Proverbs 22:6 - KJV "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

Harry Potter and your child. One of the things I try to do each day, one of
my main goals of this Devotional, is to help you translate your Christian
faith into your real day to day life. Taking the spiritual side of our
life, and making it real, in our very real day to day living. For those who
have been reading these Devotionals very long, you also know that I hold
the Bible to be God's inspired, inerrant Word, and THE absolute Truth, the
final authority over all matters in our life. There is no room for compromise.
One of the biggest things that has hit our popular culture in the last
couple of years that is an issue for anyone with children, are the Harry Potter books and
upcoming movie. Harry Potter has received much international attention due to the fact it
has become very popular with children, and the books have actually helped many kids learn to
enjoy reading or read at a higher level. These books and upcoming have also come under
incredible attacks from the Christian community due to the sorcery, magic, and other
occult/mystical/NewAge aspects to the storyline.

***Please do not miss this. My goal today is NOT to bash the Harry Potter
books and movie, but to encourage parents to take an even greater role in monitoring
what your children read, hear, and watch. Even more important, to take the TIME to
put what is in our popular culture like Harry Potter, N Sync, MTV, and all else they are

While taking our faith and making it real in our daily life is an underlying
motivation in all of these Devotionals, I try to be practical. I am not
going to debate the content of these books or movie, because it clearly has
much New Age elements to its' storyline. In all due respect, and
understanding the good intentions most have, I do find the outcry of these
books and movie by some groups to be a bit much. I am not defending these
books in any way. When I was growing up, my favorite movie, and one of the most
popular in movie history, was the Wizard of Oz. Witches good and bad, a
wizard, magical spells were all part of this classic story. STORY. My
parents, fine Christians, would explain to me in my younger years the
fantasy aspects of Oz. They also provided a daily environment of prayer and
time in the Word, with the church being a large part of our family life.
Because of that, I clearly understood the Wizard of Oz was a story,
fictional, and not real!!! I have spoken recently with some older saints
who were alive when the Wizard of Oz first came out. They tell me that this movie
which is now considered one of the most loved of all times, received the exact same
criticism from the Christian community of that day, as Harry Potter is getting today.

The real bottom line to this Devotional today is for you parents, who have
children, to be an active part of their life. God gave each of us freewill,
that means your kids too. But while they are growing up, until they leave
home, God has given you the responsibility of building a spiritual
foundation in their life. It is, without a doubt, the most important job or
ministry you have. In that capacity, you should know, and be aware of what
they watch on TV, on the Internet. You should know and be aware of the
books they read. There should be open and honest discussion of the content
of what they are watching, hearing, on a daily basis so that you can help
them understand this world we live in. More importantly, help them to put
the things they are taking in each day in a Biblical perspective. This
daily relationship with your children will give them the spiritual
foundation from which they will build their life on, FROM WHICH THEY WILL
MAKE THEIR DECISIONS FROM!!! Again, God gave each
of us freewill, and as the Prodigal Son did, as I did, as many have done,
they may rebel and forsake the road they should be on, for their own. There
does come a point when your only recourse is to pray, and trust the
foundation you have laid in their life to hold them. Also, never forget,
God loves them even more than you do.

Again, please do not read into this Devotional as an endorsement of the
Harry Potter book series. Personally, I think the Left Behind series is
much better, and much more profitable because of its' content. I will not however
tell you that your child will be irreversibly harmed by reading these books
or seeing the movie. It all boils down to your involvement in their life!!! You need to know
what they are reading, what they are watching, so that you are able to give them
perspective. You can't shield them from the things in this world that are
not pleasant. They are living in a sin-filled world where they are going to
be exposed daily to the effects of sin on our world. Your intimate
involvement in their lives, especially in those 0-18 years when they are
developing into what they will be as adults is critical. Rather than trying
to control their environment which is ultimately impossible, help them to
understand it so that when they start making their own decisions, they will
have a Biblical basis for those choices.

I love you and care about you so much. I know everyone loves their kids so
much. I spend much of my prayer time each day praying over your children as
you send in prayer requests for different situations. Open your heart and
hear what the Lord is saying to YOU today through this Devotional, and know
that there is no book, no movie, no Internet site, nothing this world can
produce that has more power than the God of this universe. Help them to
understand that while Harry Potter is a fictional character like the Wizard
of Oz is, God is very real, with very real powers, and He is the only one
who deserves our praise and worship. I know many will be disappointed I
didn't take this time to blast Harry Potter the way most Christian leaders are
today. I think it is FAR MORE PRODUCTIVE to use this issue to encourage and empower
parents! The spiritual foundation you lay in their lives while they are young, is
what will sustain them when they are older. THAT IS THE MESSAGE TODAY!!!!!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

PART 2 - Reflecting on PART 1

Harry Potter....again. I have to admit, in the 27 plus months that I have
written these Devotionals..every morning..I have never received more mail
than I did from the Devotional I wrote last Tuesday on Harry Potter. This
Devotional goes to over 840,000 email accounts worldwide. I know of over
100 websites including my own, that post my Devotional daily. We are the
only website I know of, that actually sends a real, personal response
instead of an AUTO-RESPOND message to every incoming email we receive. With
all of the people who forward it to others, there are easily over 1 million
daily who read these words I write each morning. I pray every morning and
ask God to guide me, to inspire me, to give you something each day that will
bless your lives in a practical way. Obviously, dealing with such a vast
audience, many who are not saved, and dealing with the issues of life I
address daily, I get an incredible amount of negative mail each day.
(Positive too!!! Thanks, I deeply appreciate it!!!.) That is fine. As
someone who tries to simply proclaim the truth of God's Word, the negative
responses are not really aimed at me, but actually at God. I am responsible
for doing my job, delivering the message God wants me to share that day, and
what each person does with that message is then between them and God. This
is a good lesson for you when you share your faith with others. If they
accept what you say, the are accepting God, not you. If they reject what
you say, they are rejecting God, not you. I will apologize up front if some
of my flesh is in this Devotional today. But based on the emails I
received, I have to believe I did a poor job in getting my message across on
this Harry Potter issue.

The entire purpose of my email last Tuesday on the Harry Potter issue was
NOT to debate the merits of Harry Potter, but encourage parents to do a more
responsible job in monitoring what their kids see and hear, and take the
time to put it all in a biblical context from which they could make
decisions later in life, from a biblically based perspective when you were
not around to control what they would be exposed to. I obviously did a bad
job of bringing this message, since so many of those who responded, thought
that I was endorsing Harry Potter, and had become a heretic overnight.
Anyone who has read my Devotionals very long understand that nobody will
stand up for the Word of God as strong as I do. It is the inspired,
inerrant Word of God. It is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH that we can all base our
very lives on. I recently did a Devotional encouraging people to stay away
from Horoscopes and the psychics since God clearly speaks against this as
sin. I even laid out a clear Biblical context for this warning. Here are
the Scriptures. Genesis 44:15, Numbers 22:7, Deut 18:14, I Samuel 6:2, Jer
27:9, Ezekiel 13:23,21:21, Zechariah 10:2, Acts16:16 Genesis 41:24, Exodus
7:11,8:19, 9:11 Deut 18:11 I Samuel 28:11 Isaiah 8:19, 2:6, Daniel 2:27,5:7
Deut 18:10, 2 Kings 17:17, 21:6, Isaiah 47:9, Malachi 3:5 Acts 8:11, 13:6
Exodus 22:18,Leviticus 19:31, 20:6, I Samuel 15:23 28:7, 2 Kings 9:22,
23:24, I Chronicles 10:13, Isaiah 8:19, 19:3, 29:4, Galatians 5:20. These
are the same verses that apply to the current Harry Potter issue.

I realize that much of what people are saying, has been due to the public
stance many major national ministries have taken on this issue. As some of
you know, I was involved in a very big way in the Christian television world
for many years before I launched My ministry not only
produced thousands of hours of programming seen on Christian television
stations all over the nation, but I personally consulted with many large
national ministries in the area of fundraising. I can tell you from
personal experience that many of the major ministries you watch on TV plan
their ministry around issues that they can successfully raise money on. I
am saddened that many large national ministries who are so strongly speaking
out on Harry Potter, are doing so to sell books and tapes that they have
produced on this issue. Just like so many have used the homosexual and
abortion issues to raise incredible amounts of money. The elements of Harry Potter that are
dangerous, have been with us in so many other forms for many, many years since Biblical times. Yet when has anyone really spoken out so boldly about witchcraft? About horoscopes? These are the
Biblical element that make Harry Potter dangerous. I have to be honest.
One reason Liveprayer does NOT sell books, tapes to support this work of God we do, is so that I
don't have to fall it he traps so many other ministries do of surviving
based on getting people riled up over the popular issues of the day. We
have chosen to simply share what God has for us to say that day, and rely on
the Lord to move on people's hearts to support this ministry.

The key to what I am saying today is to reiterate my message of last
Tuesday. ***Please do not miss this. My goal today is NOT to bash the
Harry Potter books and movie, but to encourage parents to take an even
greater role in monitoring what your children read, hear, and watch. Even
more important, to take the TIME to put what is in our popular culture like
Harry Potter, N Sync, MTV, and all else they are exposed to, in a Biblical

As dangerous as some of the elements of Harry Potter are, based on the tens
of thousands of email I get daily, I can tell you that children living in
broken homes are far more damaged by that experience than all the Harry
Potter's ever could harm them.
After taking in over 93 million in the box office over this past weekend, I
can tell you that there is no more evil in the world today than last
Thursday. J. K. Rowlings, the author of Harry Potter is lost. UNSAVED!!!
What do you expect from someone who does not know the Lord? I am actually
more concerned over those who claim to know the Lord. Popular icons our
children look up to like Britney Spears and NSync come to mind. Britney
claims to be a Christian, yet is living with her boyfriend. Anyone who
has watched her music videos , live concerts, see that she has no shame when
it comes to using her sexuality to promote herself. While many who are part
of NSync claim to be Christians, if you ever read the lyrics to their music,
the overtly support sex outside of marriage and other things the Word of God
specifically talks against. I am not questioning their salvation since only
God knows their hearts. However, they have allowed those who control their
careers, the machine they are part of that derives hundreds of millions of
dollars from their careers, to compromise whatever faith they claim to have.
To be blunt, they have sold out. There are tons of other examples from
popular books, movies music, and television I can talk about. I only bring
out Britney and NSync since they claim to be Christians. Please, for you
who like Britney and NSync, save the emails in defense of them. Again, only
God knows their hearts, and I am not here to judge them, only state the
obvious. Their "stage performances" , the lyrics of their music, judge
them. Would you want your son, or daughter, on stage being overtly sexually
suggestive and singing about sex between people not married and other things
clearly against the Word of God? Regardless what their personal faith may
be, the bottom line is they have sold out to the world. There is NO defense
for that.

I love you and care about you so much. I am sorry that so many of you
missed the message I was bringing about how as parents, we have a
responsibility to build a Biblical foundation in the lives of our children
from which they will operate the rest of their lives. Is Harry Potter a
legitimate issue? Yes due to the popularity of the books and movie. Is
Harry Potter the anti-Christ. NO! Will reading Harry Potter, or watching
the movie destroy your children's lives? Most likely no. Again, what I
want you to take from this is that as parents, you MUST get involved in your
children's lives. You have every right, and responsibility to censor what
you allow in your home. But censor it with an explanation of why, so that
hopefully was they get older, they can make that same quality decision for
themselves. In 3 months Harry Potter will be off the radar screen, and
trust me, there will be another "hot issue" to get all excited about. The
fact is, as parents, we need to be constantly diligent about what our
children are being exposed to, and put it into a Biblical context for them.
Never forget, that in a very short time, you won't be around to make those
decisions for them, and the foundation that you lay in their life now, is
what will carry them the rest of their life. I pray today that you will
take the time, put in the effort, to make that a strong, biblically based
foundation from which they will be able to operate from the rest of their
journey here on earth.

Again, I apologize that the real message of my Devotional seemed to have
been lost. Bashing the elements of Harry Potter to me is as much of a waste
of time as bashing homosexuality, adultery, or abortion. I am more
interested in changing people's hearts. that is the only REAL change.
Anyone who reads the Word of God knows that God condemns witchcraft and
sorcery. It is a sin. Period. My larger concern is NOT over the obvious
sin that is promoted, but over the role parents play in the shaping of their
children's lives. Not just in being responsible and censoring material that
could be harmful to them, but in helping them develop a foundation from
which to make those same Biblically based decisions for themselves when
their parents are NOT around. ***NEVER FORGET that your greatest ministry,
not matter what else the Lord may have you involved in, is TO YOUR CHILDREN.
There is NO GREATER ministry that you will EVER be involved in. Anyone who
is a parent, is in full time ministry to God as much as anyone you will ever
see on TV or hear on the radio. As a minister of God, it is your
responsibility to help lay a Biblically-based foundation in the lives of
those God has given you to minister to..your children! That is the REAL
MESSAGE of Harry Potter.

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller