Saturday, February 25, 2012

Christian horror- any merit/reality to it?

Try to imagine this, since I was a kid, I've enjoyed horror movies. Some I believe(d) are great masterpieces, others, I knew, were a waste of time and production money (remake of Piranha stands one of them). As a teen, I got into murder/mystery books, starting with Ted Dekker, then discovering Steven James, and even indie sci-fi author Kirk Outerbridge (his two books, Eternity Falls and The Tenth Crusader have immense and intense twists that ask real hard questions we should consider). The enjoyment lasted a pleasuring 5 years, then I found out something I had never really known before- some suspense had supernatural horror in it. Ted Dekker's "Adam" and Robin Parrish's "Nightmare" are great examples. So is the classic Christian masterpiece "This Present Darkness" by Frank Peretti, whatwith vivid descriptions of demons that can influence in specific ways and descriptions of actual battles of angels and demons fighting each other for the choices we humans make, from the mundane to the utmost important.
And then, I found out there's a controversy over Christian horror. What kind of controversy? The kind where traditional churches consider anything that's "horror" as Satanic. I have something to say to that: the Bible is filled with horror stories, many of which the church have no problems preaching on:
1. The most well-known, the Crucifixion of Jesus, dealing with grotesque public torture of an innocent man, wrongly accused and tried, beaten and stripped of flesh (literally) and forced to handle a truly heavy piece of wood that bears down on Him. Even when He's raised while nailed in the wrists (the Jewish view of that part of the arm is called the hand) and ankles, people are sneering and jeering at Him, challenging His divinity, especially the thief next to Him.
2. After a king has an affair with one of his soldiers' wife, he has his loyal soldier killed off, then starts to lose his sanity, and even goes to a spiritist (in the Bible, she's called a psychic or a witch, depending on the Version you read). What she summons is not what the Bible calls her "familiar spirit," but the actual spirit of king Saul's fallen soldier, which literally scares the living Hell out of her. This spirit wasn't supposed to appear, which could have made her wonder where her spirit contact was and how this one appeared. And what the spirit said shocked both the witch and his king.
3. A possessed man in a graveyard, no clothes at all, with superhuman strength no one can comprehend, tortures anyone who gets close to him, yet One manages to rid the demons within without harm.
4. And though there are literally hundreds of other horror stories, I'll leave with one last example, the very first: when perfection was tempted by evil incarnate and every perfect thing in this universe no longer knew perfection. Immortality, eradicated. Literal walks with God, etched out. Pure, untainted knowledge of anything, suddenly tainted and distorted where demons could play with people with twisted religions and rituals and reasons to hate one another.

All that to say, if you're goign to hate Christian horror, which does have Biblical ground to it, why not hate the Bible? Because you don't read it as horror? Many have and have painted terrifying portraits of the Crucifixion and Sheol, and worse. Now that I think about it, there was even a poetic description of an actual medical condition when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He was so strained with suffering, His own pores started bleeding, and he had to be tended by angels.

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