Mrs. JenkTank watched an interview with Emma Watson, the young British actress playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” film series. Those who follow the films have literally watched the Miss Watson grow up. In the interview, she said that “people send me a lot of Bibles now.”
The Mrs. and I thought about why that was. Obviously, in the church world, some people have a big problem with Harry Potter. Some think that it’s a relatively harmless exercise in fantasy, like Lord of the Rings or the Chronicles of Narnia. The anti-Potters think that the book and film series is a deliberate and intentional tool of Satan to draw young children, fringe tweens, and adults who would go to Comic-con if they could get the week off, away from faith. So these people are probably trying to show Miss Watson the error of hers ways and convince her that instead of being an actress playing a role, she is actually a pawn of Lucifer, just without the horns, tail, and pitchfork.
If people really want to worry about what draws people away from the church, I don’t think that Harry Potter is our biggest problem. James puts the problem forward like this: “9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. James 3:9-10 (NIV)” The seeker who enjoys Harry Potter admires him because he is overcoming life after a horrific childhood tragedy; the seeker who rejects our Christianity usually does so because we can’t seem to get over anything. Everyone knows what Harry is for; everyone knows what we’re against. The issue is not outside influence drawing away, but rather inward spoiling pushing out. We must simply say and do what we say we say and do. If I’m a young Christian struggling with the demands, mysteries and nuances of faith, am I more likely to reject Christ because of a kid with glasses and a lightning bolt scar on his head, or because my parents insult and attack the pastor on the way home from church? Are people attracted to the power and effectiveness of Potter’s magical world, or are they confused by a church that claims the power of God and then never helps its community? For me, I know that the struggles of faith don’t stem from the mystical energies of a fantasy world, but rather from the wounding words of well-intended “church folk.” Words of shame and contempt destroy more than any incantation of Lord Valdemort.
Jesus taught us, “34“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35 (NIV)“ If the power and authenticity of Christianity is proven in love and relationship, then it is invalidated by our destructive words, our petty arguments, and our fear and disgust of the world around us. If we love God, love each other, and love people, we’ll be just fine. Don’t worry about Harry Potter being a tool of Satan, just make sure you’re not being a tool.