Jan 16

The Exorcist

By Kenneth Feucht Media, Movies Add comments

ExorcistThe Exorcist, starring Linda Blair ?????

I will occasionally watch and report on somewhat more controversial films, and certainly this is one of them. I realize that there are films that might be considered simply not suitable for viewing at any age. I saw the Exorcist when it first came out with a group of friends from church. It stimulated thought back then, but now brings other thoughts into reflection. This is not a movie for everybody. The first time I saw it, there were certainly nightmares that followed. The production is well done, though at times, one could easily see the errors in make-up of Regan, or other faux-pas. The first half of the film portrays physicians. Interestingly, much of the medical tests which were performed were on radiological instruments or with tests, like cerebral angiograms, which simply are not performed any longer. The movie at least had a somewhat kindly view of physicians, though their bedside interactions were somewhat sterile. Well, this is not a movie about doctors, but devils, though some people may consider them to be one and the same. C.S. Lewis’ quote on devils is quite apropos here, inexactly restated by me, that the problem with our belief in devils is either to not believe they exist, when they actually do, or to believe and think too much about them. Using the devil for entertainment purposes runs a precarious risk of exercising both extremes of C.S. Lewis. It would be easy to dismiss the devil as an invention of Hollywood or the Catholic church, and thus offer him the regard most improper of him. The movie story entails a 12 year old girl, who dabbles in Ouiji boards and a few things, and eventually becomes possessed. Her mom, who is a movie star, seeks first medical, then psychiatric help for her daughter to no prevail, as she becomes progressively worse. Finally, it is recommended that she seek a priest for an exorcism. Two priests come to the aide of the mother, and eventually are able to cast out the demon, but at the cost of their own lives. So, two thoughts on this movie. First is its’ portrayal of demon possession. Possession turns a person into a raving maniac, with bouncing beds, heads that rotate 360 degrees, and projectile bilious vomit, not the thing that actually does happen to a demon possessed person, at least, as is portrayed in Scripture. This extreme portrayal may cause one to loose sight that demon possession may be manifest in many other ways, such as, in the kindness of a person like Barak Hussain O., who is evil to the core, but presents as sweet as pudding. The other thought was how various inanimate objects were treated as possessive of special “charm”, such as the consecrated water, the crucifix and rosary, the words of incantation for exorcism, and the statue of Jesus. Protestants fall into error of “charming” other objects, though for the bad, such as trinkets or amulets, which they hold might be possessive of evil or harm. In reality, nowhere in Scripture are we told of an inanimate object possessing Spiritual qualities, and indeed are instructed that they absolutely do not and cannot have an ability to convey a curse of carry a demon with it. Yet, many Christians continue to believe such a thing. Pity. I would recommend this film, though not as a piece to amuse ones self, but rather, as a jumping off point in contemplating the roles of demons and the devil in this current world.

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3 Responses to “The Exorcist”

  1. Uncle Dennis says:

    For much of my life I have had little understanding of devils, who are fallen angels – angels in rebellion against Yahweh. Angels are created beings, like us. They are consequently part of the Creation and are thus part of the universe. Thus they are in the universe. Scripture tells us that Lucifer and Co. are, of all the billions of heavenly bodies, on the very same one we are one.

    However, other angels in scripture arrive from Out There. Many people afflicted with the same neo-platonic paganism as this movie is reported to portray, such as investing things with ghosts, assume that Out There is the third heaven, the eternity in which God dwells, instead of the second heaven of creation, outer space. (The first heaven of the ancients is the troposphere – the sky.) The ancient legend is that the Devil is from the Dragon constellation, from the star Draconis. Thus, angels are simply extraterrestrials: ETs.

    The significant increase in attention to UFOs in the 20th century might simply be part of what one would expect of the end times, of the prophetic signs in the heavens. Too many quite credible people have experienced too many quite credible events involving ETs, leaving the Air Force Project Blue Book conclusions premature if not downright misleading.

    How ETs that are angels exist here, and largely undetected, is somewhat of a mystery. Considering that they can get here at all from distant stars makes it less hard to believe that they can avoid us when they will. A mode of their existence is hinted in the congruence of demon possession and multiple-personality disorder (MPD), a form of mental illness where one’s mind fragments into multiple personalities and is no longer whole. In this sense, neo-platonists might attribute demon possession to Microsoft Vista for its similar lack of wholeness.

  2. Stephen Chambers says:

    Thanks Ken for steering me away from watching this movie:
    “This is not a movie for everybody. The first time I saw it, there were certainly nightmares that followed.” “First is its’ portrayal of demon possession. Possession turns a person into a raving maniac.”
    Honestly, I haven’t had any desire what-so-ever to watch it or the Alien Quadrilogy or the Robocop Trilogy. I guess I’m confused Ken when you critize the “church” for being what it is today, and you give beautiful bible verses like:

    “One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4


    “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts. My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God… Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise… For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. From Psalm 84”

    yet there is such a moral contrast between these verses and those unwholesome movies.

    I have trouble enough living and supporting my family in this world, and not giving into all the temptations that surround us, especially from the media. It is so distracting to what is, “true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and of good repute”
    Paul says, “if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”

    You say, “I would recommend this film, though not as a piece to amuse ones self, but rather, as a jumping off point in contemplating the roles of demons and the devil in this current world.”
    I would say, Stay away from Hollywood altogether! I’ve read C.S. Lewis’ Screw Tape Letters. He portrays satan as scripture does: like a snake; very quiet, subtle, and insidious. He’s in your life and you don’t even know that he is in you. He has you like a frog being slowly boiled in water. It’s a process of psychological conditioning over time. None of C.S. Lewis’ demons produced a raving maniac! That’s Hollywoods version of satan. As Paul states in Acts 20, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock … and among your own selves men will arise … to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert,”

  3. katja wagner says:

    Ich habe vor vielen Jahren das Buch “Der Exorzist” gelesen. Den Film kenne ich nicht, habe aber davon gehört.
    Basis des Films soll die wahre, schreckliche Geschichte einer jungen deutschen Frau aus Klingenberg/Main namens Anneliese Michel sein.
    Dieser Exorzismus hat sich nicht im Mittelalter zugetragen, sondern in den 70er(!!!) Jahren.(1974-1976?)
    Das Verhalten der Kirche war damals und ist auch heute für mich nicht nachvollziehbar.Engstirniger Katholizismus der Eltern und Überheblichkeit und vermeintliche Allwissenheit von Geistlichen haben dem Mädchen viele Qualen zugefügt.

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