“Harry’s a pothead and the Sorcerer’s Stoned”

Interesting title you might ask? Have you ever heard someone who is a Christian down books and movies such as Harry potter because they include magic, witchcraft, and other things “of the devil” as Bobby Boucher’s mama would say?

I remember when I was in high school, this phrase was one of the quips I used to make funny of the famous Harry Potter series. Honestly, I never really cared for the books, although I have never read them so I might be surprised. Nonetheless, this funny phrase came to my mind the other day because I have been reading a similar series of books like Harry Potter. This series is deemed The Dresden Files and it follows protagonist Harry Dresden as he fights crime with magic and wizardry in the streets of Chicago. Most people describe this series as the “grown up Harry Potter, ” and I have to say these books are the best modern fiction I have ever read. But honestly, I know of about 10 people right now that would say that you should not read those kinds of books because they influence you in ways that are demonic.

Demonic. Really?

First, I know about 1,000 kids who have read and loved Harry Potter and I have yet to have to break out the holy water and the crucifix for a good ole’ exorcism. Having said that though, I am pretty sure I have seen a few of those same kids’ heads spin around, but that’s caffeine, not Satan. Secondly, I understand what the Bible states about witchcraft and sorcery, but lets continue being honest-those same scriptures talk about bloodless meat and abstaining from impure things that we today call normal. We tend to point out what we are afraid of– demons, devils, and spirits– but no one has been complaining or throwing up scriptures about a rare steak at outback (yummy). Thirdly, I have done some research for my World Religions class at Mount Olive on the Wiccan faith, and turns out, they are pretty laid back people who are concerned about the environment and don’t use magic.

Having said all of this, I am afraid that all of this rift-raft about Harry Potter and such is a little mislead. It seems that our culture today is one of the most creative and innovative cultures. But the “Christian” culture that I claim heritage under has the least imagination of any other group. I have a very good friend, James Wiggins, who had taught me this lesson and who never ceases to amaze me with his rich and elaborate playground of a mind. It is people like James and C.S. Lewis who take Christianity and transplant it into new world with new vocabulary. It is minds like their that allow humanity to see the Christ-character in more than just the Bible or the latest book by Max Lucado.

My advice is to explore this world full of imagination. Is that not what we do when we think of Noah’s ark and the Jesus story. I have come to realize that Jesus is not always inside the “good ole’ book;” Jesus is sometimes flying around on a broom at Hogwarts or solving crime in Chicago. The Christ-figure is everywhere, unless we are blind to it.

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