Movie Reviews & Analysis
Review of movies
“I was eager to get to Hogwarts first because I like what they learned there and I want to be a witch.” Gioia Bishop, age 10.
“I like the third book because here [Harry] meets his godfather and Professor Lupin, a really cool guy [This really “cool guy” is a werewolf as well as wizard, and Harry’s godfather is a “shape shifter” who turns himself into a scary black dog].…” Harry Libarle, age 7.
Might Harry Potter seem as real as life to his young fans around the world? Do children accept Harry’s lessons in practical witchcraft as an open door to an occult reality? Many Christian leaders have denied any such danger, but author J.K. Rowling admits that this happens. In an interview with Newsweek’s Malcolm Jones, she said,
“I get letters from children addressed to Professor Dumbledore [headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the books’ setting], and it’s not a joke, begging to be let into Hogwarts, and some of them are really sad. Because they want it to be true so badly they have convinced themselves it’s true.”
While children everywhere crave supernatural thrills, Great Britain, the birthplace of Harry Potter, has been a wonderland of options for exploring practical witchcraft. And plenty of youth have caught Harry’s vision. They want to learn his wizardly ways.
Two British reports on this phenomenon show us the obvious: popular forms of occult entertainment “have fueled a rapidly growing interest in witchcraft among children.” Naturally, the island’s Pagan Federation is pleased. Though it refuses to admit new members under age 18, “it deals with an average of 100 inquiries a month from youngsters who want to become witches, and claims it has occasionally been ‘swamped’ with calls.”
“It is quite probably linked to things like Harry Potter, Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” explains the Federation’s media officer, Andy Norfolk. “Every time an article on witchcraft or paganism appears, we had a huge surge in calls, mostly from young girls.“
This trend worries John Buckeridge, editor of Youthwork, a British Christian magazine. Unlike U.S. church-leaders who back Harry Potter, he spots danger ahead. “The growing number of books and TV shows like Harry Potter and Sabrina the Teenage Witch encourage an interest in magic as harmless fun,” he warms. “However for some young people it could fuel a fascination that leads to dangerous dabbling with occult powers. So what starts out as spooks and spells can lead to psychological and spiritual damage.”
But Mr. Norfolk disagrees. His reasoning makes witchcraft sound both safe and responsible. “Our youth officer will explain things like the principle ethic of witchcraft,” he assures skeptics, “that you should not cause harm to anyone – and that it’s not just an easy way to get a new boyfriend!”
A more “noble” religion
It’s not surprising that the timeless craving for power and magic has soared with the spread of pagan television shows and Harry Potter books. But today’s pagan revival began years earlier.
Almost a decade ago, a Wiccan student wrote a promotional article for The Talon, her high school newspaper, about witchcraft. What happened shows both America’s Cultural Shift and the growing preference for paganism. The student, Leah Mowry, based her conclusions on interviews with several other student witches at Los Altos High School in California. In her article, she boasted that her religion
- was more tolerant than traditional beliefs
- taught people to take better care of the environment
- helped people to empower themselves
- and only used “good” magic.
Soon afterwards, a Christian student, also an editor for The Talon, asked if he could write about Young Life, a Christian group active on their campus.
“No,” was the response, “because witchcraft is underexposed in our society and Christianity is overexposed.” In other words, witches could give public testimonies about the benefits of their religion, but Christians were no longer allowed to express their faith and testimonies.
Christianity simply doesn’t fit, and Mr. Norfolk of the Pagan Federation thinks he knows why. The Christian Church has failed to provide “the right degree of spirituality for young people,” he explains. In contrast, paganism involves “direct communication with the divine.”
From the Biblical perspective, he is tragically wrong. But that matters little to the masses that want spiritual power without Biblical accountability. With help from television, books, movies and other media, Christianity’s reputation has been badly smeared. Blamed for hatred, conflict, wars and environmental abuse, it has inspired countless “Christian” leaders to re-imagine their faith and embrace a more “tolerant” view toward the world’s fast-growing fascination with pagan practices.
Strange council from Christian leaders
Typical of our times, a recent report in Christianity Today seems to base its approval of Harry Potter, not on the Bible, but on popular consensus among admired Christian leaders.
“As far as I can tell,” writes author Ted Olsen, “while no major Christian leader has come out to condemn J.K. Rowling’s series, many have given it the thumbs-up. If our readers know of any major Christian leader who has actually told Christians not to read the books, I’d be happy to know about it; but in my research, even those Christians known for criticizing all that is popular culture have been pretty positive about Potter.”
To prove his point, Mr. Olsen quotes seven Christian leaders and publications:
1. Chuck Colson, in his Breakpoint (11-2-1999) radio broadcast, commended Harry and his friends for their “courage, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice for one another—even at the risk of their lives.” Colson dismissed the pagan practices as
“purely mechanical, as opposed to occultic. That is, Harry and his friends cast spells, read crystal balls, and turn themselves into animals—but they don’t make contact with a supernatural world…. [It’s not] the kind of real-life witchcraft the Bible condemns.”
2. World Magazine (5-29-1999) praised Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as
“a delight—with a surprising bit of depth.” Author Roy Maynard assured World readers that “Rowling…keeps it safe, inoffensive, and non-occult. This is the realm of Gandalf and the Wizard of Id, not witchcraft. There is a fairy-tale order to it all in which, as Chesterton and Tolkien pointed out, magic must have rules, and good does not—cannot—mix with bad.”
3. World’s second article toned down the enthusiasm. “A reader drawn in would find that the real world of witchcraft is not Harry Potter’s world. Neither attractive nor harmless, it is powerful and evil.” (October 30, 1999)
4. The British Christianity magazine praised the series. In a issue, Mark Greene, Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, wrote a note of regret for not giving it to his god-daughter earlier:
“I wish I’d been the one to introduce her to Harry—fine lad you know, courageous, resourceful, humble, fun, good mind. Comes from good stock, you know. She could do worse, far worse. And, as far as literary companions go, frankly, not much better.”
5. A Christian Century (12-1-99) editorial, “Wizards and Muggles,” states,
“Rowling is not the first fantasy writer to be attacked by conservative Christians. Even the explicitly Christian writer Madeleine L’Engle has taken heat for the ‘magic’ elements in A Wrinkle in Time. Such critics are right in thinking that fantasy writing is powerful and needs to be taken seriously. But we strongly doubt that it fosters an attachment to evil powers. Harry’s world, in any case, is a moral one.”
6. Focus on the Family gave a mixed review. According to Ted Olsen, the advice offered by Focus’s critic, Lindy Beam was simply, “Apart from the benefit of wise adult guidance in reading these books, it is best to leave Harry Potter on the shelf.” [“Exploring Harry Potter’s World,“ December, 1999]
7. Wheaton College professor Alan Jacobs concludes that Harry Potter stories promote “a kind of spiritual warfare…. A struggle between good and evil…. There is in books like this the possibility for serious moral reflection…[and] the question of what to do with magic powers is explored in an appropriate and morally serious way.” (September/October, Mars Hill Audio Journal)
Is it really? Take a look at the other side of this issue.
Biblical answers to occult seductions.
The mass media’s promotion of contrary values have prompted even Christians to replace or distort the pursuit of God with the pursuit of pleasure. So God’s standards would hardly win a popularity contest today. Popular versions of Christianity has wisely rejected some of the stiff legalism of the past, but it has also tossed out God’s much-needed guidelines and warnings. The result is license to do almost anything that feels good. Christians who refuse to compromise are often demeaned as old-fashioned kill-joys who bring reproof and embarrassment to those who fear offending the world with the whole truth of the gospel. That’s why Jesus warned us long ago,
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you…. Remember the words I spoke to you: … If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also…. for they do not know the One who sent me.” John 15:18-21
God gave us His Word that we might know Him. The Bible reveals His heart, will and ways. It alone can show us what is truth or error in those seven public responses to the Harry Potter phenomenon.
1. Chuck Colson praised Harry and his friends for their “courage, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice… for one another—even at the risk of their lives.” Those qualities can be found in almost any culture. But, according to the Bible, a brave person is no more free to pursue paganism than a coward. Harry’s occult skills — witchcraft, sorcery, casting spells, spiritism, interpreting omens and “calling up the dead” fit into a category God tells us not even to discuss. “For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord….” Eph. 5:10-12, Deut. 18:9-12
Colson’s dismissal of the dangers of delighting in such evils as “purely mechanical,” makes no sense from a Biblical perspective. He says that “Harry and his friends cast spells, read crystal balls, and turn themselves into animals—but they don’t make contact with a supernatural world….” Where then does their power come from? Natural rather than supernatural forces?
Of course not. Rowling doesn’t acknowledge the source, but anyone who has researched witchcraft and talked with contemporary pagans will see the alarming parallels between contemporary occultism and Rowling’s seductive message to children. (If you find this hard to believe, please read chapters 4 and 8 of A Twist of Faith)
2. World Magazine (5-29-1999) made the same error. Calling Harry Potter’s world “a delight… safe, inoffensive, and non-occult,” is misleading assurance. True, “magic must have rules,” but the primary rule of the occult is that Satan doesn’t offer free and easy favors for long. He may indulge seekers in a free ride for a while, but as soon as his victims have been captivated by his lures — all of which are counterfeits of what God offers those who follow Him — he begins to demand his payoff. Suddenly the bright side of evil turns dark indeed. Attempts to resist or turn back usually lead to spiritual terrors and oppression.
As World indicated, “good does not—cannot—mix with bad” but not because “good” motives are always “good,” even in a pagan context. God’s good is corrupted when adapted to a pagan setting. In fact, God doesn’t want what He considers good to be linked to the occult. He sends us out to pagans to share His love, but we cannot delight in what He calls evil. God shows us His reason in a most politically incorrect message:
“What fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?…. For we are the temple of the living God…. ‘Therefore come out from them and be separate,” says the Lord.'” 2 Cor. 6:14-17
3. World’s second article maintained that “the real world of witchcraft is not Harry Potter’s world. Neither attractive nor harmless, it is powerful and evil.”
Actually, today’s pagan movement is attractive to anyone disillusioned by unfriendly churches. It entices seekers by showing the “light” side of occultism. Contemporary witches — both men and women — that I have met are sincere, often compassionate, usually well educated and frustrated with today’s rampant materialism. Few look evil. Instead, they demonstrate God’s warning in 2 Cor. 11:14-15,
“For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness….”
The younger generation of pagans show another side. Many dabble in black magic and the other “dark arts” that are so seductively taught at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Apart from the fantasy setting and dramatic demonstrations of magic, there is little difference between Harry’s skills and the real world of the occult.
4. Mark Greene’s endorsement in the British Christianity raises some serious questions. What does he mean by “Harry — fine lad you know…. Comes from a good stock….” Is he referring to Harry’s parents — a witch and a wizard? Is he speaking as director of London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, or is this simply his personal opinion?
One thing is certain. This attitude is driving the current transformation of the Church. It’s time for serious Christians to “count the cost” and be ready to stand uncompromisingly strong in the Truth God has given us.
5. The Christian Century denies that Harry Potter “fosters an attachment to evil powers.” It calls Harry’s world “a moral one.” It’s wrong on both points. Just review the testimony from the Pagan Federation, which reaps the fruit from the soaring interest in Witchraft.
Second, Harry and his friends may show loyalty to each other and courage in the face of danger. But they also lie and steal. Would you call that a moral world? Kenneth McCormick adds this insight:
“stealing, lies, hate, revenge, and even murder are presented in a complete absence of moral conflict. Lying exists, of course, in the plots of many children’s books, but there is normally an at least tacit recognition that lying is a moral problem of some sort.”
6. Focus on the Family critic, Lindy Beam came closest to the truth. The last part of her counsel is right: “Apart from the benefit of wise adult guidance in reading these books, it is best to leave Harry Potter on the shelf.”
As for the first half of her counsel, it might be good to remember God’s definition of wisdom: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
The fear of the Lord involves a sober awareness of what He loves, of what He despises, and of the consequences of disobedience and rebellion against Him. It leads to a sincere desire to please Him, heartfelt gratefulness for His mercy, and unending delight in His loving presence. So when we choose to “fear the Lord” we will heed Romans 12:9, “Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.“
Among the obvious evils are the practices listed in Deuternomy 18:9-12: witchcraft, sorcery, spellcasting, divination, calling up the dead, etc. In other words, children who delight in Harry’s occult world of spells and magic will naturally learn to enjoy evil and crave more. But they cannot “cling to what is good” while they love evil. The two are incompatible.
In other words, “wise adult guidance” would most likely choose to “leave Harry Potter on the shelf.”
7. Wheaton College professor Alan Jacobs suggests that the Harry Potter books offer “the possibility for serious moral reflection…[and] the question of what to do with magic powers is explored in an appropriate and morally serious way.” His words make no sense from a Biblical perspective.
Since white magic, like black magic, is “an abomination” to God — and since white magic is far more deceptive and seductive — neither is good. Books written from an occult perspective cannot explore magic powers in “an appropriate and morally serious way” — without redefining the word moral and rejecting the Bible. A context or setting that approves occultism will turn God’s values upside down. Praising the practices God condemns, Professor Jacobs illustrates the timeless message of Isaiah 5:20:
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!”
Tempting options and wide-open doors
Ted Olsen ended his defense of Harry with a quote by J. K Rowling:
“I have met thousands of children now, and not even one time has a child come up to me and said, ‘Ms. Rowling, I’m so glad I’ve read these books because now I want to be a witch.”
The fact is — whether Ms Rowling heard it from a fan or not — many children are pursuing the real-life versions of witchcraft because they have learned to love Harry’s world. Ten-year-old Gioia Bishop said it well, “I was eager to get to Hogwarts first because I like what they learned there and I want to be a witch.”
It’s no wonder a talented story-teller such as J.K. Rowling can so effectively inspire children. She grew up loving the occult. The article, Harry Potter and the source of inspiration, describes her childhood fascination and those who inspired the main characters in her books. For example, her early view of Harry was shaped by her playmate Ian Potter “whose childhood antics have startling similarities to those of the fictional schoolboy wizard.” Together, they began to role-play the practices that made her books so exciting.
“We used to dress up and play witches all the time,” explained Ian’s sister Vikki. “My brother would dress up as a wizard. Joanne was always reading to us…. we would make secret potions for her. She would always send us off to get twigs for the potions.”
Apparently, Ms Rowling knew how to find the books that nurtured her fascination even as a child. Now she, in turn, spreads her love for the occult to children around the world. Without a firm foundation in Biblical truth, they have little resistance to her seductive call. And since most older children have been thoroughly immersed in the multicultural world view in their public schools, they are likely to prefer paganism to Christianity.
From the world’s perspective, why shouldn’t they? Why not follow the crowd and seek a new consensus in the name of peace and unity?
After all, “paganism is recognized as a valid religion,” says Mr. Norfolk of the Pagan Federation. He sees no reason why parents should be alarmed by their children’s sudden interest in magic.
Nor did a spokesman from the Roman Catholic Church. “I haven’t heard anything within the Catholic religion that suggests this is anything to be concerned about,” he said, following the pattern of unbiblical tolerance touted by his Protestant and Anglican counterparts. Apparently, the division between church leaders who support Harry and those who don’t runs through many nations and denominations. 
Our local library held a Harry Potter party on August 2. About a hundred children showed up to decorate Wizard hats and paint the lightening mark of Harry Potter fans on their foreheads. They provided a captive audience for adult fans of Harry’s world view. Parents had to wait outside.
Preparing children for spiritual battle
Remember, this is spiritual warfare. God’s enemy fights as hard as ever to win the hearts and loyalties of our children — and he has added all kinds of high-tech tools to his armory.
To resist his strategies, they first need to understand the Biblical world view. That’s why God told His people long ago to base all conversation — day and night — on His unchanging truth:
“These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit… walk… lie down, and when you rise up.” Deut. 6:6-7
Everything we say must reflect the reality of God, His love and sovereignty, His promises and His warnings. To prove that our God is far greater than the pantheon of alternatives, our lives must demonstrate faith in the midst of difficulties and His triumph in the midst of turmoil. This is possible, not by our own strength, but by His power and grace. Then, seeing His greatness, children learn to trust His promises.
Likewise, The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) begins and ends with the power of His Word. First, we “put on the belt of Truth,” which holds all the other pieces — His righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation — in place. The last part, “the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,” is simply His truth and promises memorized, remembered and affirmed as we face each day’s challenge.
This two-edged sword is our main weapon in every battle. It exposes lies and uncovers deceptions while it strengthens our faith and lifts our hearts. The world can’t understand it, and many so-called Christians despise it. But to those who love God, it brings the hope, strength, joy and perseverance needed to walk with Him in peace no matter what happens.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ….” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Malcolm Jones, “The Return of Harry Potter!”, Newsweek (Online), July 1, 2000, page 4. Apparently, this article which was originally posted at <www.msnbc.com/news/428200.asp> is no longer available at the Newsweek website <www.msnbc.com>. I have a printed (not digitized) copy of the article which I had downloaded before its removal.
 “What Readers Think About Goblet?” San Francisco Chronicle, 7-26.
 “Harry’s Biggest Fans,” San Francisco Chronicle, 7-26
 Potter fans turning to witchcraft, Associated Newspapers Ltd., 04 August 2000,
Leah Mowery, “Mystical Misconceptions Haunt Students,” The Talon, 7 June 1991.
 Based on the above Wiccan article and on personal interviews with the Christian student
 Ted Olsen Christianity Today
 See A Twist of Faith)
 “What Readers Think About Goblet?” San Francisco Chronicle, 7-26.
Movie Review: Part 1 of
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
By Berit Kjos – November 24, 2010
“When we first started ‘Harry Potter’ and cast 10-year-old Daniel Radcliffe in the title role, parents drove their 10-year-olds to see the movies. Today, those same kids are now driving themselves to the midnight shows.” Dan Fellman, Warner Brothers“In a chilling performance by Ralph Fiennes, the [Voldemort] character plays out like a dimensional compliment to Adolf Hitler. He is as hungry for power as they come. … his deliberate hatred of the muggle race [humans] mirrors the Nazi internment of the Jews.”
“Death Eaters constitute a group of wizards and witches, led by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort… who seek to purify the Wizarding community by eliminating the Muggle-borns. They…recognize one another by the Dark Mark on their left forearm, a sign created by Voldemort to summon them instantly to him.”
“The whole world is under the sway of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19
Dark, dismal, demonic, deadly…. There’s no sign of joy in this disturbing movie! Yet it captivates children, stirs love for evil, and arouses addictive cravings for more stimuli and ever darker thrills. Why are the forces of evil so enticing?
“These are dark times…” declared Rufus Scrimgeour, the Minister of Magic (rumored to be a vampire), as the movie begins. “Our world has never faced a greater threat.”
He’s right in more ways than one. That solemn warning could be applied to at least three different spiritual battlefields:
1. Lord Voldemort’s murderous domain.
2. Harry Potter’s lighter, more deceptive face of the occult.
3. Today’s embattled world, where love for occult entertainment is fast becoming more acceptable than God’s Truth.
1. The deadly domain of the occult
Voldemort and his horde of Death Eaters have taken control of the Ministry of Magic. Their resisters are killed. Fear and chaos shadow the land. Rufus Scrimgeour, who refused to help them find Harry Potter, has been cruelly tortured and killed.
Even Voldemort is in trouble. In his fanatical quest for power and immortality, he has created six Horcruxes that contain imbedded parts of his own soul. Harry and others have already found and destroyed some of them, and now they are searching for the rest. Voldemort’s goal is to kill Harry before he destroys more of his soul. His life depends on it! To plot Harry’s capture and murder, he summons his Death Eaters to a meeting at Lucius Malfoy’s manor. Voldemort must do the killing himself, but he can’t use his own magic wand since it shares the same phoenix feather “core” as Harry’s.
“What about you, Lucius, he asks coldly. “I require your wand.” Seething with silent rage, Lucius reluctantly hands his precious wand to his despised master.
Meanwhile, the bound and tortured body of a woman hangs upside down from the ceiling. Voldemort identifies her as Professor Charity Burbage. She is guilty of teaching Hogwarts students that Pure-bloods (witches or wizards) are free to “mate with muggles.” That violates Voldemort’s standard for racial purity, so he kills her. He then invites his monstrous serpent Nagini to eat his bloody “dinner.”Such horror may actually sound funny to some. It’s not. The unthinkable images, the addictive thrills and the twisted values in this story will not be easily erased from young minds. As Joanne Rowling and the movie makers intended, this horrendous tale will captivate people of all ages and cause them to crave more such thrills.
Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman, who has long researched the effects of visual images and suggestions on children, shared this illustration:
“After the Jonesboro shootings, one of the high-school teachers told me how her students reacted….’They laughed,’ she told me with dismay. A similar reaction happens all the time inmovie theaters when there is bloody violence. The young people laugh and cheer and keep right on eating popcorn….
“We have raised a generation of barbarians who have learned to associate violence with pleasure, like the Romans cheering and snacking as the Christians were slaughtered in the Coliseum.”
2. The deceptive side of evil
As the skies turn black, Harry Potter and his loyal friends hurry to pack their belongings and flee their foes. By now, the hateful Professor Snape has alerted Voldemort to their plans, and the masked Death Eaters soon intercept their journey through the skies. Magical spells and deafening explosions shatter the stillness of the night, but Harry and most of his supporters survive. They straggle into their temporary “safe” house to rest and heal their battle wounds.
It’s tempting to cheer for the weaker side in this struggle. But life is not as it seems in this world of guided images and tempting illusions. The war between Hogwarts’ supposedly “good” sorcerers and the despicably evil ones may look like a battle between good and evil, but it’s not! Both sides trust the dark forces of magic — wielded through magical wands, spells and swords.
So do some of their fans. But those who “love evil more than good,” [Psalm 52:3] will experience the devastating consequences of the values they have chosen to embrace. As God warns us:
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness…. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:20-21
God’s warnings become meaningless irritations to those who identify with Harry and his two best friends, Ron and Hermione. In their imaginary world, the key to victory lies in superhuman feats, not Biblical faith. At the moment, their focus is on Horcruxes — those physical objects empowered through fragments of Voldemort’s corrupted soul.
Hermione had studied the book, Secrets of the Darkest Art. “It’s a horrible book,” she explained, “really awful, full of evil magic…. And the more I’ve read about them [Horcruxes], the more horrible they seem, and the less I can believe that he actually made six. It warns in this book how unstable you make the rest of your soul by ripping it.”
A Wikia article reveals more secrets:
“The process makes the part of the soul remaining in the witch or wizard unstable. If the maker’s physical body is later destroyed, he or she will live on in non-corporeal form…. Destruction of a Horcrux is difficult, but not impossible, and requires that the object be damaged beyond most magical repair….”
“The fragments of a person’s soul within a Horcrux… have certain magical abilities, including the ability to influence those in their vicinity. When Harry, Ron, and Hermione were carrying Salazar Slytherin’s Locket around their necks in 1997, they each became moodier and more prone to fighting, especially Ron.”
Using their wands and spells, the trio did capture that locket. Now they just have to destroy it! They tried their most powerful spells, but nothing worked. The best they could do was to guard it by wearing it. In turn, they all suffered those annoying mood swings. Ron’s dark mood and jealousy finally drove them apart, and he left.
One day, while wearing the locket, Harry noticed a glimmer of light in the distance. It grew into the shape of a deer that led him to a frozen pond and then revealed a sword hidden under the ice. Excited, Harry broke the ice, undressed and swam to the bottom of the icy water. When he reached for the sword, he was blocked by a force from the soul-fragment in the locket. Unable to swim up for air, he nearly drowned.
Ron’s timely return saved Harry’s life. Ron retrieved the sword and used it to slash and destroy the locket. But their sweet success was short lived, for evil forces continued to pursue the trio until the end.
The last scene could hardly be more depressing. Lord Voldemort comes to Deathly Hallows to dig up Dumbledore’s grave. Like Harry, he suspected that the legendary “Elder Wand” would be buried with its master. The movie ends as Voldemort lifts the coveted wand into the air as a sign of victory.
3. Actual occult forces in the real world
Spiritual warfare has raged since the beginning of time, though many refuse to believe it. It’s simply not politically correct to suggest that actual witchcraft, magic and sorcery could have darkened tribes and civilizations throughout history. As Al Gore suggested in his 1992 book, Earth in the Balance, historical paganism should be honored, not criticized:
“The richness and diversity of our religious tradition throughout history is a spiritual resource long ignored by people of faith, who are often afraid to open their minds to teachings first offered outside their own system of belief.”
“[Ceremonial sites] seem to confirm the notion that a goddess religion was ubiquitous throughout much of the world until the antecedents of today’s religions — most of which still have a distinctly masculine orientation — swept out of India and the Near East, almost obliterating belief in the goddess. The last vestige of organized goddess worship was eliminated by Christianity….[I]t seems obvious that a better understanding of a religious heritage preceding our own by so many thousands of years could offer us new insights…”
But Mr. Gore was distorting the truth. Witchcraft, goddess worship and other practices linked to ancient paganism were cruel and bloody, not kind and benevolent. The main goddesses in the Middle East three to four thousand years ago included Asherah, Astarte, Ishtar and others. Their ritual worship involved spiritism, sorcery, witchcraft and human sacrifices — as did Voldemort’s occult rituals.
Around 1450 BC), when Moses was preparing the Israelites to enter the promised land he spoke this warning:
“There shall not be found among you anyone who practices witchcraft… interprets omens, or a sorcerer… conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord…” Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
Raised and trained at the Egyptian court, Moses would surely have learned to write. In recent times, archeologists have uncovered all kinds of magical tools, pagan idols, and mythical scripts that reach back to ancient Egypt, Canaan, the Hittites and other parts of the world.
Dr. Paolo Matthiae, Director of the Italian Archeological Mission in Syria discovered “more than 15,000 cuneiform tablets and fragments” and unveiled a Semitic empire that dominated the Middle East more than four thousand years ago. Its hub was Ebla, where educated scribes filled ancient libraries with written records of history, people, places and commerce.
Western nations have been relatively free from occult entrapment since the Protestant Reformation. But now that God’s Truth and guidelines are increasingly banned and silenced — by law as well as through political correctness — that freedom is fading fast.
No public rules or boundaries are preventing occult enticements from spreading around the world. Never before have people been so ready and willing to receive the world’s most corrupting images and suggestions as they are today!
How does that impact our children? The Journal of the American Medical Association offers some clues:
“It compared two nations or regions that were demographically and ethnically identical; only one variable is different: the presence of television. ‘In every nation, region, or city with television, there is an immediate explosion of violence on the playground, and within 15 years there is a doubling of the murder rate. Why 15 years? That is how long it takes for the brutalization of a three-to five-year-old to reach the ‘prime crime age.’”
What can parents do to monitor and restrict violent and occult media messages? Here are a few suggestions:
Pray — fervently, frequently and confidently — based on God’s Word!
Teach your children to “put on” and wear the Armor of God. The greatest weapon against the world’s deceptions is His Truth. The Armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) provides an outline of the vital truth that can expose and resist any of Satan’s lies.
Be watchful. Explain the danger of occult entertainment to your children. Share the statistics and the horrendous consequences of the conditioning process. Show them items in the newspaper that provide current and relevant examples and warnings.
Understand the Nature and Tactics of Satan. Children need to be alert to both his timeless and his current strategies. We are all engaged in a spiritual war—and we cannot close our eyes to the realities of the foes that assault us.
- Keep thanking God who gives us the victory. Know His Names and count on His promises. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
1. Lauren A. E. Schuker, “‘Potter’ Charms Aging Audience,” WSJ, 11-22-10. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703567304575628783648960748.html?KEYWORDS=Harry+potter+deathly
2. “These are dark times,” http://www.gcsunade.com/2010/11/18/movie-review-‘these-are-dark-times-’/
3. Harry Potter Wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Eater
4. Allison Wingate, “Dark times ahead for Harry Potter,” 11-20-10, www.reviewtimes.com/Issues/2010/Nov/20/ar_news_112010_story3.asp?d=112010_story3,2010,Nov,20&c=n
5. Read this testimony: “Leading Me Back Through the Darkness” at http://www.crossroad.to/Victory/testimonies/jonathan.htm
6 .Dave Grossman, “Trained to Kill” at http://www.killology.com/print/print_trainedtokill.htm
7. Horcrux, http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Horcrux
8. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance; Ecology and the Human Spirit (Houghton Mifflin, 1992), p.260
A review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
By Berit Kjos – July 18, 2011
“I have been encouraged by my pastor at my CHRISTIAN church to read the Harry Potter books, because even though they have references to magic and sorcery, they can teach us more about the values of Friendship and Bravery than he can…. I am no longer Christian. Somewhere along the way my beliefs changed. I practice Wicca.” A young visitor to our website
“Days before the release of the seventh and final novel in the series, youth leaders are being told they could use the popularity of the Potter books and films as a ‘launch pad’ for exploring Christian themes.”
“In its early years, ‘Harry Potter’ was a litmus test of orthodoxy for some conservative Christians, who expressed concern over its portrayal of witchcraft….The hysteria has largely died down, and not many religious leaders asked their flocks to avoid the final movie….Many Christians have cheered the portrayals of loyalty, courage and love.”
“[They] practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord….” 2 Kings 17:17
I had plenty of company last Saturday morning as I hurried into the movie theater to see the final film in the Harry Potter series. Several families with children walked in ahead of me. Others followed. One little girl couldn’t be more than three years old! How would she react to this scary movie?
For more than two hours, the audience sat immersed in a mystical world filled with frightening shrieks, explosive sounds of death and destruction, and enticing suggestions certain to appeal to power-hungry youth already attuned to the forces of evil.
If you are a parent, please don’t take your children to see this movie!
By its end, it had exposed the two sides of today’s popular evil. Like the yin-yang symbol, there is an obvious dark side and a more subtle “light” side to occult deceptions. To resist their mind-changing allure, we need to understand both.
The Dark Side of Evil
This last part of the Harry Potter sequence promotes everything God bans in this warning:
“There shall not be found among you anyone who… practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead…. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord…” Deuteronomy 18:10-12
During the last three centuries, Americans have enjoyed relative freedom from the occult forces that have tormented many other parts of the world. From the beginning, the pilgrims and a significant number of other believers trusted God and built this nation on the foundation of His Word. Therefore God protected their land. Few were exposed to words and actions that led to the occult.
But times have changed and God’s actual truth is rarely heard in public places. We can no longer shut out the well-marketed forces of evil that press into our lives — even in churches. That’s all the more reason to prepare for the spiritual warfare ahead. Let’s begin by taking a closer look at the occult practices listed in the above verses from Deuteronomy. Each practice is featured in this movie.
1. WITCHCRAFT: Trusting the occult spirit world for power to perform all kinds of magical spells and wonders.
Witchcraft was common in Old Testament days. Back then it was already a “normal” part of life in cultures around the world. Finally, in the wake of the Protestant Reformation, such practices faded in the West. More recently, that trend has been reversed. The mind-changing fantasies spread by Rowling and her admirers have sparked a rapid revival of interest and delight in occult empowerment.
2. SOOTHSAYER: A fortuneteller, diviner or seer in communication with demonic spirits.
3. INTERPRETING OMENS: Receiving messages and interpretations — usually ominous – from the spirit world.
4. SORCERY: Performing magical feats through occult forces.
If witchcraft and sorcery sound like fantasy and fairy tales to teens and children today, the devil must be very pleased. He is constantly on the lookout for those who will follow his ways — even if “just” in their imaginations. As God warned long ago,
“They…walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart….” Jeremiah 7:24
5. CONJURE SPELLS: Manipulating occult forces according to mental formulas and projecting the spell through a physical object.
“To cast a spell is to project energy through a symbol,” explained Starhawk, the wiccan author of The Spiral Dance. “Spells… require the combined faculties of relaxation, visualization, concentration, and [mental] projection.”
Most spells in the movie were cast through magically empowered wands. The powerful Elder Wand apparently had a mind of its own and could choose whether or not to serve a new master. Wikipedia explains its bizarre history:
“In the preceding movie, Voldemort…opens Dumbledore’s tomb and claims the wand as his own. Assuming incorrectly that Snape is the wand’s current master, Voldemort slays Snape, not realizing that the wand’s allegiance was to Draco….Harry had subsequently disarmed Draco and taken his wand. …the Elder Wand’s allegiance had since shifted to Harry….Voldemort uses the Elder Wand to cast his final Killing Curse against Harry’s Expelliarmus charm. But since the wand’s allegiance is to Harry, Voldemort’s spell backfires and kills him once and for all.”
Spells were also essential to the creation and destruction of the horcruxes used by Voldemort to secure his own immortality. “Invented” by J.K Rowling, they only exist in the imaginations of those who are captivated by her tales and by the additional “information” they inspire. For example, Wikipedia adds this gruesome description:
“…the creation of a Horcrux requires one to commit a murder, which, as the supreme act of evil, ‘rips the soul apart.’ After the murder, a spell is cast to infuse part of the ripped soul into an object, which becomes the Horcrux….Both inanimate objects and living organisms have been used as Horcruxes, though the latter are considered riskier to use, since an organism can move and think for itself….
“To be destroyed, a Horcrux must suffer damage so severe that repair through magical means would be impossible….Once a Horcrux is irreparably damaged, the fragment of soul within it is destroyed.”
These dark fantasies share a common consequence with actual occult realities. Both stir cravings for new and ever darker occult thrills and knowledge. The natural consequences of pursuing such a path is spiritual bondage and torment. Listen again to God’s warning:
“They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.
Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.” (Proverbs 1:30-31)
6. CALL UP THE DEAD [Necromancy]: Invoking the spirit of a deceased person through occult formulas.
Here the story gets more complicated. Harry himself was one of Voldemort’s horcruxes, since a piece of Voldemort’s soul was hidden inside him. Therefore Harry had to die before Voldemort could be killed. That realization made Harry’s life bleak indeed. The months of hiding from Voldemort and his armies had taken their toll. Choosing to face his inevitable death rather than fight it, he walked unarmed into Voldemort’s forest camp.
But first Harry wanted to see his dead parents and friends. His magical Resurrection Stone enabled him to call up the spirits of his father and mother as well as Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. They promised to stay with him until he died.
During his brief time in the state of “death,” Harry was visited by the spirit of Albus Dumbledore who suggested that he return to life. Since “dying” had freed him from bondage to Voldemort’s horcrux, he chose to return.
Many have equated Harry’s death with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They are way off track! Any such comparison is a mockery of God’s actual Truth.
The “Light“ Side of Evil
Surrounded by Hogwarts ash-covered ruins, Harry wins his final battle against Voldemort. Later, as he stands on a high ridge with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, he pulls out his Elder Wand, the most powerful wand known to wizards. He breaks it in two and throws the pieces into the canyon below. Apparently, there’s no need for it anymore.
Did he really believe that all warfare ended when Voldemort died? Would peace now prevail in the region cleansed of its cruel leader? What about Voldemort’s surviving army of ambitious, murderous “death eaters”? Might not some of them fight for his lofty, tyrannical position?
Harry doesn’t answer those questions.
The movie concludes with a brief glimpse of the three friends nineteen years later. Ron, of course, married Hermione. Harry married Ron’s sister Ginny. Now the two couples are standing with their children on the magical railroad Platform 9¾, ready to send their older children off to school on the Hogwarts Express.
When Harry’s middle son admits his fear of being “sorted” into the Slytherin dorm rather than Gryffindor, his father comforts him:
“Albus Severus, you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin [Severus Snape] and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”
He was? The sour, sullen, ruthless Severus Snape was no friend to Harry during his school years. Nor was any other member of the Slytherin clan. Most of them were deadly enemies. Many joined the Death Eaters. In light of the previous Potter books, this sudden emphasis on peace, harmony and reconciliation makes no sense!
George Orwell would probably agree. His familiar book, 1984, sums up such strange contradictions with these words: “War is PEACE. Freedom is SLAVERY. Ignorance is STRENGTH.“
We might add this lie: Evil is Good! In a world that despises God’s Word and moral guidelines, it’s not surprising that a series of books based on witchcraft and wizardry has won the hearts of the people. Occult themes, whether in books, movies or computer games, have become one of today’s most effective tools for social transformation. Even churches are promoting the change. The “light” side of evil could hardly be more deceptive!
As God’s Word tells us, “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) That’s reality today! But the consequences for those who believe his lies will be severe:
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.” Isaiah 5:20-21
God’s Ultimate Victory
Today’s rising world system has called for unbiblical peace and a prescribed form of solidarity that has little tolerance for Christians who refuse to compromise. Yet, if we stand firm in Jesus Christ, our sovereign Lord, He will surely meet all our needs — and much more! Those who resist the world’s tempting lies in His name will be safe in Him — now and forever!
This world system denies the message of the cross. That’s why the name of Jesus is banned from all kinds of public places. But we cannot be silent! What Jesus prayed to His Father almost 2000 years ago is now His message for us:
“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one…. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” John 17:14-19
1. “Use Harry Potter to spread Christian message,” The Telegraph [a British newspaper], July 18, 2007. This link is now obsolete: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;?xml=/news/2007/07/17/npotter217.xml
2. Sarah P. Bailey, “How Christians Warmed to Harry Potter,” Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2011, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812104576441641674217076.html. See also John Granger’s message at www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/harry-granger.htm
3. Starhawk, Spiral Dance (San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1979), 25.
4. Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horcrux#Deathly_Hallows
5. Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horcrux#Horcruxes
6. George Orwell, 1984 at George Orwell’s 1984
The Mind-changing Myths of AVATAR
Blending Hinduism, Shamanism and Goddess Spirituality
By Berit Kjos – February 7, 2010
|“We…need to reawaken something very old…our understanding of Earth wisdom. We need to accept the invitation to the dance — the dance of unity of humans, plants, the Earth.” Deep Ecology“I propose that Cameron is alluding to that tenth avatar of Vishnu becoming manifest as the US marine in Pandora’s universe. The deliberate choice of the blue skin instantly, magically and metaphorically relates our protagonist to two previous avatars namely Rama and Krishna.” Sita Wadhwani, Mumbai Editor“When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed… gray. It was like my whole life, everything I’ve done and worked for, lost its meaning…. I live in a dying world.” Avatar-forums.com|
Imagine a new world! Visualize its beauty! Flow with your feelings! Become one with all!
But what about reality?
With their cat-like eyes, pointed ears, snarling hiss and balancing tails, the tall Na’vi humanoids fit right into a spiritual network that supposedly links everything on Pandora, a lush distant moon. Environmentally attuned, they ride through the skies on powerful birds, climb the stony walls of magnificent hanging mountains, and worship their goddess. Naturally, they despise the corporate monstrosity that has invaded their habitat in search of priceless resources.
Those earthly intruders intend to excavate Pandora’s most sacred spot. To avoid war, they brought a scientific team trained to befriend the indigenous Na’vi people and persuade them to move.
That team includes latecomer Jake Sully, a paraplegic Marine replacing his slain twin brother. After some training, his mind and consciousness would periodically be transferred to his Na’vi-like avatar — a body originally made to match his brother’s DNA.
Remember the Hindu word avatar? It refers to an incarnation or manifestation of a Hindu god. The most common avatars are incarnations of the god Vishnu, and they include the mischievous flute-playing Krishna and the bow-and-arrow carrying Rama (pictured below). Both are usually pictured with bluish skin — just like the native Na’vis.
Testing his new avatar legs, tail and body, Jake heads for the forest, admires the flowers, and faces a rhino-sized beast. This strange world is nothing like the gray, polluted earth he left behind!
Moments later, a snarling panther-like thanator chases him deeper into the woods where he meets the beautiful Neytiri who aims her bow and arrow at him. Fortunately, she receives a message from her mysterious goddess through a cloud of white flower-like creatures that settle on Jake — a clear sign that the goddess [Eywa] wants Neytiri to befriend this ignorant stranger. But first she scolds him for causing the death of other terrifying pursuers.
Hmmm. Do you wonder why Neytiri carries a bow and arrow when all life is one?
Jake does his best to follow the sure-footed Neytiri (climbing, leaping, etc.) back to Hometree, her clan’s sacred domain. She introduces him to Mo’at, her psychic mother who happens to be the tribal tsahik (shaman speaking for Eywa). She tells her daughter to train this “dreamwalker” in their native ways. Some of the clan warriors look skeptical.
Jake is a good pupil, and his lessons on pantheistic unity soon shift his loyalty from his worldly mission to the tribe and Eywa. So when his commander prepares to destroy Hometree and much of the sacred forests, Jake springs into action. Through psychic linkage, he tames and rides the fiercest bird of all — the mighty Toruk, who became his “spirit animal” through a ritual Spirit Quest.Speeding above the forests, he gathers Pandora’s tribes for war.
He prays to Eywa for help, and she answers his plea. She summons birds and beasts of every kind. With such an army, how could they lose?
Her final “miracle” is to transfer Jake’s life from his injured earthly body to his Na’vi avatar. The earthly human dies, then awakens to new life in a pantheistic “paradise.” By putting his faith in the pagan goddess, Jake had earned the honor of a counterfeit resurrection. Now, he’s one of them!
It all sounds good to earthlings who love the myth of mystical oneness! No wonder thousands of viewers became depressed (even suicidal) after their virtual experience of Pandora’s wonders. To them, dropping their 3-D glasses into the recycling bin at the exit means a dreaded return to a dull reality! Ponder the potential effect of this seductive journey on those who love fantasy more than facts:
“Ever since I went to see ‘Avatar’ I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na’vi made me want to be one of them. I can’t stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film… I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora…'” (Mike at Avatar-forums.com)
The reality behind this mind-bending, feeling-based mythology is the existence of an occult spiritual system. Avatar’s promotion of pantheism and panentheism (see Glossary of Religious Terms) point to the “spiritual unity” at the heart of Hinduism, Native American shamanism and the worship of Mother Earth. They all clash with God’s truth.
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness!” Isaiah 5:20-21
1. Hindu gods and their avatars
Writer and director Sudipto Chattopadhyay believes that Cameron’s choice of the title (Avatar) reflects a Hindu perspective:
“The ancient Hindu scriptures have forever reiterated that whenever the world would be on the brink of disaster and mankind faces extinction… the divine Lord Vishnu would consider it his duty to manifest himself in mortal, palpable form to save mankind from the impending doomsday. …the Avatar is meant to be the savior, the messiah of his own race and people.”
In Cameron’s mythical movie, planet Pandora was certainly facing a major disaster, and Jake — incarnated in his Na’vi avatar — seems to be the saving avatar. After all, he was chosen and approved by the goddess herself!
Chattopadhyay is not the only one affirming the Hindu suggestions in this movie. Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, repeats the need for intervention through an avatar — though he may not approve of this movie:
“‘Avatar’, a Sanskrit term, means descent or incarnation. Hinduism is shaped by its traditional belief in the incarnation of Vishnu (the Preserver in Hindu trinity) into ten forms to establish dharma (divine law), which include Matsya, Kurma… Rama, Krishna, Buddha…. Hindus believe that without such intervention, the entire created universe would have gone into decline.”
For a glimpse of the dark side of Hinduism please read Let the Little Children Come.
2. Goddess spirituality
Mr. Cameron would probably agree. Since he and Gore seem to think alike on some issues, ponder this next statement. Here Al Gore suggests that,
“a goddess religion was ubiquitous throughout much of the world until the antecedents of today’s religions…. The last vestige of organized goddess worship was eliminated by Christianity. …it seems obvious that a better understanding of a religious heritage preceding our own by so many thousands of years could offer us new insights…”
Useful “new insights” from “goddess worship”? What might they be? In his next statement, Mr. Gore gives us a clue:
“The richness and diversity of our religious tradition throughout history is a spiritual resource long ignored by people of faith [Christians?] who are often afraid to open their minds to teachings first offered outside their own system of belief. But the emergence of a civilization in which knowledge moves freely and almost instantaneously throughout the world has… spurred a renewed investigation of the wisdom distilled by all faiths. This panreligious perspective may prove especially important where our global civilization’s responsibility for the earth is concerned.”
Finally, Gore quotes Dr. Karan Singh, a Hindu environmentalist who wrote, “The Earth is our mother, and we are all her children.” That should arouse fear rather than comfort, for when we look back to ancient goddess-worshipping cultures, we see unspeakable cruelty. [Read more]
“…they speak a vision of their own heart… They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, ‘You shall have peace’ and to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’” Jeremiah 23:16
3. Native American pantheism, animism and shamanism
According to Al Gore, Native American religions “offer a rich tapestry of ideas about our relationship to the earth.” He quotes Chief Seattle, who supposedly asked this question:
“Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? . . . This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all.”
Sounds like Pandora, doesn’t it? And it’s just as unreal. Those words were actually written by Ted Perry for a 1971 environmental movie. It was just the message they needed to persuade viewers of their point of view!
Likewise, the mythical Na’vi present “right” ideology. Largely patterned after today’s idealized views of Native Americans, they draw viewers into an unforgettable encounter with the “illusions of oneness.” Few realilze that behind the “beautiful side of paganism” lie the same human tendencies that bring pain and destruction to all parts of the world: greed, violence, competition, and war.
The late Dr. Clark Wissler, Curator Emeritus of the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History, was recognized as a world authority on Native Americans. In his book, Indians of the United States, he describes all the admirable aspects of their culture: their love for their children, their hospitality and their beliefs.
He also had the courage to expose the sad facts. Stripping away the popular myth of perfect harmony, Wissler shows us that Native Americans struggle with the same human nature we do. Look at some popular myths in the light of additional facts.
- · Harmony with nature? To stampede a herd of buffalo, hunters might set the grass on fire behind the flock. The escaping herd would “flounder into a swamp or tumble over a cliff.“ (pp. 270, 14)
- · Preserver of life? “The early Indian hunted the wild horse for food, which may be one of the reasons why they became extinct long before white men came to America.” (p.287)
- · Peace with each other? “The elders of neighboring tribes talked peace… but the marauding traditions were so carefully fostered that raiding for blood, captives, and plunder was on the level of second nature.”(p.63)
- · Respect for all life? The Iroquois, noted for democratic self-government, “planned to destroy the Huron. It was not to be a war of subjugation; they hated the Huron intensely…. After taking the first town, the massacred the entire population. If they took captives, it was to torture them to death.”(p.131) 
I don’t want to diminish the wrongs committed against Native Americans: killing, selling alcohol, taking their land, ignoring treaty obligations, etc. Yet our children need to see these tragic violations in the light of the whole truth. Apart from our Creator and Savior, human nature everywhere will express its selfishness and violence. If we dismiss uncomfortable facts in order toprove a false ideal, we perpetuate the lies. We also hide the only solution that works –- trusting and following God.
Filling minds with occult visions and evolutionary ideals will surely immunize the masses against the Truth of God. His reality is incompatible with Avatar’s mystical illusions! Yet people have, through the ages, chosen to compromise God’s truths with their imagination. Remember the moral condition of the masses back in Noah’s days:
“…every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5
Similar conditions will prevail when Jesus returns. (See Luke 17:20) Today’s occult movies and computer games, playing on the imaginations of impressionable children, could open a “Pandora’s Box” of paganism and spiritual bondage. So let’s heed His warnings:
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
Additional warning: U.S. Gives Yale Researcher $3.9-Million in Tax Dollars to Develop ‘Avatar’ Sex-Ed Video Game for Kids: “…a division of the National Institutes of Health is giving Dr. Lynn Fiellin, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine, $3.9 million over five years to develop a video game to teach ‘sex, drug and alcohol negotiation and refusal skills’ to children 9-14 years of age. The game will feature ‘virtual characters or avatars‘ that are guided by the children playing the game to make decisions about whether to engage in behaviors that put them at risk of being infected with HIV.
“…the ‘avatars’ in the video game will not actually engage in sexual or other high-risk activity on the child’s computer screen. ‘The avatars engage in role playing, having conversations in which they refuse to engage in risky behaviors.'” See Sex Ed and Global Values
1. Bill Devall and George Session, Deep Ecology (Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1985), p. ix.
3. A comment by “Hill” at Avatar-forums.com
4. Avatar: The Na’vi Quest, Adapted from the movie by Nicole Pitesa, (Harper Festival, 2009), pp. 1, 57. This small book provides some details not explained in the movie.
5. The above book answers that question: The Na’vi were meat-eating hunters, but they had to had to understand the pantheistic oneness before they could take life. When Jake kills a hexapede, he prays: “I see you, brother, and thank you. Your spirit goes with Eywa, your body stays behind to become part of the people.”[p.39]
7. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance; Ecology and the Human Spirit (Houghton Mifflin, 1992), pp. 260, 258-259, 261.
8. Clark Wissler, PILD, Indians of the United States (New York. Anchor Books, Doubleday), pp. 270, 14, 287, 63, 131.
9. Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief , “U.S. Gives Yale Researcher $3.9-Million in Tax Dollars to Develop ‘Avatar’ Sex-Ed Video Game for Kids,” CNS News, February 5, 2010.http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/61017
[Article Reprinted with Permission]
by Bert Kjos 2003
Original Source: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/010/avatar.htm
Film Review of Avatar
by Wayne Dyrness
2009 movie by Director James Cameron and distributed by 20th Century Fox World Wide box office receipts exceed 2.7 billion dollars!!!
Avatar is visually stunning and technologically creative. However, it has major problems. It is a great evangelistic piece for animism, i.e. the belief that all creatures and objects — even ones science regards as “inanimate” — possess a soul or personality; the belief that all things are alive in some sense.
In a very real sense, it’s also a propaganda piece for eastern mysticism, that “God” (i.e. mother earth) dwells and is in all things, i.e. “so above, so below.” In other words, the “God within.” James Cameron states that “the Na’vi represent something that is our higher selves, or our aspirational selves, what we would like to think we are.”
Metaphorically, the film also presents mankind (along with its’ military complex) as “the” problem. Here is a planet “connected” in some way with all living entities, beautiful, living in harmony. Along comes “man” and destroys that which is good, that which is connected.
Does this theme sound familiar? Yes – it is the message of the ‘environmentalists.’ In other words, if only man weren’t here or didn’t come, there would be no problem.
The other major theme is a slam against the military and corporations, both presented as the bad guys. In regard to corporations, they are greedy and wicked, that could care less about the damage they will cause to the eco-system, let alone the needless deaths of the indigenous peoples. Only profit is important.
The military is presented as callous and cruel, mindless, only wishing to inflict as much damage and chaos possible, without care or consequence. James Cameron acknowledges that he is highly critical of how Bush handled the Iraq war and the impersonal nature of mechanized warfare in general. Note reference to phrase “shock and awe” that is used in the movie.
These two entities, corporations and military, are contrasted against the thoughtful, caring, sensitive, and “enlightened” and “educated” men and women of science; whose only goal and wish is to protect “mother earth.”
At its core, Avatar is a propaganda piece for the politically extreme left (which is really now the left in general), and its many factions. It paints an unrealistic and untrue picture of corporations and military. However, it mirrors exactly the message the political left is expounding today, i.e. corporations are the enemy; the military is evil and invades foreign lands without regard to the people who live there.
A person of faith (in particular, Christian) should be disturbed by the message this film presents, i.e. eastern mysticism (now known as New Age or Emergent) and animism is acceptable and true. This form of “soft subtle” persuasion (evangelism) is effective in that it is pushed as entertainment, and as such the normal mental filters one would use to process, evaluate, and reject this form of propaganda is bypassed. It is a direct attack against discernment and critical thinking, neither which seem very present in today’s society, or church. James Cameron states that “the Na’vi represent something that is our higher selves, or our aspirational selves, what we would like to think we are”
My son would be the first to say, “Dad, it’s just a movie! Why don’t you just sit there and enjoy the film rather than over-analyze it!” The discerning person knows that every film has an agenda. To ignore that truth demonstrates that you are exactly the person this film is meant to target, i.e. the ones who will “just sit there” and not “think” about the message it gives.
Most people like to think of themselves as intelligent enough that they would not fall in to the trap of buying into propaganda or subtle brainwashing. The reality is most people today have not been taught to be discerning or critical thinkers. As a result, they do fall into this trap. The message from the left or from left-leaning education is “don’t question,” “be a team player, a team builder” “be part of the village,” “your leaders are much better educated and more enlightened than you,” or “who are you to question our motives? Just sit there and be quiet.”
So what is the message or agenda of this film to you, the viewer? There’s a few I think that stand out. First, spiritual: the church at large needs to abandon their idea that their message is unique, or even necessary. The church at large needs to realize that we are all spiritually connected, one with another, and one with nature. Abandoning doctrine brings unity. Unity is all important. Those that stand against this “unity” (i.e. cling to their doctrine) will be demonized and charged/jailed by violating new equality laws.
Second, political: much like spiritual, we are all connected together as one world family, a large community, and dependent upon each other. We need to break down the walls, the artificial boundaries that divide us. Again, ‘unity’ is the message.
How then do we achieve this unity, this one-world government? We focus not on the individual’s achievements or abilities, but rather on the collective or corporate. This is taking the phrase, “it takes a village to raise a child” to the extreme. This is Socialism in action (which our current administration (Obama) and Congress is now trying to cram down your throats). Over 22 countries use the Euro as their currency, having abandoned their own.
There is movement in America to create a North American Union with Mexico and Canada and to begin using a new coin called the ‘Amero,’ in place of our respective countries currency due to the plummeting value of the U.S. dollar.
The Treasury continues to flood the world with more worthless dollars (with nothing of value to back it up) each day. Many countries want to dump the dollar in place of the Euro. The move toward accepting the “Amero” sets the stage to accepting a world currency.
Russia’s President Medvedev in a recent G8 conference presented a sample of what could be a new world currency. Written on one side of the coins is “Unity in Diversity.
How does one go about achieving control over the individual in favor of the corporate, or unity?
Our current administration/congress has taken over private banks, insurance companies, auto companies, etc. all in the name of “protecting the individual.” Yet, it was the administration/congress that created the problems to begin with in order to give justification of their acts of unconstitutional seizure. Who did they assess the blame on? Of course, the evil corporations. Who now has control over many of these formally private businesses? The government.
Just a few weeks ago on December 17th, 2009 President Obama issued an executive order that allows INTERPOL to have jurisdiction in the U.S.
What does this mean? It means that we have an international police force authorized to act within the United States that is no longer subject to 4th Amendment Search and Seizure. The “property and assets of [INTERPOL], wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, unless such immunity be expressly waived, and from confiscation.”
INTERPOL, an international criminal police organization, is now poised to reside above the United States Constitution – in a place of sanctity beyond our FBI, CIA, DIA, and all other criminal investigative domestic organizations.
President Obama has just placed our Constitutional rights under international law. It won’t be long before our entire country is ceded under the control of an international government (i.e. One World Government).
By now, if you have read this far, you be asking, “Why include all of this peripheral information in your review of the movie Avatar?”
Whether you like it or not, whether you are aware of it or not, there is a concerted effort behind the scene to move us toward a world government. I’m sure many of you reading this were totally unaware of Obama’s Dec. 17th Executive Order. In order to accomplish this goal of one world government, your current beliefs, values, etc. need to be changed so as to embrace this move rather than reject it. Change takes time. That requires that all areas of your life (political beliefs, social perspective, religious values, educational training, etc.) needs to be “adjusted” (perhaps a better word is desensitized).
Movies, TV, newspaper, etc. only serve as one tool in the overall arsenal to adjust your thinking. If you know that a movie like Avatar, for example, has an agenda (as does any marketing tool), you are more likely to exercise discernment or critical thinking skills when exposed to them and see them for what they really are, i.e. subtle propaganda tools designed to change the way you think and feel about formally held beliefs/doctrines, to condition you, to conform to the world-wide community mindset, and to accept the changes that you will be asked to embrace in the future.
If you didn’t see Avatar for what it truly is, you need to wake up and know that you are being manipulated. Start exercising critical thinking skills. Stop being a lemming that someday wakes up and says, “how did we get to this state of affairs,” and then has no power, will, or freedom to change things.