Monday, September 24, 2012

Magic: Harry Potter Vs. LOTR & Narnia... And What God Says About It


Hey there, readers! This is the post for which you've all been waiting! The second part of my thoughts on LOTR and Narnia, and ultimately, the issue of magic. And I do sincerely apologize for taking so long to post this.

A quick warning: Be prepared to do a lot of reading. This is a really long post. :)

Many people I know have said (and I quote directly from an acquaintance not on blogger), “What's the difference between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings? They both have the same kind of magic in them.” It's a question I've long wanted to answer, so, as you can guess, this post is mainly about contrasting the magic in LOTR/Narnia and Harry Potter.

Theoden and Eowyn
I've wanted to study this issue for a long time now and truly discover the truth about it. I sort of knew that there was a difference, but if you asked me, I would only respond with vague answers. You see, I really wasn't sure. But I was certain there was a difference. I mean, Harry Potter was just downright evil, and Lord of the Rings and Narnia were... totally different, right? They just had to be. But were they? To tell you the truth, I was afraid of getting into study and finding out that the magic in LOTR and Narnia was evil, so for the longest time I kept pushing the research off. I am ashamed to admit that I didn't want to know about it if it was going to be bad.

Then Petie posted her thoughts on LOTR and Narnia, and the question of magic was once again pushed into the front of my mind. “This is it, Kiri,” I told myself. “Stop making excuses. Just research it.”

So, I did.

And I am not sorry that I did.

You know what I found? Oh, yes. I found a lot. This topic is much bigger than most people think it to be, and there's so much that can be researched and found.

Samwise
Okay, before I go any further, I must put this note in: What I say here is not meant to change your opinions toward Narnia and Lord of the Rings. I am not trying to attack or challenge your beliefs. I respect each and every one of your opinions, and I realize that choice is between you, your parents, and the Lord. Here I am simply trying to answer the question and share my own research and what the Lord has impressed upon my heart.

Please also know this: You cannot automatically say just because there's magic in something, you must have nothing to do with it. I am not promoting magic here, but please realize that if that (steadfastly avoiding anything remotely connected to magic) were the case, we should not be able to read the Bible, which has many stories in it concerning witchcraft (1 Samuel 28 and Acts 8 to name a few), but all are viewed in a bad light. Sorcery exists, I hate to admit it, but it's real. It is evil, and must be seen as such.

I add this warning as well: I shall be discussing things that are deeper than a G level. If you are squeamish, I would recommend you proceed or don't proceed with your own discretion.

So, are you ready? In a nutshell, these are the magic differences between LOTR/Narnia and Harry Potter:

As the main character of the Harry Potter stories, Harry Potter is a human boy practicing occult magick for his own benefit with copyable spells in a fictionalized part of our world. The Lord of the Rings and Narnia stories take place in a make believe world where magic is a power given by a higher being to certain nonhuman, secondary characters to be used for the good of others.

Now, let's break that down a bit into various points...

1. The Source of the Magic

The magic in LOTR and Narnia is very, very similar and thus I will be linking it together in many of the following points, first describing the situation in Harry Potter and then following up with a contrast in LOTR and Narnia. When studying the issue of magic, one of the first things you must look to is the source of that magic. Should I write that again in all caps? THE SOURCE!!! Where did the magic come from? This is one of the biggest and most important points.

The problem with the English language is that we use one word to mean so many different things. Consider the simple, little word ball. Usually, nowadays when we hear that word we think of a fun, bouncy plaything, right? Jane Austen wouldn't have thought of such a plaything, but rather a party in which dancing was a common occurrence. Look at two different definitions of the word train: to educate and to teach; also, a string of railroad cars powered by steam, diesel fuel, or electricity. The same thing happens with the word magic. However, we do have a small change to the spelling of the word at times to help us distinguish what exactly we're talking about. Add a “k” on the end and we now have the word magick, which is not the same as magic. Magick (with a “k”) is what is in Harry Potter (more on that later).

God clearly condemns witchcraft in many passages in the Bible, one of the most famous being Deuteronomy 18:10-12: “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” (more on this in a bit)

The magick in the stories of Harry Potter Wikipedia defines as “a natural force that can be used to override the usual laws of nature.” The spells and chants that Harry Potter indulges in has been directly linked with occult magick, witchcraft and sorcery that gets its power from the king of darkness himself, Satan. J. K. Rowling has claimed that the magick in her works is nothing more than a make believe magic, a magic that she believes doesn't exist, but the type of magick in Harry Potter is real. Occult magick IS real. So... how do I know it's occult magick? Well, let's do some definitions here: occult magick includes the practices of divination, astrology, witchcraft, charms, spells, wizardry, and necromancy (communicating with the dead). Harry goes to school to learn these things. Spells that Harry casts consist of the gesturing of a wand combined with a verbal or mental incantation; they are an every day occurrence, along with charms, used on both friends and enemies in and out of the school. Some of Harry's friends consist of dead spirits who have been summoned to the present, and one of his classes is distinctly labeled as a divination class.

Gandalf
In contrast, the Wikipedia page on Magic in Middle Earth (the fantasy world in LOTR) states that magic here is defined as mystical, paranormal, or supernatural activity. This magic bears no resemblance to occult magick, and both Tolkien and Lewis describe it as coming from a higher being, a Creator. In Lord of the Rings, this higher being (whom Tolkien calls Iluvatar, meaning “Father of All”) gives magic to his servants (namely the wizards, and specifically Gandalf and Saruman) to do good and benefit the people. Iluvatar is a god figure, the god figure in LOTR, although he is never mentioned by name in the series. Readers can become acquainted with him in The Silmarillion, which I would recommend reading. These wizards (more on wizards in users of magic) cannot use the power for their own purposes, and when Saruman tries to do just that, he does not live long and sees a most bitter end. Gandalf, on the other hand, uses the power given him to help fight the coming darkness and destroy the evil that would pollute the world. In the end, good prevails and Gandalf's denouement is one of happiness. 

In Narnia, Aslan's powers are from his father, the Great King; again, a higher being who is shown as the one true god and Creator of Narnia. Aslan mentions the Deep Magic in Narnia many times, but you must realize that what is meant by “the Deep Magic” is supernatural power, which does indeed exist! Christ used supernatural power to raise Lazarus from the dead. In the Companion to Narnia, we learn that the Deep Magic is twofold: the Deep Magic and the Deeper Magic. The Deep Magic is defined as "the effects of justice in a created word, existing from the dawn of time." The Deeper Magic is eternal, from before the dawn of time, connoting a self sacrifice.

But how is it that I believe the magic in Narnia and LOTR to be good, while in Harry Potter it is bad? Let's go back to the verses in Deuteronomy and define each of the things that God condemns. The practice of having children pass through the fire (also known as febration) was common in the pagan nations around Israel back in Bible times. The parents who sent their sons and daughters through the flames did so to obtain an oracle or to avert national disaster. The fire was a purification process, namely to purify something by sacrifice, and bluntly, it was a human sacrifice by fire. Ugh! Is anyone else repressing disgusted shudders at this? Now, I'm not aware that Harry has to pass through any fire at any time in the series to purify himself, but as God had Moses mention febration in the verse, I thought I should mention it as well.

Divination Noah Webster gives this definition: the act of divining; a foretelling future events, or discovering things secret or obscure, by the aid of superior beings, or by other than human means. But wait! Superior beings? Can't that be the same as Aslan's father and Tolkien's Iluvatar? Let's keep reading. The ancient heathen philosophers divided divination into two kinds, natural and artificial. Natural divination was supposed to be effected by a kind of inspiration or divine afflatus; artificial divination was effected by certain rites, experiments or observations, as by sacrifices, cakes, flour, wine, observation of entrails, flight of birds, lots, verses, omens, position of the stars, etc. Occult magick is this artificial divination. I'm certain that Harry Potter wouldn't have been studying divination and learning by the aid of the One who we see as the Superior Being in our world, the Lord God. And if it is not of God, it is of the devil.

White Witch
An observer of times. It's wrong to look at clocks? No, I don't think that's what's meant here. This is also translated as “one who practices witchcraft.” Make sense now? But what is witchcraft? Back to handy dandy Webster: the practices of witches; sorcery; enchantments; intercourse with the devil.

The next couple of ones listed in Deuteronomy are grouped together with the times observer: an enchanter, a witch, and a charmer. These are also respectively translated as “one who interprets omens, a sorcerer, and a one who casts a spell.” I don't think it's necessary for me to give more than just the definitions. Enchanter: one who enchants; one who has spirits and demons at his command; one who practices enchantment, or pretends to perform surprising things by the agency of demons. Witch: a woman who, by compact with the devil, practices sorcery or enchantment. Charmer: one that charms, or has power to charm; one that uses or has the power of enchantment. Sorcerer: a conjurer; an enchanter; a magician.

But we're not quite done yet with Deuteronomy. Moses also lists “a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.” Again, translated also as: “a medium, or a spiritist, or who calls up the dead.” A wizard is described as an enchanter and a sorcerer. Necromancer: one who pretends to foretell future events by holding converse with departed spirits; a conjurer. Please notice that Deuteronomy 18: 11 specifically says “familiar spirits.” Those who take part in this magick are not doing so by accident. The spirits, to them, are familiar, and they know exactly what they're doing. I realize I'm posting a lot of definitions, but I want you to understand what I'm talking about. This is what God is condemning. It's basically performing by the power of the devil. That's magick. And that's exactly what's in Harry Potter.

Okay, are you still with me? I realize that was a tremendously long point, but the source of the magic really is the key difference between Harry Potter and LOTR/Narnia.

Although I really could just stop here as this issue of the source of the magic is the biggest and most imporant issue overall, let's keep going... there was some more stuff that I dug up, so I'm not done yet.

2. The Characters Who Use Magic

Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a human boy; there can be no mistaking that. He is born in England to human parents and, for the most part, lives with other humans. As he is the main character of the Harry Potter series, this shows magick as being a (I quote) “safe and lawful occupation,” thus encouraging readers to become more interested in it. Because Harry is their peer and role model, readers will strive to be like him, and as Harry uses magick and it's fine for him to do so, they assume the same about themselves. Pretty much this is the reasoning: Harry is human, just as we are, and because Harry is just like us, we can be just like him. Unfortunately, to be just like Harry is to practice the dark magick of the devil. To give you a statistic, a poll was taken a few years ago in which one out of ten children admitted that they were more interested in witchcraft after reading Harry Potter. Human characters acting as peers and role models and using magick are a dangerous thing as it encourages readers in the wrong directions.

Look at Lord of the Rings next. No peers are using magick or magic, but rather it is the mentor figures who have power. Gandalf and Saruman are called wizards. GASP! They're called wizards! Does that automatically make them bad? Before you judge, look at the context in which the word “wizard” is used. Tolkien describes Gandalf as one of the Istari, meaning messenger. The Istari were given power from the Creator (Iluvatar) to help and use for the benefit of others (look at purpose of magic), and these messengers do not call themselves “wizards.” When they appeared in Middle Earth, men were confused by their existence, as their power was something they could not understand. It was men who, in their ignorance, gave the Istari the name of wizards. The magic of these “wizards” is nothing like the occult magick of Harry Potter. Instead, it is like the power that Christ gave to his disciples, allowing them the ability to heal the sick and injured, cast out demons, and perform other miracles in His name.

Galadriel
But what of the Elves? They live in secluded places away from men and dwarves and hobbits and are seen by every other race to be oh so mysterious. They have magic, right? To answer bluntly, no. Not really. Their magic (I'm quoting here) “in the context of Middle Earth is in no way connected to supernatural power. It is a natural attribute, one that is given only to Elves, not humans.” Tolkien disliked using the word magic to describe the elves' natural abilities, but there wasn't another word to describe it. The other races (men, dwarves, orcs, and hobbits) called the elves' skill magic because they themselves couldn't understand it.

Moving on to Narnia. Like LOTR, magic is used by secondary, non-human characters. Aslan is the Great Lion, the Son of the Emperor over the Sea, the Real King of Narnia. As I have said before, Aslan is a god figure (please read the section on god figures in my earlier post), and I think all of this qualifies him as not a human.

So, what other Narnian characters use magic? Coriakin (from Voyage of the Dawn Treader) uses magic, is called a magician (and the Oppressor by the Dufflepods), and is a star. Yes, I said “star.” Coriakin may be wizard-like in appearance, but Lewis made him that way to separate him from the normal, human characters in his stories. The white beard and long robes are typical elements in a wizard's appearance, so that's how Lewis made Coriakin. Ramandu, in the same Narnia book (Dawn Treader), is also a star and the same things apply to him.

Oreius
Then we have centaurs. Glenstorm is a centaur gifted with the ability to prophesy, and there are others who have the gift of prophecy as well. However, we must realize that the gift of prophecy given by Aslan (the Superior Being) to the centaurs is the same as the gift of prophecy given by God that Paul mentions in Romans 12.

Lewis was careful to include a cautionary note with the magic in his stories. Some of the characters (Lucy, Digory, and others) use magic objects in the stories. For instance, Digory uses the magic rings in The Magician's Nephew to go to the wood between the worlds and get Polly after Uncle Andrew sent her there. However, this is where the cautionary note comes in. Later, as Digory and Polly explore the desolate world of Charn, Digory rings the golden bell and wakes the evil queen, Jadis. The same thing happens with Lucy: she reads a spell out of Coriakin's book to free the Dufflepods from their invisibleness but falls to temptation in the same book and eavesdrops wrongly on her friends. Magic can bring about both good and bad results and is not something that should be taken lightly.

3. The Realm of Magic

The realm of magic is closely linked with the characters who use magic. And with the knowledge of magic's existence. Actually, these points are all pretty much linked together. Harry Potter takes place in a fictionalized part of our own, real world. The school Hogwarts that Harry attends is found in Scotland and is only accessible to wizards and other “magical” creatures. Humans, or “Muggles” in Harry's vocabulary, cannot get to this wizard world, but rather, they see only ruins of an old castle and several warnings of danger.

The Pevensies discovering Narnia
Okay, so Harry Potter lived in England. So what? This (and I quote here) “brings the practice of magic imaginatively far closer to the personal condition and experience of the young reader.” Because Harry lives in the same world that we do, there is a fine to no line between what is real and what is fantasy. I've said before, the magick Harry practices is real, quite real. Going back to what I said about peers: because Harry Potter is living in the same world we live in, we can do anything Harry does. That's the danger.

Narnia and LOTR both take place in make believe worlds, worlds that C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien respectively made up. As much as some of us would like it, we cannot go to Middle Earth or Narnia. There is a thick, definite line between reality and fantasy here, people. The magic here is, again, shown in a light where it cannot be copied.

4. The Knowledge of Magic's Existence

In the world of Hogwarts, the knowledge of magic is kept as a secret. Wizards and witches are encouraged not to show their powers to those who are not involved in magic, or muggles (humans). This corresponds directly with the occult idea, as the word “occult” literally means “hidden.” Magic is the main theme throughout the story and has been described as Harry's salvation, his means of getting through hard times and winning in the end.

The existence of magic is common knowledge in Narnia and Middle Earth. It is limited as to who can use it, but the knowledge that it exists and is real is openly acknowledged. However, though magic is common knowledge, it is used sparingly, and the characters do not depend on the magic to help them through their difficulties. The trials and battles they fight on their own, without any assistance from magic.

Aslan and Edmund
This point isn't necessarily as important as the source of the magic, but as it is a difference in the issue of magic between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings/Narnia, I deemed it important based on a passage in 2 Corinthians 4. God wants our actions to be out in the light, as things often done in hiding are of a darker nature. True, I realize that some actions we do are meant to be secret (I'm talking about giving without thought of reparation or glory), but be careful about something that is so solidly secreted under lock and key. What is it and what's the purpose of its being secret? There's where you have to look.

5. The Purpose in Using Magic

This links right up with the two points flanking this one: the knowledge of magic and the acquisition of magic. Harry Potter learns magick to accomplish his own goals. It's his salvation, his means of getting things done. Magic is his whole life, in a sense. Whatever he does with magick is done with the intent of bringing benefit to himself. Sure, he may save his world once or twice during the course of the novels, but he does so by the use of magick and by the power of the devil, the master of chaos and destruction. Now, I'm not sure about you, but that seems a little backwards to me.

In contrast, Gandalf from LOTR is given power for the express purpose of helping and aiding others. The power given to the wizards by the Creator Illuvatar is meant to benefit those with whom the wizards come in contact. The same goes for Aslan in Narnia: his powers as the Son of the Emperor over the sea are used for the good of others. Those in LOTR and Narnia who use power for their own benefit, such as Saruman and the White Witch, do so at their own peril and are destroyed in the end.

Orcs marching to Helm's Deep

To wrap up this point, even if you don't look at the all-important issue of the source of the magic, I view Harry's powers as bad because he uses them for selfish reasons. How can anything be good when it's used in selfishness? Granted, this point isn't very big in the overall issue of magic and magick, but it is a big difference between the power used in LOTR/Narnia and Harry Potter.

6. The Acquisition of Magic

Harry Potter learns how to perform magick throughout the entire series. Indeed, the main idea of the books and films is his education in the world of magick. He goes to a boarding school, Hogwarts, and is instructed in the ways of magick. Thus, by following Harry's adventures in that boarding school, the reader learns right along with him about the magick, what it's used for, and, the most dangerous aspect, how to use it themselves. At the risk of sounding redundant, the magick in Harry Potter is real! That fact cannot be ignored. It's dangerous and evil, and must be seen as such.
Legolas

Whereas, the magical characters in Narnia and LOTR already have their magic when the stories take place, and the reader is not given details on how they acquired that magic nor are they encouraged to dwell on the actual process of getting magic. No character within any of the stories goes through the learning process of how to use magic.

Again, not a huge point, but one that definitely is worth mentioning.

Conclusion

If you're still reading this, I applaud you for getting this far. I realize that this was a rather lengthy post, so I'll hurry up and end this before I turn this into a novel. Please remember, I am not trying to challenge anyone's beliefs or convictions. I am simply presenting my research. Questions, comments... post as many as you would like, and I will do my best to respond accordingly.

The Fellowship of the Ring

As a final word, I would encourage you all not to take my word as golden truth. Look it up for yourselves. Discuss it with your parents. Pray about it. Dig into the Word of God and search some of these points out for yourself.

The following are links I used as part of my research for this post (other sources are listed in this post):












Thanks for reading!

22 comments:

  1. Very good points, some of which I have considered before, others that hadn't occurred to me. You've explained it quite thoroughly.

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  2. Bravo, Kiri! Thank you for this excellent, eye-opening post!

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  3. You have expressed my views and beliefs on this point completely and much more eloquently than I ever could have. I say "brava!"

    Is it okay with you if I, as a staff member at The Lion's Call, list this in our various meeting places as a resource on this subject?

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  4. Thanks, everyone! Your comments are an encouragement!

    And Rhoswen - sure, I don't mind! :)

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  5. Wow, that was a HUGE help in my fantasy story!! Magic has always worried me, but luckily I am fortunate to have a pen pal who is very helpful and discerning when it comes to magic in books! This post is/has been/will be a great help! Thank you for writing it! :D

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  6. P.S. I'm linking to your article on my blog.

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  7. Wonderful post, Kiri!!!!! I agree with all your points, especially that THE most important thing to consider is the SOURCE of the magic.

    You explained it all very concisely and completely!

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  8. This was such an insightful post!

    Harry Potter is definitely something I stay away from, while LotR and Narnia are two things I cannot get enough of. I've always known the magic use in each of them is diverse, but I've never been able to fully put it into words as to how. Your post brought out so many points that I think I've known all along, just never thought thoroughly of.

    You've shared such profound points and explained things so well. Very helpful!

    Thank you for this wonderful post! ^_^

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  9. I love, love, love this post. And yes, I read the whole thing. It was really interesting, and very well researched. Thank you for this, it give me some things to tell the people who wonder why I don't read Harry Potter!
    Kristin @ The Great Perhaps

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  10. That was awesome! Like you, I always knew there was a difference but wasn't sure exactly what. Now I know. I'm super impressed with the amount of research and logical thinking you did, and how clearly everything was stated. Thanks so much!

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  11. Hi, Kiri!! I saw your comment on my blog, so I popped over here to read your post. =) And no! I didn't think you were being a pain at all! I'm so glad you took the time to share your thoughts and put logical thinking into this issue. I've thoroughly enjoyed all our discussion!!

    To be honest, I really can't say I agree with much of anything you wrote here. :P I still can't get past the fact that God clearly condemns magic in the Bible and calls it detestable, and magic and "powers" are used for good and glorified in LOTR and Narnia. But I greatly respect the amount of thought and research you put into this, and your opinion was very well written and stated. And never fear, we can definitely agree to disagree and OF COURSE we are most certainly still friends!! =) Your blog is very lovely, m'dear.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Kiri Liz. Love you, dear! =)

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    1. Powers or magic if you will however you want to term it belong to God as well as Satan. In LOTR and narnia Gods power is portrayed symbolically. There is a character that symbolizes God and Jesus and angels who also have supernatural power. The power or magic in these is not anything like that of Harry Potter because in character it is like the real power that comes from God which is focused on the benefit of others, healing, protecting etc with the approval and consent of the God character. None of the powers are like what exist in Harry Potter, consulting with the dead and casting spells etc. it's important to note that demonic powers are counterfits to a large extent of Gods power. The difference is in the source and the motivation and purpose. It is clear in Harry Potter that the source is Satan because of the presence of powers such as consulting the dead, and because much of the purpose and motivation is selfish: self actualizatkon, revenge, personal entertainment and fun. Occasionally what appears to be a genuine altruistic selfless act is performed but what falsehood would be accepted if there wasn't a little seeming good to make it palatable. Also copious use of occultic imagery is employed in the books and movies which has symbolized occultic demonic ideas for millennia.
      This is not the case in LOTR or narnia. There are no pentagrams, or black cats which symbolize familiar spirits and on and on we could go.

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  12. Hi!
    Thank you SO much for posting this!! It does explain alot! =D Thanks for telling us about this blog! =D
    Have a Great Day and God Bless!
    Hannah, Ruth and Sarah Keller

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  13. This has to be one of the best posts I have ever read on this subject. Thank you!

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  14. I totally agree with you on all these points! I have never read Harry Potter, but I don't even want to because of the reasons you pointed out. I'm now going to research it myself to find out more (-: Thank you, this was an awesome post!

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  15. Thank you for posting this! It was very insightful and helpful!
    God Bless!
    Heidi Anne<3

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  16. What a thoughtful and thought-provoking post! I agree with you on most points, and although I can understand your perspective on Harry Potter (especially if you've never read any of the books), I must disagree with you there. Yes, the Bible condemns real magic, but Harry Potter is purely fiction and if read as such, is harmless. I didn't read the series until high school, and I think that is a good age b/c readers have a better understanding of real vs. fantasy at that point.

    Harry is actually a very selfless character, especially as the series goes on, and the whole plot is based on a constant battle of good vs. evil, light vs. dark--Harry, of course, is on the good side. He, and every other wizard, goes to wizarding school to learn how to control their magical abilities (which they are born with--magic is not learned from scratch). The villain in this story uses magic for evil purposes, much like Sauruman in LotR, and that is what the school (Hogwarts) tries to avoid by instructing young wizards.

    This is just my (lengthy--sorry) perspective, and I do not mean to attack your beliefs or opinions. Thanks again for your wonderful post!

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    1. Hey, Serena! Thanks for taking the time to read my post!

      I do understand that Harry Potter is fiction, that he and his friends are characters of literature, and their world is made-up, yet the magick that J.K. Rowling writes about *is* real, and that's where the real trouble lies. It's power derived from the prince of devils himself, considering its origin, use, and application, and while Harry might use it for the good side, he's still playing with the magick of the devil. Reading about him learning it during the course of all 7 books only makes readers want to learn it, too, and that's where it gets hard to draw the line between fiction and the real world. The magick Harry participates in is the witchcraft that God condemns in the Bible, and I can't enjoy something like that.

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment and letting me hear what you had to say! I really do appreciate it! And don't worry about the length -- the longer the perspective, the better the comment, in my opinion! ;)

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  17. What an enlightening article! Thanks so much for all the thorough research and hard work you put into it! Fascinating :)

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  18. Kiri,
    I may be the only one on here who has a disagreement with you. I thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter series. It was a very well-written story, with some great morals. I agree with you on a lot of this... actually, I agree with you on 99%. :) But I'd like to point out something my friend said when we were discussing "magick" : She said that "there is a big difference in reading about a fortuneteller (divination) and actually practicing it yourself."
    You see, in Harry Potter, the evil is quite defined. What is meant to be evil IS evil and the evil are punished for their evil deeds. The good who misbehave are also punished. I guess what I am trying to get at is this: While we all agree that Magick is NOT Okay, I still think it would not be a sin to read it. (We must live in the world, but not be OF the world.) It's just like secular music, I think... you know, you can choose to listen to it and it is not a sin. It's DOING what is IN the music that is wrong.
    In my opinion, it ALL points to a greater need for a Savior (Christ). We know it's wrong. Others, whether they admit to it or not, know it is wrong. So the fact that it is still around points to our own sin and need of a savior! There is truth even in Secular works, and it is our job as believers to dig in and discover what those truths are!
    After all, the magick isn't the main point of Harry Potter. It's his relationships, courage, hope, and adventure as he strives to help everyone around him find the hope they are looking for. He is not in this thing for his own good name...which is clearly stated many, many times by many characters, but for safety and well-being of those he loves...and even those who he would consider enemies, like Snape, Dudley, and even Draco Malfoy.
    I hope this makes sense, and if I am missing a point here, please correct me. I love diving into theological ideas such as this.
    --Savannah

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    1. Hey, Savannah! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! It really means a lot to me! :)

      Nope, you made perfect sense! That is true -- there is a difference between reading about something and actually doing it. However, that can sometimes be a dangerous standpoint. The Bible commands us to avoid the appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22); are we truly keeping ourselves unspotted from the world if we brush against things that are evil (James 1:27)? That doesn't mean that we'll never be tempted, but our job is to remain apart from the world for the purpose of keeping ourselves holy as commanded by God. Also, in Romans 1 (verses 28-32), we are told that, even if we do no sin, if we take pleasure in those who sin, we are guilty of the same crime. Sin is sin to God, and nothing is too small to escape His notice. True, magick is not okay, but is it okay to condone those who practice it, if we enjoy or take pleasure in the history/event of their sins? God says that hating a man in your heart is the equivalent of actually murdering him, lusting after a woman is the same as actually committing adultery; how can magick be any different?

      I'll agree with you that it is our job as Christians to dig and discover the truths. We are instructed to evaluate things, study to show ourselves approved unto Him. But we are also to keep our hearts with all diligence (Prov. 4:23) and to not look for ungodly counsel (Ps. 1). Let me ask you this: if someone gave you a drink of water with a single drop of poison in it, would you drink it? No. Why? Because that poison, no matter how small and insignificant it may appear, is still there; it can still affect you. And evil is the same as that poison. We don't have to experience something to know that it's bad. God's Word is absolute truth and everything is judged by it. What we fill ourselves with is what we will become. Putting those small drops of poison into our lives may seem inconsequential, but they affect us nevertheless.

      I hope this made sense! Please understand that I respect your opinion. Me, too! I enjoy getting into these theological ideas! I love studying to find out what God really says about topics. :)

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