Friday, August 31, 2012

Paranormal or Supernatural?

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

Last week I wrote about the demonaphobia that is prevalent on the many TV shows dealing with the supernatural. 
With very few exceptions, these dozens of diverse shows are in sync with each other in avoiding the mention of the demonic (Biblical demons, not characters from Charmed). A month-long experiment of focusing on how various TV shows viewed the demonic was startling and sobering—even well respected researchers like John Zaffis bent over backwards to not see demons as the cause for paranormal activity. Demonaphobia is real and rampant, and (this is key) this dismissive attitude regarding demons is effecting the beliefs of tens of millions of Americans. When there is paranormal activity it is assumed that trapped human spirits are the cause. In this regard, television accurately mirrors the majority report in the paranormal community. Of the roughly 4,000 groups listed on most are not explicitly Christian in their beliefs and methodology. Hence, the assumption of these investigators is that genuine activity is almost always caused by intelligent human spirits or residual energy and that demonic activity is very rare. This phobia is furthered by the tendency to refer to negative or dark spirits instead of simply calling them demons. However, it is primarily TV which is shaping the collective mindset of Americans regarding the demonic and the paranormal. Demons have been so marginalized on these paranormal shows that the paranormal realm has become synonymous with demonaphobia, no matter how unconscious it might be.

Last week’s blog and today’s form a unity—part one and two (I would strongly encourage you to read it because the two are an organic whole . . . in addition to my longer newsletter). I have wanted to write this article for two years but it wasn’t until recently that I felt the nudge. The reason for my hesitation will be manifestly clear in about thirty seconds.

We all know that words are powerful; I don’t need to go on and on to establish that point. But sometimes we can use words that are harmful and not even be aware of it. My impossible task is to persuade you that the word paranormal is one of those harmful words.  Do I really need to elaborate on the centrality of this word? It is the linguistic glue that binds this whole thing together—literally. I am acutely aware of the name of this excellent blog site, and it is with an even more acute sense of my own personal sinfulness, weakness, and brokenness that I write this . . . hopefully to simply stimulate some discussion.

What we think the word paranormal means is not important; what the dictionary’s definition is . . . that’s not important either—what IS important is common usage, because that is the real meaning of the word. It’s time for Christians to understand that this word has become so corrupted that it is irredeemable. Let me explain.

Based on what was said last week, and what is summarized above, the word paranormal connotes an invisible realm where ghosts dwell and where science alone can uncover its mysteries; God, the bible, demons, and spiritual warfare are all marginalized in the word paranormal. Honestly, is that not what paranormal has come to imply on TV and in culture (try not to take into account your personal beliefs)? I do not like what I am writing, but unfortunately it is an undeniable fact. Repeated so frequently, it is shaping a collective worldview in our culture . . . causing a paradigm shift in the spiritual landscape. Paranormal suggests a man-centered reality instead of a God-centered reality. This word is having an insidious effect on millions of people as they watch TV . . . insidious and profound. It is actually reshaping how the contours of invisible reality are perceived. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” is NOT the world of the paranormal. The world of the paranormal is more, “Forever there has been Energy, and the vibrations are increasing until there will be a revolution in consciousness.” It is the worldview that is going to make being a Biblical Christian increasingly difficult.

My suggestion is that we substitute the word supernatural in place of paranormal, because historically that is what Christians have referred to the invisible realm as. Like the word Trinity, supernatural is not in the Bible but it effectively connotes a Biblical reality. “The Jones’ are having supernatural activity in their home, so I am going tomorrow to cleanse and bless their demonically infested house.” Insert the word paranormal and see the difference? Maybe not, but that is my point . . . we have to realize that we are inadvertently causing misunderstanding, and even promoting an unbiblical view of reality by our continued use of this loaded word. We shouldn’t sentimentally cling to a word that is clearly conveying an anti-Christ agenda.  PLEASE, my intent is not to offend the people I care about . . . but I have to follow my calling.

Satan has co-opted this word, and is skillfully using it to hurtle this paranormal juggernaut across our country.  If ghosts are his most successful global deception—and I am convinced they are—then this word is vital in his strategy. As a brilliant general (linguist, wordsmith, and deceiver), he knows the importance of propaganda and the connotation of words in effective warfare strategy. A single word can dehumanize an entire group of people and cause genocide. In one word (paranormal), Satan summarizes a whole host of deviant beliefs regarding the invisible, and is causing spiritual genocide. Please don’t think I am joking or exaggerating.

What we call the paranormal realm is the realm God has sovereignly ordained to be the temporary home of Satan and his demonic followers . . . did you catch that? (Please read it again) Tragically, it is also the realm we poke around in, informing them not to be afraid of us. We are playing in Satan’s sandbox . . . otherwise known as the paranormal realm.

Lord Jesus, please help us. Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I have been weeping a lot lately. My message and book are largely ignored, but I know it is the truth. Here I stand . . . clinging to Jesus and His word—trying, in my stumbling way, to stand in the gap.