Friday, May 8, 2015

Faithful Fridays: Philippians 4:8: PART TWO: On Magic ***Updated***

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, 

whatever is honorable, whatever is just, 

whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, 

whatever is commendable, if there is any 

excellence, if there is anything worthy of 

praise, think about these things." 

Philippians 4:8

(English Standard Version)

Alright! So who wants to talk about magic?? =D

I’m not trying to intentionally step on toes; and once again, I don’t want to cause division! I’m thinking that a lot of you might disagree with me on some things ... But for real, I don’t know everything. You don’t know everything. But God does. And all I’m trying to do here in this post is see what God has to say about magic … And also Satan’s part in magic.

Wait, wait! Don’t rush down to give me your raving-mad comments yet!! Read the rest of the post. You may be surprised at what I say (or what I try to say anyway. Haha.)

I love you all, dear readers, and it’s not my aim to hurt you by careless words. So. I’ve found some relevant Bible verses (which you can’t simply ignore…) And I’ve been reading a lot of Christian/conservative posts on magic, Harry Potter, and whatnot. So I’ve researched. And I’m not alone in my opinions. And I do believe this is something we as Christians should ponder. So hear me out.

Magic. Is it pure, lovely, commendable, worthy of praise? Here’s some verses from the Bible on wizards and magicians (bold and underlining my doing):

“There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer  or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead,  for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.” Deuteronomy 18:10-12 

     Well, that was pretty straightforward. What else …

"Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God." Leviticus 19:31

“So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance.” 1 Chronicles 10:13

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” Revelations 22:14-15

“idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:20-21

So, clearly, sorcery (in other words, wizardry or witchcraft) is a sinful thing. And that’s God’s judgement, not mine. I’m just pointing it out.

I think the first thing we need to discern is: what’s in the novels you’re reading? Is it Magic or Witchcraft?

Gift or Craft?

Because, from what I’m seeing, "magic" and "witchcraft" can be two different things.

Magical things like tiny fairies flitting about; fictional races with supernatural gifts; dragons; uh, superheroes and the like … I have yet to see the problem with them. Theirs is a “magic”/gift they had from birth, or is gifted exclusively to their race. A lot of times, the "magic" they have isn't really even magic, but just abilities they have that are natural abilities to their race. In "innocent magic", from what I'm seeing, there's often a higher Being (God figure) that gifts power (not really magic) to certain races or angelic beings or whatnot. They're not free to learn all this spell, divination, sorcery stuff and use it at random or at their will.

However, then there’s craft. Where one learns how to do magic. How to cast spells, make potions, put curses on people, and all that. They're doing divination and conversing with dead people and dark spirits, and charming things into obeying them through a dark supernatural force. This makes me leery. From what the Bible verses I listed above say, this kind of stuff is witchcraft or sorcery.

Sorcery: the art, practices, or spells of a person who is supposed to exercise supernatural powers through the aid of evil spirits; black magic;witchery.

Witchcraft: the practice of magic, especially black magic; the use of spells and the invocation of spirits.

And witchcraft and sorcery are a real things. Real people in our real world are involved in this craft of learning magic—and are doing dark things. And they have power. Now where do you think this power comes from? The earth? Hmm. God created the earth, and so any power “coming from the earth” would actually be coming from God. Is the power good that it could be coming from God? I think we could all agree that, no, it is not good. Witchcraft/sorcery is dark and evil. I don’t know much about it, but all I need to know is that these people are called witches, satanists, occultists, and so on. Witchcraft is a very dark, sinful, devious thing.

So what I want to know is, how does putting witchcraft in a fantasy world suddenly make it okay? Even to Christians? I’m just not seeing it. It makes me feel a bit sick. Because Satan is the Enemy of God! Why would we involve ourselves in the Enemy’s evil doings?

Now, to those of you who like Harry Potter, I truly am sorry if it feels like I’m bashing your favorite book. But I just need to get my thoughts out; because I've been confused and wondering about this for a long time.

Okay. I do not think we as Christians should read books or watch movies with witchcraft (portrayed as good) in them. Witchcraft is human beings getting power from Satan. From Satan, guys! And for those of you who believe that Satan is not real—he’s just figurative … listen to these verses:

“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

“And he said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’” Luke 10:18

"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..." John 10:10

Be very sure that Satan is a very real being, and he has dark power, and he is out there seeking who he may devour.

For those of us who are Christians, we are children of the Light, and are protected from such devouring because of our salvation through Jesus Christ.
     But I still don't think it's advisable to mess around with darkness. (I especially think about this when I hear of my Christian friends watching horror movies).

About Harry Potter … Well, from my research, it does appear to be promoting witchcraft as a good thing ... as I've always been told it has. Why am I talking about Harry Potter books? Well, they're really popular and lots of people read them. And they're the only books I really know of that seem to have witchcraft stuff in them.

I don't want to read the books because of all the dark things I’ve heard about them—including lack of morals, glorifying evil, mixing up right and wrong, and rather gory descriptions of dark deeds and gross stuff. So yeah. Haven’t read them. But I researched them. And here’s some things I found:

First off, it seems that a witch colony opened up after the Harry Potter series released. My mom remembers radio speaker, Paul Harvey, saying something like, “Thanks to Harry Potter, a witch colony has opened…”

Alright. That's really, really disturbing to me. I don't know about you. And I know it would be hard to give up Harry Potter if it's like your favorite book! But perhaps you should research the author and other things ... and pray about it. I am NOT trying to be condemning here. I know there's a lot of things in my life that I'm still trying to decipher if they're actually weighing me down as I run the race God has set before me.

But I just want people to be aware. Especially if they're recommending series such as these to little children.

There’s also these disturbing bits about the Harry Potter series:

“Throughout Rowling’s four books there are instances of names, people, and items that are taken directly from occult history. She, herself, admits that she has based about one-third of her material on actual occultism.”

“Witchcraft is shown to be very good and something to be desired. The Potter books are jam-packed with mysterious information about witches, warlocks, sorcerers, crystal balls, spells, curses, potions, charms, numerology, divination, astrology, palmistry, out-of-body travel, and communication with spirits. All these are part of ancient and modern occultism. 
This is not a made-up fantasy world that Rowling has "created," although she likes to say it is. These characters live in our world and in our time period. They play with the same video games, use the same computers, and drive the same cars. They have a Quidditch "World Cup," just like our soccer World Cup. The teams competing in the "World Cup" are Bulgaria and Ireland, real countries. There are even characters in her books that really existed. Where is the line between fact and fiction?

“One man who spoke with Rowling during a radio call-in said he was a male witch and the Harry Potter books had helped his daughter like what he was doing (WMUR interview, October 12, 1999). The occult practices found in the Potter books are regularly performed by members of satanic arts.” 
"So ... how do I know it's occult magick? Well, let's do some definitions here: occult magick includes the practices of divination, astrology, witchcraft, charms, spells, wizardry, and necromancy (communicating with the dead). Harry goes to school to learn these things. Spells that Harry casts consist of the gesturing of a wand combined with a verbal or mental incantation; they are an every day occurrence, along with charms, used on both friends and enemies in and out of the school. Some of Harry's friends consist of dead spirits who have been summoned to the present, and one of his classes is distinctly labeled as a divination class."
“Linda Beam with Focus on the Family sounds the warning: “‘Any time the dark side of the supernatural world is presented as harmless, there is the danger that children will become curious and find out—to late—that witchcraft is neither harmless nor imaginary.’ –Linda Beam, Teachers in Focus, December 1999.”
“In an interview with, Abanes remarked that, ‘One of the easiest ways to know whether a fantasy book or film has real world magick in it is to just ask a simple question, 'Can my child find information in a library or bookstore that will enable them to replicate what they are seeing in the film or the book?' If you go to The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings what you see in, story magic and imagination, it is not real. You can't replicate it. But if you go to something like Harry Potter, you can find references to astrology, clairvoyance, and numerology. It takes seconds to go into a bookstore or library and get books on that and start investigating it, researching it, and doing it.’”

“On top of what the Bible says about witchcraft, don’t forget that the Harry Potter movies have become increasingly dark. Having read the books, I’m pretty sure that the next two movies will involve murder, torture, cursing, and things of that sort that Christians should think twice about before viewing. I think that a lot of people (me in the past included) are willing to write off those blemishes in the movies and books because they like the story. Let us never become desensitized. At some point we have to go back to Philippians 4:8.” 

Tell me, Harry Potter fans, does this stuff sound accurate to J.K. Rowling’s stories? If so, then it seems to me that we need to take a step back and really reevaluate what we're reading. I really want to know your (HP fan’s) response to the above quotes … because I’m confused. Read the full posts of the links I provided. It’s disturbing, especially what children are saying after reading the Harry Potter books. Things like “these books make it seem like you can really be a witch—I want to go to a school to be a witch”. That bothers me a lot - has me leery.

After all that, maybe you’re still like, “Well, even if Harry Potter and the like are witchcraft, it really doesn’t affect me—it certainly doesn’t make me want to get into an occult! I just see it as fantasy.” And so justify reading books with witchcraft in them. Well … what if the friend or child that you recommended Harry Potter to DID notice the occultism in the books and started messing around with it in real life? Yikes! Do you really think we should brush off worries about such books, when they could have the potential to be very harmful to someone?

"To give you a statistic, a poll was taken a few years ago in

which one out of ten children admitted that they were more interested in witchcraft after reading Harry Potter. Human characters acting as peers and role models and using magick are a dangerous thing as it encourages readers in the wrong directions."

I don't know. It just seems to me that these books are really dark, and portraying something evil in a good light.

So what’s the difference between Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings? You watch The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit; Are they bad also?
(Turiel the elf)

Though I don’t have all my thoughts together on magic, I’m inclined to believe that The Hobbit is a whole different issue than Harry Potter.

Here are my findings:

“There are really only two options when dealing with the issue of magic: either magic is a craft that can be learned and mastered by any person who applies themselves, much like any skill in the natural world, or it is something that must be innate within a being, something one is born with, not unlike the concept of the Jedi in Star Wars.”

“J.R.R. Tolkien adopted the latter model, that of magic being innate. The elves possess magical powers by virtue of their nature, which they understand not as magic but as part of what they are – “magic” is what the human peoples of Middle Earth refer to it, a reflection of their lack of understanding of the powers and nature of the elves.”

Now that sounds like good and simply fantasy to me. No witchcraft involved. It goes on:

“The wizards also use magic, but as any Tolkien fan knows, Gandalf and Saruman are not truly men; rather, they are powerful angelic beings called istari who only appear in the forms of men, and their powers are as natural to them as the angelic powers are to the angels.”

So while J.R.R. Tolkien used the controversial term ‘wizard’, he seemed rather to base these beings off angels. Messengers sent out and gifted with power from a higher Being. Once again, no dark powers/witchcraft involved. Of course … there are good and bad angels … and that concept is reflected in The Lord of the Rings as one “wizard” strays down an evil path.
(Gandalf...I just love him! *big grin*)
(Two "wizards" from The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit)

“The Dunedain possess a kind of magic, but only by virtue of the elven blood in their veins. Thus, there is really no opportunity on Middle Earth for anyone to “become” a wizard if they choose; magic is the prerogative of the elves and the Maiar exclusively.”

So. I wouldn’t say that The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other fantasy books of that kind are wrong. They’re not portraying witchcraft or sorcery as "good". They don't even really have "magic" at all. There is just the good angelic beings gifted with supernatural power from a higher being; and then the blatantly evil guys, who have dark powers, maybe even sorcery stuff. But sorcery is clearly portrayed as evil in this case. The elves have special abilities, healing powers, (something gifted by their Creator to their race - which is an entirely fictional race).

But Harry Potter and the like seem to be the opposite story, from all my research. Even if they are born a witch or wizard, they're still practicing "magic", um, learning spells, divination ... all this stuff that quite sounds like sorcery. Correct me if I'm wrong. But they live in our real world and "witches" and "wizards" aren't a fictional race. Witches and wizards a real people in this real world who ...(yes, I know I'm repeating), get power from Satan.
     Anyway. This post isn't really about condemning Harry Potter, but pointing out that witchcraft and sorcery are sin, and if books portray that sin as "good", that is not okay! If someone could prove to me that Harry Potter has absolutely no witchcraft or sorcery (portrayed as good, because those are always evil) in it/no portraying sins as okay/no glorifying darkness ... then I would not say its a bad book. However, through all my research, I've seen time and time again proof for witchcraft and bad stuff, but no proof for the supposed wonderfulness and really good themes that the book has. Some of my friends have read it in the past, and say that yeah, it does seem to have darkness and sorcery in it. And I've read reviews from Christians (who liked it), but still pointed out some glaring "bads" that they found, but I guess decided to overlook for the most part.

Now, to be honest, I have come across some books that have magic as a “craft”, but don’t seem near as dark or devious as Harry Potter. I’m uncertain, but am leaning toward: if its craft (that's learned and practiced how you so desire), just … don’t. Here's why:

“The other approach, treating magic as a skill to be mastered, is a little more difficult for a Christian to deal with. A Christian acknowledges that there is only one God, and that all supernatural power must come ultimately from that one God, or from His nemesis, the devil, who is a very powerful fallen angel. Now, God dictates that mankind not attempt to contact or harness magical abilities, which leaves us in the real world with no other option than that all magic, both black and alleged “white” magic, are diabolical in origin. Christianity does not deny that magic can be mastered, but asserts that all magic is from the evil one. This means that it is intrinsically evil; there is never a time, place or situation in the real world when it is licit for a person to attempt to use magic.

“All fine and good within the real world, but how does this transfer into a fantasy world?

“This is a dilemma, for once we acknowledge that in the real world magic must always be viewed as an intrinsic evil, this puts the Christian fantasy author in the dilemma of possibly taking something intrinsically evil and making it neutral or even possibly good within the context of the fantasy world (here’s a parallel – imagine a fantasy world where adultery was a positive good). There really is not conflict if we retain acquired magic by reducing its use to evil mages (for evil men may in a fantasy world attempt to harness magical powers just as much as evil men in the real world); but the true difficulty arises when a character that is supposed to be a hero or morally upright person is required to acquire or use magic. Can this ever be licit? One could see in it the equivalence of making an otherwise “good” character commit adultery or theft and present it as justifiable. To present an intrinsic evil as justifiable, even in a fantasy book, is sinful, mortally so, if it leads the reader to conclude that those evil acts are permissible based on what he reads.”

WHOA. For me, as a person who thinks of fantasy ‘as a way to understand reality’ and that fantasy sometimes is ‘realer than life’ (in kind of a spiritual way) … this hits hard.

I mean, do you think it would be okay to incorporate adultery, or murder, or idolatry into a fantasy world as a good concept? Why then can authors do that with witchcraft and Christians say, “It’s just fine!”?

One last time, some thoughts from someone else. These quotes are from a post called: Vampires,Werewolves, Witches and Wizards – Exposed! by Brian Mcbride. His thoughts go as follows:

“When you are using one of those beings as a demonic being instead of trying to sugarcoat it as something good, that is fine. In Christian novels, Vampires and Werewolves are often used as the offspring of evil. They often signify darkness and evil. Whereas, in the Twilight Saga, they are set up as something good. They're being sugarcoated, and that is unacceptable.

“If you are using a witch or a wizard as someone entranced by evil's seducing abilities, that is fine. Especially in Christian allegory novels, because things like that represent the evil that a certain character battles. However, in books such as Harry Potter, or Witch and Wizard, they are once again being sugarcoated.”

“In conclusion, I will say this: When we Christians, especially teenagers, are out in the world reading books or watching TV, we must always be wary, for the world will continually try to sugarcoat the evil that lurks around.”

In conclusion (of this massive post) … I am not calling you and all your favorite magical books depraved. But I am saying that books demonstrating actual witchcraft as “good” are wrong. If you want to argue, well, what can I say? …Go take it up with God? After all, He is the one who condemned witchcraft. I am merely restating that … Since right and wrong often seem to get muddled in our world! Even to us Christians.

After all this … Let me say that I love, love, love the Narnia movies adapted from The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. The books are great too! They are an incredible Christian allegory and really show Truth amidst a wonderful fantasy world. And I also really enjoyed the movies made from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. So adventurous. I hope to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series someday. Fantasy is my favorite genre. LOVE IT!

"'I am [in your world].' said Aslan. 'But there I have another

name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the

very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing

me here for a little, you may know me better there.'" ― C.S. LewisThe Chronicles of Narnia

But when books or movies start moving into that "witchcraft/sorcery is good and okay to practice" territory … I pause and step back. I seriously don’t want anything to do with witchcraft.

You might say that I’m coming across rather strongly. That I’m trying to push my opinions on you. But really, as I said time and again, God said witchcraft was wrong. And I think it’s safe to concur that books portraying that abominable sin as good and right, are also wrong. It makes sense, doesn’t it? I’m not being radical. I’m not being judgemental. I’m just looking at what the Bible says and concluding … sin is wrong. No matter if you put it in a fantasy world or not.

What are your thoughts? I would love to discuss this peaceably with you, ;) :)

Links to Posts Discussing Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Magic, and Witchcraft: (I highly recommend that you read this post from beginning to end if you are still confused (or even if you aren't). She explains magic, witchcraft, and the different between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings or Narnia MUCH better than I did!)


  1. Wow! This was amazing. My parents never let me read Harry Potter when I was younger for these very reasons, and I'm SO thankful that they didn't. I do have friends that read them and it has bothered me that they would even want to read something like that.
    We have been allowed to read/watch the Chronicles of Narnia because, like you pointed out, good and evil are seen for what they really are and C.S. Lewis has written some very wonderful allegorys! I really enjoyed your post. It's something we don't see very often even among Christians, which I think is sad because they are being deceived.
    Thank you so much for not holding back!

    1. Aww, your welcome, Jesseca! Thanks for commenting and adding your thoughts! It's really encouraging to hear! :)

      I also wasn't allowed to read/watch Harry Potter when I was younger...and yes, I'm so glad for that!! I agree...I do feel like many Christians are being deceived about this... :(

      Thanks again! And blessings!!

  2. Wow! Your post was really great. I totally agree with you. I have never read the Harry Potter books and definitely never will...especially after reading your post. I have not read "The Hobbit" or "Lord of the Rings" books before but, like you, I LOVE the "Chronicles of Narnia" books and movies. I just can't wait till the next movie comes out. Thanks so much for your awesome post! ~Moriah

    1. Thank you, Moriah!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :)

      Ah yes! Narnia is just amazing, and I'm so looking forward to the next movie as well!!! :D :) Yay!!

      Again, I'm so happy you liked this post!! Feeling blessed by your comment! :) <3


  3. Great job Shantelle!! I completely concur and I'd also like to point out that the spells in Harry Potter are real spells. I was never allowed to read them or see the movies and I am so thankful for that. I know so many Christians who are into the Harry Potter thing and it's just sad that they've believed the enemy's deception. I really recommend you read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. They are sooo good! And I am wayyy stoked for the next Narnia film and the Tolkien & Lewis documentury!!

    1. Thanks, Alyssa!! Whew...feeling so glad about all the agreement I'm getting! :)

      Yeah, I had read in different posts that the Harry Potter books have real spells and the like in them... yuck! It's really just so terrible! :(

      Yes, I need to read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series soon!! :) :) I've heard great things about them...and have enjoyed the movies.

      Silver Chair!! When is it going to come out already?? ;D

      Ooh, Tolkien & Lewis documentary; that sounds awesome! I'll have to put it on my to-watch list.

      Thanks for commenting and adding your thoughts!! :D Blessings!

  4. Well said! I didn't allow my kids to read Harry Potter or books of that sort and spent more than one visit explaining why not to many moms! For those who like fantasy, they're blessed by authors like you who have themselves grounded in the WORD. You might enjoy IF ONE FALLS by Elaine H. Baldwin, a Christian fantasy author like yourself. <3

    1. Thank you for commenting with your thoughts and encouragement! :) It means so much, all these comments, because I've just heard a lot from Christians lately who love Harry Potter and practically call us freaks who think demons are hiding around every corner... :/

      There IS a solid reason we don't read Harry Potter... So thanks for the reassuring comment! :)

      I'm definitely going to look up Elaine H. Baldwin, thanks!! :D :)


  5. Replies
    1. Thanks!!! :) :) Glad you enjoyed it!!

  6. I very much agree with you. I must say that I'm not even into the Lord of the Rings. I think My parents saw that as straying a little far into magic. I don't think that's from a lot of research though and don't want to judge anyone else. I am a huge Narnia fan though. The calling up of the White witch in Prince Caspian is close to the boundary line for me though. In the book they were stopped before anything happened.

    1. That's great, I'm glad you enjoyed this post!

      And yeah... I get what you're saying. I almost think that the movies of Narnia and Lord of the Rings make things a little darker than they were intended to be in the original stories. I definitely want to read J.R.R. Tolkien's books and see how they differ from the movies. Because even though the magic in The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings isn't witchcraft (well, it might be "witchcraft-y" exclusively when the evil guys are using it), some moments in the movies might have been tweaked to have a more "magick" look or feel. One post I read said that the movie did make some of the "magic" scenes feel a little differently than in the books. (Hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say, I didn't write it very well, haha!)

      Um, I don't personal think that the evil guys using witchcraft magic is wrong to be in a Christian book, but I don't think it should be very long dwelled on perhaps! That scene in Prince Caspian about bringing up the witch is dark. I always fast-forward that when my younger siblings are watching!

      Anyway, caution is always good!! :) I really do understand what you're saying! I know a lot of people who aren't really into The Lord of the Rings, and I respect that! If you're not comfortable with it, its probably best not to watch it. As for myself, all I've read about it is pointing to its not at all witchcraft type of magic, but I do plan to keep looking into it! :)

      Thanks so much for commenting and sharing your thoughts, Bria!! :)

  7. Wow, I found this Article incredibly facinating! You are an incredible writer. I love that you are willing to do full research before spewing your reasonings.
    As someone who has read all of the books and seen the Harry Potter movies I would just like to point out that in fact they, the wizards and witches, are also born with the gift of magic. Such as your superheroes and the like. They do in fact go to school to learn how to control it, though. But, it's not seen as something that just any average Joe can pick up and began to posess. In that particular series, at least. I can't speak for all of the other magical minded books out there!
    And in all honesty, the books were written for a preteen to teenage audience. The gore you speak of? Is no more of that which you would, I believe, find in the LOTR saga. And those movies are definitely more gory than the HP ones. Seen em all!
    I have always seen both series as magical and just a fantasy world. But, just like any other book or movie series, there are going to be fans that become obsessed and out of control fanatics.
    Just figured I would clear up a few things about that particular series that you may not have realized. It is still in fact a series about good and evil! I don't think it was written with any malicious intent to draw people into the world of witchcraft as so many seem to believe. J.K. Rowling simply had a story to tell, and she has the gift of it!
    So I guess you could say I see both sides of this argument, but I am simply stuck in the middle :)
    Please though, do keep up the writing and researching topics! You have a God given talent! Continue to use it in his name :)

    1. Thanks for your response and your kind words about my writing and research, :)

      As for Harry Potter and friend being born wizards/witches, I realized that later. However, that does not change the fact that they are witches while J.R.R. Tolkien's Gandalf and Saruman are actually angelic beings--messengers from a higher Being (God). And Harry Potter is learning spells and witchcraft stuff (from all my research) while Gandalf uses a power he was born with and presumably gifted with from a higher Being.

      Also, Harry Potter does live in the real world, while J.R.R. Tolkien's world is COMPLETELY fantasy. So if spells and witchcraft is real in the real world, and Harry Potter is living in the real world...what does that say to readers??

      Like I did note in my post, yeah, I don't exactly have all my thoughts together on Lord of the Rings, and no I've not read Harry Potter. BUT, sin is sin. And from my friends who've read Harry Potter in the past...they agree with the things I found out about Harry Potter above. Which means...they are witchcraft...which means...they are portraying evil as good. I do appreciate you pointing out that not just any person can pick up on the wizardy (because some of the people I quoted made it seem the other way around), but I still feel Harry Potter is going into witchcraft. It's not like I just have something against Harry Potter. I have something against witchcraft because the Bible says its sin. And if Harry Potter has witchcraft in it...

      As for the gore, I agree the Lord of the Rings can get quite violent, and I would not recommend it to children. On that note, I notice I lot of people read Harry Potter to younger kids...they probably do it with Lord of the Rings too though. Anyway. I read this gory thing that supposedly came from Harry Potter and that's what inspired my quotes about gore in it. So, it went something like Harry Potter's friend is murdered in a graveyard at night, and all this stuff about bones and other gross stuff used in this spell to bring this yucky guy back up from the dead..... I don't know. But suffice to say, I do not read stuff like that, not only because its horrific, but also because that's just wandering way too far into this "horror", "witch" kind of world.

      I'm sure J.K. Rowling has a wonderful writing ability, and maybe she didn't intend for her books to promote witchcraft. But the question is, Do they? The Bible says witches are evil. So how does putting them in a "fantasy" world make them good??

      I'm just plain confused. That's why I wrote this post. From all my research, I firmly believe that Harry Potter has witchcraft in it. And that witchcraft is being portrayed as good. And that's just...wrong. I can't see any way around it. If someone could prove to me that Harry Potter has absolutely no witchcraft in it/no portraying sins as okay/no glorifying darkness...then I would not say its a bad book. However, through all my research, I've seen time and time again proof for witchcraft and bad stuff, but no proof for the supposed wonderfulness and really good themes that the book has. Like I said, some of my friends have read it in the past, so they know. I've read reviews from Christians (who liked it), but still pointed out some glaring "bads" that they found, but I guess decided to overlook for the most part.

      I'm planning to research Lord of the Rings more, but I still can't see how it compares to Harry Potter.

      Thanks for being so considerate and kind in your comment, I truly appreciate it!! And I just pray that God will reveal to us both more about "magic" and what is right and wrong when it comes to putting it in books!

      Thanks and blessings! :)

    2. I agree wholeheartedly with the above anonymous comment. Also, before I delve into my essay-ish response, I would like you to know that I think your post is very passionate and well-written, and I agree with you on certain points.

      It's a shame that the Harry Potter books have inspired people to pursue witchcraft, but I don't think the novels themselves are evil, nor were they probably intended to encourage the practice of witchcraft. I was actually inspired by the struggle between light and darkness in the Harry Potter series, and even viewed it as a sort of Christian allegory (whether or not it was intended that way).

      One quote you list above, from, states, "Later in this book we will discover that witchcraft involves contact with the devil and his fallen angels." There are no demons or fallen angels in this book. If the author of that quote was referring to Voldemort and the wizards who follow him, then that would suggest that there is a God-figure and "angels" in the series, as well.

      Because of the involvement of witchcraft and violence (which, unfortunately, is something I rarely hear people complain about being in books and movies -- but I digress...), I do think that people should use discretion when reading or allowing their children to read these books. The series should be read by older, more mature children and teens (and adults, of course) who understand it as a fantasy and who are able to distinguish between it and reality. And for those who are concerned about the witchcraft in it, the series provides a good foundation for discussions on the topic. Harry Potter is set in the real world, yes, which does pose some problems, but Hogwarts and the whole concept of a wizard school and people being born with magical abilities is entirely fictional.

      I am not trying to encourage you to read something that makes you uncomfortable -- far from it. I just wanted to clear up a quote that didn't seem 100% fair and to share my experience with the Harry Potter series, since these books (and movies) are a point of great debate among many Christians.

    3. Thanks for your comment, Serena! And for your kind words about my post... I appreciate it! :) Also, thank you for pointing out things that aren't quite true from the quotes I used. Sorry about that! I guess some people do just like to rant and say things ARE TRUE about Harry Potter that they don't really know to be true... :/ I shall delete that! :)

      Likewise, I'm not trying to force you to think a certain way about Harry Potter or lay out a list of rules or something. I appreciate your points, but I've heard all that before and it still doesn't change anything that I wrote.

      But, I will say again: I haven't read Harry Potter myself, so no this post is not just a post about condemning Harry Potter. The point of my last two Faithful Fridays posts really are: How can we glorify God in what we read? I read the Bible and found out for certain that sorcery is an abominable sin. Naturally I came to the conclusion that reading books with a sin portrayed as good is not glorifying to God. That's all I'm really trying to say. I used the Harry Potter books as an example because they seemed, from my research, an example of books with sorcery stuff portrayed as good.

      So even if I decided to read Harry Potter, and I myself wasn't at all affected by the witchcraft/sorcery themes... I still feel I would be doing something that's not glorifying to God. That's my feeling.

      Please don't take this as me condemning you! Yeesh, not what I trying to do!! :( I'm simply trying to make a point that saying that what God says is wrong is "right" can't possibly be glorifying to God.

      Maybe Harry Potter isn't actually doing that? Maybe Harry Potter doesn't portray sorcery as "good"? I guess you guys who have read the books will have to pray about that and come to a conclusion on that yourselves. Because yeah, I'm not going to tell you Harry Potter IS BAD when I've never read it. I'm just saying IF Harry Potter rights and glorifies sin or darkness, then...

      Anyway. Do you see what I'm trying to say here? I hope it wasn't confusing or really sounding know-it-all!! O.O Just giving you my beliefs as you gave me yours! :)

      *Sigh* I know this is a sticky issue, and I really wasn't too keen on doing this post because I was afraid it would cause tension between friends. But I truly have been feeling stuff like this pressing at me. So I guess, in the end, we can hear what each other has to say, and then go back to God and His Word, and see what He has to say!

      Because we as humans obviously can't get everything right. I mean, you've seen it with me! Already I've had a few people correct me about quotes on Harry Potter that I used on here that actually weren't true!

      But God is ALWAYS right and ALWAYS speaks truth. That's why we should go back to His Word. And even if we can't find something in the Bible, we can pray about it! That's what I plan to do, pray and pray some more! Because this topic actually is quite huge, and I didn't cover all of it! So yeah, I'm going to keep praying for wisdom and guidance, and I hope all of you guys will too! :)

      Blessings!! :)

  8. I really enjoyed reading this, and I love that you did your research. I was never allowed to watch or read Harry Potter, and even now at twenty I have not made a decision if I will. I struggle with the magic thing as well, my Mom and I have had many arguments about it. She has shunned even LOTR, and I respect her decision for her, I think those books along with Narnia are great, and I have found lots of Christian Influences in them. I still struggle though because I read books like Eragon, and any book by Dianne Wynne Jones, and they both feature magic use. It doesn't bother me, but I am always trying to find where I should draw the line. I do like what you said in my writing, magic is more of born abilities and learned craft is usually an evil character.
    I don't think I agree with you a hundred percent, because sometimes, at least some Christians I know can be misinformed, or get worked up over nothing. I don't think that is the case with Harry Potter, and I am still leery of it. I did know quite a lot of Christians who were condemning Hunger Games, and saying how horrible it was, when it was clear they either hadn't read it, or had missed the message entirely. They were convinced it was all about killing children when that was hardly the focus of the book. That is why I am not so quick to place my opinion on Harry Potter, because the market is saturated with books of its kind, and I think it gets too much attention. I heard some Christians burned Harry Potter books, and though I understand the moral of it. I think it is silly to show fear of a book, you don't have to read it. It is almost like blaming video games for shootings, while I do think they can play a role, and can be harmful. It doesn't mean everyone playing the game will be a killer.

    However I do think as Christians, we have to try to do better, and be a good example. We have to fight against evil and be a light, we cant be wishy washy, and let everything go. If you stand for nothing, you fall for anything. I am really proud of your for standing strong for what you believe in, and trying to live your life right. I am trying to do the same, though I am not always good about it. :) Great Post

    1. Thanks, Skye! :)

      Yeah, it can be a broad and tough issue. Like I said, as of now, I like LOTR, but I do respect people's decisions not to watch them as well!

      I agree with you that people can get all fired up about things like The Hunger Games (which I actually like) and Harry Potter and whatnot when they know little to nothing about them. That's why I myself did a lot of research. And while I do think we shouldn't freak out about Harry Potter kind of books, because Christians have power, through Jesus Christ, over darkness; we definitely should have a healthy caution. Witchcraft and the dark spiritual world ARE REAL. And if "children's" books (I say children's because it seems a large audience is children) are promoting evil practices as normal and okay, there is reason for concern among Christians. There is occasions where dark beings are hard at work and awful things are happening because unbelievers (and perhaps even Christians) don't understand the reality and danger of the dark spiritual realm, and don't know how to fight it. Here's a link talking about such happenings in SD I believe:

      So, like I said in my post, just because you read Harry Potter doesn't mean, oh my, you're going to become a witch! But it does affect some people for witchcraft and darkness, and that's why I believe that we as Christians should be fighting against such books.

      After all, our fight IS against spiritual darkness (as the Bible says) and our aim as believers is to glorify God! How is reading about "good witchcraft", even if you don't ever mess around with occult in real life, glorifying God? I feel like that's saying Satan's dark work isn't that bad...don't have to make a fuss...

      So yeah. Those are my thoughts. :) And yeah, you're right! If you stand for nothing, you fall for everything! And that's why I've been really trying to figure out where to draw the line in magic; and what, and what not, are glorifying God.

      Thank you!! And yes, I'm striving to live my life for God, but I do feel like a failure a lot (or most) of the time! So don't think you're alone in feeling like you're not very good about it/don't have everything figured out!! I understand!!

      Thanks for you comment! I just pray that God will show us both what we need to see! He will guide us to the truth. We just have to trust Him and keep fighting! :)

      Blessings! :)

    2. I could tell that you had done your research, I was happy you weren't condemning it with nothing to back up you claims, and I think I do agree that Harry Potter crosses a line. I am unwilling to cross as a Christian. Your also right it is dangerous in a way because it is marketed to children, who are the most impressionable. I do think that is a cause for concern, and yes we are in a fight against dark forces, and need to be aware.
      I hope you didn't think, I thought that was what you were saying. I am sorry if what I said came across like that, but I was referring to other opinions I have seen on the topic. In no way did I think you were saying that, I agree with almost everything you are saying about it. :)
      Your Welcome, it is very hard to walk the narrow path, especially in this day and age. When more and more Christians refuse to say anything because they might hurt someones feelings. I am glad you are not like that.

    3. Yeah, I tried my best to get a lot of good researching in, so I would know what I was talking about! :)

      Yes, that they're being marketed to children is one of the biggest problems, I think! :{

      Thank you for the follow-up comment! Like I said in a different post's comment, sometimes I do read into comments and come out thinking things that they probably didn't mean! It's a fault of mine that I really need to work on! O.O But yeah, I understand now. So thanks for your comments!! :)

      So true! I think that's why we Christians need to stick together and encourage and stand by each other! Or rebuke each other if need be, hehe! :p But truly, we should be here for each other and just help one another to know God more!

      So yes, thanks for the encouragement!! I hope I'm doing likewise for you! :)

      Blessings! <3

  9. So my internet has been down and I'm grabbing a minute at the library, so I don't have time do write up a long comment... I will say you have an interesting post. :) And I am thinking that I'm going to have to write a very long essay about magic myself...

    Also, you must read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings! The books are way better than the movies, and while I can definitely say there's nothing wrong with the magic in the books, they got more iffy in the movies... Same with Narnia. (I saw the above comment about Prince Caspian... I really hate that in the movie they were actually bringing back the Witch AND CASPIAN WENT ALONG WITH IT. WHAT??) I think Lewis's books and Tolkien's books are great, but the movie-makers don't have the kind of discretion they did. I'm not saying the movies are BAD, I enjoy them and don't think they're bad, I'm just saying don't judge the books by the movies because whatever iffiness you might find in the films, which were after all made by mainstream people, those problems aren't in the books, which are amazing. :) As for Harry Potter, I haven't read it so I can't judge. *shrug*

    Those are my brief thoughts for the moment! :)

    1. Aw...sorry for your internet troubles!! :(

      Great! Looking into magic for yourself is always the best thing to do I think! :)

      I am planning to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as soon as I can!! :)

      Yes!! What was Caspian thinking?? Yikes! From research and watching the movies myself, I concluded that the movie-makers took liberties with the "magic" scenes in both LOTR and Narnia. That is a very good point! I've enjoyed the LOTR movies, but yeah, I think I would definitely like the books better!!

      Sure... I can't say for sure FOR SURE, but from my research, Harry Potter seems to make witchcraft "good", and the Bible says witchcraft is ONLY evil. That's all I have to say on that. As for you, I would just say research it all thoroughly before you read Harry Potter if you're going to read it... Because often people (me included) tend to brush aside vital concerns if they're already hooked on the story.

      Anyway, thanks for grabbing a moment to comment! :) I think we probably can both agree that witchcraft is evil, and that's essentially all I'm saying in this post (don't portray evil as good); so I hope there's no hard feelings! :)

      Blessings, and looking forward to reading a magic post from you if you write one in the future! :D

    2. No hard feelings at all! I agreed with a lot of what you said and it was well written! :D And yes, hope you'll like them when/if you get around to reading them. :) I may write a post someday. ^_^ *HUGS*

    3. Awesome!! ^__^ And thanks! :)

      Someday!! When I find a library...they should be there, right? :)

      That would be cool, :D I find it really interesting to read everyone's posts about magic and whatnot. Most ones I've read, we may not agree on everything, but seem to agree on the core things. So yeah, all good!! ;D

      Oh, and was so happy to get your "response to beta reading" email today! Yay!! :D So excited to go through it!!

      Blessings!! *Hugs back*!! <3

    4. Yes! Any library in its right mind should have them. XD
      Oh yay! I'm glad you got it. ^_^

    5. Haha, that's what I was thinking, ;D

      Yep! :) :)

  10. Excellent article!! Well researched.

    1. Thank you!! I did strive to do a lot of researching, so that I would actually know what I was talking about! :)


  11. Hey Shantelle, I came to this article after it was recommended by Amanda Beguerie on Excellent points and thank you very much for writing! It is so easy just to get desensitized to this type of thing. I found this very helpful (having never read Harry Potter or LOTR, although I did read The Hobbit and the Chronicles of Narnia), and no one could argue that you didn't do your research. Props to you!

    1. Hi Ezra! Your welcome! Thank you for your kind comment!

      It IS easy to get desensitized for sure! So I guess it's good for us to remind each other. :)

      Thanks and blessings!

  12. Hi, just wanted to say I agree fully with you about Harry Potter! But Narnia and The Lord of the Rings are also bad. Why? Research their authors. In the first Narnia movie, the part where Aslan sacrifices his life, that is an actual depiction of a satanic sacrifice! After years of not viewing that movie I've got that horrendous scene still in my head. My whole family was watching the movie and when that scene appeared, my parents were quite shocked. The film was promptly thrown away.

    Soon after that event, our pastor gave a wonderful sermon about how the devil desguised as an angel of light, masquerades in Narnia and LOTR as a Christian allegory. Also, did you know that fairies are actual demonic entities that appear to Children in Europe? After that sermon, we all threw away fairytale books and movies. Also superhero things too. (I think you can go look up why superheroes are not for Christians.) So, no fantasy for me! Fiction yes, but nothing magical, superheroe like!

    But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

    1. Yes, the Harry Potter books sound iffy to me, so I prefer to stay away from them. As for Lord of the Rings and Narnia, both their authors, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, were Christian men. I don't know as much about Tolkien, but C.S. Lewis has written many books about Christianity, and I wouldn't believe he ever wrote something with witchcraft or the like in it.

      The part where Aslan takes Edmund's place and sacrifices himself is actually a scene symbolic to Jesus Christ taking our place. Edmund sinned and was in the White Witch's grasp; but then Aslan said he would die instead of Edmund. We sinned, and were headed for hell; but Jesus came down to earth and died to pay our sin penalty. All the disgusting creatures in the scene of Aslan's death represent things like demons, sin, and evil.

      Fantasy definitely isn't for everyone. I respect the fact that you don't watch Lord of the Rings or Narnia; if it makes you uncomfortable, then you should't watch it. My mom doesn't really like those kind of movies either.

  13. Thank you for anwering me so courteously. I see you ARE indeed a good person and I understand what you're trying to say. But I have a feeling in my heart that I must share these following links with you:

    At first it was very hard for me to accept that our Lord wanted me to stay away from all appearance of evil. But I've received support from my family and now I'm trying to help spread the truth of our Lord. Please read the above links that I posted.

    1. I appreciate your concern. Of course I don't want to be reading or watching things that are dishonoring to God; and I ask Him to show me if something is. So far, He hasn't shown me that there is a problem with fantasy. I write fantasy (non-magical), and my greatest desire is that my fantasy stories will glorify my Lord and shine His Light and Love to others.

      Some books I read, I just get this sense of darkness, so I put them down and do not continue reading. I have never felt that with Narnia.

      The Truth is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and if we repent, and believe in Him, we are made new! We are saved! And our salvation doesn't just disappear if we fall into sin again. God is the reason for our salvation; not us.

      We should still strive to be holy as God is holy. And be alert and prayerful as we journey through life. But I don't feel we need to be afraid and worrying all the time whether we're doing the right thing. If we are seeking God, and walking with Him, He is going to reveal to us over time what is right and wrong - and what is beneficial, or not beneficial.

      Let's both keep seeking the Lord! :) God's peace to you.

  14. Just stumbled across this post, and I've got to say--you are spot on! I completely agree with everything you said. My parents never allowed me to read Harry Potter, of which I am now extremely grateful. The more I learn about them, the more I am convinced that I shouldn't read them. I'm not condemning anyone who does (I personally have quite a few Christian friends who read them), but I do believe that the Bible is pretty clear about the evil of witchcraft, which Harry Potter seems to endorse. So I'm definitely staying away from them!

    I'm a HUGE fan of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit! (And just fantasy in general.) I don't think there's anything wrong with fantasy unless it's promoting sorcery as something good. Which in the case of Narnia and LotR it does not. I think my parents feel that LotR might be a little too "magicky" (is that even a word? XD), but like you said, the "magic" in Middle-earth is completely different from the magic in Harry Potter. I haven't read the HP books or seen the films, but the vibe I get from them is definitely not what I get from LotR. The authors of Narnia and LotR were also Christians, which you can see in their works. Tolkien's books weren't allegories, per se, but you can tell that he used some Christian elements in his stories.

    Anywho, this comment is getting rather long! I just had to let you know that you did a fantastic job with this post! :)

    1. Hi Mary! Thank you for your comment! :) Yes, from the things I've heard about it, Harry Potter seems like something I would want to stay away from! I can't say for sure that it's promoting witchcraft, but like you said, it seems to! So yeah. I just won't be reading them either!

      Me too!! Love fantasy! ^_^ It often has such profound truths, and seems to kind of show the spiritual world in a unique way! My soul is often touched by Christian fantasy/allegories.

      Yes, I know someone who's watched both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies ... said they're nothing alike when it comes to the magic part. So yes, I really think the "magic" in these stories are completely different! But I understand your parent's feelings! As much as I love fantasy, I tend to get a bit uncomfortable when there's so much magic. Most of the time I don't feel it's actually witchcraft, but it's just ... weird. Haha. I would really like to read Tolkien's books and see how the differ from the films! I definitely see the good vs. evil element in the movies of course, and also some other good themes. :)

      Thank you, again, so much for your comment! It was encouraging to hear your thoughts! ^_^ And thanks! I'm glad you think so! :)

  15. Hi! I saw your blog on Jaye L. Knight's blog and clicked on. From there I found this post. I thought it looked interesting (mainly because I saw the picture of Tauriel, hee hee :D) then saw what you were talking about.

    I totally agree, and I think you did an AWESOME job researching your topic and presenting it. Also with being so sensitive to people who may not agree 100%. I LOVE Narnia, and anything Lord of the Rings related. Which means, unlike most other 13 year olds, I read the Silmarillion. And I found that it cleared up so much of the supposed "magic" stuff.

    Some people don't like that LOTR has a supernatural Evil and no supernatural Good. This is a supposed problem that comes from not doing all your research. In fact, I hesitate greatly to call Sauron a Satan-figure. That would be Melkor, the highest of all the Ainur created by Iluvatar (“The One”). He turns agaist Iluvatar, desiring more glory and attention for himself. He goes on to have a very long story, interwoven into that of the Men and Elves of Middle-Earth. Eventually, he leaves wherever it is that the Ainur and Iluvatar reside, and is joined by all the other Ainur and Maiar that follow him. Sound familiar?

    This story of Middle-Earth creation story (which, by the way, was thought by Tolkien to be inseparable from the story of LOTR and was originally meant to be published together with it) shows a VERY Christian inspiration. To me it is very clear, in this story alone, that the author was a Christian, or at least drew from the Biblical creation story to make this creation myth.

    In fact, Tolkien himself said that he was a Christian and that it should be perfectly obvious to anyone who read his writings.

    Yes, I agree with many others: the movies were little more violent than I liked, definitely more than the books. In my opinion, The Hobbit totally over did it in comparison to the books in the areas of both gore AND magic. Seriously, the movies were much darker. And they left out many of the things that made the books so wonderful, such as the Christian influence that made it seem like though all could go wrong, in the end Someone is in control. I still can't get over how much they changed Thorin's last words for the movie. It seemed so hopeless in the movie, and so wonderful in the book. He knew where he was going.

    I have never been allowed to do Harry Potter (certainly don’t want to now), however I have loved Narnia since I was very young, and loved Middle-Earth for the last several years. I love fantasy, that's all there is to it. I love stuff that has that wonderful fantasy feel, magical in the sense that anything could happen in this other world, but I enjoy seeing it done in a way that isn’t dark or demonic. In fact, the type of “magic” that you talked about first, the kind that a being is created with, should not even be called magic in my mind. This is the kind of stuff seen in stories such as The Berinfell Prophecies, the Follower of the Word trilogy, and even LOTR. I know when I need to put something down because it's too dark. I've done it before. Your post here really helped me to see what that difference is. It really helped me to straighten out my thoughts on the issue, and you did an awesome job with your research. You really said everything that I was thinking about this topic but that I couldn't articulate very well. And you backed it up by the Bible. Thanks so much for this post, I'm saving it for future reference. :)

    1. Wow, thanks for all the information about Lord of the Rings!! I know a bit of that, but not all. So thanks for explaining that all; it really clears up some things for me! :)

      Thanks for commenting; it was encouraging! :) And I'm so glad this post was helpful to you! I certainly can't claim to have everything all right, but yes, I did my best to research and explain my convictions. :)

      Thanks again, and blessings! ^_^

  16. I know this is an old subject but I wanted to direct your attention to a post by a favorite author of mine who is a Christian and since neither you nor I have read Harry Potter, I thought her post was informative since she's seen them. :) She has a lot of good things to say about etymology and the background of words too. :)

    1. Hey, thanks for the link, Deborah! I found Mirriam's post very interesting and informative! :) I'm still really leery of Harry Potter, because of negative stuff I've heard about it ... some from people I know who've watched the movies.

      But I do appreciate that post. Great food for thought! I intend to discuss this further with my family and friends. :)