Hollywood’s stereotypical demons star in Fox’s “The Exorcist”

 

Anybody a horror film fan? My wife is, but I can’t relate in the slightest. Anyway, FOX is premiering its new series, “The Exorcist,” this Friday, September 23rd at 9 PM EST. The only cast member I recognize is Geena Davis.

I was seventeen-years-old when the original “The Exorcist” movie came out in 1973 and I remember it being quite the cultural phenomenon. It was a must-see event. I bought my ticket and was spooked to the max throughout most of the movie, just like the rest of the audience. My friends and I talked about Linda Blair and those unsettling special effects for well over a week. I wasn’t a Christian at the time but the movie made a big impact on me. If  Satan was real – and he certainly seemed to be according to the world that I knew – then God was real as well. I would accept Jesus Christ as my Savior ten years later.

The New Testament mentions demon possession quite a bit. I’ve never actually encountered a person who was possessed as the Bible describes, but I know from the Bible that demons constantly tempt and influence people. The Bible even says those who haven’t accepted Christ are children of Satan.

“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” – John 8:44

When it comes to spiritual issues, Hollywood always relies on the popular standby stereotypes, e.g., “Did you notice Susie levitating over her bed last night? Better call the parish priest!” But we’re told in the Bible that Satan is a very subtle being. Obviously, few people would be attracted to the disgusting demonic ogres we see on the big (and little) screen. The Bible says Satan appears as an angel of light. He deceives. He entices. He offers a “respectable” alternative to the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. He inspires people to attempt to earn their own salvation through false religion and by being “good.” Satan’s message appears to be a “good,” “rational,” and “beautiful” message of tolerance and plurality as opposed to the “fanaticism” of those “Bible-banging” born-againers.

It’s sadly ironic to me that the characters in these Hollywood productions run to Catholic priests for help in dealing with demonic possessions when it’s the Roman Catholic gospel of sacramental grace and merit, a false gospel, that’s one of the greatest spiritual dangers in this world. The trusted clergyman with a backward collar and his message are what’s perilous to peoples’ souls, not an ugly, revolting, demonic stereotype.

Will I be watching the premier of “The Exorcist”? Probably, just to observe the world’s misleading caricature of the evil one.

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5 thoughts on “Hollywood’s stereotypical demons star in Fox’s “The Exorcist”

  1. In the true story of Anneliese Michel, not only did Catholic “exorcism” hinder her deliverance and healing, but without a doubt, the apparitions of the “Virgin Mary” telling her she must suffer added to her delusions and eventually, her death.

    The movie, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is based on her story. What a shame. She could have had a real deliverance based on the power of the Holy Spirit, as per the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ to His believers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom, I questioned whether I should keep silent on this one, but I need to remind others to be careful what they bring into their house. Remember my ordeal? …and it came from watching Christian TV!!! https://1way2yahweh.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/my-personal-story-of-deception-part-1/
    When we allow the demonic to entertain us, we are inviting it into our lives. You may be well able to critique this program for what it is, but many of your readers may not be as spiritually mature as you are and may think that it is acceptable entertainment… after all, it’s just TV, right? Hence, my warning to others that they cannot serve two masters. Jesus told us to resist the devil, not to invite him into our living rooms. Just sayin’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments, Hope. I admit I’m a bit of a “square peg” when it comes to some popular thinking within the church (e.g., nationalism and patriotism, tithing) and I have some definite disagreements with the popular views on demons. We know from the Bible that Satan is a pretty sharp and calculating being and that this world currently belongs to him. He and his demons are most assuredly involved in international politics, finance, commerce, education, religion, entertainment, etc. I’m absolutely sure his number #1 priority is to prevent as many people from accepting Christ as possible. How would he go about doing this? By presenting himself as a revolting ugly monster? The church got sucked into his big lie. We think we have Satan confined to our “verboten” shoe box while he laughs at us. It’s kind of a Catholic notion to divide things up into black and white but Satan runs this world and most of the things the world calls good are bad. We absolutely freak out at the thought of a ouija board or tarot cards but support ecumenical prayer services. We would never watch an exorcist movie because it is evil incarnate and a pathway to demonic influence but we invite deadly false teaching and worldviews into our homes by the boatload via TBN and secular television. As just one example, we have dear Christian friends who would never in a million years allow a ouija board or tarot cards into their home but they have several Joel Osteen books on their bookshelf and the wife is currently engrossed in a biography of Mother Teresa. Probably the worst thing about this exorcist movie is that Satan and his demons are using it to portray Catholic priests as the “good guys,” something that I point out very plainly in my post. In fact, that was the whole point of the post. But something like this televion show is microscopic “small potatoes” for the evil one and his crew. He’s doing much more damage to faith and belief via highly respected institutions like the evangelical church with its Billy Grahams, Kenneth Copelands, etc.. Now please don’t think I’ve gone entirely bonkers. I wouldn’t allow a ouija board in my house either. My post certainly wasn’t meant to be an unqualified recommendation of The Exorcist TV show. But by focusing on some of these cliches, Christians have missed the much bigger picture. Of course, we know what is good for one believer is not good for another. If a show like The Exorcist bothers a Christian they should surely stay away from it. But I’m something of an oddball because the Holy Spirit strongly used both The Exorcist and The Omen in my journey to Christ and I have no qualms about sitting there and objectively watching this thing. Thanks for the opportunity to write some more about this topic and clarify my viewpoint. We probably don’t agree but I completely understand and respect your position.

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    1. I hear you, Jim. I think a lot of people are drawn to these types of movies for the adrenaline rush. But I have a healthy “respect” for Satan and demons and normally don’t wish to rub my own nose in a characterization, even if a lot of it is bogus e.g., the demon possessed shrieking at the touch of “holy” water.

      Liked by 1 person

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