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{Read Kindle} ⚤ Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace Behind the Magick ⚛ Harry Potter books are flying off the shelves of secular bookstores at an astonishing rate Some evangelicals are buying them, too Should Christian parents be exposing their children to these wizard in training manuals Is there a sinister side to Harry Potter and his pals that is spiritually dangerous for young readers Characterized by astronomical publishing statistics, controversy and opposing voices, the Potter phenomenon begs the title question of this book Is it a harmless fantasy or is it a dangerous fascination The book responds by cataloguing the various forms of occultism included in the first four books, offering scriptural responses and discussing the psychological and spiritual dangers associated with the Rowling volumesThe latter half of the book includes an overview of good and evil from the Garden of Eden through cultures ancient and modern a mini encyclopedia of various occult practices, with special attention to those glamorized in the Potter books an explanation of the difference between the Potter books and those written by CS Lewis or Tolkein, for instanceFinally, the book explains why God has forbidden involvement in the occult and takes a hard look at America s present propensities for the dark side a fact the interest in and content of the Potter books all too obviously corroborate Oh, religious fundamentalism how I really don t miss you. Ahh, right Where to start I have so much to say I wish that you could all see my notebook Aside from my atrocious handwriting, it is 12 full size pages filled with my scribbled, jotted, many underlined thoughts, reactions and questions, as well as quotes, semi quotes, references to quotes and page numbers for stillquotes.It s not pretty Really But it WAS necessary So many of the things that I jotted down had me rolling my eyes, thinking Is this guy SERIOUS I just read this ent Ahh, right Where to start I have so much to say I wish that you could all see my notebook Aside from my atrocious handwriting, it is 12 full size pages filled with my scribbled, jotted, many underlined thoughts, reactions and questions, as well as quotes, semi quotes, references to quotes and page numbers for stillquotes.It s not pretty Really But it WAS necessary So many of the things that I jotted down had me rolling my eyes, thinking Is this guy SERIOUS I just read this entire book, and I still don t understand most of his claims, arguments, assumptions and conclusions I like Harry Potter, so I am obviously one of the undiscerning readers mentioned in Douglas Groothuis s foreword, in which he proclaims that I am about to read a rare voice of sanity, reason and biblical discernment regarding the Harry Potter books Hmm Well Good thing he hasn t started off by annoying me or alienating me as a reader Oh Oops Anyway, offended by being called incapable of reason and insane before the book even starts, I still tried to read it objectively From what I could see, Abanes s case comes down to several extremely repetitive points 1 The setting of the real world makes it difficult for kids to differentiate between fact and fiction Apparently, because this is a fiction book that takes place in the United Kingdom where people actually live or can visit, it makes it nearly impossible for the reader to understand that it s not real He makes reference to comments on message boards and letters etc which have kids saying things like Wow I wish I could do magic or I wish I could go to Hogwarts and the like, and claims that these kids are dangerously close to becoming official occult followers Which is utterly ridiculous and a huge logic leap Kids whimsically wishing for something doesn t imply that they can t understand it s not real I used to WISH I had a real My Little Pony to ride, but I didn t actually believe they WERE REAL Kids know how mundane and normal and boring their life is School Homework Bed Repeat They have no control over anything at this point parents decide their lives They just wish for some fun.And, kids are much, much smarter than they are given credit for, in my opinion, although apparently not in the author s Abanes seems to think that kids who read and like something will then rush off to try it with no thought And while that may be true of some people, it is untrue of most He gives an example in his book after talking about how wormwood is used in HP and is an actual ingredient in absinthe of someone looking up a recipe for absinthe online, making it and getting sick He writes it in such a way as to insinuate that the person who did this was somehow influenced by the wormwood mention in HP Another big leap He also seems to forget parents, even while writing a book geared toward them It is a parent s responsibility to teach their children, not JK Rowling s.He goes on later in the book to say how Christian writers CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien both wrote fantasy stories involving magic, but these are OK because their magic is not HUMAN magic, and it is clearly in a fantasy world 2 The magic described and portrayed in HP is actually representative of the Occult, which is denounced repeatedly and harshly in the bible Abanes s argument here seems to be that because JK Rowling researched and used real modern and historical practices, ideas, references, and substances like wormwood above , as well as mythology and legend etc, that she is thinly veiling her belief in the occult, and not only introducing children to it, but grooming them towards it His biblical definition of occultism is extraordinarily all encompassing, and ranges from astrology to conversing with spirits as a medium Anything, essentially, that tries to understand or influence the world or ourselves that is NOT Christian in nature or done for the glory of God, is defined as being of the occult, and therefore dangerous and evil He references many passages in the bible which denounce occultism, but never answers the ever present WHY question But hey, rules are rules, and the rule maker need not explain, right Moving on, Abanes makes another huge leap in talking about the pets in HP, stating that they are familiars to their owners Witches familiars are defined here as a low level demon in the assumed shape of an animal He says, Mrs Norris, owned by the school s caretaker, exhibits some of the characteristics of a familiar In Book III, Hermione gets her own familiar a cat named Crookshanks He then quotes a renown Wicca practitioner, Starhawk, on the tradition of familiars, and then quotes a passage from Witchcraft In England which rehashes again what familiars are and confirms again the belief that witches used them in the later centuries of the witchcraft belief Abanes then says,Obviously Harry and his friends are indeed making contact with the spiritual worldWhat How is that obvious Abanes did include a very small section each to explain Paganism, Wicca and Satanism I think he kind of shot himself in the foot if he was trying to turn people away from these, though He failed miserably at making them unattractive, and to be honest, actually succeeded in piquing my interest in learning evenabout them Pagan and Wicca followers have a reverence for the Earth and all it s creatures, generally see all life as interconnected, and strive to attune one s self to the manifestation of this belief as seen in the cycles of nature Ooooh DANGER DANGER Sorry, I couldn t resist I m not going to go into the major points and details, but it is interesting, and I would recommend reading about them yourself I did see a lot of my own worldviews represented in Paganism and Wicca, such as my relativism a view that ethical truths depend on the individual or groups holding them www.Merriam Webster.com , which essentially means that what is good for me is not good for everyone else, and what is good for others may not be what is good for me I m OK with that Abanes is not, and apparently has a problem with personal and private beliefs not in accordance with his own He seems to feel that his way is the only way.He did portray Satanism as being bad , although he made clear that modern Satanism is not technically worship of Satan, but worship of the individual Satanism emerged when various aspects of all these pagan, et al traditions were blended together by persons seeking to fight Christianity s growing theological and moral influence between 400s 1600s A.D I got a real chuckle out of that Apparently the Crusades and mass murders in the name of Christianity represent the moral influence of the faith Best Euphemism EVER He mentioned Sean Sellers, who was physically and sexually abused, neglected, and abandoned as a child and teen, who found himself getting involved with Dungeons Dragons as an outlet, and later Satanism There he found acceptance and understanding, until things started getting too deep and cult like, which is very different from the religion started by Anton LeVey Sellers, fearing for his sanity, reached out repeatedly for help his parents, their Christian ministers, church run support groups, etc, and they turned their backs on him each and every time In the end, he immersed himself in Satanism completely, and ended up murdering three people, being arrested, sentenced to death, and becoming a born again Christian in prison Abanes blames the DD as the gateway to Satanism for his downfall, but fails completely to mention the many, many people who let Sellers down when he needed help the most This is just one of many examples of how Abanes cherry picks his arguments 3 Vulgarity, profanity and general lack of biblical morality in the Harry Potter books Characters lying, stealing, cheating, cursing, drinking, etc And the amount of gore in the books, including Nearly Headless Nick and the Headless HuntHis point is that he doesn t feel like there is enough delineation between good and evil The good guys should be all good, or if they falter, they should pay for it immediately Bad guys should be all bad, and should absolutely pay and fail But MY argument is that the world, and life, is rarely delineated in such stark, black and white terms Good people do bad things, bad people can do good things, it s the way of the world And the real world doesn t always mete out appropriate punishment for misdeeds based on a religious belief The world is impartial Religion is not.Abanes s first example of the immorality of the children is that they disobey rules I think this is the main stick in his craw, because so much of organized religion centers on obeying without question He also really has a problem with the word git , which is a derogatory word that means idiot He claims that this is profanity, which I guess is subjective, but to me, it s slang, not profanity Children are children, and they ACT like children They disobey, mouth off, curse, treat each other unkindly, hold grudges, make enemies, make up, cheat, etc But even as they do so, they are learning Holding them to adult standards of behavior is unrealistic and unfair, especially a religious standard that was never intended to be in the equation at all.He also repeatedly laments the increase of New Age Spiritualism in modern times, causing what he calls a Post Christian world, which is helped along by books, movies and media, namely occult books like HP, etc He repeatedly inserts statistical data, which in itself is suspect to me, as 7 out of 8 people know that 60% of all statistics are made up on the spot as this was P , so I m a little wary of just accepting his claims He acts like popularity itself is cause for alarm More than once, Abanes seems to indicate that because Rowling was poor before she wrote Harry Potter that her popularity was helped along by, if not evil, definitely occult forces He also seems to take issue with the fact that JK Rowling has not publicly made known her personal religious beliefs As if it matters Her beliefs are personal, and her books are fiction They have nothing to do with each other in my mind and opinion, but Abanes thinks that because she s not proclaimed her Christianity, that she s probably an Occultist Again with the black and white, with us or against us theme I think that s what bothered me most about this book I tried to read it objectively and fairly, even though I myself am agnostic, but so many of his arguments are just statements without any basis Comparisons which are ridiculous It s like he was writing this for people who think exactly as he does, but just didn t know it yet, and who wouldn t question his claims At the end of the book, he gives practical advice for Christians who should now have many, many concerns about the book to go forth with gentleness and kindness when discussing the book s with others that they feel the need to educate Good advice, yes, because I do not want someone calling me a heathen for enjoying these books, BUT this book only succeeded in making claims, not proving them Not only that, but as I mentioned before, he clearly, blatantly and shamelessly picked around the things that he didn t want to address, and beat into the ground the few points he did For instance, he mentions CS Lewis s Narnia series, and spoiler Aslan sacrificing himself for Edmund spoiler , but Lily s own sacrifice for Harry goes without mention And he s not unaware, just to be clear, as he quotes Voldemort telling Harry that his mother died to save him, and that she will have died in vain, as well as Dumbledore s explanation of Lily s love sacrifice He just ignores the sacrifice of the one, and lauds the sacrifice of the other, because it suits his theme He claims that the HP books are vulgar and full of violence etc, and that they are inappropriate reading material for children, yet ignores the fact that there is ridiculous amounts of violence and death in the Lord of the Rings trilogy And the bible, for that matter.He also derides the use of runes in HP, but makes no mention of the fact that Gandalf used them in Lord of the Rings Apparently that s OK because, while runes are definitely Real Occult , LOTR was not set it in the real world I could go on and on, 12 pages of notes, remember , but I think this is enough to get my point across In the end, it seems like Abanes is saying, Christianity is right, and anything that doesn t shout that from the rooftops is wrong Period End of story That s an opinion, but it doesn t make it the right one I think people are entitled to believe what they choose, just as readers of all ages are entitled to read and enjoy what they choose Parents have a responsibility to talk to and teach their kids right from wrong, and morals and ethics, etc That is not the job of the Harry Potter books, or ANY books Religious texts are wonderful and useful to many people, but that does not mean that fiction and entertainment should seek only to rewrite retell them Read and make up your OWN mind about books PS Hi Brady I want to begin by saying how I acquired this book My 7th grade son was approached by a strange child asking if he liked Harry Potter My son answered yes, and was offered a cool Harry Potter book This book The very first page of the actual book opens with the quote Any time the dark side of the supernatural world is presented as harmless or even imaginary, there is the danger that children will become curious and find too late that witchcraft is neither harmless nor imaginary Lindy Beam I want to begin by saying how I acquired this book My 7th grade son was approached by a strange child asking if he liked Harry Potter My son answered yes, and was offered a cool Harry Potter book This book The very first page of the actual book opens with the quote Any time the dark side of the supernatural world is presented as harmless or even imaginary, there is the danger that children will become curious and find too late that witchcraft is neither harmless nor imaginary Lindy Beam Focus on the Family.Because this book is supposed to represent the moral Christian community, it seems a bit silly that they actually believe that reading the Harry Potter series is going to turn our children into practicing, and somehow evil, witches and wizards They can t actually believe the world Rowling has created is real Can they The book was written after the publication of Goblet of Fire The first few chapters of the book address each installment of the series Each is dissected and references to occult, Wicca and paganism beliefs are brought to our attention The distinction between magi c and magi ck are explored C is merely sleight of hand used by stage performers and perfectly acceptable CK is actually the manipulation of forces and energies and is definitely not acceptable This manipulation can actually be attributed to Satan WHAT After each of the first four volumes is deconstructed and analyzed, Abanese goes on to explain the differences between good Christian literature Lewis, Tolkien, Carroll, etc and Rowling s paganistic, and evil writings Rowling s wizards are human, whereas Tolkien s wizards are not human at all Tolkien s represent good and evil angels or demons Lewis good and evil are allegories for Christian beliefs, and their power is derived from the One , or God, and the Other , or Satan THIS is the difference Despite an entire chapter devoted to this idea, I can t understand the distinction They are both fantasy worlds conceived in the author s imagination The fact that two of the authors were practicing Christians, and one merely believes in God, makes no difference.Abanese then goes on to lay the blame of 17 year old Sean Sellers death sentence for three murders, on a love of DungeonsDragons, which led to his Satan worshipping Abanese admits Sellers was abandoned as a child, physically, mentally and sexually abused, but still attributes his fall from Grace to occult influences and compares the dangers of Harry Potter to this situation Be warned, lest you be damned or some such nonsense This seems to me to be a blatant search for blame other than circumstances Abanese states Sellers turned again, and again to Christian leaders for help and was turned away I find it hard to believe a game led to his murderous actions, or that loving the world of Harry Potter will, if unchecked, lead our children down this same path of destruction.I was compelled to read this, as I have never understood the arguments against Harry Potter Now that I have, I have an even firmer belief in the advantages Rowlings worlds have given our children The ability to differentiate between good and evil, right and wrong, fantasy and reality She shows them loyalty, friendship and love, and above all doing the right thing is not always the easy thing It s our job as parents to teach our children, but Rowling gives them examples on their terms, aimed at their interests and hearts What a great starting place We should thank her not only for getting them reading, but for that I was curious what objections the Christians had to the Harry Potter phenomenon, so I read Though the author had done his research, I was pretty appalled to see him making excuses for Christian fantasy writers e.g., Lewis, Tolkien and saying it was okay for them to have magic using characters like the elves in Lord of the Rings because they were using inborn abilities while Harry Potter kids are studying the occult Er, no, the Harry Potter kids had natural magical abilities that they used I was curious what objections the Christians had to the Harry Potter phenomenon, so I read Though the author had done his research, I was pretty appalled to see him making excuses for Christian fantasy writers e.g., Lewis, Tolkien and saying it was okay for them to have magic using characters like the elves in Lord of the Rings because they were using inborn abilities while Harry Potter kids are studying the occult Er, no, the Harry Potter kids had natural magical abilities that they used with no training, even if they did later go to school to refine them Anyway I didn t rate this book low just because I don t agree with it I rated it low because it was so obvious to me that the author was capable of doing good research but did not do so in an honorable objective way He was searching for evidence specifically to prove his point and skewed the evidence when necessary in order to make it say what he wanted it to I find this very dishonest I do think he s right putting aside any feelings I have about whether it s bad for children to get into Wicca that the Harry Potter books have enough references to real magic stuff that kids could get interested in if they were paying enough attention, but most kids who weren t going to get interested in real witch activities when they were older ANYWAY are not going to be persuaded to do so by these children s fantasy books