With the release of the ‘latest and greatest’ Harry Potter offering, quite a bit is being said about it at the moment.
I’ve never seen a full movie of any of the Harry Potter productions, but I am a fervent movie lover, and I enjoy the trailers as an appetizer for what’s to come. It makes the choice of which movie to see just a little bit easier. I also use it as a filter for movies NOT to watch.
I firmly believe “garbage in, garbage out”. I believe that we have a responsibility to guard our hearts (spirits). The doors and windows are our eyes and ears. We must pay attention to what we look at and what we listen to. Anything does not go. Therefore there are certain movies that I would not watch. I often check it against my ‘Holy Spirit barometer’. God says in Col 3:15 (Amp) And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. In Rom 14 (NLT) God says But anyone who believes that something he wants to do is wrong shouldn’t do it. He sins if he does, for he thinks it is wrong, and so for him it is wrong.
Sometimes I would watch a trailer and it makes my stomach turn. I know, without a doubt, that I am not comfortable watching the movie, and I then eliminate it from my list. I have felt this feeling about all the trailers that I’ve seen about the Harry Potter movies. This does not always mean that I can tell you in detail why I believe I shouldn’t watch it. I am just convinced of ‘no peace, no go’.
What I have noticed about the Harry Potters is that it appears to have increased in intensity of what is portrayed in the movies. When I saw the trailer of “Harry Potter and the half blood prince” ONE thought came to mind: in your face. I have the impression that the earlier movies were more subtle; almost like taming the viewers, stirring curiosity and making it appear harmless entertainment on the wings of imagination. Over time, as audiences have become more use to the elements in the movies, a new intensity to them was introduced. I couldn’t help but think that that is EXACTLY the strategy of the devil. He too makes us tame with sin, convincing us that it is not that bad, and that we shouldn’t rip this ‘Christian thing’ out of proportion, and the next thing he causes you to suffer harm or loss (whether visible or invisible) and then the snow ball effect of difficult consequences just continues.
Sometimes he’ll try to make the bad thing seem like a harmless thing, and other times he just persists until one gets tired of resisting it, and you convince yourself that it is no big deal.
From the bible I think of Eve – the snake persistently kept at it, convincing her that there was no harm in taking a bite of the fruit, and they were kicked out of the garden (with far reaching consequences – right into 2009 and beyond). I think of Samson who couldn’t resist a beautiful lady and Delilah left him bound, blind and defeated. I think of Saul who thought that, because he was the king, he could do anything and his range of half obediences caused him to loose his kingship. I think of the Israelites who finally conquered the land that God had promised Abraham, but God’s instruction was that they destroy the nations that lived there at the time. Instead, they made treaties and intermarried with the heathen nations. God warned them because He knew that, if they lived with these nations who didn’t worship God, they would succumb to the same wrong ways of living and idol worshiping. They ended up in slavery and oppression for four hundred years.
From 2009 I think of the man who has a difficult time in his relationship with his wife. There’s a really nice colleague at the office who tells him how wonderful he is, brings him coffee during a rough day and smile sweetly. Over time (if the man doesn’t take a stand for his marriage) he ends up having a marriage destroying affair and he thinks he ‘couldn’t help it’. I think of a girl who has a low self esteem. She is convinced that she is fat and she starts to throw up minutes after being excused from the table. She starts seeing how she is loosing weight as a result, and the next thing she knows she is anorexic. I think of the gambler, smoker satanist, or drug addict who succumb to peer pressure and actually think that ‘just one time’ won’t do harm, and before they know it the consequences are horrendous.
Prov 6:27 says Can a man hold fire against his chest and not be burned? Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet?
I believe that it is the small jackal that destroys the vineyards; those things that you think seem harmless, but then.... Don't be deceived: light and darkness cannot co-exist.
The same goes for modern day living. Times have changed for sure. Human rights have become the replacement for the truth of God’s Word, and anyone can do whatever they want, or so it often seems. Sometimes it would even appear as if there’s more of a fight for the rights of the person who did the crime, and the rights of the victim has been forgotten, because, after all, he/she is dead... It sometimes seem as if there’s so many loopholes in the law that right and wrong is not important anymore, but rather who knows best how the use which loopholes to his advantage. You can simply loose a docket or evidence carelessly gets tampered with and off you go... There is a great lack of accountability. Has our society become tamed with sin? In many ways my opinion is ‘yes’.
I always see the picture of a fisherman waiting for a bite. Satan bates his hooks of destruction with all kinds of attractions to the fleshly (human) nature. If you become curious or reckless enough to get close and have a nibble – after all “it’s harmless” – you might just be the ‘bite’ that he is waiting for. Once you bite the hook, you realize in seconds that the attractive bate was just that: bate, and as the hook rips through your lip and the taste of blood fills your mouth, you regretfully realize that you’ve made a mistake. Sometimes fisherman will take out the catch, take a picture and set it free again, and sometimes you’re not that lucky and you end up on someone’s dinner plate. The ‘catch’ (excuse the pun) is that you don’t know which one will be your fate...
For me the fact of the matter is this: Just because society has changed their minds about what is right and wrong, it does not mean that God has changed His, and His Word never becomes outdated!
What is the solution? I think it is crucial in this day that we make it a priority to get in a closer relationship with God. That we get close enough to hear when Holy Spirit whisper wisdom and instruction and to be in love with Jesus enough to be determined to obey, and that God (and His Word) will be the highest authority in our lives. I think we need to grow more backbone for God’s glory, and be less afraid of the disapproval of people. We need to educate ourselves with what God’s word says about matters, so that we can recognize what is happening around us and be able to choose wisely. May we influence others with our passion for God and living for His glory, rather than be infected by the world, and when society says “what’s wrong with it?”, that we consider more what God thinks/says in His Word, and in our spirit, and then decide with God as your audience.