Stories involving magic have been with us since fairy tales and The Wizard of Oz. However, their impact is quite different from that of the Harry Potter books. Their magic is so fanciful that few people would take it seriously or want to try it. Even if a few people did want to try to do it, they wouldn't know how. That is very different from today's world, where regular bookstores have books that teach readers how to work spells.
The series of Harry Potter books was begun in the 1990s and more books are still being written. They are being written at a time when Wicca (modern witchcraft) is becoming popular, and is becoming more and more accepted by our culture. Wicca is one of the fastest growing religions in America. Many kids become indoctrinated in Wicca via the Internet. Some of them are kids from Christian homes. [Note 1]
(Wicca is a religion that is based on witchcraft, nature worship, and goddess worship. Although it claims to be ancient, it actually began in England in the 1960s. It was started by Gerald B. Gardner, who was the first fully public witch of modern times. He had an extensive background in the occult, including Satanism.) [Note 2]
Harry Potter's good guys are kids who are learning how to be wizards. In other words, they are learning to become adept at practicing sorcery and witchcraft. They lie, and cheat, and enjoy getting revenge. In future books, they will probably commit fornication, because the author (J.K. Rowling) said that future books will deal with sex.
The books are a mixture of serious witchcraft and fantasy. Because of the fantasy, many people don't take the real witchcraft seriously. However, I did an Internet search for Hogwarts (the school of wizardry that Harry Potter attends) and I found a number of websites where kids can be tutored by people who claim to be real wizards (sorcerers). So interest in the books can lead people into real occultism.
Rowling is indoctrinating people in the philosophy and principles of sorcery and witchcraft. Her books accurately describe real occultism. [Note 3]
God says that occult practices are an abomination and He forbids His people to participate in them. The Bible forbids witchcraft, sorcery, and other forms of occultism.
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire [child sacrifice], or that useth divination [fortune telling], or an observer of times [astrology], or an enchanter [working spells], or a witch [practicing witchcraft or consulting a witch], or a charmer [using charms and other objects for protection or good luck], or a consulter with familiar spirits [channelling], or a wizard [doing magic], or a necromancer [spiritism, contacting the dead]. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
The Book of Acts tells about people who used to practice magic (curious arts). When they became Christians, they burned their occult books, in spite of the fact that those books were worth a lot of money.
Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. (Acts 19:19)
Galatians gives a list of deadly works of the flesh that prevent people from inheriting the Kingdom of God. Witchcraft is listed there, along with things like murder and adultery.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
When the Book of Revelation gives a list of the kinds of people who cannot come into the New Jerusalem, they include sorcerers. (Wizards are sorcerers.)
For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Revelation 22:14)
Jesus told us that what we do with our imagination can have serious consequences. If a man lusts after a woman in his heart, then he has done the equivalent of committing adultery.
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)
If that is true for lust, then it is also true for other sins. If a man commits sorcery in his heart, then he has done the equivalent of really doing it. (And if he gets the opportunity to do it in real life, he is likely to try it.)
And what do the Harry Potter books do? They put the readers in classrooms where wizards teach them the values and worldview of occultism. They get people to identify with wizards, and to practice putting spells on people (in their imagination), and to enjoy thinking about doing such things (which means doing them in their heart). It is an open invitation to the sin of sorcery, and to the destructive lifestyle of occultism.
Some things (such as riding on broomsticks) are obviously just fantasy. But mixed in with the fantasy are serious teachings about occultism. If kids learn about doing that kind of thing, then they are likely to want to try it out in real life if they ever get a chance to do it. And there is a world full of occultists out there who want them to do just that.
In case you don't think that there are people who have occult power, the Bible says that there are.
In Exodus 7:10-12, Moses and Aaron confronted Pharaoh. Aaron threw down his staff and it turned into a snake. Pharaoh called for his sorcerers and magicians, who used enchantments to do the very same thing. But Aaron's snake ate up all of the other snakes. Pharoah's sorcerers and magicians had real occult power. But of course, God's power is infinitely greater.
In Ezekiel 13:17-23, the Lord speaks about women who hunt the souls of His people like birds. They used magic charms and practiced divination. These occult activities are things that witches and sorcerers do.
The Anti-Christ will have demonic power to do lying signs and wonders. He will do them in the power of the devil.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9)
Occultism is the old temptation to be like God. (Genesis 3:5). It involves power that comes from Hell. (2 Thessalonians 2:9) It is so deadly that it can keep people out of Heaven. (Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 22:14) It is a form of idolatry and we need to flee from it. (1 Corinthians 10:14)
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1. Wicca is attractive to teenagers, including ones from Christian homes.
Wicca is a rapidly growing minority religion.
2. Philip G. Davis, Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality (Dallas, Texas: Spence Publishing Company, 1998), p. 334.
3. Eric Barger, The Magick of Harry Potter. This article refers to the occult accuracy of the books.