Ghostbusters: What the Bible Says about the Paranormal

I personally like scary movies. I think it’s fun to jump in your seat. I actually think most scary movies are stupid because like all movies, I expect a plot (weird I know) and good characters (who don’t willingly hide in exitless basements). There’s a couple of things that bother me as a Christian. I can hardly think of any scary movies that don’t call on a Catholic priest. My problem is, what about us Protestants? Why does it always have to be an old guy in a collar? Why can’t it ever be someone like me in a 1.1.SIX t-shirt? My second problem is, I have seen plenty of situations where the people should have just prayed to accept Jesus as their Savior and that would be the end of it. But because it was a movie, maybe Jesus could show up and do some Matrix-moves or Jedi-force some demons into hell. But until someone from Lionsgate randomly gives me a movie contract, I don’t think that’s likely to happen soon. But what does the Bible actual say about the Paranormal? Maybe more than you think. Let’s break this discussion down into 3 parts.

Part I – Ghosts

Are there ghosts? I get asked this decently regularly. My short answer is “No” but my long answer is “No but…” The Bible is filled with passages like Hebrews 9:27 and 2 Corinthians 5:8. That it is appointed for a person to die and then face the judgment, and to be absent from the body means you are present with the Lord. There isn’t a lot of room there for a 3rd option of hanging around on earth for a few more decades to scare attractive teenagers. But the reason why I have a longer answer is mostly because the Witch of Endor (and No, the Bible didn’t steal the name from the moon where the Ewoks live.) There are lots of mentions in the Bible of people involved in divination, mediums, fortune-tellers, and necromancers (people who speak to the dead). And their actions are always condemned! Like you are anathema and will face the wrath of God kind of condemned. But regardless, this “profession” is mentioned early and often in Scripture. The only instance where we see that one of these people was actually legit is in 1 Samuel 28 (and I think there’s a clue that she’s a charlatan as well.) King Saul had been disobeying God for quite some time, and decided he needed some advice from his old advice-giver Samuel the Prophet. The problem was – Sam was dead. So he goes to this Witch (who came highly recommended) to get her to summon Samuel. The crazy thing was… it worked. Read this craziness, “Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul.” The king said to her, “Do not be afraid; but what do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up out of the earth.” He said to her, “What is his form?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped with a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and did homage. Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” (blink, blink… blink, blink) Did you just read that? Samuel goes on to tell King Saul that he’s going to die for this treachery. I think the best part is that the Witch of Endor seems freaked out. She’s like Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost. She was the most surprised of anyone. So my vote is that this was an extremely unusual circumstance and God let Samuel deliver that bad news to Saul. Thus I chalk this in the category of “God gets to do whatever He wants,” but it’s not the norm by any means. There’s one other weirdo passage that I think of when the “ghost” question comes up. As Jesus is about to die on the cross, this happens in Matt 27:51-53, “And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” What the What!?! What the heck is happening here? I have no idea. I have heard it theorized that “Paradise” or “Abraham’s Bosom” is getting dumped out now that Christ had paid for their sins, the Old Testament saints can now go to Heaven. There are definitely some theological issues with that theory. Another thought (that I kinda like) is that the work of Jesus Christ on the cross was so cataclysmically universe-altering that the life giving power-surge that just occurred was so powerful that it literally brought people back to life for a minute. (So maybe this is more of a Zombie incident.) But I honestly don’t know what’s going on here, and it is question #42 that I’m going to ask Jesus when I get to Heaven.

Part II – Demons

Are there demons? YEP! Demons are fallen, malevolent angels that are looking to wreck human beings. The most powerful of these demons is the Angel of Light himself – the accuser, the adversary, Lucifer. We see multiple instances in Scripture of demonic possession. These demons can bring strength and other powers. They inflict great harm on the host and surrounding people. Why? Not real sure. I wrote more about this HERE. As you could surmise from the previous paragraph, “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts,” but demons are a different story. I’m not afraid per say, but that’s definitely not something I mess with. In Jude 9 (no not the ninth chapter, there’s only one chapter in Jude so technically you should just list the verse), not even Michael the Archangel would bring an accusation against Satan. If Michael THE ARCHANGEL isn’t going to be flippant with a demon, you can be darn sure I won’t be. Another story I can think of that kind of cracks me up a little bit is the story of the Sons of Sceva. These 7 yahoos were wannabe demon-hunters and obviously had a terrible school counselor. So they go up to the first demon-possessed person they can find and say, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” “And the evil spirit answered and said to them, ‘I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?’” And then the man went berserker mode and beat the snot out of all 7 of those whippersnappers. The moral of the story is leave the demon-hunting to comic book characters. This is not to say that deliverance ministry can’t be real and genuine. I’ve met with people who have been in the unfortunate position to have to perform an exorcism. (I’ll write about it one day, but not today.) The genuine people don’t go looking for trouble.

Part III – God

Short conclusion today – God is who you should fear. Demons tremble at the feet of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Demons are the straight-up scariest thing I can think of, and they are terrified of the All-Powerful Almighty. You should be too. God is the one who controls the whole universe and everything in it. He created everything and He can destroy anything. Fortunately, the Son of God loves you so much that He came to this earth and became a human so that humans might become sons of God – with all the rights and privileges therein. Fearing Him is a reasonable proposition, but hopefully your relationship doesn’t end there, because you can soon find out that you do not need to continually fear Him.  The reason the Bible speaks so strongly against those who dabble in witchcraft, divination, and the like is because such people are trusting in those “powers” and not the power of God.  God shares His glory with no one and nothing.

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Free Ghostbusters Review

I didn’t understand why 2016 Ghostbusters couldn’t just be set in the same universe as 1984 Ghostbusters. Almost everything could have been kept the same. I couldn’t get over that feeling the entire movie, and thus it fell flat for me. So Who You Gonna Call? Redbox! Because they have the real Ghostbusters for a $1.50 per day.

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