Is it dangerous to watch Harry Potter?
Hi @Betsey , thanks for posting! I know many Christians with different answers to that question! I know people who would stay well away from it, and others who see it as a great example of good versus evil and manage to draw out some Godly morals from it.
May I ask what you mean by ‘dangerous’? Do you mean that it might negatively impact your mind or disturb your spirit?
I think the answer is different for everyone when we consider a number of things:
Firstly, what is your personal experience with other films and books that involve witchcraft?
Are you sensitive to what you see?
What is your gut instinct and sense of what the Holy Spirit is saying to you?
I didn’t read or watch HP for years. Finally, my lovely Christian friend convinced me it was ok so I sat through the 7 films! By the last few, my personal sensitivity to the supernatural caused me some conviction that I shouldn’t be seeing it. It seemed too close to real life spiritual warfare and why would I watch it for entertainment when I see people’s lives being impacted by ungodly influences every day? My friend, on the other hand, wasn’t affected at all by it and was able to draw some good from it. We’re all different!
You may find this interesting:
Does this help you at all?
Thanks, that’s helpful. My concern was when I watched my 4 grandkids for a few weeks and realized he oldest, 7, was reading Harry Potter every night before bed when he used to read his Bible then. His dad is a pastor and he and my daughter enjoy the movies as a family.
I was saved out of the new age and experienced people who took occult practices seriously so I guess I see this as an avenue for children to be fascinated by the occult and want to experiment with it since their hero did. I don’t want to be judgmental as I realize my background makes me more sensitive, but I was wondering if it is an area I should voice my concerns. It does surprise me that so many Christians have no problem, even celebrating the books and films. Is our culture getting desensitized or just less paranoid?
@Betsey I would call this an issue of conscience—don’t do it if it violates your conscience. You might find these lectures by a Christian English professor Ted Sherman on the HP series helpful in identifying some of the more Christian themes in Harry Potter, such as sacrificial love, bravery, and faithfulness.
I think part of whether or not fantasy is healthy is the way children process it. Two people can read the same thing and take away very different lessons / emotions. Processing books like this in community and learning to see what is good and to let go of what is unhelpful could be a helpful approach. So if you understood the books yourself you could engage with your grandkids.
Rather than replacing Harry Potter with Scripture, you could consider emphasizing the importance of Scripture being central to our lives with passages like that from Deuteronomy. It would be great if they had family devotionals, so the adults could engage the kiddos and translate the Scriptures to make it easier to understand.
Alternatively, you could slip the Narnia books next to his bed if he hasn’t read them — those really did sanctify my imagination and help me in my Christian walk. The Redwall series by Brian Jacques is also really fun—it centers around an abbey and has a lot of virtues such as bravery, faithfulness, defending the weak, etc. And there are tons of them.
Another caution—in my opinion the Harry Potter books got darker as the series went forward, so some of the later books may not be good for young kids imho. I don’t even like some of the later books myself—I really liked the first two. Was not a huge fan of the later ones personally, though others may disagree. I think the first two books really teach some great virtues and are not too dark. Christ grant you wisdom
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Thanks, this is helpful