Daily Devotional for Friday June 20, 2003
***With the release of the new Harry Potter book, the Lord led me to re-air this Devotional on Harry Potter. PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY! I am NOT supporting this book, however, it is a fantasy book and those who read it will most likely not become satan worshippers. My personal opinion is that there are FAR better things to be reading than Harry Potter. However, the KEY POINT to this Devotional is not Harry Potter, BUT A PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO THEIR CHILDREN.
Harry Potter. I pray every morning and ask God to guide me, to inspire me, to give you something each day that will bless your lives in a practical way. Obviously, dealing with such a vast audience, and dealing with the issues of real life that I address daily, I get an incredible amount of mail each day that is both positive and negative. As someone who tries to simply proclaim the truth of God's Word, I understand that the negative responses are not really aimed at me, but actually at God. I am responsible for doing my job, delivering the message God wants me to share that day, and what each person does with that message is between them and God. This is a good lesson for you when you share your faith with others. If they accept what you say, the are accepting God, not you. If they reject what you say, they are rejecting God, not you.
The entire purpose of this Devotional is NOT to debate the merits of Harry Potter, but to encourage parents to do a more responsible job in monitoring what their kids see and hear, and to take the time to put it all in a Biblical context from which they can make decisions later on in their life. To share with them from a biblically-based perspective to prepare them to make their own choices when you are not around to control what they will be exposed to. Anyone who has read my Devotionals very long realizes that I ALWAYS stand up for the Word of God. It is our final authority in ALL matters. It is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. It is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH that we base our very lives on.
I recently did a Devotional encouraging people to stay away from Horoscopes and the psychics since God clearly speaks against this as sin. I even laid out a clear Biblical context for this warning. Here are the Scriptures. Genesis 44:15, Numbers 22:7, Deut 18:14, I Samuel 6:2, Jer 27:9, Ezekiel 13:23,21:21, Zechariah 10:2, Acts16:16 Genesis 41:24, Exodus 7:11,8:19, 9:11 Deut 18:11 I Samuel 28:11 Isaiah 8:19, 2:6, Daniel 2:27,5:7 Deut 18:10, 2 Kings 17:17, 21:6, Isaiah 47:9, Malachi 3:5 Acts 8:11, 13:6 Exodus 22:18,Leviticus 19:31, 20:6, I Samuel 15:23 28:7, 2 Kings 9:22, 23:24, I Chronicles 10:13, Isaiah 8:19, 19:3, 29:4, Galatians 5:20. ***These are the same verses that apply to the current Harry Potter issue.
I realize that much of what people are saying about this book, has been due to the public stance many major national ministries have taken on this issue. As some of you know, I was involved in a very big way in the Christian television world for many years before I launched Liveprayer.com. My ministry not only produced thousands of hours of programming seen on Christian television stations all over the nation, but I personally consulted with many large national ministries in the area of fundraising. I can tell you from personal experience that many of the major ministries you watch on TV plan their ministry around issues that they can successfully raise money on. I am saddened that many large national ministries who are so strongly speaking out about Harry Potter, are doing so mainly to sell books and tapes that they have produced on this issue. Just like so many have used the homosexual and abortion issues to raise incredible amounts of money.
The elements of Harry Potter that are dangerous, have been with us in so many other forms for many, many years since Biblical times. Yet when has anyone really spoken out so boldly about witchcraft? About horoscopes? These are the Biblical element that make Harry Potter dangerous. One reason Liveprayer does NOT sell books or tapes to support this work of God that we do each day, is so that I don't have to fall into the traps so many do of surviving based on getting people riled up over the popular issues of the day. I have chosen to simply share what God has for me to say each day, and rely on the Lord to move on people's hearts to support this ministry out of a desire to share the hope and love of Jesus Christ with others.
The key to what I am saying today is NOT to bash the Harry Potter books and movies, but to encourage parents to take an even greater role in monitoring what your children read, hear, and watch!!! ***THIS DEVOTIONAL IS NOT ABOUT HARRY POTTER, BUT ABOUT BEING GOOD PARENTS!!! Even more important, to take the TIME to talk with your children about what is in our popular culture like Harry Potter, movies, television, magazines, video games, and all else that they are exposed to, in a Biblical context.
***PARENTS: YOU CAN NOT CONTROL ALL THAT YOUR CHILDREN WILL SEE AND HEAR. YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOW, AND AS EACH DAY GOES BY, MAKING EVEN MORE DECISIONS FOR THEMSELVES. THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB THAT YOU HAVE IS TO LAY A BIBLICAL FOUNDATION IN THEIR LIVES FOR THEM TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS FROM!!!!!
I love you and care about you so much. Is Harry Potter a legitimate issue? Yes, due to the popularity of the books and movie. Is Harry Potter the anti-Christ. NO! Will reading Harry Potter, or watching the movie destroy your children's lives? Most likely no. Again, what I want you to take from this is that as parents, you MUST get involved in your children's lives. You have every right, and responsibility to censor what you allow in your home. But censor it with an explanation of why, so that hopefully was they get older, they can make that same quality decision for themselves. In time, Harry Potter will be off the radar screen, and trust me, there will be another "hot issue" to get all excited about. The fact is, as parents, we need to be constantly diligent about what our children are being exposed to, and put it into a Biblical context for them.
Never forget, that in a very short time, you won't be around to make those decisions for them, and the foundation that you lay in their life now, is what will carry them the rest of their life. I pray today that you will take the time, put in the effort, to make that a strong, biblically based foundation from which they will be able to operate from the rest of their journey here on earth.
Again, I do not want the main point of this Devotional to be lost. Anyone who reads the Word of God knows that God condemns witchcraft and sorcery. It is a sin. Period. My larger concern is NOT over the obvious sin that is promoted, but over the role parents play in the shaping of their children's lives. Not just in being responsible and censoring material that could be harmful to them, but in helping them develop a foundation from which to make those same Biblically based decisions for themselves when their you are NOT around.
***NEVER FORGET that your greatest ministry, no matter what else the Lord may have you doing for the Kingdom, is TO YOUR CHILDREN. There is NO GREATER ministry that you will EVER be involved in. Anyone who is a parent, is in full time ministry to God as much as any pastor, or anyone that you will ever see on TV or hear on the radio. As a minister of God, it is YOUR responsibility to help lay a Biblically-based foundation in the lives of those God has given you to minister to..your children! That is the REAL MESSAGE of Harry Potter.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller