“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”
In this scripture, Paul reminds us that the spirit of fear is not of God. In today’s society, it seems that seeking after this “spirit of fear” has become an object of recreation. Why do we seek after it? We go to scary movies for the creepy thrill it gives us. Haunted houses and Halloween festivities offer the same type of “excitement.” Though it may seem like harmless recreation, the fact that faith and fear cannot coexist is an idea worth considering.
Faith and fear cannot coexist
Kevin W. Pearson said, “Faith and fear cannot coexist. One gives way to the other.”
Movies acknowledging the Plan of Salvation
I remember having a conversation with my sister one time where something she said struck me. She mentioned how she doesn’t really enjoy movies where she can’t see how the Plan of Salvation fits in the plot. That really made me think. Perhaps some movies (because their overarching theme) crowd out that vision of Heavenly Father’s plan for us.
For instance, you wouldn’t expect the main character in a horror film to kneel down in the midst of a crisis and pray to the Lord for protection. God’s power is absent from the picture. Why? Because resorting to faith would take away that “exciting” unsettling feeling of fear that those types of movies are intended to create in our hearts. Adding God to the picture would fill our hearts with the faith that God is in control of our lives, thus strengthening our faith and crowding out all fear.
Every choice affects your faith
Moment to moment, every choice we make is either contributing to building our faith or weakening it. And as the For Strength of Youth pamphlet affirms, “whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you.” So does that mean that seeking after entertainment/recreation that encourages basking in the “spirit of fear” could little by little fill us with more fear and crowd out our faith? Perhaps. Choosing to consume scary movies may carry with it an element of excitement, but is it really worth the potential demise of our faith?
“Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time.”
- Neil A. Anderson
When I was younger I enjoyed scary movies and haunted houses. I can definitely see how many people find these things thrilling. I think I’ve become more sensitive over the years, however. Now I feel much more uncomfortable with the idea of intentionally doing things to creep myself out. I believe that when fear is present, the spirit of the Lord cannot be present because the spirit only dwells where faith dwells, and faith cannot fill our hearts when a spirit of fear prevails. Because of this, I now try to avoid watching most scary movies.