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I never watched this film, but the synopsis alone is eerie. Read this article.

She then runs to the safety of a church, knowing that baptism is a form of exorcism.

Is this true? Can baptism be a form of protection against Satan? Is Satan really a person, or does this film carry a strong Faustian theme? Why would Satan be afraid of baptism and not a Jewish mikveh? Is baptism made up of holy water?

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  • Quite a few questions there at the last.
    – Narnian
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 21:41
  • @Narnian The synopsis gives me more questions than I have answers.
    – Double U
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 22:51

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The answer to this would really depend on what tradition you come from. Some traditions teach that it is baptism in water that brings salvation. Thus, it could be argued that baptism, bringing salvation to an individual, would be the inception of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This, then, would, in fact, be a sort of protection.

However, for traditions that believe water baptism is a physical representation of a spiritual reality that has already occurred, water baptism is just one of many acts of obedience, and would, therefore, not really provide any additional protection.

However, this is probably mostly Hollywood fantasy, as there are very few people in Hollywood who have ever read the Bible or have any idea what is in it. :)

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    Narn., not only in Hollywood, though. Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 22:42
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    I do not think the movie portrays Protestantism. It uses the word "priest" and "exorcism". The mystic type of stuff. It may be Catholic or Orthodox Christianity.
    – Double U
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 22:49
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If you look at the Biblical account, baptism has always accompanied entry into the church. It is offered "for the forgiveness of your sins" (Ac 2:38 or to "wash your sins away." (Ac 22:16) It frequently precedes/accompanies the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and is never far behind. If committing your life to Jesus and being baptized puts you under God's immediate protection, then perhaps baptism (as an act that frequently accompanies conversion) could be thought of as some measure of (preventative) protection from evil spirits.

I have never read or heard about it being used as therapy for demonic possession (which is what an exorcism is), though. Whoever coined this expression was using a fair amount of poetic license or doesn't really understand Christian baptism. Based on my experience with typical Hollywood movies, I would guess the latter.

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