What is a Christian?
In simplest definition, a Christian is a follower of Christ.
What is a True or born-again Christian?
Anyone can *say* that they are a Christian.
A born-again Christian is someone who has submitted their soul to God, accepted Christ as Lord, and been filled with the Holy Spirit. This doesn't make them instantly perfect, though some do experience radical changes in their life, but they should now be actively attempting to emulate Christ.
After someone is born-again, they become spiritual infants. Unfortunately some people allowed themselves to stay that way, but that's not the ideal. Christians grow spirituality at different rates, not always reflected by their physical age. There are some fifteen-year-olds who are more mature Christians than some sixty-year-olds.
While the majority of Americans still identify themselves as Christians, not all of them are born-again. True spiritually mature Christians are rare, and even they still make mistakes.
"To err is human, to forgive Divine." - Alexander Pope
Who or what is Christ?
Christ is a title that basically means "Savior" (or Messiah "The Anointed One"). Jesus 'Christ' of Nazareth was the Son of God or God come in the flesh/human form. He is not separate from God but an aspect of God.
St. Patrick used the clover to explain the nature of the Trinity (or God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). The three leaves of the clover are all part of the same plant. Just as these three aspects of God are all part of the same God and work in perfect harmony.
During His time on earth, Jesus was born a Jew. He followed Old Testament law, but He also showed great compassion and forgiveness for those who had failed to perfectly observe the law...which is everyone. Jesus spent his first thirty years on earth living a fairly normal life of a carpenter's son. He then spent three years wandering Jerusalem preaching and preforming miracles (healing the sick, raising the dead, turning water into wine...that sort of thing). While He kept with Him a group of twelve close followers, He also freely associated with everyone from the religious leaders of the day to social rejects like lepers and prostitutes.
While Jesus did not often come out and say blatantly that He was God, He did things, like forgiving sins, that only God was allowed to do. The religious leaders of the day felt threatened by this and arranged for Jesus to be taken by the Roman government and crucified (killed).
This fit into God's plans, as it fulfilled the prophecies which outlined what would happen to the Christ.
When Jesus Christ was crucified, He became the ultimate sacrafice for the sins of mankind. Three days after His death, He came back to life. His defeat of death restored the link between mankind and God, doing away with the need for other intercessors or continued sacrafices.
Jesus Christ is still alive today, though He is now in a glorified form. About forty day after His ressurection, He ascended to heaven. What we have left is His Spirit, the Holy Spirit.
Christ has promised to come again and restore His kingdom on earth, but it is not for us to know when.
The account we have of Christ is found in the four gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, at the beginning of the New Testament in the Bible.
Some more on Jesus: The Jesus Page on Bible.com
Why do Christians hate Harry Potter?
Most Christians do not hate Harry Potter.
A few years ago certain Christians were worried that Harry Potter was promoting witchcraft. This was partly a product of bad timing. Wicca was gaining in popularity before the launch of the Harry Potter series. Because the Harry Potter books were popular and Wicca was growing in popularity, many publishers took the opportunity to start publishing more non-fiction books on witchcraft and fiction series that involved witchcraft which more accurately reflected Wiccan ideas. (There are other factors involved like increased access to the internet, but that could be a very long discussion.)
Because Harry Potter was a more recognizable name, several Christian leaders targetted these fiction books instead of Wicca itself. Many average Christians, who did not know what the books contained, decided to err on the side of caution and avoid the series...
But just as many wanted to judge for themselves. There is story after story of Christians who read Harry Potter (some so they could explain to others why they were bad) and came away loving the books instead.
Unfortunately, some other people went overboard, blaming Harry Potter for all sorts of evil things that weren't in the books at all. It was a confused muck for a while.
The movies cleared up a lot of confusion. Busy people who were hesitant to invest time to read a novel were willing to sit through a two hour movie and came away wondering what all the fuss had been about.
Many Christians have learned to enjoy Harry Potter as a work of fiction. A few even believe J.K. Rowling is promoting Christian ideas under the guise of witchcraft.
Now, there are still many Christians who are nervous about giving the books to young children, worried that they might confuse Harry Potter's brand of magic, which is fairly innocent, with the sort of magic taught in Wicca, which isn't. We acknowledge age appropriateness as a valid concern that we can respect.
There are also a few hard core Harry-haters still out there. And unfortunately the media likes to focus on them. "Conservative Christian Tries to Ban Harry Potter" just makes for a more interesting headline than "Christian Learns to Appreciate Harry Potter as a Literary Work". (Some of this is politically motivated, but this answer has already gone on too long.)
It's the Fundamentalist who hate Harry Potter, right?
Again no, not all Fundamentalists hate Harry. This website is run by a Conservative Fundametalist. The term "Fundamentalist" has taken on some bad connotations, because certain so-called Fundamentalists will focus in on one part of the Bible and ignore the rest of it. Or they'll take verses out of context and use them for their own political purposes.
Fundamentalism, at its best, is about returning to the Fundamental principles of Christianity and accepting the Scriptures as God inspired.
However any Fundamentalist worth their salt knows that the Bible was not written in English. English translations are useful for making the Bible accessible to the average person. But the original texts were written in Hebrew and Greek. Serious scholars know to study things in context, both with their historical atmosphere and in the language that they were written.
Still, even someone relying on the King James version should be able to get the gist of things if they take the time to consider the Bible in entirity and not ignore the parts that they don't like or have trouble understanding.
Is this website anti-Wiccan?
We are not anti-Wiccans. Wiccans are people who God has commanded us to love. They are our fellow sinners. If a Christian has been hateful to you because of your beliefs, we apologize. They're not being good Christians.
We are however anti-Wicca. Wicca is a religion that runs counter to Christianity and the teachings of Christ. The witchcraft Wicca centers around is dangerous and harmful to the practitioner and to some degree the people around them.
I'm a Wiccan. How should I deal with Christians?
Learn the Bible and quote it at them. Really, it's fun. Just think of the confused looks on their faces.
The above answer was just to trick me into reading the Bible wasn't it?
Eh...sort of. We're of the opinion that reading Scriptures will do you good. More than that, we think Wiccans are in a position to pick up on elements of the Scripture that a large portion of Christianity has been ignoring. Namely the pursuit of spiritual gifts, the equality of man and woman in God's eyes, and the empowerment of young people.
Actually, there are a lot of Wiccans who know more about the Bible than the average Christian. We should work to raise the general education level of the Christian populace.
I disagree/find ______ statement offensive/noticed a typo or factual error:
First keep in mind that this website is set up mainly as a dialogue between Christians, and as an attempt to challenge Christians to think more and be better Christians. We're not worried about being politically correct. However we're not actively trying to attack anyone either, and we want to be as factually accurate as possible.
Send comments to email@example.com
We will reply as we are able, but a reply is not guaranteed. We will read what is sent to us, but if it's phrased rudely, we are likely to disreguard it. If you want to engage in an active discussion, please check out the Christian Harry Potter sites and communities on the Links page.
By contrast, I am intrigued and wish to learn more about Christianity:
We are not evangelists, however...
The good news is that the material and support out there is vast. To start we recommend turning to two main sources, the Bible, which is a common frame of reference for all Christians, and God, who is available 24/7 to help you understand, all you need do is ask (questions posed in a humble manner often receive the most prompt and understandable response).
As a second step, attending and consulting with other Christians at a local church is advisable. We don't recommend one denomination over another as denominations are mainly man made, rather than God made, divisions, but we do recommend testing new knowledge gained at church against the Bible and God.
You might try your local library or book store or an online search for further information. Try to determine who wrote the material and what their purpose in writing it is. Check these against other reliable sources.
How do I become a Christian?:
Yeah, we know. It's almost like it's required for every Christian website FAQ.
Often this is presented a series of steps involving the realization that you are a bad or sinful person and in need saving. If the breakdown of steps is beneficial for you, this is good. If you're tired of seeing it, we offer a simplified version:
"God, if you're there, I'm yours."
The words are less important, but the attitude is very important. You are submitting yourself, body and soul to God. You no longer belong to yourself. You have become a servant, a soldier, a team player. That may sound a little intimidating at first, but it's really the greatest relief. Because God is a perfect master, more like a perfect Father, who is concerned not merely with His own needs but yours. It's much like joining a football team and submitting to the coach or playing an instrument in the symphony and following the conductor...(or in Harry Potter's terms it's like joining the Order of the Phoenix and becoming Dumbledore's man through and through. As Harry trusts the understanding of Dumbledore, we also follow the plan of someone far wiser and more powerful than ourselves...only God is far older, wiser, and more powerful than Dumbledore.)
If we truly submit ourselves to God, all the rest falls into place. You will recognize that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will realize that you have sinned, you will ask forgiveness, and you will become a new, better, more moral, and more loving person. If God accepts you, (and if your submission is sincere, we have no reason to think He won't) He will cleanse your soul, He will give you eternal life (reserve you a spot in heaven), and He will call you His child. I won't say He will love you, because He already loves you. He's just waiting for you to come home to Him.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." - Jeremiah 29:11-13
If God loves me, why do bad things happen?:
Free will and consequence. The universe works by a set of rules. Without those rules, it wouldn't work. The spiritual world has rules just as the physical world does. If you drop a penny off a building, it will fall to the ground (unless something else interferes) that's gravity, this is consequence. Most sins are sins because they cause, or have the potential to cause, something bad to happen. Fornication and adultry spread disease and break hearts. Lies spread misinformation and breed confusion. Murder results in premature death and a loss of potential. Etc. The law was given to man as a practical tool to promote health (both physical and spiritual) and social wellbeing.
Punishments exist to discourage people from breaking the law in the first place, but often when something bad happens, it is a consequence rather than a punishment. Unfortunately we don't live in bubbles. Our actions can affect other people, and their actions can affect us. So the bad thing that happened may be the result of an action that wasn't yours.
Love, however is the highest law, and it can shield us from consequence. Just as Lily's sacrificial love sheltered Harry from Voldemort's killing curse, the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ (who is greater and loves us even more deeply than Lily loved Harry) was enough to cover the sins of all the world.
However, since we have free will, we are given the choice of whether or not to accept Christ's love. Grace is not forced on us but received through Faith.
So free will is the problem then?:
Yes and no. Free will is our greatest gift and greatest responsibility. Without it, we'd be nothing more than fleshy robots, spouting whatever had been programmed into us. Free will gives our love and our choices meaning.
And as Dumbledore said, "It is our choices, Harry, that show who we truly are..." (CoS Ch.18)
|Disclaimer: This website does not represent Warner Bros., J.K. Rowling, any publisher or religious organization. We are simply Christians and fans who want to provide useful information and discussion on the topics of and surrounding Harry Potter.|