Harry Potter: Is It Something That Christian Children Should Read and/or See?
by Rich Deem

Harry Potter books (and movie) are quite popular now, and even more Harry Potter will be found in all kinds of marketing schemes to profit from this popularity. My objection to the book series is from the point of the worldview represented, and the participation of the "good guys" in occult practices specifically prohibited in the Bible. The following are practices that the Bible forbids believers from engaging in:

Occult Practices Forbidden in the Bible (# times mentionedverses)
sorcery (5)1 divination (13)2 mediums (7)3 conjuring spirits (5)4
necromancy (2)5 fortune telling (7)6 witchcraft (2)7 charming (2)8
wizardry (2)9 enchantments (2)10 spiritism (1)11 signs performed using evil powers (4)12
astrology (1)13 false visions (3)14 spells (2)15 occult books (1)16

The Old Testament describes the punishment, given by God, for those who participate in occult practices. For both the one who practices and the one who hires the one who practices, the penalty is death (Exodus 22:18,1 Micah 5:12,1 Leviticus 20:6,3 Leviticus 20:27,3 1 Chronicles 10:13-14,3), indicating the seriousness of these offenses.

These prohibitions extend to both the Old and New Testaments. Occult practices by believers are condemned by Jesus in the books of Matthew and Mark,12 Paul in the books of Galatians1 and 2 Thessalonians,12 and Luke (several times in the book of Acts).2, 4, 16 Some of those who practiced sorcery, when they became followers of Jesus Christ burned their occult books.16 These days, however, many Christians are actually promoting these books to other believers, and finding "Christian" analogies and even the "Gospel" story in it. The problem is that the "good" guys in Harry Potter are relying upon magic and sorcery instead of God for their power. The Bible states emphatically that doing evil to accomplish good ends is not acceptable.17

I have heard from many Christians that the Harry Potter series is fantasy, and so it is okay to indulge in it, since it isn't "real" witchcraft. The problem that we Christians have is that we have believed the Disney lie that witchcraft is okay, or maybe just a minor sin. We have been indoctrinated by the years of slow introduction through the culture and videos into believing that it is okay to indulge in this stuff as long as we don't actually participate in it personally.

However, the Harry Potter stories take place in the fantasy land of Great Britain. Most would agree that this is a real place. Are all things that are classified as fantasy okay for a Christian to indulge in? Is it okay to play video games where the object is to murder everybody in sight, with blood and body parts flying everywhere? Is it okay for a Christian to read trashy novels where everybody is engaged in adulterous, incestuous or bisexual activities? It is fantasy after all, so it must be okay to read these things? The fallacy of the fantasy excuse becomes apparent when we discuss areas of sin that are still considered sinful by the culture to which we have become acclimated.

Other Christian writers, such as C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, have used fantasy and magic. The difference between C. S. Lewis and Harry Potter is the source of the power. In The Chronicles of Narnia, the source of the power is Aslan - the Lion representation of Jesus Christ. In Harry Potter, the source of power is unknown, but available to those who wants to use it. I suggest reading the following links for more information.

My suggestion - Try the books below instead. They incorporate the Christian worldview into a fantasy story that will keep your children on the edge of their seat. The Narnia series is not perfect. However, in reading the books, your children will learn and recognize many Christian principles while having fun.



The Chronicles of NarniaThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

A classic book of adventure, mystery and humor, with deeper meaning for those who are Christian. If you start reading these books to your kids, they won't let you stop reading (and you will probably continue reading after your kids have fallen asleep!). Lewis' style allows you to "see" the story as it unfolds. The intricacies and subtleties are all come together in the last two books of the series.

Little Pilgrim's Progress by Helen L. Taylor

The children's version of John Bunyan's classic story of the hazards associated with the Christian walk. An easy-to-understand version geared toward the younger readers. Our boys have really enjoyed this version, often listening for hours.


Related Resources

Harry Potter and the Bible : The Menace Behind the MagickHarry Potter and the Bible : The Menace Behind the Magick by Richard Abanes

What's a Christian to Do with Harry Potter?What's a Christian to Do with Harry Potter? by Connie Neal


References Top of page

  1. Sorcery:
    You shall not allow a sorceress to live. (Exodus 22:18)
    Now then hear this, O pleasure seeker, who lives carelessly; who says in her heart, I am, and none else is; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children. But these two things shall come to you in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come on you in their fullness for the multitude of your sorceries, and for the great power of your enchantments. For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, No one sees me. Your wisdom and your knowledge, it has perverted you; and you have said in your heart, I am, and there is no one else. But evil shall come on you; you shall not know its origin. And mischief shall fall on you; you shall not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come on you suddenly, you shall not know. Stand now with your spells, and with the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have wearied yourself since your youth. Perhaps you will be able to profit; perhaps you may bring terror. You are exhausted by your many plans; now let the astrologers stand up and save you, the stargazers, making known what is coming on you into the new moons. (Isaiah 47:8-13)
    As for you, do not listen to your prophets, nor to your fortune tellers, nor to your dreamers, nor to your conjurers, nor to your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon. (Jeremiah 27:9)
    And I will cut off sorceries out of your hand, and there shall not be fortune-tellers among you. (Micah 5:12)
    Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, (Galatians 5:19-20)
  2. Divination:
    You shall not eat anything with the blood. You shall not divine, nor conjure spirits. (Leviticus 19:26)
    So says Jehovah, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb, I am Jehovah who makes all things; who stretches out the heavens alone; who spreads out the earth; who was with Me? who brings to nothing the signs of the liars, and makes diviners mad; who turns the wise backward, and makes their knowledge foolish; (Isaiah 44:25)
    And Jehovah said to me, The prophets prophesy lies in My name; I did not send them, nor have I commanded them, nor did I speak to them. They prophesy to you a false vision and a worthless divination, and a thing of no value, and the deceit of their heart. (Jeremiah 14:14)
    For there shall never again be any vain vision nor slippery divination within the house of Israel. (Ezekiel 12:24)
    They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, Jehovah says. And Jehovah has not sent them; but they hoped to confirm their word. Did you not see a vain vision, and speak a lying divination? Yet you say, Jehovah says; although I have not spoken? Therefore so says the Lord Jehovah: Because you have spoken vanity and seen a lie, therefore, behold, I am against you, says the Lord Jehovah. And My hand shall be against the prophets who see vanity and who divine a lie. They shall not be in the council of My people, nor shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord Jehovah. (Ezekiel 13:6-9)
    therefore you shall not see vanity, and you shall not divine any divination. And I will deliver My people out of your hands; and you shall know that I am Jehovah. (Ezekiel 13:23)
    For the king of Babylon shall stand at the parting of the way, at the head of the two highways, to practice divination. He shall shake arrows; he shall ask household idols; he shall look at the liver. At his right shall be the divining for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering-rams against the gates, to pour out and to build a siege wall. (Ezekiel 21:21-22)
    For the king of Babylon shall stand at the parting of the way, at the head of the two highways, to practice divination. He shall shake arrows; he shall ask household idols; he shall look at the liver. (Ezekiel 21:21)
    while they see false visions for you, while they divine a lie to you, to put you on the necks of the slain of the wicked whose day has come in the day of iniquity; it shall have an end. (Ezekiel 21:29)
    And her prophets have daubed themselves with lime, seeing vanity and divining lies to them, saying, So says the Lord Jehovah; when Jehovah has not spoken. (Ezekiel 22:28)
    Therefore a night shall be to you without vision; and darkness without divining. And the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. And the seers shall be ashamed, and the diviners ashamed; yea, they shall all cover their mustache, for there is no answer from God. But I am full of power by the Spirit of Jehovah, and justice, and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. (Micah 3:6-8)
    For the family idols speak iniquity, and the diviners have seen a lie and have told false dreams. They comfort in vain; therefore they wandered like a flock; they were troubled because there was no shepherd. (Zechariah 10:2)
    And as we went to prayer, it happened that a certain girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by divining. The same followed Paul and us and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, who are announcing to us the way of salvation. And she did this many days. But being distressed, and turning to the demonic spirit, Paul said, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her! And it came out in that hour. (Acts 16:16-18)
  3. Mediums:
    You shall not turn to mediums, and you shall not seek to spirit-knowers to be defiled by them. I am Jehovah your God. (Leviticus 19:31)
    And the soul that turns to mediums, and to spirit-knowers, to go lusting after them, I will even set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 20:6)
    A man also or woman that has a medium or that is a necromancer, shall surely be put to death. They shall stone them with stones. Their blood is on them. (Leviticus 20:27)
    And Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned him and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away the mediums and the spirit-knowers out of the land. (1 Samuel 28:3)
    And also Josiah put away the mediums, and the soothsayers, and the family gods, and the idols, and all the abominations which were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, so that he might perform the Words of the Law which were written in the Book which Hilkiah the priest found in the house of Jehovah. (2 Kings 23:24)
    And Saul died for his sin which he committed against Jehovah, against the Word of Jehovah, which he did not keep, and also for seeking of a medium, to inquire, and inquired not of Jehovah. And He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse. (1 Chronicles 10:13-14)
    And he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom. He also practiced secret arts, and used fortune-telling, and used witchcraft, and dealt with mediums, and with soothsayers. He did much evil in the sight of Jehovah in order to provoke Him to anger. (2 Chronicles 33:6)
  4. Conjuring spirits:
    And the soul that turns to mediums, and to spirit-knowers, to go lusting after them, I will even set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 20:6)
    There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to Jehovah. And because of these abominations Jehovah your God drives them out from before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
    And Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned him and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away the mediums and the spirit-knowers out of the land. (1 Samuel 28:3)
    As for you, do not listen to your prophets, nor to your fortune tellers, nor to your dreamers, nor to your conjurers, nor to your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon. (Jeremiah 27:9)
    But Elymas the conjurer (for so his name is, if translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul (who is also Paul), filled with the Holy Spirit, set his eyes on him and said, O son of the Devil, full of all deceit and all craftiness, enemy of all righteousness, will you not stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:8-10)
  5. Necromancy:
    A man also or woman that has a medium or that is a necromancer, shall surely be put to death. They shall stone them with stones. Their blood is on them. (Leviticus 20:27)
    There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to Jehovah. And because of these abominations Jehovah your God drives them out from before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
  6. Fortune telling:
    There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to Jehovah. And because of these abominations Jehovah your God drives them out from before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
    And he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom. He also practiced secret arts, and used fortune-telling, and used witchcraft, and dealt with mediums, and with soothsayers. He did much evil in the sight of Jehovah in order to provoke Him to anger. (2 Chronicles 33:6)
    And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst of it, and I will destroy its wisdom. And they shall seek to idols, and to the enchanters, and to the mediums, and to the future-tellers. And I will shut up Egypt into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, says the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts. (Isaiah 19:3-4)
    As for you, do not listen to your prophets, nor to your fortune tellers, nor to your dreamers, nor to your conjurers, nor to your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon. (Jeremiah 27:9)
    For so says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your fortune-tellers in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you dream. (Jeremiah 29:8)
    And I will cut off sorceries out of your hand, and there shall not be fortune-tellers among you. (Micah 5:12)
    My people seek advice from their wooden idols, and their rod declares to them. For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to go astray, and they have gone lusting away from under their God. (Hosea 4:12)
  7. Charming:
    There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to Jehovah. And because of these abominations Jehovah your God drives them out from before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
    The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from the womb, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a snake; like the deaf adder, he stops his ear, which will not listen to the charmer's voice, a skillful caster of spells. (Psalm 58:3-5)
  8. Witchcraft:
    For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idol-worship. Because you have rejected the Word of Jehovah, He has also rejected you from being king! (1 Samuel 15:23)
    And he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom. He also practiced secret arts, and used fortune-telling, and used witchcraft, and dealt with mediums, and with soothsayers. He did much evil in the sight of Jehovah in order to provoke Him to anger. (2 Chronicles 33:6)
  9. Wizardry:
    There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to Jehovah. And because of these abominations Jehovah your God drives them out from before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
    And when they shall say to you, Seek to the mediums and to wizards who peep and mutter; should not a people seek to their God, than for the living to the dead? (Isaiah 8:19)
  10. Enchantments:
    And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst of it, and I will destroy its wisdom. And they shall seek to idols, and to the enchanters, and to the mediums, and to the future-tellers. And I will shut up Egypt into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, says the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts. (Isaiah 19:3-4)
    Now then hear this, O pleasure seeker, who lives carelessly; who says in her heart, I am, and none else is; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children. But these two things shall come to you in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come on you in their fullness for the multitude of your sorceries, and for the great power of your enchantments. For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, No one sees me. Your wisdom and your knowledge, it has perverted you; and you have said in your heart, I am, and there is no one else. But evil shall come on you; you shall not know its origin. And mischief shall fall on you; you shall not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come on you suddenly, you shall not know. Stand now with your spells, and with the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have wearied yourself since your youth. Perhaps you will be able to profit; perhaps you may bring terror. You are exhausted by your many plans; now let the astrologers stand up and save you, the stargazers, making known what is coming on you into the new moons. (Isaiah 47:8-13)
  11. Spiritism:
    And you shall be brought down; you shall speak out of the ground, and your speech shall be low out of the dust, and your voice shall be like a spiritist, out of the ground, and your speech shall whisper out of the dust. (Isaiah 29:4)
  12. Signs performed using evil powers:
    So says Jehovah, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb, I am Jehovah who makes all things; who stretches out the heavens alone; who spreads out the earth; who was with Me? who brings to nothing the signs of the liars, and makes diviners mad; who turns the wise backward, and makes their knowledge foolish; (Isaiah 44:25)
    And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9)
    For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders; so much so that, if it were possible, they would deceive even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)
    For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give miraculous signs and wonders in order to seduce, if possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:22)
  13. Astrology:
    Now then hear this, O pleasure seeker, who lives carelessly; who says in her heart, I am, and none else is; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children. But these two things shall come to you in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come on you in their fullness for the multitude of your sorceries, and for the great power of your enchantments. For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, No one sees me. Your wisdom and your knowledge, it has perverted you; and you have said in your heart, I am, and there is no one else. But evil shall come on you; you shall not know its origin. And mischief shall fall on you; you shall not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come on you suddenly, you shall not know. Stand now with your spells, and with the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have wearied yourself since your youth. Perhaps you will be able to profit; perhaps you may bring terror. You are exhausted by your many plans; now let the astrologers stand up and save you, the stargazers, making known what is coming on you into the new moons. (Isaiah 47:8-13)
  14. False visions:
    As for you, do not listen to your prophets, nor to your fortune tellers, nor to your dreamers, nor to your conjurers, nor to your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon. (Jeremiah 27:9)
    while they see false visions for you, while they divine a lie to you, to put you on the necks of the slain of the wicked whose day has come in the day of iniquity; it shall have an end. (Ezekiel 21:29)
    For the family idols speak iniquity, and the diviners have seen a lie and have told false dreams. They comfort in vain; therefore they wandered like a flock; they were troubled because there was no shepherd. (Zechariah 10:2)
  15. Spells:
    Now then hear this, O pleasure seeker, who lives carelessly; who says in her heart, I am, and none else is; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children. But these two things shall come to you in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come on you in their fullness for the multitude of your sorceries, and for the great power of your enchantments. For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, No one sees me. Your wisdom and your knowledge, it has perverted you; and you have said in your heart, I am, and there is no one else. But evil shall come on you; you shall not know its origin. And mischief shall fall on you; you shall not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come on you suddenly, you shall not know. Stand now with your spells, and with the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have wearied yourself since your youth. Perhaps you will be able to profit; perhaps you may bring terror. You are exhausted by your many plans; now let the astrologers stand up and save you, the stargazers, making known what is coming on you into the new moons. (Isaiah 47:8-13)
    The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from the womb, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a snake; like the deaf adder, he stops his ear, which will not listen to the charmer's voice, a skillful caster of spells. (Psalm 58:3-5)
  16. Occult books:
    Also many of those practicing the curious arts, bringing together the books, burned them before all. And they counted the prices of them and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the Word of God grew mightily and prevailed. (Acts 19:19-20)
  17. Why not say--as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say--" Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved. (Romans 3:8)

Reflections
We are what we think.

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