Monday, April 9, 2012

Counterpoint: Are Ghosts Compatible with Christian Faith

Usually, I like to stick to my own ramblings in the supernatural. But I have been struggling with how to address the issue of the Christian ghost hunting without coming off and sounding like a pompous condescending scholar on a BBC television show. I wrestled for sometime on how to write this article without offending the intended audience. How do you reach neutral ground on a tough subject and not make people upset or angry about their beliefs? What finally hashed out is this article. I don't usually address other people's work in my adventures and ramblings, but it makes sense to do so in this case. On the Paranormal Warriors of St. Michael website Fr. Bob Bailey has written an article on “Are Ghosts Compatible With ChristianFaith?”. I will use this article to write a counterpoint using the arguments and facts presented by Fr. Bob Bailey to bring to light some critical points in theology on this matter.

Let's open with Fr. Bob Bailey's paragraph to keep his thoughts in context.

There is a belief among some more fundamentalist and Pentecostal-oriented Christians that theses were all evil spirits – if they existed – merely masquerading as “ghosts”, yet people’s experiences seemed to prove otherwise. This I would come to understand more clearly as I entered into this Work. The more I would <work> with those in the paranormal fiend <field>, the more the Lord was teaching me that a belief in ghosts is NOT INCOMPATIBLE with Christian Faith. Here of the reasons to support this view.

To briefly paraphrase Fr. Bob Bailey and not take him out of his own context, fundamental and Pentecostal Christians believe ghosts are evil spirits – masquerading as ghosts. Fr. Bob is quoting,

14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
2 Cornithians 11:14-15 (KJV)

It is important to note that Fr. Bob Bailey is a Catholic priest, and he implies in his statement that Catholicism accepts ghosts, but the fundamentalist and Pentecostal Christians do not. It is their (the fundamentalist and Pentecostal) theology that ghosts don't exist. This is deceptive to the reader who wants to understand the truth about ghosts and their Christian faith. What Fr. Bob fails to bring to light is that Catholicism forbids the teachings of spiritism in the Church. Spiritism is the belief that ghosts walk the earth and we can communicate with them. I can completely expand on this but I want to keep to the counterpoint of question, “Are Ghosts Compatible with Christian Faith?”. Fr. Bob goes on to state the more he worked in the paranormal field, the more the Lord was teaching him that ghosts were real. Does this seem odd that Fr. Bob would make this statement when he previously stated the fundamental Christian (those who stay true to the teachings of the Bible) won't budge because of the scripture that Satan and his evil spirits can appear to us as friendly spirits, albeit resemble deceased spirits? Then the Lord taught him the scripture was incompatible? Does this argument line up Biblically?

Let's move on in this article, where the primary argument used by Christian ghost hunters, resides. And this is with the Old Testament account of Saul using the medium of Endor to summon the spirit of Samuel (1 Samuel 28:8-20). The article states,

1. Were there ghosts in Biblical days? The classic passage in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that we can refer to is: Samuel 28:15:Then Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" And Saul answered, "I am greatly distressed; for the Philistines are waging war against me, and God has departed from me and no longer answers me, either through prophets or by dreams; therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I should do." (New American Bible)
Clearly here, the passage does show that ghosts which are spirits of the deceased are able to and have come into our earthly realm.

This is the primary argument used by Christian ghost hunters to justify the existence of ghosts. Rarely, if ever, have I ever seen the following scripture quoted where the spirit is identified as a familiar spirit and not a ghost.

13So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;
1 Chronicles 10:13 (KJV)

Is this not the event being referred to in 1 Samuel 28:15? If you are in agreement, let's take a look at what the scripture says. Saul asked counsel of one that had a familiar spirit and asked her to enquire of it. A familiar spirit is a demon -not a ghost! Familiar means it is a servant spirit. A servant spirit of who? Satan.

31Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:31 (KJV)

God is explicitly telling His people to AVOID familiar spirits! All demons lie. They can MASQUERADE. If the scripture is twisted, it can call the familiar spirit -a ghost. Then those who adhere to that notion must also further ADJUST the word of the Lord on this,

6And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
Levitiucs 20:6 (KJV)

Scripture explicitly states that Saul was cursed for consulting the medium and her familiar spirit. There is no question that there has always been a belief in ghosts throughout the history of mankind. The question is whether they are ghosts or they are unclean spirits roaming the earth. The father of lies is responsible for the ghost phenomena.

44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
John 8:44

I firmly believe that the witch and Saul were being deceived by a demonic spirit. To be fair and give coverage in this argument, there are some theologians who believe it was truly Samuel who appeared to them and it was done so through divine permission. God permitted the spirit of Samuel to leave his eternal home to come back and rebuke Saul. In this case, theologians believe Samuel appeared in a glorified form, much like Elijah and Moses did, and not as a ghost!

28And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
 29And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
 30And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
 31Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
 32But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.
Luke 9:28-32

In either argument, whether it was a familiar spirit, explicitly called out in scripture, or a transfigured Samuel (implied), no Biblical reference implies that 1 Samuel 28:15 clearly shows there are ghosts.

Fr. Bob Bailey speaks a lot about exorcism and seems to speak with the authority of a Roman Catholic exorcist. On the PWSM website, Fr. Bob clearly states he is NOT an exorcist. Nor is he allowed to perform exorcisms. Our ministry is networked with Catholic deliverance ministries and Roman Catholic exorcists. The theology presented by Fr. Bob Bailey and the PWSM is spiritism and not Catholicism. God's plan for our eternal life is perfect and infallable. We just don't jump the tracks and become ghosts because we committed suicide or met a violent death. No where in the scriptures does it say we have an option to roam the earth willfully because we don't want to go to heaven or hell. This is not theology it is spiritism. It's saying God didn't consider that factor when He created the universe.

We must be on our guard too when we believe that God is telling us something contrary to scripture. The enemy uses false-prophetic spirits, religious spirits, lying and mocking spirits to impersonate the voice of God all the time. Satan and his kingdom know the Bible! Take for example, Jesus and his temptation by Satan.

10For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
 11And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 12And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
 13And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
Luke 4:10-13 (KJV)

Satan knew the Bible but he was selectively editing it out of context to prove his point. This is the evidence of lying and mocking spirits being present and Satan is demonstrating how he uses it. When a spirit, acting as the voice of God tells someone, demons can't masquerade as ghosts, that's the party of a religious spirit, a mocking spirit and lying spirit. And these spirits are being allowed to seep into the pulpit.

Belief in ghosts is spiritism, a demonic lie, and it's tentacles are reaching into the front doors of our churches and wrapping around the pulpits. Stay away from the familiar spirits and their nasty curses. Furthermore, don't go looking for a fight with the spirit realm. Which is something I need to save for another article.

If something in your spirit is resonating with you that ghosts are deception and you are involved in ghost hunting – it's time to talk with Jesus. Speak with Jesus and be honest and get some things cleaned up. If He reveals anything to you that needs to be cleaned up go find a trust worthy deliverance minister. There are lots of nasty curses and illnesses associated with ghost hunting many Christians don't discover until they get out of it.

God Bless