There is a movie which has become a box office success in it’s first weekend (bringing in $40 Million). Apparently good reviews and word of mouth support from movie-goers have done a lot to support this film. So which one of the Summer movie’s is currently drawing people into the theater? Which one is receiving considerable critical acclaim?
If you are not a movie buff, do not watch television, or simply have not been paying attention, The Conjuring is a horror film which is based on one of the true life cases of paranormal researchers/demonologists/ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren (founders of the New England Society for Psychic Research).
Taking place in a small country home, whose family is experiencing terrifying physical and spiritual attack via a haunting spirit, The Conjuring is touted to be one of the best horror films out there right now. Interestingly, this film (which is rated R for “disturbing violence and terror) is being aggressively marketed to “faith based” audiences.
The Warren’s were devout Catholics (Lorraine, now 86, remains so. Ed died in 2006), using the Bible, a book of prayer, and a rite of exorcism to help the family once their investigation into their paranormal claims are confirmed through Lorraine’s psychic-medium abilities and the couples ghost hunting techniques.
Truth be told, I’m not surprised The Conjuring is doing well in theaters.
Ghost hunting, ghosts, mediums, psychics, and paranormal phenomenon remain an interest in our society. Movies, television, and books continue to provide stories and experiences for the masses. The last time I checked the stats, there were over 4000 amateur ghost hunting groups investigating paranormal phenomenon. Many of those groups are now being created and populated by Christians.
So, this begs the question, “Should Christians go to see The Conjuring?” While I have not seen this film (and yes, I am relying on trailers, film clips, and reviews for specific details)–
My personal opinion is no.
Why? Because this film illustrates the very thing we are told to avoid. Spirit communication via mediums and psychics. Pursuing of spirits through activities such as ghost hunting. It doesn’t truly matter if the spirit is revealed to be demonic (no kidding!) or use scripture as a means to try to evict the thing. The end result is not honoring to God when the very thing He has forbidden is employed in the first place. (Leviticus 19:31, Leviticus 20:6, Deuteronomy 18:12).
The Warren’s were sincere and devout in their faith, but what they did was not based on scripture or God’s principles of spiritual warfare (James 4:7) but more on Catholic tradition. Any abilities employed by Lorraine were not representative of God’s gifts of discernment or words of knowledge but rather a twisting of them by the enemy (as happened to me when I worked as a medium).
Honestly, what is most troubling to me about The Conjuring are the reviews I’ve been reading from Christian sources. All are positive as far as the movie’s cinema quality (and I’ve no doubt it’s a good film) and affirming of the “faith based” message of the Warren’s. None of these reviews truly looks at what God says about clairvoyance, mediums, psychics, or spirit communication. None even question whether ghost hunting is an activity in which Christians should engage!
This is troubling to me for a variety of reasons. Because in neglecting to address these issues, they are giving tacit approval, which is all some people need if they are waffling. So let me be clear. As a former ghost hunter and medium I do not recommend The Conjuring to Christian audiences. One of the things necessary for watching or hearing these types of stories is spiritual discernment because the topic of demons, spirit communication, and ghost hunting should be taken seriously rather than viewed as entertainment.
For more information, regarding movies such as The Conjuring, Escaping the Cauldron is a helpful resource Christians can use to better understand the reality behind what’s being depicted. Part Bible Study, Part Memoir, this book will give readers valuable perspective on the issues facing our society as the occult becomes more popular. Now available on Amazon,Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Family Christian, and in stores everywhere.