I was intrigued. I could relate to Harry Potter. I've seen him in therapy a hundred times.
When I was asked to be on yet another TV program to discuss Harry Potter, I responded: "What more needs to be said? In my opinion, the topic has been run into the ground."

The producer pressed: "Public interest is still high and probably will remain so. We want your view not only as a mom but as a therapist."

I reluctantly agreed to do the show. My hesitancy had to do with the line that has been drawn in the sand by the Christian community.

On the one hand you have those who feel anything to do with Harry Potter is evil. On the other, you have the lovers of literature who see the book series as classic and compare it to the writings of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

I've sat at swimming events and ballet programs, in church and in shoe stores listening to parents attribute their children's newfound reading interest to Harry Potter. I've heard others claim that the books elevate evil and unwittingly seduce kids into the occult. Both sides are passionate and believe their position is correct.

As I prepared for my TV appearance, I wondered why I was being asked to join this great debate. My children have no interest in the books or the movie, so I had no passion for the topic as a mom. And I generally dislike this type of discussion because it tends to alienate the Christian community from the very people we need to reach.

But as a therapist, I was intrigued. After I read the first paragraphs of the book, I could relate to Harry Potter. I've seen him in therapy a hundred times.

Harry is a child of trauma (murdered parents) who is forced to live with people who care little about him and show no genuine affection. He is often mistreated and emotionally neglected. Essentially alone, he faces the world as one of the disenfranchised.

What he finds among the world of wizards and witches is acceptance. It is the supernatural world of evil that mentors him, befriends him and allows him to operate in his gifts.

I thought of all the children of divorce who feel like Harry--traumatized by the loss of the family unit and often forced to live with new people who have no interest in their emotional lives. They are the modern-day Cinderellas whose princes never come.

I thought of those who have been sexually molested and learn to survive by fantasizing and mentally disconnecting from their physical bodies. Or those who know rejection because of their gay lifestyle, past abortion, addictions or homelessness.

They receive neither love nor acceptance from the church. But in the company of sinners, they are welcomed.

And when they enter a world of darkness, the longing for power and love draws them. Like Harry, they are the disenfranchised who yearn (as we all do) for something bigger than our mortal selves.

Then I remembered a "Harry Potter" in Brooklyn, New York--an unlovable man who swaggered into a church one Easter. The man was homeless and often slept outside the doors of the church.

He made his way to the altar, heading for pastor Jim Cymbala. Cymbala's first thought was: Oh, no, not on Easter! This guy is probably a panhandler.

The stench of urine overwhelmed him. But as the Holy Spirit convicted Cymbala of his judgment, he obediently turned his head toward the man.

A miracle happened. The stench became a sweet smell, and the pastor saw the stranger with Christ's eyes. As he prayed for and embraced him, the homeless found a home. Thankfully, it wasn't a place of wizardry or lies. It was the love of Christ.

People long to be a part of something that connects them to unconditional love. They have gifts that either have never been awakened or are used for evil rather than good. They long for a supernatural power to help them overcome rejection and trauma.

When the church awakens to the need around us, we won't be hearing so much about what's wrong with Harry Potter. People will be talking about what is right with the body of Christ.


Linda S. Mintle, Ph.D., is a Virginia-based licensed clinical social worker and author of Divorce Proofing Your Marriage (Siloam Press), available at www.charismawarehouse.com. She welcomes your questions about the tough issues of life at www.drlindahelps.com.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was the first Hispanic pastor in history to pray at a presidential inauguration.

    At Trump Inauguration, Charismatic Leaders Pray Boldly in Jesus' Name. Is This Foreshadowing a New Day in America?

    It was an amazing day to let religious freedom ring in America.

  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what was going on!

    Jennifer LeClaire Releases Urgent Prophetic Warning Over Washington, D.C.

    When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what ...

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Does any of this reflect what's going on in your marriage?

    9 Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship for a Believer

    A healthy sexual relationship for a Christian couple takes effort, and it's worth working for.

  • Churches don't address this topic affecting women.

    The Secret Sorrow Women Carry

    This woman breaks the silence about a taboo subject to help restore many women.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit