General Woundwort and My Friend Dahmer!?!?! – Harmless Horror Movies? - Purity 856
Purity 857 10/08/2022
Today’s photo of my neighbor’s mangy cat, driveway, and rustic barn with pumpkins adorning the pathway to their home comes to us from yours truly as I decided to capture a candid of my neighbor’s cat as I departed my countryside home on October 2nd, thinking “this is the cat that hisses at you arrive at “the creepy place” in a horror movie!”
But seriously, ok I did think that, but my neighbor’s cat may look a little feral and untrustworthy, I can attest to the fact that he is actually quite friendly even though his outer appearance, with his matted fur and damaged ear, make him look like the feline equivalent of “General Woundwort” from the 1978 animated classic, Watership Down, (which is available to stream on HBOMax and YouTube.
Okay, the cat doesn’t look that bad, General Woundwort still creeps me out. Who knew that bunny rabbits could be so vicious!
Anyway, I decided to share today’s photo because I thought that the cat, the barn, and those pumpkins were a good visual representation of the month of October, Autumn, and the Harvest season. Autumn is my favorite season and October is in the heart of it as the fall foliage changes and people begin to decorate their homes for Halloween.
I was and am still am a fan of Halloween and, horror movies, but I have to admit that as I have grown in my knowledge and experience of the reality of Spiritual warfare, the spiritual forces of darkness, total depravity of man, and how it all ties in together and results in suffering and the evil that men do, I am less enamored with the macabre as I used to be and have increasing grown in my sensitivity of spiritual discernment and no longer see these dark forms of entertainment as “harmless”.
Ironically as I have grown more sensitive to what I will allow to put in front of my eyes and less tolerant of the things I can stomach, the horror genre and society in general has become more desensitized to what disturbing images, subject matters, and themes can be offered up as entertainment. One of the latest evidences to this trend is the Netflix series: “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story”, starring Evan Peters.
In recalling the details of Dahmer’s grisly crimes, I have to wonder why anyone would watch this show.
But in my limited research this morning, I realized that I was a huge consumer of and a reason for the success of shows like this. There was one article online that presented a list of the 26 best TV shows about serial killers (https://tvshowpilot.com/fun-posts/best-serial-killer-tv-shows/) . 26! I am somewhat ashamed to admit that of the 26 shows I had watched 9 of them in the years before and after I came to Christ.
I also have to have to admit that I did watch the 2017 film: “My Friend Dahmer”, which was a memoir of one of Dahmer’s childhood friends, graphic novelist Jack “Derf” Backderf, that presented scenes from Dahmer’s life before his murders that highlighted the serial killers “inner demons”, his victimization at the hands of school bullies, and the neglect by the adults in his life. The film concludes with the victim of abuse and neglect becoming a murderer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Friend_Dahmer) .
But Backderf was clear in his comments regarding his memoir that he in no way sought to justify or excuse Dahmer for his evil actions but was only presenting his recollections of what happened in Dahmer’s life prior to his crimes to show how evil doesn’t necessarily just happen, that often atrocities have a back story rooted in abuse and points to the cycle of the abused becoming abusers, or even killers.
My education in Biblical Studies and Christian Couseling, along my training as a Community Ministry Freedom Associate for Freedom in Christ Ministries, helps me to see these crimes and these macabre forms of entertainment in a new light that makes them less palatable.
In the realty of serial killers, while society and our justice system should never excuse killers with a defense for demonic possession, demonization, or demonic oppression, we should consider that spiritual forces of darkness could play a role in the violence and grisly crimes we see.
The Bible describes the world as being under the sway of the evil one. I am sharing a link to an article on gotquestions.org that briefly touches on this subject (https://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-god-world.html) and provides the scriptures that back it up.
So what’s my point?
I guess, my point is that as we go further into the month of October, many of us may feel, like I did, that we want a good scare.
And while I think that we should all be free to choose to do that, I think we should be aware of the spiritual realities of the world and be highly concerned for our friends and family that don’t know about the principles of spiritual warfare or don’t have a covenant relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ that enjoy these dark forms of entertainment.
I feel that horror movies can be entertaining, and educational, but we should try to instruct others in the supremacy of God over evil and be genuinely concerned about people that don’t have faith in Christ and isolate and watch violent or horrific films and TV shows.
According to an article on Psychology.com (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201408/does-media-violence-breed-real-life-killing)
"In thousands of scientific studies over the last six decades, researchers have documented four basic negative effects from exposure to screen violence: increased aggression, increased fear, desensitization to real-life and screen violence, and increased appetite for more violence, on and off screen". (p. 54)”
None of those effects sound very good and without a Biblical basis of wisdom considering evil, sin, the spiritual forces of darkness, and the God who stands above it, our loved ones could suffer from negative mental, emotional and spiritual consequences as our society will continue to only grow darker.
So we need to know the truth, that God is sovereign, He is in control, and that He provides eternal security and spiritual safety and power to those who put their faith in Christ. Jesus reconciles us to God and provides us with a share of His spiritual power and authority to confront and confound the works of the devil.
As Christians we are to shun what is evil and to think upon what is good. We also have freedom. So as Christians, we may choose to watch a horror movie, but if we do we should do so in the context of our identity in Christ and be discerning of what we watch and not quench the Holy Spirit in us if He convicts us to pull the plug and not persist in our unwholesome habits in the name of tradition or nostalgia.
As exposure to violent media has the effect of desensitizing us and may lead to negative actions, our exposure to the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit will oppositely sensitize us to what is evil and increasingly draw us to do good,
Even though I am still a horror fan, I guess , I am a lot more discerning about what I will watch as the Holy Spirit increasingly draws me away from things that do not edify my spirit and quite frankly, as I have continued to walk in the Spirit, I have a lot less desire to watch or listen to most secular forms of entertainment, whether spooky or not, because my intense love of the Lord causes me to want to use what time I have left in this life wisely, to pursue things that will build me up rather than just occupy a few hours and leave me with a thrill or a chill but nothing more.
So as we go further into October and the nostalgia and pageantry that surrounds Halloween, keep walking and talking with God and follow where He leads. When you walk with Him. you may begin to discover that the desire to dabble in darkness is replaced with conviction to live in the light.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Sermon on the Mount
On the “Extraordinary” of Christian Life
The Beatitudes – Continues
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The disciples are needy in every way. They are simply “poor” (Luke 6:20). They have no security, no property to call their own, no piece of earth they could call their home, no earthly community to which they might fully belong. But they also have neither spiritual power of their own, nor experience or knowledge they can refer to and which could comfort them. For his sake they have lost all that. When they followed him, they lost themselves and everything else which could have made them rich. Now they are so poor, so inexperienced, so foolish that they cannot hope for anything except him who called them. Jesus also knows those others, the representatives and preachers of the national religion, those powerful, respected people, who stand firmly on the earth inseparably rooted in the national way of life, the spirit of the times, the popular piety [Volksfrömmigkeit]. But Jesus does not speak to them; he speaks only to his disciples when he says, blessed—for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven will come to those who live thoroughly in renunciation and want for Jesus’ sake. In the depths of their poverty, they inherit the kingdom of heaven. They have their treasure well hidden, they have it at the cross. The kingdom of heaven is promised them in visible majesty, and it is already given them in the complete poverty of the cross.
Here Jesus’ blessing is totally different from its caricature in the form of a political-social program. The Antichrist also declares the poor to be blessed, but he does it not for the sake of the cross, in which all poverty is embraced and blessed. Rather, he does it with political-social ideology precisely in order to fend off the cross. He may call this ideology Christian, but in doing so he becomes Christ’s enemy.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship