I grew up watching scary movies with my mom and we were always trying to scare each other. One summer evening as the sun was dipping below Springhill’s rolling hills, we’d finished feeding the horses and started talking about scary things. As we stood by the barn and looked back at our house, Mom would say, “Wouldn’t it be scary if we saw a shadow peek out at us from your bedroom window?”
Then I would say, “You know our house was built on top of an old burned out house. And this area used to be a small community. I wonder if there’s anything buried under our crawl space?”
It’s no wonder I grew up believing that our house in Springhill was possesed. Needless to say, we were so freaked out that we had to drive into Conway to watch a funny movie so we’d forget how scared we were and be able to go back into the house.
But there was something eerie about that house. We had a bad curve in front of our house and there was at least one fatality on it. I also had the most vivid nightmares of fighting the devil that I’ve ever had. One night I had a dream (I think it was dream – it seemed real) that I was barely asleep and slowly I levitated up off the bed until I was perpendicular with the bed. As I clung to my blankets which were hanging off me, I slowly descended down. I looked into the closet and in the dark I could see a low fog boiling up from the floor. I could hear voices and then I began repeating the Lord’s prayer…that’s all I remember.
I think everyone has stories like that and Deliver Us From Evil is that kind of movie. It’s taken from the real life account of Ralph Sarchie, a NYPD officer. I went to see the movie by myself because my wife doesn’t like scary movies, period. And it’s rated R and not appropriate for my 10 and 12 year old boys. They both received Christ as their savior and followed in believer’s baptism, but even so I think if they watched it, they’d never sleep in the own beds again. In the word’s of a dear President, “Wouldn’t be prudent”.
I enjoyed the Deliver Us From Evil a lot more than I thought I would. It’s scary – but not too scary, or too gory. It is very believable and realistic. I think folks (like me) who may have gone to the movie for a scary thrill will come away with a new awareness of ‘spiritual wickedness in high places.’
Another thing I liked about the movie was that the characters battled the demons by invoking the one and only name that has power over them, the name above all names – Jesus Christ.
After watching the movie, I did some research and found that along with the Catholic church, evangelicals perform exorcisms on occasion. In a 2010 article, Dr. Albert Mohler discusses exorcisms and the evangelical view. A couple of take-homes were:
1) if you confess to Jesus that you’re a sinner, that you believe he’s the Son of God, and you ask him to forgive you and you accept his work on the cross as the only reason you don’t have to face the wrath of God for your imperfection and you commit to follow him, then you will receive the Holy Spirit. It will live in you and at that point it is impossible for even the devil himself to possess you. He can and will try to oppress and manipulate you but he knows that “He (Christ) that is in you, is greater than he (the devil) that is in this world”.
2) Evangelicals don’t have a written exorcism procedure or rites as Catholics do. They simply follow the example that Jesus and Paul provided in the Bible. This should not be surprising or cause alarm when you think about how different an evangelical worship service is compared to a Catholic mass. The all-important critical common denominator for both evangelicals and Catholics is Christ. All the power in battling our adversary comes from Him and all the worship and glory goes to Him.
In closing, we should remember that the devil is only in the same class as Michael the archangel. Jesus Christ is far, far, far superior so the victory is won and has been won since the foundations of the world. It was manifested when he rose on the third day and we gained diirect access to Abba in heaven and then He sent the Helper and Comforter to live in us and be with us in our walk with Christ.
Last and most importantly, pray for the spiritual protection of the saved and especiallly the unsaved, with absolute faith in the name of Jesus Christ.
Thanks and God bless!