spikehost says, Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to crosswalk.com Chat! We’re so glad to see you tonight. My name is SpikeHost, and I’ll be your host tonight. Joining me on Stage are applehost, machost, newseditor, and yadah_host. By now you must have heard the name Harry Potter. You may have read Harry Potter books, or you may have seen the movie. Or you may know someone who has. Some of you have heard good things about him, some of you have heard bad things. We’re gathered here this evening to find out the truth about Harry Potter. Our special guest tonight is the author of “Harry Potter and the Bible”, and he’s here to help us find out what the truth is. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, let me present Richard Abanes.
richard_abanes says, Hello everyone…its great to be here!
guest1483 asks, Is Harry Potter a bad thing for my kids to read?
richard_abanes says, That’s quite a broad question to ask… That is a determination only you can make. To make it you need some of the facts which are:
richard_abanes says, 1) The Harry potter books do contain positive presentations of real world occult practices such as astrology, numerology, divination and communication with spirits of the dead.
richard_abanes says, 2) JK Rowling, in her books, has good characters doing some very bad things like lying, stealing, cheating and speaking revenge and breaking laws and finally being dishonest.
richard_abanes says, how do you think these things will affect your child? Answering this will tell you if it is bad.
pastorchrisjordan asks, Connie Neal, author of the OTHER Harry Potter book, says that there is no Christian position on Harry Potter – that it’s a Romans 14 (disputable/debatable) issue. How do you respond to that?
richard_abanes says, I disagree strongly with much of Connie’s book. In fact, I have done a full critique of her book that points out not only why her Romans 14 reference is incorrect, but also I point out the many errors, false information, misinformation, and out of context scriptures that appear in her book. The critique is available at my website — http://www.abanes.com/Neal.html A more applicable scripture is 1 Cor. 6:12 ..Not all things are lawful but all things are beneficial
guest1500 asks, My friends all say Harry Potter does have just a little bit of witchcraft in it, but nobody would be enticed into witchcraft just from reading the books. How should I respond?
richard_abanes says, Kids are already being enticed into occultism by Harry Potter. We have proof the Pagan Federation in England states that they took on a youth official last year to handle a surge in child interest in the occult because of books like the Harry Potter series. There are many other ways this is happening with proof also.

chatmaster shouts, Join MikeFarris for Homeschool Chat every Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. ET in the Homeschool room.

chatmaster shouts, Learn more about Richard Abanes’ book, Harry Potter and the Bible, at his website. http://www.abanes.com

pastorchrisjordan asks, What do you think of CS Lewis’ chronicles of Narnia books, which also discuss witchcraft, casting spells, and whose characters includes river gods, etc?
richard_abanes says, I love them. They are very different from Ms. Rowling’s books on a number of levels. First, the magic in Lewis is so highly stylized that no one can draw direct parallels to real world occult practices. Second, the Lewis books reflect biblical ethics and morals. This is VERY different from how the characters act in the Harry Potter books.
worthynewseditor asks, I believe you go into detail in your book the difference between Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Can you elaborate on the differences?
richard_abanes says, I’ll try… What I have just said about Lewis would also apply to Tolkien. However Tolkien completely removes his actions from our world into middle earth. There is truly no direct link to our world, also the way Tolkien deals with morality is deep and thought provoking. It pushes its readers to become something better than they are. Rowling’s books, however, glamorize sinful behavior.
guest1507 asks, I am disturbed that teachers are so hooked on Harry. What are your thoughts on this?
richard_abanes says, I am disturbed too. Teachers are so enthralled with Harry Potter they are having their students delve into occultism through class activities, school projects and homework assignments based on real world occult practices in the Harry Potter books. Parents need to know that they CAN object to such activities on religious grounds.
guest1496 asks, Richard if this Harry Potter book is really this bad why aren’t people catching on?
richard_abanes says, some are. You are here and I am here. There are many Christians who believe what Christian leaders are saying. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, these Christian leaders are advocating reading the Harry Potter books and justifying their statements with absolutely false information.
gumby2000 asks, aside from the occult, are there elements of various world religions that are present in the Harry Potter books that children may be led to imitate?
richard_abanes says, No, world religions are not found in the series. The closest thing would be mythology associated with paganism, ancient and modern.

chatmaster shouts, Learn more about Richard Abanes’ book, Harry Potter and the Bible, at his website. http://www.abanes.com

chatmaster shouts, check out Crosswalk.com’s News & Culture Channel and get your news from a Christian worldview. http://news.crosswalk.com

guest1507 asks, Have you met Rowlings? If so, what did you say? If not, what would you say?
richard_abanes says, No I haven’t met her. If I did I would say “Lets go have some coffee and talk.” Then I would try to share with her, like I would share with anybody, my concerns. I wish you could ask her what she would say to me.
jspriggs asks, As a youth leader, how do I best talk about Harry with my 7th to 12th graders? Would you suggest Christian leaders read the book so they have a basis to talk about them?
richard_abanes says, At the risk of tooting my own horn, my book was written specifically for Christians who had not read the Potter series so they would not have to read it. I give complete summaries of all four Potter books thus far released. If you want to read the Potter books I certainly would not have as many concerns as I do for children.
guest1506 asks, Are you advocating that we forbid my children from reading this book without reading it first, myself?
richard_abanes says, good question! I think there has been enough information about what is in these books to make a decision without having read the books. However, I have read the books… So I would say if you are an adult and you still do not feel like you have enough information the only thing left to do is either read them or take the information you have, pray on it and do what the Lord says.
madchatter asks, There is a lot of debating going on about the pros and cons of Harry Potter. What do you suggest to be the best approach to debating the topic.
richard_abanes says, Deal with facts. Facts..facts..facts. We must get away from basing our decisions and views from nothing but opinion and feelings.
guest1496 asks, Richard, do think that we as Christians are taking part into glorifying Harry Potter by focusing on this too much?
richard_abanes says, No, because we have to talk these issues out. I don’t think we are focusing on it nearly as much as the world is focusing on it.
guest1483 asks, Are Christians too desensitized to the occult?
richard_abanes says, absolutely!! We have forgotten the numerous biblical passages that not only condemn occultism but also STRONGLY condemn occultism. God does not condemn it once…or twice…but DOZENS of times! However, today, thanks to Hollywood, occultism has almost become a fad… A fun fad.
unc25 asks, So don’t you think that if we protest this then we must also protest Sabrina the Teenage witch or other cartoons/shows that promote violence and other unholy things?
richard_abanes says, I think certainly there are degrees of protest and our level of concern should match the level of possible harm that can come from certain forms of entertainment. If we are careful and choose our battles wisely, our concerns will be legitimate.
guest1500 asks, Doesn’t it seem strange that people today see physical terrorism as evil /Satanic(September 11)- but don’t see the spiritual terrorism “innocently” introduced in Harry Potter as evil/Satanic?
richard_abanes says, well the whole world doesn’t look at spiritual things from a biblical view. But everyone sees physical violence and murder of innocents pretty much the same way.

chatmaster shouts, Learn more about Richard Abanes’ book, Harry Potter and the Bible, at his Learn more about Richard Abanes’ book, Harry Potter and the Bible, at his website. http://www.abanes.com

chatmaster shouts, you can get your very own copy of Richard Abanes’ book, Harry Potter and the Bible, at www.christianbook.com, or at your favorite Christian bookstore. Just click here.

bottledwater asks, How should we respond to pastors who believe Harry Potter is ok, yet we ourselves believe it to be sinful?
richard_abanes says, I think you need to get some good information.
newseditor says, get them Richard’s book as a Christmas gift. 😉
richard_abanes says, Part of the problem Christians have faced is explaining to their pastor …WHY the Harry Potter books are bad. Specific examples need to be cited to help people see what is going on in these books, and pointed questions need to be asked. Peoples minds can be changed about Harry Potter, I have seen it
guest1512 asks, Do you think that students could use Harry Potter to talk about the occult and ultimately witness to their non-Christian friends?
richard_abanes says, I wouldn’t want to see students trying to do that by having to read the Harry Potter books. If they want to talk in general about occultism and the practices it involves and the ones contained in the Harry Potter books and contrast that with scripture that would be fine.
guest1501 asks, Some parents tell me as long as they read the book with their children their children are safe. What would you say to them?
richard_abanes says, if a child were interested in reading a pornographic novel would that child be safe if the parent read it to them? Obviously NO Why? Because what is being read is intrinsically harmful and condemned by God. Also entertainment tends to bypass the intellect and go straight to the emotions of a child. This means they will be influenced by that entertainment in some way, no matter what you say to them.
fkberger asks, Mr. Abanes our children see the adventure and intrigue of Harry Potter and are drawn to it. How can we, as parents and teachers, present the Bible in its awesome truth and do it with the same level of intrigue?
richard_abanes says, Honestly… I don’t think you can. Here’s why… All of us, even children, are carnal, fleshly and sinful people. So that which is carnal, fleshly and sinful is going to appeal to us naturally much stronger then that which is spiritual because we still subject to sin. The Bible is spiritual and can only be discerned and appreciated by the spiritual.
pastorchrisjordan asks, The movie’s out, more books are on their way, and Harry Potter’s obviously here to stay. What advice would you give to Christian Educators as to how to guard our children against this threat?
richard_abanes says, Easy… Don’t be afraid to stand for truth! Don’t be afraid to raise your voice against that which is popular. Dare to be politically incorrect. When you do so, make sure you have your facts straight.
spikehost says, Richard, have you got any closing remarks for us?
richard_abanes says, just try to face this controversy with those with whom you talk with gentleness and love, trying to avoid emotional arguments. Don’t make it your job to change peoples’ minds. God calls you to change yourself and stand for truth. That is my best advice. It has been great to be here with all of you!”
spikehost says, Richard, thank you so very much for coming and shedding light on the whole Harry Potter situation. We hope to see you again soon!

chatmaster shouts, Join us for our Chat with Lisa Whelchel where she’ll be taking your questions on her childhood stardom as Blair on The Facts of Life, her book on disciplining children called Creative Correction, as well as her current motor home tour across country for her upcoming book finding God in America. Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 9 p.m. ET in the Auditorium.”

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