will decide your fate. If you don't believe that, then I will pray for you. ~*~Debbie~*~
06/26/2003 07:20:31 PM
Christianman Jesus not only used magic He practiced alchemistical magic, the most common form of folklore magic. If He can say it and it is done then why is he limited to turning objects into physically similar objects? Why does he need to reanimate a corpse to bring the dead back to life? Why does he need to fill jugs with water in order to conjure up jugs of wine? Why would the only living son of God need to minimize the amount of alteration?Why not really prove some divinity and turn a rough sea into a pregnant virgin? Cult leaders understand that mentally childish people will accept beliefs, like alchemy, that are superficially logical. If the Bible is not a story book then why all the storybook magic?
06/26/2003 11:11:53 AM
If God has a purpose for it, it'll stick around. About power? 1 Peter 3:21-22 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.
06/26/2003 07:24:07 AM
Maybe I'm a little dense, but if witches and warlocks get their power from Satan, where does Satan get his power from? I agree that the Bible is true, but there is a huge difference between true and taking allegorical stories literally. Personally, I feel many books of the Bible could be classified as "Stories". Many OT events obviously did not occur exactly as described (I'm not even gonna get into the unlikliness of things such as global floods or young earth theory).
06/26/2003 03:55:44 AM
Okay this is sad. First off Christ dident use magic! He is God. He can do anything in His will. He says it and its done. Where does Harry get his power. From other things. And where would a witch or worlock get their power? satan.(no offense to Rowling) Christ is God. Creator of all things. And let me add. THE BIBLE IS NOT A STORYBOOK. It is true. And dont say show me and Ill believe. God does not bend down to any mans will. His will. You may say show me and Ill believe. But God says believe and Ill show you. GodBless
06/25/2003 08:20:07 PM
I think the key to all this is The Hero's Journey scheme. Similarities are found between Jesus and Potter, because both follow this archetypal pattern, whether historical or fictional. You can find similarities between Jesus and Neo (The Matrix) and MLK (historical) for the same reason.
06/25/2003 05:36:57 PM
Their is another interesting similarity between the witches in Harry Potter and Christ. Both tend to use magic to transform form objects into physically similar objects. Hermione turns Harry's broken lens into a whole lens, and Draco turns a rod into a snake. Jesus turned water into wine, reanimated corpses, turned a healthy fig tree into a wilted fig tree, a rough sea into a calm sea, and so on. I believe 'Trasmutational" of "Alchemistical" magic are terms for this very common type of spell casting.
06/25/2003 01:10:38 AM
you people can't be serious, I mean PLEASE. Harry Potter is a childrens book ment to aid in development of the IMANAGATION he may ahve crist like qualities yes but that is because the writer has been taught the BIBLE and she has in incorporated in to her stories a piece of HERSELF isn't that what writers do? If you look at the story more closely maybe her characters are named after childhood friends or other stories that she has read. Leave it alone!! These stories are for the imanagition they are ment for those who like to excape for a moment or two to relax. Get over it already!!!
06/25/2003 12:21:29 AM
I think its better to compare him with Krishna, after all krishna had a childhood too, just like harry potter. His uncle wanted to kill him, based on his prophecised birth, but was saved on the night of his birth, was raised by someone else, killed a lot of deamons in the childhood itself, came back to rescue his parents from his uncle...the other things are yet to come in potter :)
06/24/2003 08:02:39 PM
Mom2Tori01: Everything I've ever heard about Christ comes from a "story book". It's called the Bible. And no, I don't believe JK meant any similarities between her character and "Christ".
06/24/2003 01:58:26 PM
This is a farce. Jesus died for our sins. Jesus is the Son of almighty. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Only a heathen would consider harry potty a christ figure.
06/24/2003 11:10:06 AM
This is sad. As a Christian I'm not sure I like the fact they are comparing the two. Harry Potter is a child that never even existed. How can anyone compare the Christ to a story book character. I enjoy the books and movies because that's what they are BOOKS AND MOVIES. Man people.
06/24/2003 10:10:59 AM
For crying out loud!!! It is a fictional story written by a women with a fablous imagation!!! Enjoy the story and STOP reading so much into it!!!
06/23/2003 05:46:40 PM
It's about Witches! The Goddess carries an owl. Thor (one manifestation of the God) carries lightening. Shamanic Witches talk to snakes. Witches fly to rooftops. Ancestry must be Wiccan as it is linked to Europeans and Native North Americans Enemies...Xians who wanted the book banned Witches have Reincarnation(resurrection) The Goddess goes to the nether regions for three days at Halloween Sufferering.....well there was the RC burning of suspected witches and of course, the father figure is the male aspect of the One, the God Ta-Daaaaaaaaaaaa LOL
06/23/2003 05:35:58 PM
Good Grief!!!!!! Now the fundies are going to claim a witch as a parable for their belief system! Can't they keep their hands off anything? Harry Potter is a story written by a WOMAN ....How can it have anything to do with that religion? Aren't women pretty well shut out of anything of any import in that faith? Or maybe they're going to say it's really a man using a woman's face and name? It's a story!!!! It's a thing for kids and those young at heart to have some fun with!!! Puh-leeze son't go wreck this too!!!! Let us have something in this world that isn't tainted by the "Mine is better than yours" mentality. Joan
06/23/2003 04:49:18 PM
INTERESTING FACT: There are eight instances of the word "potter" in the NASB (New American Standard Bible), and here they are, courtesy www.biblegateway.com http://www.biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?search=potter+&SearchType=EXACT&version=NASB&restrict=&StartRestrict=&EndRestrict=&rpp=25&language=english&searchpage=0&x=12&y=2
06/23/2003 01:11:25 PM
I believe we should look at this story for what it really is. A wonderfully written children's story written by a woman who has turned her life around w/ her imagination. I'm sure Ms. Rowling never intended Harry to be compared to Christ or never intended to cause this much dissent amongst the religious. It's just a story.
06/23/2003 10:06:46 AM
If we're going to compare the life story of Jesus with a contemporary setting, then lets compare His life story to Neo's in The Matrix(TM) instead of Harry Potter(TM). The parallels in The Matrix(TM) are more accurate and are of greater spiritual quality and truth than Harry Potter(TM). I believe that God uses the things of this world to confound "the wise" in order to get unbelievers to see, believe, and come to Him, I just don't believe that the Harry Potter books or movies are of the things God has used.
06/22/2003 11:47:20 AM
The Bible teaches that God loves His people, the elect, and will save them, regardless of their beliefs (Mat. 1:21; John 6:37-39; Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:3-6), many of whom will have never known Christ in the gospel. God does not love every person in the world. God hated Esau, not because of his works, but that election might stand [Rom. 9:11-16; Mat. 13:24-30, 36-43]. We have the imputed righteousness of Christ, not our own righteousness. Good works and our belief do not get us to Heaven; they show us where we are going [Eph. 2:8-10]. The New Testament teaches good works and overcoming that we might glorify God as we live [1 Cor. 6:20]. We are to glorify God by our belief and works who purchased us with Christ's blood and death. He put away our sins in His death (Heb. 9:15), and He will receive all He paid for, His elect. In other words, God is absolutely successful in everything Jesus accomplished. Jack Johnson Austin, Texas email@example.com
06/22/2003 11:43:35 AM
I can't even believe BNet brought this article back up to the front page. Guess they are low on things to make people disagree and cause division. Abstaining from witchcraft has nothing to do with a fictional character in a fictional story. Furthermore the word "sorcery" in the Old Testament relates to herbs and burning them. (pot smokers beware) If you want to associate a fictional story with something from the Bible, try 1977's film "Superman" its comment from Marlon Brando as Kal-El's father: "It is for this reason I am sending them my only son." But maybe that was just a coincidence also, or something the writer's remembered hearing from the Bible. Never-the-less, until kids come flying out of the theater on broomsticks or leave their rooms in a flying car, I wouldn't be concerned about Harry Potter, other than people are forming angry mobs (typical of our selfish human nature) to get the book and probably will revere it more than Biblical things.
06/22/2003 11:15:14 AM
People need to realize WHO J.K. Rowling is writing to. Her main audience is teens and pre-teens, and she makes her characters believable to these teens and pre-teens, which is why her books are so popular. They show humanity realistically, it's so EASY to identify with all of her characters! Personally, I like a hero who is NOT totally perfect. Granted, Jesus Christ IS totally perfect, or supposed to be, but He DID go thru the same temptations that we all do, and He DOES know what we are going thru. But Harry is a hero we can identify with.
06/22/2003 11:07:05 AM
anamri, when you get to the end of book 5, you will see that, in a way, he WAS marked from birth, even before that. Or someone was. It might NOT have been Harry Potter, even! But I'll let you find out who it COULD have been! hint: it's probably the last person you'd think!
06/22/2003 10:31:03 AM
I think, from a literary standpoint, that in Western Lit is is quite possible to construe a Christ-figure from just about any protagonist. There are quite a few standard signs, however, that are missing. I think someone just had too much time on there hands here.
06/22/2003 02:53:53 AM
We should all be versed in the "Bible" or the "Harry Potter" books before any of us can make a decision .
06/21/2003 10:17:40 AM
Oh by the way, Harry was not "marked from birth for something special". His parents were major(and not the only) opponents of Voldermort. It was more a political battle where people were being killed by Voldermort and his supporters. When Voldermort found Lily & James(Harry's mom & dad), at home with there son, he killed them, and then tried to kill Harry. Which is where he got the scar, NOT something he was born with. He was a year old. Readers do not know specifically why Harry did not die, but it has been hinted at that it was his mother who saved him("her love", maybe she put some sort of protection spell on him, as I said, readers do not yet know exactly how, it has only been said that his mother's "love" protected him)
06/21/2003 09:58:49 AM
Also, what about the fact that Harry does not have "extraordinary" wizarding powers. He has the same powers every other wizard has. There are some that are better at spells (like Hermoine!), and some that are worse (like Ron!). Speaking of, did Christ depend on any others to help save humanity? Harry, clearly(that is it's clear if you have read any of the books), depends on Ron and Hermoine. The only RARE (I say "rare" because other wizards have too) thing about Harry is that he can speak "parsletongue" - snake language. What about the fact that Voldermort transfered some of his power to Harry when he gave Harry the scar? Did Christ have any of the "Devil's" powers? I think not.
06/21/2003 09:47:01 AM
2)"leaps to rooftops"? What is he talking about? Harry has no special jumping or "leaping" powers and can not fly by himself (has to use a broomstick like all other wizards). 3)Both of Harry's parents were wizards. 4)A coma is nothing like being brought back to life 3 days after dying! 5)The reason Harry fights Voldermort, is not to be some sort of saint; he has no choice but to face him or let Voldermort kill him. 6)First off, God the Father is not a Father "figure", he is Christ's actual Father. Dumbledore is just a good wise principle. (cont)
06/21/2003 09:36:25 AM
First of I don't even think Rev. Killinger read any of the Harry Potter books, because the facts are all wrong!!! I've read 4 of the books to my kids (who are learning that reading is fun by it!) 1)Harry Potter's arrival was NOT fortold by an owl. His "coming" was fortold by no one. He was born just like all other humans, and is in no part "God's Son". The owls that they are speaking of, delivered the school's acceptance letter and school supply list! (cont)
06/21/2003 09:24:59 AM
In terms of Harry & Jesus being alike, well if you look at the fact that they are both the main and central characters of a story and hold the position of being the heroes then yes we have a match, other than that no... Harry Potter is a fantasy and meant to be nothing more.. I applaud J.K. Rowling for her brilliance in the literary arts and for being a model for struggling mother's and women.. for getting more kids to read again... As for Jesus I honor and respect him but do not worship him so Ill leave that to his followers.. the point is we have nothing to fear from the Potter books and I am absolutley certain that the author has no secret agenda with them other than to tell a wonderful magical and purely fanciful story... those who live in fear live in absence& disconnection to G-d...
06/20/2003 03:02:15 PM
I think the comparisons between Harry and Jesus Christ are ridiculous. In the debate in this article, I agree with everything Richard Abanes says.
12/12/2002 03:40:29 AM
Steve: Usually when there is a link within the discussion frame to the right of each beliefnet feature it opens a new window with the linked page. However, there seems to be a slight html hiccup with the link below, making the linked page appear within the frame itself... There are some possible solutions. I use an Apple, and haven't used a PC for quite a while so I'm not sure if my advice is any good. If you click on the link, holding down the right mouse button (I think it is the right-side one on a PC mouse, I forget, but it's the one you use least) scroll down to "Open Link in a New Window" and that should do the trick. Otherwise click on the frame background of the moved discussion itself, holding down the same mouse button as above and scroll down to "Open Frame in a New Window". This works for Macs anyway, when using Explorer (I'm not sure about Netscape). Good luck! :)
12/11/2002 10:31:35 PM
Rather unfair of beliefnet to put us in an unwelcome crowd of torch-bearing villagers. Personally I prefer the discussions with the posts on the side of my screen as opposed to having to open each link. Am I missing something about how to get there?
12/11/2002 10:24:58 AM
sorry... I meant "unwelcoming"
12/11/2002 10:22:36 AM
Steve3927 and namchuck: just wondered are you guys going to continue with the shifted discussion? I've been attempting to explain and defend certain posts by all three of us over there to the (initially) pretty unwelcome crowd who were there before us...
12/10/2002 07:47:19 PM
Good one, steve3927!
12/10/2002 02:09:59 PM
Egads, we've been caught with our topics off... : )
12/09/2002 11:10:09 PM
I have moved a long string of off-topic posts to a new thread in Creationism & Evolution titled Moved from mini-board. BeliefnetGrace Assistant Community Producer
12/02/2002 06:26:07 PM
Kahvi 4: While I enjoyed most of the thoughts expressed in your posting, I don't know where your 'mudslinging' comments come from. Most of the issues that have been debated within this particular forum have been held with what I believe is an impressive amount of decorum, free from the taint of bad manners that so often creeps into such discussions. I also think that the Christian/non-Christian debate is a vital one, especially considering it represents the clash of two prominent worldviews, the eventual outcome of which will echo down through the next few centuries.
12/02/2002 06:10:56 PM
After reading a few of past posts, I think I must give more of my opinion on the matter. Someone, I forget who, talked about traditional dramatic situation or something like that. Joseph Campbell calls it "The Hero's Journey". Practically every story is based off of this sort of stencil for adventure. The first myth, "Gilgamesh", is a perfect example. So is Harry Potter. In fact, so is the story of Jesus Christ. Whether or not Jesus really is the son of God, I'm not here to debate that, it makes for a good, traditional Hero's story. I find that most of these forums have become a Christian vs. Non-Christian debate that isn't worth going into. Please refrain from calling people mindless Jesus freaks or in desperate need of Jesus or anything like that. It's just pointless mudslinging that doesn't get anyone anywhere. Especially not closer to whatever God you might believe in.
12/02/2002 05:52:07 AM
Many people claim and will claim to be Christ or Christ like. Satan Imitates Christ with some differences. Witchcraft is witchcraft and no matter how you try to soften it, it is still witchcraft.
11/28/2002 09:17:52 AM
As I've said before - nothing wrong with stories for entertainment. No child is going to fly out of the theater on a broom because they watched Harry Potter. When you start making the character in a story a "Christ figure" however, it demeans Christ and God and also detracts from their rightful place in the scheme of things. But then people don't seem to care about proper respect and honor for our Lord and our Creator. He becomes the object of our jokes and humor and attempt to create our own figure to praise other than Him. But that seems to be okay too, because as I've been told so often "God has a sense of humor". Does no one recognize the seriousness of God's love and sacrifice? Jesus doesn't belong in our jokes and petty attempts to find a hero to look up to because we won't accept Him. We defend the "wonderful story telling" of an earthy author and raise the characters to "god" level and ignore the holiness of the real God.
11/27/2002 04:39:34 PM
All classic stories such as Tolkeins Lord of the Rings series have such things as wizzards and fearies and dragons and what not. My friend just said "All the best tales are pegan tales." All this Rev. is trying to do is dress peganism in CHristian clothing. Remember that fiasco a few years ago when the Potter series first came out? Parents didn't want their kids reading it because it had to do with witches and wizzards which are pegan symbols (and people I might add).Well, think of this: Hans Christian Anderson (of which many of us have grown up on, I know I have) has witches, wizzards, fearies, dragons in it. Cinderella: Benevolent witch "God Mother". Sleeping Beauty: One ticked off witch. Snow White: Another Ticked off witch and DWARVES!Yes, Rowling is taking other myths and dressing them up in modern clothes. There is no problem with this because we're sure that all she was trying to do was/is create a modern feary tale.
11/27/2002 02:29:54 AM
But getting back to Harry Potter, perhaps part of the reason the series has been erroneously labeled as blasphemous (or even endorsing satanism) by those who have neither seen the movies nor read the books, could be due to the first film's title. Did you know that the original title was "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" and it is was released under that title everywhere except the USA (that insignificant little area known as the entire rest of the world)? After some PR testing, it was discovered that not enough American children knew the meaning of 'Philosopher' so it was changed to 'Sorceror' in the US. Actually, every scene in which the Philosopher's Stone was mentioned was filmed twice, once with the actors saying "Philosopher's" and once with the actors saying "Sorcerer's". The original title gives no hint of magic, but is it possible that the change fired the imaginations and fears of American adults?
11/24/2002 02:13:06 PM
I think Harry Potter has at least as much in common with old-fashioned fairy tales as with Christ. Unless particular parents are offended by the way Hogwarts trivializes witchcraft (either because your beliefs include or exclude it's practice), I think the books make very nice reading for the pre-teen crowd. The series features themes from the Ugly Duckling to Cinderella with a little bit of Narnia thrown in for good measure. Harry isn't a moral giant, as the article ponts out, but he is a decent enough boy, and a better role model than many out there. And unlike Abanes, I rather like that Rowlings differientiates between breaking the rules and doing something morally wrong. As for the seventh novel, I'd rather see a partial reconciliation with the Aunt and Uncle (remind the kiddoes that the conflict they're having with Mom and Dad doesn't have to be permanent)than see Harry going down in flames.
11/23/2002 08:24:15 PM
In my opinion, based on the kinds of questions that are put forth, this whole website is witchcraft and Satanic!
11/22/2002 07:49:22 PM
And so, my dear upanddown, it appears you have a little time on your hands as well.
11/22/2002 06:34:28 PM
All I have to say about this is *SIGH* All I've heard for years is "Harry Potter will lead our children to witchcraft... blah blah blah." As if children don't have minds of their own to discern that this is simply entertainment and nothing more. Now for an extra *SIGH* What kind of idiot goes looking around for similarities between Potter and Christ. Answer: Someone with way too much time on their hands.
11/22/2002 03:54:26 PM
stand2gether, No one is saying Harry Potter is the equivolent of Jesus Christ. They are simply looking at a children's story, and seeing if the author wrote into Harry Potter anything that resembles some things written about Jesus. Huge difference.
11/22/2002 03:41:38 PM
Sorry....there is no comparison. Christ is God, the Redeemer, Savior. Harry Potter is a story written by a woman who seems to want children and adults to believe witchcraft is nice and innocent and cute.(gee, I wonder who might be behind this?) But God,your creator, warns in the Bible about these things. (Divination and Witchcraft and Sorcery.) Any who think I am a Christian nutcase, feel free to look up any of those words in a Concordance. And while you are at it check out 2 Timothy 3:1-9/ 4:3-4 Concerning lifestyles of people in the last days. "They will turn their ears away from truth and turn aside to myths." To even think there might be a comparison between Jesus Christ and a fictional story/movie character is sheer stupidity. The Truth is Christ. I dare you to pick up a Bible and read what it says in the above verses about people with no self control and who lover of themselves. Christ means Redeemer/Messiah.
11/22/2002 03:08:58 PM
Is HP a hero? The requirement here is for a person to enter territory unknown to the tribe, physical or psychic, and return with information shared for the benefit of the tribe. Heroes were created to help us live in an unexplored and frightening world in which all forces recieved some sort of superhuman treatment. That includes emotions. In a modern context, heroes are defined by heroic actions, but, heroic actions do not a classical hero make. The firefighters at ground zero, or any like examples, are called heroes because they have performed heroically, but are not heroes in the classical, mythological sense. Is HP a tool of Satin? Let's not be silly.
11/22/2002 03:08:35 PM
I've lost track of what the big deal is here. Is Harry Potter a Christ figure? Well, what is a Christ figure? A literary device (not necessarily limited to written fiction) in which a character takes on at least the superficial aspects of the Christ of the New Testament, and suffers and dies at the hands of unjust authority. Oddly enough, resurrection seems to be optional. The literary device has transcended literature and is used in real life, as well. Oscar Romero, for instance. Harry Potter hasn't suffered enough to be a Christ figure, and there's no device for a "an apprentice-Christ figure."
11/22/2002 11:38:32 AM
Ember, why the irritation? I find the whole thing fascinating. The only reason our literature is jam-packed with stories of heros.....is because man was created with a sense of needing God, needing a savior. You are just looking at the evidences of this inborn longing. I rejoice in truths which affirm the Bible. Hero stories are very prominant, and affirm our God given inner longing. I am saddened by people who have not yet found our true and real Hero....Jesus Christ. I haven't however given up hope! As long as there are people driven to write and to read stories of the "hero", there is hope they one day will discover the Only True Hero! Take heart!
11/22/2002 09:10:44 AM
I have to express a certain amount of irritation at the assumption that because Christ is a Hero figure all Hero figures are somehow teaching a lesson about Christ. --Ember--
11/21/2002 05:45:17 PM
Satan means "the accuser" so remember that when you accuse HP of being satanic and please support your belief with reason. Christianity is reasonable. Romans 12:1-2, "offer your bodies as humble sacrifice which is your reasonable service" and correct eachother in humility as Paul wrote to Timothy. The good thing about HP is that it is obviously fantasy, doesn't try to tell life as it is, but offer moral lessons. On the other hand, it offers and escape from reality, watch HP overcome evil in fantasy land in order that you could forget the evil in your own life. It really depends on who watches the movie. "If it causes my brother to stumble I will never eat meat again" (Paul) Steve, Jesus said, "before Abraham was born, I AM". When John wrote, "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God", he meant that God has always had a relationship with us of communication in the word. If Jesus is one with God he is surely the word of God.
11/21/2002 04:16:16 PM
One of the significant likenesses that I see between the Potter stories and the Christian story, is that both share a magical worldview that encompasses an elaborate set of assumptions. But, unlike the Christian story, the Potter series, which are acknowledged fiction, do not contain privileged beliefs that one must accept as true while claiming immunity from revision in the light of later data.
11/21/2002 03:54:01 PM
Sorry, WalkerTWB, but, wrong again. It is insupportable ideas that I pit myself against, not the people who hold them. But, if you get off on believing that you are personally being assailed, well, I'm not here to spoil your fun.
11/21/2002 03:10:00 PM
I myself get very sick of this arguement. I have a 6 year old son & I decided to read the books myself before I allowed him get into all the hype - to find out what the big deal was. I have now read all of them and wait as impatiently as my son for the next movie &/or book. They are truely a good vs. evil story. A STORY!Something that is made up - not true. Most people allow their children to only watch the Disney movies. Good clean movies right? Well what most people do not know is that Disney movies are based on tales written a long time ago by the Grimm Brothers and they were just that. Snowwhite lived with trolls and the wicked witch kills her 3 times and the trolls bring her back to life. Sounds as satanic as HP, don't it. Your own perception of things is what is going to make them evil. Stories like HP teach our children to open up their mind use their imagination. I think some people have to much time on their hands and analyze things way too much.
11/21/2002 02:05:47 PM
steve,,,, shouldnt any remarks involving horses be reserved for the discussion about Jesus' car???
11/21/2002 01:19:00 PM
Just tell me when to stop beating a dead horse : ) and I'll move on to another disucssion... Aside from the comparison of HP to Jesus which I disagree with, for those really hard right wingers who choose to make more out of the Harry Potter story than it is - fiction - please let me know when your child can fly around the house on a broom as a result of reading or watching HP, because I would give my gold tooth to see it.
11/21/2002 12:26:11 PM
I have nothing against Harry Potter, but he is NOT a Christ figure. Harry has yet to die and rise again. I just don't see how someone so young, so unexperienced can be compared to Christ. Christ was [and is] a figure of God, and created by him. Harry Potter, on the other hand. Is totally and completely human-created. If something is human-created, it means that it has faults.
11/21/2002 12:19:46 PM
what was that Painten??,,, sorry I wasnt listening>>> :) LOL... just joking..... welcome...Im relatively new to theses boards myself but have really enjoyed being here the last couple of weeks..... people here dont seem to flame at each other all that much, and for the most part everyone is polite, which makes this whole place addicting...
11/21/2002 12:13:51 PM
Sorry about the typo's in the previous post. I'm new to this site. It was just recommended to me by someone on another site, where i was told my opinion's didn't count as i asked too many questions!
11/21/2002 12:01:28 PM
Wow, go away for a few hours and the discussion generates three more pages. This is an amazingly long-lasting thread. Agree or disagree, it's great to see so many interested in honest debate! Makes enduring the dogmatists worthwhile.
11/21/2002 12:00:41 PM
"yet your so offended by the words of HP(a human) and find them to be an affront to God??" Forgive me if I don't make myself clear somtimes, particularly with typed words on the internet. My issue is not with HP, other than I thought it was way too hyped up and a boring movie, as did my son. I simply feel it is wrong to try and compare a fictional character with Jesus Christ and make some hero out of him because of it. Let him be a hero of his own volition, within the confines of the story. Let's leave Jesus and God (REAL beings who deserve our respect) out of it. As you get to know me on Beliefnet, you will discover I won't be condemning anyone for petty things like smoking, drinking or going to a movie because some fundamentalist condemns it. My only contention with anyone lies in not giving God the respect and honor He deserves but I am not self righteous and need God as much as anyone else.
11/21/2002 11:47:24 AM
Harry Potter is just a kids boo If Harry Pottwer just went to an ordinary school, did his homework before wathing TV of an evening and played football at weekeds, what fun would that be? Would it have even made it to the box office, let alone been a smash. No it would not. Every fiction story has to have something, most often good verses evil. It's a way to make money. I doubt that J K Rowling really intended anyone to think he was meant to be some Christ figure. We can't go thinking everything in life is about GOD or JESUS. Somethings are just there becuase their fun.
11/21/2002 11:42:01 AM
"There is also a difference in God being able to create merely by speaking (He is after all GOD) and humans speaking" correct... yet your so offended by the words of HP(a human) and find them to be an affront to God??This is just whats my point is... Human words, are just words...
11/21/2002 11:39:10 AM
"do you not see that there is a significant difference between the "Word"(as a concept symbolising God) and 'words' as literary devices used to portray images" Certainly there is a difference. There is also a difference in God being able to create merely by speaking (He is after all GOD) and humans speaking.
11/21/2002 11:33:47 AM
(Sorry, space limitations require a second post) "god didnt create the world with words..." 2 Peter 3:5 - 7 They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, 6 through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. Undoubtedly now you will call me a Bible thumper or tell me I am quoting out of context or simply ignore the truth because you don't believe the Bible (also God's word) whether recorded by man or not. I judge no one, I disagree with many hardcore fundamentalists who condemn others, and the only Bible thumping I am interested in is when I ask God to thump me with it sometimes because I need better clarity and understanding. : )
11/21/2002 11:33:04 AM
Steve3927, Your seem to be pretty intelligent(at least well versed). do you not see that there is a significant difference between the "Word"(as a concept symbolising God) and 'words' as literary devices used to portray images. Apologies, but I have a really hard time with the idea that some one cant grasp the difference between the "word"(ie the message) and words (dog, cat, ball, tartuffe, etc)
11/21/2002 11:19:08 AM
"Jesus christ is not the word of God" John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. Revelation 19:13 - He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. Jesus Christ most certainly was and IS the WORD of God. "Steve3927, I see you have spoken many words, probably more than God. How many worlds have you or haven't you created (or get done)?" How would I create worlds since I am not God?
11/21/2002 10:32:37 AM
The idea of Harry Potter being a Christ figure is in fact a reduction of the whole mythology surrounding pharmakon or the scapegoat in Greek society/mythology. The idea of the scapegoat is the one who is both the polluter and the savior in the society. With Jesus, the archetype of the scapegoat was split - between savior and polluter. However, with Harry Potter, you can see the ambiguous wavering going on in the story - is Harry the savior or is he potentially the evil one as the resemblances with Voldemort grow. This article is a rather simplistic look at one side of an archetype. To see a more comprehensive analysis, please refer to my website, http://www.mythandculture.com Many Blessings, Maggie Macary, Ph.D.c Mythologist
11/21/2002 10:09:10 AM
cont from below "God's Word most certainly created the world, and Genesis confirms that He spoke and things were create" 1) no one was around to hear God speak when he created the world.According to the story creation, man was created last after all other facets of the earth.So how would anyone really know. Even an ardent Christian shouldnt argue that simple logic. Further morethe book of Genesis was written by humans and thus the words in Genesis can be subject to the same treament man can give any words.
11/21/2002 09:50:15 AM
:) Thanks Guardian.. I get plenty of practice at work..my bosses and the coworker next to me are evangelicals... "The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the Word of God and that all things were created through Him." Jesus christ is not the word of God... he is/was a manifestattion of the words.The real issue when it comes to words lies in intent. according to Christian theology, God is perfect and there is no ambiguity in his pronouncements. So with God word=action. Now among humans words can mean exactly what they mean, they can be used in statements of irony, sarcasm, or simply used with little or no meaning at all.Examples. "I love my mother"=compltely true, "gee wouldnt it be great if every semi truck got off the road so those of us in cars could drive more freely=irony, sarcasm" or "My friend Juan is a S&*!head"=playful, little or no literal meaning
11/21/2002 09:22:41 AM
Steve3927, I see you have spoken many words, probably more than God. How many worlds have you or haven't you created (or get done)?
11/21/2002 08:52:46 AM
"god didnt create the world with words... God created the world wiith his Godly knowledge, wisdom , and divine power, to say that Gods words created the world is folly..." I cannot agree with this. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the Word of God and that all things were created through Him. God's Word most certainly created the world, and Genesis confirms that He spoke and things were created. If you are God, you can speak and get things done. There are scriptures that speak of the tongue and its power. (whether evil or good.) Words are important.
11/21/2002 08:52:37 AM
Nleanin- You have played the "Devil Advocate" part quite well-
11/21/2002 08:44:17 AM
I wouldn't go so far as to say Harry Potter is a Christ figure, but I certainly think there's spiritual meaning to be found in his story that is applicable to Christianity, although not explicitly Christian, in the same way that much of Tolkien's writing is applicable to Christianity although set in a non-Christian mythology. Harry's hero-story so far seems to me to be more parallel to Grail seekers like Perceval & Galahad than to Christ. In fact, I think his position as "seeker" on the Quidditch team may hint at some sort of deeper quest. Harry's function in the Quidditch game is to focus on the one true goal -- the Golden Snitch -- amidst a riot of distractions, and his role in the story is often to focus on what is really important -- protecting others from harm -- amid distractions like wanting to win the House Cup or be popular.
11/21/2002 08:04:36 AM
Harry Potter is not satanic and he is not a Christ figure. He is just entertainment.
11/21/2002 07:28:42 AM
"Harry Potter is satanic. Let's glorify Jesus and follow God's word instead of sitting back and letting our children be taught satanic rituals." Chosen Ariel, do you insist that everything you watch on TV, in movies, in videos, read in papers, magazines,books,or on the internet somehow glorify Jesus. Does everything you do all day gloify Jesus????Ill bet, unless your Mother Theresa of Calcutta, that it doesnt. Why? becuase its not humanly possible to glorify Jesus in every single thing you do. and that goes for children too. Every childrens story isnt going to glorify Jesus. Does that make it evil>???? are you teaching your children that the only possible way good things can be done on earth is by attributing them to Jesus??? Dare I say, you appear to appear to be using JEsus not as a force that guide you towards righteousness and fair mindedness, rather as a bogeyman to scare children and yourself into not having even the slightest bit of pleasure. God gave you life... now go live it.
11/21/2002 07:21:06 AM
"Think about these words....And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. (Genesis 2) Words are powerful, everything, including us, were created with words!" god didnt create the world with words... God created the world wiith his Godly knowledge, wisdom , and divine power, to say that Gods words created the world is folly... Gods intent and Action created the world... the words,(if they were actually said, and well never know since no human was around then )would merely be a by product of the intent and activity of God.Its a big beautiful forest, and your looking at one tree,
11/21/2002 04:24:35 AM
A human cannot try to be humble. God is humility, thus he cannot worship himself. He made man to worship him. That is the meaning of life. We recieve humility by repenting. Repentance is saying that we cannot do it. Repression is saying that we can. There is only one distinction, between pride and humility. That is the choice. Choosing pride is choosing to be alone without God, without truth. Like Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I have held many things in my own hands and lost them but that which I have given to God I still possess. One must humble theirselves by repenting. If they don't, God will humble them and that is a very painful experience. Just pray to be humbled in this life that he may exhalt you. Luke 18:11-14
11/21/2002 03:19:42 AM
I will watch for your post if you feel like explaining anything further, but for now....I'm off to sleep! My study for tonight is finished. h1
11/21/2002 03:18:20 AM
Thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts, truth-is-humility. One reason I come to beliefnet, is to hear what others are believing. I can agree with much of what you say.....I definitely see that "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." So....with all you wrote....would you say then that you feel you should/or will receive eternal life with God, because you are, or have tried to be, humble? Would that be your answer?....or do I misunderstand?
11/21/2002 03:07:49 AM
Everyone, Satan translated means "the accuser" Keep that in mind when you accuse HP of being Satanic. There is only one qualified to judge, Jesus Christ because his judgment is not of himself but of the one who sent him (see book of John)
11/21/2002 03:04:40 AM
The way of eternal life is humility. If you are following it you will understand Jesus and receive him. If you are following Jesus you will find humility. Humility excludes pride. Christianity is tolerant and inclusive of all cultures. However, it is intolerant and exclusive of all people who put cultures (which are limited) above God (which is unlimited) I became a Christian after studying psychoanalysis. Jesus was the only one to understand that pride is the only wrong and humility is the only right. He knew that to bring love to the world was to bring a sword. He is truly God's only beggoten son, the messiah, the sacrificial lamb. These are beautiful metaphors. And as Paul says at the end of the love chapter corinthians 13, "for now I know in part, but then I will know as I am known" If I didn't answer your question I'll try again. I'm watching Tarkovsky's Stalker. It's rad!
11/21/2002 02:59:50 AM
My pastor has been trying to answer this question for over a year, "How is a person saved". While I would say that the correct answer is "I don't know" I understand the need to offer some explanation. Man is finite (amount of words, time, space, etc.) God is infinite. Man has a desire to be infinite to know everything, to be one with God. But how do we do that, how do you have a relationship with truth. We have to begin by acknowledging that we are not infinite, that we are finite, thus we cannot know God on our terms, only on his. We must surrender our lives to him, the mystery, the unknowable. Paul calls Christianity "knowledge of the mystery". My truest belief is humility. A human should receive humility, which is eternal life because otherwise he believes in lies. Yes, without humility, man lives in the past, through dialectical thought, conflicts, mistakes, etc.
11/21/2002 02:00:09 AM
truth-i-h, I hear you, but do have questions. Since it is late for most posters.....and the discussion is resting for tonight, perhaps if you read this you will care to answer. What is your truest belief about salvation? If you had to explain why you should receive eternal life with God, what would you say?
11/21/2002 01:09:50 AM
Bardmountain, your right about "transcendental" being a bad word. I think Buddhism is rad but unfortunately in the West it is fetishism. While Christians fail often and misrepresent Jesus, we should look past them at what they are looking at. Jesus was tolerant of all cultural differences. he was only intolerant of those who put cultural differences above the mystery of the holy one. In other words, he is hated precisely because he is not dogmatic. John 3:19-21. Buddhism is a philosophy. Jesus died and was resurrected from the dead so that we might understand that truth is humility. God is the one in whom we live and move and have our being (Paul, Acts) so God bless.
11/21/2002 01:05:09 AM
human1, for beliefnet, I try to dispel the lies of the world and focus on serving God, not myself. I talk to a lot of Buddhists and Hinduists. For the dialogue of HP, I just want people to understand that the representation of reality is a form of sorcery, especially MTV. I like the message of HP especially the confrontation with the mirror but I wish mainstream media would not convince people that they are good, when the bible teaches us that "no one is good but the one who is God" and we must recieve him as we recieve humility. In other online dialogue situations such as theooze.com where everyone is a Christian, my job is to inform Christians about postmodern theory stuff in order they might have more effective voices in their community. I don't want to encourage any idle babbling. I only want to promote Jesus first in people's lives.
11/21/2002 12:59:53 AM
BTW.....I believe pride is the foundation of every sin.
11/21/2002 12:51:58 AM
(cont)I must have missed something, I don't recall saying this. Can you direct me to it?.....I actually just paused to recheck, because I hopefully would not assume to know this about you based upon your posts. I think I found it.....is it in a post to you with the phrase in question surrounded with parenthesies? If so....as I read it 2 different ways just now....I think I understand how you took it...and apologize! That phrase was attached to what follows it...and I actually had in my mind that you should Not place great weight in my opinion of your posts....for I see you to be someone who lives life with God being the one you aim to please.....not "human1" for goodness sake! No offense intended there, I am sorry for the confusion.
11/21/2002 12:51:37 AM
truth-i-h, Funny, tonight I am doing my 2 hour Bible study homework! Seriously....and then I read your post. I thought that was funny somehow. I don't quite understand what you are trying to communicate in your recent post. For example, you write,..." I'll admit that I was a little bothered that human1 suggested that I don't care about humility, but I do know that everyone has a force in them of pride."
11/21/2002 12:08:16 AM
Er? Buddhists don't believe in science or the self? Crap on a stick. I was not aware of that. I shall have to become something else now.... :) Actually, Buddhists do believe in science. Given that's it's more of a practice than a religion, it follows a methodolgy that scientists would find familiar. In fact, the Buddha admonished people not to take his word for anything, but rather to find truth for themselves, which is quite scientific. Buddhists also believe in the self, if you mean what I think you mean when you say "self". They see the ego as something to be transcended (bad word for it) to achieve enlightenment, nirvana, or what you would term heaven. I'm not a buddhist (at least not a good one), but it is one of the areas I'm interested in.
11/20/2002 11:03:08 PM
bardmountain, your bio is full of contradiction. A buddhist doesn't believe in science or their self.
11/20/2002 10:58:37 PM
Just to remind everyone, if you''re a follower of Jesus, back up your points with biblical scripture, otherwise its just your word against theirs. this should be a place of gaining understanding but too often I see it as a place for people to convince themselves that they are good christians opposed to ignorant ones. We often would rather see a movie than do a two hour bible study. Why is that, passive entertainment rather than following biblical order. I'll admit that I was a little bothered that human1 suggested that I don't care about humility, but I do know that everyone has a force in them of pride. Let us Christians be the first to admit that we don't know everything. The cornerstone of Christianity is humility. ChosenAriel, please explain why HP is satanic. Use scripture to back up your points. you can't go wrong saying that we should glorify Jesus and follow God's word instead of letting media tell us how to live. Christianity is not dogmatic
11/20/2002 10:49:12 PM
For the record, the second Harry Potter movie is pretty damn good (no pun intended :).
11/20/2002 10:48:16 PM
human1, I liked your analogy of the theatre. The only key difference I would see is that the theatre's principal actor doesn't cast you into a pit of fiery doom if you decide to watch South Park instead. Then again, theatre people are generally pretty reasonable :).
11/20/2002 10:29:56 PM
ChosenAriel, I am a believer in Jesus. I disagree with you. Harry Potter is a make believe story. It does not teach children to worship satan, nor God, nor anything else. It does teach children that fighting against evil, and caring for others are good things. Have you seen the movie or read the books? I hope you will answer this question in a post. I saw the movie....it does not "romanticize" or "glamorize" evil to our children.
11/20/2002 09:54:50 PM
Sorry Namchuck, I just call em like I see em. Spin all you want but your words are on this board and anyone reading them can see the truth. But dont feel bad, ive seen alot worse from others. Just wish you would be honest and admit your bias against certain people.
11/20/2002 09:51:39 PM
Harry Potter is satanic. Let's glorify Jesus and follow God's word instead of sitting back and letting our children be taught satanic rituals. I can't think of a better way to spread witchcraft to our innocent children! If you don't see anything wrong with your kids reading Harry Potter books or taking them to see Harry Potter movies then pray and ask God for spiritual discernment.
11/20/2002 09:51:24 PM
Harry Potter is only a story? Only words? Think about these words....And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. (Genesis 2) Words are powerful, everything, including us, were created with words! The difference between the Lord of the Rings and other "stories" is that they are tales of the eternal struggle of good against evil. We know evil loses, if we've read the Bible that is. When a story paints evil as good and romanticizes and glamorizes evil to our children, it's nothing more than a trap set to lead our children astray. Heaven help us if we put what is fashionable in front of what is right. I pray for all parents and children to see evil for what it is. Harry Potter is demonic.
11/20/2002 09:08:12 PM
rswells, i took a look at your bio. We can never master love, but let love be the master. To be the master is impossible. Stay in the word of Jesus. I suggest reading John then Romans.
11/20/2002 09:03:49 PM
We are created to worhsip God. God is humility, thus he cannot reflect, worship himself. Pride is that which reflects on itself as whole. HP displays this lesson well. Namchuck believes in three limited stories, his name, society and science. People who only believe in what they can know will never see the kingdom of God. His is a mystery. We are limited. Pride tells us that we are not. We must repent, not repress.
11/20/2002 08:47:34 PM
oh....and rwellsrwells.....suppose once the play begins, each one in the audience is written into the script?! toodles.....h1
11/20/2002 08:44:04 PM
Dinner's ready......happy posting!
11/20/2002 08:43:08 PM
Personally, to answer my own question, I believe the reason literature is filled with hero stories and situations requiring salvation because it reflects the fact that we are created to seek God. We are created with a moral will....and we sense many things of God even before He brings us to His truths. To me the evidences in literature, are an evidence of God created longings within, which enable us to grasp on to Him, when He draws us unto Him. We have an awareness of our need.
11/20/2002 08:38:32 PM
Don't worry about offending me! I am not so taken with my own analogy.....mostly just a quick ramble as I shifted from vacuuming to preparing dinner! It was there....but a bit out there as well! There are far better analogies, and many things we see in this life.......but I do believe there is only one path of truth, and that is from God.....written of in His word the Bible. Harry Potter is a great imaginative story, and in no way a threat to the truths of God.
11/20/2002 08:34:26 PM
I agree with you about love setting Jesus apart, rwellsrwells, and it begs the question: Does Harry Potter possess the kind of love that Jesus did, selfless and all-sacrificing? He certainly has deep love for his small cluster of friends, but beyond that, there is a level of animosity, as with the children from Slytherin, and distrust, as with Professor Snape. He also possesses something Christ did not- fear. While Harry is no coward, he certainly is not without hesitation or timidness in certain situations, while Christ was unfaltering. His one exception was the Agony in the Garden, and that was in anticipation of imminent, excruciating pain. He never considered backing out and not doing the will of the Father.
11/20/2002 08:16:14 PM
My only objection to the "life as a night at the opera" (Blessings on you, Groucho) analogy is it makes us spectators in the play rather than players. To mix metaphors, "life is not a spectator sport." Didn't Jesus say something about being "in" but not "of" the world? As far as Jesus being the ultimate hero: Jesus's real contribution was the docrine of love. Love may have been a guiding force before him, but not to my knowledge a docrinal force. If Jesus is the ultimate hero love would be the force that sets him apart.
11/20/2002 08:00:45 PM
Some good points are raised by most here about hero origination. Truth-in-humility, you are correct of course in your freedom in the Spirit, i.e., HP or other films so vehemently opposed by many fundamentalists could be compared to the "meat offered to idols" scenario. I don't fear Harry Potter as a threat to christianity or my faith. I took my son to see it and we both nearly fell asleep -- it wasn't quite the "wizard of oz of the new millineum the critics said. (We both found Lord of the Rings to be much more entertaining but that's another discussion.) I deliberately rented and watched "The Last Temptation of Christ" because I refuse to blindly follow any mass or right wing fundamentalist position without seeing for myself if it is true. From another post, "Jesus has a sense of humor" is often raised, and I have no doubt He did and still does, but it never crossed the line of making jokes about the things of God which today's "entertainment" often does.
11/20/2002 07:44:40 PM
....based upon their faith it will be terrific, and all the author has illuded to. Many have unknowingly paid for bogus tickets that won't even land them a seat in the theatre , as they believed false claims of "sales" men wishing for profit. Some have met the writer and know him in such an intimate way, that they are sold out to being there, and witnessing all they know will come from him, also eagerly inviting others to attend based upon their whole hearted belief. Others are so busy and distracted that they do not even know the event is approaching. Still others have heard, but just don't believe the play will take place.
11/20/2002 07:44:30 PM
I enjoy namchucks offering of the "play attendee" as the predicament of life, though that is not the way I see us at all. From my perspective, we are all being born and brought into the vicinity of a theater where the orchestra is only tuning their instruments....and the play is yet to come. We have the option of attending or not. There is much chaos in the air, as well as anticipation. The script is known, but the writer of the play has not let every detail out just yet. Some are saying it will be terrific, others are questioning the writer's credibility and intention. Many are talking about him as if they know him, but have heard only rumors and half truths. So the difference existing, is the price attenders are willing to pay...
11/20/2002 07:37:39 PM
truth-in-humility, (not that it matters to you!), but I do agree with your last post. Except the ending prediction of time. I am not so sure it is 20-30 years, but I understand what you are saying. For believers the end of the age is surely coming, and we are called to live as if it were immediately. Non-believers talk of the end of the earth as well....I read one even here, I believe it was Pacifist Thinker, but am not looking back again to verify that.
11/20/2002 07:33:53 PM
I wouldn't disagree with your remarks one whit, rwellsrwells. Having rejected all theisms that purport to tell us the meaning of life, is one then committed to saying that life is inherently meaningless? Yes. But that is no bad thing. After all, inherently speaking, the answer just given is also meaningless. There is no inherent meaning to the word 'yes'. It is our interaction with it that imbues it with meaning. And as with 'yes', so with life. It is individuals' interaction with life, their attitudes, decisions and actions, that will ultimately make their lives meaningful.
11/20/2002 07:27:37 PM
Christ is the ultimate hero. It is uncommon that a fictional hero is created without containing one or two Christ-like characteristics. The fact that Potter has a number of traits comparable to Christ is only tantamount to his success. It does not mean that he is meant to represent Christ, only that he is a better than average hero. There are too many contradictory elements to make the comparison. The rivalry that exists between the halls is in stark contrast to Christ's inclusive, love your neighbor teachings. Harry is also given special consideration from page one. Everyone treats him as someone who is destined to be great, and he is paraded around with much fanfare. Christ was an ordinary carpenter, and other Christ figures in literature, such as Harding's Owen Meany, are also humble. Harry is meant to entertain the fancy. Nothing more. And as an older brother to seven annoying Harry Potter maniacs, I would be more partial towards thinking of Harry as the Antichrist, or even Satan himself...
11/20/2002 07:24:47 PM
It's all here and now. We invest life with whatever meaning we want. The hereafter is none of our business. Living in the hope of an eternal reward is the great selfishness. Life's imperfect, the good life is in doing our best to fix it, the reward is in the doing.
11/20/2002 07:16:15 PM
'A tale told by a idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying - nothing'? Who knows? One thing for sure, as lucilius pointed out in an earlier posting, one day, our star will die, and its pieces, including our own atoms, will drift in space to take part, at some future time unimaginably distant, in the formation of new stars, maybe even new solar systems. Here is grand immortality!
11/20/2002 07:10:18 PM
The Christian worldview (not paradigm) explains what this drama is all about: Pride. Pride is the source of projection, to say they are the impure thus i am clean. That's why we like stories of tragedies and scandal. The mess is up there on the stage thus it is not in my own heart. In reality aside from the drama, we are all impure. Pride is the lie that we are pure when in reality we are not. I became a Christian after studying Lacanian psychoanalysis. Don't repress, repent! Desire is rooted in pride. Love is rooted in humility. Jesus understood this, that to bring love into the darkness is to bring a sword and fire, to divide between the proud and the humble. No other view accounts for the drama like Jesus Christ. He fulfilled the prophecies of the Torah and his endtimes prophecies are being fulfilled today. I'd speculate that we have 20-30 years left before he returns.
11/20/2002 07:04:47 PM
PS: Allen Ginsberg thought, "The work is to alleviate the pain of living. All else, drunken dumb show." I think he was right on that count.
11/20/2002 07:03:01 PM
I don't believe we are ever saved from our dilemna. Comforted, perhaps; or, enlightened - which is the more interesting of the two. What's the comfort? "This too shall pass," or, "In my Father's house are many mansions." And the enlightenment? "The kingdom of heaven is within you," or the Four Noble Truths. Any way you go, being "saved" doesn't seem to me to be for this lifetime (if for any time.) We die, and the game continues, or not, on a whole other level.
11/20/2002 06:01:43 PM
(con'td) Hence the question: which paradigm or worldview most successfully explains what the drama is all about?
11/20/2002 05:59:46 PM
(con'td) We come late to a play that has been going on for ages and, before we know it, we are being shown the exit. Yet, not to know how the play began, or how it ends, is an intolerable state of affairs. Compounding this is the fact that, not only are we in attendance, but we are expected to take the stage and perform in some kind of intelligent and reasonable way! No wonder we want someone to come and tell us what the play is all about and 'save' us from our dilemma.
11/20/2002 05:54:41 PM
Yes, human1, I see what you are saying, and would suggest that the predominance of salvation-type myths are a consequence of the reality of the human dilemma - our very consciousness - which places us in a position very much like that of the man who went to see a play at the theatre; he arrives an hour and a half late, barely takes his seat, when an emergency call obliges him to leave. The next day, his friends ask him how he enjoyed the show. What could he say? What he had seen may have been gay or depressing, drab or exciting, but it was only a climpse into what might or might not have been a meaningful drama. Such, in many respects, is our position in the world.
11/20/2002 05:42:41 PM
rather...our stories all too often involve getting saved. You know.....sorry
11/20/2002 05:40:34 PM
(rwellsrwells...God has a sense of humor...you should have seen me pregnant!....I'll leave it at that.) namchuck, thanks for your opinions, interesting thoughts. I do agree as I said early....many scenarios exist, but we agree that the most predominant is the hero-come-to-save story. I think, though, that even in the other scenarios....there is still this repetition of story lines which cry out for a solution (hero) of any type. Whether it's a self-hero, or a natural consequences-hero, or the traditional external hero.....our stories continually suggest there is something we need saved from. Our stories all to often involved getting saved. What do you see there?
11/20/2002 05:37:06 PM
HP's confrontation with the mirror was obviously a Christian lesson. We give up our dreams and desires for the sake of God's infallible plan. The post was repeated from spirit radio's post the other day. I just thought it was worth repeating. I just think that sorcery isn't broomsticks and cauldrons but MTV and media's that distort reality. I'm fine with HP because I have the Holy Spirit, discernment, etc. However, there are many people who aren't Christians and see HP and think that we don't need Christ. So I count it all as loss except for knowledge of Jesus Christ. My favorite films are Jean-Luc Godard's, breaking the fantastic voyeurism and returning the spectator to their real, imperfect body.
11/20/2002 05:30:44 PM
nleanin: depends on your hero. steve3927: I'd like to believe Jesus had a sense of humor, don't think he would have gotten along with the poor and down-trodden without one. The Father seems to be particularly devoid of that virtue, though.
11/20/2002 05:24:07 PM
truth-is- humility... You appear to be a believer in Jesus. I am as well. I feel compelled to say I disagree with your post. Have you seen or read Harry Potter?
11/20/2002 05:23:24 PM
human1: The world's titanic corpus of myth, in fact, covers all those elements you mention in your posting(s), although the hero-myth certainly appears to predominate. Just about every scenario imaginable is encountered somewhere in the myths of mankind. I think many of your questions can be answered by the fact that man, unlike the rest of animal creation, is burdened by consciousness, the very awareness of his own existence and finiteness. The responses to this dilemma has as many reactions as there are consciousnesses to experience them.
11/20/2002 05:00:00 PM
"...except yourself and your brood perhaps, who seems incapable of enjoying even the slightest make believe without thinking its some sort of assault on God." I must protest. In fact I have a Jule's Verne DVD in the player right now -- Mysterious Island -- interstingly enough it's about solving the world's main problems, hunger and war. Mr. Verne was a genius with his futuristic ideas. I enjoy fantasy and escapism as much as the next person. Superman, Batman, Spiderman are awesome fantasy characters. Let's leave them where they belong, in fantasy. I choose to draw the line at cartoon's that joke about God. I no longer watch SouthPark because they make Jesus jokes. Saturday Night Live is out because of the same issue. God, reality, existence, this brief life, are serious matters. Why settle for the "nothingness" of existence when we don't have to? (By the way, having a bout of "internet dyslexia", I should have said MOOT point.)
11/20/2002 04:59:53 PM
This fictional fantasy image does not come anywhere near resembling a following beleiver because the act is presented without an offering of love or truth according to true authority. It only promotes a vain image of whoelse would like to have a following of beleivers while offering a sinful way to distract still-suggestible seekers from finding their true course in the plans of the one master and only son of the Almighty Lord God.
11/20/2002 04:42:55 PM
"Heroes teach how to vanquish fear in the here and now, and how to relate to the seen and unseen." Arent heroes then preaching a sort of self reliance versus a reliance on God??? can we allow such blasphemy to continue in our world, masked as "literature' or 'history'
11/20/2002 04:40:55 PM
All excellent questions, human1. Unfortunately I don't have ready answers, or even quick responses. These are things I want to think about at some length. Unfortunately, I need to go now; but I will print out a copy of your posts and will enjoy thinking out ways to respond for tomorrow, Beliefnet willing.
11/20/2002 04:38:28 PM
I'm not sure heroes necessarily offer good times ahead. The myths seem more practical than that. Heroes teach how to vanquish fear in the here and now, and how to relate to the seen and unseen.
11/20/2002 04:37:29 PM
Indeed, Bravo88; I know the majority of mankind believes in some sort of afterworld, or transmigration of spirit, or union with the ultimate -- any number of beliefs that this world is not all there is. I was only referring to the prevailing religious current in American culture, which has been so deeply absorbed as to transcend denomination. It is also, from what I can tell, the largest single bloc of opinion on Beliefnet, though somewhat smaller here than in society at large. Please note that I do not say that assisting governmental repression was the sole function of the medieval church; it was such a pervasive entity that its right hand could rarely control what its left was doing, and even in the darkest days of Alexander VI's reign contained many truly good-hearted people. It's unfortunate that vocal inflection is unable to convey in print; I know my comments, and I assume many others, are meant to be lighter in tone than they appear in black and white.
11/20/2002 04:36:32 PM
Shouldn't we have at least equal trends of human story telling with alternate solutions? How about stories of Kings, or oppressors who just get sick and die? That's a solution! Why constantly stories of the "hero"? and such fascinated followers? More thoughts?
11/20/2002 04:36:12 PM
"At least I didn't attack anyone." Sorry about the lame nickname I was feeling spry at the time... all apologies... "My point was simply that we as humans tend to jump on every bandwagon that comes along instead of returning to the Bible to see what it really says." Sure people are jumping on the HP bandwagon.... its called entertainment, and without it life tends to get boring. I dont think anyone takes HP as anything more than just that... except yourself and your brood perhaps, who seems incapable of enjoying even the slightest make believe without thinking its some sort of assault on God. Tell me are cartoons direspectful towards God? They too are characters created by man,and often given supernatural powers? Is Superman a manifestation of Satan?? Hes from outer space(not Gods Earth), he can fly(none of us created in Gods image can fly).
11/20/2002 04:32:02 PM
(cont)If death produces once more, nothingness.....and we were happy in that state.....then why be "saved". Death should also satisfy the need for escape quite painlessly should it not? Or why not a trend of over acheivers? Why do we turn to the need of a hero in stories....instead of constant stories of do it your selfers who rise to astounding feets and just simply save themselves? I suppose that does happen.....but the story of the other-than-self hero swooping in is much more predominant.
11/20/2002 04:31:39 PM
I'm enjoying reading your thoughts thus far, but Lucilius, it seems you are posting that horrible times and lack of control can bring on the wishing for escape. I'd say true, but why a "hero's" escape in particular? If we came from dust, and were happy enough with that....I mean, no pain, no fear, shear nothingness. Why would we fear going back to that, and long instead for the hero? Why the desire for someone to save us? If times were so tormented, why not a different escape if they are all really equal? Why not sleep? Why not end it all? Why not wish for any other ending?
11/20/2002 04:25:54 PM
an afterworld is not the exclusive belief of the medieval church, there are nonChristians who also believe in an afterworld. It's interesting how everyone wants tolerance for their own beliefs but few are prepared to show tolerance to others' beliefs.
11/20/2002 04:22:17 PM
Regarding this post: I wouldn't have even bothered posting as I'm not in the least bit interested in Harry Potter or J.K. Rowling but the extremism in many of the messages leaves me disturbed. To all posters (whether Christian, Muslim, atheist etc.), how about discussing things calmly perhaps even with a bit of laughter in your attitude? Yes, I find the title distasteful but if someone wishes to write an article with such a title that is their choice and that's it.
11/20/2002 04:15:44 PM
I think part of the focus on an afterworld is a holdover from the medieval church, which functioned in large part as an apologist for truly awful governments. Don't think about trying to improve this world, the church said; anything the king does to you here will be rewarded in the next life, trust us! So just accept being starving peasants. People who wouldn't settle for pious mumbo-jumbo eventually got us out of that situation, but for some reason many believers don't seem grateful.
11/20/2002 04:06:51 PM
I always found it curious why believers, who never seem concerned with the fact that they didn't exist for billions of years before they were born, find the thought of not existing for billions of years after they die an onerous one. And I would have thought that, not talking about God at all, supposing such a being exists, would be a far more dishonouring thing than the harmless pastime of making 'mute' comparisons.
11/20/2002 04:04:27 PM
Good point namchuck, and thanks. I would suggest that the hero-story is a vehicle which can show how to break through societal conditioning, but as a "classic" tale can also reiterate a society's long-term values. I think it's particularly illuminating to read the hero-stories of cultures distant in time and space, such as Gilgamesh and Beowulf, to sift what values societies seem to share and those peculiar to particular social conditions.
11/20/2002 03:57:50 PM
I would agree completely with lucilius and only add that, man has invariably languished under the weight of culture and tradition which serves, more often than not, only to inhibit his development. Perhaps the hero-story has been one way that man has been able to escape, albeit temporarily and by proxy, from the burden of his own conditioning.
11/20/2002 03:51:38 PM
"Lighten up churchy...You live longer on Gods earth if you worry about curing real social ills ... and not fictional characters..." "Churchy?" At least I didn't attack anyone. My point was simply that we as humans tend to jump on every bandwagon that comes along instead of returning to the Bible to see what it really says. What's the point of living longer if there is no eternity afterward. How long is long? 30, 40, 80 years? It all goes too quickly. Our sights should be on the eternal life prepared for us by God as a free gift, and He should be given the repect He deserves for giving us life to begin with. We will never solve the earth's social ills as long as we are in an imperfect state -- which we ALL, myself included, are. Besides, I know Jesus, and Mr. Potter's fictional character is no Jesus. The comparison is a mute point to begin with. Dishonoring God is not.
11/20/2002 03:45:11 PM
I think your second question, human1, is a most significantly important one, and what an excellent subject for a discussion board it would make! I recommend that you think about initiating something along its lines on 'BN'.
11/20/2002 03:41:23 PM
A hero journeys through the unknown, and returns to teach the lessons learned. That's why humans need heroes. Is Harry Potter a Christ figure? More to this aspect of the question: "Is Christ a hero?" I think yes. Is Harry a hero - I'm not familiar enough to know, but if he is a teacher after his trials, then yes.
11/20/2002 03:35:28 PM
Hmmm ... fascinating question, human1 (#2, that is). I'm sure it says something important about man, though I'm not sure what. But perhaps it's also something inherent in the nature of storytelling (which, I admit, is a human invention and thus leads back to "what is it about man, anyway?"). Stories are easiest to comprehend with a central character, especially when you're trying to get across several points. In a way, the hero is a stand-in for the storyteller, making that person's points metaphorically. I think there's also something to be said for what a hero does for the listerner's imagination, allowing that person to project into the story by identifying with the hero. Really heightens the dramatic effect when you've got a good hero to relate to.
11/20/2002 03:25:20 PM
Two questions. 1) Have we found our discussion's first fundamentalist Harry Potterist? 2)(Unrelated to 1).) Any thoughts on the question "why"? Yes, there are some biblical connotations, even a few symbols common to the Bible, noticeable in Rowlings books. The article suggests that is also found with other authors. Posters suggest it exists in all tales of heroes, and super-heroes. The question interesting to me is, as ususal, "why?". Why do human story tellers have the urge for a hero? What does that say about man?
11/20/2002 03:17:42 PM
(Sigh.) I'm not going to argue with you, mamaquilts. I'm not even going to ask, "Who made you arbiter of this discussion?" NOTE: SARCASM ENCLOSED. Talk about the terminally literal-minded ....
11/20/2002 03:04:34 PM
Once again, the article is not being discussed - only the fact that a discussion is taking place is being discussed. Since I have a full and active life, I cannot take 4 hours to page thru every post to this article - and once again I still don't know you opinion of the article or its impact on your life - only that you have the right to discuss is.
11/20/2002 02:55:47 PM
Sorry if you think our discussion trashy, mamaquilts; I've always thought that the best conversations might start at a particular place yet end somewhere entirely different. We do have some tedious repetitions because people haven't noticed that their points have already been made, or are restating points in response to repetitious argument. I think the article was meant to be taken with tongue firmly implanted in cheek, but literalism rears its head eternally.
11/20/2002 02:48:31 PM
It would be nice to read the posts that stick to the discussion of Harry Potter - but I simply do not have the time to wade through all the trash. if you look at lucilius post for 11/20/02 at 2:37 pm - NOTHING is mentioned about the Harry Potter discussion. I can't believe anyone would consider this an open debate - as far as Harry Potter spending three days in a coma - I believe it was 3 weeks - he missed the finals for his first year.
11/20/2002 02:42:12 PM
I don't remember the owl foretelling HP coming, as far as talking in parseltongue, he was struck by Voldemort's power when he was an infant. Harry Potter's mother and father (sister Petunia) were muggles. Harry Potter was born of wizards, even tho mixed. Hermione was born like Harry's mother, both parents were muggles. Filch, with the cat Mrs. Norris, was born of both parents being wizards - that makes him a Squib, since he doesn't have any magical powers. and the last - Harry defeated Voldemort when he was an infant. His objective was to take over the world - wizard and muggle alike. Because he was defeated by HP - he must destroy HP to regain his power and place in the wizard world.
11/20/2002 02:37:36 PM
Bravo, TimFromOK! I thank you for providing a voice from the vast majority of Christians, who are non-fundamentalist and non-demented. PraisegodBarebones (nice Parliamentary name), I gladly acknowledge that extremists do not reflect mainstream Christian thought. They are, however, the most vocal -- both in the world at large and here on Beliefnet, where they repeatedly assume that since it's a "religious" or "spiritual" Website it must be owned and dominated by their particular flavor of dogma. I certainly agree with human1 that such extremism is not limited to Christianity, or even to religion; it's merely that Christian fundamentalism is the stripe that most frequently appears herein.
11/20/2002 01:58:15 PM
BS"D HP fans, minor detail questions on this article: 1. An Owl fortells Harry's coming? Aren't owl's general "mail" messengers of communication from one person to another? Where did an owl get the role of a birth announcer? 2. Talking to a snake as a childhood power? I thought the gift of Parseltongue was a direct result of the transferrence of Tom Riddle's (aka Voldemort's) power into Harry when the magic of his mother's sacrifice saved his life. 3. Harry Potter's alleged Muggle ancestry? I thought both of Harry's parents were wizards. Where does this mixed ancestry come from. I though Hermione was the one of mixed ancestry. 4. The object of Voldemort's wrath and attention? I can't see this one at all. Moaning Myrtle seems to have suffered more at V's hands than Harry and it seems that V is out to rule the world, not simply get rid of Harry.
11/20/2002 01:24:53 PM
I'd agree to your understanding of fundamentalism lucilius.....and would also say that it applies no matter what the foundational beliefs happen to be. Christian, atheist, political, whatever! Harry Potter is an imaginitive story (once again) holding a battle for good vs evil! It is just a STORY!!!!! for crying out loud! Comparisons can be made!Comparisons are only observations for crying out loud. I cannot help but think that many of these posts from believers which are so negative are a demonstration of "living in fear!". I cannot relate! In our home, all of life contains teachable concepts......we are Christians, we do not live in FEAR!!
11/20/2002 01:23:50 PM
Good old 'fear of the unknown'. If the unknown is so fearful, get to know it.
11/20/2002 01:18:57 PM
I agree, TimFromOK. No-one can criticize a book or books they haven't read without being dishonest to themselves. One example is the myth that evolution/Darwinism = atheism. It is clear that Darwin believed strongly in God and his creation of the universe to anyone who has ACTUALLY READ 'On The Origin of Species'. This fact is almost always unknown or dishonestly ignored. How anyone can criticise something they know nothing about, or at least have a vague incomplete knowledge of, is patently ludicrous.
11/20/2002 01:12:10 PM
continued... My wife is the principal of a Catholic elementary/JH school in a small city. She, along with most of the staff, students, & priests, are fans of HP (I can hear the anti-Catholics mumbling now) She allows the books in the school library for the JH kids. She had a couple of parents express some concern about it but those parents had never read the books. They had only heard the rumors (or e-mail hoaxes). I wonder how many HP critics have read the books? I'm sure a few have simply because they thought it would validate their argument. As for BeliefNet putting this article on their site... It doesn't take much time (or intelligences) to figure out BeliefNet doesn't hold to any particular faith. They only provide an open discussion from a religous standpoint. Basically, if you have a belief BeliefNet is for you.If you don't like other peoples religous points of view then BeliefNet is NOT for you.
11/20/2002 01:11:31 PM
Get a LIFE people! When I first read this, I laughed out loud! If a person thinks about it long enough they could draw comparisons between Harry Potter and ... my pick-up truck! (They both were hit hard in the front!) I am a Christian, a father, and a fan of the HP books & films. YES, it is possible to be all of these at the same time. ....(continued)...
11/20/2002 12:57:53 PM
I've got it! I finally understand fundamentalism! As illustrated by this string of postings, it stems from a terminal lack of humor and an immediate attempt to interpret anything, no matter how obviously allegorical or facetious, quite literally. It is compounded by a willingness to carry any proposition to an absurd or horrible conclusion, with never a backward glance to reconsider whether the whole propostion's rather silly.
11/20/2002 12:46:25 PM
Oh and PS nleanin, yeah, the college thing qualifies, rofl!!! MAJOR ressurection, lololol
11/20/2002 12:45:24 PM
nleanin, I did, very much so. I am always amazed at how seriously humans take themselves....as I said before and everyone skipped over it, all this hullabaloo of my beliefs are "correct" and "what God wants" and yours aren't disgusts me, any one who has actually READ God's word will see (IN ROMANS) that even GOD said, that HE is different to each of us, well DUH....since he had the awesome foresight to make each of us different, how COULD HE be the same to each of us! HMMM, YA THINK it might just be another WONDERFUL part of the way God's world fits together? GEE, what a simple concept! I have been shown over and over the simple message that refers back to God's first command to us, and that was to love one another, I TAIN'T seein alot of that on these message boards.....
11/20/2002 12:37:01 PM
Glad you found it funny BEEZ... it should be,as the whole Harry Potter vs Christ thing should be.... My childhood prowess included being a wicked soccer defender and raining sulphur on would be scorers. as far as resurrection goes.. well... I survived 5 alcohol filled years at university... truly the mark of coming back from a state of intellectual and moral self crucifixion
11/20/2002 12:28:26 PM
after all, how do you expect me to make a true comparison without all the "FACTS"? ! ? ! ? !
11/20/2002 12:27:43 PM
excuse me nleanin, but you forgot the catagory of childhood powers and resurection in your comparison, could you please fill me in on those? LOLOLOLOL!
11/20/2002 12:19:59 PM
**** I think I am just going to sit here all day, read nleanin's posts and continue to crack up......THANK YOU, for bringing some much needed humor to this all to horrendous discussion!!!! The one thing you have right though, is no amount of "light" will make someone see what they are determined not to.... (I also hugely loved Pacifists addendum to his/her comment about the previous post containing sarcasim, because you know good and well SOMEONE wouldn't have known that, lololol...) Thanks for the morning giggle to start my day!!!!!
11/20/2002 11:29:28 AM
You are entirely correct nleanin. The line is throughly blurred. The fact is that we as Christians hold a worldview forged in modernity to understand a pre-modern ancient text. Christianity is a faith assertion, not tangible fact-the Quest for the Historical Jesus has taught us that much. I would submit that even blasphemy is debatable. Thirty years ago some Christians picketed the "Jesus Christ Superstar". This past Summer I saw a performance of the musical at a thriving Methodist Church. Sadly, Christians do not agree on everything and have allowed disgreement to erode community. It is my hope that as in my earlier appeal, I will not dis-own brothers and sisters in Christ. So we do not agree on Harry Potter-this is not a reflection of salvation-history, just a difference of perspective. On that note, faith is the ideological inverse of logic. In other words, Truth can still exist and never be fully comprehended.
11/20/2002 10:58:12 AM
as a demonstration of how belifnets article comparing Harry Potter to Jesus is I offer the following comparison of myself to Jesus Sign of Arrival: Interruption in mothers monthly cycle foretold my arrival 9 months in advance Mark of wounding-Scar on chin from falling down steps, scar on thumb from cut with utility knife Ancestry-Links Rome,the Middle East, and Slavic Europe Enemies-Haughty arrogant institutions bent on suppressing the free expression of humanity Nether regions-my basement is a mess and has a bat inside somehwere nleanin saves?-nleanin pet sits for friends on a regular basis suffering- I get horrible back spasms Father figure-my father Now does anyonw really think that Ive just proclaimed my self as an equal to Jesus by running that comparison??
11/20/2002 10:40:51 AM
so then where do Christians draw this line between blashpemous witchery and fiction? seems like the placement of that line would have to be arbitrary??
11/20/2002 10:20:31 AM
I appeal to those on this board who do not consider themselves "Christians": There are many streams of thought presented in this strand. I am posting to ask that you consider the peril of generalization. The thoroughly inappropriate comments by some "Christian" figureheads are truly grievous to the Islamic community. Most sensible individuals recognize that Muslim fundamentalist extremist groups do not represent the heart of Islam. In this vein I ask that you consider that not all Christians hold to a sensationalized book-burning, contra-culture radical group. Thanks for your help in recognizing that no one Christian can (particularly this one) can claim to be the mouthpiece of God.
11/20/2002 10:00:46 AM
"I have been disappointed with several of my brothers and sisters for not being able to "see" with the Harry Potter issue" so is the sky falling for real this time???
11/20/2002 09:58:04 AM
Question: Do Christians object vehemently when "jack and the beanstalk' is read to children in kindergarten???
11/20/2002 09:56:24 AM
Likewise... the tooth fairy regularly materializes in the homes and more specifically the bed rooms of small children, takes away the teeth that god gave them, and replaces the orphaned tooth with money(the root of all evil, and the expressed secular domain of 'caesar'), Can parents allow for such a wizardy and magic to permeate the psyche of their children>>??
11/20/2002 09:52:09 AM
First of all I would like to comment on how disappointed I am to see Harry Potter on the same page as our savior. I was shocked to even see this was an issue with beliefnet. You know in the bible it says that there will be people blind to deception but the faithful will see. I have been disappointed with several of my brothers and sisters for not being able to "see" with the Harry Potter issue. For the rest of us that do, we have to stay strong in his word and pray for the others!
11/20/2002 09:48:03 AM
Yes SBR2003, and lets ban The Wizard of OZ, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and hell, any children's classic that has the slightest hint of magic. While we're at it, why not abolish the highly blasphemous character of Santa Claus, who (apparently) lives forever, flies through the air and performs the miracle of delivering presents to billions of kids in one night! (WARNING: The preceding post may have contained sarcasm)
11/20/2002 09:44:56 AM
"Harry Potter is the way to implant the acceptance of mysticism and the black arts into children's minds in the guise of an adventure." The same could be said for "The Wizard of Oz","Star Wars" and "lord of the Rings" Are you actively complaining about any outlet that discusses those pieces??
11/20/2002 09:28:26 AM
"To even merit this comparison makes me feel that beliefnet is too open enough to allow this type of literature that in fact hurts the other true believers here" I have no clue how a non affiliated wesbite set up for news and iscussion about belief systems can be "too open". If you "true" believers" cant handle having your ideas questioned, kindly adjourn yourselves to a website made specifically for you and your breatheren, and leave beliefnet for those of us who are interested in dialogue not a pulpit from which spread demagoguery.
11/20/2002 09:15:56 AM
An earlier comment said this borders on blasphemy. I'm sorry but this IS TRUE BLASPHEMY. To even merit this comparison makes me feel that beliefnet is too open enough to allow this type of literature that in fact hurts the other true believers here. While beliefnet is quite good in opening discussions and prayer circles, you also have horoscopes and mysticism. I think you need to seperate these from each other. Harry Potter is the way to implant the acceptance of mysticism and the black arts into children's minds in the guise of an adventure. I've watched the first movie enough to know that it puts wicked ideas into children's heads in a beautifully orchestrated movie. I think PARENTS who read this should think twice about what their children are assimilating. It is part of your PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY.
11/20/2002 09:07:33 AM
"The way to truth is simple; Jesus said HE was THE TRUTH and THE WAY. Either He meant it or He was a lunatic as accused by the people of His day." to me he meant that his teachings were "the way,the light, and the truth" But I guess that puts me on the border of blasphemy too eh??
11/20/2002 09:07:27 AM
"Harry Potter like Jesus? Borders on blasphemy" Lighten up churchy...the article doesnt say to follow Harry Potter as the new messiah, it merely draws parallels between the attributes assigned to Harry Potter(a fictional character mind you)and the one assigned to Jesus. You live longer on Gods earth if you worry about curing real social ills(poverty, ignorance, crime etc) and not fictional characters like Harry Potter. "We prefer instead to follow our own heroes, made from fictional characters, " from your post, I see that you find belief in 2000 plus year old literary characters, whose existence is debateable, and whose actions are even more likely to have been embellished, to be wholly acceptable and, further more, required to gain Gods favour.
11/20/2002 08:40:18 AM
Harry Potter like Jesus? Borders on blasphemy. Everybody just follow your own 'god' and it'll be okay and make light & joke about God or Jehovah or Yaweh or Jesus and say it's okay because God has a sense of humor. The "fear" of God doesn't mean trembling in a corner waiting to be cast into hell. It means giving God the honor and respect He deserves as creator and YES, "COG" in the wheel of our OBVIOUSLY intelligently designed universe. We prefer instead to follow our own heroes, made from fictional characters, and woe to anyone that disputes the tradition of 3 wise men at the manger (the Bible says they came to the HOUSE and it was after Jesus was presented at the temple), or the giant candy cane that was no doubt also there, as shown at the mall. The way to truth is simple; Jesus said HE was THE TRUTH and THE WAY. Either He meant it or He was a lunatic as accused by the people of His day.
11/20/2002 08:26:37 AM
sorry gang.. I meant to put "agnostic"
11/20/2002 07:06:12 AM
"life is more fun when there are mysteries to work on--" I agree totally, Im an gnostic who was raised Catholic, when I study and think about and try tolearning about "god' and rather or not it exists, it makes me hope that I never necessarily arrive to a set conclusion, rather that i keep learning of ideas and testing them all with the tools that this 'god' has given me.The point of the journey may be not to arrive anywhere at all.
11/20/2002 07:02:49 AM
"ask any 8 year old if harry potter is meant to be jesus in disguise and he'll laugh in your face" too bad the average fundie will tell you in return that said 8 yr old is worshiping Satan and not even knowing that theyre doing so... as if we can truly give our hearts to something that we dont even wish to recognize... It is pretty sad..but we see this everywhere... Fundies not letting thier children dress for Halloween, Harry Potter being taken literally, I get the feeling that these are the sorts of people who wont let their kids believe in Santa Claus, the easter Bunny and the tooth fairy, becuase the 2 formers supplant JEsus stature in those holidays, and the latter is a fly by night who uses supernatural powers to break into houses and steal parts of a childs anatomy.
11/20/2002 03:04:14 AM
There isn't much that can be said about "beleifs." We are all free to be as illogical as we please. Beleifs seldom have much if anything to do with reality or logic and therefore cannot be argued. Beliefs are strongly connected to opinion but are more ridiged than simple opinions. No minds are going to be changed in this format. If anyone "believes" Harry Potter is evil there is little anyone can do to change that opinion. I might add that I consider myself to be a Christian, but I'm not convinced there a theistic "being" "out there" like a super Santa in the sky passing out goodies so I have to confess I am a non-thiests. A non-thiests is different than an athiests but I'm still working on the difference--life is more fun when there are mysteries to work on--I'm convinced that's the trouble with the fundamentalist position--no mystery!
11/20/2002 01:49:28 AM
harry potter: cute movie, cute books, not so cute nuts who continually give the faith a bad name muddling a non-issue. the harry potter books/movies are only stories meant to entertain, like fairy tales and the disney movies made from them. but americans are very confused about artistic mediums, "all animation is meant for children and all live actions are biopics." if cinderella had been live action the misguided zealots would be saying "bippitty boppitty boo" was some sort of satanic chant said backwards to suck small children into demonism. the comparison between harry potter and christ is pilpul(yiddish word for a pointless debate for its own sake). the author wrote a few cute stories for children, and when the huge attack from a paranoid few came about, she or someelse panicked and tried doing the comparison to soothe ruffled feathers. ask any 8 year old if harry potter is meant to be jesus in disguise and he'll laugh in your face.
11/19/2002 11:16:39 PM
UH, I came back tonite to see how the HARRY POTTER discussion was moving along, lol......I see it has digressed to a total religious battle, lololol...oh well.......another great chat gone!!!!
11/19/2002 11:06:33 PM
Deuteronomy 18:10 Practices the Lord Hates (10) Here are the things you must not do. Don't sacrifice your children in the fire to other Gods. Don't use magic to try to explain the meanings of warnings in the sky or of any other signs. Don't take part in worshipping evil powers. (11) Don't put a spell on anyone. Don't get messages from those who have died. Don't talk to the spirits of the dead. Don't get advice from the dead. (12) The Lord your God hates it when anyone does those things. Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. There is one God and he hates sorcery. How could Harry Potter resemble The Spotless Lamb, Jesus our Lord? He is a sorcerer and casts spells and uses black magic. Please christians open your eyes to what is good and what is evil! God does not want for us to be comfortable with witchcraft! There is no such thing as a good witch or good black magic and God save us and protect us from such evil. Wake up and see what Harry Potter is all about!
11/19/2002 08:05:02 PM
Of what relevance is all this? Sacred books are not history or meaningless description of events. They are guides to transmit the truths that govern the universe. Because spiritual truths cannot be described with words, myths and parables are used. They are not to be understood literally.
11/19/2002 06:57:49 PM
Thehoods, here's another tidbit; I'm not sure of its veracity, but it seems reasonable: the only time shepherds spend the night with their flocks is during lambing season, from about March to May. The presence of shepherds at the manger, who had been "abiding in the fields," would suggest the spring as the time of Jesus' birth. And perhaps the Magi were not led by a travelling phenomenon, but started on their journey at the bright conjunction you mentioned; Magi were Zoroastrian priests, from Persia, and the journey from central Iran to Palestine might have taken them until spring.
11/19/2002 06:57:25 PM
Atempting to align Jesus' birth with some supposed conjunction of the planets is just another inanity invented by the mystic-moochers of this world. The very fact that Jesus, according to several New Testament references, expected, and wrongfully predicted, his own return, with the kingdom, in the lifetime of many who were then hearing his voice, is sufficient to thoroughly disabuse anyone of giving 'endtime' notions any creedence whatsoever.
11/19/2002 06:52:07 PM
Thehoods, I know there's no guaranteed tomorrow for you or me. But it's probable, and I'll keep basing my life on evidence and thought rather than wishes. But I'll take your question about my supposed spirit's fate from the other direction: I have not seen any remotely convincing evidence that a spirit separate from the body exists, much less an afterlife; so I'll deal with that when the issue becomes clear -- in other words, when I get there. I don't expect to "get" anyplace, or for there to be anything "afterwards." But if there is, I will confidently declare that I tried to determine the right course to the best of my ability. Any god who cannot respect honest striving to determine the solid truth, in preference to uncritical acceptance, does not deserve my worship.
11/19/2002 06:46:50 PM
Heartreign, thanks for the invitation; I'm sure it's made from good motives. I, however, spent years trying to reconcile the contradictions of biblical interpretation with the world it was supposed to describe. It was that desire to figure out what was right that led me to abandon it as inherently unworkable. I find things much easier to explain and understand without religion.
11/19/2002 06:40:46 PM
Back to the Harry Potter issue,other than comparing a warlock ( one who serves not God but satan's kingdom) with the Son of God. This whole "Christmas star". It wasn't a Christmas star.He was not born in December, it is to cold to keep sheep out by night in December. It was actually in the month of Tishri Sept/Oct time or fall. It was a conjoining of three stars Jupiter,Mars and Venus. The constalation the Northern Cross also at that same time happened to be upright in the west. There was another star 6 months to this happening in the Spring, not as bright, as it was only 2 stars. This happened around the same time John the Baptist was born. Interesting factoid huh?
11/19/2002 06:38:42 PM
Thehoods, you need to read a little more history. Constantine was not the first Pope: he was about 300 years too late for that distinction. Before his loose adherence to Christianity, Constantine was a follower of Mithras, a Persian deity derived from Zoroastrianism, and toyed with the soldiers' cult of Sol Invictis. He was ex officio Pontifex Maximus of the state cults (Jupiter, Hera, etc.) And Ba'al was not an Egyptian god. Ba'al's worship centered in what is now Syria. The ankh is the symbol of the Egyptian god Osiris (who, by the way, rose from the dead to give man eternal live a few thousand years before Jesus). IHS on the wafer is the short Latin form for Jesus; the Romans frequently crammed words where they didn't fit by omitting some letters, as long as it still worked phonetically. And if you want to talk about elderly prophecies, try reading the Rg Veda or the Chaldean oracles, both of which predate the Old Testament by at least a millennium.
11/19/2002 06:32:32 PM
lucilius You should not worry about tomorrows plans. For tomorrow is never promised. Live each day like it is your last. Yet if tomorrow should never come, do you know where your Spirit, which is eternal, will go?
11/19/2002 06:30:10 PM
The Indians also worshipped many gods, kinda like the romans,and the egyptians and quite honestly the catholics. Before I get snot slapped,Constantine,was the first "Pope" of the Roman Catholic Church. He was a baal worshipper.He saw a "cross" in the sky which was not a cross but an anke. This is a pagan symbol. This man never accepted Christ.The word Eucharist is an egyptian word, taken by the RCC. The IHS on the wafer also taken from Egypt originally stood for Isis Horus and Seb. The RCC has many gods, which is one reason she is called the whore of babylon. Anyway~ the only prophecy that is older than the indians would be Torah. I tend to lean on the ones that set the standards for any other.
11/19/2002 06:29:43 PM
Lucilius one more thing, I can tell you've done your research and you are an intelligent person, and I do not criticize you for this. I quite enjoy study myself. However on the flipside now, I find things make much more sense, it isn't random drawing. God Bless
11/19/2002 06:26:41 PM
Lucilius You are the one who is searching. I found peace, I know in whom I believe, not that I AM GOING TO HEAVEN. It is so much deeper than that. Something that is very personal, I know that you will laugh and debunk this next thought, but from the resources of a loving Gods hand, I extend to you an invitation to know him. I am not afraid, oh there was a time I lived in fear. Don't deny yourself by saying you do not have fear. However perfect love casts out fear. Enough said, I have kids to feed and chores to do, but I will pray for you. Not because I am looking for a star in a crown, but because you are searching and those who seek will find, if they will but open their heart.
11/19/2002 06:26:28 PM
I don't deny that we're facing the end of days, in a sense: in about 6 billion years, the sun will go nova. In perhaps 16 billion, the universe will probably either freeze out or come back together in a boil. But I'm not going to let either eventuality spoil my plans for tomorrow.
11/19/2002 06:24:46 PM
To say we are not seeing the end of days, is like saying there is no such thing as cancer. While you might not experience cancer in your lifetime someone you know will.Yet you prepare yourself, you go to the doctor, you eat healthy etc.. Believers in Yeshua haMashiach are to do the same, seek wisdom from His Word, the same Word of God, that God the Father places above His own name. To stand ready, not to fall into the traps mankind sets for themselves. Organized religion is one of those traps. As is lack of knowledge.
11/19/2002 06:24:45 PM
In 1995 a white bison was born in, I believe, Montana, thus fulfilling a Plains Indian prophecy that the white man would return the land to Native Americans and the bison herds would again thunder over the plains. So far as I know, Kansas City hasn't moved, nor has there been a thousandfold increase in bison fertility. Your "signs" are no better than that: the normal if occasionally coincidental workings of a large and complex world.
11/19/2002 06:21:33 PM
There were similar intimations of impending doom during the Crusades, when the Knights Templar and Hospitallars actually held the Temple Mount -- and apparently excavated many of the cellars Muslims are now finding. Somehow, I'm not inclined to base my predictions of the universe's demise on a bit of jury-rigged Middle Eastern architecture.
11/19/2002 06:21:31 PM
Also to note,that this year in fact it was April that a red heffer was born, it appears to be a kosher red heffer, meaning no white spots. the red heffers in the past have been unkosher as the older they got,the white appeared, or they were killed by the Orthodox prior to reaching the matured age. They have all the materials they need to rebuild the temple. They have been training up young men ( Cohan's which are of the priestly line,though I'd like to see proof that they are the high priest line. All the Levites were "priests") they have found also a vial of oil from the days of yore, pre 70 AD and are trying to duplicate it to annoint those priests.
11/19/2002 06:18:01 PM
I might argue that only fundamentalists seem to be devolving -- and rapidly at that, if the posts on this board are any indication.
11/19/2002 06:17:58 PM
The comments in my previous post, heartreign, were 'inspired' by Jehovahs Girl and not by anything you said. I don't know about you, but I 'stick to the side of the planet' by the force of gravity, an influence that does not require the invoking of any bogey-entity to explain it. And physics, as far as I know, has discovered nothing that would pass as evidence that any supernatural presences exist here, or anywhere else, in the universe. On the contrary, it is a fact about God that He has never proved himself a viable cog, nut, or bolt in any theory of how the world works or is, and you haven't provided a scrap of credible evidence to support the incredible assertions you make in your posts.
11/19/2002 06:17:48 PM
I understand your arguement, they have been saying "Jesus is returning" since the day He left. However scripture gives not the day or hour, but the timing, the things to watch for. One is the AntiChrist who will set himself up in the Thrid Temple, in Jerusalem. You say but the Muslim Dome of the Rock is there. It is falling apart faster than they can rebuild it.A) it sits on a fault like called the Anatolian fault line, one good earthquake and down it comes. B)The Muslims have been diggin under it, and the foundation is weak, they were worried this year over Ramadan,that to many in the Dome would cause it to collapse...
11/19/2002 06:13:32 PM
lucilius~ You know they have a saying in the south for people such as yourself. " Bless thier hearts" they say this when someone rolls a tractor in the ditch as well. If you desire,to believe " nothing bad can happen to me cause I'm a christian, or athiest, or whatever your choice man made religions of today is" you are only fooling yourself. Mankind has not "evolved" mankind is actually de-evolving. Thanks to sin,and satans natural talent to play on that sin mankind has been slowly killing himself. This is one reason Jesus came,that we would not have to die in our sin. Reguardless of satan's tactics. It will be people who are playing "ignorant" who will help the AntiChrist into power. Yes,it really is happening, started with Israel becoming a nation back in 1948....
11/19/2002 06:10:37 PM
And precisely what well-determined course do we travel upon? You can point to the vague and bizarre allegories in Revelation all you want, but it's far from a clear roadmap. In the absence of a definable road, naturally it's impossible to point out one man who has altered a nonexistent path.
11/19/2002 06:08:35 PM
How do I think I stick to the side of this planet" Not by some big guy's hand pressing me down, but by gravity, a physical phenomenon which is explained precisely by the science you reject. Your argument that because the universe exists, there must be a god, holds no water. Bertrand Russell told of a woman who refused to believe the Earth was a sphere because, she told him, it rested on the back of a gigantic turtle. In response to the obvious question of what the turtle stood on, she said, "It's turtles all the way down!" The argument for god-before-universe is really no better than that: it is just as easy to postulate a self-generating universe, or an uber-god behind Jehovah who made him, and so on.
11/19/2002 06:08:16 PM
Heartreign, your position is evident enough from your posts. I think your accusation of narrowmindednes is a bad and fairly obvious case of projection: you did nothing but come on this board to recite your dogma. And if I am afraid, how come it is you and not me who has cowered before what your own mind can tell you, and taken refuge in blind acceptance of a pre-generated belief system?
11/19/2002 05:50:36 PM
post continued I do not threaten you, you threaten yourself, your lack of addressing the real issues is your weapon against yourself. I said nothing of Satan and no acceptance of teachings and an honest attempt to follow them does not "get you there". Again it is by the Holy Spirit a man will accept the truth. That Jesus Christ, God accepting human form along with all its weaknesses and pain, came and died and yes rose again. How shall we be saved, through accepting the blood of Christ for our sins, His teachings are a part of Who He is, His nature, however, His Blood is He Himself, His life.
11/19/2002 05:50:17 PM
post continued . I do not attempt to know the mind of God and as for whether or not he exists, how do you think you stick to the side of this planet. Physics itself is proof enough that God exists. If man can figure how it works, but cannot create it for himself then who did? We definately did not come first with our incredible intellect, no the God that created Physics gave man a mind with which to operate here in the confines of this system. God being the creator operates outside the finiteness of this system. But to accept God is to lay aside ones self and acknowledge a greater self. This is in very nature contrary to the predispositin of man to control his destiny. Again look at the course on which we travel and tell me one man who has altered the path.
11/19/2002 05:49:20 PM
without knowledge of who I am nor of my past beliefs, I find that narrowmindedness is what agnostics and God haters suffer from. I did not know God, nor did I retain a knowledge of Him. Again, except but by the Holy Spirit can a man know God. I do not attempt to convince you, I have been redeemed and it would serve me no personal gain to obliterate your lack of belief. However it would serve to increase the population of heaven should you and any other non-believer open up the heart of the matter and put aside the intellect for a moment. Sir it is not I that am afraid, but rather yourself. I have examined the deep realm of my mind, and I have stared into the faceless darkness of intellect, however I have emerged into the glorious light of a loving God
11/19/2002 05:28:21 PM
heartreign: As belief implies that one doesn't really know, wouldn't it be more honest to just come out and admit it? As there are as many beliefs about God as there are believers (and as many interpretations of the Bible as there are readers, most readers claiming to be guided by the Spirit when, in fact, their dipping into the Bible usually amounts to nothing more than a form of sortilege), there is simply no positive goods to recommend it. believers seem to be unable to provide anything but assertions that make them feel good.
11/19/2002 05:27:08 PM
(cont.) And anyone who thinks the End Times are upon us because the world situation stinks has no sense of history: the world has always been a mess, and Revelation can just as effectively describe second-century conditions as those of today. Or, for that matter, those of 1000 or 2000 A.D. Or have we conveniently forgotten the prophets of doom who pointed out the "obvious" signs of the world's end in the last months of 1999?
11/19/2002 05:26:36 PM
(Sigh.) So, heartreign, 2+2=5 if you're led by god to believe it's so? "The intellect of man is fooli(sh)ness to God?" OK, so where'd our brains come from? Were we not made in god's image? Do we not use that same brain to learn to read, so that we can read the Bible? Don't translators use their brains to make Greek and Hebrew intelligible to the rest of us? Or is that just one more inconsistency that miraculously vanishes if you whack yourself in the head hard enough with a Bible? I am so sick of hearing that to be a "good Christian," you must disparage human intelligence. If you really believe that god made all of you, that includes the brain. USE IT!!!
11/19/2002 05:26:31 PM
I mean Salem Witch trials... sorry gang
11/19/2002 05:25:54 PM
good point below namchuk.. personally.... I dont think "the devil" is any sort of real entity, it is a characterisation of our shortcomings as humans(small and catastrophic). All too aoften in history the fear of "devil" has been used to exploit the weak or maintain unjust authority. IE the Salem with trials, taming the "savages" of the Americas and Africa.Its conveinient for the power s that be to have a bogeyman to save us from.... esp a tricky one who has no worldly form and and can be presented any where.
11/19/2002 05:19:59 PM
(not minds for the intellect of man is fooliness to God,) If mans intellect is folly in the eyes of God, then doesnt it follow that we can never fully understand God and what it means in any of its aspects. Wouldnt that then just valid Agnosticism and rebuff the hard core dogma put forth in Christianity, Islam, Judaism etc,???
11/19/2002 05:19:46 PM
There is nothing more predictable than that a narrowminded believer will invoke the devil when anyone disagrees with their particular religious preference, compounding it only with a dire warning of impending judgement for not agreeing with them (a transparent device aimed at believers to make them afraid to ask questions).
11/19/2002 05:17:43 PM
heart reign Though I appreciate your positions on this I dont quite understand why we should turn off our God given intellect when it comes to the matter of the existence of God. Shouldnt an Omnipresnt Gods existence be "proveable" under any circumstance? This is what many atheist and an agnostic such as my self find to be a stumbling block. It alomst reminds me of the Wizard of Oz "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain".I wonder too about the concept of "opening your heart to Jesus" doesnt this implyt accepting him as some sort of messianic fgiure right off the bat. Dont acceptance and anhonest attempt to follow the teachings of Jesus(the principles of JEsus, not the man and the folkore surrounding him) constitute being a "follower" and accepting Jesus. If this is spo then many of us of many faiths, or of little faith at all should be inline to receive the grace of God.
11/19/2002 05:04:51 PM
Do you own a bible, are you reading Romans, doesn't it intrigue you to find out what it says? You will find there a graphic description of our world's moral situation or rather degredation.
11/19/2002 04:59:00 PM
POST CONTINUED Look at the progress we have made. With all of our understanding and intellectual prowess we still remain on the predetermined course. Revelation may not be easily interpreted, but what has been revealed by the Spirit of God to men of God many years prior to the events foretold can only serve to further authenticize the Word of God. But there again making a choice not to acknowledge God, is to pluck one's own spiritaul eyes out. Give thought to it, what are you afraid of, that you might BELIEVE? Surely you are too intellegent for that.
11/19/2002 04:58:37 PM
There is a point those who reject God refuse to acknowledge, that He does exsist. Inconsistencies, not when read under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The Word clearly states that NO MAN has seen God and NO MAN can come unto God unless the Spirit draw him first. Selective salvation, only on your part. If those who deny God's exsistence or His omnipresence would close their mouths and open their hearts (not minds for the intellect of man is fooliness to God,) they would know the drawing of the Spirit of God. You see you cannot deny something until you have attempted to know it. And trust me a heart that will submit to the Lord of Life itself and listen for His call WILL hear it. But as we are told in the Book of Romans in the New Testament writings of Paul in the first chapter beginning with verse 20 and continuing to verse 32, mankind has continually denyed God.
11/19/2002 04:54:56 PM
That is very true Nleanin......Some people are just blind by satan and do not want to see the truth. But they will all see the truth on Judgement Day......
11/19/2002 04:50:05 PM
I hasten to add that such acceptance makes no assertion regarding the supernatural presence of Jesus, which is obviously empirically unprovable; but rather such things as belief in a 6,000-year-old Earth and a worldwide Deluge.
11/19/2002 04:47:41 PM
Nleanin, I think the majority of Christians -- North American Protestants, at least, with which I have the most experience -- don't demand that every detail of the Bible be taken literally. But that's a non-controversial position, and doesn't get as much exposure as the hardline literalists.
11/19/2002 04:10:17 PM
'you concede that the Bible contains moral and spiritual information of value without being literally accurate in every detail, then a better argument can be made' yet most Christian dont allow for this kind of acceptance.... to most Jesus needs to be acceoted for his supernatural presnce as well as his teahchings as actions, other wise we fall short of salvation(by their definition of course)
11/19/2002 04:03:20 PM
I must agree with namchuck, pending a better definition of exactly what it would take to "disprove" the Bible; if mere inconsistency would suffice to throw all the rest into question, then the two versions of creation in Genesis, the three versions of the Ten Commandments, and the differing genealogies for Jesus in the New Testament should be more than enough. If you concede that the Bible contains moral and spiritual information of value without being literally accurate in every detail, then a better argument can be made.
11/19/2002 04:00:31 PM
However, thoughts and ideas are planted and there begins the slippery slope away from God. Which leads me to another issue that I have with your definition of God. If thoughts and ideas can carry us ways from God, doesnt that then lead to the point that Gods interest lies in keeping humanity ignorant. For example... Adam and Eve are punished for eating from "the tree of knowledge' Christianity throughtout history has labeled many great scientific thinkers as heretics(Galileo for example) yet today the earth revolving around the sun is accepted as fact. Why does it seem that God frowns on intellectual development??
11/19/2002 04:00:24 PM
And yes, their disobedience has affected man all through the ages. Wow, so God has an irrational temper and punishes the transgressors as well as their offspring for centuries to follow.... Evidently God also has a chosen groupd of people that he plans to give the earth to while along the way destroying all others with no regard to the content of their character or their actions.... hmmm God sounds alot like a 3rd world despotic dictator if thats really what he/she/it is all about What does ogevn mean? Just a typo? Yeah sorry it was supposed to be the word "given" I dont type well... sorry for the annoyance Our punishment depends on that decision. the punishment for not following God is hell. What of people who follow neither>>???
11/19/2002 03:58:07 PM
I'm glad that you, prolifeamy, aren't of the same opinion as Caliph Omar supposedly was when ordering the destruction of (the remains of) the library at Alexandria: "If the books within disagree with the Quran they are blasphemous and should be destroyed; if they agree, they are superfluous and thus not needed." Opinion is divided on whether this actually took place, but the story illustrates a still-common viewpoint. I do not, however, see the harm in entertaining ideas that oppose one's current beliefs; I think it's a useful testing process for weeding out inconsistencies. If the new ideas are unworkable, they can be discarded, and my beliefs are strengthened; if they seem to describe reality better than my current beliefs, then my system of thought warrants reexamination.
11/19/2002 03:51:08 PM
I'm not certain just what parts of the Bible you are referring to, prolifeamy, when you suggest that it has not been disproven. It certainly contains a vast number of contradictions and inconsistencies, and its vagueness is more than testified to by the sheer number of denominations that differ in their interpretations. Of course, one cannot disprove its transcendental claims anymore than one can disprove the non-existence of unicorns. That part just remains highly unlikely. But, I repeat, its darn good literature with some excellent stories and a scope that any amount of rowlings would be hard pressed to duplicate.
11/19/2002 03:46:31 PM
Isaac Asimov, ethnically Jewish but culturally WASP and a firm secular humanist, wrote in his autobiography that he only read the Bible after reading Norse and Greek myths, and thus immediately recognized that he was reading Judeo-Christian mythology; like the others, it expressed the values of the society through allegorical and half-legendary figures, but aside from general ethical principles (which could be gotten from a variety of sources) had no more to do with modern life than did Odin plucking out his own eye.
11/19/2002 03:42:24 PM
namchuck, many, many scholars have attempted to disprove the Bible, and none have succeeded. I doubt you will be the first. lucilius, I definitely was not saying that thoughts and ideas lead people away from God. At least not in and of themselves. However, they do distract us from our God-given purpose. I was saying that as a person lets ideas that are completely against his belief system take root in her mind, they create distance between (to be specific) myself and God. I don't want that. the only way I can continue in the rut and grind of daily life is to know my future hope lies in the Lord. And no matter that my foolish choices have caused a lot of grief and hardship in my life, I am forgiven and God is carrying my burdens now.
11/19/2002 03:33:40 PM
When I read posts like that of prolifeamy, I am reminded that, whether the fiction is ancient, like that of the Bible, or comtemporary, like the Harry Potter series, we humans love stories and are suckers for a good yarn, And the more fantastic and unlikely the plot or storyline, the better we like it. We seem willing to take anything that will take us, albeit only temporarily, relieve us of our fears and misgivings and from the rut and grind of daily life.
11/19/2002 03:29:42 PM
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -- Arthur C. Clarke
11/19/2002 03:28:26 PM
What is magic? Isn't it those things whose mechanics are not obvious to us? Put it another way, what is the difference between flying on a broom and flying in a plane? Esp. in a fictional story. Could it be prejudice? Sincerely, lil_lamb
11/19/2002 03:23:20 PM
WalkerTWB: One can dislike an idea without disliking the person holding the noxious notion. Are not Christians admonished to 'hate the sin, but not the sinner'?
11/19/2002 02:39:56 PM
Prolifeamy, please tell me you don't believe that "thoughts and ideas" in general lead people away from god; can you please clarify that for me?
11/19/2002 02:26:47 PM
nleanin, The sin of Adam and Eve actually removed man from the perfect place God had intended. They disobeyed, they were punished. And yes, their disobedience has affected man all through the ages. What does ogevn mean? Just a typo? There is no question who is ultimately in control. God gave us the choice of following Him or not, we make that choice. Our punishment depends on that decision. the punishment for not following God is hell. That is a victory for Satan. so Satan does win battles with each person he deceives who doesn't come to trust Jesus. But the war belongs to God. Opposition to things like Harry Potter are simply because the Bible says do not allow Satan a foothold in your life. the books or movie in and of itself I am sure does not necessarily cause harm. However, thoughts and ideas are planted and there begins the slippery slope away from God.
11/19/2002 02:04:38 PM
"Satan has such a strong presence in this world, first because of Adam & Eve's original sin." So God punishes man for a trangression from eons ago.... ogevn that this seems quite irrational I wonder how anyone one can claim to be in tune with what God must think is right and wrong Also because God created us as creature with a will of our own, who make choices of our own. The consequences of our choices often affect many people besides ourselves. God allows Satan's presence in the world today, but only to a point. He limits Satan's activities and the end of the story is already written. Satan will be ultimately defeated If this is indeed the case then why do so many oppose thing such as Haryr Potter, or Wicca as being Satanic in nature... it make it sound as if there is a certain insecurity about Gods standing vs Satan.
11/19/2002 02:02:24 PM
A major stretch. So is comparing the Harry Potter series to Melville's writings or Hemingways for that matter.
11/19/2002 01:53:01 PM
freespirit:Just do me a favor, when Christ returns and the truth is revealed, remember the posts of the leader of the nutcases.. oh yea, actually, im not the leader, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is...you'll have to take it up w/ Him at some point anyway. May God bless you in your life anyway.
11/19/2002 01:42:56 PM
bardmountain, no offense taken. I see your point and I think you have summed it up pretty well. I just can't see God sending anyone flying around on a broomstick. ha ha ha And I am not an academic type person, everything is personal to me. It is so easy for the Bible to be misinterpreted and that has been my favorite part about these chat rooms (as I am on day 2) that I have been challenged to check the bible on these issues!
11/19/2002 01:37:41 PM
lucilius, Thank you - that was exactly my point, admittedly impeded by my stilted writing style and propensity for gibberish :). prolifeamy, The point I was trying to make is twofold: (1) The Bible indeed says something like avoid witchcraft and sorcery, but one should realize the differences between witchcraft and sorcery to the biblical authors and what we mean by those terms today. (2) The act of performing a "sorcerous" feat doesn't seem to be the bad thing about "witchcraft", but rather the intent and the originator of the magics (i.e. whether one does it for God or for Satan). Hence, riding around on a broom isn't necessarily bad; casting spells to cause harm or envoking other Gods or Goddesses is. To me, it's academic and non-passionate. I apologize if I gave offense.
11/19/2002 01:25:14 PM
nleanin, Satan has such a strong presence in this world, first because of Adam & Eve's original sin. Also because God created us as creature with a will of our own, who make choices of our own. The consequences of our choices often affect many people besides ourselves. God allows Satan's presence in the world today, but only to a point. He limits Satan's activities and the end of the story is already written. Satan will be ultimately defeated. lucilius, I am firm in my beliefs as I am sure you are too. I am not sure how far these discussions can go beyond commenting. Although I am unsure what you mean by dogmatic, my beliefs are based on the Bible. so simply put, when the Bible tells me to avoid witchcraft, I do. Even when it seems extreme to some people.
11/19/2002 01:08:39 PM
BRAVO in my own, I've always wondered that too, how can someone judge something they haven't read? I recently had a discussion with a friend about God, who says she refuses to read the Bible because it's hogwash and filled with inaccuracies. I simply asked her, if you haven't and won't read it, how would you know that? It's the same in this instance.....
11/19/2002 01:08:19 PM
I hang my head in shame... :( Third time lucky: "nleanin"
11/19/2002 01:06:42 PM
Humblest apologies. I meant "nlealin"
11/19/2002 01:05:19 PM
it's ok for movies to show mass murders, serial killers and all the freaky little spacemen you can shake a stick at, but for a childrens book to span the ages and in a round about way show the value of family, love, and the value of friendship and loyalty it has to be analyzed and taken apart to the point of comparing a made up character to Jesus Christ we really need to step back and check out our priorties. how many of the harry-haters have actually read the books? my guess is 1 out of 10 maybe. educate yourself then make a case against or for the books. they are quite entertaining, i wouldn't live my life by them i chose the Bible as my operators manual for that.
11/19/2002 01:05:04 PM
why does harry potter have to be anything more than it is a childrens book. did the wizard of oz get this much scrutiny? i am a cristian, a new cristian at that. i dabbled in a lot of the occult. not because i was influenced by a book or movie but because i was looking for something that was missing in my life. no harry is not a christ figure he is a character in a book. our country is at war because of a religious conflict, do we really need to freak out about harry potter?
11/19/2002 01:03:14 PM
Good point nealin, and further, why would God punish "those who are against him" when he could have saved himself the bother by not creating them in the first place (since he knew in advance exactly how they would turn out)?
11/19/2002 01:00:15 PM
BEEZ, Point well taken, however I did look at his profile and he clearly states being athiest and agnostic. but you are right, it was inappropriate and I apologize.
11/19/2002 01:00:09 PM
Prolifeamy, I don't think it's impossible for people of different beliefs to understand each other, although they may never agree. If we cannot reach any level of understanding, then why do we bother discussing things? I think I have a good understanding of many of my friends' opinions, even though I don't agree with all of them. I'm sure it's easier and somewhat self-satisfying to say "It's a Christian thing; you wouldn't understand," but had the apostles done so Christianity would never have made it out of Palestine. If you can discuss without getting dogmatic, I think bardmountain's point (please correct me if I'm wrong, bardmountain) was that actions that appear "witch-like" may not necessarily be inspired by Satan. If the only method rather than the intent are considered, the biblical figures named would have been condemned as many here are condemning "Harry Potter."
11/19/2002 12:53:15 PM
Question for proflifeamy... If God and Satan are both Supernatural beings, but God is all powerful, all knowing, omnipotent. Why then does Satan have such a strong presence in this world. does God allow Satan to occupy an ever increasing part of the world??? Or is God not always capable of defeating Satan??
11/19/2002 12:52:55 PM
to prolifeamy The SECOND you say that you don't believe someone else believes in God, you are in serious danger!!! GOD HIMSELF said we are NOT to judge one another, it's ok to have your beliefs and express them, but hold your tongue judging another person's relationship with God! You talk about SCARY? THAT is scary........better get back to reading the book that you believe in...it's in Romans
11/19/2002 12:43:55 PM
lucilius, if you believe in God & Satan, which I don't think you do, the issue is not witchcraft, but supernatural power. That power can be from God (a supernatural being) or Satan (a supernatural being). Your beliefs are so opposite mine that we could never agree or understand one another. that is the cop-out. This "magician" was completely against God (as all are who aren't for Him) and God punished him. simple, direct and God's right as the creator of all.
11/19/2002 12:31:50 PM
sorry, I meant to type "you wouldntt have children reading"sorry for the error
11/19/2002 12:30:25 PM
"Comparing Harry Potter to Christ is an act of blasphemy! An abomination of God. This character deals with the occult and wizardry, which is strictly condemned by God. These kinds of movies are masterminded by Satan, and the stupid public pays good money to suppoort this trash!" The public pays good money becuase it isnt so blinded by its faith that it cant enjoy simple childrens stories of make believe. I suppose you would have children reading Lord of the Rings, a wrinkle in Time, or even Cinderella because they involve wizardry?? Couldnt one also say that Jesus practiced "wizardry' in many of the feats he is said to have performed?
11/19/2002 12:26:23 PM
Prolifeamy, isn't it a bit of a cop-out to say, "Paul didn't do it; God did it through Paul?" Paul was certainly a willing instrument; and you could use the same rationalization for practicioners of "witchcraft": "The witch didn't really do it; it was Satan working through the witch." If the tables were turned, who would you blame?
11/19/2002 12:24:02 PM
Comparing Harry Potter to Christ is an act of blasphemy! An abomination of God. This character deals with the occult and wizardry, which is strictly condemned by God. These kinds of movies are masterminded by Satan, and the stupid public pays good money to suppoort this trash!
11/19/2002 12:14:38 PM
bardmountain: it is unfortunate you are misrepresenting the bible. In Acts 13:6-12, the magician is referred to by Paul as "full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?" The hand of the Lord caused him to be blind, only using Paul as His instrument. Most importantly, the result of this action of God was the man the magician was trying to lead away from the Lord actually came to believe as a result. Please check such references before you post them.
11/19/2002 12:01:35 PM
barblee.... maybe, but I think satan is more excited about the time christians are WASTING on this silliness....keeping christians distracted from doing God's work is his goal.......
11/19/2002 11:51:26 AM
Yeah, Julian, but it's so hard to nail Frosty to anything. So, barblee, if you're so terrified of witchcraft and determined to stay away from it ... why'd you read the article and thread?
11/19/2002 11:40:01 AM
Forget Harry Potter-- the real Christ Figure we should be looking at this time of year is Frosty the Snowman! Hey, he dies, he rises from the dead, and he promises to come back again. What else do you need?
11/19/2002 11:17:31 AM
This is about the scariest article that I have seen in some time. Harry Potter is unadulterated witchcraft about as far removed from Christ as one could be. The Bible tells us as Christians to stay away from this stuff and I for one am doing just that. The world is being sucked into this under all kinds of guises. Satan is rubbing his hands with glee.
11/19/2002 10:54:22 AM
wow johann, pretty angry words from someone who DOESN'T believe....and why 'haunt' places like BELIEFNET if you don't believe? LOL
11/19/2002 10:52:58 AM
But enough of this religious talk for a sec. Is the new movie any good? Haven't seen it yet...
11/19/2002 10:52:14 AM
I had a couple specific responses to other posters: to Searching angel...what a boring world it would be if all books ever written were "christian". to PraiseBareBones....I totally agree with you, what a truly sensible statement! to Ozero....GOOD POINT! I can't remember in the 70's or for the re-release ANYONE taking objection to the Jedi "religion"! Hmmm, guess it was "understood" it was fiction? LOLOLOL to Carrey8....I agree, some people have WAYYY too much time on their hands! LOL and to ROSELOVE... before you respond, be sure of your subject and think it thru ...the AUTHOR NEVER say this is a book about Jesus, BELIEFNET was posing the question to INTELLIGENT users to spark INTELLIGENT conversation.
11/19/2002 10:50:27 AM
Interestingly enough, here are a number of Bible passages where (good) biblical figures were performing actions associated with the Bible's definition of witchcraft. Genesis 44:5 Joseph uses a drinking cup for divination. Numbers 27:21 and 1 Samuel 28:6 Urim and Thummim were divices used for divination. 2 Kings 23-24 Elisha had bears rip children to death through a curse. Daniel 5:11 Daniel was the supervisor of "magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans and soothsayers." Acts 13:6-12 St. Paul uses a curse to make someone blind. Acts 5:9 St. Peter cursed a woman, who died immediately. (taken from religioustolerance.org, good site btw)
11/19/2002 10:45:39 AM
(continued from previous post)....By making that assumption, you aren't giving God much credit for making intelligent human beings! I think that more people are "turned off" from God by the rantings and ravings and book burnings and the small, narrow-mindedness of Christians lashing out about silly things like this series of books.....These books aren't "the enemy", Christian attitudes of self-righteousness, and that "holier than thou" and "let ME decide for YOU" what is right in your life is what Satan LOVES!....because that is what makes people look at Christianity and say that isn't what I want in my life! Jesus preached LOVE first, in all things, first and foremost, so REMEMBER that anytime you aren't acting in LOVE you are acting in FEAR and fear doesn't come from GOD! Somehow, I think God is bigger than some children's books.........something to think about?
11/19/2002 10:44:33 AM
This won't do any good, but I'll say it again anyway. The authors of the Bible, when mentioning witches and sorcerers, were not referring to how we define those words today. The words commonly used were sho'el 'ov (making contact with the deceased), qosem q-samim (telling the future), and m'khaseph (using magic to harm others). The Bible authors had never had contact with what we normally associate with witches and such, such as wicca practioners and other pagan and neo-pagan practices, which don't generally perform "evil" magic (magic to hurt others), forecast future events, or speak with the dead. Hence, a "witch" as we think of it today is not prohibited by the Bible as sorcery. It is prohibited by being a different faith, like all non-Christian religions, but not specifically for being "witches" or "sorcerers".
11/19/2002 10:41:56 AM
I have another bean to throw in the pot...I read ALL the posts and there are some wonderful points made, but the bottom line is just that God gives us free will to discern these things each to our own life....some Christians may not be "strong" enough to handle anything outside of their own belief system. Most mainstream christian doctrines teach "their way or the highway" style, and all can back up their beliefs via the Bible. It amazes me that Christians will get so riled up about something this benign....fictional stories, that's it!! Yes, it has wizardry in it, so what.....I seriously doubt any story on wizardry (or anything else "non" christian) has ever cost anyone their salvation! ......(continued in next post)
11/19/2002 10:17:23 AM
Oh please, Harry Potter has about as much to do with Witchcraft as the Easter bunny and Santa Claus have to do with Christianity. go see Micheal Moore's new movie "bowling for columbine" and apply the lesson about fear to all this paranoia about a fictional 14 year old. That "Left Behind" stuff you Christians are so thrilled will looks kind of scary to me, but I'm not burning books and telling you that you shouldn't read it. ramp down dearie, like it or not it's a big world with lots of ideas out there. Many of those ideas are lots scarier than a boy on a broomstick. If this is what you're worried about, think about this, G.W. Bush is about to send us into an ill advised war, sure to result in the death of many people and damage the fragile peace of the world. Harry Potter? Honestly, don't you have something better to do with your time?
11/19/2002 10:16:43 AM
Harry Potter is a fantasy of undeveloped little egos who like to loose themselves in a virtual reality world. Just projections of desires, proper of kids and chidish minds. Some of us have the exact same opinion about your childish, egotistcal bastard called God. ~proud maltheist
11/19/2002 09:54:18 AM
Kahvi4, you along with several others who have written your comments that Harry Potter is a harmless little fantasy story, boy are you really being deceived....You need Jesus real bad and you need to find him FAST....
11/19/2002 09:47:50 AM
"Roselove" evidently they did not read Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. "My people perish for lack of Knowledge"......is what Christ said.
11/19/2002 09:46:11 AM
So true! "searchingangel:........
11/19/2002 09:43:37 AM
You Go! "thehoods" I see you know your bible!
11/19/2002 09:41:47 AM
I agree with you Soul Alive. Anyone with half a spiritual eye should have sense enough to know that you could never compare Jesus Christ the Holy One to any human nor any demonic force. They are going to the dogs............
11/19/2002 09:37:29 AM
Ok, so Christ/Messiah imagery permeates the bulk of literature. Is Harry Potter Jesus?Sure, there is are some characteristics there, but it is clearly not a direct allegory. It seems better to me to consider that Harry's Voldermort given powers represent humanity's capacity to sin against each other and the Over-Arching Reality (e.g. God). Ultimately, the reader searching for a distinctly Christian message would do better to see Harry as an example of faith that chose the more difficult narrow path than to look at Harry as a soteriological agent. By the way, a majority of Christians DO NOT consider these texts to be evil, satanic or a tool of the "enemy". I think the "Accuser" is a little sneakier than that.
11/19/2002 07:59:22 AM
Who is Jesus more like, Braveheart or Mr. Rogers? Is Harry Potter a Christ figure?.... Uggh. BeliefNet is really going down the toilet.
11/19/2002 07:14:51 AM
lucilius reguarding your comment back in message archive #3 No, I do not believe in the easter bunny. In fact the Easter bunny has nothing to do with Christ's resurrection ( one more thing HP cannot do) The bunny is a symbol a pagan symbol of fertility, which Easter is the celebration of the pagan goddess of Fertility as well. Christ was crucified passover, and rose 3 days later during the feast of unleavened bread, aka matzah. http://www.alphathruomega.com
11/19/2002 07:13:41 AM
It's just a book! It's the work of the devil! It's an interesting story. The obvious reason BN thought up this series of articles is the fact that certain Christian sects have attacked the books - to stimulate further discussion. It seems to have worked. The students of Hogwarts are pretty obviously your normal mainstream Christians - they celebrate the normal holidays, have basically similar morals and values that you'd find in a similar Christian based school in England. The reason that I think it is attacked is $$$. No such outrage faced Star Wars, where the Jedi movement really was posited as a religion.
11/19/2002 06:42:05 AM
I frankly don't see the resemblance between Harry Potter and Jesus. Harry Potter is nothing more than someone's made up iminigation. 'Wizardary' is forbidden, I believe, inthe Bible. I just wonder how many more people are going to be decieved by all these books? It is too bad that JK Rowling couldn't have wrote christian books instead of the trash that she is putting out, the work of the Devil.
11/19/2002 04:58:41 AM
The devil is truly a liar. Harry Potter is not anything like Jesus Christ. I do not know what Jesus this authur is speaking about but not Jesus that died on the cross for our sins. As a matter of fact I believe these books and movies are instruments of the enemy.
11/19/2002 03:01:02 AM
11/19/2002 02:19:41 AM
This fictional fantasy image does not come anywhere near resembling a following beleiver because the act is presented without an offering of love or truth according to true authority. It only promotes a vain image of whoelse would like to have a following of beleivers while offering a sinful way to distract still-suggestible seekers from finding their true course in the plans of the one master and only son of the Almighty Lord God. (Hosanna's Father)
11/18/2002 11:57:40 PM
All I can do is present what words actually appear there when I read it, and what was actually happening in the world when it was written, and how the language translates to our modern language and understanding. If that offends, my apologies. Then, my friend, you are reading a book, which has some historical references and nothing more. God doesn't "magically" change the words or anything of that sort. He opens our eyes to things we have never before experienced or seen. If I was sitting where you and many are....AND I HAVE...I would think it a lot of bunk! But I tell you, things happen that you are not prepared for and then afterward, you wonder why you never saw it before. I am not so much offended then sadden. I mean that in the most humbling way...I am sadden that you and others have not experience all that God has for you in that experience we speak of...an awakening of the Spirit in the deep part of our soul.
11/18/2002 11:50:03 PM
Also,...I can tell you that namchuck does not hate Christians. Nope....not namchuck.
11/18/2002 11:46:56 PM
Actually Carrey8...I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on why you believe the "dramatic tradition" that you recognize, follows this particular pattern which you describe. Why do you think this is so....and why continually do human authors write in this same pattern?
11/18/2002 11:11:37 PM
namchuck, I am not sure what in the new testimate that makes you feel that there is a lack of things to be desired. If you want you can of course tell us what is not to be desired. I was simply pointing out the fact that you hate Christians which is evident by your obvious attempt to discredit them as unknowing idiots.
11/18/2002 10:16:14 PM
This seems like a rather desperate attempt by the type of myopic single-minded Christians who can't see value in anything unless they insert Jesus into the picture. The fact is, Potter is no more a reflection of Christ than Mickey Mouse is. Nearly every heroic character in fiction (from Jesus to Luke Skywalker) experiences suffering, battles enemies, gets wounded, saves others, has some sort of resurrection experience, etc. etc. That's the dramatic tradition -- not a reflection of Christ. The whole exercise seems pretty silly. Harry Potter is simply the latest installment in the long tradition of fictional heroes -- attempts to link him to a particular religion are as funny as they are desperate.
11/18/2002 09:56:16 PM
With all love and due respect, I thought non-pareils were those cute little chocolate candies with the tiny white sprinkles......h1
11/18/2002 09:24:25 PM
First of all, Harry Potter has NOTHING to do with the "Occult" or witchcraft! Wizards, in the context of the novel, are FAKE. People cannot do those sorts of things. It is obvious enough to my little cousins that you can't really fly on broomsticks or make potions to walk through fire. It's fiction, and parents are supposed to make sure children know this, not teachers or authors. Parents are the ones who teach kids not to try and fly like Superman. Secondly, Harry Potter, though I love him to death, is easily compared to Christ, but not well supported. It isn't blatantly obvious as it is in Irving's "A Prayer for Owen Meany". There is a fictional character who is directly compared to Christ. You cannot deny that authors do it. But you cannot assume that Rowling is doing the same in the Harry Potter books.
11/18/2002 08:11:22 PM
paganNproud22 I find it laughable that you should be calling someone "closed minded". If your mind was so "open" you would be more accepting and less critical of what Decentlady had to say. "Open" can also mean "Vacant". Maybe if you studied and memorized the Bible more, you would know what YOU were up against. Keeping your enemy close does not mean that you have to be in bed with him.
11/18/2002 08:10:42 PM
Re: abdo Bah-who?
11/18/2002 08:08:34 PM
I can't easily wait patiently, but I have to...for people to give as much, (or more) credance to real Christ-figures, like Bahá'u'lláh, instead of fictional ones.
11/18/2002 08:07:05 PM
Am I seeing what I think I am? Are you people actually comparing a fictional character in a book to the Prophet of God? ROFL! I guess some people still have some growing up to do!
11/18/2002 07:37:06 PM
Sorry,Quovadis,not only is the statement "I and the Father are one" a good lead for Jesus being the Christ,but Jesus asked the apostles what the people were saying about Him,who they were saying He was,He then asked"Who do you say that I am?" After several made their answers,Peter said that he thought Jesus was "The Christ,the Son of the living God" Jesus ,in so many words said that he was right and the knowledge was given to him from above
11/18/2002 07:31:06 PM
Harry Potter is a fantasy of undeveloped little egos who like to loose themselves in a virtual reality world. Just projections of desires, proper of kids and chidish minds. To compare this to Christ and his teachings is utterly ridiculous and shows a total lack of understanding of what religion is all about.
11/18/2002 07:20:03 PM
con'td) So, to reiterate my point, WalkerTWB, while some on this message board would like to hold Jesus up to some kind of non- pareil status, the source document for his believers pulls the rug up from under their feet.
11/18/2002 07:00:43 PM
WalkerTWB: I recommend that you reread my post. Nowhere was I defending Harry Potter, a completely fictional character, or any occult nonsense like withchcraft. And I did not say that Jesus was flawed, but that the New Testament reveals him as such. I was simply pointing out that, compared with some other historical religions figures, Jesus' behaviour, as related, I repeat, in the New Testament, leaves much to be desired.
11/18/2002 06:11:10 PM
I have refused to allow my children to be exposed to Harry Potter. Not because of any religious reasons but because I dont like the idea of my kids getting onto any kind of entertainment fad. I feel that it takes away from a childs ability to develop there own individuality and imagination. But I believe it is up to each parent out there to determine what they allow there kids to watch and what they dont allow them to watch. I do have 1 gripe about 1 post I read here. namchuck called Jesus flawed. I have to admit that kind of offended me. Namchuck seems to enjoy defending harry potter, witchcraft, and the occult which I have no problem with. But Jesus seems to offend him. Oh well everyone has there little problems. Enjoy yours namchuck
11/18/2002 06:06:18 PM
Once again BNET shows its true colours...as tabloid slime. Here is one of many real stories - news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2489881.stm Have fun paying your overdraft BNET - you just lost another member
11/18/2002 05:22:12 PM
When people use the word OCCULTISM as a negative I wish they would look the word up in a dictionary... Webster dictionary says the following. a belief in or study of supernatural powers and the possibility of subjecting them to human control....... Therefore all religions are Occultism We all believe in the supernatural. God, Jesus, Buddha all heads of all religions are supernatural beings. Life is a mystery....We all just come from different roads to our belief's. If we come with love in our hearts we will allow other's to belive in their own way. donad
11/18/2002 04:48:55 PM
decentlady--one thing I have to say: "If only closed minds came with closed mouths." And also, it says somewhere in the bible (I forgot where because I have better things to do than memorize it) that you should at least learn about "occult" religions. Mebbe not the exact words, but it mentions knowing what you're up against. Ya know, "Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer"? That sorta thing.
11/18/2002 04:13:08 PM
Decentlady, are you by any chance a fan of the "Left Behind" series, or did you watch "The Ten Commandments," or anything similar? If you approved of any of them, you're probably in trouble; don't they fall under the prohibition of adding to or taking away from scripture? They bear about the same relation to the Bible as a kid's movie based on an Englishwoman's fantasy stories does to the occultism attacked by the Bible.
11/18/2002 04:10:47 PM
In my opinion there is more of a case to be made for a comparison between Harry Potter and the Arthur/Merlin legend than between Jesus and Harry.
11/18/2002 04:08:38 PM
What sequence of logical propositions, decentlady, would you advance to support the notion that Jesus 'reigns'?
11/18/2002 03:57:43 PM
Come on now - EVERY SERIOUS CHRISTIAN OUT THERE! HARRY POTTER COMPARED TO JESUS? Let's get real. Throughout the Word of God, there are many messages that clearly states to NOT to be involved in the OCCULT in anyway, shape, or form (including this tale, which is the very definition of occultism). This is in fact, witchcraft (re-packaged). Then again, the Word of God (The Bible) states that in the last days, many will come to fool even the most elect. Fellow Christians, please do not play with the Word of God. Advise everyone (believer and non-believer alike, that this is not a good thing (at all). Jesus Reigns.
11/18/2002 03:47:18 PM
I'm Wiccan, my children are Christian (who live with me full time). We manage to incorporate BOTH beliefs quite ammicably into our household. What we do share is a huge love for the Harry Potter stories/movies. But NONE of us have seen it as anything other than a story/book/movie that is able to give parents and children alike something in common to share. Adults and children the same are drawn to the imagination, companionship, knack for finding trouble, and ability to solve things with team work. This movie offers so much more beyond religion and beliefs (if it hints at religion at all which I didn't see). It reflects morals, values and how to live with people that are different and yet still the same. I think quite a few people are making this much more than it really is. I personally see this as a way of communicating with my kids, enjoying a love for something together and creating many memories for us all to cherish as we grow older.
11/18/2002 03:44:59 PM
bjayelle: I think comparisons can be made, whether they be fictional or historical characters. I've always been more impressed by the character of the Buddha than, by comparison, Jesus. The Buddha expressed compassion towards all sentient life while Jesus could be downright cruel to animals. I have not come across any instance in the Buddhist writings where Gautama once went into a rage or threw vitriolic epithets at his detractors. While there is much to be admired in Jesus' aphorisms and actions, the New Testament reveals Jesus as decidedly flawed.
11/18/2002 03:37:22 PM
In my opinion, more valid comparisons could be drawn between Harry and the Arthur/Merlin legend than between him and Jesus. The first movie I remember seeing was "The Wizard of Oz" on its 10th anniversary rerelease. Was Dorothy compared to Christ? That is a classic good vs. evil tale. The comment mentioning Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys was, in my opinion, valid as was the one about having 10 fingers just as Jesus did. As a person of Christian faith, I love Jesus. I also enjoy Harry Potter, Nancy Drew, Dorothy and Toto, Merlin and Arthur, Scarlet and Rhett, "etcetera, etcetera, etcetera" (a quote from "The King and I").
11/18/2002 03:05:56 PM
Narsil, I like your style.
11/18/2002 03:04:29 PM
Remoni At what age do you suggest parents expose themselves to all of the worlds cultures and beliefs? Do we introduce them to Tchaikovsky's beautiful music with or without his wretched life history.
11/18/2002 02:57:49 PM
Okay, let's get beyond the personalities and technocalities. All heroes in movies that feature a good versus bad theme, no matter how obvious, embody some aspect of the Christ and his message. No matter how direct or even unintentional. For all good things stem from God, and Jesus the Christ came to remind us, among other things, of just exactly how simple that may be. Whether it be dragons and wizards, futuristic Sixth Sense, or My Best Friend's Wedding, they all embody some strain of good versus bad, self versus the Ultimate Good in God. BLess you all.
11/18/2002 02:52:05 PM
Bjayelle, please don't confuse comparisons with equivalences. I don't recall anyone saying Harry Potter, or Elvis for that matter, is a figure equal to Jesus. But I have 10 fingers; Jesus (so far as anyone knows) also had 10 fingers. That's an honest comparison, but doesn't assert that I'm any better or worse than Jesus. Of course, I may be a fictional character born from dementia.
11/18/2002 02:46:07 PM
I am horrified that anyone would dare compare harry potter to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! How ludicrous! It is becoming increasing clear to me the meaning of an 'untoward generation' (Acts 2:40). People, wake up! Shake yourselves from your stupor! There never was nor will there ever be anyone who can be compared to Christ! Much less, some fictional character born from dementia. Please...
11/18/2002 02:30:01 PM
Some similarities Rev. John missed: Jesus's best friend was named "John". Harry's best friend was named "Ron", which kind of sounds liked "John". When Jesus was 12, he got left behind at the Temple in Jerusalem. When Harry was 12, he lived at Hogwarts--which, like the Temple, is big and made of stone. Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes. Harry bought snacks for Ron when they met on the train. Jesus was seen once with Moses and Elijah--Moses had died once, but Elijah never did. Harry was seen once with Nearly-Headless Nick (who died once) and Percy Weasley (who never did). Jesus never lost at Quidditch. Harry... Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of both Harry and Jesus. But the comparisons are pretty darned weak...
11/18/2002 01:36:15 PM
Jesus always denied any Christhood that others tried to ascribe to him. The question should be was Jesus a/the Christ?
11/18/2002 01:21:20 PM
morningglory, Ah. The old "secret decoder ring" defense. Clever... It may well be that for a devotee God changes the words and history around in the Bible, in effect giving followers a secret decoder ring so they can see things in a book that others cannot. While that seems rather unlikely, I can't say it's impossible. All I can do is present what words actually appear there when I read it, and what was actually happening in the world when it was written, and how the language translates to our modern language and understanding. If that offends, my appologies.
11/18/2002 01:20:16 PM
If you are a seeking Christian, you will find Christ everywhere in everyone, and this is good. If you seek Buddha nature, you will find it. If you seek the Tao, you will find it. Seek and ye shall find... Hmmm... What piece of logic did you get this from? You think you know what "seek and ye shall find" means? Think again. Many have tried but few have succeeded to use the Bible to explain their own twisted logic...that is NOT what that Scripture means...nor does EVERYONE have CHRIST or GOD in them. The ones that really do are God's children; the ones that think they do or think everyone does, have a long way to go but it can happen, if them believe in the birth, blood shedded, death, and resurrection of Christ and surrender to Him.
11/18/2002 01:12:22 PM
There were two general terms for "witchcraft" and "sorcerers" in the Bible. The old testament term refers to (mostly) women who used spoken curses to injure people or destroy their property. The new testament term refers to murderers who use poison to kill people. Neither had anything to do with what you are now referring to If you are not Christian, as you state, do not be presumptuous enought to THINK you know the Christian way. You do not. The Bible is not a book to just read...There are many thinks that the Holy Spirit imparts to one who studies and has given themselves to Jesus. This is not a history lesson. This is real and it is truth. If you choose to not believe it, then fine, but don't presume to know anything about a book, if you heart has not been given fully and surrendered to Christ.
11/18/2002 11:48:14 AM
Katja 144: I don't really think Mozart has much to do with Jingle Bells. But he did write the music that's now "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
11/18/2002 11:44:00 AM
Funny, I see the Harry Potter books as "good." I have seen the reports of how kids who wouldn't read before now love reading because of the Harry Potter books. And you want to say this is a bad thing? These kids aren't all turning into witches, they're turning into readers. Knock it if you will; I won't. There are people who think Tchaikovsky's music is a bad thing, some of them because they see Tchaikovsky as a bad thing. He was a homosexual, non-religious guy who killed himself--some don't see that as good. As for the boy who jumped off the roof with a broom, I don't care how "surprised" his parents were. What were they doing leaving a child THAT impressionable alone by himself? No, I don't believe HP is a Christ figure, nor do I believe that Rowling intended it that way. Certainly no worse than the "Jim Casy [from The Grapes of Wrath] is a Christ figure" crap that my 11th-grade English teacher tried to push on us. And what does Jingle Bells have to do with Mozart?
11/18/2002 11:40:52 AM
What is this deep fear that parents have in exposing there children to diffrent beliefs and ideas. Do they expect to keep them in a bubble the rest of there lives. In doing so are they not doing more harm than good. For a child unexposed to what is in the world has a harders time coping with their surroundsings when faced with things unknown. One would think as small as the world has become now adays we would teach our children about all societies including their cultures and beliefs. One book could stir so much contraversy. The news has harsher sentaments in it. Whats next... all pagan parent band their children from watching movies and tele shows with christian ethics?......Get real people, in the end its just book with an interesting plot. Repeat ITS JUST A BOOK.
11/18/2002 11:40:24 AM
Harry is a hero in the Arthurian tradition, which has often been overlayed with the Christian tradition, regardless of Arthur's "true" identity as a Celtic chieftan. (As an aside, in some versions of the Arthur story, Merlin is said to have a virgin birth, which is of course not exclusive to the Christ story). When Harry takes the sword of Griffyndor, it's foolish to ignore the parallels to Excalibur. What troubles me is that many fundamentalists ignore the part of the Harry Potter story that is essentially Christian. It is not merely a fight between good and evil, but a fight between weak and strong. Voldemort could be quoting Neitzche when he declares that there is no good or evil, only power. Harry's mercy is a Christian virtue.
11/18/2002 11:33:52 AM
katestrofe, um... you show me a single saviour who, in being saviour, could not be instantly dubbed a hero, and I'll agree with you.
11/18/2002 11:29:30 AM
Like saying Jingle Bells tarnishes Mozart? No; but it's like saying people who think Jingle Bells is the high point of Western music are missing a few things.
11/18/2002 11:23:51 AM
Katestrofe, I have seen lots of kids watching Veggie Tales, which they regard as just another cartoon, with no more or less relation to reality than Transformers or Scooby Doo. The people I've seen most enthralled by them are the parents. You say that they weren't meant to replace the great works of Christian literature past -- but I really, really doubt that any of the same (adult) people who enthuse about Veggie Tales also thumb through Augustine. The vast majority of those who call themselves Christians get their theology on the simplest level; Veggie Tales is only a reflection of that, and the equation of simpleminded homilies with all the depth of religion is why we have tempests in teapots like the "Harry Potter: Jesus or Satan?" debate.
11/18/2002 11:10:18 AM
Please, it's like saying that "Jingle Bells" tarnishes Mozart.
11/18/2002 11:02:17 AM
Lucilius Could your comments about Veggie Tales be more asinine. Veggie Tales was created to bring Bible passages and themes to children, and to teach moral values. It was not meant to replace "City of God" or "Summa Theologica", and it in way tarnishes those volumes quite obviously written for those who can understand them. Veggie Tales is a blessing for parents who don't want their kids watching trash cartoons whose content is crude, violent, and lacking in all moral character.
11/18/2002 10:52:34 AM
Wandering Word Jesus was not a hero. He is a Savior. He is not to be thought of as just the "man of the hour".
11/18/2002 10:48:12 AM
Most of the new testament versus you may or may not be thinking of to condem the nebulous terms like "witch" or "sorcerer" were mainly aimed at Gnostic Christianity, a part of the early Christian movement. What you are probably associating with the Bible's condemnations is Wicca, which follows the Wiccan Rede - it prohibits Wiccans from performing any activity that injures others. Which is, of course, the opposite of the meaning of the terms used for witchcraft in the Bible. The Bible, like many absolute-truth, monotheistic religions is generally intolerant of anything that isn't itself. But it's ideas of witchcraft and sorcery is nothing like modern day Wicca, or the fanatasy that is Harry Potter. OK, I'm done blathering. I thought it was a great movie myself :).
11/18/2002 10:47:20 AM
Quite frankly, I think that a comparison between Jesus and Harry is just silly! It is also a stretch to say he compares to a Christian. Just because a person does something good or leads a good life does not make him a Christian. Maybe he is an unbeliever with a sense of moral values. While the books are entertaining, I do see them as a "slippery slope". The next step is to create a character who does not always choose the good over the evil. Then people will say "It's ok because it's almost just like Harry Potter was." Then once that character is accepted, another one will come along that is more evil and so on until we just accept them all. I know it sounds extreme to put it like this and usually the process isn't three generations fast, but it will happen and has happened in the past.
11/18/2002 10:46:13 AM
Hey, thehoods, do you believe in the Easter Bunny too? He's probably out to get you .... Sunshine2777: so -- "good things" are those you personally approve of, so you decide they come from God; everything else, whether you dislike it or are just unfamiliar with it, must be evil. Well. Glad to know we've got an arbiter to make decisions for the rest of us. And if you're worried about Satan slowly "dumbing down" your religion, are you also hot about Veggie Tales as the work of the devil? It seems that Satan's had great success if he's turned a religion that inspired Augustine's "City of God" and Aquinas' "Summa Theologica" into pap conveyed by a talking zucchini.
11/18/2002 10:40:36 AM
sunshine2777, I hate to even venture into this, as I'm neither Christian or Wiccan, but I do read a lot, and I hate to let misunderstandings stand. There were two general terms for "witchcraft" and "sorcerers" in the Bible. The old testament term refers to (mostly) women who used spoken curses to injure people or destroy their property. The new testament term refers to murderers who use poison to kill people. Neither had anything to do with what you are now referring to, just as the 17 or so main practices of "witchcraft" generally have little to do with each other. Wiccans are more like modern day neo-pagans, which were unknown in biblical times. (con't)
11/18/2002 09:52:53 AM
um.... the 10 comparissons are weak and forced. some people have too much time on their hands. Harry Potter is not a "christ figure", he's a hero. Jesus was a hero. The only important similarity is just that. They were both heros. Being heros, they, of course, have similar traits. But it's a horrible waste of time to try to relate the two on some "higher level".
11/18/2002 09:40:57 AM
thehoods- "Halloween started with the druids, they would go door to door asking for sacrifices, usually these were virgins" dude, put the chick tracks and the crack pipe down and step back. That is Christian bullshit at its finest and has nothing to do with Harry Potter. The HP movie is a fantasy story. Comic books have the same story lines and have been around for much longer ...are they going to be protested and burned next. PAH-LEASE. If all you look for is darkness...than that's all you will ever see.
11/18/2002 08:17:17 AM
katja:Tchaikovsky's music "does" glorify God as it is a "God given" talent that the this stems from. All good things are from God. Rowling's book talks of socery, etc and God's word clearly directs His children to stay away from such things, from evil and the "appearance" of evil. Her work is nothing more than satan's very subtle attempt to get into the minds of the children.. its called a very slow "dumbing down" process..and its working....dont forget, theres a very real and very big spiritual battle going on we cant see.... and this is just a small part of it.... as I said before.. if it isnt good and doesnt glorify God, it isnt from Him, its from the one who hates Him and is out only to destroy believers. Think about it and ask God to show you the truth, He'll be faithful to..God bless.
11/18/2002 07:00:41 AM
Oh and thehoods. Don't believe everything the Romans wrote about their enemies (Celts) religion. This message brought to you by the MiB.
11/18/2002 06:58:19 AM
The tail does not wag the dog. Western culture is one in which christianity has been dominant until very recently. It passes in and through our thoughts and our belief in any of it makes no difference. It affects how we think, speak and percieve things.
11/18/2002 06:25:24 AM
Do you think Harry Potter is a Christ figure? Yes 13% No 87% hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
11/18/2002 06:24:42 AM
Halloween started with the druids, they would go door to door asking for sacrifices, usually these were virgins. If the house gave a sacrifice they would leave a gourd behind with a candle in it. The candle was made from human fat. This gourd would be a sign unto the demons that would go through out the villages, if they saw this they would leave the house, if not some other symbol was used, and usually someone in that house died that night. Usually of fear. Do not fool yourselves. The Brotherhood, the Counsel of Thirteen, the Illuminatti, are all real. Someone should ask an ex-satanist what they think of Harry Potter.. Spiritual Warfare is real. And I cannot believe you would compare Jesus, the Son of God with a boy who practices witchcraft. Satan does not cast out satan..Jesus preformed Miracles, not magic!
11/18/2002 12:58:27 AM
Finally, when you consider the multitude of positive themes and morals in these books, I think they are fabulous books for young children to read. Those who are concerned about the witchcraft element can discuss the difference between fact and fantasy, the difference between evil and make-believe, and the difference between the life of the Hogwarts students and the life you feel your children should lead. If your guidance is sure enough, and your piety is strong enough, your children are not going to turn to Satan, if you take the time to make sure they understand what you're reading.
11/18/2002 12:55:43 AM
Well, the idea that Harry Potter is a "Christ figure" is certainly going to come as a surprise to the fanatics who ripped up copies of Harry Potter books in Maine recently; or the church members in Los Alamos, New Mexico, who burned Harry Potter books on a big bonfire last year (!!). Personally, I think it's a bit silly to look for "Christ figures" in every bit of literature or pop culture. But then again, Frodo_Baggins has it right: If Christ is the most important person in your life, you're going to start seeing him everywhere; same for Buddha, the Tao, etc. Now if Harry were to die to save his friends, then I'd see grounds for a comparison with Christ. Other than that, I think the folks at Beliefnet are really reaching on this one. :)
11/18/2002 12:54:39 AM
Never mind the fact that the books make it explicitly clear that, at least in the fantasy world of Harry Potter, you have to be born with magical abilities to be a witch or wizard, you can't just decide to be one. Children of non-magical ("Muggle") families can be magical, and children of wizarding families can be non-magic ("Squibs"). This makes their powers much more closely resemble a talent given by God than a specific choice to turn to evil and Satan, especially if you subscribe to the idea that children are innocents. They are born with this ability while they are still unable to choose evil--hardly Satan filling their minds and persuading them to turn to evil.
11/18/2002 12:50:10 AM
I understand the prudence of being concerned about the potential influence of Satan on their children, but all references to witches and wizards are not true evil sorcery. Harry Potter is no more an true evil sorcerer than a person dressed for Halloween in a pointed witches hat is. Another quote posted earlier-that children come to the movies "dressed like witches and wizards"...Come on...do you really believe that those who practice witchcraft walk around in striped scarves and pointed hats? If nothing else will convince you on this point, witchcraft, and the supposed practice of witchcraft was around long before the H.P. costume designer designed this outfit to be a "witch's" or a "wizard's" garb.
11/18/2002 12:47:00 AM
Movies and books have tend to copy the bible, in some ways (Matrix,Lord of the Rings, Left behind series). I'm not surprised that Rowling has used Jesus for her creation of Harry Potter.
11/18/2002 12:44:24 AM
Furthermore, someone else was speaking about a tour of London where you could visit all the places to become a witch. Again, we have to appreciate the fact/fantasy difference. Visiting King's Cross Station to see where the barrier you supposedly cross through to get onto Platform 9 3/4 in the book doesn't mean you're actually going to get on the Hogwarts Express. Seeing the alleyway in which they filmed Diagon Alley doesn't mean you're actually going to buy a magic wand, spellbooks and pet owl. Even if you do, they're going to be toys, and not anything that's going to actually function.
11/18/2002 12:41:05 AM
The thing that those who would compare Harry Potter to the sorcery forbidden in the Bible need to remember is how truly make-believe Harry Potter is. Even if I were to grant you the idea that magic and sorcery is real, which I don't agree with, but, for the sake of argument, let's say it is...that same sorcery that is actually practiced bears no relation to that which exists in the books. I have Wiccan friends, and their practices bear no resemblance to the world of Harry Potter. Actually, many are offended by that comparison. I believe someone stated earlier that Satan would like us to believe that magic and sorcery are make-believe, and this is one way. The thing is that, sure, magic itself can be real, and not make-believe, but Harry Potter and his world are not the only manifestations of magic. THIS magic IS make-believe. That doesn't have to mean that all magic is.
11/18/2002 12:16:07 AM
Excellent comments human1. I agree with both arguments: that Harry Potter and all of us have a choice to do good or evil, and that his actions help everyone at the school including Malfoy. I just saw the movie this evening and I love it. I highly recommend the books if you have not read them... they get better and better as they go along! One thing I must ask of Sentry is this: couldn't Jesus have been a sorcerer himself? Water into wine and bread to feed hundreds in some people's minds are miracles and in others it's magic. Anyway, I'm a big fan of HP and the magic it stirs in my soul.
11/17/2002 11:58:51 PM
Also... It almost pains me to see some parents on this board pointing out similarities between a sorcerer [strictly forbidden by the Bible] and Jesus, somebody who remained opposed to such 'evil' concepts.
11/17/2002 11:50:15 PM
The thought that anyone would compare Harry Potter to Christ or being Christ-like is just about the most rediculous thing I've ever heard.
11/17/2002 11:46:48 PM
We don't read the books...but will see the films as they come out as, so far, we see good prevailing over evil in the story line. It will be interesting to see if these reflections continue. We do read Lewis, as well as Tolkien....I see some similarities. To me the need for earthly authors to express the repeating theme of a "savior" stems from the very fact that humans are created to seek, know, and worship our True Savior...Jesus Christ.
11/17/2002 11:39:35 PM
(cont)One author (at left) mentioned how Harry only fought for his friends...not his foes. I would disagree. He also fought for the continuance of the plan...for Hogwarts. Hogwarts their "realm" of existance...as is our "world" and in each exist friend and foe. Those who align themselves with good (Harry's friends), as well as those who are antagonistic toward Harry, and who side with "evil" (Malfore...and those of Slytherin). Malfore and his pals also benefit by Harry's efforts. The ability to continue to attend, learn, and study at Hogwartz are also received by them. The same for this world. Jesus fights for the world...even while some in it are opposed to Him. At any rate....yes, I see the reflection. Which is not to say it is a perfect reflection....but anything in entertainment that reaffirms what is spiritually true, and sparks fruitful spiritual conversation in my family is appreciated.
11/17/2002 11:39:15 PM
I just saw the movie this evening with my family. We all enjoyed it as much as we thought we would. It sparked great conversation on the way home, and our children certainly saw how there were similarities between Harry and Jesus....additionally between Voldemort and Satan. It is another story of good vs evil. My 9 year old son pointed out though how Harry was given both the power of good(Jesus) and the power of evil(Satan)....and that it was great that Harry loved what was good inside him, not the bad. Our conversation went further, to point out actually it boiled down to choice. Power was given to Harry...plus the capacity to choose for what purpose his power and ability will be used. Due to his unique power and abilities, He could have been rec'v into Slytherin (who works for evil), but He told the decision making "hat" that he prefered Gryffindor (to work toward "good")...same for Jesus, same for Harry, same for Voldemort, same for Satan (same for us!). It boils down to will, or choice.
11/17/2002 11:13:23 PM
HP overcomes temptation when he looked in the mirror and sacrificed his dreams for the sake of a relationship with the real. Sorcery and magic like evil isn't as simple as we would like to imagine it. Sorcery isn't broomsticks in cauldrons. In today's society it is MTV and media telling kids they need sex and stuff to be happy. If you really want to be like Christ, set yourself apart from this culture. Buddhism is the closest thing but of course Siddhartha wasn't tortured to death by religious fundamentalists and then raised from the dead three days later by the Holy Spirit. Forget the rules, follow Christ and you will find yourself following the rules out of the joy of serving the Holy Spirit. We are the property of Jesus Christ. Be responsible for your relationship and don't accept the leaven of the pharisees. God bless in Jesus' name, which is humility, the offspring of pure love and truth itself.
11/17/2002 10:34:03 PM
I did not mean that last post as flippant. I am actually pleasantly suprised at the open-mindedness on this. I have been in a "Spiritual Elements of LOTR" discussion outside of Belief Net and was (pleasantly) suprised to see one person going into depth about the Buddha nature of one of her favorite characters. It encouraged me to go for the stretch and discuss the Tao of Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel. *L* I even recently stumbled upon a discussion on the Kabellah board, in which someone saw Catholic elements in the Jedi Knighthood in Star Wars. I think it's a good thing that so many people are seeking for more than just another lowest common denominator in movies. Again, I find this Universal Applicability idea (that I learned of studying Tolkien's works) quite wonderful. =)
11/17/2002 10:31:30 PM
Just as a side point about freedom of choice: If one is opposed to any notion of "witchcraft" on religious grounds, then why would someone even enter such a contest? While I can understand an individual's reticence about such things, it could be argued that contests that offer a trip to Club Med are offensive to conservative Jews and Muslims and because said location is filled with scantily-clad people. If you don't believe in something, don't do it. How hard is that?
11/17/2002 10:29:49 PM
The "Universal Applicability" ideals of JRR Tolkien strike again. =D If you are a seeking Christian, you will find Christ everywhere in everyone, and this is good. If you seek Buddha nature, you will find it. If you seek the Tao, you will find it. Seek and ye shall find... Hmmm...
11/17/2002 10:19:07 PM
OZERO... first of all, I do not lie. I saw it on TV from Blockbuster or some other area. I know what I heard, I just was more interested in the context of what was going to happen in London, than how you could actually win! I don't really care whether you believe it or not. I would not make up something so absurd, just for the sake of making a point!
11/17/2002 08:56:28 PM
Okay, some people really spend way too much time worrying about some things. That Harry Potter is either Satanic or Saintly is an issue in only the obsessive minds. He's a fictional hero in a fantasy world. But I would mention to some folks here that the Biblical injunction against "Witchcraft" was actually a very specific ban on those who trafficked with evil spirits. Even King Solomon was known to be a magician, which was not considered Satanic either then or now (then again, he was also the world's most prolific polygamist, so go figure). In either case, it's a sign of weak mind when you can't separate fantasy from reality.
11/17/2002 08:15:18 PM
Well, I have seen everything. First the fundmentalists put out a video claiming that Harry Potter is the doorway to the occult and evil - now Rev. Killinger believes Harry is a Christ figure? Hello? ... Harry Potter is a work of FICTION! My sons and I have thoroughly enjoyed both the books and the movies, but I can see nothing of Christ or Satan in any of it. It's a STORY everyone! Really good children's fiction, but that's it.
11/17/2002 08:05:31 PM
GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!!! Barukh haba baShem Adonai,Yeshua haMashiach! Katja, the kids parents were just as surpised,he had been read the book, and saw the movie. Rosary person~ yes todays christianity is defined as religion. However they were not called "christians" until they came out of antioch. The first "christians" were Jews.In fact it was seen as a "jewish movement" Secondly you might be interested to know,that prior to 1975 until the Roman Catholic Church got a hold of the word,the word vatican was defined as this.From the latin word Vaticanis, which in fact means place of high sorcery. Hmmmm maybe Harry Potter is from there?
11/17/2002 07:42:48 PM
Morningglory said: "There is also a contest and the winner goes to London to learn the different areas of being a witch." Please direct us to where you heard this. (A web site will do). If it is not true, then are you lying, mistaken or just misled? If it is untrue, would you be willing to reject your source?
11/17/2002 07:19:33 PM
So...when Tchaikovsky's music does not glorify God, it's okay, but when Rowling's book does not glorify God, it's not? Show the evil from Tchaikovsky music?
11/17/2002 07:18:13 PM
Jesus was a carpenter not a potter. Oh, contra...He was a carpenter in his humanity and a potter in his divinity.
11/17/2002 07:06:16 PM
So...when Tchaikovsky's music does not glorify God, it's okay, but when Rowling's book does not glorify God, it's not? Makes no sense to me.
11/17/2002 06:25:15 PM
I would say though, quovadis, if the ascension story is anything to go by, that Jesus could play a mean game of quidditch(sp).
11/17/2002 05:56:51 PM
Jesus was a carpenter not a potter.
11/17/2002 04:48:44 PM
What makes you think the devil isn't working through YOU right now? Because I have the Holy Spirit on the inside of me...Christ that is working within me and I do not serve two masters. I really don't care whether you "Think" I should quote Scripture or not...in Joshua 1:8 it states that the God's Word or Scripture should never depart from our mouths...In Proverbs it tells us to talk to each in God's Word and hymms... I do not praise the word of Kowling who makes witchcraft a craft for today...the kids in line for this movie come dressed as wizards and witches. There is also a contest and the winner goes to London to learn the different areas of being a witch. This can hardly be compared to the Wizard of Oz...who takes out the evil WITCH and believes family and values. But then, that is why God has given us choices...and I choose His way and not a fictional character that breeds evil and socery.
11/17/2002 04:45:11 PM
i'm cool with the whole harry potter thing, but to say he resembles Jesus is pushin'it just a bit, people Jesusfreak
11/17/2002 04:05:05 PM
I believe that the Harry Potter story is a very good one and the movie very entertaining, and that it is just like a lot of other fiction that our children and grandchildren and read and watch. It is a fairytale and is make believe and I played make believe when I was a child, and I knew the difference between reality and pretend. I taught my children the same. Fairytales are fun and wonderful for the imagination. Harry Potter has some good lessons in it too. Just like a lot of fairytales. There is good and evil and good wins over evil, and there are lessons to be learned.
11/17/2002 03:59:08 PM
I think there is lot to be said for making comparisons, if not between Harry Potter and Christ, then certainly the Bible and the Harry Potter books. In both, we see magic of an extraordinary and unbelievable kind. But that's the whole point of these volumes, surely? Human beings are a story-telling and a story-loving species, from the time of the camp fires of our hunter-gatherer forebears to the latest DVD that the modern family gathers around to view. Sometimes, if we are lucky, the story may convey a moral or two but, largely, we want the mind to be cast out of the daily grind of the ordinary and the commonplace and into a realm of magic and wonder. Such are the purpose of stories which, both Harry Potter and the Bible, accomplish very well.
11/17/2002 03:41:21 PM
katja144:I have heard the music of Tchaikovsky and Beethoven.. these things are very much about God as their talents were gifts directly from God and should be enjoyed and seen as such... if satan could find a way to twist even this music around for his own gain, dont think he wouldnt... and every good thing in this world is from God... the evil comes in when satan takes good things, Godly things, and turns it around to be used against God...Rowling may very well have the gift to write but she's not using it to glorify the one who gave it to her... Dont feel sorry for me.. I'm very blessed by my creator. God bless.
11/17/2002 03:18:49 PM
Those who are burning the Harry Potter books over this issue I think are being Nazi like. I do think there is something to be said in culture promoting behavior and things that we don't consider right or appropriate. But I think the best way to handle this situation, since Christians are so worried about it, is make sure the kids understand that magic in Harry Potter is NOT the brand the people try to practice in life. In Harry Potter, magic is some kind of genetically inherited trait. Very from the reality that it really is. I just don't think the comparison is valid of the books to Christ or the occult. People should read it as make believe entertainment (like Oz) that has a moral value to the story and not as a comparision to what we experience reality to be which the books have nothing to do with.
11/17/2002 03:14:26 PM
In Kimball's lecture, he stated about absolute truth claims that even the devil can quote scripture for his purpose. What makes you think the devil isn't working through YOU right now? A lot of you think that you are right about scripture and quote like you really know what it means and about what. I don't think God was talking about a MAKE BELIEVE book. Harry Potter is the Wizard of Oz of this generation. He is the "Dorothy" of this generation. He has moral qualities to him that reflect the moral beliefs of most of the world relgions. Love others, care for those less fortunate than yourself, protect those bullied by others (the meek). I wouldn't compare him to Christ nor the books to Tolkien (they really are more like Baum) but they are MAKE BELIEVE. Whoever compares them to real life versions of magic or occult is ridiculous. The way magic is portrayed in there is NOT the way is practiced in reality - NOT even close. It is MAKE BELIEVE. And should be treated as such. cont.
11/17/2002 03:05:51 PM
After reading the article and most of these posts, I am reminded of a book that just came out and a lecture I went to on it titled: "When Religion Becomes Evil" by Dr. Charles Kimball. He named five elements that occur when relgion becomes evil: 1. Absolute Truth Claims 2. Blind Obedience to Religious leaders 3. Apocalyptic belief that the end time will occur through a particular religion 4. Use of malevolent ends to achieve religious goals (The End Justifies the Means mentality) 5. The declaration of holy war. I hear a lot of Christians in here applying the 1, 3 & 4 items numbers. I would not recommed quoting scripture in relation to this. There is a reason why I say this. (cont.
11/17/2002 02:48:40 PM
This is what I believe regarding this article that has made Christ, just a figure that is emulated by every sort of evil around... "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! Isaiah 5:20-21
11/17/2002 01:34:37 PM
I think parents have the right to censor material from their children if they think it's inappropriate. Personally, I think it's a bit unfortunate when one thinks their belief system is so precarious that is is threatened by any viewpoint not exactly like itself. But that's not a decision I'd make for someone else. I also think it's unfortunate when a belief system is so insecure in itself that it must label anything not exactly like itself as "evil" or "satanic". As rational adults we should be able to disagree about things without labeling each other as under the influence of devils, demons, or the boogey man. On the issue of the article, there are certainly some parallels between the stories, but there are a lot of parallels between the life of Christ and those that lived both before and after, both historically and mythologically. I think the comparision between Harry and Jesus is pretty thin.
11/17/2002 01:31:00 PM
thehoods--and where were this roof-jumping boy's parents when he was taking flight? Their fault is not in giving him the books (although, as I said before, any child who actually believes a broom will make you fly is not fit to read anything that is even remotely untrue), but in not explaining to him that brooms do NOT make you fly and in not supervising him well enough. Children would not go astray nearly as often if their parents would actually do their job. sunshine--listen to the music of Tchaikovsky or Beethoven some time. Just because this beautiful music is not about God does not make it evil; does not even mean it is not God-given. Many things in life are not about God; that does not mean they are evil. If you think so and refuse to expose yourself to them, then you're missing a lot and I feel sorry for you.
11/17/2002 12:58:25 PM
1. Satan's loving this.....the more he can mimick Christ and then lead others away from the true Christ, the more headway he has made in this lost world. To even make the comparison is blasphemous. Rowling may have written the book but any guesses who gave her the idea? It sure wasnt the God of the universe. Anything that cannot or does not bring God glory is not from Him. Dont be mislead. 2.Dictionaries, like religion, were written and made up by "man". True Christianity is a relationship w/ one true sovereign God of the universe thru His Son, Jesus. Just because "man" calls Christianity "religion" doesnt mean its truth. The only real truth come from God himself thru His word as He is the only infallible one. Yea, I know, men wrote the bible but God is quite sufficient to make sure the Word is without error, probably pretty small task in comparison to Him just speaking the world into existence. God bless.
11/17/2002 12:43:02 PM
I really believe that Harry is a christ like figure. As we all are or can be. It's wonderful to be able to find God in all things. After all he is everywhere and everything for and to me. Whether religiously, spiritually, or otherwise He/She is the totality of everything existent.
11/17/2002 12:15:36 PM
Sorry, religion isn't a bad word. In the dictionary, Christianity is defined as a religion.
11/17/2002 09:33:07 AM
To those who like to attack Christians, and those who call themselves Christians... here is food for thought. Christian means little Christ, or Christ like. Christ did not come to oppress, to bestow man-made laws upon God's people. He brought back the living Word of God. The same Word that god puts above His own name. There is a difference between a Christian and a religious Christian. One puts the will of God over thier own, the other supports man made doctrines and laws. Kinda like Religious Jew and Jew. Time to get back to basics people, find out how we can be a blessing unto God, instead of how much more can God bless me today... Religion means return to bondage, and Yeshua came to set the captives free!
11/17/2002 09:28:14 AM
To learn more about Spiritual Warfare see Ephesians 6:10-20 Verse 12 sums it up well " For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the DARKNESS of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places... Also see http://www.alphathruomega.com go to the main menu, see Spiritual Warfare, Scripture is used to back up what is said. May the God of Adam, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, Job, and Yeshua have mercy upon the little ones. Sincerely~ H.Hood
11/17/2002 09:28:05 AM
Why compare Harry Potter with Jesus, lets see what Harry Potter and those in the occult have in common.. 1) Both cast incantations to either gain something or cause others loss. 2) Power is limited 3) Glorifies themselves and the beast in whom they serve. 4) Fools innocent children, and parents who refuse to open a bible, that magic is "okay" it is all imagination. I have news for you, God is not the author of confusion, and that is exactly what Harry Potter glorifies. Parents, you are given precious gifts, to watch over and to raise. Do not fool yourself into thinking you will not answer to God for the choices you make for these children. The saying goes, children learn what they are taught. And we wonder why little boys jump from buildings with brooms so they can " fly" like Harry Potter.
11/17/2002 09:27:35 AM
First of all,despite popular belief Jesus or Yeshua was not born on December 25th. If you are going to compare Harry Potter with Jesus get your facts straight. Yeshua was born in the month of Tishri in 7BC we know this from the time of Herod the greats death and the time of Jesus crucifixtion. Also, satan uses what ever he chooses to fool those into believing things like witches, and demons are not real but fantasy. When throughout the Bible in both the Tenakh (OT) and the New Testiment,you see cases where demons are present, and where satan is not a mythical creature, but an Accuser. Satan mimiks God, the only thing satan cannot do is heal, though he can mask and give the allusion of healing, and satan cannot resurrect the dead. Only God can do this. See cont. comment
11/17/2002 08:12:57 AM
i think its incredibly narrow-minded to centre a debate around harry potter being simply 'christ-like'. every spiritual tradition has some saviour figure and the motifs associated with this figure and his life do share commonalities worldwide. why not say- is harry potter krishna-like, or buddha-like, or spitam zarathustra-like, or even muhammad-like? harry does embody qualities of goodness, nobility, bravery etc which cut across sectional lines and can appeal to all readers regardless of their religious background.
11/17/2002 07:13:18 AM
I think I can see satanism in the whole Harry Potter conflict. But not in the books. Look to those "Christians" who oppose joy in most of it forms and then read the lies told about the books from certain pulpits. There you'll see where the devil is active. Next thing you'll see is Harry doing some radical liberal anti-"christian" thing like giving his money to the poor. Oh, he already did that, didn't he. He must be evil.
11/17/2002 05:27:46 AM
I love you, pdodenhoff. ::grin:: Thank you. I was in too silly of a mood to state everything you just said when I posted last. But of course you're right. It's complete and utter . . . petty ridiculousness. Have a good day.
11/17/2002 01:07:01 AM
Oy. Perish the thought that someone could write a story *just for the hell of writing a good story!* Why do Christians always have to exercise their own eisegesis on on every fictional stort that comes along/ Did the B'net people ever think to ask J.K. Rowling the alleged deeper meaning behind her story? Sure, its myth and Martin may be closest to what its all about. But for god's sake, let's just let a story be a story for once!! You want to make it a Christian story? Great. Tell that to the nutcase in Maine who, along with his congregation, just tore and burned a bunchof copies of Harry Potter. His actions are stupid, but so is trying to impose your beliefs and interpretations on a story someonw wrote *without even having the decency to ask what she was trying to say, if anything!!!* The arrogance displayed is appalling! God, save me from your followers!
11/17/2002 12:13:20 AM
One more thing... Anyone could find "similarities" in two people/places/things/etc. if asked to look for them. Just because a self-proclaimed Christian finds something good, bad or even similar... doesn't make it so and CERTAINLY DOES NOT represent the findings of the entire Christian community. So BACK OFF THE CHRISTIANS =)
11/17/2002 12:03:58 AM
Hey, I have an idea... If you think there's something wrong with the Harry Potter stories, pray about it. If you don't think there's anything wrong with the Harry Potter stories, pray about it. God delights in answering questions that will keep you on the right path, whatever it may be.
11/16/2002 10:53:20 PM
To continue, the Harry Potter books are pure FUN, & very funny in parts, although they show evil they also show that good overcomes evil & isn't that what we want our children (& ourselves to learn & remember)? Yes there is magic but isn't that sort of what imagination is - magic? Didn't God give us minds to dream & imagine with, so why shouldn't we use them? No Harry is not God like but perhaps he could be seen as someone who knows God & chooses right over wrong, which is what we should all do surely. Christian fundamentalists & those with closed minds to fun, drems, childhood magic, give christianity a bad name, they might perhaps consider joining moslem fundamentalists in Afghanistan!!!!
11/16/2002 10:47:26 PM
Hitler, Pokemon, Japanese anime, remember the banning of Noddy because he was Gay, for HEAVEN's sake put things in perspective. My son saw Harry Potter & Lord of the Rings at age 6, he hasn't turned into a devil. We communicate (old fashioned I know) with our children & we prefer that they access all forms of literature/entertainment (except immoral/illegal of course, but we discuss those issues too & explain why they are wrong & against God) with us so that we can discuss misconceptions, evil & good with them. This also promotes openness between us & our children (dtr 14) so that they do not simply get informed by other children & teachers. (Our dtr was taught at school age 8 that masturbation was a form of relaxation!)
11/16/2002 10:17:51 PM
As it happens, a movie that is a spiritual alternative to Harry Potter opened up the same weekend where I live (although I will probably see both). It's called Spirited Away, and while it may be too "pagan" for fundamentalists (It has "magic" in it, and animistic gods and spirits), but it's a wonderful movie with a great message about responsibility and love. It's a Japanese anime, but it has little in common with Pokemon. See Harry Potter, but go see this one too!
11/16/2002 10:12:10 PM
Pokemon as a gateway to the occult? To my mind, Pokemon seems like a trumped-up version of War, the card game every kid learns to play. There is one problem with Pokemon and Harry Potter that I can see, and that's the rampant materialism. Pokemon is all about collecting more and more junk, and in the Harry Potter books there is a lot of mentions of some magical gadget or another.
11/16/2002 10:09:15 PM
HengwrtEllesmere: Good point about the Aeneid. Thankfully, because of Augustine and others, the Christians did not throw out the works of Boethius and others, which, while "pagan," nonetheless expressed ideas that fit in with Christian virtues. Simone Weil argued that even though the Greek writers were pre-Christian, they managed to touch on some of the same truths. I think it's too much to read Christian virtue into Harry Potter, but the messages (look out for your friends, be humble) don't seem too bad to me.
11/16/2002 09:31:57 PM
Oh, yes. Harry Potter is definitely the same as Hitler. I see the resemblence clearly. (Sarcasm, in case no one caught it). Please. Quite an extreme comparison, wouldn't you say? If your kids are so impressionable that they think HP is real, then they shouldn't be reading anything except a reputable encyclopedia.
11/16/2002 09:00:08 PM
Films themselves are sorcery, experiments with reality. Thought many writers are influenced by their Christian culture, that does not qualify them as Christians or their work as Christian. Harry Potter is a multi-million dollar enterprise mass marketed to impressionable children and we're talking about him being Christ-like? Do I have to remind you that the most evil men of the world such as Hitler have posed as Christ-like or Christian in order to manipulate the masses. Potter may be Christ-like but the film certainly is not. Jesus said all men are sinners and that none is good but God. The correct quality of Christ is humility.
11/16/2002 07:36:44 PM
Hey Bhakta, you should bow out of this one until you have something specific to believe in. You can't believe in, and claim to have knowledge of everything. It is blasphemy to suggest that Harry Potter is a Christ-like figure. And, if you can't see that these stories are witchcraft that is packaged to be harmless, then you have an even bigger problem. Why don't you study theology for about 20 years, then come back to chat.
11/16/2002 06:14:48 PM
First off, how does Harry Potter suddenly turn into Pokemon? katestrofe, Pkmn is also somewhat Latin based. At least name wise, and such. I personally see nothing wrong with it. I'm a big fan myself. I have horrible game-playing skills and this game is one of few I excel at. Sure, maybe it isn't good for lil kids, but it can't JUST be the game itself causing kids to become violent.
11/16/2002 04:45:16 PM
HengwrtEllesmere I think you made some excellent points and I agree with you on most of them. My question is at what age do we expose children to Harry Potter(and the like). Do we wait until they can understand the fundamentals of Christianity and thus see the metaphor between Harry and a Christian or do we use Harry Potter as a teaching mechanism? I tend to believe that the former is preferable to the later. Since this is a childrens book, maybe Rowlings should have included a preface to explain the metaphor she intended (if infact she intended one). J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis have other writings to support their Christian inspiration and influences. As for my children they will be "deprived" until they can understand that they need to read between the lines to get the fiber of the story.
11/16/2002 04:27:55 PM
I don't agree that there is anything dangerous or occult-ish about Harry Potter but I thought comparing God to Dumbledore was a little bit on the extreme side. I mean, sure I love the books but Harry is not God.
11/16/2002 03:49:34 PM
I have a son who with a minimum of exposure to these cartoons and games becomes destructive and combative. I can't imagine what he would become if he were exposed to them with any consistency. If this was a healthy game to be exposing yourself or your children to, then it would teach them something worthwhile. They would learn fairplay and healthy competitiveness.
11/16/2002 03:49:19 PM
f10c Pokemon is based in Eastern Religions and even the Egyptian Book of the Dead. It deals with the occult and teaches our children to use demons and spirits to fight each other. The game playing can become addictive and can only be compared to Dungeons and Dragons. I used to know kids when I was young who were obsessed with D and D and it was a destructive force in their lives and in the lives of their families. In fact, Pokemon is owned by the same company that owns D and D. The game playing and the card trading do not create children who are loving and kind with a sense of respect and fairness to humanity. Instead these games feed our children a diet of greed, brutality, lack of respect for life, and addiction to violence.
11/16/2002 03:21:27 PM
...We are surrounded, in todays world, by people, places and things that would have us believe in one thing or another. Heavenly Father gives us the option of choice. Where Harry Potter is concerned, I believe that if we are teaching our children the "Truth", they will be able to make choices, for the most part, that are good for them. Harry Potter is a fictional character. Not unlike the rest of the fictional characters of our past and current present. I grew up with "Grimms Fairy Tales" and the like. They did not have an impact on me because in knew they were only stories. It is what we teach our children that will direct them. I have had to learn to become a teacher, as a mother, not an obstructor. We cannot protect our children from everything, but we can teach them; give them the tools to survive and then help them through when a wrong choice has been made; as Jesus helps me through, when I let Him! God bless :)
11/16/2002 02:39:53 PM
The following response to katestrofe's insight that "as Harry was not without flaw he can hardly be a Christ figure" and concern regarding its themes of witchcraft has been posted in reverse order--read it from top down. Exactly--Harry is not a Christ figure but rather a Christian figure. His scar is the mark of baptism and his powers are the fruits of the spirit. Yet he learns that these are not due to anything extraordinary about him, but rather due to the extraordinary love and sacrifice made by his parents (who could be read together as a Christ figure--look for a hint of resurrection in book 3). Harry is pursued by Voldemorte (read the devil) out of hatred and jealousy, yet because Voldemorte has been crippled by the sacrifice of Harry's parents, he can test Harry but not harm him.
11/16/2002 02:38:04 PM
Now I don't know anything about Rowling's own faith, but whether she intended it or not, this message of can be easily recognized by any Christian who knows the gospel truth... Provided they are not frightened off by the words "witchcraft and wizardry" and other supernatural themes, which would be quite understandable given how emphatically the Jewish prophets, Christ, and the Christian apostles condemned "sorcery." Katestrofe, since you're clearly a concerned and well-read Christian parent and not just a "judgmental fundie," I'd like to look at one question of Christian life and history with you: how do we reconcile the eternal and revealed truth of our faith with the changing and developing beliefs--call them "magic" or "science" of our time?
11/16/2002 02:37:27 PM
You see, the terms magic and miracle refer to whatever we can't explain, which for the ancient congregation of Israel was just about everything. The distinction for them was in who you called on for help--Yahweh, a false god like Baal, or the spirits of the dead. Yet Yahweh's miracles worked through the same "magical" means that the Baal worshippers and sorcerors sought in vain to use--Jacob's changing the color of Laban's sheep with rune-staves, Joseph's interpretation of dreams, the various divinations prescribed to determine guilt or innocence in Leviticus, etc. The only difference was that while magic was attempted by invoking false gods or spirits, miracles were performed in the name of the Lord.
11/16/2002 02:36:39 PM
Now fast-forward to the time of Christ. Ptolemy has determined the size and shape of the universe and Galen has described the workings of the human body in terms of elemental humors and astrological influences. These are by no means correct by today's standards, and we would now call astrology and alchemy (basis of tarot) "occult," but they were the scientific theories of the time. Many things are still attributed to spirits, though, like mental illness and creative inspiration, yet unlike in the world of ancient Israel, it's hard to tell which are good and which are evil. Paul tells Christians that whenever they are inspired or granted some supernatural power by these spirits, they must test them with the name of Christ and his gospel to determine whether they are sent from God or from the devil, since the devil masquerades as an angel of light. Those who seek out evil spirits for power are to be condemned as sorcerors, yet the same gifts are to be eagerly sought from the Holy Spirit.
11/16/2002 02:35:39 PM
Charismatics believe that these powers are still among us, but most Christians think of the world differently. To various degrees, we imagine nature as an impersonal system of cause and effect either established by or independent of God, making supernatural occurrences miraculous in the sense of being extraordinary. Yet what we now call supernatural may one day be explained by science just as we now understand the miracles of the Bible as divine providence (or, skeptically, as lucky coincidence) and dismiss the magic of the idolaters and sorcerors as tricks and illusions.
11/16/2002 02:35:16 PM
We treat stories about the magic as "mindless entertainment" because we think of the each unexplained occurrence as being either God's providence manifested in nature, or as some trick either of primitive superstition or deception by the devil. Yet these stories remain powerful cultural artifacts that cannot be escaped without separating Christianity from the world in which it lives, nor can they be dismissed as "totally sure fun" without allowing certain errors to "creep into our lives a little at a time."
11/16/2002 02:34:38 PM
Fortunately, this problem was dealt with over 1500 years ago when Christianity, which had just become the mainstream religion of the Roman Empire, had to deal with the enduring popularity of a certain book called The Aeneid. It was written a few years before the birth of Christ by the pagan poet Virgil in honor of Caesar Augustus, and it tells a story of ancient gods, magic, and adventure in the founding of Rome. Some Christians said not to read this classic or any of the new stories that were based on it because they contained references to pagan beliefs. However St. Augustine of Hippo, who is a father of both Catholic and Protestant Christianity (the latter because Luther and the reformers based their readings of Scripture on his), said that just as Christians must read their Bibles in the spirit of Christ (as Paul also said to test the spirits of inspiration) to correctly interpret it, so should they read non-biblical literature in the same way.
11/16/2002 02:34:01 PM
Soon Christian writers like Statius and Prudentius were adapting pagan stories of gods and magic to Christian themes, creating the genre of "romance" or "fantasy" that continued throughout the middle ages and which was revived by modern Christian theologians like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. But just as the Bible can be misread when separated from the spirit of Christ, so can these entertaining and edifying stories.
11/16/2002 02:32:58 PM
Christians must realize that Harry Potter and other fantasy stories grow out of the gospel of truth and therefore have a powerful effect on the minds of our culture. If we dismiss them as "occult" or "satanic," we by no means reduce that power but instead hand it over to the devil. People's faith, rightly directed toward the saving love that Harry Potter's story reflects, will be associated not with the seemingly "judgmental" churches that condemn the books, but with the false beliefs that can arise from them when separated from their Christian origins. Instead of hiding Harry Potter from our children, making it into a forbidden fruit that they will seek out of rebellion, we should teach them to read it and read it with them, using its teachings of love to turn them once again to Jesus and the Bible, where these ideas came from in the first place. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to take my Sunday school class on a field trip to see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Hengwrt Ellesmere
11/16/2002 02:22:54 PM
Wow, you people sure do get worked up. I'm not sure what your opinions are, but witchcraft is NOT of Satan. In fact, most Pagan-istic religions DON'T even believe in Satan, or an entity similar. I think there is nothing wrong with the Harry Potter books, they are well-written and thought up. Also, the similarities of real magick and the kind mentioned in the books are similar, but BARELY. Keep that in mind, please. For the Christians, you may think "Oh, just a Pagan, no matter. She doesn't know what she's talking about." Well, I do. I'm raised in a VERY Christian home. My mum and step-dad go to church (me along with them)3 times a week, and my sister is very devout. IF you're wondering, it's a Baptist one. This article reminds me as to how "The Wizard of Oz" was once described as having a Christian basis. Puh-lease. Like pmh said, stop making mountains out of molehills.
11/16/2002 01:46:58 PM
Katestrof: I've always wondered why people are against Pokemon. COUld you enlighten me? I know a lot of Muslims were against it beacuase it was seen as a form of gambling when the trading cards came out (kids would battle each other in winner takes all mateches). But what's the witchcraft, evil element of it?
11/16/2002 01:44:38 PM
My God! This is so stupid! Aren't the CHristians the same people who were denouncing Harry Potter for SAtanisma and what not? Now all of a sudden Harry Potter represtens GOD???? That's impossible. Some of the points don't even add up. Like the Father figure one. Harry's father firgure is Sirus Black, his Godfather (not that I see what Dumbledore, and partially insane old manm, according to the first book, has to do with God the "Father"). Hermoine Granger is ALSO linked to Muggles and WIzards. ROn Weasely ALSO went down into the chamber of secrets. Hermonie and Ron ALSO exhibit a willingness to battle Voldemort. ANd what on earthe does leaping on rooftops have to do with bring sparrows to life?? This is just a load of crock. And for those of you who won't read the books because of Satanic content, ummm, how do you know what's in the books is you haven't read them??????????
11/16/2002 12:18:03 PM
I have only read the first book and I enjoyed it thoroughly, but as Harry was not without flaw he can hardly be a Christ figure. The books are great if you are looking for mindless entertainment. That being said, the Lord warns us against witchcraft, evil spirits and the like throughout the Bible. Harry Potter, Pokemon and other entertainment such as these are full of everything Christ told us to avoid. We now have good magic and bad, good witches and bad, not so bad evil and pits of hell evil. We are letting all of these things creap into our lives a little at a time because it entertains us. Changing the spelling of the word "magic" does not make it any less forbiden. If it is so bad that Christ himself warns us not to dabble in it, maybe we should listen. I for one will will try my best not to let my children become accepting of evil just because has a new and entertaining name.
11/16/2002 12:06:11 PM
Oy veh. I like the books and joked about the similiarities a few YEARS ago with one of my friends, but it's totally sure fun. JK Rowling is a devout Christian so they may be a few parallels, but otherwise... God bless. Emily
11/16/2002 12:01:29 PM
Good point, enigmata! Unfortunately, it is impossible to convince judgmental fundies (who haven't even read the book or seen the movie) of the obvious.
11/16/2002 11:50:08 AM
thicks, Most witches do not believe in Satan so your point is moot.
11/16/2002 11:34:39 AM
No way!!!! There was a witch on TV that said she wouldn't let her kids read that book b-c they were not old enough to get into their witch things (spells and stuff) and was so against the book. ITS WITCHCRAFT PEOPLE. How is it in any way related to CHRIST. It's Satan it is related to. And I'm sorry but in my book Satan and Christ aren't buddies.
11/16/2002 11:06:19 AM
Oh, for Heaven's Sake! What a bunch of nonsense! The book was written by a divorced mother to entertain her children! There does not need to be deep dark mysterious secrets in every written word. It was written for fun and should be read for fun. Stop making mountains out of molehills!
11/16/2002 10:17:07 AM
Hello I'm officially unqualified because I haven't read any of the books. But I did spend some time flipping through a Harry Potter activity book at the local Target. I found an explanation of astrology in there for the kiddies with cute little pictures and a nice big section on Tarot card reading and how to go about it. NO THANKS.
11/16/2002 10:08:27 AM
What I want to know is how I go about getting paid to think up such trivial nonsense as Harry Potter being a Christ figure?
11/16/2002 09:23:37 AM
Well, I really don't care who Harry is suppose to be like, Harry is just amazing, and so good for kids today and adults! All kids are full of magick.. they see and sense things in the world we adults forget!! They can dare to dream and ask the tough questions with out fear... they are still in touch with their source (higher power)... There is no violence or hate involved in Harry P stories.. Its all pure good full of magick and adventure for kids.. and hey I have heard it really gets kids to open books!! Not go to the video games as much... Cheers to Harry !! This mom says Thanks to JKR !!!
11/16/2002 09:07:02 AM
I have not read or seen any of the Harry Potter books, but I have read the many surrounding articles, including the ones to where some of the churches in Europe are using it to teach lessons to their congregants. If the comparisons made in the Beliefnet article, are accurate; I can very well see the author attempting to make a comparison. Afterall Satan mimics everything that Christ does so that he is able to deceive many. He is a copycat so I can see him inspiring somewhat to create an evil opposite in compasrison. In all honesty, nothing he does is original, it all mimics the Lord; this is why he can deceive so many. He knows what works to save, so he does the samething only in opposition to gain too.
11/16/2002 08:29:24 AM
Those of you who haven't even seen a Harry Potter movie are absolutely unqualified to compare it to anything, so don't embarrass yourselves by silly proclimations. Gudgreef! Namaste, ~Sage~
11/16/2002 04:18:24 AM
Wasn't he supposed to be some kind of occultist ? Definitely, there's nothing in common between Christ and Belial ....
11/16/2002 12:34:23 AM
lol uh no. Harry Potter is not a "Christ figure". How laughably pointless! Haha, teddiescats. . ."witch craft. . the idea of Satanism" ! Ahh! Perhaps you should look up both of those subjects before you compare either Harry Potter to them or them to each other. That is, if you don't "absolutely refuse". ;)
11/15/2002 11:26:24 PM
When it comes to Harry Potter, every last one of my friends really read and enjoy the books. I absolutely refuse to read or even look at either of the movies simply because of the idea of witch craft. Yes, this is a little kids book, but that will not waiver the idea of Satanism in the series.
11/15/2002 09:13:38 PM
I think Thomas L. Martin makes the best point. Yes, Harry Potter's adventures mirror those of Christ's in some ways, but Christ's story also resembles those of plenty of heros from both before and after his time-- from Odysseus and Aeneus to Luke Skywalker. There must be something profound in these narratives that humans universally respond to.
11/15/2002 09:12:29 PM
You could say that describes most of us literature scholars, Jesusfreak :) Actually I don't see Harry Potter as the Christ figure in his stories so much as the "christian" figure, or "everyman." He resembles Christ inasmuch as every Christian is called to imitate Christ, but ultimately (in the first book) it is not his own power that defeats evil but the sacrifice of love that his parents made for him. I think they become more explicitly Christlike in the later books. Of course its hard for an literary hero in western literature not to be a Christ figure since all of our myths have been shaped by the Christian religion for over a thousand years. Heng
11/15/2002 07:51:47 PM
whoever wrote this article is smokin something and has way too much time to waste Jesusfreak