by Marlene Panell
Harry Potter, Twilight, and New Moon – Innocent stories that encourage children and young people to read, or is there more to it than that?
“Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The central story arc (continuing or extended story line) concerns Harry’s struggle against the evil wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry’s parents in his quest to conquer the wizarding world and subjugate non-magical people (Muggles). Several successful derivative films, video games and other themed merchandise have been based upon the series.
“Since the 1997 release of the first novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was retitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the United States, the books have gained immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide. As of June 2008, the book series has sold more than 400 million copies and has been translated into 67 languages, and the last four books have consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history.” (Wikipedia)
“Most parents see the Harry Potter novels written by Joanne Kathleen Rowling as harmless entertainment not worth worrying about. They surely don’t see any subtle (or dangerous) Harry-Wicca connection. Others do; in fact, many are certain that dark spiritual forces lurk beneath those magic-made-funny pages. Are J.K. Rowlings best-selling books (even if this isn’t her conscious intent) fueling teenage interest in the Craft? “Don’t be silly!” shout Potter supporters. “Open your eyes!” counter Potter critics. Which side is right?” (The Hour of the Witch, by Steve Wohlberg, pg. 19)
“Harry Potter books have not only been incorporated into the United States public school curriculum (with teacher’s manuals and discussion guides), but they’ve also spawned a multi-million-dollar line of Potter merchandise, which includes games, puzzles, posters, toys, clocks, shirts, hats, costumes, eyeglasses, towels, blankets, playing cards, markers, pens, lunch boxes, mugs, bookmarks, jelly beans, stamps, and much more.” (Wohlberg, pg. 25)
“In addition to the belief that Harry Potter is good ol’ fashioned fun, there are five main arguments now being used by supportive parents and teachers in favor of J.K. Rowling’s series:
1. Harry Potter has achieved the unbelievable feat of motivating almost an entire generation of 21st century media-saturated, video-game-addicted kids to actually turn off the TV and read books- which must be a good thing, right?
2. Harry Potter models the importance of developing loyal friendships with peers, such as those formed between Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, as they work together against Lord Voldemort and his slimy Death Eaters.
3. Harry Potter contains timeless insights into the classic struggle between good and evil, and includes valuable moral lessons. This is the primary reason why the novels are being used in the United States public school system and why even some teachers have decorated their classrooms Hogwarts-style.
4. Harry Potter aids the development of children’s imaginations.
5. Harry Potter is entirely fictitious. All references to witchcraft and sorcery are mere literary devices with no connection to real occultism.” (Wohlberg, pg. 36)
“Let’s think this through a bit. There’s no question that reading a book can be good, but is the mere act of reading inherently virtuous? Obviously, if 14-year-old Johnny found a copy of Playboy or Hustler magazine one afternoon and skipped Nintendo to read erotic articles and look at girly photos, few parents would be thrilled. True, this is an extreme example, but it still illustrates the principle that what one reads is more important than simply positioning one’s face over a page of words.” (Wohlberg, pg. 43)
“Too many parents have neglected their God-given responsibility to raise their children to read and love books-wholesome books-and to teach them better ways to utilize their time than spending countless hours viewing Spiderman or Terminator. The real problem is that so many moms and dads don’t have time for their kids, so they plop them before 60-inch, hi-definition, fast-action baby-sitters, letting them watch whatever Hollywood rolls out. Then when some mesmerizing novel like Harry Potter grips Johnny’s chronically short attention span so that he finally pokes the “power off” button, mom’s ecstatic.
“’Look honey,’ she reports to her overworked spouse, ‘Johnny’s not watching TV tonight; he’s reading a book!’ ‘Cool!’ replies the boy’s largely absent father.“ (Wohlberg, Pg. 44)
God does not look at witchcraft lightly. He knows and understands the ways Satan uses to get people to turn their backs on God and follow him instead. God has warned His people, Israel, and therefore us to stay away from things that have to do with Satan.
“When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.” (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
A parent’s first responsibility is to see to the care and education of their children. God has told parents to train their children up in the Lord. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
It seems a little ironic that the public school system began by using the Bible as a means to teach children to read, and now the Bible is not allowed into the public schools (unless being used as a literary work only), but books that go directly against God’s Word are being encouraged.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809-1865): “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man.”
DANIEL WEBSTER (1782-1852): “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering.”
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (1876-1848): “I have made it a practice for several years to read the Bible through in the course of every year.”
HORACE GREELEY (1811-1872): “It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people.”
ROBERT E. LEE (1807-1870): “In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.”
THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1858-1919): “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
GEORGE WASHINGTON (1732-1799): “The perpetuity of this nation depends upon the religious education of the young.” (Wohlberg, pg. 46 – 47)
People today want to look at the supernatural; however, they are not looking to the Bible and God for this. Satan is alive and at work today. A lot of people, including Christians, want to make Satan and Hell out to be a myth, or a fun fantasy—nothing more. God warns us about Satan and his wiles. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.“ (1 Peter 5:8)
God expects us to stay in His Word. He wants us to walk with Him. He will protect us from Satan and his demons, but we must follow what God says. We must obey Him and truly let Him lead our lives.
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16-25)
Even though Harry Potter continues to be popular, there is something else coming along that is fast taking its place! Young teenage girls, and their mothers, are becoming enamored or obsessed with a new series of books by Stephenie Meyer. The first in the series is called Twilight.
“Twilight is the first book in a series of teen-lit vampire novels (”Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse,” and upcoming “Breaking Dawn”) by Stephenie Meyer, who is often referred to as America’s JK Rowling. An apt comparison considering the third book in the series, Eclipse, actually knocked Harry Potter off the #1 spot on USA Today’s bestseller list. Stranger yet, Meyer is a Mormon stay-at-home mom who admits that she doesn’t watch horror movies, and has never even read Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
“On her 18th birthday, Bella Swan wakes up from a dream in which she sees herself as an old woman. She expresses her distaste with growing older than her boyfriend Edward Cullen, a vampire who physically stopped aging at 17. Despite her lack of enthusiasm, Edward’s adoptive family throws Bella a birthday party. While unwrapping a gift, Bella gets a paper cut, causing Edward’s brother, Jasper, to become overwhelmed by her blood’s scent and attempt to kill her. Realizing that he and his family pose a danger to Bella, Edward ends their relationship, and the Cullens leave Forks, Washington permanently.
“Edward’s departure leaves Bella heartbroken and depressed for months. However, when her father, Charlie, wants her to live with her mother in Florida, Bella agrees to spend time with her friends. After a movie with Jessica, Bella sees a group of men on motorcycles. This reminds her of when Edward previously rescued her from an assault, and she sees his image warning her to stay away. Bella discovers that thrill-seeking activities evoke Edward’s preserved image. She is also comforted by her deepening friendship with Jacob Black, a cheerful companion who eases her pain over losing Edward. When Jacob is unable to see Bella for weeks, she discovers that he is a werewolf, an age-old enemy of vampires. Jacob’s pack members are on constant patrol for Victoria, a vampire searching to kill Bella due to the death of her mate, leaving Jacob little time to spend with her. Alone again, Bella returns to seeking thrill-inducing activities.” (Wikepedia)
Are these just harmless love stories? First let’s look at what these are. This is information I got off of the internet.
“What is a Vampire? A reanimated corpse that is believed to rise from the grave at night to suck the blood of sleeping persons. (The New American Heritage Dictionary)
1. To begin, we must start by defining vampires. This is no easy task. According to
the Oxford English Dictionary, the word vampire can be traced back to the early
1700s.Wikipedia: Vampire – Etymology However, the traits that define a
vampire have changed through the ages.
2. Originally, vampires were undead creatures that escaped from their caskets.
Some believed that this was caused by an evil spirit possessing the victim’s
3. Eventually, the beliefs were complicated by the notion that vampires drink blood.
At that point, other myths that involved with drinking blood were connected to
4. Today, the only characteristic that seems to connect various offshoots of
vampirism is the need for blood– they may or may not be demons or even dead.
By Light Unseen: What’s in a Word? How “Vampire” Came to Mean Anything
Not Under the Sun
5. For the purposes of this page, vampires may be reanimated corpses, drink blood
or both.” (How to become a Vampire, Mahalo.com)
“What is a Werewolf? A person transformed into a wolf or capable of assuming the form of a wolf at will. (The New American Heritage Dictionary)
1. The idea that werewolves were created by the devil has been traced back to the Middle
Ages and the increase of Christianity in Europe. Allen Varney: History of Werewolves At
that time werewolves and witches were often connected, as both were believed to have
2. In some folktales, the devil offers a person a potion that, when applied under a full
moon, transforms a person into a werewolf. Monstrous Werewolves: Pact with the
3. According to writer G.W.M. Reynolds book Wagner the Wehr-Wolf, the title
character makes a deal with Satan. In exchange for eternal life, Wagner is willing
to become a werewolf. Allen Varney: History of Werewolves
4. In Russia, becoming a werewolf is not a gift but a curse from the Devil that occurs
when a man has angered him. Skeptic World: Cryptozoology – Werewolf
5. In Portugal, it was believed that the human form of werewolves, known as
lobishomems, could be identified by finding the Devil’s mark on the person’s
body. University of Milwaukee: International Myths“ (How to become a
So what are vampires and werewolves? They are evil imaginings that come from Satan, himself! These are subtle lies that Satan has used to get man’s eyes off of God. Our children and grandchildren are being deceived into thinking the occult is natural, and something to be involved in.
Witchcraft, wiccans, covens, Satanism, demonism, and all manner of occultism has grown in the United States and around the world exponentially in the last 50 years! This is talked about in Revelation during the sixth trumpet.
“But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20, 21)
What can we as parents and grandparents do? First of all, read God’s Word daily. Study it. Learn it. Memorize it. Then we must tell the Good News to our children, grandchildren, neighbors, and friends. We must also warn about the results of delving into occultism.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
It is our responsibility as God’s followers to make sure of what our children and grandchildren are doing. The people who are promoting these things and making money off of them, do not care about the lives they are ruining. They care about themselves, the money they are making, and following their father, Satan.
When asked if they were responsible for young people getting into satanism, band members for “Slayer,” a black metal band that young people claim listening to their music got them into Satanism during the 70’s and 80’s, said, “It’s the parents’ responsibility to be aware of what their children are doing. It’s not our job. We’re just poets and musicians.” (Satanism the Seduction of America’s Youth, by Bob Larson, pg. 17).
God does expect us to teach our children and grandchildren His Word. He also expects us to tell the Gospel to those He has put into our lives. We need to share the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection, and also warn people of the punishment coming to those who don’t receive Christ as their Savior!
“Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.
“So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die! and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
“Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?” Say to them: As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?
The Fairness of God’s Judgment
“Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins. When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. Again, when I say to the wicked, You shall surely die, if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
“Yet the children of your people say, The way of the Lord is not fair. But it is their way which is not fair! When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not fair. O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.” (Ezekiel 33:1-20)
So what should a person do if they have been delving into the occult? “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (Acts 3:19)
And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. (Acts 19:18-20)
We should not dwell on Satan or the occult. We should not be around those who are into the occult. I saw deomon possession first-hand when we were in Trinidad and Tobago. The devil is not a joke. His demons are real, and do inhabit humans when they open themselves up to the occult!! Satan wants to destroy anyone or anything that has to do with God. He is the enemy!!
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
God has told us that we need to dwell on His Word and meditate on things that bring honor and glory to God. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
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