Saturday, July 16, 2011

harry potter and the deathly shallow debate.

I learned this week that you shouldn't comment about Harry Potter unless you are ready to get verbally burned at the stake.

My comment was simply: "After talking with a local Wiccan about the dark symbolism in Harry Potter, I'm very glad my mom wrote a note to my fourth grade teacher that she didn't want me to read it..

...and 18 comments later, a couple of which using words like "ignorant. rancitiy. fundamentalist pretension", I am sure glad I wasn't looking for a debate...

The saddest part about the whole thing is not that a overwhelming majority LOVE a film/book series that a Wiccan believes to be extremely beneficial to promote the practice and belief in magic.

The saddest part is that claiming SOMETHING, rather than agreeing with everything makes me 'close-minded'.

OBU and Arthur Holmes taught me that "All truth is God's truth". But not all truth is worth believing/worshipping just because it has the glimmer of God within it.

The biggest argument I hear about Harry Potter being God's truth is the theme of "love concurs all" woven throughout the 78 books and films.

I love sandwiches, I love my husband, and I love life itself...
But as much as I love things and people and even God, love itself can not stop the grave.
Love is a great virtue to emphasize, JK Rowling.
But 'love' did not conquer death, Christ did.

The spiritual climate of Louisville, (where two Wiccans openly discuss practicing magic next to a couple having a bible study in the local coffee shop), has made me realize how important it is for me to actually believe things. and not be ashamed of having beliefs- especially in the Gospel which was authored before creation as indisputable Truth. and thank God for that!

Regardless, the post was not about beliefs or the spiritual relevance of HP but rather about my mom making a wise choice when I was child. waytobe, mom.


  1. I would like to offer my own thoughts and comments concerning your blog post and accompanying FB dialogue that your post is referring to. I am of course doing this as your friend and fellow believer, so please remember that and consider what I have to say.

    I would like to start with the last comment of your post which is of course referring to your original FB status, “The post was not about beliefs or the spiritual relevance of HP but rather about my mom making a wise choice when I was a child”. In my opinion, it is perfectly fine for a mother to determine that a certain book is not appropriate for her ten year old (my mother made the same choice as your mom). However, as a 22 year old posting this comment as a status on her FB page days before the release of the final HP film, I would venture to say this is poor timing for someone who “wasn’t looking for a debate”.

    It is also very unfortunate that a few responded in such a harsh way to your status and “verbally burned you at the stake”. However, please remember that only a few responded in such a way, and that you should not condemn the others who had very considerate responses nor should you condemn the subject being discussed itself because of the harsh response of a few.

    “Claiming something, rather than agreeing with everything makes me “closed-minded”. This is a rather harsh thing to say of yourself and a harsh thing for others to say of you as well. The good thing is that the point of contention does not seem to be the fact that you have an opinion that differs from others. I think it fair to say that an educated individual should consider both sides of a subject before forming one’s own opinion. It seems as if those who consider you to be “close-minded” are referring to the fact that you have not read the whole series but are simply providing a harsh opinion yourself based off the claim that there is “dark symbolism” in the series. You sat down and listened to the opinion of a Wiccan who has read the series, but seem to dismiss outright the opinions of fellow believers who have also read the series. Interesting.

    “Not all truth is worth believing/worshipping just because it has the glimmer of God within it”. First I might ask if you truly do believe, “All truth is God’s truth”? If yes, then I find it interesting that you seemingly believe we, as humans, have the authority to determine which aspects of God’s truth are worth believing/worshiping. It is to my understanding that the word “all” refers to big and small, glimmer or bold-in-your-face-can’t-deny-it. I believe you would agree with me that God alone holds all power and authority. Therefore, how can we say even just a glimmer of God is unworthy of our praise?

    In addition to the above topic of truth, Jesus himself claims, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Therefore, I believe that ALL truth is worth believing/worshipping because it is a reflection and a part of Christ himself. If truth happens to be found in the pages of a book, is this wrong?

  2. "But, 'love' did not conquer death, Christ did". Wow. Wooooooowwww. You left me completely speechless with that comment! Your blog post applauds the Truth of the Bible, therefore I think it not unreasonable for me to remind you of a few verses.

    "Anyone who does not LOVE does not know God, because God is LOVE. In this the LOVE of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him." (1 John 4:8-9)

    Interesting verses to consider in light of your "Love did not conquer death, Christ did" comment. God is love - God is Christ - Christ is love - Christ conquered death - Love conquered death.

    To me, love is a little more serious than a simple virtue or a simple feeling towards an object (sandwich, husband, life). "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God" (1 John 4:7). Is it so wrong to read a book that above all else, values and upholds the power and authority of sacrificial love(which is from God and in fact a reflection of Christ)?

    This so called "Harry Potter debate" I believe has been very valuable. It has caused many to review their faith and beliefs as well as foster discussion concerning faith and belief. There is nothing wrong with that. The "spiritual climate of Louisville" has caused you to reflect upon and seek to solidify your own beliefs. It seems as if the Harry Potter discussion has offered the same opportunity for growth. Discernment is required for this - and one must tread softly as well as boldly when discussing touchy subjects. In reflecting upon our response to such topics of discussion as well as how we respond to the response of others, I think we can learn a lot about ourselves and consider ways in which to continue to grow in Christ as his followers. We all, indisputably, have a lot to learn. The Bible makes that clear.

    Please remember that I have made these comments as a friend and simply wanted to point out a few things that should be considered and reflected upon just as your blog post has done for me. Love you girl.

    - Jessica

  3. thanks for your thoughts Jessi, gal.

    As far as my “love did not conquer death, Christ did” comment: when we praise a virtue (or spiritual gift) rather than the author/giver we replacing God for his gift. Love did not save us. Christ, in his selfless love, saved us. God, in his sacrificial love, saved us through sending Christ. “Amazing grace” how sweet the sound. We mean God’s amazing grace, not just an amazing virtue. People can have amazing virtue but virtue has no power over death. Grace as an impersonal force or virtue does not save us but God’s GRACE which is tied to the person of Christ is saving.

    So my point is that ‘love’ out there in Harry Potter world is not the soul redeeming love of Christ, but rather a virtue. I agree that the film could be pointing towards sacrificial love, but even unredeemed soldiers have sacrificial love, which also does nothing to overcome death…

    1 John 1:5—“God is light.” Do we reverse this to say that Light is God?
    Or God is wrathful. Do we say that Wrath is God?

    Everything or anything that glimmers of the truth of God is not worth believing/worshipping. Only God is worth praising. (sorry if I didn’t communicate that point well enough the first time.)

    My conversation with the man who practices magic would be alarming enough for ANY Christian to steer clear of what he was praising, which just happened to be a movie viewed by half the English speaking world last weekend.

    And again, I’m not saying Christians shouldn’t read Harry Potter or watch SNL or dance. But I would say that if the world LOVES/idolizes/worships something, we should use an extra dose of discernment, which you said :)

    Welp, I hope that clarifies a bit. Thanks again Jessi.

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  5. Bill is a swimmer. In fact, Bill loves to swim. Bill swims all the time and is really good at it. Many would say that Bill demonstrates swimming in its perfection. It is beautiful, fast, and he barely splashes. Whenever the word "swimming" is mentioned, people think of Bill. Discussing the swim meet the following day, some local fans say "Bill is swimming." Then is it right to say, "Swimming is Bill"? Not every use the English "is" communicates "equals" in the same way that "2+3=5" and "5=3+2" Verse 1:5 says that "God is light", but surely not "light is God."

    John is not trying to communicate a flip-floppable equality between "God" and "love," but as God has made the greatest presentation of love through sending Christ, it is right to say "God is love." He expresses it perfectly, faithfully, wisely, and so forth. But "love" as a virtue is not God. Since Christians have experienced God's perfect love in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, we rightly know Him as love. But this is not the only way in Scripture that God has communicated Himself.

  6. The conversation with the wiccans must have been very interesting. I would have liked to hear that!

    I think we can make informed decisions to do or not do something based on our faith beliefs, just as others can choose to do the same. I made a personal informed decision not to read the books. When we have kids, we will probably make the same decision your mom did. However, I know godly men & women who would make a different decision than me. As parents, God gives you the responsibility and honor of protecting and guiding your children. So, you try to make the best decisions based on your understanding of the Bible.

    Anyways, I read all the comments when you posted that. Seriously I thought "RIGHT ON MOM!" I think that is a hard decision to make...whatever your belief, you have to give a mom props for taking steps to protect her child!