The Potter Phenomenon

From the September-October 2005 Trumpet Print Edition

A record-breaking 6.9 million copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince were sold in the United States in the first 24 hours of its official release. Harry’s phenomenal popularity has taken children and teens by storm. Many bookstores have difficulty keeping their shelves stocked with the books.

The story of Harry Potter, the child wizard, glorifies magic and the occult. One children’s author wrote that “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is different. It’s not quite like the Harry Potters that have gone before. … The Half-Blood Prince is much darker …” (bbc News, July 20). Still, many parents and teachers are thrilled to see kids taking the time to read.

The occult and supernatural must not be dismissed as mere superstition or as “just another genre of literature.” There is, in fact, a real world of evil spirits. Moreover, their manifestations can be extremely hazardous.

One source that addresses this topic in detail is the Holy Bible. It is the most complete reference book available on the subject.

The Bible reveals the existence of perverse spirit beings—demons—who seek to seduce and ultimately destroy humanity. Satan the devil, whom the Bible labels the “prince of demons,” leads these spirits (Mark 3:22, Revised Standard Version). Yet Satan has become a myth to most people. Many laugh at him as a cartoon figure of a red, dancing monster with wings like a bat, horns, a long, pointed tail and a pitchfork.

However, the real Satan and his demonic cohorts are violently at work.

The Bible labels the popular occult and supernatural pursuits of our modern age as “works of darkness.” In addition, it cautions us in Ephesians 5:11 to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness ….” We need to understand this important warning—and teach it to our children.

Harry Potter is portrayed as a wizard that fights evil, yet the Bible says that wizardry is evil. Such a mixed message will only confuse children (and adults) about what evil is and make them susceptible to Satan’s deceit.

Parents ought to realize that children do not yet have the wisdom and experience to guide their own lives or to make fully informed choices. This is surely illustrated by Proverbs 22:15: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child ….” (The word translated foolishness actually means evil in the Hebrew language.) Parents have a heavy responsibility to direct their child’s interests toward wholesome and profitable channels.

The second chapter of our book Mystery of the Ages will help you understand what the Bible teaches about evil spirits. We will send you a copy, gratis, upon request.