Pastoral Counsel for Heartsick Muggles
Beliefnet's Pastor Paul offers words of comfort to those traumatized by events in 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.'
11/15/2005 11:39:11 PM
I don't see that it has to be a strict either/or, EITHER read Harry Potter OR be nourished and grow in God's Word. Granted,there are less and more constructive uses of one's time: for example, I might be reading my Bible- or volunteering for charity- right now, instead of wasting (literally!) hours on this confounded internet. But I don't therefore forswear all technology or call my computer satanic. There is a time and place for the reading of books which are not Holy Scripture; and I do not believe that the Harry Potter books are any more dangerously occult than, say, the Wizard of Oz, with its good and wicked witches, or Star Wars and its 'Force'.
08/30/2005 03:32:10 PM
First of all, Mr Previous Poster, the harry Potter books are fiction, and the Gospels/Acts aren't. Also, for the more sane members of our community, who have read and enjoyed the Harry Potter series, we must keep in mind that, in the wizarding world, life and death are rather porous afairs. Harry can still consult with Dumbledore's painting, and he derives his strength from those who loved him. so, I'm going to assume that, with Dumbledore combine with his parents,Harry will become a powerful just wizard. Hey, being looked after by the dead, isn't that similar to the Catholic Christian doctrine of the 'communion of saints.?
08/08/2005 11:56:30 AM
I have to agree with Amysue. I also have to admit I bought the 1st Harry Potter book. But after reading the first few chapters to my children, I realized this book didn't agree with my spirit. And the imagery wasn't God-like at all. In fact, the wizards and spells and all remind me of Simon the sorcerer from the Book of Acts. My children have enough negative stuff of the world to deal with without reading this ungodly work. It's our jobs as Christian parents to keep our children away from fire, so to speak, and to inform our children of the enemy. And how he'll use any means necessary to steal our souls. Even through Harry Potter books. Instead of reading this book to our children, we have Bible study with our children. I have to admit this reading is a lot more beneficial to our souls and salvation than Harry Potter books.
08/05/2005 11:50:39 AM
I haven't read all of the Potter books yet, but I like what I've read. If I had any children, I would approve of their reading them. As for Dumbledore, I think he himself said it best in the first book: "[T]o the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." I don't think he would look on death--even by murder--in the same way as most other people.
08/04/2005 10:23:39 PM
joni50: Thanks for your tip. I just finished chapter 26 and I felt the strongest urge to pray for Dumbledore. And then I thought, "hey. Get a grip! He was only a character in a good novel. That's a waste of God's--and your--time." Then I read your post and it got me thinking and I changed my mind. The way you put it, it's a very good use of God's time--possibly one of the best ones out there.
08/02/2005 11:08:35 AM
IMO, there's nothing wrong with mourning Dumbledore, or even praying for his soul. In doing so, one is actually mourning and praying for the souls of one's own teachers, mentors, and elders. Often when a beloved elder dies, we are overwhelmed with grief at the loss, relief at the end of their suffering, funeral arrangements, settlements, etc, and heartfelt prayers are deferred. Art helps us to get a handle on real life emotions deferred from real life. The Greeks had a word for it: catharsis.
08/02/2005 08:25:26 AM
I believe as Christians we need to spend more time in The Word than reading Harry Potter books. We need to train our children to do the same. I honestly cannot believe a Child of the King would spend time reading these books. That is time we are taking away from Him. What a wonderful world this could become if we could get ourselves and our children as excited about Jesus as we do about Harry Potter.
07/30/2005 04:30:52 PM
I loved book six and I, too, cried when beloved Dumbledore died and ranted against Snape's treachery. But geez, get a grip, people! It's only a story. God Bless!
07/28/2005 12:33:52 PM
ERP, Since I think your post was directed at me, I'll say thank you for your words and welcome to beliefnet.
07/28/2005 12:30:39 PM
Thank you for turning this into a teachable moment. What you said is true for all religions, and speaks to those who fear that reading Harry Potter is an evil act.
07/27/2005 10:27:26 AM
StoryMing, I don't think it's so unusual to mourn for a fictional character. For ages, people have connected with and identified with literary characters, real or fictional. There's typically at least a grain of reality in most fiction and the characters or the writing and the story would not grab our attention or be as compelling. If, for example, one can see honesty and loyalty in a fictional character and be inspired by that, I don't see it as so different as being sad as the passing of a beloved character whom we have also come to know and love. We all want to know what happens "next" in these books. So when is book 7 planned?
07/26/2005 08:37:04 PM
I have to disagree with the author of this article, who say that "Even if Snape were still working for Dumbledore and his brutal murder... was part of Dumbledore¡¯s master plan, it is hard to feel anything but disgust for Snape". It makes all the difference in the world whether Snape killed him in a betrayal, or because Dumbledore himself insisted that he had to. I believe the clues are numerous, if one rereads carefully, that Snape did this only at Dumbledore's express command, and did it anything but willingly. I fully believe that the final book will vindicate Snape beyond anything we can conceive of presently. And incidentally, I have never in my life been in actual mourning for a fictional character, until now.
07/26/2005 05:18:37 AM
Welcome to life, kid. Wizards croak. Any questions?
07/25/2005 08:24:06 PM
Please note that a number of today's posts can now be found at Moved from Harry Potter where members are welcome to discuss issues that are tangential to this article. Thanks! BeliefnetLion Beliefnet Community Monitor
07/25/2005 02:19:40 PM
FSturgeon, A child reared on Harry Potter books will learn about good and evil, loyalty, courage, and patience. A child reared on the dogma you seem to prefer will learn only about fear, hatred, and death. I am not concerned that the child who reads Harry Potter will grow up to launch crusades or inquisitions. I can't say the same about the child who absorbs the pure word of medieval religious paranoia. And as for what that child might grow up to be and to do, we should all be wary.
07/25/2005 09:57:18 AM
Hello again, The chick who said a prayer for the dead in the Harry Potter Movie... Get a grip in life.... I mean they are fictional movie characters and as far as God and what he believes is evil on this one????? Please Please Please...... You get a grip people God does not think Harry Potter is evil... I am not God and I don;t have his feelings, but this is FICTIONAL AND CUTESEY>>>>>> And it does have good values in it if you would watch closely............................
07/23/2005 01:46:04 PM
I am still slowly reading Harry Potter. It is so beautifully and intricately written that I am savoring each page--I am about 1/4 thru it. I especially love the parts about us Muggles. I am enjoying the process of reading rather than the plot. Thank Pastor Paul for his focus on the spiritual messages in Harry Potter. And there are huge spiritual messages in each of the Harry Potter books. This brings me to the so-called Christians who are focusing on things that to me are irrelevant. I am a Christian and have yet to figure out why witchcraft and wizardry frighten some Christians so much. Yes, I know about the Bible passage. I, as a childhood Catholic, know that the Church was at its most corrupt during the time that the New Testament was assembled so I read the Bible to inspire me because it was written and influenced by men, just as weak as I.
07/23/2005 01:12:18 PM
And yes we are both PROUD Christians and Harry Potter and these other fantasy shows are not giving any bad messages out here but look at ALice and Wonderland that is.. If you really watch the story of the mad hatter and the Centepede or what ever he is smoking a bong? And Alice eating bread and gorwing and the tea party? I grew up on innocence of it and so did my kids, but when I really sat down and watched it recently I realized Drugs were involved all the way thru..... But Harry Potter and the Wizard of OZ PLEASE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>There are good messages in both and God is listening..............
07/23/2005 01:07:20 PM
And speaking of which think about the Wizard of Oz I have watched and loved that movie since I was 4 years old?????? Witches and things people could make crap out of that and it is only fantasy and things..... But it does have good meanings in it and so does Harry Potter....... THINK ABOUT THIS ONE YOU ALL!!!!!
07/23/2005 01:04:20 PM
Hello out here all you Harry Potter fans........ I love Harry Potter and in fact my husband and I both went to the premiere of the book that was to be released July 16th at midnight at our local Hastings book and video store and they had a lot of Harry Potter things going on and a comstume contest and over 600 people had been there throughout the night about 120-130 or more there when we were there... Any ways we took a 5.oo chance on 6 chances to have our names drawn me 3 and him 3 and we won a beautiful basket of all 3 of the DVD;s which had an extra special DVD in them and ALL 6 book including the new one that was just released and we had a nice time.... and Albus Dumbeldore's reasoning with Harry and I loved Marnie and the others...... Except Snape and Valdamort... Anyhow it is just fantasy and unless people actually practice the arts of witchcraft or satanism they are not out of God's hands....... This is stupid to believe that but everyone has their own belief... It is just fantasy and fiction
07/23/2005 12:54:32 PM
FSturgeon1--There seems to be much fear in your message. II Timothy 1:7 "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and Love and of a sound mind."
07/23/2005 09:48:13 AM
JK Rowling never claimed any of the Harry Potter books have a Christian message
07/23/2005 07:36:51 AM
RK Rowling's and CS Lewis books and all other fantasy books which claim to have a Christian message and which are adored by Christians should be thrown away or burned and have no place in the home and lives of born again children of God. These books are no different than Satan saying to Eve, it's ok, you will NOT surely die. The Old Test. was written for our learning and admonition and when the Israelites brought evil into the camp of the Lord it destroyed them. So also are we to not have anything to do with the works of darkness but rather cling hold to the pure word of God which is able to save your souls.
07/23/2005 02:44:24 AM
I can't help wondering firstly, if so many would defend Snape had he not been played by Alan Rickman and secondly, if they'd believe him to be a misunderstood good guy if he ordered the slaying of the first-born.
07/23/2005 01:16:07 AM
Harry came to bring laughter and imagination. LOTR came to bring visions of preservierance. Jesus, well I think John 3:16 and 17 sum it up. Nuff said. Blessings, Jes
07/23/2005 12:19:11 AM
And to the other Muggles reading this, I too cried a little, But I tend to think a little like Dumbledore---I always look for the good in people- so i hope it was just becaue of the unbreakable vow that Snape did what he did and that he really is "good" ah what now another year wait for the rest? I know another good page turner though.... the bible ever read it? Keep smiling you know you want too!
07/22/2005 06:13:49 PM
cont.: I know I'm not supposed to insert hyperlinks here (LOL), but I have written essay in my online journal (warning: with tons of spoilers!) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/virgofolkie/5875.html#cutid1 , should anyone be curious. Many more pro-Snape essays are out there besides. I also believe that Snape will be vindicated (by Dumbledore's ghost, or somebody) in Book 7; and that the Death-Eaters will be brought down by their own infighting--which may also result in Voldemort being killed by his own disillusioned followers, as a final coup against that contentious lot. Anyhow, dear fellow Snape fans, keep the faith, and keep reading!!
07/22/2005 06:09:22 PM
Hello--I just wanted to pass along that not everyone thinks Snape is evil, or that he killed Dumbledore willingly. I haven't even finished the HBP book yet, but the clues that indicate otherwise are numerous, and quite obvious (for example, much of what Snape tells Narcissa and Bellatrix in Chapter 2 is complete BS; and many, including myself, have theorized that Dumbledore was pleading in the end for Snape to kill him, not to spare his life). Much reading between the lines is needed in digesting this book.
07/21/2005 05:26:10 PM
I was too stunned to cry -- at 1:30 AM Monday. As I was falling asleep I kept repeating the Mourners Kaddish (prayer for the dead). I'm not sure if it is kosher tosay the prayer for mouring death over a fictional character, but I did
07/21/2005 01:04:35 PM
Oh, that was just lovely. Thank you.