Harry Potter Fans: Dumbeldore’s Been Outed

Sadly, many of my friends are reading these books and watching these movies, and not to understand what the culture is being fed, but to be entertained. Much to the dismay of many of them I’m sure, it is now confirmed that the Harry Potter series isn’t so innocent after all. Not that it ever was being that it is pretty much a multi-book advertisement for witchcraft.

Let us be sanctified and pure my friends, for friendship with the world is enmity with God.

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12 Responses to Harry Potter Fans: Dumbeldore’s Been Outed

  1. Lima Bean says:

    Bill
    I don’t really understand your point here. Have you actually ever read Harry Potter? I am a Christian who reads Harry Potter strictly for entertainment. I have read each book multiple times, and have seen each of the movies. What Rowling has done here is not as you put release a “multi-book advertisement for witchcraft” but instead created a fantasy world, just as C.S. Lewis created the magical world of Narnia. Never once has Rowling encouraged her readers to go out and practice witchcraft, nor has she ever stated that she even really believed in witchcraft… she merely created the magical world of Hogwarts as a fantasy world. Maybe if you believe that anyone who creates a magical fantasy world is wrong, then maybe we should shun all comics, fairy tales and CS Lewis’s beloved Chronicles of Narnia, among others.
    On the other hand, you bring up the point about Dumbledore– so what if he’s gay??? This point is never brought up in the book, it is just something that Rowling used to develop her character in her own mind… I just wanted to ask you- is it so wrong for us to read Harry Potter because Dumbledore is supposed to be gay? Is it then wrong for us to watch the Lord of the Rings films because Sir Ian MacKellan (the actor portraying Gandalf) is gay, even though these films are based off of books written by a great Christian? What if a Christian author wrote a book that incorportated a gay character into the story line? Should we not read it? Please do not mistake me… I do not condone homosexuality, in fact just the opposite… but I do not believe it is right to hate gay people or to shun a book because it has a gay character or to say that those that read Harry Potter are being blinded by impure and sinful things. I was very upset when Rowling “outed” Dumbledore and I wish that he wasn’t gay, but it is a fact of life. The culture that we live in today accepts gayness, so we might as well get used to it. I’m not saying condone it, but I think that it is our responsiblity to love the sinners and hate the sin. If we are to be in the world, we are not to be of the world, but we are also not supposed to shun the world.

    ~Lima~

  2. Bill says:

    Lima,

    It’s not just that it contains witchcraft, it’s that it is portrayed in nothing but a positive light. The Scriptures explicitly speak woe upon those who call evil good and good evil.

    Two of my closest friends were brought out of the Occult, and they have been an exceptional resource in terms of their knowledge related to Occultic symbolism and mythology. But even their testimony to these facts is not absolutely necessary, for even a cursory Google search for “Harry Potter Occult” yields a wealth of information such as this gem which spotlights many of the occultic symbols, references, and the social effects.

    Given what I know now of Lewis’ appetite for paganism and its inclusion in his fiction, I would not endorse the Narnia series either. I’ll leave it to you to search for information regarding the paganism and occult imagery in Narnia and Lord of the Rings as there is likewise a wealth of information out there.

    And the more subtle point is that while Christians haven’t been offended by the massive amount of witchcraft present throughout the series, they’re sure to be offended by homosexuality. Consistency is what I’m looking for here in my brothers and sisters.

  3. Miss. Bixby says:

    I happen to be a big HP fan, and very much a Christian.
    I’m not happy with the fact that Dumbledore was gay, but like Lima said, it was never brought up in the books directly. Plus that it’s a modern book, in a modern society where generally being gay is accepted.

    I don’t know what faith, if any, Rowling practices – but if it is indeed not christianity, then she can’t be held to the same standards if she doesn’t know them.

    I’m not saying I condone the act. I’m very much against the act of homosexuality, but I’ve also grown up being taught that we are supposed to love one another. I don’t see how being hateful towards someone, just because they are different, is loving them. I don’t see that as an example of Christianity. Jesus loved everyone, despite the differences.

    I don’t look to accept the sin, I just show respect towards my fellow humans. I figure, if I want respect, I need to show respect.

    As for the pagan, and cult-like references – anyone could find something anywhere if they looked hard enough. Rowling meant for HP to be a fun fictional fantasy story. And that’s why I read it, because it’s entertaining, it’s funny, and it’s written really well. And I know many other Christians who would agree.

    I don’t agree with your last comment either about the friendship with the world… true we are not supposed to follow it, but how can we be the witness we’re called to be if we totally separate ourselves from the non-believers. And I believe to do that, we must understand the world – not necessarily agree with it, but understand it, and how can you do that if you never experience it.

  4. Bill says:

    Miss Bixby,

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that sinfulness surprises me in non-Christians or in non-Christian media. I am not suggesting we hold Miss Rowling or any unbeliever to the standards to which Christians are called.

    Nor am I denigrating Rowling’s storytelling abilities. Clearly she is a skilled author, as the series has sold millions.

    Nor am I suggesting that we hate homosexuals. Homosexuality is sin and very serious because it is a sexual sin, but neither would I suggest that we would hate an adulterer or fornicator. No, we are told to love them, but we do not condone or endorse their sin, and we make it plain that this is not God’s will that they engage in such behavior.

    The fact that the response of young people to Rowling’s books has been a massive upsurge in interest in paganism and witchcraft is telling of the overwhelmingly positive portrayal of witchcraft present throughout the series.

    What I am suggesting is that while Christians are called to understand and engage a culture, they are also called to holiness. James, the brother of Jesus, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit tells us: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

    There is nothing inherently wrong with reading something for informational purposes and for the purposes of relating to a culture. I do believe there is something wrong when we are willfully seeking entertainment by means of media which by and large glorifies evil. That one of the wizards is homosexual is as close to a non-issue as you can get as far as I am concerned. I bring it up to illustrate a point: that Christians are entertaining themselves with paganism and things which God calls abominable.

    It’s one thing to be naive and read something having been informed that a given title is supposedly benign or overall positive in nature. It’s quite another to continue to indulge oneself in a series after learning that such is not the case.

    Even if I were to concede that perhaps it is worthwhile to undertake a reading of the Harry Potter series so that we might understand and respond with a Christian worldview, I still maintain that this still does not justify the use of the materials as entertainment. It’s one thing to read Kant and Nietzche to be informed and respond. It’s quite another to adopt their philosophies as our own.

    While it may be true that some Christians may indeed read the Harry Potter series to be informed of its content, I am willing to bet that the vast majority are reading the books to be entertained, and that is my point of contention with these brothers and sisters. I do not believe that it is consistent with a lifestyle of holiness and a mind set on the Spirit to utilize Rowling’s books as a source of entertainment.

  5. Miss. Bixby says:

    I do read them for entertainment, and I’m more than willing to admit that. Why? Because I see nothing wrong with it. I don’t see anything wrong with me enjoying a good book just because it’s not pure and holy. But it doesn’t mean I have to believe or adapt to it. I’m also a horror movie fanatic, doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and kill a ton of people.

    I see nothing wrong with these things as long as you can separate it out, and not allow it to interfere with your relationship with Christ. The key is knowing yourself and knowing what your limits are and what will, and won’t interfere.

  6. Bill says:

    Miss Bixby,

    I must respectfully disagree with your assessment on the worthiness of the Potter books for use as entertainment by Christians. I once believed as you do. What’s the harm in it if I don’t believe it or practice it? The problem is that what we see and what we read does affect our thinking. I believe that with all of my heart. The mind set on the flesh is death. The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.

    I think Paul would agree as well, because he wrote the following to our Philippian brothers: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Php 4:8, emphasis mine)

    We should fill our lives with excellence and purity — things of noble character. Our recreational choices should reflect this also. In my opinion, because of the overarching glorification of abominable practices portrayed in Harry Potter (specifically witchcraft) and because there are so few redeemable qualities about the series, I believe that Christians would be better off finding another source of entertainment.

    A better question than why shouldn’t we read/watch Harry Potter (though some of the reasons have been enumerated here) is why should we read them? Why should I read Harry Potter? What is true, right, pure, honorable, etc. about it that should give us cause to embrace it? If we cannot answer this question sufficiently, then we are likely better off abstaining.

  7. Lima Bean says:

    Bill-
    So what you are saying is that we should be removed from the world? I’m sorry, but I must disagree with you there. How many things in this world then should we remove ourselves from if we follow your principle here?? I agree that we should fill our lives with excellence and purity, but you seem to suggest staying away from anything that is non-Christian if I am reading you correctly. Why should one watch a movie? Why should one play video games? Why should one blog? Why should one go to school even? I we cannont answer those questions sufficiently, then we are likely better off abstaining.
    Like I have said before, I believe that Christians are to be in the world, not of the world, but also not apart from the world. In order to be an effective Christian, one must do things that non-Christians might relate to.
    ~Lima~

  8. Bill says:

    Lima Bean,

    I’m not saying we completely remove ourselves from the world. That is silly. Monasticism ignores the very first word of the Great Commission: go. What I’m suggesting is that we are very careful to consider what we are allowing to enter our minds through the doors of the ears and eyes.

    Now we live in a fallen world, but that does not mean that there are not redeemable qualities in non-Christian entertainment and education. You go to Kent. You’re certainly intelligent enough to discern between those things which have sufficient redeemable qualities and those things which are probably best left alone.

    A medium which systematically glorifies evil (whether sexual sins, witchcraft, or senseless destruction of life/property, or any other sort of evil) is probably one of those things we ought not engage. Think of some obvious examples. Grand Theft Auto is probably not a video game that a Christian should be purchasing and playing. Playboy is not a magazine a Christian should be purchasing and reading. It’s a case by case thing, and good Christian men and women may disagree, but the principles in how we discern what is acceptable for our entertainment should be the same.

    I’ll give you an example of one of those mediums which I believe is acceptable. I went and watched American Gangster with some friends last weekend. There is violence, some partial nudity, drug use, and profanity. If I were only to examine the bad and reject this movie out of hand, I would have to overlook the entire plot, and certainly the most obvious good point of the plot: the conclusion.

    The movie is based upon a true story. It’s about a man who essentially inherits a gang empire and builds upon it. He is an angry, violent man, but loves his family. The protagonist is a cop who is honest enough to turn in a million dollars in spite of the fact that it will cost him his reputation with nearly all of the other cops in the precinct who are corrupt. This cop is selected to join the Feds in order to fight drug trafficking in the region. Eventually he finds that this gangster is the one at the top responsible for all the drug trafficking. He gathers evidence against the gangster and eventually busts him and his operations. Many of those involved in this evil are arrested or killed in the raid. The ring leader himself is arrested and finally meets the protagonist face to face. The protagonist goes to the prison to offer this evil man mercy if he will redeem himself by coming clean about every person he knows involved in this drug trafficking, from distributors to the corrupt cops who took bribes. His sentence is reduced and many many many evil men are brought to justice through his cooperation.

    Does justice, integrity, and honestly winning out in the end make it a worthwhile movie to see? Personally, I think so. I don’t know of that many redeemable qualities in the HP series, but I’m willing to hear arguments to that end.

    If you read HP, maybe we can get together for coffee and discuss. I’d enjoy that very much.

  9. Lima Bean says:

    Bill-

    I’m not saying that Christians are free to watch or read whatever they want… I do not believe that pornography or excessive violence are things that Christians should be purchasing and/or partaking in. We are to be a light in the world and be mindful of the things we say/do/watch… if garbage comes in, garbage will come out. Yes, as a student at Kent State University, I am surrounded by thousands of students who do not know the Lord… I believe that it is my responsibility to show them that I am a Christian, yet I can still do the same things that they do, that I don’t have to separate myself with a “holier than thou” attitude… heck, I’m even willing to show that I can have some “fun” as they would call it, and have a beer … I see nothing wrong with that. I have an issue with people that decry Harry Potter as evil and immoral, and take issue with Christians who decry everyone who does not share their same ideas as heretics. I don’t even think that “heretic” should be in the Christian vocabulary. It is not a good reflection on Christ (please don’t take this personally…. I have read your posts on Rob Bell, etc….you’re just excercising your freedom of speech…) I believe that as Christians, people should see us as relatable people that enjoy doing the same things that “normal” people do (I’m not saying we’re abnormal, but to the non-Christian maybe so…), so that we can be more effective in our witness to them.

    I think that it is great how you can justify “American Gangster,” but can’t I use the same philosophy in which to justify Harry? I do not believe that in reading Harry Potter that my walk with God has in anyway been harmed, I have not really benefited either, but same could be said of your watching “American Gangster…” You condemn Harry Potter because it contains witchcraft… I could very well condemn “American Gangster” because it contains profanity, violence, nudity, etc., etc., of which Harry is lacking… Harry Potter contains a struggle of Good versus Evil, of which Good triumphs… could this not be a parallel to our lives as Christians? Harry Potter, just like “American Gangster” triumphs over the bad in the end (hate to spoil the ending for you… sorry :)…) so therefore I think that it has many redeemable qualities as well…

    I think that in the right hands, Harry Potter and other secular things could be used to reach people for Christ. HP spurs on interesting conversation that could easily be directed towards the topic of Christianity. Other things, be it a similar interest in politics or video games or movies, etc. can bring people closer together and give them something of common interest in which to talk about, which could then lead to the topic of Christ.

    Anyway, that post is a lot longer than I wanted it to be…

    ~Lima~

    PS- how did you know I go to Kent anyway?

  10. Bill says:

    Lima,

    If you could, might you elaborate a bit more on the underlying good vs. evil struggle that you perceive as present in the Potter series? Given what I know of it, I don’t think it is something Christians ought to be consuming, but if my impressions are wrong, feel free to correct me. The fact that I think we shouldn’t doesn’t mean that I condemn anyone who does. Primarily it is a personal choice, but I would encourage my like-minded brothers and sisters to consider doing likewise.

    Lima, I don’t condemn you for reading the books or enjoying them. Given the information available to me, I think that it may be a poor choice, but if you speak honestly when you tell me that you can in good conscience read the books, discern between right and wrong correctly, and come out on the other side being able to more clearly articulate who Jesus is to our generation, then I will by no means stand in your way.

    As for the h-word, though I use it of Bell and others, please understand that it is not without a full sense of the gravity of that word. I do not use the word lightly. There is a difference between someone who is merely mistaken, out of ignorance or perhaps because that is what they have been taught. There comes a point when repeated, deliberately misleading statements build a conclusive case that a person isn’t just making a mistake, but rejecting the plain truths of the Bible. That is when it is permissible and yes, desirable to use the word so that others might not be led astray by false teaching.

    It’s not about exercising my rights, friend, it’s about discerning truth from lies and half-truths. Though I don’t often write about it here on this blog, I do enjoy many of the activities that “normal” folk enjoy (does this imply that I’m not normal? haha). In fact just this week I told at least 3 of my friends whom I haven’t seen in awhile that we were overdue for dinner and a Christmas Ale. That’s about as normal as you can get for a bunch of 20-something-year-olds.

    There’s some pretty black and white stuff and then there’s a whole lot of gray. Navigating the gray is perhaps a bit more difficult, but if we are walking in the Spirit, it will be much easier to discern. We ought to ask ourselves questions such as these:

    At what point is our involvement in culture not engaging it, but accepting it without question? At what point is our non-involvement in culture not engaging it, but hindering our ability to speak the Gospel into and in contrast to the culture?

    I knew you go to Kent because you posted from the computer labs. I assumed that Kent doesn’t allow non-students in their labs. I may be visiting some friends out there soon. Perhaps we could get together for coffee or a sandwich and you could give me a rundown of the HP series. I remain willing to be convinced differently about the series. Or we could just get together and talk about school and our respective testimonies. I’m always up for a good real-life story.

    If you’d like to discuss these matters in more detail, I invite you to email me and we can coordinate from there. My address should be linked somewhere in my comments.

  11. Lima Bean says:

    Bill-

    Harry Potter is a struggle of good versus evil– Harry, Dumbledore, etc. represent good, Voldemort and the Death Eaters represent evil. It is a constant struggle between Harry and Voldemort. Harry is constantly on his guard, as Voledemort tries to break into Harry’s thoughts to control him. Dumbledore is killed, Harry thinks all is lost, yet continues on with the help of the spirit of Dumbledore to finally conquer Voldemort and his cronies. That is all seven books in a nutshell… it is the classic good versus evil setup… yet I think it still may relate to our Christian lives– we and Christ represent good, Satan and sin represent evil… Satan tries to control us through temptation, etc. Christ died (and rose again), and after His ascension, we can fight back with the help of His spirit. By accepting Christ into our hearts, it is like vanquishing Voldemort– telling him that he no longer has control of us, that God is in control. In the end Christ will defeat Satan, etc. etc.

    As for the h-word, I still do not believe that it is right for you to be calling people that… I still believe it to be a poor reflection on Christ. He could have easily called the pharisees, etc. “heretics,” but he did not. I just don’t think that that is something that Christ would want us to do… and it is our most important duty to be a reflection of Him in our lives… but I digress.

    Maybe you should give Harry a chance… you can’t really judge it until you have read it. Read them all in order to get the true sense of the books. Sit down with one some day, the library shelves are full of all of the books. You may find it an enjoyable read, and you may find some good in it… beyond all of the witchcraft stuff. You must look deeper into it and just think of Hogwarts as a fantasy land, just like in all fiction books. Never once does Rowling try to pass Hogwarts off as real or endorse the use of witchcraft. It is perfectly harmless…

    ~Lima~

  12. Bill says:

    I still think that your analogies might be a bit of a stretch, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt since you were gracious enough to oblige me with a nutshell assessment of the books.

    I do not think it a poor reflection on Christ to speak truth and rightly call something what it is. You’re right: Jesus never once call the Pharisees heretics. He called them much worse! He called them a brood of vipers and sons of Satan! I think this image that we have given Jesus of a passive peacenik is wholly unbiblical. The same Jesus who saved the life of a woman caught in adultery was the Jesus who twice drove hucksters and swindlers from the Temple. Men fell over themselves to escape the righteous fire which burned angrily in his eyes. Men such as Rob Bell have largely departed from the Gospel of the Bible. They teach and defend positions which are blatantly false and clearly contrary to Scripture. That is by definition heresy.

    Would you rather that I called Bell and the Emergent church apostate? False teachers? These all describe them in virtually the same manner. To call Rob Bell apostate is to say that he has departed from the Gospel, and he has.

    Our dearly departed brother John Calvin said once: “A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.” I concur wholeheartedly. We are duty-bound as ambassadors of Christ to defend truth and refute heresy and lies, whether from within the Church or without.

    As for the HP series, I’ll consider it for the moment (and still not without great reservation), but I’ve two other books to finish currently before I can even think about sitting down to that task: Sproul’s The Holiness of God and another read through Piper’s Desiring God.

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