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Ordinarily I don’t write about movies unless they have something to do with technology – but the boss called so I’m answering! That being said, from time to time when I’m kickin’ it with friends and the topic of movies comes up, the horror genre is often one of the categories discussed – especially at this time of the year.

Now I can’t say that I’m a fan of slasher flicks. There is usually a lot of blood, bad acting, and weak plot lines. But I do keep an eye out for a good “supernatural thriller.”  For clarification a “supernatural thriller” is a suspense/horror film with demons, angels or some variation of each.  Here I list my top six picks in no particular order. [plot line summaries provided by www.imdb.com ]

  • The Omen – An American ambassador learns to his horror that his son is actually the literal Antichrist…Man oh man, the music in this film alone made me freeze. On top of that,  it was the first time I had even heard of the antichrist. But when I checked my bible, there was way more information than I was ready to find. The fact that the bible speaks of a man who will be the embodiment of evil, who will dupe the world, and who will carry out unspeakable perversions was enough to make me consider salvation. And that mark of the beast thing, I am still wrestling with that.
  • The Amityville Horror – Based on the true story of George and Kathy Lutz, a newly married couple with three children, move into their beautiful new house in Amityville, New York, only to discover the house already has demonic inhabitants…Even with less than state of the art special effects, this movie was straight up scary! Comedians joke about it often, but this story would have been too short to make a movie from if the Lutz family had been black.
  • The Exorcist – When a teenager is possessed by a demon, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter…Again whenever you insert a real element ( Jesus exorcised demons. Exorcism is a real division of the Catholic Church. Deliverance Ministries function in Protestantism) into a horror movie, it gets folks to thinking that could happen!
  • Constantine – Hell wants him. Heaven won’t take him. Earth needs him…This movie wasn’t scary but it was a creative stab at angels and demons moving among us. Critics blast it because it was not biblically accurate – no one can earn his way into heaven – but I think its aim was to entertain, not educate. The movie was based on a graphic novel after all.
  • The Prophecy – The angel Gabriel comes to Earth to collect a soul which will end the stalemated war in Heaven, and only a former priest and a little girl can stop him…This was the first movie that I saw where the angels were interesting.
  • The Sixth Sense – “I see dead people.” Little man sees dead folks who don’t know they’re dead.  Yikes!

All of the movies I mentioned above have elements of the Bible either mentioned directly or alluded to, but I have yet to see a movie that nails it completely. As a believer, part of why I appreciate movies that deal with the supernatural is because they point to a deeper reality. If anyone ever managed to make a good movie which could accurately depict the end times,  or even hell (which was not created for people, but for demons), folks would be lining up to get saved. These movies point to a spirit world most people don’t know anything about. No doubt, their aim is to use fear to entertain viewers, but what they often do, perhaps without meaning to, is to generate discussion about spirituality and the afterlife.

We saved folks walk with our feet planted in both the physical and spiritual worlds all day long. Prayer all by itself is a physical and spiritual act. As we encounter difficult people or situations, we remind ourselves that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood and that our weapons of warfare are not carnal, but spiritual.

Right now, there is a movie out called “Paranormal,” which has created a real buzz. Most of the guys in my office have no spiritual bent one way or the other, but all of them have been scared silly by this movie. I mean, we’re talkin’ grown men afraid to go home alone. Naturally they want to talk about what they’ve seen. The conversations that have grown out their seeing this film have been at the very least interesting.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to see this movie or not. I know my wife, Sheeri, will not. But I will be prepared to answer the questions that this movie and others like it raise about the spirit world, about what the bible says regarding ghosts and demons, and most importantly, about the only Person to walk this earth who both confronted and defeated the devil, and whose very existence makes demons tremble.

I am not encouraging you to, nor discouraging you from seeing any of the movies I mentioned or movies like them. I am encouraging you to keep in mind that culture is a means of connecting to other folks. Movies in general and scary movies in particular are part of our culture just like news, education, music, sports, and politics are. Keeping an open dialogue about the things we experience can often open the door to share the good news. Remember, he uses the foolish things to confound the wise.

At least that’s how I see it.

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