Thursday, February 23, 2006
Here's a Question for You
Good comments from yesterday. Thank you. Just as clarification, I’m not going to turn into a seat-of-the-pants writer. I can’t, with the kinds of stories I write. I’ve got to know the twist I’m writing toward. But I do think the “non-rejection” attitude can be helpful to me in the plotting phase. Not that I can end up keeping every idea, but allowing myself to consider them for a while and see where they go rather than immediately tossing them out may cause me a little less grief.
All right, now turning a sharp corner . . .
Do you believe in ghosts?
Hah. That got your attention.
I can’t decide whether I do or not. On one hand, I can’t figure how to make the idea of ghosts fit with biblical theology. God apparently has places for spirits to go, and it isn’t wandering around this earth like some lost soul.
However . . . there’s that perturbing story of the witch of Endor (I Samuel, chapter 28). Saul asks her to call up the spirit of Samuel, which she does. And he appears, much to her apparent surprise. A definite ghost story. In the Bible.
Then there’s the Transfiguration, with Moses and Elijah—both dead—appearing and talking to Jesus.
Then there’s this interesting scene which proves nothing but is provocative. At the end of Luke, when Jesus appears to the disciples after His resurrection, they think He’s a ghost. Jesus doesn’t say, “Hey, guys, don’t be idiots—there’s no such thing.” Instead he says (my paraphrase), “Look at me, touch me. A spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
There’s also the scene when Jesus walks on the water, and his disciples think he’s a ghost. (Evidently this ghost belief stuff goes way back). Again, Jesus doesn’t say, “Hey, guys, no such thing.” He simply says, “It is I.”
I do believe many “ghosts” are really demons. And The Bible makes it very clear we are not to consult mediums or chase the dead, or look to any supernatural source for knowledge other than God Himself. So I advocate no séances, got me? In fact séances and the occult in general are undeniably fave lurking grounds for demonic activity.
But what about every ghost story you’ve ever heard? Are they all rubbish? Can they all be explained away? Are they all demonic activity? Can we ever really know the answer this side of heaven?
How should a Christian approach this topic?