Friday, July 31, 2009

Can a Christian like Harry Potter?

My daughter and I like Harry Potter. We find these books and movies to be wonderful fantasy tales. I didn’t let my daughter watch any of the movies or read any of the books until after she was 13. Then we watched the movie together and read the books together. It gave us a fun activity to do together and she was old enough to discuss what she was seeing. One of the things we enjoy is talking about the things that are in the books that aren’t in the movies. My daughter hates reading but will pick up a 600 – 800 page Harry Potter book and read it voluntarily. She simple doesn’t read much of anything that she isn’t forced to read. So, I love that she will read these books.

I know a lot of Christians will not read Harry Potter or go to the movies. These books present a clear picture of the battle between good and evil. However, they support the use of magic and that is very controversial in the Christian community. I think you can read Harry Potter for the fictional story. I don’t think that reading Harry Potter will lead me to attempt to practice witchcraft. The Christian position on that is quite clear. A Christian should never participate in such things. Reading Harry Potter is not the same thing as practicing witchcraft and it is not promoting the practice of witchcraft to others.

There are lots of things you can use from the Harry Potter books/movies as conversation starters with your children or friends.

Remember when Harry Potter looked into the Mirror of Erised and saw his parents. Then Ron looked into the mirror and he saw himself as a Quidditch captain. The mirror revealed the deepest desires of their hearts. What would you see if you looked into the mirror?

As I read the Harry Potter books, I saw a young boy in need of love and encouragement. His parents had died and the Aunt and Uncle that raised him, neglected him. They certainly didn’t show him any love. Have there been times in your life when the people you depended on failed you? Times when you needed love and encouragement and you couldn’t find any?

Harry finally finds someone he can trust. That person is Dumbledore. Dumbledore is trustworthy, good, smart, and loving. He serves as a mentor to Harry. Are there any “Harrys” in your life that need mentoring? Look around and reach out to someone. Make a difference in their lives – the way Dumbledore did for Harry.

I encourage everyone to obey God’s Word and it clearly states that we are not to practice witchcraft, divination, and sorcery. In matters like reading a Harry Potter book, I feel that is a personal decision. There are lots of discussions on whether this is OK but the truth of the matter is that the Bible does not say that we cannot read a fictional story about magic. This simply remains a matter of personal discretion.

That's my opinion - I welcome yours.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Do Sinners Have more fun?

I was listening to some old music and the song "Only the Good Die Young" by Billy Joel was on. The line that caught my attention was:

"I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The Sinners are much more fun..."

Why do non-Christians think they have more fun than Christians? Do we live like we are not having a good time? Do we know how to have fun? Do we share that fun with others? Do we live sheltered lives? Are we too serious? Do we share our joy and happiness with others?

Did Jesus have fun? I think he smiled and maybe even chuckled the day he met Zaccheus. He saw him up in a tree jockeying for position. Then he told him to come down and now guess what else -- I'm coming to your house for dinner. I know what I would have thought -- is the house clean? What do I have in the frig to fix for dinner? I wonder what Zaccheus thought. Ever think of what Zaccheus' wife said to him when he brought the Lord home for dinner.

Jesus was a joyful person, continually urging his followers to be joyful. He explains to his disciples, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (John 15:11)

Jesus had to have a sense of humor - after all - He loves me. He loved me with all my faults and sin before I even loved him. I'm sure He has gotten a few laughs over some of the stupid things I have done.

So, live your life to the fullest, obey the Lord, and share that love and joy with others.