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Monday, April 21, 2014

The Conjuring: A Horror Film with a Heart (How A Formidable Husband-and-Wife-Team Fought Evil Through Their Strong Faith In God)

"The loveliest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist."

                                   - Charles  Baudelaire

"My whole thought is 'expose the devil and expose evil'. A skeptical public is the best protection that evil has, and I'm going to make sure that I expose that evil anyway I can. "

                                                                  - Ed Warren


I did not know that I would be led to writing this piece because I was waiting for a sister in Christ to give me her go-signal to write a heavy post on adultery and how she was handling it through prayer, fasting and godly behavior. 

While waiting for her email though, my husband and I watched 'The Conjuring' over the Easter weekend (What a choice of film, I know!). I had no idea what the film was previous to watching it, and so I was more than "pleasantly surprised" that the film was quite "entertaining", thrilling and scary enough to make me go grab my Bible the moment the film ended, to combat all the evil ideas and images that went into my mind while watching, and after watching the film! 

It was not a "typical" horror film because it had no "slashers, no gore, nobody gets killed, no sex or foul language", as filmmaker brothers Chad and Carey Hayes explained. They said their film wasn’t your typical “Christian” movie fare, but it nonetheless carried a strong religious message that can appeal to faith-minded audiences

It also had an unexpected background character for a horror film: God.

(Sisterly Warning: One should not watch these kinds of films without praying before and after, as a way of "protection" and "cleansing". I suggest to either refrain from watching altogether, if one is easily frightened, is vulnerable, or has an overactive imagination. Horror films by their very nature, DO instill horror or fear, so never watch it without being wary.)

What was even scarier was that it was based on a real-life story of a real family (the Perrons), who were helped by a real-life married couple (Mr. and Mrs. Ed Warren) who were "experts" on these kinds of supernatural, preternatural, and demonic activities!

A horror film in and by itself is already horrifying, but for it to be based on actual events?! 


In a gist, this was what 'The Conjuring' was all about:

Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. Based on the true life story, "The Conjuring" tells the tale of how world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives.

From New Line Cinema comes a feature film drawn from the case files of married demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. "The Conjuring" stars Academy Award® nominee Vera Farmiga ("Up in the Air," TV's "Bates Motel") and Patrick Wilson ("Insidious,") as the Warrens, and Ron Livingston ("The Odd Life of Timothy Green") and Lili Taylor (TV's "Hemlock Grove") as Roger and Carolyn Perron, residents of the house.

That's about how short I would go, with sharing about the film. It is really up to you if you want to watch it or not. :)
Lorraine and Ed Warren -- world's most renowned paranormal investigators

What I felt led to writing about was with regards to evil, the devil, and about the Catholic married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Ed and Lorraine Warren (a religious demonologist and clairvoyant respectively)on how they used their paranormal gifts from God to help other people combat demons and all sorts of evil entities. 

According to the movie's narrative, "Since the 1960s, Ed and Lorraine Warren have been known as the world's most renowned paranormal investigators. Lorraine is a gifted clairvoyant, while Ed is the only non-ordained Demonologist recognized by the Catholic church. Out of the thousands of cases throughout their controversial careers, there is one case so malevolent, they've kept it locked away until now...."

(Note: I always wait for the Holy Spirit's signal to write on posts. It starts with an idea, and then I ask the Spirit to prod me further, and if it is a post that deserves to be written, I have no problems starting with it and finishing it. But if it is a post that is not Spirit-led, but just perhaps my own idea for a topic,  I end up not having the energy or inclination to write it, and it goes straight to the trash bin. This topic was flashed before my "eyes" while I was mulling over the strong marriage of the Warrens in their fight against evil.) 

Let me begin by saying that I am not new to demonic activity.

If you have been following my blog, you would have known by now that I was possessed by an evil entity in late 2003. You can read about it in these links:
Looks can be deceiving. - Nov 2003

Part 1: Depression and Oppression : Coming Full Circle -- My Demonic Possession 

Part 2: The Possession : Coming Full Circle - My Demonic Possession

Part 3: Salvation and Redemption : Coming Full Circle -- My Demonic Possession

I will not go into full detail anymore, as you can read about what had happened to me, from the above links, but just to give a brief summary... I experienced that horrible, pathetic event in my life because I was under extreme:

DEPRESSION which led to
OPPRESSION, which led to 

The above series of events (Depression, Oppression, Possession), Dong and I just figured out for ourselves in 2004,  when we were trying to understand how it was that I got mind-and-spirit-possessed in the first place. 

We looked at each other with wide eyes, when in the film, "The Conjuring", the Warrens mentioned that the three stages that led to possession, based on their hundreds of cases were:


   Yikes, we were nearly spot on!

Depression was part of Infestation!

You see, I was very, very, very angry and very, very, very  bitter towards my father during that time. :( 

Remember what is written in the Bible about anger:

Ephesians 4:26-27
26BE ANGRYAND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not give the devil an opportunity. 
Well, all my pent-up anger during that time towards my Papa gave the devil ample opportunity, alright. It was only Dong's great love for me and his belief in the devil  and strong faith in God that saved me from myself and from that episode in my life (I used to believe in evil, but did not believe there was an actual, real devil. satan deceived me into thinking he was just a fairy tale.). That near-death experience was the catalyst for Dong to propose to me and marry me. He wanted to be with me and to protect me for life, as my husband.

I am not proud of that demonic episode. :(  If I had a choice, I would not mention it again, ever.  In fact, I am humiliated by it. :( I am very repentant for going against my father. :( 

I am blessed though to have redeemed my relationship with my father, long before he died. God has been so gracious and merciful to me. My Papa died though, never having known about what had happened to me in 2003. I felt that his heart would not be able to take it, so I opted to not tell.

 But I made a promise to God in 2004 that I would one day talk about it (the possession) in the hope that others could be saved from undergoing a similar experience, or to, at the very least, comfort those who have perhaps experienced it as well. I was able to fulfill that promise at the start of this year (2014), through this blog, a whole decade after.

Some Christians will rabidly argue that a Christian (I am a Catholic Christian.) who already possesses the Holy Spirit CANNOT be possessed by the devil. They would argue, it just was not possible! Both cannot exist within the same space! Either you have a holy spirit or an evil one.

Well, I am not here to argue about that. What had happened, had in fact happened. Despite the fact that  I was baptized as a child;  that I asked the Lord to reign in my life at 11 (although I acted unsaved for most of my life all the way till I really gave up my life to Him in September 1, 2013); and that I loved God so much, in spite of myself and my many frailties.  The possession occurred when I was 28. I am now 38.

* * *
My daily Bible reading incidentally is on the Acts of the Apostles, and boy, am I awed at the miracles the apostles were able to do in Jesus' Name, after they had received the Holy Spirit!!! Part of those miracles involved driving out demons from possessed people.

Here are some Bible verses on casting out demons:

When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, "Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!"

"When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, 'I will return to the person I came from.'

And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, the spirits would throw them to the ground in front of him shrieking, "You are the Son of God!"
Mark 9:28-29 
28When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, “Why could we not drive it out?” 29And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer and fasting.”

Evil is real.
The devil is real.
God is real.
Jesus is real.
The Holy Spirit is real.

However, evil was not created by God.

 Here is the answer to the question: "Did God create evil?" from

At first it might seem that if God created all things, then evil must have been created by God. However, evil is not a “thing” like a rock or electricity. You cannot have a jar of evil. Evil has no existence of its own; it is really the absence of good.

 So when God created, it is true that all He created was good. One of the good things God made was creatures who had the freedom to choose good. In order to have a real choice, God had to allow there to be something besides good to choose. So, God allowed these free angels and humans to choose good or reject good (evil). When a bad relationship exists between two good things we call that evil, but it does not become a “thing” that required God to create it.

Perhaps a further illustration will help. If a person is asked, “Does cold exist?” the answer would likely be “yes.” However, this is incorrect. Cold does not exist. Cold is the absence of heat. Similarly, darkness does not exist; it is the absence of light. Evil is the absence of good, or better, evil is the absence of God. God did not have to create evil, but rather only allowed for the absence of good.
God did not create evil, but He does allow evil. If God had not allowed for the possibility of evil, both mankind and angels would be serving God out of obligation, not choice. He did not want “robots” that simply did what He wanted them to do because of their “programming.” God allowed for the possibility of evil so that we could genuinely have a free will and choose whether or not we wanted to serve Him.
 * * * * * * *

What I liked about the film was that it did not glorify evil, as most horror flicks usually did, but it showed how faith in God can combat evil and the devil. I was actually sad for the Perrons (the haunted family) because they were not baptized Christians (the Warrens are Catholic). They were not "equipped" to fight the devil, although they were kind people.:(

Here are some quotable quotes from the movie:

Lorraine Warren: Do you remember the thing you said on our wedding night?
Ed Warren: Can we do it again?
Lorraine Warren: No! The other thing, that God brought us together for a reason.

Ed Warren: We've been called ghost hunters. Paranormal researchers. Wackos.
Lorraine Warren: But we prefer to be known simply as Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Camilla: What's an inhuman spirit?
Ed Warren: It's something that's never walked the Earth in human form. It's something demonic.

The real Ed Warren is
The only non-clerical demonologist
 recognized by the Vatican.

Ed Warren: Diabolical forces are formidable. These forces are eternal, and they exist today. The fairy tale is true. The devil exists. God exists. And for us, as people, our very destiny hinges upon which one we elect to follow.

* * * * *

What was "cute" in the film ("horror film" and "cute" do not belong together, I know!) was the true love between the husband and wife team of Ed and Lorraine Warren

God did bring them together for a reason. To combat the evil spirits -- both human and inhuman!

The young Warrens

They met when they were both 16. He went into the Navy on his sixteenth birthday. It was during one survivor's leave that he married Lorraine. The two have one daughter, Judy, who herself inherited her mother's abilities, but never quite developed it because she got quite spooked with the scary ministry that her parents did. Ed was a painter by profession and Lorraine was a housewife.  

The Warrens never charged for their services though , making a modest living from their speaking engagements and from the sale of Ed’s paintings.

Lorraine firmly believes that her clairvoyant and psychic abilities are a 'gift’ from God. 'I think God had to have given it to me,’ she says.
 Her belief in the existence of evil, demons and possession is tied up with her Catholic faith. She says that sometimes prayers and a rosary would be enough to 'neutralise’ the spirits.
A scene from the movie. The Warrens, were very "scientific" in their approach towards
these manifestations. They had to rule out normal occurrences first before they
agreed to take on any case. Some of their work has been actually used in courtroom proceedings.
'You could try to command them, in the name of Jesus Christ, to go back to where they came from. 

"In the name of Jesus Christ, I demand you to leave and come back where you came from. You can only do that with faith. Not words.  But sometimes they would fight back," she says.
Lorraine, with actress Vera Farmiga, herself a Catholic too.
For a more stubborn spirit, the Warrens would call in the clergy to perform an exorcism. 'We had one bishop who was really supportive and helpful. But there are very few exorcists around these days.’ If a priest was not available, Ed himself would sometimes perform the rituals.'

 'My husband was brilliant at his work,’ she says, simply. 'And he never felt he could be put down by people who didn’t believe in it.’ (He has since joined the Creator on August 23, 2006.)
'So many people don’t have any faith at all and they don’t want to believe in things that might harm them.
In their old age, they still were a team.

 Although she is growing frail, (she is nearing 90 now) Lorraine still occasionally agrees to investigate a haunting. 'But it was incredibly difficult to carry on working after Ed died. We were such a team, she says.


I am glad that my ministry, in which Dong is becoming more and more involved (pretty soon, it will be OUR ministry), which is, to spread God's Design for marriage, DOES NOT involve casting out demons or going into unchartered evil territory, that is for sure!!! Huge sigh of relief right there!

Much can be said against the Warrens or their own supernatural ministry, and I am sure there are doubters and skeptics among us, but one thing we cannot fault them for is that :
When they realized that their reason for existence was to combat these evil forces using their strong faith in God and through their dynamic husband-and-wife teamwork, they went all out with it and did it for free.

I have mentioned earlier that I am reading the whole book of the Acts of the Apostles. A certain 'magician' or 'sorcerer' by the name of Simon thought that the apostles were "performing magical tricks" and he wanted to learn the tricks of the trade! Peter told him off, even calling him wicked!

 Let me share about Simon's story with you:

Acts 8:9-24

Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God. 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit,16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 Peter answered: May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.

24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

* I felt led to share with you about Simon because the Warrens' gift is similar to the early apostles', in that they had "supernatural gifts" too, that of casting out demons. But unlike Simon, they did not peddle it for a price. It really is a gift, after all. One could not buy the gift of God with money.
In ending, I would like to stress that 
GOD'S POWER is far greater than any demonic power. 

God is the Alpha and the Omega.

God created every being on earth, above the earth and under the earth, including those human and inhuman beings that chose to turn away from Him and with their own free will chose to live a life of EVIL. As we learned above, EVIL was not created by God (God will never contradict Himself and He is all GOOD and all LOVE). Evil is the ABSENCE of GOOD; the ABSENCE of LOVE.

   It is really up to us Who or What we want to follow. 
Is it God or Good; or is it satan or evil?

Your choice. Your free will.

As exorcist priest, Msgr. John A. Esseff , wisely points out: The power in the warfare against Satan is the power of Jesus.”  Often, according to him, the movies make it look as if there is a battle between equals and that sometimes God loses.  “That is totally wrong,” Esseff said. God made the devil. He is a creature of God, who rebelled. There is no man who wants to worship and serve God that will be under the power of the devil. Man makes the choice.”

"Watching a movie or any acknowledgement of evil should not leave one afraid", Esseff said
“With Jesus, we have nothing to fear.”

Though our choice of film for our Resurrection weekend was quite weird (Why did we not watch The Passion of Christ again, instead?), I am glad we watched it. :) It is in the stark contrast of GOOD vs. EVIL that made me want to choose God and Good over and over and over again. 
(No doubt about it!) 

It also reminded me that in this world, everything is not what it seems to be. The fight is not physical; it is spiritual. It is a spiritual battlefield everyday, with our souls at stake.

Ephesians 6:12-17

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God,so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

P.S. I encourage you to read the Bible daily, dear sisters in Christ, if you haven't taken on this truly rich and amazing discipline, to strengthen your own walks with Christ.  Do not make it a habit to watch horror films. (Yeah, right. I should walk my talk! Haha.) Kidding aside, make it a daily habit to read on God's Word. It is a wellspring of TruthIt is the "sword of the Spirit". It will nourish you, sustain you, and allow you to combat the evil devil. Do veer away from the morbid curiosity of the occult or of anything demonic or satanic. Those are just bad news, and will make one fall into temptation and deliver one to evil. Someone once said, "KNOWLEDGE is POWER"!  And the knowledge of God is the most powerful knowledge there is!

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