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Coptic Orthodox Church
Is it bad to read books with witchcraft?
edited December 2008
Is it bad to read books with witchcraft, like say... hary potter?
Have a happy new year and may God bless all!
Forgive me, but a silly question. The answer is no. Happy New Year!
ive heard from lots of people from my church say it's bad for ur spiritual health
But say.. thanks alot and pray for me
Happy new year
ps. i forgive u
My friend, the notion that Harry Potter and the like being bad for you sprouted from idiot Protestant new-age theologians. They are retarded! No need to subscribe to their ideas!
The thing is, people hear about this stuff on the news and they get spread the word. Add this with an Egyptian community and you have a situation not unlike yours.
sorry i disagree with severus, which is unusual as he/she has posted some awesome stuff on the other discussions.
i don't think it's good, unless u want to read them in order to understand the sad pagan culture we live in and reach them with the glorious news of the power of God manifested in the resurrection of Jesus, which is more beautiful and more exciting then filling their minds with medieval ideas about magic and darkness. in which case u should also check with yr f.o.c.
phillipians 4:8 'whatever is .. pure, lovely... think on these things'
Actually, I'll have to go with Severus on that one... I mean we shouldn't get too worried about those innocent little things, I mean I've heard people say it's of the devil and stuff, but really I found the opposite...
I mean I read all Harry Potter books and I think if you read them while you're a bit older, you see a deeper meaning, it's like peeling off the magic and stuff and seeing the essence
I found it taught some important values, such as loyalty, trust, friendship, self-giving, ...
All the magical stuff is fantasy, I mean it's enjoyable to drift off in this whole other world for a while, not running away from the one we're in, but just out of curiousity keda...
We, as human beings, have imagination, and this is something we should be very thankful for I think...
I mean, if you think Harry Potter is wrong, then we should also forbid Snowwhite, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pinnochio, etc. (for they all have some kind of magic or supernatural stuff in them)
That would be a sad world for children to not have those tales keda I think, and it would definitly be a sad world for Disney also
Anyways, I just think we should take things easy
God bless you
sure, i understand there are good messages in the stories, and its normal to have some kind of fantasy and story-telling, its just that fairies, dragons, ogres etc don't exist and witchcraft does, so i think any book or film that implies it is innocent and harmless gives the wrong message.
what does everyone else think?
I would wholeheartedly ree with Severus...Harry Potter enriches a student's English vocabulary...besides God (personal statment) won't tell you itis bad.....egyptian psyche is all supernatural creatures are bad..."All things are lawful for me yet not all things suit me." Find somehting wrong with Harry potter? Does that mean Twilight also another epic and large teenage fan book is wrong? The morals are great, trust, not judging, love etc...to me i look at the postives rather than the negatives...enjoy life and thank God that you are learning and having fun!!! imagination is great!!
I have found that if you read the Narnia series you can also get that fantasy world fix
In my opinon its got it all, magic, fantasy and good values. All that with the good christian background that we can all trust is great! Im indifferent about the Harry potter books as I have read them myself. Just don't go off and read the golden compass or anything...cause thats where the real danger is.
In conclusion it is not bad as long as you are aware that you should not practice witchcraft. If it is really tempting you to delve into the occult out of curiosity that is bad.
It's bad if your faith is weak and the potential for corruption can appear.
It's good if you want to understand it to better explain it and thus gain respect to those you evangelise. I think. I used to read the Satanic Bible as a a teenager because I was into Death Metal Music and serarching for truths (found in the Bible ;D).
well..its kind of like the divinici code.
if ur faith is weak, then dont read those books. u can easily get tempted.
however, if ur a hard head =P lol and u wont be convinced, i dont see y u cant read them. its just fun
Thank u everybody for partisapating in this discution
i have read whitchcraft books alot but still...
i preaty much have to agree with severus
But thank u all and pls pray for me
You guys must be into fantasy? If you are, I really recommend that you read for your edification Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (though I have trouble reading that) and Lewis's Narnia series. They both are jam packed with spiritual wisdom and Christian concepts.
Even in the Potter series is a very evident Christian message of self-sacrifice. The heroes of the story are not without their faults, but their love and hope conquers the powers of darkness. Look how the trio accept each other after every fight. Look how they, insignificant warlocks and witches, still fight against the overarching evil that at first threatens, and then seems to have successfully ensnared the Wizardry world. Take notice that even at the dank times they lose help, that their sense of duty regardless of whether they will win or not, presses on them further. And the fall of the tyranny of evil was almost supernatural, even in the wizardry world of Potter, and it is finally exposed that evil is not a substance- it is not something worthy to be feared. It is cowardice; the play thing of proud and empty men.
Hope this helps.
[quote author=Severus link=topic=7504.msg98935#msg98935 date=1230761152]
My friend, the notion that Harry Potter and the like being bad for you sprouted from idiot Protestant new-age theologians. They are retarded! No need to subscribe to their ideas!
It is not very Christian like behaviour to refer to people of other denominations/religions using words like "idiot" and "retarded". You can still get your point across without using these words.
Let's see what H.G. Bishop Youssef has to say about this:
"Harry Potter is a fictional story. Although it makes a distinction between good wizards and bad wizards, reading it might dangerously desensitize the readers, making acceptable to them the idea of good wizards and witches.While the Holy Bible teaches that no one should read or keep such books, Harry Potter goes to school to learn magic and wizardry. "Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all" (Acts 19:19)."
Dear companion of the croos I urge you to stay away from any material that pertains to whichcraft. whica, or any colt. It is dangerious and is the work of satan, the enemy. Most of all is sadens God and angers him. In alot of cases it likes to presnt itself as pure and harmless, but remember that satan comes in a image of light, look a good thing to decieve people. like in the form of harry potter for instance. Remember the sacrifices Jesus made for you, you like wise do the same for him. Stay away from such matterials, please
i didn't read the last 2 posts on this topic till today, yes i still think it's not great reading.
meanwhile i found a lot of relevant Bible references which i hope will help you:
galatians 5:19-21; acts of the sinful nature include witchcraft
acts 19:19-21; the Christians burnt the scrolls used for sorcery; in this way the word of the Lord spread widely
acts 16:16 tells of the casting out of the demon from the fortune teller
isaiah 8:19; 'shouldn't the people call on their God instead of fortune tellers'
deuteronomy 18:10-12 anyone engaging in witchcraft is detestable to the Lord
aslo levtiticus 19:26 and 19:31 and exodus 22:18 are against witchcraft and other ways of getting supernatural knowledge except by God.
interestingly leviticus 20:6-7 compares going to a fortune teller with prostitution.
now, no-one on this web-site would suggest its ok to read stories about the lives of the pornography stars and find out who are their current lovers. no one says 'its not porn itself its just reading about porn so its ok'!
so why is it ok to read about witchcraft just because its not actually doing witchcraft?
please protect your eyes, protect your soul.
With all due respect Mabsoota, I get your point, but still I have the feeling that this is just making a big deal out of something really innocent...
I mean, Harry Potter is just a well-written pageturner with some very good between the lines life lessons, I don't see any danger in this particular book...
Maybe what you're saying could be applied for other books in which the focus is really on using witchcraft and encouraging it or something...
Then what do you think about Lord of the Rings, I mean it also has elves and different beings, which could be looked upon as develish creatures or something...
I think we just need to look at the essence of it and see if that's bad or not, in any book, whether it's about magic or anything else..
Please pray for my weakness
Are you really equating reading Harry Potter with anything listed in any of those bible verses?
If consider reading a fiction about magic to be the same as partaking in witchcraft, how much worse is it to read actual accounts of bad events? (Time to cancel the newspaper subscription . . .)
Even worse . . . How bad is it to actually take a similar attitude toward our spirituality as certain fundamentalists who do bad things in the name of their faith? I'm referring to the same fundamentalist attitude I read from a person on this website who suggested we do bad things to gay people?
The reason I'm bringing this much severity to the discussion is because I believe it is good to follow the teachings of the bible, but it is unhealthy and dangerous to read your own messages into the text in order to feel better than other people.
Don't do witchcraft means don't do witchcraft; it doesn't mean don't read about it; it doesn't mean don't set up a Christmas tree (originally a pagan practice); it doesn't mean no colored eggs on Easter (also originally a pagan practice).
dear brothers and sisters,
please do not consider that i consider myself any better than any of you. i am here on this site mainly to learn, and i have learnt a lot from the posts i have read so far.
i am suggesting we take care what we do for our own entertainment. like you, when i read a newspaper, i do not consider it entertainment!
as i said in my post, i do not consider reading about witchcraft to be the same as doing it, this is not at all the same.
but i have met people whose innocent interest turned into a deeper interest, and this turned into a fascination with things of the occult (non-Christian supernatural).
this is the danger.
Witchcraft is a sin. Witches r just humans possessed by a devil. As God uses holy men to perform His will, the devil uses such ppl. God said about His holy men...if u accept the saints it will be same as u r accepting me. Likewise accepting a witch is considered as much as calling the devil.
Would u expect anything good from the devil? or do u think God needs the story of witches to preach love and fortitude?
The funny part is they call themselves to be white and dark magician. Is there any white devil? they r all dark.
I will try to add to this with God's help.
These stories really picture and present the most evil thing disguised. Why would I tell to my kid about a witch? all the tales about spells? why would I help the devil who already fell like a lightening by the power of God?
As a Christian we have many real amazing miracles and stories to be told. The world hates the Truth and flee to enjoy itself with lies created by the devil. The source matters for us Christians. We don't only see some illusive fruits but we look at the tree which bears it. Witchcraft is just a witchcraft, only the devil can be the source. Where is it the Lord's name glorified in such stories. Rather it takes the all making power of God and gives it to some pride-poisoned witches.
Power belongs to God.
correction: where is it the name of the Lord glorified in such stories? the Q mark is missing in the previous sentence.
Simple yes/no question:
I had fun reading all seven books of the series; Does that mean I'm posessed by the devil?
I don't think anyone was making that point. And anytime we sin, or act on evil thoughts, we are possessed- I think it is wrong to believe that being possessed looks like those epileptics in those Gospel movies. I think they were trying to say that Harry Potter is distracting at best, and seducing at worst. I really enjoy fantasy; and if you read the Catholic Tolkiens' Lord of the Rings, or the Anglican, Lewis's Narnia series, you see Christian mores on every page. Actually, the author of Harry Potter, said that the story was based on Christian principles. I know that that does not mean much, but having read it, I think it is replete with it. However, admittedly, it has the danger of bringing susceptible people to the occult, rather than glorifying God. What is more against religion I think is David Eddings, though I thoroughly enjoy His Belgariad series. But still it has a lot of morals, so vividly described. If you have read them, try to get the best out of them because there is a lot of good! But if you have not, there are richer sources of satisfying truth, in beautiful biographies such as The Life of St Antony (by St. Athanasius), Confessions of St. Augustine, and The Life of St. Paul (by St. Jerome). There are great books like the City of God, The Incarnation of the Word, Pilgrim's Progress so on and so forth
that you may find endless enjoyment. These books definitely edify. Fantasy might not.
I agree with clay's statements. GArgiriadis, when I first read ur statement, I laughed. U look sad to throw these lies based on evil. Who said u r possessed? I said any witch is possessed by a devil. Actually many innocent ppl came to be possessed by the devil just b/c of reading occult books. The devil always needs some kind of enterance. Do u know a devil might come inside u just b/c u insult someone? as simple as that. When u commit adultery or fornication u r welcoming the devil. The thing is u r playing in a territory out far from urs and ur guardian angels might leave u alone. The devil will not automatically enter but slowly will persuade u to practice some simple spells or read ur astrology signs. This is denying the Lord who does everything. U look these ppl flying right? who do u think carries them? the devils. As an Orthodox ppl we know some saints who fly using the cloud as a transport. God gave to some saints real angelic wings to fly. But how do u think a wretched sinner witches fly? the devil carries them. U know just at the biginning of Christianity there was this guy called Simon who was a soccerer, witch or whatever they call him. Then he saw the desciples of God performing miracles and believing in Jesus. This Simon gathered some ppl and lied to them saying he is Jesus and he is about to ascend into heaven. St. Peter heard this and came to the place where Simon is supposed to ascend. This Simon already told his co-workers( the devils) to carry him and take him into the sky to deceive the ppl. Simon started his tricks and ppl were looking at him actually ascending above. Then only St. Peter destroyed all the lies by crossing towards Simon and calling the name of God, looking this the devils who were carrying him flee away only to leave Simon alone above the ground, Simon fell down and died.
All the power of the devil works far away from God. The devil can trick ppl only when we r alone. When we r with God all his power will be nothing.
Do u think the devil is making these stories b/c he does not want to see us bored? he is paving his way towards the next step to show u how great magic is. Do u know how many churches r closed in the Europe and r just turned into places for the so called psychics? or palm readers, astrologers. All these r just the devils work, fruits of darkness. Don't expect the devil to come and tell u to worship fire and sun like in the early ages. He will come to u as smart as u r.
Once I read a statement like this "the devil do his job as if he does not exist". Only the word of God will reveal his snares, the light of God will help u to look at his plots. As St. Paul said we r not fighting with flesh but with spirits of darkness.
GArgiriadis, as clay has said read books that glorify God. Why do u think u have fun reading such books? b/c the devil is just happy not to disturb u. Please pick the Bible and look how the devil will distract u with ideas to make u bored. That is where u have to be strong and slowly the bible will be ur small paradise on earth.
May God be with us all with His holiest mother, st. Mary and His holiest angles, saints in mercy and love.
binC, clay, mabsoota,
Question: Exactly what "lies" am I "throw[ing] based on evil"? I made no statement, I asked a "simple yes/no question" to which I did not get a simple yes/no answer. (I think Christ gave some very relevant advice on answering such questions.)
What bothers me here is the level of extremism in the answers. The question posed is "Is it bad to read books with witchcraft?", and the example given in the first post is the Harry Potter series. Too many of the responses shoot directly to statements such as "Witches r just humans possessed by a devil." If your answers to a post involving reading fiction are so emotionally loaded, how must you sound when you are talking to the poor people who are actually misled by the paths of witchcraft and devil-worship. These people need our love, not our judgement. I've met too many people who dislike Christianity because hardcore overzealous Christians told them they are going to Hell. If you can't love them you should not adress them, or speak to or about them at all.
If we are posessed whenever we sin, wouldn't that mean we aren't responsible for those actions? -- My sins are the manifestation of how much I need Our Lord's grace and mercy. The devil didn't "make me do it", he didn't make me sin, he didn't make you sin, he didn't even make the devil worshipper sin. demon worship is a horrible act that takes a person even further from The Lord than idol worship and witchcraft, and its tragic that such practices exist. Even still these people are still people and their sins just like ours are the manifestation of how much they need Our Lord's grace and mercy, and they need to know that they can turn back to him and we will love them and welcome them every bit as much as Our Master loves them and welcoms them.
In far contrast from the loving people Jesus taught us to be, the reactions on this forum sound like distain and contempt.
Side note: I never said I wasn't distracted reading the HP series, I said I enjoyed it. Also I never said that I liked reading it more than reading the Bible. You can't compare reading fiction to reading God's word; that would be on the order of comparing a tic-tac to a three corse meal.
If you read carefully, you would note that I did not say you lied, nor did I say you were possessed. Instead I said possession is giving yourself over to Satan by sin- in that way I tried to broaden the horrendous definition that you just highlighted. We are all demon possessed- slaves to Satan, sons of Satan- when we sin, and not abiding in the grace of God. It does mean totally that we are responsible- for we have given ourselves (it was our decision) over to Satan. He owns you- we have the mark of the Beast each time we choose to serve him. My Biblical interpretation is based on the first chapters of Romans.
I don't think I have spoken in disdain or contempt? I thought I held true to the chorus: "All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things edify."?
I have openly admitted that I thoroughly enjoyed fantasy! I just see some (not complete) justification for caution- not condemnation! Please read back on all my posts in this forum?
If I have sinned, please admonish me.
Forgive me, all.
I think I read the following carefully enough.
[quote author=binC link=topic=7504.msg100212#msg100212 date=1234424968]
... I laughed. U look sad to throw these lies based on evil. ...
[quote author=clay link=topic=7504.msg100207#msg100207 date=1234403556]
... anytime we sin, or act on evil thoughts, we are possessed- ...
I didn't say you adressed me personally but you did say WE were possessed when we sinned. I am willing to concede that there exists a definition of the word possess in which the person maintains their own will as in "to be possessed by greed" or "to be possessed by envy". There are, unfortunately, two problems. First of all the comon connotation of the term means to have your will deposed in favor of some other will. Second, the term otherwise used in this forum has <been> specified to mean to be possessed by the devil, so in context, saying "we are possessed" means we are possessed by the devil.
This is all, fortunately, only an academic debate better carried off to a language usage forum. Though we disagree on the mechanism of sin it sounds like we do agree on the cause, i.e. our own frailty.
I just reread the first chapter of Romans to make sure I wasn't daft. There is a rather detailed discussion of man's tendancy towards bad behavior, but nothing about being owned by satan or having the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast isn't mentionned until Revelation. Furthermore I have another difficulty with your statement about having the mark of the beast; if we are all currently marked and are property of satan, then what was the seal of Baptism for?
By the way,
[quote author=clay link=topic=7504.msg100230#msg100230 date=1234503079]
... in that way I tried to broaden the horrendous definition that you just highlighted. ...
What definition are you referring to?
If you're referring to my statement that sin is a manifestation of our need of God's mercy and salvation, that is a quality of sin, not a definition. If you are interested in my definition of sin it would be acting contrary to God's will. You'll notice a couple of things, it's short and simple, and there is no mention of the devil. The reason for this is because even though the devil, through his envy, tries to make us fall, I don't think we particularly need him to sin. I think saying in any case we are either giving ourselves to God or giving ourselves to the devil is a false dichotomy that makes the devil out to be the antithesis of God, thus deifying him. In my book the devil deserves no such honor.
* * *
We certainly have gone off on a number of tangent's haven't we? These are all very good concepts to bring up and clarify. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the debate, but this particular debate is just getting a bit too complicated now. What would you say about listing our debate topics and exploring them (less combatively) in a new forum? I think we've exhausted the benefits of debate here, but there are always fresh new battles waiting to be had once we've cleaned up the debris from this one.
I'm finding my personal agenda here is to make the point that we should be more sensitive to our lost family (lost to worshipping other gods, or atheism etc.), but that too is outside of the scope of the original question. I guess that probably belongs in a new forum as well.
Strictly dealing with the topic at hand:
Though we've disagreed about a lot of things, I think (reading between the lines) we've made alot of progress coming to a thorough answer to the question.
clay, binC, and mabsoota . . . Do we have an accord that the act of reading fictional tales involving witchcraft is in itself not bad, but we should keep in mind how serious of an offense it would be to practice witchcraft?
I'll take that as a "no".