Fear is a funny thing. It can paralyze you to the point where you're most afraid, not of a physical object, but of the idea of sinning against God. It's the spiritual side of fear that has you locked down, not an actual activity you've engaged in. Weird topic, I know, but this concept of fear arose in one of my classes, the last week of school as it happens. I have a fellow classmate who, at this moment, appears to not have read the text this week, the text being The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I could be wrong and she did, but her post implies otherwise. Her excuse is that she would be opening herself up to evil by reading anything resembling horror and so she refuses. I'm actually a bit stunned because I find this approach to be very archaic.
Now, don't get me wrong. Some things scare me and I look back and wish I had never watched or read it. Secret Window is a perfect example of a Johnny Depp movie I should have avoided because I sensed pure evil from that film. Just a malignant force, but I did watch it and at least now I can honestly say that, for me, that movie is evil. The Prestige was the same way. It wasn't just scary, it was evil. But I've seen it and can stand by my claim because I have a personal knowledge of the script, an experience of the film, that only comes from watching it.
The fellow student of mine makes one statement: horror is evil, based on the Scripture 3 John 1:11 which reads:
She has made a judgement against the genre of horror. If we're to believe her that includes all horror, even Christian horror of which Ted Dekker is a master storyteller. Nothing can learned from horror and should be avoided at all costs.Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
My question is how do you protect yourself from something of which you know nothing? She has no knowledge of the horror genre. To her, great authors like Poe and Stevenson are evil because they wrote horror. They have sinned against God and have not seen Him. I'm not saying these men were Christians because they undoubtedly weren't, but that is not her call to make but a judgement to be made by Christ and Christ alone.
It's hard for me, to encounter this type of Christian who I am supposed to sympathize with and not lead astray. She is a fellow believer and a gentle soul, but she has no knowledge outside of Scripture. There is no practical logic in her mind, no philosophical reasoning, nothing that will allow her to hold on a conversation with someone who is outside her comfortable sphere. It's tragic and makes my heart bleed while I'm fighting back the urge to soundly rebuke her.
Which I didn't! I was good and posted a calm response to her, inquiring if she read the text and encouraging her to not run in fear but participate in a fascinating discussion on good and evil in humanity. I guess this means I'm maturing, but it still upsets me. The whole situation upsets me that she would be so close-minded as to not even participate and make her lack of participation into a put-down to everyone who did read Stevenson's brilliant prose.
My ability to find spiritual truths in almost every book I read is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I know the Lord works outside of His Scripture and that His truth can be found in many other genres. Sometimes it really surprises me. And it's a curse because I occasionally want to take a great work of literature and beat someone over the head with it because they're too afraid to even give it a try.
You know my response to her? It was 2 Timothy 1:7 which reads:
God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.How can we develop a sound mind if we put nothing into it?