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HOLLYWOOD JESUS
NEWSLETTER #30
Pop Culture From A Spiritual Point of View
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HJ News #30 Main Page
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This page was last updated
December 21, 2001

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Main Topic:
HARRY POTTER

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BULLETIN BOARD
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THEY WOULD THINK I WAS A HYPOCRITE
Subject: Harry Potter
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001
From: "John Howard"

I want to thank you for this website. My name is Esther and I teach at a Christian Elementary School. I teach with many people who have extremely conservative views and sometimes I feel that if I open my mouth and disagree with them concerning certain issues they think I'm a hypocrite or maybe not even a real Christian. The truth is is that I am a real Christian and I was raised in a Christian home and even went to Christian school my whole life, but I was also raised to think for myself and to not just follow the pack "blindly" as so many Christians are wont to do. My parents love books and taught me to love books. We often read the same books and then had big discussions about them. They were interested in what I was reading. At the same time they didn't put limits on what I could read. They just made sure they were aware of what I was reading. As a result if I started to read something that I didn't understand or that made me uncomfortable I didn't just continue to read it, I brought it to my parents and we discussed it. Books were not banned at our house - they were discussed. If we decided together that a certain book was not appropriate then I didn't read it (and I didn't have a problem with that). I applaud my parents for approaching books in this manner and I plan to do the same when I have kids.

I know this is supposed to be about Harry Potter, and I really am about to get to the point. My dad is a big fan of fantasy and science fiction (even though my mom is not) and because I him, I am also a big fan of fantasy and science fiction. The earliest fantasy I remember were fairy tales. Then I started reading the Oz books. The Chronicles of Narnia were other early favorites. By the time I was in middle school, I was reading all of my dad's fantasy books and discussing them with him. (Oh by the way - my dad is the one who got me interested in the Harry Potter books. He bought them and read them and then gave them to me to read) I always knew that the things that happened in these stories were fantasy and make-believe and could not happen in real life. I never once thought I could actually walk into my wardrobe and enter Narnia or that there really was a big magical book that could tell me what was happening everywhere all the time (like Glinda's book in the Oz stories). I also was never interested in becoming a witch. I read stories full of witches, wizards, and magical spells, but they never made me interested in the occult. I knew that the things in these books were make-believe and not real!!!!!! And that is exactly what Harry Potter is. The things in this book are make-believe and not real. I don't believe that there are kids out there who really think that if they point their finger at someone and say a few select words that that person is going to turn into a frog!! I also don't think that there are kids who believe that they can actually fly on a broom and play quidditch. The whole idea of kids thinking this stuff is real is ridiculous - even to a kid. The kind of magic practiced by the characters in the Harry Potter books is the flashy and fun make-believe magic that even little kids know is not real.

Now there are some people who have expressed concern that certain practices such as astrology and crystal balls and fortune telling that are examples of "real magic" that are practiced by people today are mentioned and condoned in the Harry Potter books. It is true that these practices are mentioned in the books. In Book 1, the centaurs Harry meets in the forbidden forest are astrologers - they study the planets and stars in order to foretell the future. In Book 3, Harry takes a divination class where he learns about crystal ball gazing and reading tea leaves and other kinds of fortune telling tricks. True these practices are mentioned - but they are not condoned!!!! They are actually made fun of and not accepted as serious magic. The centaurs are depicted as scared creatures who read the heavens to find out the future but are too scared to do anything about it or help people in trouble. The first two centaurs Harry meets are unwilling to tell him anything or help it at all. The third centaur, however, does decide to buck the system and help Harry despite incurring the wrath of his fellow centaurs. Astrology is not depicted in the books as serious magic and none of the other characters is even shown to use it. Therefore, astrology is not condoned in the Harry Potter books. Divination is also made fun of in the books. All of the other professors consider the divination class to be a joke and the divination professor to be an even bigger joke. Professor McGonagall tells Harry not to be concerned that his professor saw Harry's imminent death in the tea leavers, because divination is inconsistent and imprecise at best. Because the other professors don't take divination seriously one cannot say it is condoned in the books. I think children who read these books are also going to not take fortune telling and astrology seriously.

Some people are concerned that Harry Potter is immoral because he often breaks rules and sneaks out at night in order to solve the various mysteries that are always going on. These people also say that Harry never gets punished for doing this. But if you have read the books you know that he does get punished. He is always getting caught and getting into trouble. He constantly loses points for his house because of his little escapades and in the context of these books losing points is a very big deal!!! Sometimes Harry and his friends get hurt because of decisions he makes. And while things always work out for good in the end, Harry does have to deal with mistakes he has made. I think that the books are very moral and that there is a clear sense of right and wrong in these books. Harry does have to deal with the consequences of his actions and I think that is a major theme of these books.

These books are not evil. If the bad characters won in the end or succeeded in getting Harry to come over to their side, then yes these books would be evil. But evil never wins in the Harry Potter books - good always does. Evil does exist in our world and we are in a constant struggle against it. I think that is one reason I like fantasy so much. I also think that is why so many well known Christian authors (such as C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and George MacDonald) wrote fantasy stories. Good fantasy always depicts strong opposing lines of good and evil and evil always loses in the end. Also, there are no blurred distinctions between right and wrong in good fantasy. Harry Potter is good fantasy. Many books, and tv shows, and movies for children and young adults have very blurred lines of right and wrong and good and evil. Things that are good and right don't always win in these stories. In many stories for kids that are written and produced today the characters go against society and established rules and make up their own rules. Many stories for kids today are also not very moral. Divorce, sex outside of marriage, and breaking established rules are condoned in many books that kids read and in many shows they see. I think that I would much rather have my kids read Harry Potter and other good fantasy books than have them read many of the other books that are out there.

In conclusion I want to say that the Harry Potter books are not evil and do not condone evil practices or anything connected to the occult or to Wicca. I think that people should actually read the books (and read with an open mind - not a mind narrowed by naysayers) before they say how awful and evil it is. I apologize for writing such a long message. When I feel strongly about something I tend to go on and on about it. Thank you for a Christian website that doesn't squash people for having differing opinions about certain subjects.
God bless you.

Response: I agree! -David

HARRY POTTER
Subject: Newsletter_30_Harry_Potter
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001
From: Sue Mosher

I've read the first book and I took my 10 year old son to the movie. (He has read the 2nd book, too.) Anyway, we had a great conversation about how the theme of Harry Potter is power. Harry was powerless at first (in his closet) then became very powerful as a wizard with natural talent. There was the evil power of Valdemort and the selling out of the teacher (I forget his name) to receive Valdemort's power. There was the good power of friends with different talents working together, not unlike Paul's example of the body with many parts. All in all, I found Harry Potter (at least the first one) to be a great story of good winning victory over evil. By the way, why are the wizards in Harry Potter any different than the wicked witch in "Snow White" or the witches in the "Wizard of Oz"? What about "Bewitched" or "I Dream of Jeannie"? Was there an uproar when those shows were on TV? (I was too young to know if there was.)
=====
"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act." Proverbs 3:27

THE HARRY POTTER PROBLEM
Subject: Harry Potter
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001
From: "dtm"

I have been a christian for over 13 years. I also only spent 14 hours reading the firs harry potter book. I loved it. How can any one want to ban i book that quotes theat the love between two people can over come all evil. is that not what jesus christ died for?

If youre going to remove any books from the shelves, it should be the moddern magasines that tell people that to be beutifle you neen to by our product There is nothing rong with paganisum. I have practiced healing and sutch (NEVER going near black arts) all my life. I terned to Christanity because it made sence. God is God nomatter how you look at it (i.e. alla buda e.t.c.), and from hime every thing groes. No religiouse text or picture should be taken off the shelves of class rooms, insted a deeper feeling and understanding should be tought!

Ps it may interest you to know that last year I was dumped by my girle friend because she got a mesage from god saing that I was the sporne of satan. she also toled me that people should only go out if they plan on getting married. she later went on to go out with some one ells. you would think that this would dampen my relationship with God but it didnot. i now have full faith that i have a purpouse and that here views were diew to a lack of propper knolage.
Yours Sincerely
Daniel Shortland

THE WITCHERY
Subject: Harry Potter
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001
From: Ashley

Hi there Dave,
I'm Ashley, I'm 16 and I like doing research on movies /books or anything that causes a stir, I stumbled across this site by an ex - astologist and occultist, I think maybe you should download the 43 minute sound clip about what he says about Harry Potter, its quite interesting and informative. heres the link: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/
yours in Christ
Ashley

Response: Bogus nonsense. Urban legends. He is way off base. He truly believes that this nation will suffer because all the kids who read Harry Potter will become witches. That's one third of the children of America. These children are going to take over America, perhaps the world. He claims that Harry Potter will lead to drug use. He says witches uses broom sticks as dildos. What? So, how did he use the broom stick as a male witch? Oh my gosh. He thinks that the subject of death is a sure sign of evil. His man is a liar and the truth is not in him. He was a witch? I wonder. He also believes that Star Wars is witchcraft. He believes that the author of Potter is in league with Satan and communists. And says that I (and other like me) have the intelligence of a lima bean. -David

"PROFESSING" CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT VIEW IT
Subject: Newsletter_30_Harry_Potter_Is_Dangerous
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2001
From: "Charles"

I totally believe that Harry Potter should not be watched by "professing" christians. I also believe that the witchcraft in the movie opens doors to which makes magic appear harmless and fun. I do know that God can use all things for His glory, but what about those people who are not looking for God? 1John 2:15 states: " Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Shouldn't those who know God and His word be teaching His truths? Or is it okay to let people believe that God thinks sorcrey and witchcraft are alright? Also, Revelation 3:15,16 states: I know your works that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth." Isn't about time that people become radical for God instead of saying we are christians and then watching something that is displeasing to Him.

Response: You go to far. This is a Fantasia type film, or Mary Poppins. It has nothing to do with the scriptures you quote. Unless, of course, you mean to say Mary Poppins is satanic. In which case, I would not know how to respond to you. PS the witch hunts are over. RIP -David

POINTING TO THE TRUTH
Subject: Harry_Potter
Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2001
From: Aaron

Hi, just a quick note to thank you for your efforts. I appreciate your site for your focus on how Christians can use pop culture as a bridge to speaking about Truth and sharing the Gospel.

While I have mostly stayed away from the whole Harry Potter controversy, one thing concerns me as I read through some of the posts regarding the film. While we may disagree with both the message and tactics used by those who attack this film, we should not stoop to insulting them and calling them names. Some name-calling may be appropriate, but I do not believe Jesus would approve of us calling our brothers and sisters in him morons, etc.

I appreciate your attempts to engage in rational dialogue regarding so controversial an issue. God bless you and your ministry. Aaron

Response: Good point and thank you. -David

HARRY POTTER AND MEDIA SCARES
Subject: Harry Potter
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001
From: "Stuart Wheeler"

David,
That the HP books are well written is clear. That the film, with actors, actresses, production teams, locations (and budget) of such an outstanding calibre, could not fail to be both artistically and commercially successful, is beyond question. The fact that HP has already and will continue to exert an incalculable influence over our cultural life today, is what lies at the heart of the problem about HP within the Christian community. As Bible-believing Christians, we know that there is a network of spiritual enemies waging war against the Kingdom of God, and we know that our enemy is attempting to orchestrate opposition, futile though that is, to the will of God. It is too tempting for Christians to believe that all evil (including the WTC tragedy), all cataclysmic events, real or anticipated (including the Y2K scare), anyone who has become obscenely rich and successful (eg Procter and Gamble), and any phenomenon that has captured the imagination of a disproportionate number of people (the Beatles, Monty Python's Life of Brian, Harry Potter,etc) must be part of this network of evil, orchestrated by our enemy. What we don't understand, has to be rationalised by being squeezed into a conspiracy, whose existence I would certainly not deny, but whose scope has become exaggerated.

Job's 'Comforters' were sharply rebuked for seeing God's judgement in Job's sufferings, and, although God told Job he had been speaking about things he did not understand, when he proclaimed his own innocence and the injustice of his troubles, He did not give any reason for them happening, nor did He contradict what Job had said. Jesus did not support the attempts of some of His contemporaries to rationalise the deaths of the people crushed by the Tower of Siloam as being Divine Judgement: He said that they were no more or less sinful than anyone else, we are all corrupted by sin, but God has mercy on whom He has mercy, and no one can truthfully say they understand this; it's one of the Mysteries of God.

So, can we see the orchestration of the enemy at work in the case of the Harry Potter media avalanche? Perhaps. Not in the content of the original work or of the film, necessarily, but perhaps in the way some Christians' response to it has been fanned into flame, drawing ridicule from the media, and, more importantly, diverting Christians from what they should really be doing as the night draws near: sharing their Savior with a lost generation. But should we allow our response to go to the other extreme? Harry is a teenager, making decisions in his day to day life, as we all do, some decisions are good and noble, many are selfish, deceitful, hurtful, dangerous and potentially destructive; he has no Savior to guide his decisions or protect him in a dark and oppressively evil world, so he uses sorcery. No, I would not seek spiritual truth in HP, any more than I would seek it in the Beatles or Monty Python. I would rather check out God's word. But each individual should use their own judgement about whether they want to see the film or let their children see it (with them). And perhaps we can use this media issue as an opportunity to talk to others about our faith.

Response: Thanks for your insight. I appreciate it. -David

TOLKIEN A CHRISTIAN?
Subject: Newsletter 30
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2001
From: LKJ

Jen sees this positive value, she wrote me the following email: I am sure that Tolkien's (Lord of the Rings) work will come under fire as has Harry Potter but I believe in this case that the story is what you take away from it. I have read the Hobbit and the Trilogy at least 7 or 8 times now and every time I have learned more from it. Although Tolkien himself may not have been a Christian, there are Christian values that are still presented to readers in his story. My understyanding is that Tolkien was a devout Catholic and dear friend of C.S. Lewis (a renowned Christian author)
http://www.tayloru.edu/upland/programs/lewis/articles/seland.html
http://www.tayloru.edu/upland/programs/lewis/articles/seland.html
http://www.scriptorum.org/l/kolbitar.html
http://www.scriptorum.org/l/kolbitar.html

Response: Yes, as a matter of fact, Tolkien was the one who God used to lead CS Lewis to the Lord. -David

SPIRITUALITY AND TOLKIEN
Subject: Lord_of_Rings and Newsletter_30
Date: Sat, 01 Dec 2001
From: Chuck

If I remember correctly, in C.S. Lewis' "Space Trilogy", he actually identifies the wizards of Middle Earth as visiting angels, here to help folks out.

I also seem to recall something by Tolkien himself, hidden in the appendix of Book III to that effect.

I could be wrong. It's been a long time since I took a course on LOTR in college.

I get a kick out of all the hub-bub over "evil" wizards and witches by folks who are obviously ignorant (literally - no insult meant) of the things they criticize. For example, major parts of Harry Potter evolve around Christmas time & traditions. Silly...

Response: Good insight. Thanks. And I think you are right about CS Lewis. -David

WICCA
Subject: Newsletter_30
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2001
From: Holly

Harry Potter is just a hollywood version of the true religion on wicca. twisted and bent for the audiances enjoyment. It is not a tool to recruit new wiccans, it is simply a book that is to be read. And if your children do become interseted in another religion then let them. Would you rather have them grow up to be open-minded to new ideas or close-minded in thier ways?

Response: I agree that Harry Potter is not a tool to recruit for the Wiccans. HP has hit at the core of a cultures quest for spirituality in a postmodern culture. -David

YES YES YES
Subject: Newsletter_30 Harry_Potter_Can_Be_Used_Positively
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001
From: Beth

YES YES YES!

Read (Wheaton College English professor) Alan Jacob's article, "Harry Potter's Magic" in FIRST THINGS for the reason why Harry Potter can be used positively.

http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0001/reviews/jacobs.html

But be forwarned. Jacobs is not of the Church AGAINST Culture School of Christian Life: he doesn't think that we have to prove our allegiance to Christ by bashing everything that isn't directly listed (with approval) in the concordance.

Jacobs seems to be a graduate of the Justin Martyr School of Christian life: we don't need to disparage what is good to establish the One who is Good; we don't need to reject what is true in order to point to the One who is True.

And it is not a matter of not being able to recognize what is good and true in the world, because Romans 1:19-20 teaches that we can indeed know what is good and true apart from special revelation. In fact, Paul says that it is precisely BECAUSE we can know God's power and character (Good, as true, etc) from general revelation that humankind is in trouble! We know it, but because we are in rebellion against Him, we refuse to recognize, glorify and thank God for it.

If Harry Potter shows us something true and good, it can only be because it is a reflection of Him who is Truth and Goodness itself. Sure, it's wrapped in an unusual package, of witches and wizards and dragons and magic and the stuff of fairy tales...but nowhere yet have I read anything in the books or seen anything on the screen that would say those things are the product of SATAN'S power or character. Until I do, I say to all Christians, "Harry Potter is not off-limits; in fact, he may even assist us to better see Christ!" The scandal of Harry Potter is not that he is a wizard who is able to do "magic." It is that Christians refuse to see that the magic of Harry Potter can be used to bear fruit: to direct us further on, to what C. S. Lewis called the "Deep Magic:" the love and power of Jesus Christ. But, then again, Jesus is used to being a stumbling stone...

"The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes." Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed." (Matt. 21:42-44)

Lord, deliver us, from falling on this Stone, like the unbelievers do, and from being crushed by it, because we have refused to bear fruit.
Yours in Christ,
Beth Bilynskyj

Response: Right on. Thank you. -David

THE HARRY POTTER SCARE
Subject: Newsletter_30
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001
From: Miss Stella

I'm just gonna tell you this once...

Harry Potter is NOT Evil!
He has become an architypical good guy, fighting against the evil oppressors of the world!

...and he gets children who have no interest in books whatsoever to read!

If one takes into account the graphic details in the books, one would think 'oh, my, its satanic!'...but that's because the world (in most places) has been taught to fear all things in the world of mysticism...and I'm just gonna say that if you do, I KNOW you're a Muggle :)

Ms. Rowling has good intent in her books and they can be geared towards children as well as adults. There are many symbolic things within the books...some plain to see, others you have to dig a bit to understand... I'm not sure if I've put up a good argument or not, but I'll stick by Ms. Rowling's side until everyone has gotten over their 'occult'-phobias...

After all...where would our Christmas trees and our Easter bunny be if Christianity hadn't merged with the Gael traditions, hmm?

((And, really, if you Christians knew what you're getting yourselves into with your children dancing around the May Pole, geesh! ;o) ))

-Ashley E."ccentric" Wilson
Official Reader Of Books,
Honorary Mugwump,
Two-Cents Putter-Inner...
17,fm,Va,Usa...
tempus_magus@yahoo.com

Response: Thanks I appreciate your thoughts. Do you think that maybe Christmas will suffer the same attack as Halloween has when certain Isolationist Christians discover it's true origins? It staggers my mind to think of what's next. -David

THE SPIRIT OF ANTI-McCARTHYISM
Subject: Newsletter_30_Harry_Potter_Is_Dangerous
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001
From: Gary

...the spirit of anti-McCarthyism (liberalism) now controls you, and you don't even realize it...

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

...i, of course, disagree with every point you make - enjoy it while you can, purveyor of lies, it will not last!!!...

Response: McCarthy was the master of the 1950s communist black listing witch hunt. And you equate McCarthyism with God? What? We follow Jesus not McCarthy. You base your concept of honesty on being in line with McCarthy? Interesting. 1 Corithians 1:11-13, 17 comes to mind. Perhaps McCarthyism is the strong delusion of the end times. God bless you Gary. I hope your eyes will refocus on Jesus and not Senator McCarthy (Hebrews 12:1-2). -David

GOD GAVE US MINDS
Subject: Newsletter_30 Harry Potter
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001
From: Butson

I too am tired of the "witch-hunt" atmosphere that pervades Christian culture, now focusing on Harry Potter. As a friend and I were discussing this summer, we may not think it's prime reading for many Christian kids, but so much depends on the spiritual maturity of the kids and the parents. If you are sincerely convicted that it's dangerous, don't read it. But be careful not to engage in hypocrisy by reading your kids fairy tales or even (gasp) the Chronicles of Narnia. The Potter series has managed to engage many adults as well as kids by solid writing and good storytelling. If the content is so reprehensible to you, my Christian sister or brother, I respect your perspective, but please be gracious in your criticism.

FamilyLife Today of Little Rock Arkansas had a good two day series on the issue back when the Harry Potter movie first opened. The folks on the panel demonstrated reasonable and grace-filled attitudes for those parents concerned and confused over the issue. They reminded the listeners that we are not filled with the spirit of fear but of love and self-control, as Paul states in his letter to Timothy. Not all Christians are lighting the torches to get the fires going (as in the witch-hunts, that is); God gave us minds. Let's use them to His glory.

GRANDFATHER SPEAKS
Subject: Potter Newsletter_30
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001
From: Jos. H. Bryant o.d., o.c.

Hello, I have 6 grandchildren from the age of 6 up to 17 and their general opinion is that Harry Potter is either great fun to watch or it's just silly "fairy-tail type stuff" as the 14 year old said. Sa, for the Satanic thing? We are aware that there are some in and out of the ministry that will use any means available to fatten their purses. I feel this applies to most of the "televangelists" and, unfortunately, some of the more established churches. My family has a very stong Christian Ethic that we all live by and we're rarely affected by those who would have people buy into there particular "ism". We don't do yoga or pay any attention to Buddha and we're not expecting a spaceship to come along and take us to Heaven. We're just plain old fashioned Christians and it works just fine for us. We pray for those not so enlightend by The Word of God. We also don't look at popular entertainment media to provide any insghts to the Bible. Thank you for your time.
Keep The Son in your eyes!
<>< Jos. H. Bryant o.d., o.c.

WE READ ALL 4 HP BOOKS TOGETHER...
Subject: Newsletter_30 Harry Potter
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001
From: Pam

I agree with your "witch-hunting". My son is 9 years old and we have read all 4 H.P. books together. Granted, there are some parts of the books a little violent for my taste and I do believe a 9 year old is too young for a few of the violent parts. But as I read the book to him, I would glance ahead and skip over the bad parts. We went to see the movie. I thought it was very well done and Harry is a very lovable boy. He's a good boy considering all he has had to go thru. He is a hero and our hero in the book is a good guy! My sons (two of them) are so grounded in the Lord, I do not fear they will ever think about witchraft, satanism, etc. because of this book or movie. They love the Lord too much to give that evil a second thought. They know the Lord so evil is distasteful to them. I made sure they understood and we talked about the witch/evil part before I took them to see the movie. When God lives in your heart and you have professed Him as your Lord and Savior, and truly mean it with all of your heart, you won't WANT to do those things!! I think people like John Hagee don't give our children enough credit for loving their Jesus with all their hearts! As parents we need to focus more on praying every day for our children that they remain in God's hands. The old saying goes "Don't worry about anything (Harry Potter, etc...), Pray about everything (your children)!" If he is referencing non-believer children, this gives us as believers an opportunity to reach out and teach them about God. Thank you! J Pam

Response: Thank you Pam. -David

ANY ATTENTION HE CAN GET
Subject: Newsletter_30 Satanic_Hysteria
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001
From: David

David:
I agree that there is a lot of hysteria in the American Christian culture. I believe that C.S Lewis wrote something about giving the devil too much attention or ignoring him being equally dangerous (check the Screwtape letters). Sometimes it seems as if people find devils behind every doorstep. But at the same time we do need to be sober enough to know that there are evil influences in the world. And be aware that these forces intend to do all men harm. But we have to remember that the apostle John wrote that "greater is he who is in you than he that is in the world." So while we should not ignore evil, we do not need to fear it -- or get hysterical about it. When things like 9-11 happen, we try to make sense out of it, we try to make it fit our constructs or world view. These events were perpetrated by people who thought that what they were doing was right, that they were actually doing the will of God. They had created a world view that said that evaporating 5000 people was okay, that they would be rewarded with doe-eyed maidens feeding them grapes in paradise because they had killed infidels (at least I think that's how the thinking goes -- check my facts). But are they the real enemy? Or is the real enemy the one who came up with the idea that murder in the name of God is a good thing? Did not Hitler's death camps reflect a similar world view? And what of other atrocities in our own time -- Rwanda comes to mind. Or Bosnia-Herzegovina, or Indonesia or the Philippines? Just a few musings.
David

Response: You make a very good point. We have had a series of false insights by isolationist Christians: Harry Potter satanic takeover of children, God judged America on 9/11, Y2K fall of America, Disney boycotts, Dogma movie, Satanist killing babies in the 80s, etc. etc. I am really sick of the nonsense which basically communicates the idea that God hates nonChristians, sinners, homosexuals, atheist, wiccans etc. I hope all of these false cries direct people to a better way of relating to the world. However, I fear you are right. People construct ideas of God according to their hatred and intolerance of others. Hateful world views need to be put aside. "For God so loved the world that He gave..." -David

NARNIA IS GOOD
Subject: Newsletter_30
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001
From: KEN

I just want to remind people of one thing....The Chronicles of Narnia books and movies are wonderful. They are rich in imagination and we don't have to search for ways to find Jesus in them. Why do we always feel like we have to submerge ourselves in everything that hits the theater or bookstand?

Response: I am sad to say that already isolationist Christians are beginning to attack TRR Tolkien (Lord Of The Rings) and CS Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe) for witchcraft. It really makes me feel so sad. We are in the midst of a gigantic witch hunt. I never thought I would see such a thing in my life time. I really thought we were more enlightned than this. Even sadder is the fact that televangelist and certain radio "ministries" are joining in on these attacks against CS Lewis, LOTR and HP. Anything to line the wallets. -David

NOT ALL CHRISTIANS ARE ON A WITCH HUNT!
Subject: Newsletter_30 Harry Potter
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001
From: T Webb

I thoroughly enjoyed Harry Potter as a work of fiction. As a Christian adult who has read many works of fiction fantasy I felt no pull toward witchcraft, demons, or magic. A relative gave me a book to read, The Bible and Harry Potter. It scared me to death and I couldn't finish reading it. I was very glad to hear your point of view and glad to know not all Christians are on this particular witchhunt! Thank You!!

Response: Thank you. And right you are. Most Christians are not involved in this insane witch hunt. And that makes we happy. Jesus smiles too. -David

HARRY POTTER ..LOTR..
Subject: Newsletter_30
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001
From: Justin

First of all I would like to thank you for such a wonderful (and much needed) site. I think it is a breath of fresh air to the christian community reguarding movies and entertainment. First of all I would like to address the current issue that seems to be on every christians mind: Harry Potter. I have never read the books, never really payed much attention to all the hype behind them, and I honestly never had any desire to read them..until now. I saw the film and loved it, it reminded me of being a kid again, and transporting myself into a eye popping world of fantasy. I grew up on fantasy. My first film experinces were E.T and Return of the Jedi, so I think I was in good company with Harry Potter. As for the whole debate on whether it is satanic or not. I would like to say that I STRONGLY feel that if you have nothing better to do with you time that rant and rave about how evil Harry is and how the author is leading all of our children into the occult, then wake up! You should sit back and take a good long look at yourself, and then ask Jesus to forgive you for the way you are acting. If your going to dismiss Harry Potter, shall we forget Tolkien and Lewis as well? (I should also point out that the latter two were devout christians..some people need to research before they draw conclusions) The magic in Harry Potter is nothing but fantasy and in researching I conclude that the author was very much influenced by Tolkien and Lewis. These books can teach our children moral lessons of self-sacrifice and the value of friendship, which were things I got out of seeing the film. The Bible says train up a child in the way he should go, so if your actively teaching your child the things of God and teaching them the Bible, then they will be strong in the Lord. What are they gonna think if they see you pointing fingers at something you should not be so concerned about? And yet we wonder why hollywood and the media has such a negative view on christianity! im just sick of the self righteous, legalistic , close minded christians who have nothing better to do than point fingers and jump to conclusions! I honestly think if we really truly searched the scriptures instead of holding on to "our" ideals and what "we" were taught, than we would see what God truly wants us to see. We have missed so much. Think of all the people whos lives were touched by the ministry of a christian rock band, and then then think of all the people who think christian rock is satanic. scary huh? see the problem??? we dont look before we leap. i am a 21 year old christian guy, who loves movies, and loves to read. I thank God for people like David who can see Jesus in Hollywood and in entertainment. I think alot of people can follow his example.
God bless you guys
Justin

Response: Thank you. -David

WITCHCRAFT
Subject: Newsletter_30
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001
From: Astrid

I feel that at least one point of confusion about witchcraft is that it is poorly defined in most cases, and lumped together with sorcery and enchantment in others. I believe they are all of the same genre, and have to do with rebellion , as is pointed out in 1 Samuel 15:23, in the Old Testament . In this context the rebellion is against God , in fact all rebellion is by definition against the Almighty and Omnipotent God. So giving children a look at what we must confess is a superficial , fanciful idea of what it means to have powers to transform, change, destroy and create are , shall we say, at least questionable and at most perhaps rebellious. So what we should do in all fairness as reasonable Christian adults is to tell children the truth about God , as their Father and creator, and stop messing around with fantasy and untruths. And heed the warnings given in the Book of Revelation, which state that in God's supreme justice, witches and sorcerers who are rebelling against God will never, therefore, get into Heaven. Period. Train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it.

Response: You are right. Rebellion against God is the issue. Harry Potter is NOT about rebellion against God. -David

TOLKIEN
Subject: Newsletter_30 Tolkien
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001
From: Charity

One of your commenter mentioned how Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have definite spiritual aspects. This is true -- and I am personally counting down the days until the film premiers... but she also claimed that "Tolkien himself may not have been a Christian..." I would like to make a short correction. Tolkien *was* a Christian. In fact, it was his influence that gave CS Lewis insight into the Christian faith, and ultimately converted him. He would be insulted to think that his books -- and himself -- were secular. I've only just discovered "Hollywood Jesus," and look forward to coming back.
God bless your ministry,
Charity
www.charitysplace.com

Response: Thank you. And you are right Tolkien was a Christian. -David

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