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.