We cannot ever teach the un-Believers around us if we cannot even speak their language. Learning only Christianese or Yeshivaim hinders anyone’s ability to skim the edges of society. A thorough understanding and wide knowledge of worldly ways must be taught to our young ones to enable any of them to make a living, and use one’s gifts from G-d to make a difference.
In the end, it is the Parent that decides what their children will know and how they will dress and speak, and even think…at least while they are children, but regimented morality does them little good when they step out into a college environment and run into every kind of attack on their G-dliness, and their careful education as Believers.
Careful parents need to know what to protect their little ones from…not just some of the dangers, but all of the dangers and the best way to do that is to teach them what the Enemy is doing in the secular world, and show them what is wrong with what is around them, and how to discern what is right, and thus stand up against peer pressure.
I once mentioned online at the time they came out that I read all the Harry Potter books and was virtually crucified in virtual reality, but with a firm grounding in mythology and legends of the world, I faced no danger of being lured to witchcraft or sorcery, and I can talk to people about what is wrong in the books. The stories and characters are great on friendship, and the plot is good against evil, but there is no mention of any G-d in the world of the Harry Potter books…just the odd, unused church used for burials of the non-witches and non-warlocks.
But having read, and enjoyed them and the movies as a 50ish adult, I can also say that Harry Potter actually dies himself in order to save all the good people in his world from all the bad…and has a resurrection, even if it is a magical one, and thus use it to transition to Yeshua, and what Yeshua’s life and death did for mankind. If a parent doesn’t read what is in the books as a study of possible evil, and find out what to say about them to their children, the child will be lost when exposed as a young adult, because the books and movies are brilliant, enjoyable, and oddly, meant for young people (if worldly ones), and what is not seen as a teen and thoroughly examined and critiqued, will be read or seen in HighSchool or at University with no protection at all, as the books are so well-written they are used in English classes in High School and College.
The same holds true for all worldly knowledge. The Simpsons are crass cartoons to me, but they have humor and social comment that forms the basis of much general conversation at work, as do other popular shows. Knowing the latest movies, even though one only reads the reviews and story content can let our young people not look like troglodytes from the 1800’s, prior to Darwin.
Darwin must be thoroughly explained as well, and the proper use of language, and why the world uses vulgar and blasphemous talk that is offensive. Ammunition must be given to our children to fight the ideas of atheism and socialism and communism…and if parents do not give them Godly ideas to fight the world’s ideas, we must get the help of the those that know such things…from our communities, from the retired persons who know up from down, and why the Kingdom of G-d is upside down from the world, and have the time and inclination to teach a little worldly wisdom.
You can train up a child in right ways, but only in a Christian based world will that hold until they run the gamut in public schools and universities, and be able to walk and talk their witness in front of others, rather than bible-thump people they meet.
Alas…the world can no longer be termed ‘Christendom’ anymore, anywhere, and a child is not completely protected by the mere teaching of Biblical things unless they stay at home forever. The Armor of G-d includes knowledge of Scripture in the imaging of the Sword of the Spirit, but it doesn’t hurt to have some brass knuckles and a baseball bat to aid in the more worldly battles.
3 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with Harry Potter?”
You are so right, Questor. When my kids were young, I tried to keep them from these things only to have it backfire. We humans always want the thing we are told we cannot have. With my grandchildren, I am learning to talk with them about these things – and listen to what they say. They don’t always agree with me (do they EVER agree with me?) but I know I’m planting seeds, praying for a good harvest.
This Rosh Hashanah the kids went with my #2 son to see ‘It’. Stephen King is my favorite author. Not always crazy about the language and scenes in the books, but he’s got a great voice that draws me into the story and keeps me there. Always has.
My #1 son and I discussed the new movie, along with the Dark Tower movie. The movies, in and of themselves are enjoyed by most movie-goers. However, a lot of us King fans are having issues with the movies. They do less justice to the original stories than the older movies did. The point is, I could have this conversation with my kids and grandkids, discussing the Turtle, and good and evil.
Years ago I wrote a satire called ‘Alien Invasion’. A middle school friend, who ended up as a family counselor, said he used it many times in his counseling sessions. It addresses the same issues you bring up, that we cannot protect our children by keeping them from the world. Hashem said it best, “My people perish from lack of knowledge.”
I enjoyed your alien abducted children description…and it makes me wonder, is this why I cannot remember all that much of what my mother said in my teens…or for that matter, ever?