METTLE Weekly Part 2

(As a consequence of my email being larger than a single blog entry, I have had to split this into 2 parts)


What’s the Difference?

Upon occasion, I am asked to justify my position that LOTR is okay for Christians, whereas I refuse to allow my children to have anything to do with Harry Potter.  I decided to list the differences I see in them here.  

Lord of the Rings

Harry Potter

Set in a fantasy realm

Set in the “real” world

Wizards are subordinate to the Hero

Wizards are the heroes

Wizards are holders of knowledge

Wizards are holders of power

Wizards are doers of good

Wizards are above morality

Wizards are capable of being tempted

Wizards are manipulators

Wizards are performers of public ceremonies

Wizards are greater than “Muggles”

Hero is an Everyman (Frodo)

Heroes are Supermen

Hero’s desire is to divest himself of power (the One Ring)

Hero’s desire is to infuse himself with power

Hero’s failure is in yielding to power

Attaining power is not seen as a failure

Redemption comes from a unlikely source

What’s redemption?

Power corrupts

Power doesn’t corrupt

Morally objective

Morally relativistic

Christian metaphors (The Return of the King)

No Christian metaphors

Written by a practicing Catholic

Written by a practicing Gnostic


I offer this list on the following provisos:

  • I am not God, therefore work out for yourself whether I am being Biblically consistent.
  • If you’re going to exclude all tales about magic and/or wizards, say goodbye to practically all Western fairy tales (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Arthurian legends).
  • If you are going to include stories about magic, what criteria would you use to distinguish the two?



  • METTLE is an acronym for Men’s Elim Team Together for Learning Experiences. We are primarily (but not exclusively) businessmen from Wellington Elim Church, who meet occasionally in the CBD to encourage each other in our daily walk with Jesus. This newsletter is our primary means of communication.  If you know of anyone who may benefit from these newsletters, you are welcome to forward them along. Similarly, if your circumstances are such that membership in this distribution list is no longer relevant, then hit reply and type UNSUBSCRIBE to have it removed.
  • METTLE has no affiliation with Telecom New Zealand Limited


One thought on “METTLE Weekly Part 2”

  1. From Paul:

    Hi James
    Thanks for the interesting METTLE weekly.
    Can I share with you my take on LOTR? I read the books as a teen and yes there is a strong moral / character in the story\’s. Really enjoyed them and was so lookin forward to someone doing a decent LOTR movie. My issue however is not with LOTR, my problem is with the Peter Jacksons portail. Having said that I only saw the first LOTR movie, and really wanted to see the other two but I had an interesting experience the night after I saw the first one. Some movies leave an impression after watching them and my mind can flick (no pun there) back to them often for days after. Not so with LOTR 1. However the night after, I was playing my getar and praising the Lord – eye\’s shut – and suddenly there appeared like visions on the back of my eyelids, Orc faces in almost photographic quality! I kept on praising God and after a few minutes they went away – never to be seen again. So I did not go to the other 2 movies – would LOVE to have but decided not on based on my experience.
    I totally agree with you about the Harry Potter movies. When I was at the Rock, one lady came to the Monday prayer group night saying that since her son (about 8-9 years old at the time) was reading Harry Potter. He started behaving oddly not log after and even began growing at them. The group prayed and I think some went to the house to pray as well. A few weeks later his mother testified that he accepted Jesus, his behavour turned around and a few months after that the boy got baptised!
    Paul H.


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