The Dark Side of the Supernatural, Revised and Expanded Edition. What Is of God and What Isnt

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God himself enjoys the horror genre. In fact, he may have received an even harsher movie rating in his later production, the New Testament. The book of Revelation is an epic horror fantasy sequel to Daniel, complete with science fiction special effects, and spectacles of horror darker than anything in a David Cronenberg Grand Guignol theater of blood. And I might add, this all gives glory to God in the highest. The apocalyptic genre that was used by the prophets and apostles of God relied heavily on images of horror to solicit holy fear of sin and its consequences in their audience and point them to God.

Where Do Demons Come From?

These freaks of nature or supernature personify the cultured, educated man by day and the unbridled beast by night. We are Jekylls and Hydes, all. The Victorian era provided western culture with a rich and lasting heritage of Christian metaphors for the depraved side of human nature that requires restraint.

Those metaphors have been resurrected in some modern films with equal moral vision. Dracula symbolized the struggle of the repressed dark side and its eternal hunger and need for redemption, which is explored with modern fervor in Interview with the Vampire and Dracula Jekyll fought to suppress the increasing inhumanity of his depraved alter ego, Mr. Hyde, just like Jack has to defeat his destructive inner self, Tyler, in Fight Club.

The corrupted conscience of H. One movie, The Addiction , uses the vampire genre as a metaphor for the addictive sinful nature of humanity. The vampires spout human philosophy as they kill their victims, attempting to prove there is no moral authority to condemn what they do.

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One of them even concedes R. How can you do this to me? Your friend Feuerbach said that all men counting stars are equivalent in every way to God. My indifference is not the concern here. If God is dead, as the modern secular mindset proposes, and man is his own deity, creating his own morality, then no one should be surprised when people create their own morality by feasting on the blood of others. Another way in which horror and thriller movies can communicate truth about human nature is in showing the logical con sequences of sin.

In the same way, the Bible plays out some sexually disgusting scenarios and gruesome violence in order to communicate the seriousness of sin and its negative impact upon our relationship with God. Hide and Seek is a story in the vein of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde about a man named David whose daughter is in danger from some kind of scary imaginary man who is stalking her. The Machinist and The Number 23 are both macabre Poe-like tales that illustrate the effect of suppressing sin and guilt, as well as the redemptive power of confession.

The Machinist is about an industrial worker whose body and mind wastes away from insomnia because of his running away from a past crime. The Number 23 is a thriller about a guy whose discovery of a novel that mysteriously reflects his own life leads him to an obsession with the number twenty-three, which ultimately leads him into mental disorder that endangers others.

Christians sometimes condemn ghost stories because they seem to imply a purgatory that is not in the Bible, or because they appear to violate the Scriptural prohibition against calling up the dead. These are parables communicating that there is no spiritual statute of limitations on the guilt of sin. They are fables about the telltale heart of moral conscience.

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Some sincere Christians will often find passages that in their eyes appear to discredit the narrative depiction of sin and its guilty consequences. Contrary to some interpretations, this passage does not depict Christianity as an episode of Veggie Tales or Little House on the Prairie. It is not only true, honorable, and right to show the glorious blessings of the gospel. It is also true, honorable, and right to show the suicidal rotting flesh of Judas, the betrayer of that gospel Acts — It is not only pure, lovely, and of good repute that Noah was depicted in the Bible as a righteous man, but it is also pure, lovely, and of good repute that all the other inhabitants of the earth around him were depicted as entirely wicked and worthy of destruction Gen.

According to the Bible, pointing out wrong is part of dwelling on what is right, exposing lies is part of dwelling on the truth, revealing cowardice is part of dwelling on the honorable, and uncovering corruption is part of dwelling on the pure. In his book, Monsters from the Id , Michael E. Jones writes about the origins of modern horror as a reaction to the Enlightenment worldview. Mary Wollstonecraft had been initiated into the inner circle of libertine poets Percy Shelley and Lord Byron. In the novel, Dr. Frankenstein is the symbol of enlightened man. His creation of the monster is his ultimate act of hubris in playing God.

A common staple in many horror films is the calmly deliberate, logical-minded scientist who tortures or kills in the name of scientific therapy or advancement. Another example of the Frankenstein monster motif is the serial killer, who becomes the evil yet rational extension of evolutionary survival ethics, as in Collateral ; or the amoral monster created by a society that rejects the notion of sin, as in Se7en ; or the beast that is justified by humanistic theories of behaviorism, as in Primal Fear and Silence of the Lambs.

In From Hell , an investigating criminologist explains to an inspector that Jack the Ripper was probably an educated man with medical knowledge.


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The inspector replies with shocked incredulity that no rational or educated man could possibly engage in such barbaric behavior. Enlightened modern man has another weakness: the inability to deal with real supernatural evil. Because he believes that there is a natural scientific explanation for all spiritual phenomena, he is blinded to the truth of a spiritual dimension to reality. The classic example of this is The Exorcist , where a little girl possessed by a demon is analyzed by medical and psychological doctors. All of them seek natural explanations that remain inadequate because their worldview blinds them to the truth.

The Reaping carries that naturalistic ignorance to new heights when a small southern town is being besieged by supernatural phenomena replicating the ten plagues of Egypt. A Christian apostate professor, who specializes in debunking paranormal phenomena, seeks to give natural scientific explanations for each plague, only to be confronted with true demonic spiritual reality.

Her faith is restored in God when she experiences a supernatural arrival of God in judgment on the evil.

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However, most aren't futile rebels; they are very real and threats often motivated by goals other than rebellion for its own sake. The Grim Reaper is at times represented as a God of Evil , wanting nothing but the death of every living thing, and the protagonist in particular. War too may be shown this way, desiring to bring about a world where Asskicking Equals Authority and the weak are killed just for being weak If they have any philosophy, ethos, or commandment, it's usually that Might Makes Right , that ethics and morality are mere shackles for The Fettered masses of Muggles , and that Evil represents the path to power.

Not surprisingly, they tend to be cruel, dominating and treacherous. If there is more than one God of Evil in a setting, they usually engage in Eviler Than Thou , betraying each other before any lasting headway against the forces of good can be made. Their metaphysical home, where worshipers and non-worshiping sinners end up, is usually akin to Hell. Given the above, why would anyone worship them?

Well, they usually offer worshipers power in life via a Deal with the Devil , fine print and afterlife be damned literally. Provided they don't fail their dark lord first, that is. And of course, most gods of evil are worshipped out of fear of what would happen if they stopped worshipping. Is it any surprise their pawns in the Divine Chessboard are usually unwitting or unwilling?


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  7. Necromancers and Infernalists usually get their powers by worshipping them. When they or their agents are actively recruiting, expect them to be The Corrupter.

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    A theocracy to one of these is probably The Empire. May be creator of an Always Chaotic Evil race. May have a court of Demon Lords and Archdevils , or if they exist at all these may be upstarts or otherwise in opposition. Gods of evil may have The Legions of Hell at their command. The God of Good has his own agents or agent to fight against the God of Evil.

    Compare and contrast Eldritch Abomination , which, as horrifying as it may be and act, are most often completely amoral and not malicious - though there can be some overlap. May overlap with or also be a Mad God. May be The Anti-God if it's powerful enough. If there is a personified representation of evil in a world with no other deities, that's case of Devil, but No God. There are some examples in real-world pantheons, but sometimes more morally-ambiguous or outright decent gods get depicted as Gods Of Evil in Sadly Mythtaken fiction just because they are dark or associated with violence.

    For various reasons, this happens often enough with death gods to create a subtrope. To avoid Flame Bait and Edit Wars , note that this trope isn't about gods who simply are evil, it's about gods of evil. Jerkass Gods that are petty, vain, or prone to Disproportionate Retribution do not qualify. Community Showcase More. Follow TV Tropes. You need to login to do this. Get Known if you don't have an account. Recognize that truth, my child: Strife is the single element most essential to meaning and existence.

    Without conflict, without struggle, all of creation might as well be so many unmoving, unfeeling stones.