"Uninspired Witchcraft with Sophomoric Aphorisms"

Content: -4 Gross immorality, and/or worldview problems.

What You Need To Know:

In HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, runs a vicious campaign to discredit Harry Potter for claiming the evil Dark Lord, Voldemort, has returned. At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Fudge installs a spy, strict disciplinarian Dolores Umbridge. Umbridge won’t teach the students to defend themselves against the black magic of Voldemort. Led by Harry, the students set up a secret class to learn to defend themselves. Complications ensue. The story culminates in a magic battle between the forces of good and evil at the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic.

The fifth HARRY POTTER movie is only fitfully exciting. The special effects are unimpressive, as is the music. Also, the plot is lackluster, the characters are mostly shallow stereotypes, and the performances by the major adult actors are uneven. As with other HARRY POTTER books and movies, this one subjects children to ugly creatures, fantastic violence and the evils of witchcraft. It also instills a spirit of rebellion in children by telling them that breaking the rules is exciting and everyone can overcome their sins without Jesus Christ.


(PaPaPa, OOO, B, FRFR, PCPC, MM) Very strong pagan worldview mixed with very strong occult, pro-witchcraft elements where the hero and his friends conquer evil villains through evil means, i.e., witchcraft, with some brief talk about the importance of love and friendship, and people wish one another Merry Christmas and one idiomatic reference to prayer (as in “You better pray the villain doesn’t do that”), but in an occult context with no God-centered theology, plus some anthropocentric, neo-Pelagian, false religious talk about choosing the good within you with no appeal to God or Jesus Christ, who is the only Way, Truth and Life, and immoral pagan, politically correct, anti-conservative elements where breaking the rules is applauded and using discipline is given a stereotypical treatment so that those who use it are considered insufferable evil snobs and prigs; two obscenities and several mentions of the English word “bloody”; strong, sometimes scary action violence with only a little blood includes evil wraiths attack two teenagers, teenager uses witchcraft against evil wraiths, witchcraft spells knock people off their feet many times, witches and warlocks battle one another using fantasy witchcraft, teacher forces hero to use magic quill pen that painfully wounds his hand, some magical explosions, magical explosions shatter glass, villains use witchcraft to make high shelves fall on running children, one or two punches, hero has nightmares of villain attacking other people, and villain invades hero’s mind and even tries to possess him at one point; no explicit sex, but two teenagers do kiss several times in a romantic moment; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking; and, rebellion, anger, disobedience, breaking the rules is seen as exciting, and hero abandons girlfriend after villains force her to tell an important secret.

More Detail:

The fifth HARRY POTTER book is one of the two most boring, shallow books of the series (the sixth book being the other one). The cast and crew of the fifth movie try to liven things up a bit, but they can’t paper over the weakness of the story. Perhaps author J. K. Rowling probably should have stopped at four books (or at least 400 pages) and done another series of four HARRY POTTER books with a different storyline if she wanted to stay on the HARRY POTTER gravy train.

Even so, as shown by the number of copies sold, HARRY POTTER remains a phenomenon that’s still attracting millions of children. Thus, the movie version of HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX is liable to still do great business at the box office. Regrettably, however, this means that even more children will be lured away from God and His Infallible Word, which says that witchcraft is evil and abhorrent. Instead of dreaming about the joys that God gives us through Jesus Christ, they will be dreaming of casting spells, using magic spells, riding brooms, and rebelling against their parents.

In the story of HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, is running a vicious campaign to discredit Harry Potter for claiming that the evil Dark Lord, Voldemort, has returned. He forces Harry into a hearing to expel him from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for using magic outside the school. Harry is acquitted, however, because he was only defending himself against a pair of evil rogue wraiths known as Dementors.

Fudge has a Plan B, however. He installs a spy in the post of teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts, Dolores Umbridge. Umbridge is a strict disciplinarian who won’t let the students know how to defend themselves against the black magic of Voldemort and his minions. Led by Harry and his friends, Ron and Hermoine, the students set up a secret class to learn how to defend themselves.

Of course, complications ensue. Umbridge eventually gets the upper hand, Professor Dumbledore, Harry’s mentor, is fired, and Harry is still bothered by nightmares of Voldemort, which makes Harry doubt his own goodness. It all culminates in a magic battle between the forces of good and evil at the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic, where Voldemort wants Harry to retrieve a prophecy about them that reveals their destiny.

In the Bible, the word witchcraft also means rebellion against God. HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX takes this literally. Not only does it teach that it’s okay to use witchcraft to defeat evil, it also explicitly teaches that breaking the rules can be exciting. The movie also has a neo-Pelagian view of good and evil. In that view, you don’t need God’s help to overcome the evil within you. All you have to do is learn how to choose the good on your own using mere willpower.

Of course, the world of HARRY POTTER is still an elite occult world where secret knowledge is the way to power and success. ORDER OF THE PHOENIX tries to mitigate that by saying that anyone can become a great wizard, but once again, that involves learning the secret occult knowledge of how to do witchcraft and how to wave a magic wand properly. There is no teaching that God gives people special gifts so they can find their place in His Creation. Instead, His free gift of salvation is just that “free” to anyone with or without gifts, or any sex, at any age!

As suggested above, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX is only fitfully exciting. The magic of the big screen makes the story more exciting than the book, but not by much. The special effects are extremely unimpressive, as is most of the music. In addition, the plot is lackluster and has some holes. For instance, much of the plot can be done away with if only Harry and his mentor, Professor Dumbledore, confided in one another. Also, like the book, the characters are fairly shallow. Making matters worse for the movie is that the adult performances are uneven, especially Imelda Staunton, who plays Dolores Umbridge and delivers a stereotypical performance for a stereotypical character. In fact, most of the movie’s villains are extremely weak and not particularly menacing, including Voldemort, who needs some serious plastic surgery. If only Voldemort could fix his face, perhaps he’d be less disagreeable, and even find the good friends that Harry says he lacks.

Watching 6- and 7-year-old children walk out of the press screening for the new Harry Potter movie (as well as the people with little witchcraft symbols and S&M dresses) is always an opportunity to reflect on the malignant corruption of our culture. Aside from the fact that these children are exposed to ugly creatures, fantastic violence and worthless incantations, this movie has dialogue that sounds like it comes out of Stuart Smalley’s Daily Affirmations on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. Namely, when Professor Dumbledore sits Harry down and tells him, “You are not a bad person. Every person has light and darkness in them. You have a choice.” Imagine saying this to Michael Cho after he has had his killing spree. Or, Adolf Hitler.

Contrary to Dumbledore’s idiotic aphorisms, there are bad people, and, without God, you cannot choose the good. But, there is a Name above all names who can solve this problems and banish the darkness. And, that name is Jesus Christ.

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