rebelling against low expectations

Are scary stories a bad thing?


LEAH WRITES: I have been thrilled by scary stories for as long as I can remember! My cousins and I used to tell them all the time and scare ourselves half to death at sleepovers. Lately, however, I’ve been feeling a lot more scared by them. They’re not fun anymore. This situation has made me wonder whether there’s anything inherently wrong with them. Do you think scary stories are wrong as a whole? Is it only bad if they control your emotions and they’re otherwise fine? Or do you have a whole different opinion?

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  • The Bible tells us to guard our hearts and minds. I think scary stories aren’t necessarily bad, but are they good? I know for me I used to love romantic movies and books with a little romantic edge. As I’ve gotten older I’ve found that romantic things are affecting me in a lot more distracting ways. I’d have dreams about it and it seemed like it was on my mind a lot. Because of that I decided to cut those things out. Since then I haven’t had any trouble. I think instead of asking, is it bad? We should ask, Are they affecting my walk with God in a positive or negative light? The Bible tells us not to be afraid (except when it comes to fearing God). If God is on our side who can stand against us? If these scary stories are distracting you from God, or making you feel fearful. Satan may be using that. Satan will use anything he can to make you fall. Paul writes in Philippines ‘All things are lawful for me but not all things are profitable’

    • I love that part about asking not ‘ is it bad?’ but, rather, asking whether or not it is affecting my walk with God. I was just about to say the same thing! 🙂

    • I agree with you 100%. While some things may be ok for another Christian, those things may not be ok for you. Another question I would add though, is, does me doing this affect someone else’s walk with God or may it cause them to stumble? In 1 Cor. 8, Paul addresses the Corinthians about their response to buying meat that had been offered to idols. Some said, “I can’t it’s wrong. No Christian should.” Others said, “I can and I will. There’s nothing wrong with it.” But by buying the meat, they were causing the people who said “I can’t” to stumble in their walk with God, so Paul introduced a different and more mature response, “I can, there’s nothing wrong with it, but I won’t if it causes my brother to stumble.” This is where my family stands on a lot of “issues” in our Church’s circles. We don’t go to movie theaters for this reason. When I was little my dad had this phrase he used often, “Some may, you may not.”

    • 1 Corinthians 10:23 ( NIV) I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.

  • I don’t think scary stories are a bad thing. We live in a scary world, full of fear and chaos. Sometimes scary stories are a reality that we have to live in.

    I love scary stories. I don’t like scary stories about “ghosts” or “haunted houses,” because they would never happen. To me, a “scary” story would be something that could or has happened in real-life. If it is about monsters, zombies, vampires, etc, they don’t scare me. It’s something that could possibly happen to me or you that disturbs me.

    Scary stories are made to scare you. I wouldn’t recommend them for people who get scared easily. I absolutely refuse to read a scary story at night, because I feel alone and it is somehow more frightening.

    • I’m the same–I love reading stories that seem realistic and frightening. They give me an adrenaline rush, and I feel excited reading them. 🙂 I also set limits on myself for not reading them at night, though, because I can get a little freaked out when I’m tired and not quite myself.

      • At night, it also feels as if their is another person in my room. It feels like someone is watching me. I like watching YouTube videos about murders and crimes, but I won’t watch those at night or by myself either. Do you watch documentaries like that?

  • i personally get scared very easily, and like Haven said below, I can remember times in my life where something that shouldn’t have been scary at all got twisted way out of proportion in my mind and I was terrified and had trouble giving it to God. I guess this is a personal conviction type thing. I don’t think all scary stories are necessarily bad, but I stay away from them. 🙂

  • I personally do not like scary stories. Emphasis on the “do not.”
    I really do not like them. They are not light. Their purpose is to scare. I don’t like feeling scared–I feel vulnerable and weak. The scriptures say,”…God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
    That says, at least to me, that if the spirit of fear is not of God, so it must be of the devil. The rest of the scripture talks about God’s spirit being power, love, and a sound mind. Fear takes away your power. It doesn’t fill you with love, and it fills your mind with scary, shifting thoughts.
    I try to stay away from things that fill me with fear, because from past experience, I don’t like fear. It makes me feel cold, alone, and afraid of normal things. I don’t like feeling that way.
    I think that whatever fills you with fear, is sent from the devil to immobilize you and stop you from moving forward.
    You’ve recognized that feeling. Follow through with it. If a scary story comes up, don’t stay! Don’t put yourself through that. God wants you to move forward, but its hard when you’re constantly paralyzing yourself with fear.
    This is just my personal opinion, not meant to offend anyone. If this doesn’t apply to you, then I guess it’s just me 😉
    I apologize for this long comment, my brain is very not-organized and I feel like this made no sense XD If so, just read @audrey_french:disqus’s comment. 😀

    • I think the scary stories depends. If you can write a horror fantasy dystopian novel that is Christian themed and shows that it is based on your faith, I specifically find it ok. I myself am trying to write a dystpian christian horror novel that also has humor. I am trying to make it Christ based. The setting is a post U.S.A. and via a person who sold their soul, Satan has taken over most of America and rules it. All that is good is illegal and crime is not illegal. God chooses 4 immortal beings to do His will and destroy the Dark Empire ( Most of what was the U.S.A.) And fight a war against evil so Christians can worship Jesus without fear after years of persecution. There is a lot of violence but it is at core Christianity based. And I am trying to make that show.

      • You’re right–it totally depends on the person. I personally have a very small “scary story” tolerance. I don’t like anything remotely scary. I don’t partake of scary stories. That’s just a choice I’ve made, but I totally support you and your story.

      • Ditto, Evan. I like your idea. I can see it being a movie even! Keep it up! If you need someone to critique it, I’m a writer that’s willing to look at your work. 🙂

  • I do not enjoy anything horror related at all, be it movies, books, or stories. I think the biggest issue with mainstream scary stuff is that most of the time, the themes tend to lean towards the supernatural. Ghosts, zombies, and demons (oh my!) find their way into our culture under the guise of being nothing more than a fictional adrenaline rush. Spiritual warfare becomes trivialized and in some cases, even glorified. I’ve read that as Christians, we can not be “possessed”, but we can be “oppressed” by demons. If we allow something of the spiritual nature into our lives, it can give the Evil One a foothold. I think that’s the main thing we need to be aware of and use discernment with.

    • I know how you feel. I do, however, like horror movies and books, but I’m not a big fan of zombies, ghosts, or monsters. I do believe that demons are real, so I can watch or read something with demons, because it is realistic.

      I watch and read stories with evil in them, and I’m not possessed. I can’t live in a shell because I might turn into a possessed person. I know it’s in our culture, but I guess if I’m watching or reading something with demons in it, it doesn’t change how I think about it.

      • it’s not about living in a shell or living in fear. it’s about being wise and discerning with what we let into out hearts and minds. it’s unwise and actually kind of naive to think that what we put in our heads doesn’t affect us; it always does. yes, it’s important to be aware of the evils in our world and not pretend it isn’t happening, but we should not personally dabble in the supernatural, however innocent it may seem. Satan is gunning for us, and we need to be on guard.

        • I’m not saying it doesn’t affect us. It affects me, but not in the way that would make me stop watching or reading it.

          Horror movies and books were made to scare you. If you don’t like that genre, then don’t watch or read it. I’m just saying that there are demons in the world, and it’s not wrong to watch or read about. I’m into that kind of genre, so it works for me.

          I’m just saying, why would you tell other people to guard their hearts and minds if they enjoy watching and reading that kind of thing. You can shield yourself from evil and still enjoy stuff like that. I’m not trying to start an argument or anything. It’s just my opinion.

  • I think that it may be ok to tell scary stories, but at the same time, we have to remember that Satan uses fear. Scary stories are also related to scary movies, which explicitly shows demon possesed dolls and whatnot. We also have to remember that our mentality is not to see what we can do and not considering it a “sin” but doing all we can to please God. But that is a good question!

  • I know this is late, but who cares! I think that scary things can be good in the context of a narrative, but telling stories to be afraid is NOT Godly. Think if it this way: when Jesus was in the garden, He was once again tempted by the devil. The devil told Him to run. He told Jesus be afraid. His temptation was not only just to go against the Fathers will, but to be sinful. To be human. One of the things that makes Jesus special is that He chose to be human; He chose to go through what we go through as humans and followers of Christ. This particular temptation was to be afraid and to forsake part of His nature. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” This temptation was to put off Holy Spirit and be afraid. So when we, as believers, indulge in scary things just to be afraid, we are deviating from Holy Spirits leadership. So if you don’t want to abide in God, try to be scared.
    Hope this enlightened y’all!

rebelling against low expectations

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