“You’re Overreacting About Harry Potter”

Dear Ms. Bohlin,

It was with great concern that I read your article regarding the Harry Potter series. You said,

“But there’s one substantial difficulty with the Harry Potter series. They make sorcery and witchcraft enticing to the reader. And that is not consistent with a Christian worldview, where we are called to ‘take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.’ God gives us very strong and clear commands about witchcraft: it is a sin, it is an abomination before God, and the Old Testament penalty for sorcery or witchcraft was death. The proscription against the practice of magic is continued in the New Testament.”

Please know that in Great Britain the state religion is the very Christian Church of England. We can freely talk about God and government at the same time. There is no problem with my son’s school putting on a Nativity play, the Headmistress praying at the school assembly and his teacher teaching about the life of Jesus. England has clergymen from the Anglican (Episcopalian Church in the US) Church in Parliament as representatives. This is a very Christian country and J.K. Rawlings would never make a statement about Christ without being eaten alive and her book banned from every school in the country if it was thought to be of the occult.

The book is getting lots of questions in the US for dealing with wizards, but not here. I think that is because England has such a history of King Arthur and Knights, dragons and other lore. One more story about a wizard is not considered to entice children into witchcraft anymore than any other stories. It is not an issue in the UK. There are few occults in England and no religious right or fundamentalist. The English think the Americans’ obsession with Harry Potter and the occult is weird, unless there is the issue of American Christian’s not being as strong in their faith.

Thank you so much for your insightful letter. The difference between the UK mindset and ours in the U.S. in terms of the King Arthur and wizard mythologies provides a wonderful perspective on the whole Harry Potter phenomenon, and I am indebted to you for helping me see things more globally.

Here in the U.S., the subject of witches and magic is definitely linked to the occult and Satanism (or, at the least, the pagan religion of Wicca), whereas I see how it is probably dismissed as nothing more than mythology in the UK.

Nonetheless, God has still condemned occult practices as a form of idolatry. Perhaps Harry Potter doesn’t stir the imagination in that direction in England, but it certainly does here.

But I hear what you’re saying about how the English could look at us as wierd for our reaction to Harry.

Thank you for taking the time to write!

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries

“You Should Ask God to Show You How Demonic Harry Potter Is”

Why is it so vital that America’s children be entertained by the likes of Harry Potter? There’s plenty of adventure in the Bible. I am a devout Christian and my gut feeling is that Harry Potter is yet another device to enable Satan to get his filthy foot in the door. Is it any wonder that this nation is under such ruthless attack? What are we feeding our children’s mind and souls with? I tell you: Alternate lifestyles, evolution and now sorcery and witchcraft. I’d advise you to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit if you are indeed a real Christian and ask God to reveal the truth about Harry Potter. He has to me and I say that this literature is of a demonic nature and should not be assimilated by any child.

I respect your opinion and the right (and responsibility) you have to make choices for your family.

However, one of the things we do at Probe Ministries is to “engage the culture.” That means interacting with issues and topics in our culture and examining them from a Christian world view. Some parents—MANY parents—do not have children who accept their “no” the way yours might, and will need to confront the Harry Potter phenomenon head-on. For example, dads of kids with a custodial mom who buys the books for them regardless of what the dad wants. If we can help people to find a way to use this major cultural icon to teach Christian truth, to find what is good in a major literary and now film genre and help them understand spiritual truth through it, then that’s what we’re called to do. Even if other Christians don’t understand or agree.

I assure you that I have sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit; we would be foolish to do what we do here at Probe without His wisdom and guidance! I believe this falls under the category of “disputable matters.” That means the Lord can lead you to avoid Harry Potter books and He can allow others to read them without sinning, and He still remains Lord and God.

By the way, the last time I checked, the test of a “real Christian” was the presence of the indwelling Christ as a result of trusting Him for life and salvation, not one’s position on Harry Potter.


Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries