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Gamaliel's Desk
Thursday, December 12, 2002

For the second year in a row the secular establishment has attempted to confuse the Christian movie-going public. Undiscerning Christians fail to distinguish between the fundamentally evil nature of the Harry Potter movies and the pure Biblical morality in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Before any of you begin to criticize me for appearing to condone Christians attending movies, let me state right up front that I would never go to a movie because I believe it is wrong for holy people to darken the door of a movie house. I wait until the movies come out on video if I want to view them. Only carnal Christians actually attend movies and support the godless minions of Hollywood with their money. However, even these less-than-spiritual folks can benefit from my guidance and discernment.

That being said let me continue to explain why Harry Potter is sinful and Lord of the Rings is spiritual. Harry Potter is written to portray sorcery and witchcraft (both condemned in the Bible) in a good light. Lord of the Rings makes no such endorsement of witchcraft and only the evil forces in the movie use sorcery to achieve their ends. Let me list some more of the contrasts for you:

· Harry Potter has the hero using sorcery. Lord of the Rings has the villain using sorcery.
· Harry Potter uses magic to attain selfish ends. Lord of the Rings shows Gandalf using magic for selfless ends.
· Harry Potter has evil in the form of witchcraft triumphing over good. Lord of the Rings has strictly non-magical people like hobbits and elves triumphing over magical evil villains.
· Harry Potter uses sorcery purely for entertainment and teaches no lasting values. Lord of the Rings uses magic to teach timeless truths from scripture.
· Harry Potter endorses violence as a means to achieve a "good" end. Lord of the Rings endorses bravery in the face of violence as the means to achieve a good end.

I could go on and on about the contrast between these two widely divergent film series but the fact is Harry Potter is evil and Lord of the Rings is good. Harry Potter is totally unsuitable for children while Lord of the Rings is one of the best movies children could watch if they are willing to wait for it to come out on video or DVD. Harry Potter can be frightening to small children because of some of the scenes in the movie. At least that is what I've been told since I have never seen it myself, nor have I read the books. Lord of the Rings on the other hand, is reassuring and comforting in even the most violent scenes because good eventually triumphs over evil.

Harry Potter encourages children to experiment with the occult and play such evil games as Dungeons and Dragons while Lord of the Rings encourages children to strive for the high principles of goodness, honor, courage and fidelity. I have never heard of anyone who has been lured into the occult from reading Lord of the Rings but I have seen plenty of e-mails and even a forwarded copy of an article from a reputable internet news service called The Onion about children being drawn into the occult because they started reading the Harry Potter books.

It is high time that Christians took a stand against the sort of values portrayed in Harry Potter and support the virtues portrayed in Lord of the Rings. My hope for the future is that Christians learn to be just as discerning as I am with regard to the difference between magic that is portrayed in the media in a godly way from magic that is portrayed in a sinful way.

Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
James 3:10 (NIV)

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