According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pastor: Clergy can love Harry Potter epic tale of good vs. evil

J.K. Rowling’s tale correlates to Ephesians  6
Friday, July 15, 2011

It seems as if the whole world has been holding its breath in glorious expectation until they could once again enter into the magical world of Harry Potter. Advance ticket sales for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two, reached more than $25 million.

It seems as if the only enemies in the world that Harry has are Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters. But that hasn’t always been the case. It wasn’t all that long ago when not everyone was wild about Harry.

When the first Potter movie came out, The Augusta Chronicle was flooded with letters to the editor denouncing the Boy who Lived. Why? Because there was concern that reading or watching Harry Potter would lead countless scores of people into the dark arts.

The movie was denounced as anti-Christian and a bad influence on children with its portrayal of magic and sorcery. Passages from the Bible were quoted to bolster the argument that to enter the world of Harry Potter was to enter the world of the devil. It’s hard to imagine now, but whether a Christian should see the movie or read the books was a real controversy in evangelical circles.

Fast forward 10 years and the biggest controversy is to decide whether to brave the opening-weekend crowds or wait a few days to see the final film.

So, what has changed? For those of us who have always loved Harry, even amongst us clergy, there was always the understanding that this was an epic tale of good vs. evil.

At one point in The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry asks his godfather, Sirus Black, if he (Harry) is a bad person. Sirus replies that Harry is a very good person to whom bad things have happened. It’s the goodness and courage of Harry in the face of evil that has made him so attractive.

Not long after The Sorcerer’s Stone was first released, America faced pure evil with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. You didn’t need to enter a magical world to face a power that did not wish us well; it was right here in our own back yard.

For many, especially children, Harry was the face of resistance against evil; it didn’t matter how young you were, you still had the power to fight darkness and win.

Ephesians 6 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against … the powers of this world … against this present darkness. Therefore take us the full armor of God that you may be able to resist in that evil day.”

That was the fight of Harry, Ron and Hermione and remains the struggle for each of us today.

What might be the biggest controversy with Harry today? That it is the last installment and the deep wish that J. K. Rowling would go to her keyboard, unleash her talent and once again lead us into the magical world of Harry Potter.

The Rev. Cynthia Taylor is pastor of Church of the Holy Comforter, an Episcopal congregation in Martinez.

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