"Is it wrong for a follower of Christ to watch horror movies or movies with occult content?"

This page is part of our Frequently Asked Questions section 

Author's response: 

In general, what we watch with our eyes has a strong impact on what we entertain in our thoughts.  Jesus explained,

The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light.  But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.  If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.  Luke 11:34-36 NKJV

Our eyes are powerful receptors that can quickly corrupt our thoughts with evil.   When we look at evil things with our eyes, our minds are filled with that evil and our reflection of Jesus is obscured.   My Train Eyes page gives further information about the importance of visual purity. 

Horror movies use graphic murder and fear to entertain the audience. This is akin to how the Romans entertained folks with Lions devouring people and gladiators killing each other in the Coliseum.  When we consider that the human body has been made by God, in the image of God, it seems reasonable to conclude that entertainment featuring murder would be highly offensive to God.  It is a way of dishonoring God.  The Bible says that the body has a special purpose.  Paul wrote, “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13 NIV). The body of a believer is actually a member of Christ and a Temple of God, as the Holy Spirit dwells in it (1 Corinthians 6:15,19). Accordingly, Satan hates the image of God.  Murder, dismemberment and other typical horror movie depictions are celebrations of such destruction and hatred.  Of course, the other bad thing about such entertainment is that it glorifies actions that are blatantly sinful according to God’s commands (i.e. murder, assault, rape, etc.).  

Movies featuring occult elements may not seem as bad. Granted, they may not have such blatantly offensive depictions, but the evil is just as evil.   People have always been intrigued and fascinated by the occult.  The modern day rave over Harry Potter is just one example of the popularity of the occult.  My favorite trilogy growing up was the Star Wars movies, which featured occult practices such as telekinesis, ESP, along with the standard fare of violence.  I repented of watching those movies when I realized that they were not God-pleasing films.  Granted, such things are mild compared to horror classics such as Friday the 13th, but they do soften people up to the occult and plant a few seeds potentially.  The basis for abstaining from movies with occult activities in them is simple: God instructed his people to have nothing to do with the occult in its various forms. Consider this example verse:

9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 18:9-13 NIV

My thought is that when God defines something as “detestable,” I should probably refrain from watching such activities for entertainment! 

Another aspect of the occult in particular is the concept of spiritual oppression.  In our prayer ministry experiences, we have found that peoples’ exposure to the occult can serve as potential doors for the Enemy to oppress their lives.  I should note that seemingly minor acts such as going for a palm-read at a carnival or attending a séance could open doors or lay a foundation for more serious endeavors later on, such as sending curses.  Evil spirits seem to gain a ‘legal’ right to “tag along” with a person or even enter a person once they’ve dabbled in the occult.  They can manifest in many forms, such as familiar spirits, spirits of infirmity and spirits of various forms of sin.  Their primary mission seems to be to keep a person from growing in Christ and to keep him or her in bondage to whatever their sin of choice is. 

Overall, the things that we fill our minds with for entertainment are very likely going to be the things we gravitate to in our thoughts.  The scriptures instruct us to set our hearts and minds on Christ, and not on the earthly, carnal things of the world (Colossians 3:1-2).  It follows then, that we should take great care in what we view with our eyes, as they are the gateways to our soul.  God is not a God who takes pleasure in evil (Psalm 5:4), we should seek to follow his example especially in the area of entertainment.

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