|By: Dr. Ted Baehr; ©2002|
|While this article deals primarily with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the principles also apply to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which opens later this month. Dr. Baehr and Dr. Snyder give advise to help you teach your child to see and understand the occult philosophy underneath the stories.|
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone had a lot of hype surrounding it, but the hype is somewhat deserved, because the book and its sequels have sold millions of copies. Even so, however, parents and children need to know the dangers that this cultural phenomenon poses.
Of course, theologically and morally, the occult, pagan worldview of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is abhorrent. When the occult magic fails, what does a witch or wizard do? To whom can they turn? Who’s ultimately in charge? Parents should ask their children these and other questions, because occult magic represents an unhealthy, selfish desire to replace God and to reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ in favor of a lifestyle that ultimately will lead to unhappiness and pain.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone also offers viewers a works theology, a form of elitism where those who are most successful at doing magic are the best. Witchcraft is a selfish, elitist form of Gnosticism, an evil theology of secret, esoteric knowledge. Mitigating this works theology are the movie’s theme about love and sacrifice, its rejection of false immortality, and its warning about not getting lost in false dreams and desires. Regrettably, however, the movie’s occult, pagan worldview also rewards the children for disobeying the school rules at Hogwarts and lying about it. Furthermore, the story gives a wink and a nod at the fact that no one can keep a secret among the witches and wizards because of all the gossip. Are these messages something you want to teach your children? We think not.
The bottom line, however, is that God abhors witchcraft no matter how sweet and subtle it is: “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.” — Deuteronomy 18:10-11
Below we offer Media-wise questions for children who see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone or Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Please note that wisdom involves in part understanding the consequences of your actions. These questions are intended to promote wisdom. Please add questions that you find relevant for your child.