"Now in our 22nd year of standing for truth!"
Eric & Melanie Barger
Update - January 20, 2005
In this email I'm going to share some pertinent emails concerning the growing effects and fallout from both the Harry Potter phenomenon and from the controversial Lord of the Rings.
We'll also continue with the next chapter of my book on personal victory and spiritual warfare, Disarming the Powers of Darkness.
I travel to California on Friday (1/21) for two weeks of ministry. Thanks for your prayers concerning my speaking itinerary and for the general effectiveness of the ministry. Thanks also for your financial support. We are still in a deficit and with the first of the month fast approaching your gifts will be welcomed and appreciated.
God bless you!
"I'm a Christian but..."
Someone identifying themselves as "A True Christian with a mind" wrote:
I would like to know if you find the Wizard of Oz a decent movie for children, or anyone, for that matter. EVERYTHING you find in Harry Potter is found in the Wizard of Oz.
Exactly. This is one of the key points I make as I speak publicly or write on this issue - we have been conditioned to accept white and black magic as normal. Led by Disney, there has been a slow but sure desensitization process over the past 50 or so years to bring us to a place where the occult is now normal. How tragic that Christians cannot discern how emphatically God disdains this. His word is completely clear on this issue. There is NO such thing as "white" magic...supernatural power comes from one of two sources (God or Satan) and when those who profess to be "Christians" come back to thinking and acting biblically on this and other issues then and only then can they expect the blessing of God in their lives. God desires to abundantly bless our homes but because of our insistence with being entertained by literature, movies, TV, cartoons, video games, etc. - whose contents God's word speaks directly against - we short circuit His best for our lives.
How about the Chronicles of Narnia, which were written by a Christian? What are your feelings about that series? I mean, the second (or third, I’m not quite sure) book is titled, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. It seems to me, that because the book involves magic you are all upset about this, but there are many books in acclaimed literature that uses magic in them. (Lord of the Rings is a ringing example, again, written by a Christian.)
If things go as planned, we are going to do an extensive article on the Narnia series sometime in the future. However, let me say it again, if any book, TV show, movie, etc employs a hero using "white" magic it is completely...I mean completely outside the blessing of Scripture. How clear do I need to be? Read Deuteronomy 18:9-12.
"When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee."
The word "abomination" there is the Hebrew word "Towebah." This is the strongest condemnatory language used about any issue in the entire Bible from the mouth of God! God has a holy standard and until His Church decides to follow it - instead of trying to call themselves "Christians" while they entertain themselves with images and stories that His Word expressly forbids - then they are only fooling themselves that the Lord is going to answer their prayers, protect them, provide for them, etc, etc.
Tolkien was a Catholic and by his writings we might not be too sure that he was an authentic Bible Believer or not. You need to read my article "Lord of the Rings: Christian or Cultic" at www.ericbarger.com/lotr.c.c.2.htm.
What gets annoying about this type of hype, is the automatic “knee-jerk” reaction to Harry Potter because they use the word “wizard” or “magic” The Wizard of Oz employs all of the same themes as Harry Potter, but, of course, since this is a “classic” no one is going to accuse this movie of satanic messages.
Knee-jerk reactionary I am not. I have researched, written about and spoken on the occult for over 21 years. My assessment of Potter is not because the word "witch" or "wizard" is used. Its because witchcraft itself is the main message and is completely glorified in the series. I sincerely believe that Harry Potter is the boldest endorsement for witchcraft, sorcery and the occult that has come along since I've been in the ministry. This is obvious from reading just a few pages of any of the 5 books. There can be no doubt that witchcraft is the opposite of Christianity and that wizards and the like end up in the Lake of Fire (See Revelation 21:7-8)!
I sight the Wizard of Oz, Snow White, etc., in my seminars as the main cause for we have progressed to where we are today with witchcraft being accepted as normal. Harry Potter could never have become the biggest book series in history unless we had become conditioned to it. Plus, on a purely literary level, the Potter series just simply isn't that well crafted.
I think, perhaps, we should be attacking the true evil in the world—you know, poverty, child abuse, homelessness—and stop bickering around about a movie because it uses the “new” term “magic” (gasp! Say it isn’t so!)
Nice try...however, we are concerned with the areas you mention. In the past 6 months our ministry has given several thousand dollars to rescue children from slavery in Thailand, let alone other projects outside the sphere of our particular area of ministry. But the Lord calls different people to concentrate on different issues. He has called us into apologetics which is the defense of the faith.
You would think that Christians would be concerned with following His Word. Tragically, I find that many Christians seem concerned with how close to the world they can play and not be burned instead of seeing how close to the Lord they can walk so they won't be burned! Maybe that's why I get so many people writing letters such as yours. Perhaps God is trying to get a message through...???
If indeed this statement is true then I suggest you read, you study and you pray and ask the Lord if He likes His children, who He sent Jesus to die for, entertaining themselves and defending things (like books that endorse witchcraft) that are directly related to the works of the Devil.
"Mistaken about Potter"
Dear Mr. Barger,
I was so happy to come across your site today while looking for some information on Harry Potter. I am a born again Christian and am currently trying to correct a mistake I made with my son regarding Harry Potter. We have been a home schooling family for the past nine years and my son is in a private Christian school for the first time this year. He came home asking to read one of the Potter books for his reading assignment because some of the other kids at school were raving about how good they were. My son has never been interested in reading so to see him so excited about it was good. My husband and I had always said no to Harry Potter in the past. I conceded, however, and bought him the first book. He read it and asked for the next one. He did not read the second one as quickly, but bought the first movie with his own money, with my permission. I honestly do not know what I was thinking. I knew from the moment I gave consent to the book that it was wrong. I felt the urgings from the Holy Spirit and did not heed them. To make a long story short I have admitted my mistake to my son and have tried as best I can to explain to him why he is no longer allowed to watch the movies or read the books. Needless to say this has not gone over well.
My main reason for writing is to see if you can help me with the question my son (12 yrs) and daughter (15yrs) have raised. What is the difference between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings? In my obviously feeble mind there is a difference in that Tolkien was a believer and has said that his motivation for writing was a spiritual one. I have done quite a bit of reading on him and his life and have read the books and seen the movies. Am I missing the mark here? Am I being deceived into thinking there is a difference when there is not? I would appreciate any help you could give me. My children, at this point, do not see any difference and I would like to do a better job of presenting this to them. Thank you in advance.
First, you are NOT alone in your problem. I have easily received dozens of emails or calls similar to yours over the past five years or so.
Concerning Potter vs. Rings...
There is indeed a difference in the way the heroes are presented. Let me say that Tolkien presented his heroes with absolute standards of moral thinking - something completely lacking with the heroes created by J.K. Rolwing. (The Potter heroes lie, cheat, steal, swear and drink. It seems to me that those are the things that villains did when I was growing up. What parent wants their children adoring heroes that are at the least into moral relativism?)
That said, let me say that as a researcher into the occult, its effects and its consequences and an apologist for biblical principles I am very concerned about the effects that the Lord of the Rings has had on the Church in our day. Tolkien may have been a Christian of some sort and had an obviously brilliant mind but neither of those things justifies using the occult to paint a positive picture.
If given the choice between just Potter and Rings, Rings wins hands down but how can we say that Potter is evil and then herald Rings as wonderful if indeed Rings uses witches and sorcery to present what is notably an admirable story "absolute morality"?
If you haven't read it already please read my article at: http://www.ericbarger.com/lotr.c.c.2.htm. (I am also preparing to shoot a video on this topic as soon as I can raise the funds needed. Watch my website for more news on this.)
I understand your excitement that your son was in the least interested in reading. This is a common comment I hear from parents (usually in defense of Potter). Due to the so-called video generation we live in, it is also a key weapon Satan is using to attract and then destroy young minds and to divide families. Sadly, you now know this first hand.
Without doubt, the most important thing that needs to be embraced by your son and millions of other "Christian" kids today is an unwavering and complete surrender to biblical authority.
I go into greater depth in my seminar presentations and DVD's on the issue but God uses the very strongest of condemnatory language to describe His disdain for the entire world of the occult. Whether it be fantasy or real life practices (both of which Rowling has employed) and no matter how popular it may be (even among "Christians") our view must be the same as God's. He hates the works of the occult; so must we. How can we say that we love Him and expect His richest blessings, help and protection if we are willingly entertaining ourselves with images that His word so clearly forbids? Once again, for your son and so many others it comes down to surrender to biblical authority.
I suggest that if your son would read a 700 or 800 page book extolling every occult practice imaginable it would be wise to now counterbalance that with the same amount of pages from God's word. Perhaps in those pages he'll find the peace and truth that no Potter fan will find over there.
Let me know if I can help in any way. It has become a central mission of mine to see young and old set free from the curse of Harry Potter.
God bless you!
I was glad to see you taking a stand against Harry Potter. I am a 24 year old Christian man who, when I was about 9 years old, fell for the "its just fantasy" lie regarding JRR Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and the Lord of the Rings. This led me into worse and worse forms of "innocent occultism" including Magic The Gathering, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, etc. Before long I was hooked on the stuff, and still struggle with it to this day.
Your readers need to know that these, "children's tales" are nothing but a "gateway drug" to worse and worse forms of occult. Once you get some of it in your head it becomes a "wedge" that Satan uses to get more and more of his confusion and lies in your spirit. In addition, all of it in some way promotes pornography, bestiality, homosexuality, etc.
I have a list of several wildly popular books for "children to young adults" that you may find interestingly evil, and need to do reviews on them to expose them as well. Harry Potter gets all the attention, and the hardcore stuff gets through the cracks.
The Goodkind book "Sord of Truth", which is nothing of the sort, includes at least one scene of bestiality in a satanic ritual in which female "sorceresses" use the sex act to steal the souls and magical abilities of male "wizards". It also includes "rip offs" of Biblical miracles, such as Samson's battle with the jaw bone against the Philistines, etc. It also offers an creator other than the God of Christianity, and a "devil" who is not really depicted as being any more evil than the creator.
Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" is also one long promotion of sexual immorality. Polygamy is trivialized. Sex out of wedlock is trivialized. Nude witchcraft initiations, etc. (witches/sorcerers are called Aes Sedai in this book, and Jordan gets around "witch hunts" by presenting "Channeling" "The Power" as a natural phenomenon which some are born to do). Reincarnation as opposite sex, "dreamwalking" to divine out information about enemy armies.
George r.r. Martings "A song of Ice and Fire" is so wicked that I stopped reading it even before my eyes were fully opened. In this one, a woman literally gives live birth to dragons, which are believed to be her reincarnated ancestors. It promotes incest, "farseeing" which is the term used for divination, "inner sight" etc,.
Then there's "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn". It teaches of another "christ" who died on a cross just like the Christ of the bible, but that is where the similarity ends. One of the nails from this "christs'" cross was used to create one of three magical swords. The book reaches its climax when Pryrates, a very powerful sorcerer who is virtually invincible, and of all things learned his magic from the followers of the "christ" of the book, casts a spell which causes the very sword, called "Brightnail" to take possession of the "Hero" and uses his body to complete a ritual to summon the "Storm King", an even more powerful sorcerer, from the dead.
This is the filth my generation has grown up with, and I was deceived by the lie that "its all just a story." And in answer to the person who said, "well then you need to throw out Beauty and the Beast, etc." I say yes, it is all occultism, I know from personal experience. There is some promotion of the occult or of some false religion in every Disney cartoon for example. "Worlds Greatest Fairy Tales" Volume I and II is a great primer for sending a child into a spiral of bondage to sorcery and divination. That's how it started with me.
Thank Jesus for helping me stop reading this stuff and playing the occultic video games. I spent thousands of dollars on Magic the Gathering because it is like a drug. It gets in your head and you cannot get it out by any amount of will power. I tried to quit several times, throwing away the game, etc. But somehow always got drawn back into it. I quit my job to get home to play the occultic video games or read the books! I skipped and failed College class because of the lure of the occult!
But I thank the Lord Jesus for opening my eyes, and He will give me total deliverance.
Thank you for your encouragement to me. Most of the email I get about LOTR, etc is from people claiming to be Christians whining at my stance and calling me judgmental. I can take it but it sure make one wonder about the sad state of many who claim Christ as Savior.
I cannot tell you how important it is that you continue to articulate your story to others. Satan may have had you trapped but God now has a plan for using your words and life to warn the unsuspecting. I am continuing to pray for your complete restoration brother!
God bless you and please let me know if there is any way I can help you.
Remember: He who the Son sets free is free indeed!
Praise the Lord!
"Struggling with Fantasy"
You have been a source of great enlightenment to me this past year. I recently dedicated my life to the Lord in February 2004 and Have been struggling with the issue of fantasy. At first I took it all in stride due to talk from other Christians in favor of LOTR. Also, I felt justified by C.S. Lewis and the fact that he was supposed to have been a born again Christian. His was the first writings that introduced me to the escape of fantastical reading. You see Eric, I was raised in a Christian home and it was a strict one. Nevertheless, I was given the C.S. Lewis books to read at my leisure . They were a stepping stone to much more involved reads. I barely dabbled in D&D, yet the books remained a steadfast addiction my entire life. I have spent much of my adult life in real destitution "living like a refugee", and I attribute much of the reason to fantasy books. With God's help I have restored my life. When I saw a reference to your website in a newsletter by Jim Spencer called "Through the Maze" I looked you up. While it might be noted that "Through the Maze" is a publication about the deception of Mormonism I would like to add that I was raised in a Pentecostal church: The Assembly of God to be exact. I currently attend the Vinyard church in (town name omitted) and it is my home away from home (heavenly and otherwise).
Please come to see us. I believe that you would be beneficial in awakening the hearts and minds of many a churchgoer. I would like to speak with you more about what your topic of choice would be. I would be more than happy to round up volunteers in facilitating your seminar.
I wanted to say this----- When I read your work I was gripped by God. I wept. I knew that the truth had been made known to me. You are a very important warrior in the Army of God and you are doing the most serious of His work. God has blessed me thoroughly through your writings and I know he will continue to do so. As we all take a stand for God and remain attentive to His presence I encourage you to take heart Eric, and be strong in all that you do. I love you and I will be praying for you.
In His Grace,
Thanks for taking time to send your testimony. I know that your story is going to be a warning and a ministry to others. I am so glad that the Lord has started the process of seeing you released from the bondage brought on by unhealthy and ungodly fantasy literature.
Please share my website with your pastor. I would be glad to include your church in my speaking
Here is the page where you can find a helpful menu of info concerning my seminar/crusade ministry. Get it to your pastor. It is www.ericbarger.com/scheduling.htm.
Please be in touch and keep going on for Jesus brother!
Note: Suggested Resources concerning these emails
One more email just for fun!
I thought this email was one of the most complimentary and certainly the cutest we've received in a long time. The writer had heard me speak recently and had written me a long email about a family member who is involved in a devious cult. Still, her optimism shined through.
You were so cool Sunday! It was awfully fun getting to drop my jaw so many times (as you spoke). I kept thinking of people and saying "She should hear Eric Barger! He should hear Eric Barger!" You make social controversy as fun as I always knew it could be!! Ever studied Creation vs. Evolution?? (that's my gig. >:~} )
I appreciate the encouragement D.M.!! I only wish that our ministry and my presentations connected this way with everybody!!!
In August 2003 I featured this chapter in our newsletter but for the sake of all of the new subscribers and since it is the next chapter in Disarming the Powers of Darkness we'll revisit it again here.
There's Power in the Blood!
As we’ve pointed out, there are several different views in the church today on the topic and definition of Spiritual Warfare. We want to make it clear that while we do not agree with the affinity some show in blaming every shortcoming known to man on a direct intervention by demons, we certainly do not want to downplay the importance of recognizing and exposing the work of evil. Nor do we want to discount the validity and severity of the demonic, or in any way trivialize the need to help people who are afflicted by Satan’s works. These authors have both dealt with demon-possessed people in our public ministries and have seen God triumph over Satan with regularity. And while we don’t intend to demean any of those in so-called "deliverance ministries," we’d like to see them all put out of business and we actually think they would agree! Here’s why. We question the prevailing attitude in the church today which seems to abdicate its basic responsibility to "set the captives free" as Scripture directs. We think it is the responsibility of every Christian to first be spiritually prepared and then be willing to act against the forces of evil when necessary. These authors don’t go looking for a demonic fight, but if one comes our way, we’ll accommodate accordingly! If the saints were prepared, educated about such things, and prayerful, doesn’t it stand to reason that exposing and expelling evil forces would be the normal course of action? No matter which camp you might be from, we believe that we can all agree that personal victory is a mandatory and most basic step to take. So now, before we can assist others on the road to freedom, how do we go about defeating the Devil and his forces in our lives?
The Power of the Blood
There is no more important element in our personal victory than a clear, biblical understanding of the blood of Jesus Christ. Knowing what the blood has done, is doing, and will do for us is essential if we are to comprehend Christ’s magnificence and overwhelming ability to save, heal, and deliver. Scripture tells us that Jesus going to the cross and shedding His blood for us accomplished many different things. Hebrews 9:14 assures us that the blood has the power to cleanse us. Ephesians 1:7 says that the blood brings forgiveness. In Romans 5:9, we read how Christ’s blood sacrifice justifies us; and in Colossians 1:14 and Hebrews 9:12, God’s Word declares that we are redeemed by the power of His precious blood. We are brought lasting peace by the blood (Colossians 1:20) and purified through it (1 John 1:7). Christ’s blood frees us (Revelation 1:5) and with it God has purchased us back unto Himself (Revelation 5:9). The attributes of His blood go on and on. (Click here to read the rest of the chapter)
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