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Three Views on Christians and Horror – Conclusion

Posted by on Jul 29, 2011 in discipleship | 3 comments

Three Views on Christians and Horror – Conclusion

During the last week, we have examined the following question: “Should Christians participate in horror genres?” I’ve asked three people to write essays answering that question from different perspectives:

Lew argued that Christians are free to participate in horror genres. Bobby said that Christians can participate in horror genres as long as their conscience allows (i.e., Christians should limit their participation based on the Spirit’s convictions in their own consciences). Jason argued that Christians should not be involved in horror genres.

In this conclusion, I do not plan to answer the question about Christians and horror. (Although, it would be easy for astute readers to recognize that my views would fall within one of two views, and would not fall within one of the other views, especially given my participate in Zombie Theology.)

Instead, I want to encourage further dialog among Christians on this topic. In fact, I suggest that the authors of the three essays brought up some good points that would provide starting points for further conversation.

For example, how does a person’s conscience play into the decision about participating in horror genres? What if another person’s convictions differ? How do you relate to one another with differing convictions?

What if you lay out your best arguments and another person continue to disagree? How can you maintain fellowship despite your disagreements?

Similarly, what benefit is there to the individual in participating in horror genres? What about benefits to the church? What about benefits to the world?

So, in conclusion, I want to again thank Lew, Bobby, and Jason for taking part in this project. Also, I appreciate everyone who commented and interacted with their articles.

(All posts in this series are also published at “Zombie Theology.”)

Christians and Horror


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 7-29-2011

    Being Zombophobic from early childhood and still presently under treatment, both my fear of Zomboid reprisals and my doctor’s advice have prevented me from participating. (Thankfully, it was obvious that Jason offers the only reasonable view, so it wasn’t necessary to say so myself).

    While your questions here, Alan, do provide a “safe” way to discuss differences and how we treat each other over them, I still found it hard to feel any investment, because I really have no interest at all in Zombies (nor in horror genre of any ilk). Maybe that was your purpose, to provide a safe topic to discuss how we interact on differences.

    Another thing missing was having someone post opposing views to each of the three where they misrepresent/distort what the other side said, and you’ll perhaps have a more realistic landscape of differing positions among Christians.

  2. 7-29-2011

    Sorry, but I’ve been away. I appreciate the comment on this post (Art) and the comments on the previous posts in this series.


  3. 7-29-2011

    I should have probably commented on one of the earlier posts, but here are some thoughts of mine I recently posted in a couple of comments in response to a post by Dave Miller at sbcIMPACT regarding Harry Potter. I guess I would describe my view as, it is generally best for Christians to avoid horror genres, especially those with occult connotations, with several notable exceptions, but, at the bottom line, it is a matter of the believer’s conscience before the Lord. Here are my thoughts as copied from the comment stream in the other post:

    In the spirit of Rom 14-15, I tend to avoid these conversations. I could easily find myself judging someone else’s servant, and I don’t want to do that. However, I think your post invites a response from the other side, and I think it would be good that that side is at least presented. Like you, I leave this matter up to each individual and his/her conscience before the Lord, but here are my reasons why I do not read/watch/listen to horror/occult-oriented media in general (having not read/watched the Potter books/films–with the exception of one of them being shown on a flight I was on one time, and not being able to avoid seeing some of the scenes–it is harder for me to make direct observations on them specifically):

    1. I believe the power of the occult is real. It seems clear to me that the Bible warns against being involved in occult practices. I don’t think I will have much opposition to the point that, as Christians, we ourselvss are not to practice sorcery, nor consult with spiritists, witches, etc.

    2. I realize most of the books, movies, etc. in this genre are purely fiction, and serve for entertainment purposes, and that the great majority who read/watch/listen to them do not do so in order to directly practice occult arts. However, I believe there are certain ideas, practices, paraphernalia, etc. with connotations that are not spiritually neutral, but rather linked directly with the one the Bible identifies as the enemy of God.

    3. I make a distinction between literature and art forms that deal with occult themes in a way that holds out the power of God as morally and forcibly superior to the power of the enemy (as represented by the occult) and those which deal with the occult strictly for entertainment purposes or which depict practices the Bible clearly condemns in a spiritually or morally neutral or positive manner. The Bible itself narrates stories involving the occult, but never in a spiritually or morally neutral manner, or merely for entertainment purposes.

    4. I have had personal experiences, and dealt with others in counseling, who have come into various forms of spiritual bondage as a result of dabbling in the occult. While I don’t believe it is spiritually healthy to go through life looking for a demon behind every bush, I believe it is best to live our lives in such a way that does not make us vulnerable to spiritual bondage. I believe the Bible teaches us to be actively vigilant against the activity and attacks of the enemy. I believe that not only direct participation, but also passive acquiescence in regard to the realm of the occult, can open up a door that may ultimately give the enemy a foothold in our lives.

    5. As you look around, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Satan has a general strategy to infiltrate the media with an intent to seduce people into spiritual bondage. You could include here sexual content, ranging from innuendo on prime-time TV to hard-core porn. You could include materialism and a host of other things as well. But it seems particularly evident to me that Satan has a strategy to inundate popular media with allusions to the occult. People naturally have a fascination with the occult. Just look at the movies, programs, and books that sell the most, and it is hard to avoid this conclusion. I would also add that Satan’s strategy of infiltrating the media with occult allusions is particularly aimed at children and young people. Just compare cartoons from the 60s to cartoons today (though, admittedly, even Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Scoobie-Doo, go way back as well). If we are honest, I believe it is hard to avoid the conclusion that there is an intentional and strategic attempt (whether on a strictly human level or on a spiritual level) to infiltrate and seduce the minds and hearts of young people and make them more open to involvement with demonic activity. And I don’t want to be responsible for making these attempts any more successful than they already are.