According to the June 21st issue of Rick Warren´s weekly newsletter, the headline above is accurate. This week´s Ministry Toolbox, which is Warren´s way of communicating with pastors and church leaders around the world, has a link titled "Recommended Reading List." While the list is actually that of contemplative promoter James Emery White, (a contributor to Warren´s newsletter), it ended up on Warren´s own newsletter as recommended reading. 1
On the Recommended Book list is the following description of the upcoming Harry Potter release:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. Though the seventh and final installment is yet to be released (July 21, to be exact), when it does, it will be well-worth reading. Though some would disagree, I am one to put Rowling´s work in the camp of fantasy literature, along with Lewis and Tolkien, with her use of magic more mechanical than occultic. I found her earlier six volumes instant classics of the genre, and the final book will undoubtedly cement this series as among the best written.
Clearly, Rick Warren is OK with Harry Potter or this would not be promoted on his website as well as in his e-newsletter.
While many people think Harry Potter is harmless (even many Christians), facts should not be ignored. Some of those facts are presented by research analyst Ray Yungen. He explains what he has discovered about Harry Potter:
There are probably very few people in the western world who haven´t heard of the Harry Potter book series phenomenon. Not just millions, but tens of millions of adults, adolescents, and children have read these books or seen the movie versions of them. Going by the numbers of the books that have been purchased, few under 25 have not been influenced to some degree by the adventures of this boy wizard. And many ask, what is wrong with that?
The Potter series, though fiction in the technical sense, does make a very real connection to the realm of metaphysics in one spot specifically. In the book called Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, one of the main characters, a professor, tells her class that they will learn divination or see into the future. It´s at this point that the book departs from the world of make believe, and enters into the actual teachings of Wicca (witchcraft). The teacher informs the students:
Crystal gazing is a particularly refined art.… We shall start by practicing relaxing the conscious mind and external eyes, ... so as to clear the Inner Eye and the superconscious.
All one has to do is type in the word "superconscious" on Google on the Internet and see just how highly promoted that term is. It comes up nearly 130,000 times! Keep in mind, this term is used specifically within the context of metaphysics, and is never used in a non-metaphysical sense. What this means is that any impressionable young person who reads this term, could become more open and comfortable with the mystical realm in real life.
This is what you would be taught if you attended a real school of witchcraft. Relaxing the conscious mind is, of course, meditation, and the Inner Eye is an occult term used for the Third eye chakra from which all psychic powers, such as divination, spring. But the absolute clincher is the term "superconscious." If you were to ask any New Age teacher, guru, or practitioner what the "superconscious" is, you would get the same answer--it´s the New Age concept of God. In fact, Buckland´s Complete Book Of Witchcraft actually uses the term "Superconsciousness" in reference to what or to whom witches tune into during meditation.
There is another more subtle, yet perhaps more far-reaching aspect to the Potter books. In the series, those people who are "non-magical" or ordinary are called "muggles." They are portrayed as dull, backward, and lacking in personality. It is inferred that if you are a "muggle," you are living an inferior and unsatisfying life. Now if there were no such thing as "muggles" this comparison would be meaningless. How can you feel bad about being something that doesn´t exist? But, as I have already shown, The Prisoner of Azkaban presents real witchcraft. So then, not to have access to the "superconscious" makes one a "muggle," (i.e., a non-mystic). This means that the spiritual beliefs of potentially millions of young people, many of them from conservative homes too, may be altered if they pick up this outlook, even subconsciously; thus the Harry Potter books may be a highly effective tool in giving the New Age movement a boost that is unimaginable. It will implant in the minds of multitudes that to fail to embrace mysticism makes you, well, muggle-like. (from For Many Shall Come in My Name, 2nd ed., pp. 94-95)
The fact that Rick Warren has given the green light this week to Harry Potter through his recommendation of James Emery White´s reading list could have disastrous effects on the spiritual lives of countless people, potentially 400,000 pastors (the number who have done the Purpose Driven Life program) and the millions of congregants who sit under the teachings of these pastors.
Rick Warren´s continuous promotion of the New Age (e.g., emerging spirituality, contemplative (mysticism), spiritual formation, ecumenism, etc.) has drawn virtually no response by most of today´s Christian leaders. Either they have wholeheartedly supported Rick Warren´s teachings or have perhaps, and just as detrimental, said nothing at all. This week´s uplifting of Harry Potter is just another Purpose Driven step away from biblical truth and a closer view of the occult.
Interestingly, five and a half years ago in 2001, Rick Warren ran a story on his website that spoke up against Harry Potter. That article made a clear statement that Harry Potter was dangerous for kids because of its witchcraft element. All we can say to that is, "You´ve come along way Rick Warren!"
Submitted 6/23/2007 10:56:55 PM | Author: Lighthouse Trails Research Site