Harry Potter and the Luke-Warm Christian

Posted by Jonathan Nori on July 20, 2009
Personal Life

Okay, so the headline was really just to get your attention. And it was a cute play on the “Half-Blood Prince” title. 🙂

Last week my wife and I went to opening night of HPatHBP. We’re both fans of the books, and the movies do a passable job. But that’s not what this column is about.

No, this column is about why like Harry Potter.

You see, I’m not afraid of Harry. Well, not just Harry, but Ron and Hermione and Draco Malfoy and Dumbledore and Voldemort. They don’t scare me. They don’t threaten my faith any more than Ariel or Ursula, Aurora and Maleficent, Jack, Lili, and Darkness, or Charles Xavier. My faith is secure. It may not be exactly the same faith as yours, but my faith in the forgiving power of Jesus and the existence of Heaven and Hell (again, though, maybe not in the same way you believe in them) is not going to be brought to its knees by a modern-day fairy tale about a boy and his wand.

Words have power, but only as much power as you give them. I often feel that the people who are the most threatened by Harry are threatened not because he’s “bad for the kids” or because he breaks the Biblical warning against witchcraft, but because they don’t walk in the supernatural themselves.

There is a massive world beyond what we can see. Humans intrinsically know this. We have a deep, inborn desire to know and experience a realm where the laws of physics as we know them don’t apply. I think the real reason Christians hate on Harry Potter so much is because he reminds us of the awesome supernatural powers that we choose not to wield through our safe Christian lives. This doesn’t mean Harry Potter is for everyone, just that it doesn’t threaten my faith or belief in divinely supernatural power of God.

I had a great conversation with someone last week where I got to explain this in-depth. I wasn’t recommending they see the movies or read the books, nor did I need to defend my own enjoyment of the story. Instead, it was a refreshingly adult conversation about how different people walk in different ways, and how we have all sinned, but not necessarily in the same ways.

As Christians, each of us has a journey to make. The destination for us all is the same, but the path is different. We are all focused on the Son, but we all started in different places and follow different roads.

There will plenty for me to be judged by when I meet the Almighty. I’m fairly certain that Harry Potter will be pretty far down the list.

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