Can Christians be possessed by a demon? Are places cursed by Satan and the demonic? Do relics or antiques contain spirits or curses? Hollywood has taught us a lot about the spiritual world. Or maybe it is better to say that Hollywood has told us a lot.

It’s funny to me how most people don’t think that Hollywood movies portray reality, yet so many of us have our view of the world shaped by movies and television. Hollywood is obsessed with horror films, mainly movies of the demonic. It has caused people, mainly Christians, to assume wrong ideas.

When I was a teacher in a Christian school, I would have students ask me about paranormal movies and how they correspond to reality. Students would then tell stories of the supernatural they had observed in movies. They would say, “Dr. Paris, I know this to be true because I saw this movie, and it was based on a true story.”

I would explain to my students what the word “based” meant that the filmmakers had taken some theatrical liberties and changed the story had been changed. The truth is that there is a big difference between being based on a true story and actually being true.

Thankfully, the Bible isn’t based on a true story. It is a true story, right down to the last detail. What we see in scripture are the limitations of the demonic. Demons aren’t in control, God is. Demons don’t have authority. Jesus has authority. This is the story of the Bible. Let me illustrate this for you.

In the book of Mark, there is a man that is possessed by demons. The demons control the man and make him do whatever they want. This is the story Hollywood loves to tell, but then Jesus steps on the scene, and it all stops. The demons no longer have the power to do as they please once Jesus shows up. Jesus commands the demons to leave, and they obey. To further illustrate this, the book of James, tells us that the demons believe in God, and they shudder, which implies they are powerless against God. When developing our view of the world, our source of truth needs to come from scripture, not Hollywood. So, the next time you have a question about the spiritual world, be careful to check your sources. Make sure your facts come from a true story.