Thursday, February 3, 2011

Harry Potter- I Was Wrong

Mama's Losin' It

Writing Prompt:
2.) You’re not always right…no you’re not…no you’re not…no you’re not….tell us about a time you were wrong.

I became a Christian as an adult.  In the excitement of my new faith, I found myself wanting to do everything I could to live a life glorifying to God.  Unfortunately, it seemed easier to become someone else and check off little boxes of who a Christian should be rather than allow God to use the me He had created.  After I graduated Bible college, I felt called to homeschooling.  I have no regrets about that but I do regret that I jumped full fledged into the stereotypical homeschool movement, to the point of rarely cutting my hair and dressing in denim jumpers.  Yeah, I tend to do everything whole hog.

Living as a Clone Christian included dismissing things like Pokemon and Harry Potter.  These were looked down upon by the Christians I knew and were considered evil.  Now, I have always had a love for science fiction and fantasy and I have always hated judging things with which I have no experience.  So when the topic of Harry Potter arose,  I would just say that I could not make a judgment call as I had not read it but that my family was choosing to avoid anything questionable.

The problem with living as a Clone Christian is that you can only be someone else for so long.  And your faith will at some point become stagnant because God can't grow you if you aren't being you.  Seems obvious but it was a lesson I had to learn. One I am probably still learning.

So back to Harry Potter.  Once I was free to be who I am in Christ, I was also free to reclaim previous interests and enjoyments in life.  I met several strong Christians who loved the Harry Potter series and their children were not running from their faith and turning to witchcraft (Gasp. Snort.) and then I noticed that many of the same Christians who declared the Harry Potter series off limits enjoyed other fantasy books and movies.  I can respect someone who rules out fantasy completely (I wouldn't agree, but I can respect it), but what made this series different?  I decided to find out for myself.

And I fell in love with the world of Hogwarts and the characters of the Harry Potter series.  I still can not figure out what caused the controversy over these books, why people who call themselves Christians would go so far as to send the author death notes (Um...what happened to "they will know we are Christians by our love"?), and why this has become such a dividing line.  What I discovered was a wonderful story that has rightly captured this generation with its magic. The magic is not to be found in the magic itself, the magic is to be found in a brilliantly woven story of good vs. evil and overcoming our own weaknesses.  The magic is to be found in characters that live with you and become your friends.  I finished the series and wanted to begin again with the first book.  JK Rowling, you are a master storyteller.

I was wrong to think being a Christian means being a Clone. I was wrong to believe He wants me to be anyone other than the geeky, quirky person He created me to be.  And I was wrong about Harry Potter.


Lizzie said...

Awesome post, love the "clone Christian" term. I wrote on this topic too, it is so very near and dear to my heart.

amygrew said...

I love that you called your self a clone christian! It makes so much sence to me after going to a christian college and not feeling like I fit in because I wasn't a clone. I am glad you decided what was right for you and your family! Visiting from Mama Kats,

Heidi said...

Lori~ I always appreciate your openness and honesty. What a hard writing lesson - admitting to being wrong. I hate that! I've never read the Harry Potter books, nor have my kids. I've heard about the controversies and the movie trailers actually kinda scare me. But, that being said, I've NEVER been a fantasy fan in the least little bit. I had to force myself to read the Narnia books (still not all the way through the series). It's just not my thing.

kt moxie said...

GREAT post. As a non-Christian, it is very refreshing to hear about a devout Christian who has not just taken the "party line" on things, and really reviewed things for herself. I *LOVE* the Harry Potter series, and could never understand why some people considered them something to be avoided. They are great novels, with many positive messages for children.

Anonymous said...

I agree - a lot of things are conscience decisions that each person needs to make for themselves.

I've never watched (or read) Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings, or so on.

That was my choice.

My husband has.

That was his choice.

Everyone is different, and everyone's conscience is different.

My only thing is that when I'm with others I choose not to really talk about what I've seen or haven't seen, because I don't want to offend, or hurt others..

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for this blog post! I have been a Christian for many years and have fallen victim to the Christian clones. As my growth in Christ continues, I have found freedom to read what I want to read. I love the Twilight series. I love anything vampires quite frankly. Do I believe they are real? No. Does reading these make me a poor Christian? No. Harry Potter is next on my list of books to read.

Lori said...

Thank you for all the comments, I appreciate every one of them!

@Lizzie Your post is beautifully written and I do hope people pop over to read it. Love.

@amygrew I always wonder how many of us don't fit and never find a church family where we do. I am happy to say I have found one where we don't all have to be cookie cutters and even if we don't always "get" each other, we love each other anyway!

@Heidi I am always too honest, but that's me! I can't imagine not loving fantasy but we are all different. And that's ok.

@kt Thanks for commenting! I think Christians get a bad name sometimes because we are all lumped together in a stereotypical fashion. I'm happy to break that stereotype. And I agree, the novels do contain many positive messages. My kids have enjoyed them as well (saving the latter books for the older kids).

@workinghousewife I have this wear my heart on my sleeve complete honesty thing inherent in my personality. If I avoid certain topics for fear of offending people, I allow myself to slip back into Clone Christian. I've found freedom in being myself. That's not to say it's more tactful to avoid certain subjects with certain people, I do that all the time, but I also refuse to be someone I am not. I appreciate your comments though!

@Elizabeth I enjoy the vampire mythos as well! I'm off now to check out your blog, as we may be kindred spirits and those are always nice to find!

purple squirrel said...

Interesting post, Lori~

It is so true that we are all so different, that there SHOULD be no "Clone Christians"(Sad that this is NOT the reality....).

That being said, I am the anomaly that you mentioned~ the one who enjoys some fantasy, but not Harry Potter(So sue me! ;D ).

I refused to make a judgment call until I read one myself. I picked it up, and it was one of the few books I've ever started that I couldn't finish. I can't explain it, other than that there was something that left me "unsettled" to the point that I didn't want to read any more.

But I'm fine with my friends that like it. :)

Just thought you might be interested to know.... :)


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