Harry Potter. We all know about this book and movie series. As a kid, I was fascinated by this fictional world. I’ve read every book at least once and watched every movie at least five times. This year I began battling whether or not I should read/watch Harry Potter anymore. As Christians, is this something we should even allow into our lives?
Can Christians read/watch Harry Potter? Christians can read and watch Harry Potter without it becoming sinful and learn good morals from it. However, when consuming the series you must use discernment and be on guard for what you are allowing into your life.
This post will walk you through the two main views Christians have regarding Harry Potter to help you walk through whether or not this series is something you can allow into your life.
What Is Harry Potter?
The Harry Potter series has become a worldwide phenomenon. It’s become more than just a series, it’s a whole other world you can escape to.
There’s a large variety of merchandise for fans to purpose. Fans can even now visit this fictional world at Universal Studios in California, and Florida.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Harry Potter, it is a series of books and movies targeted at children and young adults. It follows the life of an orphan Harry Potter who finds out that he’s a wizard on his 11th birthday.
The seven-book series and eight movies take you alongside Harry’s journey as he learns to embrace magic and battles evil that he encounters at Hogwarts.
The series gets darker as it continues and Harry encounters death many times. The series ends with him as an adult.
The series has also increased to being more about Harry Potter and now includes the Fantastic Beasts series which is a soon-to-be three-part movie series.
To learn more about Harry Potter click here.
Can Christians Read/Watch Harry Potter? The Two Views
Ever since the series became popular many Christians have been debating whether or not this is something we should allow into our lives.
To some Harry Potter seems to be an innocent world to dive into and enjoy. To others, consuming Harry Potter can have spiritual implications.
Why Christians Can Read/Watch Harry Potter
Some Christians believe there to be nothing wrong with watching or reading Harry Potter. Though the series is about a young wizard and a world of magic, they believe this to be a different form of magic stated within the Bible.
The magic is used to paint a picture and help spark imagination in young children and people of any age. It helps us to escape our daily troubles and step into a world with phoenixes and hopping chocolate frogs.
J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, has even stated that the magic she uses is separate from what is used in the Wiccan religion.
Since the magic mentioned throughout the book is separate it is viewed as an innocent creation used by the author to spark your imagination.
This series uses Harry’s story to show its audience how to persevere. Harry faces many different difficulties as he grows from adolescence to becoming an adult.
He has to learn how to harness his gifts without misusing them. He has to grow in trusting himself in order to defeat his enemy.
He encounters many different things that we too encounter in our lives. Such as; evil and darkness, being bullied, fitting in, as well as the death of many loved ones.
Each character in the book is so unique that every person who reads and watches the movies can find someone who relates to them.
J.K Rowling also does a great job of giving each character a well-explained back story and shows their own struggles outside of just Harry’s.
Harry Potter Teaches Moral Character & Friendship
It also teaches us how to have a good moral character, and how important friendship is.
Harry Potter has an enemy named Voldemort who was consumed by evil and has been trying to corrupt Harry and kill him throughout the entire series.
Harry has to resist his own temptation, lean on his friends and trust his powers in order to defeat Voldemort. In the end, he wins and good prevails.
Some Christians view this as an example of God defeating satan. This creates a sense of comfortability when watching the movie and allows us to see parts of the gospel theme come out of something of the world.
Though the movie does have a secular worldview to it and it addresses evil, these are things we will encounter in our lives anyways. Instead of keeping our children hidden from such things, it is good to expose them to such things.
This allows the parents to walk their children through situations they may face.
It also gives them the opportunity to teach them the good and bad. While also offers up a teaching moment for how to grow in discernment and what to do when they encounter these things in the real world.
Christians Shouldn’t Watch Harry Potter
The other side of this view is that Christians should not watch or read Harry Potter. Though at first glance this series seems innocent, it can have very real implications to watching it.
Though the magic used in it is not directly connected to the Wiccan culture. It is still a form of magic.
There are still spells, wands, witches, and wizards. Some of the spells are used for good and fascinating. While others are incredibly cruel and one can even kill someone.
There are evil creatures who suck souls and a whole group dedicated to following the villain in the story.
Yes, you may learn something from these movies. You also need to ask how the series is impacting your spiritual life and what you’re allowing into your life.
It may be easy for adults or even older teens who are solid in their faith, but what kids? Their discernment isn’t quite there to view this as fictional and know which parts of it they shouldn’t believe.
They start becoming in awe of magic, because who doesn’t want a cool wand after watching these movies?
But what prevents them from not getting into real magic or even pretending to use these spells?
As I mentioned earlier I was a huge fan of Harry Potter as a kid. I owned the entire series and was trying to have the entire book series as well. I would pretend to be the characters and dived deep into this fictional world.
I used the spells for “fun” with friends and thought it was all innocent. Until I started really struggling with believing that all of these things were okay. I even bought a wand from the Harry Potter universe.
It made me think that witches and wizards we’re okay.
I even studied how these spells developed and researched J.K. Rowling and how she developed the fictional world. I was more than obsessed.
This series became an idol in my life. Instead of turning to God when struggling, I would go into the fictional world.
Over the past year though something began changing. I felt incredibly convicted for allowing the Harry Potter series into my life.
I realized how dark it was and what I was really allowing into my life.
The magic isn’t as innocent as it appears and began having a grip on me. Then all the times I was warned about the series by some of my family finally hit me.
Harry Potter was a way for the enemy to begin to enter my spiritual life and make me doubt my Heavenly Father.
Now it may not be this way for every Christian, but you should be aware of how this series can impact you.
What You Should Know About Harry Potter
Though the magic used in the book isn’t necessarily tied to Wiccan practices. J.K. Rowling used old Latin root words, some traditionally used for spells in witchcraft to create the spells.
She took the original root of the Latin word for specific spells and altered it so that it’s technically a different word and not a real spell.
Each spell does have roots and still means something in Latin.
Many of the different magic elements are also inspired by real herbs or items that are believed to be magic or hold powers by some cultures. She would look into different mystical stories and even used science for some of her inspiration as well.
J.K. Rowling herself does not practice or believe in the occult. She just has a very creative mind that she wanted to use to inspire others.
In fact, she gained much of her inspiration while in Portugal. She used places she visited in the history of Portugal for inspiration for Hogwarts and many of the magical shops in her fictional world.
Relevant Bible Passages To Harry Potter
There are Bible verses that should lead us to be cautious with entering the fictional world of Harry Potter, but there are also some that show that it is not necessarily wrong for us either.
Here are some verses for each view.
Bible Verse That Supports We Can Read/Watch Harry Potter
In Philippians, we see Paul mentions to those in Philippi to focus on things that are positive and good.
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.Philippians 4:8
Upon first glance, this does not directly relate to Harry Potter. However, a common theme throughout the series is self-sacrifice. This is something that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.
Harry Potter, Dumbledore, Dobby, and many other characters risk their lives in the series for the ones they love.
This is something we need to not only celebrate as Christians but also use as an example in our friendships with others.
Bible Verses That Teach Us To Be Cautious With Harry Potter
The Bible warns about witchcraft, the occult, and the use of magic in several different places. Before watching or reading the series you should pray and consider the following verses.
Warnings Of Being Involved In Magic
Leviticus 19 warns of practicing witchcraft and engaging with those who practice it.
Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. Do not practice divination or seek omens.Leviticus 19:26
Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.Leviticus 19:31
Verse 26 warns of not practicing magic. Even if it’s not something we view as real, we shouldn’t even pretend to cast spells for fun.
We can’t be sure of what we are actually doing, especially if it comes from an old spell.
Verse 31 mentions necromancers and mediums. A necromancer is someone who practices magic. In the series almost every character except for muggles (humans who have no magic ability) practices magic.
This verse is saying that we should not seek out those who practice magic because this is something that can transfer into our own lives.
Stories Of Those Who Practiced Witchcraft In The Bible
2 Chronicles 33 tells the story of King Manasseh who worshipped false gods and the stars.
In both courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.2 Chronicles 33:5-6
Manasseh worshipped the stars and fell into the darkness of necromancy. He was taken over by his sin and the evil that surrounds magic.
It compelled him so much that he was willing to kill his own children.
Though the magic in Harry Potter is used to tell a larger story, we must keep in mind the real darkness of magic as we go into the fictional world.
We cannot deny the grip that magic has on some people like Manasseh.
Not only that, but these acts are unpleasing to the Lord.
We see another example of those who practiced witchcraft in Acts 19.
Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.”
Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.Acts 19:13-19
Those who had practiced magic and read books about magic became possessed by evil spirits and became consumed in evil works.
Though they were lost and had turned away from the Lord, He still provided a way for them to be saved. He removed the scales from their eyes when they were saved.
They saw the evil of what had ruled their lives and even burned their books so that they wouldn’t turn back.
The Ultimate Consequence Of Using Magic
It’s easy to view magic and witchcraft as something that allows us to escape our everyday life, but practicing it has real consequences that we’re warned of in the book of Revelation.
Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”Revelation 21:7-8
Those who fall into sinful things are more than just spiritually impacted, but will also be fully separated from God for eternity. This is serious.
We must be aware of this consequence. Watching and reading Harry Potter will not cause us to fall into this sin automatically, but we must be aware of how evil magic really is.
We must not allow ourselves to justify it and fall into practicing it ourselves.
We’ve been blessed with the gift of discernment which has been gifted to us by our Heavenly Father.
We need to use it well when deciding whether or not we allow things like Harry Potter or other movies including magic into our lives.
Take time to honestly seek the Lord and pray before deciding whether or not you will read/watch Harry Potter and be open to His leading.