Saturday, October 27, 2007

Are Ghosts Real?

With the approach of the familiar holiday of Halloween, the subject of "ghosts and goblins" again fill the air. Of course a lot of it is in jest, but a few take the subject quite seriously. In my local paper this morning a group known as the a "ghost hunt team" was featured. They are a small version of what many have seen on such cable shows as the "Ghost Hunters." Armed with techno gadgets for measuring sights and sounds beyond the awareness of normal human senses, they head out to old cemeteries and abandoned buildings in search of restless spirits.

The theory behind such efforts is that once dead the spirit of the deceased lingers around in this world, unable or unwilling to leave. These spirits, they claim, are either friendly and benign, or mischievous and even spiteful - much like they probably were during their living years.

As a Christian, however, such theories not only irritate me, the naivete also concerns me. There are disembodied spirits in our world, both good and bad, but this is where the similarities in our views part ways. For the spirits known by the Christian from the Bible are either angels or demons. Considering that the role of angels is to assist the work of the Kingdom and to ultimately point to Christ, it is unlikely that they would assume form to distract the believer, although many believe in "angel sightings" with as much vigor as they do for ghosts.

Demons, on the other hand, we know to be not only malevolent, but also deceptive. They appear as "angels of light," Paul informs us, if that will further their work. Peter describes the devil as a "roaring lion" set on destruction. Paul again warns the believer to be protected with the entire "armor of God" when engaging these powers and principalities.

So called "ghost hunters" are unfortunately misguided and misinformed. And unknowingly they are playing with a very dangerous entity for which they are woefully unprepared. Normally such spirits should be left untouched. They are only engaged when the need arises, and then only with the power and protection of God's living Word.

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