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Klara's Contemplations―A Testimony of Parental Influence

Over the course of our ministry, Reasons for Hope has placed a special emphasis on parents and grandparents being spiritual heroes for their children. In our Did Jesus Commit Suicide? And 27 Other Questions Teens Are Asking About the Bible (that adults want to know, too), Carl addresses and encourages parents to use this book as part of a family study in apologetics topics. Last summer, we released Within Our Reach, a documentary revealing what is pulling our young people away from the church and the simple steps parents and grandparents can take to help keep them in the Word. We’ve also made parenting and keeping your children on God’s team the focus of several of our blogs and speaker talks over the past year.
Today’s blog is a by-product of parental spiritual investment in their children. You see, Lee and Candace Nordine have four daughters who’ve been trained up in God’s Word and how to live out their faith in the real world. As a family, they have set boundaries to spend quality time in God’s Word and together. One of the strategies Lee and Candace have implemented in their home is “media-free day” on Saturdays. As a result, their girls will often play games together, read, do family activities, or just enjoy great conversations together.
On one particular Saturday, their third-born daughter, 11-year-old  Klara, chose to write an essay of sorts—processing how to respond to a topic that many of her peers might have a question about. As you read this informational piece below, you can’t help but see a pre-teen who is already using great critical thinking skills and aligning what she sees in the world around her with the truths of God’s Word.
Jump scares … murder weapons … blood―all aspects of most horror movies meant to scare the pants off you. But what are horror movies really all about?

What Is a Horror Movie?

According to Google, a horror movie is “a film genre that seeks to make the audience afraid or disgusted for entertainment purposes.” Just based on this definition, you need to ask yourself, “Do I enjoy watching this genre of movie?” If your answer is yes, then buckle up. If you say no, then you still might want to hold on tight, because we are going to tackle this category of movie with a little help from King Jesus.

How Do Horror Movies Relate to Me?

Have you ever watched a horror movie where the main character really wants to know what is in the basement, but in reality, when they find out, they wish they never knew? In our world, we often want to find out what it would be like to be cooler, taller, and even smarter. But when we try to achieve these things, we get sucked up in them―they become our whole world and can be exhausting. But when we fix our eyes on God, we don’t have to be anxious about all of this―we can rejoice that we are one of His children.

Now back to horror movies…. They all have one thing in common: the main character is always nervous that something is going to happen tomorrow or next week. They stress about evil clowns hiding in sewers, someone following them in the streets, and much, much more. Why are they always so jittery?
Anxiety. Many horror movie scenes are focused on causing anxiety and stress. Real life can also be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be with God.

What Are Horror Movies Missing?

Something all horror movies have in common―no God. That is why the characters are always insecure, anxious, and scared. They are trapped in a world where no one can save them from their greatest fears. When you watch horror movies, they make you feel like no one can rescue you either, as if there is no savior to take you away from your biggest problem―sin. They make you feel like you can trust no one, and you have to rely on yourself in this world. In contrast, the Bible tells us differently.

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

So do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be dismayed for I am the Lord your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

This verse tells us that God is with us always and under any circumstances―the opposite of the message in horror movies.

Are There Any Horror Movies for Christians?

I am a human, and I make mistakes. I made one in my writing when I said that no horror movies include God. That is not true, e.g., The Passion of the Christ. This film shows us the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life―the amount of pain He went through when being crucified: being whipped 39 times, having nails put through His arms and legs, and trying to painfully hoist Himself up on the cross just to breathe.
Yet experiencing the most painful way to die was nothing compared to bearing all the sins of the world. Drinking the cup of the wrath of God was the most painful thing Jesus felt that day. Yes, there are horror movies for Christians, and they demonstrate how much Jesus loves us.

What If Google Says Otherwise?

I will not lie; most of my knowledge of horror movies comes from Google. While I was digging deeper, I saw other common searches on this topic, such as, How do horror movies help with anxiety? Why are most horror movies religious?

The simplest answers to these questions are they don’t, and they aren’t. However, to address the first question, being anxious is worrying about what tomorrow will bring. God can help us with our anxiety, but we need to focus on today instead of tomorrow. Acknowledging God’s role in this struggle can be hard. I mean, even Jesus’ disciples worried.

Matthew 8:24-26 NIV

Suddenly, a furious storm came up on the lake
But Jesus was sleeping.
The disciples went and woke him, saying,
“Lord save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied,” You of little faith, why are you so afraid?...”

We really don’t need to worry if we are on God’s team because it is always the winning team. That leads us to answer, “Why are most horror movies religious?” Again, they are not. All religions have a god but definitely not all horror movies have a god. As I said before, most horror movies are all missing something, and that is God.

Does This Mean I Shouldn't Watch Horror Movies?

If you like horror movies, that is okay. If you are into that gory stuff, that is fine. The decision to watch this genre is really between you, your parents, and God. Something you really need to think and pray about, though, is that this genre can manipulate you into wrong thinking and leaving God out of your thinking. When you are deceived in these areas, it can even lead to the belief that you are not good enough and that it’s normal to worry or stress about life’s questions.  God will help you if you do start thinking this way, and He wants to help you. So let Him.

1 Peter 5:7 NIV

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

"But when we fix our eyes on God, we don’t have to be anxious about all of this―we can rejoice that we are one of His children."

―KLARA NORDINE
As you can see, Klara's faith is connected to reason and a biblical worldview. PARENTS, YOU CAN DO THIS! When we thoughtfully consider the obstacles to encouraging faith and family and lovingly set boundaries, our children will respond in kind, and it will open the door for God to do His work in their hearts. What the Nordines have done within their home and for their girls is attainable for any family. It just takes that first brave step of establishing a new normal of building habits for spiritual growth within the walls of your home. 
To encourage you on this path, please take the time to click HERE to watch Within Our Reach and use the reflection handout included on the landing page for this video.
Also, please click HERE to watch our quick 60-second video telling about our popular Q & A book, Did Jesus Commit Suicide? … and ORDER yours today.
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