Summary: How do Christians account for the paranormal – ghosts and the like?
A Christian View of the Paranormal
1. Rob Vance and non-occult Halloween party here at HPC about 15 years ago. Got sheet for his son, Andrew, and cut holes in it. Andrew came as the "holey ghost!"
2. I spoke about ghosts and the occult at the King’s Academy school in Jonesboro, Indiana last Monday. WGNR/WIWC rebroadcast my interview from last year about ghosts. The interviewed aired again this past week.
3. I am not an authority on the subject, but so few pastors address such matters, that I am viewed as an authority.
4. While discussing the subject of ghosts on a solid Christian internet forum, several relayed accounts of their experience with the paranormal and how they were convinced that such experiences were demonic. One Christian man opined in a different direction.
5. He wrote: "How do I account for people claiming to see Ghosts? Same way that I account for people seeing Big Foot, or speaking in tongues, or being healed at a Benny Hinn meeting, or attending a KJVO Baptist church. The world is full of gullible, emotionally confused, and self centered exaggerators and liars, and those who listen to them.
"Demons don’t have time for such nonsense. They are too busy not being noticed at the Seminaries, Bible schools, and churches."
6. I agree that the world is filled with gullible and emotionally confused people. But, when it comes to demons and their activity, I beg to differ.
7. The assumption of this contributor is that demons are highly rational and disciplined, sort of evil Mr. Spocks. But if you look at the Legion of demons who were cast into a herd of swine, you will see that they resemble intensely evil human people: often irrational and bent on destruction. Although Satan is shrewd, the consequence of evil is insanity. Many of you – or people close to you – have seen ghosts or other phenomenon.
8. No, Satan and his demons are active, not only opposing the Kingdom of God, but also destroying and harming those made in the image of God, lost or saved.
Main Idea: How do Christians account for the paranormal – ghosts and the like? Here is my understanding as we look at the overview and then get more specific.
I. The Overview: CONFLICT Between God and Satan
A. A God with HOLY jealousy (Exodus 20:5a)
"You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God"
Isaiah 14:12-14, NKJV, "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart: ‘ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’"
Ezekiel 28:13-15, "You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl.
Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.
You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you."
C. The impossibility of MIXING the two (I Corinthians 10:20-22)
No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
II. The Specifics: Satan and the PARANORMAL
A. Satan’s demons DISGUISE themselves (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve."
B. People die ONCE and are judged (Hebrews 9:27)
"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…"
C. How do we ACCOUNT for the paranormal?
• Werewolves and Nebuchadnezzar
2. Unstable or IRRATIONAL people
3. INTENTIONAL exploitation
4. SUPERNATURAL phenomenon
D. DEMONS imitate the dead: lessons from Endor (I Samuel 28:3-25)
III. The Christian RESPONSE