Archive for November, 2012

Seeking Fear




Jon Feldschau



It was a dark October night in a near abandoned dollar movie theater. I was in college and my two friends and I sat in the lumpy cushioned seats with feet sticking to the soda layered cement floor. On screen a flickering movie with a dark and frightful plot. Something inside me started to stir. I later identified it as the Holy Spirit. I excused myself from the theater seat and walked into the lobby. It was void of people and very eerie. No one, anywhere. I called for help at the consession, no one answered. I waited. Nothing. I looked across the way and saw a door labeled “office” and walked over to it. Locked. The kind of lock that had a five button combination above the handle. I pulled, twisted, and pounded. No response. Then it happened. I hovered my index finger over the top of the buttons and felt my finger being pulled toward a random sequence.  Click, click, click, click, and the door creaked open. On the other side was an old staircase. I slowly walked up the squeaky wooden stairs, sweat forming on my brow. At the top of the stairs I found myself peering down a long dimly lit hallway. It had an awful musty odor.  There was an open door at the end with a small light on, barely visible. I started slowly walking down the hallway, heart pounding. This is where the creepy true story pauses. The theater manager yelled at me from the room down the hall. After he was done accusing me of breaking in, and grilling me about who on staff gave away the combination to the lock, I offered my story. Disbelief.  My friends and I were now on our way home. I sat alone in the backseat. As my friends were engaged in some sort of dialog about the film, in silence, my mind was spinning. Then it happened. As clear as my friends voices were from the front I heard a whisper in my ear and will never forget what it said, “You have felt our power, now join us.” “Stop the car,” I yelled. “I need prayer.” That whispery invitation has never returned but the feeling has. The stirring inside happens every October. I am forever aware of the reality of Ephesians chapter six and where our battle lies. It is not in flesh and blood.


I have since had many power encounters where good and evil clash in the supernatural and God always wins. But it is possible for us, as humans, to fail. Mark chapter four is one such occasion. The disciples are caught in a vicious storm and very afraid. Jesus calms the storm at their request and then says the words that penetrate my heart, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Still. After all you have seen and heard and done in my presence. Still. Why? Because fear is the opposite of faith and when you feed it, it grows and faith dies.


I’m going to come straight out and say this: I believe it is wrong to seek fear for pleasure. If God has given us His Spirit, which is not a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control…why is it okay to pay or watch or walk into environments that promote the opposite of the Spirit of God for the purpose of inviting fear in?  As a Christian it has become easy for me to justify my actions so that I can do what I want to do. I will call it “redeeming value”. I will say that _________ has a way for me to view God in a new light. But so does the Bible. Let me use horror movies as an example. I’ve heard it argued that they make us face our mortality, show us we are not in control, and identify that we are in need of someone to “save us.” Sounds Biblical, but what is the collateral damage? How much fear does our enemy need to corrupt our faith? Many third world countries have a different view on the supernatural. It is not watched on television; it happens in the living area of the local witch doctor. It is very, very real. Horror movies don’t make sense in those cultures because they can’t understand why people would seek darkness for enjoyment. But when it “isn’t real” it must just be fun…or is it?


I have three beautiful children. All girls. They don’t flinch when I pretend to punch them in the face. How do I even know this? I was curious and tried it. Why do they not even bat an eye? Because they’ve never been punched in the face nor have they seen anyone get punched in the face. They have seen their father only show them loves and hugs. Fear does not exist, faith does. In 2 Timothy 3 the bible says, “In the last day people will be…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” I believe we deny God power when we seek fear for pleasure. We feed it, it grows, and our faith is starved and eventually dies. I believe it equally dangerous when we invite fear in for pleasure and convince ourselves that it’s “not real” so that means “it’s acceptable.” Here’s the problem, evil is real. Satan wants nothing more than to convince Christians to believe that fear is fun and evil does not exist. Horror films, haunted houses, ghosts and goblins, thrillers, the evening news, anything that has fear as it’s end game, I avoid at all costs.


One could argue that any movie, TV show, or reality based content that has conflict could also promote fear. True. But not for everyone.  I was talking with someone recently who said the following, “I love scary movies, I’m not affected by them at all. I just can’t watch them at night and usually sleep with the lights on for a week after.”  Not affected?  Every person needs only use the following equation when evaluating fear. X+Y=Z.  X is THE CONTENT. Y is YOU. Z is FEAR. Does CONTENT + YOU = FEAR. If so, avoid at all costs.  Another way of saying it is this. Does CONTENT + YOU = INCREASED FAITH or INCREASED FEAR?


I conclude with this: If you’ve never asked yourself this question, try it as a filter for both you and your family. “Does _________ lead me to have more or less faith in God?” Does it promote fear or faith? Does it cause me to become more a lover of pleasure or lover of God? We are supernatural creatures with an appetite for the supernatural. Let us find our fulfillment of that supernatural desire with the one who created the hunger.

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