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September 8, 2000

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Q/A Topics:
Harry Potter and satanism?

QUESTION:
Here in South Africa we don't know too much about David (sic) Potter. But I guess that if I had young children I might be better informed. Is this article a true reflection of thees books.?

[Editor: the 'article' tells about 6-yr olds casting curses, dressed in witch's costumes, with candles around a pentagram. Other children casting spells against a teacher who gave them a "D", etc. 10-yr olds being 'converted' to the "New Satanic Order Of The Black Circle". In Texas an 11-yr old organizing a "Potteries to Destroy Jesus" for which there is an induction fee of $6.66. Many of these getting their ideas and motivations to these things from reading the Harry Potter books.]

ANSWER:
If the article is true, it would not surprise me. I've not read any of the Harry Potter books, and don't intend to; but everything the media so happily proclaims about them is their "magic" and all-related sort of stuff. And so, if children -are- getting into sorcery as a result... well... that's a natural outcome, isn't it. Children tend to enact what they read about, or see on TV. They see WWF "Smackdown" and then they have their "smackdown" parties in their back yards. They watch wild shoot-em-up movies, and they enact violence. They see promiscuous sex in the movies, and they act out what they see. They read about magic, they play with it. After all, parents are no longer being 'parents', where children used to dress up and pretend to be 'just like' mommy and daddy. Children mimic what they see and read about.

However, I would want to verify this information from another source before proclaiming it as fact, considering that the author of the article is 'charismatic'...seeking to 'solve' the problem with "prayer chains" and "prayer warfare". His proposed 'cure' is even more deceptive than the 'problem'. However, what he writes sounds to me like a logical conclusion. I would be surprised if children were NOT getting into the occult as a result of reading Harry Potter. It is the "expected" outcome!

And from another source a couple days later...

Someone forwarded something to me from David Cloud, (quoting from London Sunday Times, Sept 1,2000) "Church of England vicar Brian Coleman is holding a special "Harry Potter" family service this weekend at the All Saints Church in Surrey, England. A banner featuring a serpent will be displayed. The church door will become the gateway to a magical platform at the Hogwarts school of wizardry, which is where Harry Potter was trained in occultism. Coleman will wear a wizard's robe for the service. An 11-year-old boy will play the part of Harry Potter. A special Harry Potter liturgy (order of service) has been created by one of the church members. This has been posted on the Internet for other churches to use, and according to the Sunday Times, other Church of England clergy are interested in it. Coleman argued that "young folk are all very much into Harry Potter; we are using this interest."

The rest of what Cloud wrote seems to mirror what was in the article from S.Africa. The books are said to contain just about every aspect of witchcraft, and the blood and violence associated with it.

Now, when a "church" such as this one in England has a Harry Potter day, such "seducing spirits and teachings of demons" is not even very subtle. They have "[departed] from the faith". (1Tim4:1) [Editor: assuming they ever -were- "in" the Faith to begin with.]

There should be clear understanding of the Believer's attitude toward this present sensation: "You shall not turn to those that have familiar spirits, nor seek to spiritists to be defiled by them, I AM Jehovah your God." (Lev19:31) "And the soul that turns to mediums, and to spirit-knowers, to go lusting after them, I will even set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people." (Lev20:6) When God's wrath is poured out in the coming time of His wrath, "..the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons..they did not repent of their..sorceries.." (Rev9:20-21)

By the way, this last passage shows that this problem will NOT be solved (through 'prayer warfare'), until the -Lord- comes and wipes it out in judgment. It -will- continue being a characteristic of these end times.

Editor: perhaps you will understand when I say that I have no intention of personally reading any of these books. And neither should you. And you should not let your children read them. Reports we hear from others is -quite- enough, Thank you very much! We do not 'need to' read them "in order to be informed". God specifically warned against that.

"Take heed to yourself that you do not become snared by following them... and that you do not ask about their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods that I may do likewise?" (Deu12:30)

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Don't want public school prayer!

COMMENTS:
Something about there first must be a great (complete) falling away. When "unity" is the religion, When "love" destroys the preaching of the Truth. (not THE TRUTH...just the preaching of it). When they say "don't judge" when what they mean is "don't discern...just go with it". And it's not cataclysmic AS WE KNOW IT...but from GOD'S vantage IT IS.

I don't want prayer in schools...or any other mandatory public function of Romanism (because that is what is behind it...global apostasy in the name of world peace). I want fellowship with Gideons, John the Baptists, enemies of the world and friends of the most high GOD. That's my take

ANSWER:
On tonight's [when this was originally answered] news they were showing the "prayer" at a couple football games [American football, not 'soccer'] down south (I believe, in Texas?). I must say...if that is what they call "prayer": 1) protestants reciting the "Lord's prayer" and 2) catholics the "Our father" jointly together, and then 'crossing' themselves and erupting -immediately- into cheers, then, it doesn't much matter to me one way or the other, either, whether they 'ban' it. Such "prayer" is the "babbling [of] vain words, as the [heathen]" (Mt6:7) So... they may be quoting Scripture; but that is no more "Christian" than when witches quote from the KJV in their incantations to satan. In the context of this same "sermon", Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven". Many who claim to be "Christian" in that day will try to remind Jesus of all the things they did "in His name", and He is going to say to them, "I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!" (Mt7:21-23)

Now if you think this sounds too "whacked out crazy", well... the people were "astonished" when Jesus said it the first time, too. (vs28) These are not 'my' sentiments and teachings. I'm just repeating what Jesus taught. Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (Jn10:27)

They cannot legislate away 'true' Prayer to the Most High. It's an impossibility when the world and prayer are two entirely different dimensions. The one has nothing to do with the other, does it...

Thing is, there is a 'symbolic' rebellion against God going on...in whatever way they perceive of Him. They don't -know- the reality of the Most High...but they rebel against even the man-made symbols of Him. They want -nothing- to do with Him...whether real or pseudo.

But you can be sure that any coming militancy on the matter of public prayer will not be a 'Godly' matter. It will be political, just like the Catholic/Protestant wars of the middle ages were, and like the Northern Irish, or Lebanese/Christian squabbles of more recent years.

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Street Preaching?

QUESTION:
I have a few questions for you. I want to start going out on the local street corners and start preaching... at the stoplight that holds for some minutes... while the people are stopped...

As you well know this world is hostile to anybody who is "intolerant" And preaching the gospel falls into this category in their eyes. I know that god commands that we should obey those who are in authority, and respect the laws of the land. But we should also preach the gospel, of course. my question to you is this: Should I respect the authorities and not preach, or should i obey god and spread the message? I dont want to intentionally break the law, but if i obeyed the law to the letter, then i wouldnt be able to preach hardly anywhere. Ive thought to maybe go to the local police departments and explain what i want to do and ask their permission, but i just wanted to see what i should do just in case they might say "no." Thanks for your help,

ANSWER:
First of all, I cannot tell you what God is calling you to do. When a 'prophet' is called, God calls the prophet, Himself. "..if your prophet is of Jehovah, I shall make Myself known to him..." (Num12:6) When the elders in Antioch were "ministering to the Lord" the Holy Spirit directed them to "separate Barnabas and S/Paul" for ministry. (Acts13:2)

As for obeying/disobeying the law... We are exhorted to "be subject to the higher authorities.." (Rom13:1) Jesus exhorted for us to be "..wise as serpents and harmless as doves.." (Mt10:16) And then, when the apostles were commanded not to preach about Jesus, Peter replies, "We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts5:29) But you notice when Paul is on trial, and the Roman officials are speaking amongst themselves, they agree that Paul is not guilty of any "crimes". (Acts25:25,26:31) And yet, a time is coming when post-rapture Believers during the 70th week will have to make a choice, 'God or the mark', 'worship the image or die'. (Rev13:15-17,14:9-11)

When Peter responded to the sanhedrin, he was addressing a body that supposedly represented God. Israel was a "theocracy", but its leadership was defunct before God. Israel was supposedly God's people. So, that confrontation was more like a faithful Believer being called before a church council. That was not a civil ["government"] confrontation.

On the other hand, we find Paul using all sorts of methods to preach. When he preached on Areopagus, the Athenians brought him there. (Acts17:19) As he preached he was fulfilling Peter's words regarding being "ready to GIVE AN ANSWER". (1Pt3:15) He spoke, as it were, by invitation. But up until that occasion, he was speaking with whoever would hear, in the synagogue and market place (Acts17:17), "those happening to be there". But this was done in the culture of the region. This is what people would do in the public places; they would debate many issues in public places. The market was also a social gathering place.

Growing up in Japan after WW2, in the rural areas, street meetings were common. This was a kind of thing that was done in that culture. The candy man would also come to the village on his bicycle periodically, blowing his bugle to announce his arrival, sell candy, and then set up his story-telling display and tell stories to the children. (This was prior to TV and there were no movie theaters) In many cultures like that, much of public life was done in the streets, in the town square. And so, that was also the place the prophet would come and proclaim.

In modern "civilized" cultures, society has tended to 'compartmentalize' its life. There are 'places' and 'times' where/when people do different things. When a city posts "Quiet" zones near hospitals, a Christian would obviously not set up to start preaching and creating a ruckus. By the same token, some city ordinances might prohibit such public speaking in some congested areas for "safety" reasons. If a preacher was drawing a crowd, it could become a traffic hazzard. And if that 'generic' shop-keeper feels you are a 'generic' nuisance to his business, and asks you to move your soap-box someplace else, you should respect his livelihood.

But many cities have areas where people are allowed to proclaim whatever it is they are presenting. Street musicians play music, people walk around with picket signs, and some stand on soap boxes. I should think a 'wise' Christian would want to respect a given municipality's "zones" in these things. After all, we are the "foreigners"; our citizenship is in Heaven. (Phil3:20)

Now... if God is calling you to be a -special- kind of prophet, like Jonah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, etc. like the "two witnesses" (Rev11:3), then also be prepared for the possible consequences... to get beat up, arrested, etc. But if you contemplate whether or not God is calling you to this kind of militancy, do remember that Jesus was not of this sort. It says, "He shall not strive, nor cry, nor shall any one hear His voice in the streets". (Mt12:19) I have known of some who would be obnoxious -just- so they could be taunted, harassed and abused... and then they would call it "persecution", and boast to others of their alleged "exploits" for God... and the persecution was "proof" of their exploits.

Again, "wise as serpents and harmless as doves". We are to be like our Master. (Jn15) If you are persecuted, be sure it is because of the Gospel, not because you were being a 'generic' pest.

When I went to college, there were certain plazas on campus where people would demonstrate. There was also a small fellowship of "Christians" who would conduct 'meetings' in these places. They would sing and preach. During the music (proper God-honoring hymns), the hippies would dance around "slow-dance" style, and 'clap' at the end of the "dance"... in ridicule. During sermons, some would waddle up on all-fours and lift a leg, pretending to be doing what dogs do at fire hydrants or bushes. They preached fire and brimstone, damnation and judgment sermons. But in these places they did this, it was proper. They properly did not go into classrooms and try to usurp the teachers' lecturns.

However, there was an occasion I observed: The music department performed Handel's "Messiah". As the last "Amen" chorus was finished, the grandeur of the music and God's Word (even though performed by mostly unregenerates... remember Is55:11), caused a momentary "hush" in the audience as the last reverberations of sound died away in the hall. Piercing the stillness, a boistrous voice from the balcony, "PEOPLE OF BELLINGHAM!!! HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD...!!!" The applause which ensued, began more to silence the kook, than for the performance. The director, who already had "problems" with a few people like me ("Christians") was -NOT- amused, and that "Word of the Lord" became a bad testimony to many that night. It usurped God's Word, as it had just been heard. Rather than pondering God's Word, people left the place cursing the 'kook', and the KIND OF "Christian" they perceived him to be. That was not the proper place or time.

Having said all this... do as the Lord instructs you.

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