Join us as we enter the Room of Requirement and look for Christian themes in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
While this installment is unique to the rest of the film series for several reasons, our sole focus for this episode is on the relationship between Voldemort and Harry. Specifically, we examine the former’s indwelling of the latter and how that relates to Christians who struggle with sin even after they’ve been “saved.”
Harry Potter And The Struggle With Sin
Harry is battling a number of pressures; everyone believes he killed Cedric Diggory, and now he believes he’s attacking his own friends (i.e. Mr. Weasley). Despite what he thinks, however, Harry is not alone, and it is in this accompaniment that he ultimately finds his solace.
It is Luna Lovegood that first plants the idea that Voldemort wants Harry to feel lonely and powerless. It is Sirius Black that reassures Harry that he isn’t a “bad person” but a “a good person who bad things have happened to.” And it is Dumbledore that encourages Harry not to dwell on how he and Voldemort are alike but how they are different. These others who love Harry are the ones that help him defeat (for now) the Dark Lord; without them, he would be dead.
Alone, Harry feels guilty and ashamed of anything that he believes he did under Voldemort’s influence, so much so that he is literally crippled and paralyzed with fear when Voldemort manifests himself from within Harry. It is the love of Harry’s friends and family that saves him from his guilt, his shame, and his capacity to give into his sinful nature.
Harry’s predicament – trying to do the right thing on the outside despite a sinful nature on the inside – should not be unfamiliar to anyone. After all, if someone who has been living in sin for years converts to Christianity, it possibly can (and probably will) take at least years for that sin to be eroded from the day-to-day operations. This is what it means to “struggle with sin.”
Expelling Sin By God’s Grace
Unfortunately, some Christian congregations/denominations/cultures do not believe and loudly speak against “struggling with sin.” For these communities, you are either saved and then sinless or you are sinful and cannot be saved (this, of course, also calls for more discussion on what it means to be “saved,” but we can do that elsewhere). Either way, there is no middle ground and therefore no room for grace and ultimately no room for love.
By the grace of God and the love He demonstrated through Jesus and by the love of others, we can and will expel any remaining sin. Eventually, when the veil of this world is lifted and we are back home with God, we will be fixed. Until then, however, we have the Holy Spirit and each other to help us carry these burdens. That’s what the Church – as the body and the bride of Christ – is supposed to be like and what it’s for.
Christian Themes In The Order Of The Phoenix
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QUESTION: What Christian themes did you find in ORDER OF THE PHOENIX? Let us know below.