by Charisse Graves
Is the Harry Potter book series a matter of Christian liberty or forbidden fruit?
A Puritans’ Mind author, Dr. C. Matthew McMahon thoughtfully and scripturally examines the question, “Is Harry Potter really necessary?”2
There is much wisdom found in St. Augustine’s quote, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” The apostle Paul presented it like this:
14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Romans 14:14 (NASB)
The Reformation Study Bibles commentary is as follows:
14:14 there is nothing unclean of itself. While Paul counsels stronger believers to be sensitive to the consciences of weaker believers, this statement, which the entire church will read, indirectly calls the weak believers to mature in the faith and understand that they are free in Christ to partake of His good gifts. Because nothing is unclean in itself, they may not exercise the “tyranny of the weaker brother” and impose their personal scruples regarding indifferent matters on other believers. page 2101
The Apologetics Study Bible makes clear the difference between indifference and sin:
14:4,13-14 When he forbade judging, Paul did not mean Christians must not call a sin a sin. The context concerns Jewish practices such as dietary regulation, Sabbath keeping, and feasts- “doubtful issues” (v. 1) – that troubled many new (especially Jewish) Christians. Some believed they should remain kosher, while others thought differently. Paul insisted these are individual, non-moral matters for each one will give an account to God, not to other Christians (vv. 10-11). Since Jesus declared that nothing is unclean in itself (see Mt 15:11; Mk 7:19), what one chooses to eat or not eat is a matter of personal preference. But we cannot take Paul’s conclusion to cover any and all actions. That is, we cannot say that believers may engage in anything they wish as long as they hold the personal opinion that it is acceptable. Sin is never permissible for a Christian… page 1702
God’s Holy Word provides clarity on how He has classified sorcery.
8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 (NASB)
19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 (NASB)
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. Revelation 22:14-15 (NASB)
9 “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so. Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (NASB)
Therefore, we must deduce that sorcery, wizards, witchcraft, divination, conjuring, speaking to the dead, mediums, spiritists, necromancy, casting spells, soothsayers, enchanters, and charmers are detestable to God and clearly not adiaphora, or a morally neutral issue.
Can God be glorified through the occult, witchcraft and wizardry that God has specifically called “detestable” in His Word?
The Westminster Shorter Catechism states:
- 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
- 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
- 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man
Soli Deo Gloria!