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The Christian and Harry Potter and Dumbledore: A Christian changes his mind?

Not too long ago I posted an article talking about Rowling’s outing of Dumbledore as a gay man.  In it, I expressed disappointment and wondered what the point and purpose of this unnecessary revelation was.  The battle still rages and I have got to say that many Christians are just being absurd.  Not only with this, but also with the upcoming release of Pullman’s book in movie form, “The Golden Compass.”  No one should misunderstand me.  I definitely take issue with Pullman’s ideas.  A fuller review is forthcoming on his books.

The problem is this:  we do not win the culture battle by suppressing rival ideas ore viewpoints or trying to keep our children from ever hearing them.  The solution is this:  we show that Christianity can compete and can overcome rival ideas and viewpoints.  But the purpose is not:  purging all hint of sin from America.  Impossible, even if all sin was out-lawed!  The purpose is:  saving souls.  And I don’t mean just getting them sitting in the church pew.  I mean really leading them down the path of redemption.  The effect then may very well be a transformation of our culture, but let us never be confuse a side-effect with the actual goal.

So, with these thoughts in mind, I read this article on the ChristianPost:   Conservatives Urge Ban on ‘Harry Potter’ Over Witchcraft, Homosexuality.  Here is a quote:

Upon learning of the “outing” of the Hogwarts headmaster, many Christians who formerly had no qualms about children reading the books have reevaluted the books.

Tom Barrett, editor of Conservative Truth, reported in a column posted Monday on WEBCommentary that he has discovered hundreds of posts in chatrooms from parents and grandparents who had encouraged their kids to read the books but are now “finally starting to see the light.”

“They have repented and have removed the books from their children’s libraries,” said Barrett. “They say they are trying to undo the damage they have done to the children by their exposure to them.”

Give me a break.  Certainly, I am open to re-evaluating the books.  As I said in my initial response to this whole affair Rowling’s odd revelation makes us justifiably wonder if there was more of an agenda behind her magical world than we thought before.  However, if you take the text on its face, the text does not support that.  Nor does the text support the idea that Dumbledore is ‘gay.’   Christians ought to care about sticking to the texts on things, especially those Christians who are Sola Scriptura.

The article further includes the contention:

“Over time the child can become adapted to the dark world of witchcraft and not even know that it is dangerous,” he said.

“As a cult researcher for many years, I have seen contemporary witchcraft packaged in many seductive forms, and Harry Potter is the best,” continued Roper.

“Potter makes spiritualism and witchcraft look wonderful.”

While non-Christians may see the tales as “innocent fantasies,” as Bennett noted, “Christians who understand God’s condemnation of witchcraft, which is prominent throughout the Bible, should know better.”

I would like to reiterate my contention that if we Christians are worried about young Christians being led into witchcraft by Harry Potter, the problem is not Harry Potter.  It is our abysmal educational programs and anti-intellectualism and any number of negative descriptions I could put to it.   You might as well be telling Christians to take wet paper bags away from kids because they might not be able to fight their way out of them.

Does a young person’s inability to fight their way out of a wet paper bag speak to the dangers of wet paper bags or the pathetic physical state of the child?  If a young person, after years of physical training, still can’t defeat a limp piece of wet paper, shouldn’t the Physical Education instructor be fired?

If Harry Potter is a threat to young Christians, every Christian educator should resign right now.  Then, we should start over, because we have completely, and utterly lost.  If our kids can’t even ward off the badness of Harry Potter, how do you expect them to fare as college freshmen when their biology professor gets rolling?

Boycotts and bannings are not the solution.   If there was ever a day when Christians could have  eliminated its competitors from the field of contention, that day is passed.  Arguably, trying to eliminate competitors actually had opposite effects that have come to hurt us.   For example, think of all the influential atheists out there with bitter feelings towards the church, and by the church they almost always mean the Roman Catholic Church.   Well, I can certainly agree with Pullman and Bertrand Russell on some of their views on what the RCC has done in the past.  Imagine where these two gents- and surely others- would stand if they didn’t have a hostile and visceral reaction to things like the Inquisitions that clouded their ability to distinguish between the world view and those who say they hold that worldview?  Things might be different.

Imagine the Christian writers and novelists and thinkers that might emerge in twenty to forty years if instead of knee-jerking at every ‘threat’ we actually mustered our efforts to show that Christianity was the equal to it?

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