While in Greenville, S. C. last week for a seminar, I dropped by a local mall to get something. Hanging over the entry to the shops was the sign above, MAD WORLD, HAUNTED ATTRACTION. We have come to expect this sort of thing in October each year, but a “New York Times” article the same day declared, “Terror Houses Make a Killing.” It described how far some people are willing to go be terrorized this time of year. For $150, one enterprise will take you blindfolded to a remote location, pretend to strangle you, strip off your clothes, rake claws across your body, simulate vomiting on your person, and leave you nearly naked, caked in mud and various fake body fluids.
Such simulations designed to maximize terror are known as “extreme haunts.” The founder of this trend got the idea when a friend was murdered, and this entrepreneur of fright re-enacted the killing for a group of friends. The effect was so scary that a new horror trend was born. In fact, one new trick is to subject people to a re-creation of their own murder. In this world of Halloween madness, the only rule is don’t kill anyone. Almost anything else goes. Says one master of extreme haunt horror, “For two hours we own you and we will push you to do things you consider dangerous and leave with a rush of adrenaline.”
And demons. “God has not given us a spirit of fear,” the apostle Paul told Timothy (2 Tim 1:7). Too many preachers have euphemized this passage, but Paul means exactly what he says. Fear is a spirit, an evil spirit. In our International School of Exorcism (to enroll click here) our course on spiritual strongholds lists fear as a gateway demon which opens the door for many others nastier than himself. In fact, if you have a spirit of fear, that will almost automatically lead to possession by multiples of demons, all facilitated by fear.
Fear is the antithesis of faith, “and without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Thus, if faith is needed to please God, it is fear which pleases the devil. The frightful images at Halloween time may be considered all in fun, but the real, demonic, world behind the imagery of ghosts and witches is eternally terrifying. To those who seek a cheap, or not so cheap thrill at Halloween, a life of spiritual rebellion may lead to an eternal extreme haunt, forever in hell.
An encouraging word: WHEN THE WICKED RULE
“When the wicked rule, the people groan” (Proverbs 28:2). They groan because of the moral decay that brings instability and economic collapse. Of course, the question raised is how to define “wicked.” Sexual morality? Political correctness? Financial accountability? Legislative integrity? Each particular political persuasion and religious faction will have its own opinion. One thing is clear: Our culture’s rectitude is in steep decline and we must make changes before our lament becomes a death rattle. The one thing we must pray for is godly leaders who cause us to rejoice not groan.