Are Christian based Ghost Hunters Going to Hell?
Is ghunting going against Christian values? There is a major segment of Christians that believe ghost hunting is akin to devil worship. As a Christian, I have found myself at times walking a very fine line between between believer and paranormalist. I decided to really dig deeper into this subject and look through scriptures to see what the King James Bible says
What does the Bible say about Ghosts?
In the King James Version of the Bible, the word ghost appears over 100 times. The word ghost in form of a disembodied spirit is never used. The word Ghost is only used as a title (Holy Ghost), or to describe the ‘giving up’ of spirit (death).
Every Christian ghost hunter knows that the most important death in the Bible. God’s only begotten son and our savior Jesus Christ died for our sins. More importantly and fundamental than the death of Jesus, is his resurrection. The resurrection affirms to Christians that all sins (past, present, and future) are forgiven. Paul said in 1 Cor. 15:14, “and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” Three verses later, in verse 17, he again says, “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.”
The resurrection of Jesus is fundamental and an essential doctrine of Christianity.
Was Jesus returned as a Ghost (Spiritual manifestation), or a physical manifestation (Flesh)? All Christians agree that Christ was resurrected. The point of contention is in what form did he manifest.
There are plenty of scriptural verses to support the physical form- see: Luke 24:42-43; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; 20:25. As such, Many Christian scholars agree that the resurrected Jesus was not a ghost, but that of the same crucified physical body.
It’s hard to deny that pieces of scripture point to some very ‘ghostly abilities’ performed by the resurrected Christ. He appeared and vanished at will (Luke 24: 30-36); entered rooms though locked doors (John 20:19 & 26); evidenced control over nature (John 21: 1-6); accurately foretold the future (John 21:17-25); He could be with familiar friends and not be recognized until he chose to be (Luke 24: 13-31).
Where does the human spirit go in death according to the (NKJ) Bible?
Prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus, the souls of the deceased went to a supernatural place. This place is located somewhere in the heart of the earth known as Hades. Hades has two compartments. The abode of the lost (torment) and (Paradise), also referred to as “Abraham’s Bosom.”
When Jesus gave up His Spirit to death, He went into the Paradise side of Hades and “took captivity captive.” This means He took all the souls of the saints who had died to that point to be with God the Father in Heaven.
The Paradise side of Hades is now empty. The torment side today holds all souls of people who rejected Christ’s salvation, See -(Mt. 12:40); (Acts 2:27); (Eph. 4:8-9). Romans 6:23 King James Version (KJV), “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Based on the bible, it is clear that departed human souls can only go to one of two places either Heaven or ‘Death.
Heaven or Hell
Not all Christian scholars believe hell is an actual location. There are many verses that discuss the subject of hell and the eternal suffering for those who go there: Revelation 21:8; Matthew 25:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9. Death, die and dead, all appear frequently in the bible as contextual to the deceased of non-believers. See- Rom 6:23; Ezek 18:4; Ezek 18:20; Eccl 9:5; Psa 115:17. Sinners will perish, but the faithful will receive eternal life.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” —Matthew 7:21. Even Christians who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ, but don’t act on the will of God, may very well be subject to ‘death’ and not enter Heaven.
It is clear from the Bible that spirits do not linger on Earth after death. The act of Ghost Hunting as a Christian should not be purely about departed souls. The alternative is to focus on the explanation of paranormal experiences and helping people feel safe.
Communicating with the dead
Attempting to communicate with ‘familiar spirits’ by Christian ghost hunters is considered a dangerous endeavor by some of faith. The Bible is very clear in Isaiah 8:19 (NKJV), And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? Leviticus 19:31, NKJV. “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.”As seen in the ending passage of Leviticus 19:31; “I am the LORD your God”, a direct reference to the first commandment, meaning failure to comply would end in spiritual death (abomination) for any person engaged in such activities.
What does the Bible mean by, “familiar spirit?”
The word familiar is from the Latin familiaris, meaning a “household servant,” and is intended to express the idea that sorcerers had spirits (demons) as their servants ready to obey their commands. Those attempting to contact the dead, even to this day, usually have some sort of spirit guide who communicates with them. Fallen Angels (Demons) are the only entities left to explain ghosts in the living world around us. Ephesians 6:11-12, KJV. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ghost hunters (paranormalists), in essence, are seeking out Demonic forces, and failing their obligation to the one true King God, in the eyes of Christian scholars. This is the point where many Christian paranormalists may find themselves outcast by church and family. Luckily there are avenues afforded by the Bible, that allow for such circumstances. Christians who are devoted to God are in a spiritual battle, whether they like it or not. That’s because God has allowed it to be this way for a time, and anyone who is in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, Satan hates!
Charismata the endowment for ghost hunting
God has equipped some Christians, with special spiritual gifts. These are the (charismata) supernatural graces (which individual Christians need to fulfill the mission of the church. They are described in the New Testament, primarily in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4. 1 Peter 4 also touches on the spiritual gifts. The gifts encompass seemingly “natural” abilities and seemingly more “miraculous” abilities. All spiritual gifts handed out are through the holy spirit.
Discerning of spirits unraveled
One gift is the ability to discern spirits. The definition of this gift is essentially the ability to know if a spirit, spiritual gift, or a teaching is false and evil or from God. The number of people endowed with this talent is low. As it requires a deep sometimes supernatural understanding of God and faith. Ony God can measure whether a person has this ability or not.
Church members, family, and friends who opt to summarily outcast such persons, may face a judgement of their own from God. 1 Corinthians 4:3-5 (ESV) But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
Dont Judge Too Quickly
Ghost hunters endowed with the gift of discerning spirits, are on the forefront of the battle with Satan. They will likely, at some point, have to face possible demonic possession cases. The paranormalist who lacks these gifts, is likely at greater risk with possible horrible outcomes. Christians generally see ghost hunting for fun and excitement as an abomination.
The paranormalist loophole and the spiritual mandate to help others
For those Christian paranormalists that lack the power to discern spirits, don’t feel like you’re damned just yet. As stated human spirits don’t remain on Earth and only demons can interact with the living. As Christians we have an obligation to help our brothers and sisters as God has directly instructed us to do so; (Hebrews 13:16) “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” If a person calls for help because they believe they are afflicted by some unknown force, it is our duty to respond and help that person. Matthew 10:8 ESV “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.”
Final thoughts from author
As a Christian, and a ghost hunter for over 15 years, I believe in the gift of discernment and the obligation to help others. True paranormal experiences are rare. Investigation and rational explanations will rule out most paranormal experiences. Thus, not exposing a Christian to any spiritual harm. It is the rarest of situations that present the rarest of threat to the Christian Paranormalist. In those cases it seems clear that as long as the intent is to help others, the umbrella of protection from GOD can be invoked merely by thought or words.