Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part II

So. This was it. Today, my Harry Potter experience ended. Having read the books and seen all the previous movies, and this being the final film in the series, it was all about to end. I was nervous walking into the theater – excited, yet anxious, worried that they wouldn’t meet the many high expectations fans had as they took their seats.

But they did. They met every single one of them, and it couldn’t have been better.

So, what more can I say, except that this was an excellent film?

There are reasons, though, of course. This final installment is brimming with brilliant lessons and desirable virtues: Love, sacrifice, friendship, loyalty, and the price that sometimes must be paid to defeat evil. These, and many more, are the backbone of the entire series, and came to fruition in the end of it all. It’s one of those beautiful things that you can barely describe that touches hearts and resonates within deep resovoirs within ourselves. There is truth in it – in love and friendship, as there is in good’s ultimate triumph over evil.

But, accolades asside, I really wanted to address all the criticism Harry Potter has been receiving of late. The constant accusation I’ve been hearing is that, “It’s entirely un-Christian” and, “It defies the Bible” and, “It advocates witchcraft and the occult”, and I’ll be the first to tell you that this is not true at all. I’ll quote first Charles Colson, a columnist for Christianity Today, who says, ” [The magic in Harry Potter is] purely mechanical, as opposed to occultic. That is, Harry and his friends cast spells, read crystal balls, and turn themselves into animals—but they don’t make contact with a supernatural world. [It’s not] the kind of real-life witchcraft the Bible condemns.”

In other words, the Bible is talking about the sort of magic that requires you make contact with demons, and derive your power from them. In Harry Potter, nothing of the sort happens. It is a fantasy magic, just like that which is present in The Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia. I’ll bring one instance forward from the latter; the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia. Many Christians like this series, and there’s plenty of magic in it, both good and evil. Aslan talks about the “deep magic” that governs the land, and it is presented as good, since it’s on Aslan’s side; there is also the evil magic which Trumpkin the Dwarf tries to use to resurrect the White Witch with the blood of a Son of Adam – something which, consequently, Voldemort happens to do in Harry Potter as well, and he is one of the users of “dark magic” as described in the book. It’s the SAME thing.

“Good magic” is supported in Narnia and Harry Potter alike. “Bad magic” is denounced and rejected in the same manner. The “good magic” and “bad magic”, as above discussed, are the same things in both of the series. So, wouldn’t a novel that condemns “bad magic” (Harry Potter, in this case), just like it is condemned in a Christian novel (The Chronicles of Narnia, for example), be a Christian novel? I certainly don’t see why not.

So, why dislike Harry Potter? Because it wasn’t written by a Christian? Well, that isn’t a good reason at all. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are good no matter who writes about it, and there’s plenty of all the Fruits of the Spirit in the Harry Potter series. And, J.K. Rowling was, in fact, raised in a Scottish Episcopalian church, and includes Bible verses in her final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. To be precise, “The last enemy that shall be conquered is death” and “Where your treasure lies, there will your heart be also”, both of which were inscribed as epitaphs on tombstones in the novel.

Another comparison I’ve seen used between real-world, demonic, un-Biblical magic, and fantasy magic is “invocational” versus “incantational”. Referencing wikipedia.org, John Granger, in his book Finding God in Harry Potter, puts it this way:

Wikipedia: “The American academic and Orthodox Christian writer John Granger has analyzed the literature in a positive light. Granger, a Christian classicist, has defended the books in his book, Looking for God in Harry Potter. Granger argues that the books do not promote the occult because none of the magic is based on summoning any sort of demon or spirit; he contrasts occult invocational magic (calling up spirit beings to do your bidding) with literature’s common incantational magic (saying a set phrase to use power from an unspecified source). Indeed, says Granger, the themes of love triumphing over death and choosing what is right instead of what is easy are very compatible with Christianity.”

And he’s right. The fact that the world has accepted these books – books that are filled with blatantly Christian elements: Love, sacrifice, friendship, loyalty – should be a comfort to all of us! It’s a truly remarkable and beautiful series, and I don’t believe that J.K. Rowling should be referred to as one of Satan’s advocates on earth – or criticised by saying that her books bear the mark of the king of darkness – because she writes books about virtues which God clearly upholds in His Word.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Friendship in Harry Potter? Check. Sacrifice in Harry Potter? Check. Love in Harry Potter?

Check.

All excellent pure, right, lovely, and admirable, right? Well, all of them are in Harry Potter. If these really are Satanic books, how could LOVE be present, when God Himself is love? How could sacrifice be present, when Jesus was sacrificed to save us from our sins? How could friendship be present when the devil isn’t interested in a relationship, but our destruction and isolation from others?

So, I liked these movies, and will definitely watch them again, because they contain so many virtues that God Himself has declared to be good. I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind about them, though, as I am just one person in a war that has been raging over these stories since the first was written. I’m not going to make a difference. But I hope this makes you understand why I believe what I believe, and why so many Christians like this series: Love.

The most excellent way, right?

In Christ,

Ryan

 

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. ryan4143 said,

    July 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Heh – whoops! Accidentally “liked” this post and can’t “unlike” it. Just wanted to let everyone know that I wasn’t being vain 😀

    In Christ,
    Ryan


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: