|By: Dr. Ted Baehr; ©2002|
|C. S. Lewis once noted that people make two mistakes in their theology of evil: many discount the Devil as a myth, others give him too much power. Both are wrong. The Devil is real, but his power is limited. So what does that have to do with Harry Potter? Dr. Baehr explains.|
Once upon a time, yellow journal was in fashion. This universally condemned form of reporting was highly biased and opinionated in the interest of selling newspapers. Since drama involves conflict and drama sells, yellow journalism saw the world in black and white. Now, the mass media of entertainment has resurrected yellow journalism in the many talk shows which reduce issues to black and white.
C.S. Lewis once noted that people make two mistakes in their theodicy (or theology of evil): many people discount the Devil as a myth, while others give him too much power-and they are both wrong. The devil is real, but very limited-and he was defeated on the cross by Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords and King of Kings who is the sovereign God.
Recently, I was on a national right-wing talk show whose host was interested in defending his point of view with respect to the Harry Potter books by attacking the straw men of his imagination who stood against his point of view. He had taken the position that Harry Potter was harmless and that anyone with a contrary point of view was wrong. Regrettably, he had not read our white paper on Harry and did not bother to understand that our position was quite different.
Our position is neither black nor white but reflects the world that God reveals in His Scriptures. For many people, Harry is harmless. A few people will be sucked into the world of witchcraft. Most witchcraft is phony, and God tells us that most of these people are charlatans and foolish, but even the charlatans lead people astray and get them to worship foolish idols, concepts and false doctrines.
Our goal is to help people on both sides (those who say that they are not affected and those who are affected) to deal with the moral, psychological and spiritual problems that are corrosive to a healthy Christian worldview.
God abhors witchcraft, and so should we abhor it, but, we should not be afraid of witches. To say that Christians should not care is foolish. To say, we are wrong for trying to warn people is the height of selfish hubris. To set us up to knock us down is illogical and irrational as well as abhorrent. Our goal is to lift up Jesus Christ and His kingdom. We are not cultural crusaders who are trying to build some moralistic fascist culture. Our ultimate allegiance is to Jesus Christ. Because of that allegiance, we support and pray for our political leaders and our country. That country must be built on self-discipline, or it will drift into tyranny. Self-discipline comes from recognizing the loving guidance of God and His Word, the Bible, which was written to help us. If God abhors witchcraft, we should follow his lead and understand its ramifications as well as the fact that there is something better, which is a personal, faithful relationship with Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords. We are not boycotting Harry Potter. We are trying to help Christian parents make wise decisions based on His Word and to help them disciple their children who may be corrupted by the secular culture in this area.