Breathing Under Water, Ch 2, cont.

Here’s an interesting longer quote from Rohr (page 13):

“It has always deeply disappointed me that the Christian religion was the only one that believed God became a human body, and yet we have had such a deficient and frankly negative attitudes towards embodiment, the physical world, sexuality, emotions, animals, healthy physical practices like yoga, and nature itself.

It often seems that Western Christianity has been much more formed by Plato (body and soul are at war) than by Jesus (body and soul are already one).  For many of us the body is more repressed and denied than even the mind or the heart.”

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The Conjuring: a Review with a Moral

The family was gone and after a long day I went to the movies to see the latest horror film, The Conjuring.  I know, I know, but everyone relaxes differently.

It was a good horror film with minimal gore and lots of scares.  It’s a combo of the haunted house/exorcist genre. Usually haunted house films are slow and boring and PG-13.  The Others with Nicole Kidman was an exception and very good.

First, the bumps and creaks in the night come.  Then the friendly ghost child.  Things continue to escalate in typical (but well-done) fashion. Finally, we get the full story.  150 years ago a Satan worshipper/witch killed her child and hung herself, cursing anyone who took her land. So we have our antagonist.

The events are based on a true story, at least real people.  Ed and Lorraine Warren were paranormal researchers in the 60s-70s and participated in séances and witnessed exorcisms.  They were catholic and religion played a minor theme.

The evil ghost had possessed and caused mothers to kill their children.  Here’s where you might think it gets creepy and sick and unChristian, but this is actually where it gets serious and spiritual.  Family was an important theme.

We learn early on as the ghost lady tells one of the 5 girls that she is going to kill the entire family. And HERE is where the spiritual application kicks in.

It was a movie meant to scare and make money. The director is the guy from the original Saw film. But it was a great allegory for the true spiritual struggle that every family–Christian or not–is going through. What the film portrayed through people being tossed around and scared and possessed was graphic and frightening.  What Satan does every day doesn’t make a great film but is essentially the same.

He wants to destroy your family. He is a powerful malevolent being.

Maybe you believe exorcisms are a Catholic thing or only in movies.  Go read Seeing the Unseen by Joe Beam. That book is a great study on Satan and evil spirits who interact with the material world (which includes you and me).

Satan doesn’t need to try to convince parents to take a butcher’s knife to their offspring.  Families are full of demonic activity:  anger, abuse, selfishness, greed, pornography and more.  Dysfunction is here to stay because of sin.

The film is about fighting for one’s family against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).  My family has been through some battles and so has your family.

SPOILER ALERT:

Love for family helps to overcome evil in the film.

ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT

An evil, sadistic, powerful being wants to destroy your family.  He wants to influence you to live a lifestyle and make decisions that will destroy your relationships with your spouse and kids.  He wants you to make as many mistakes as possible to mess up your kids even more than average. We live in a culture where marriage has been crumbling for decades, where parents cease to parent, where divorce is common and dysfunction is the norm.

How is the Evil One attacking you or your family?  Do something! Call on the name of Jesus.  Pray.  Seek advice from the Bible and mature men and women who have known Jesus a long time. Call a counselor/therapist/shrink.

Don’t let your life be a horror film.

The film ends with a real quote from the real Ed Warren.  Take it to heart.

“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.”

An interesting interview with the guys who wrote the screenplay HERE.

Breathing Under Water, Ch. 2

Chapter 2- Desperate Desiring
(Rohr is discussing how 12 Step programs are similar to the Christian faith and spirituality)

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”  Step  2 of AA

Religion is lived by people who are afraid of hell. Spirituality is lived by people who have been through hell.

The innocuous mental belief systems of much religion are probably the major cause of atheism in the world today.

Religion either produces the very best people or the very worst.

I think your heart needs to be broken, and broken open, at least once to have a heart at all or to have a heart for others.

Most head churches do not touch the heart, most heart churches do not bother with the head, and almost all of them ignore the body as if of no account.

Breathing Under Water

Stuff to chew on from intro and Ch 1 of richard Rohr’s book:

“We had admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.”  Step 1 of AA

God seems to have hidden holiness and wholeness in a secret place where only the humble will find it.

Grace is always humiliation for the ego.

All societies are addicted to themselves and create deep codependency on them.

We try to engineer our own transformation by our own rules and by our own power, which is by definition, therefore, not transformation.

What the ego hates more than anything else in the world is to change–even when the present situation is not working or is horrible.

Letting go is not in anybody’s program for happiness, and yet all mature spirituality, in one sense or another, is about letting go and unlearning.