Sunday, July 21, 2013

When my work intersects with popular horror

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about my work in ministry intersecting with my work of fiction. I enjoy talking with people who want to separate facts from fiction. It's interesting to talk with people about subjects that don't normally come up in every day ministry. One  thing I did not anticipate is the phenomenon that occurs every time a new horror movie is released. Every time a new horror movie is released, I receive calls from people with questions about ghosts, hauntings, demonic possession, and in the most extreme cases, all of them at the same time.

I write about supernatural subjects, which often fall into the subject of horror. This, plus my work in ministry, leads people to me for various concerns. I have no problems talking about what I believe versus do not believe. I don't mind talking with people about subjects that other people in ministry would shy away from. I think it's important to answer the questions people have. If we don't, then they are forced to seek answers elsewhere, and answers elsewhere could be even more problematic, like believing horror movies are real.

Let me just say I do not have issues with people watching horror movies. I do enjoy the genre. I don't watch as many horror films as I used to, but I do keep up with what's popular. I am not one of those pastors who will condemn a person for his/her preference of movies. However, if watching a horror movie causes you to believe you are haunted and/or possessed, then you probably should NOT watch any horror movies. If a movie can scare you to a point where you need to seek help to deal with what you saw, then maybe you need to question your choice in movies.

Seriously, I have even had a person I barely knew come up to me and ask point blank, "Do you think I'm possessed because I think I might be?" Talk about an awkward way to start a conversation. Look, I get it. One of the issues I do have with certain horror movies is the amount of realism they provide, but I'll leave that for another blog post. The fact is of the numerous people who have asked me if I thought they were being haunted and/or possessed, only one or two has ever had a serious problem that had to be dealt with. The rest were just really scared individuals looking for a supernatural solution to explain their heightened fear from watching a scary movie.

Keep in mind that movies are created to entertain, not necessarily educate. Scary movies are meant to be, well, in one word: scary. If watching something scary will inevitably scare you to a point where you cannot live life normally as a result, then my recommendation is to avoid watching the movie, show, special, documentary, or whatever it is altogether. Your overall well-being is a much higher priority than any form of entertainment. Make good choices, but always know, even if you don't, and you still need someone to talk to, feel free to join my ever growing crowd of scared individuals seeking answers.

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