For years I have observed the obsession with Harry Potter. I tried to read the first book when it came out but only made it half way before I lost interest. I enjoy fiction, but it did not hold my attention.
When the movies came out I watched all of them with my wife, who has enjoyed the series. After I saw book 7 (split into two movies) my interest became immediate. I even support my children engaging in these stories. So what changed? Why I am so supportive now when I did not care before?
I remember the protests and ostracizing of Rowling for writing witchcraft for children. I remember anger and hate from Christians against this brilliant author. I do not think she is brilliant because of the stories, the characters, or the success. Her brilliance is her foresight.
Rowling knew that if Harry Potter was advertised as Christian allegory it would limit her audience. For example, how many non-Christians have gone to see Christian movies? She knew she would reveal this secret with book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She knew she could evangelize in a comforting and loving way, through her writings.
If you think I am speculating a personal theory, you should watch her interview where she unveils this information. She purposely put scripture in book seven, she purposely and secretly wrote Christian allegory and kept it a secret until book 7. How many people have been impacted by Christianity because of her foresight?
Another attack is on the magic in those books. Witches, spells, wands and more cover every page. Is it really that different than Tolkien and Lewis? Maybe Rowling found a way to communicate the Christian message in a 21st century voice.
I know we will not all agree on the Potter series, just as Christians continue to stay divided in 30,000 denominations. However, Potter is not a denomination, not a movement, and not revival. It is a sharing of the gospel in context for those who would not previously listen. It is evangelism, and I marvel at her strength.
She endured persecution from Christians as a Christian. She endured slander, name-calling, and more from those who should have been her supporters. How interesting that such a large number of Christians could not recognize this mission of Rowling (me included)? How interesting is the lack of love and understanding? I am sad to say that I am only now seeking to defend Rowling. I was lukewarm, however now I am earnest and I repent (Revelation 3:15-22).
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Question: How often are we guilty of persecuting Christians who risking more than we are?