By Jill Coyne
A few years ago, I decided to stop watching horror films. My decision came after witnessing spiritual warfare similar to what I saw in these movies. I quickly realized that Christians should not play around in the demonic world.
I’m not here to tell anyone, “do this,” and “don’t do that,” but to provide a basic foundation of the reality of demons and to discuss a few guidelines that Scripture does provide.
Believers need to be familiar with spiritual warfare. We need to understand and acknowledge the work of the enemy.
What are demons?
What do demons do?
How can we battle demons?
When it comes to watching horror movies or films with supernatural elements, a good guideline is to ask where the power comes from. Is it just a supernatural ability or “superpower” that is inherently neutral, or does it originate from a source of evil or darkness? And when it comes to entertainment, we should always evaluate our motives.
For me, the thrill of horror movies fueled an adrenaline rush. I honestly did not believe what was portrayed was real or would affect me outside of a momentary good scare. I noticed myself becoming desensitized and searching for something scarier. It was like a game to me, and I prided myself in my ability to keep my eyes open while my friends covered theirs. I was fascinated by what I saw. Sometimes dark magic, ghosts, exorcisms, and other demonic manifestations excite an unhealthy interest in us. We want to learn more and see more.
The Bible is clear that believers are not to engage in occult practices (astrology, witchcraft, fortune telling, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, Satanism). God says it is foolish to consult the dead on behalf of the living (Isaiah 8:19-20).
Even when we do what we are “permitted” to do, there can still be consequences. I became paranoid, fearful, and started having nightmares, which have stayed with me four years later.
What is wrong is when demonic activity becomes our focus. We become one of two things: obsessive or fearful. Some blame every problem on demons, while others completely ignore the spiritual realm. Paul instructs Christians to wage war against the sin in themselves (Romans 6) AND to oppose the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10–18).
Ladies, fear is not of the Lord (2 Timothy 1:7). We must remember that demons are defeated enemies (Colossians 2:15) and live as victorious daughters of the King. We are called to pursue whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).