Teaching your children how to grasp and apply the fruits of the Spirit (love, patience, kindness, etc.) is key to their spiritual development. But along with this instruction comes an equally important teaching on how to avoid the evil influences of the world. Just as there are fruits of the Spirit, so there are the forbidden fruits, called the deeds of the flesh. “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, and carousing.” (Galatians 5:19-21). One of the foremost of these forbidden fruits, as the Bible warns, is sorcery. The practice of sorcery, along with its bedfellows (wizardry and witchcraft), is incredibly dangerous and should be considered a deadly influence on children. The entertainment of such practices has historically served as the final groundwork to destroy a child’s life or an entire kingdom. Manasseh, one of Israel’s Kings embraced sorcery, witchcraft, and wizardry when he was a young boy of twelve years. Because of this influence, his life was ruined and the nation he led suffered through one of its lowest periods in history.
The following Scriptures include warnings God puts in His Word regarding sorcery, witchcraft, and wizardry:
- 2 Chronicles 1,2 6 1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, 2 He did evil in the sight of the Lord 6. He made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger.
- Mal. 3:5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers.
- Leviticus 19:30-31 30 Ye shall reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. 31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.
- Deut 9:9-14 9 “When you enter the land which the Lord gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. 10 “There shall not be one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 “For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord.
- Rev. 21: 6-8 6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. “But for unbelieving, murderers and immoral persons andsorcerers will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
- The term sorcerer in the Hebrew (mekhashphim) is defined as men who profess power with evil spirits.
As responsible parents and in response to these Scriptural warnings, you need to be very discerning when it comes to the direct contact you allow your children to have with evil; especially when sorcery, witchcraft, and wizardry are being uncovered and openly flaunted in movies like Harry Potter. The first epistle of John challenges you to test every influence that would lead your children into the evil world of the supernatural (I John 4:1-3).
When other parents and movie publicists say, “Harry Potter is harmless, it is only a movie about the supernatural done in good taste,” question their wisdom and motives, because the Scripture does not even allow for a light treatment of sorcery, witchcraft, and wizardry.
I viewed Harry Potter, and did so because I felt I could better write this article. The presentation of Harry Potter from the outset was very creative, potent, and entertaining. The parents and children surrounding me in the movie theatre were involved and impressed. Hollywood obviously did not spare any expense to make this a showpiece. The script was easy to follow; the special effects were stimulating, and most of the characters (Ronald, Hagrid, little Miss Granger) were innocent, endearing, and alluring. The theme of good winning-out-over evil prevailed, even though it was cloaked in the domain of sorcery, witchcraft, and wizardry.
The character of Harry Potter was enticing from the beginning; he was easy to empathize with and relate to. He grew up in a difficult home as many children do these days. His parents were murdered by a wizard gone bad (Valdimort), and because of this tragedy his aunt and uncle (Vernon and Petunia) became his guardians. Harry’s adoptive family was the only non-supernatural characters in the movie, and they were depicted as abusive, uncaring, and gratingly self-centered. The only place in this film where Harry found love, acceptance, and purpose was in the world of the supernatural. Other characters in the movie included goblins, a man/horse creature, unicorns, wizard professors, and sorcerers. They were all rather unsightly, yet each seemed kind, non-threatening, and even noble. His own peer group were all young wizards and witches like himself. They were portrayed as normal children with a twist; they were supernaturally gifted to cast spells, do magic, speak with the dead, and defy gravity on their broomsticks. While at Hogwart’s school for witchcraft and wizardry, they were taught how to create and cast curses on others, levitate objects, bottle glory, stop death, and bewitch the mind.
I believe Hollywood’s strategy in this movie was very deceptive with four definite objectives:
- Play down the truth and, in this case the evilness of the supernatural spirit realm.
- Highlight the good that exists in the supernatural spirit world and establish a convincing argument (through excellent film making) that sorcery, witchcraft, and wizardry are positive influences on children.
- Promote Potterism which advances the idea there is good and evil in the supernatural spirit realm. This mixes up the whole idea of heaven and hell, where God no longer lives with the righteous, and Satan no longer lives with sinners.
- Make a ton of money even if it ruins the heart of a child.
Hollywood’s strategy in this production is not unique for it parallels Satan’s approach with Adam, Eve, and Jesus. The play down (Objective # 1) was employed when Satan told Adam and Eve they would not die if they ate from the tree of good and evil. Highlight the good (Objective # 2) was accomplished when Satan convinced them that the tree would make them like God; it was worth the risk (Genesis 3:1-5). The Promotion of Potterism (Objective # 3) was unsuccessfully tried by Satan when he offered Jesus a place in his kingdom. The key was that Jesus would have to worship Satan (Matthew 4:8-11). But good cannot live with evil in evil’s realm. Jesus could never have lived in Satan’s realm, and neither can anything good live in the spirit world of Harry Potter.
The final test of Harry Potter is the Scripture itself. Although this film is very entertaining and popular, according to Deuteronomy 9:9-12, it is an affront to God. The practice of even imitating deeds like casting out spells (Hogwart’s teaching curriculum), consulting with mediums (Harry’s professors and the ghosts that roamed the school halls), and calling up the dead (The Aeroset mirror, which enabled Harry to talk with his deceased parents) are shameful at best. The message of Harry Potter is Satan’s effort to lie about the supernatural realm he owns and controls which is filled with demons, un-forgiven sinners, and fallen angels.
Satan’s goal is always to get us to put our faith and hope in things that are false, whether counterfeit religions, bogus philosophies, or a perverted view of Satan’s domain. Construct a wheel with your children, one that is made of cardboard with five or six spokes. Mark the center of the wheel as the hub of false hope. Each of the cardboard spokes represents a different way man has sought God without His only provision, Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10-12). One spoke in the wheel might be Islam, which is a world religion that openly rejects Jesus Christ as Savior. Another spoke might be the Jewish religion that also denies Jesus Christ as Messiah. Make a spoke for Potterism, which teaches that good and bad live together in a supernatural spirit world. Each of these spokes should lead toward the center of the wheel, which is called hub of false hope. Then take a piece of wood that is similar to the cardboard spokes you have made so far. This spoke should be separated from the cardboard wheel. Break the wooden spoke into two parts, and make a cross out of it like the cross Jesus died on. Then take the cardboard wheel and let it roll down a hill. Tell your children that this is the fate of those who seek God on their own terms; it does not matter what spoke they ride on, the wheel is headed toward the bottom of the hill. After a few moments, proceed with your cross to the top of the hill from where you let the wheel go. Stick it firmly into the ground. Tell your children that the top of cross points toward heaven, which is where they are going because they accept Christ as Lord and Savior (Philippians 3:20-21). The bottom part of the cross that is firmly grounded, stands for Jesus’ presence in their lives (Colossians 2:6-7). The horizontal crosspiece represents His reaching out to others through their testimony (Matthew 28:19).
The goal of parents in regard to Harry Potter (Test the spirits)
I John 4: 1-3 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.
Genesis 3: 1-5 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree, which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Matthew 4:8-11 8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ 11 Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
Acts 4: 10-12 Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Philippians 3: 20-21 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Colossians 2:6-7 6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.