How to Handle Harry

Millions of Harry Potter books are dog-eared. Video games and fan Web sites abound. Kids are wearing the clothing and carrying around the merchandise. So how do we handle Harry Potter with our kids and their friends?

The movie opens this month. Millions of Harry Potter books are dog-eared. Video games and fan Web sites abound. Kids are wearing the clothing and carrying around the merchandise. So how do we handle Harry Potter with our kids and their friends? What if you've decided Harry isn't for your kids? What if your family allows, even enjoys, Harry, but you're receiving flak from people who assert it's evil? These six biblically based points can help you determine how to handle the Harry Potter phenomenon:

We can have differing perspectives.

Christians see Harry Potter from differing angles, and thus arrive at differing convictions. Some see the stories as classic fantasy literature, while others equate the witchcraft with real-world occult practices. Your spiritual sensitivities to what Scripture says should determine whether you allow your children's involvement. Remember the apostle Paul's guidelines to early Christians debating about meat sacrificed to idols: "Whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin" (Romans 14:22-23).

We can overcome evil with good.

We're not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). Some do this by disallowing Harry Potter. If you hold convictions that God's Word prohibits Harry Potter, overcome it with good by directing kids to alternatives such as Frank Peretti's Cooper Kids Adventure Series, Bill Myers' Forbidden Doors series, or C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. If you deem Harry okay for your kids, be sure to read, watch, and discuss it with them, practicing moral and spiritual discernment, and distinguishing between fantasy literature "magic" and real-world occult.

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May 25

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